The bureaucrat who roared

Mark Malloch Brown, the UN’s deputy Secretary-General, is rapidly evolving into one of the organization’s most outspoken senior officials in recent memory. A few months ago, he sent John Bolton into coniptions when he criticized the American media’s portrayal of the UN (quite fairly, to my mind). Now, he has apparently told British leaders to ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.
607626_MallochBrown5.jpg
607626_MallochBrown5.jpg

Mark Malloch Brown, the UN's deputy Secretary-General, is rapidly evolving into one of the organization's most outspoken senior officials in recent memory. A few months ago, he sent John Bolton into coniptions when he criticized the American media's portrayal of the UN (quite fairly, to my mind). Now, he has apparently told British leaders to take a back seat on negotiations over Lebanon. In an interview with the Financial Times, he gave this advice:

It's not helpful for it again to appear to be the team that led on Iraq. This cannot be perceived as a US-UK deal with Israel. One of my first bosses taught me it's really important to know not just when to lead, but when to follow."

I don't often share the worldview of senior UN officials, but I'm all in favor of more candor from them. UN members—and particularly the powerful states on the Security Council—should be able to handle some tough talk.

Mark Malloch Brown, the UN’s deputy Secretary-General, is rapidly evolving into one of the organization’s most outspoken senior officials in recent memory. A few months ago, he sent John Bolton into coniptions when he criticized the American media’s portrayal of the UN (quite fairly, to my mind). Now, he has apparently told British leaders to take a back seat on negotiations over Lebanon. In an interview with the Financial Times, he gave this advice:

It’s not helpful for it again to appear to be the team that led on Iraq. This cannot be perceived as a US-UK deal with Israel. One of my first bosses taught me it’s really important to know not just when to lead, but when to follow.”

I don’t often share the worldview of senior UN officials, but I’m all in favor of more candor from them. UN members—and particularly the powerful states on the Security Council—should be able to handle some tough talk.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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