© AFP Photo / Alexander Klein
A US ambassador to the UN has scolded his colleagues for excessive drinking during budget negotiations. With stocks of booze in the negotiation room, the talks have been slow to progress, prompting one diplomat to call them a "circus".
Frustrated with his drunk and unproductive colleagues, US ambassador for management and reform Joseph Torsella on Monday addressed the issue.
"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,"
Torsella told his UN colleagues, describing a recent occasion when one diplomat got sick from alcohol poisoning during the negotiations.
"While my government is truly grateful for the strategic opportunities presented by some recent past practices, let's save the champagne for toasting the successful end of the session, and do some credit to the Fifth Committee's reputation in the process," he added.
The Fifth Committee, which is the assembly's budget body, each year holds the record for the longest negotiations on spending. Lasting for many days and nights on end, the committee often tries to finish up its annual spending negotiations before the annual winter holidays in December. The current budget negotiations are likewise expected to take many long days and nights as delegates impatiently try to finish up before the Easter holidays.
While some pass the time getting drunk, others are required to pick up the slack of their inebriated counterparts.