US Fed Up With Drunk UN Diplomats
Ambassador spoils the party, calls for 'inebriation-free zone'
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2013 1:34 AM CST
Updated Mar 10, 2013 10:55 AM CDT
Happy hour?   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Some diplomats consider a few stiff drinks to be essential before United Nations budget negotiations. But the US ambassador for management and reform is sick of dealing with intoxicated counterparts—and he'd like them banned from budget negotiations, Foreign Policy reports. "There has always been a good and responsible tradition of a bit of alcohol improving a negotiation, but we're not talking about a delegate having a nip at the bar," Joseph Torsella complained at a budget committee meeting last week. His "modest" proposal? That the negotiating room "should in future be an inebriation-free zone." That's inebriation-free, not booze-free: US officials say alcohol is OK, but what one diplomat describes as "falling-down drunk" envoys are not, reports AFP.

Insiders say it's common for obviously drunk delegates to turn up at budget meetings, though the imbibers tend to be those who are required to attend but aren't involved in much negotiating. One Western diplomat says African delegations tend to be the tipsiest, but other insiders say diplomats from around the world hit the bottle before—and during—meetings, especially toward the end of marathon budget sessions. "It's not just Africans. The Russians do it," a Security Council diplomat says. "There's nothing new or surprising about this. Canada used to bring whisky. The French used to bring bottles of wine."

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Showing 3 of 81 comments
right2dave
Mar 11, 2013 1:16 PM CDT
"In Case You Missed It" says the headline. It should day..."In Case We're Texting and Not Working."
Barbs1133
Mar 11, 2013 1:00 PM CDT
Alcohol and making policy--what a combo--no wonder the world is so fuc*ed.
MichaelHahn
Mar 11, 2013 11:33 AM CDT
Jer 17:7 Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. Jer 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?