Ottawa

'Diplomatic overkill'

Adam Chapnik explains the wisdom of dysfunction at the United Nations.

To suggest, however, that North Korea’s accession to the presidency of the conference on disarmament – not to mention the conference’s failure to play a role in any recent progress on global non-proliferation initiatives – justifies a Canadian boycott, which could eventually lead to the decline of the conference altogether, misses the point.

The United Nations is nothing more than a framework through which its members can sort out their political, economic, and security-related disagreements. It cannot do the negotiating for them, but it can make it easier to negotiate when the time is right.

The State Department says the United States won’t be boycotting the conference.

“We have chosen not to make a big deal out of this because it’s a relatively low-level, inconsequential event,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said…

“It’s a consensus-based organization, so nothing can be decided just because the chair is a country that we have issues with. So our plan is not to take any particular action with regard to that meeting,” Nuland said. “It is not where the main game on these issues are.”