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Transcript: Rice Announces Bolton's Nomination

Now more than ever, the U.N. must play a critical role as it strives to fulfill the dreams and hopes and aspirations of its original promise to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

President Bush has sent our most skilled and experienced diplomats to represent the United States at the U.N. Today, I am honored to continue that tradition by announcing that President Bush intends to nominate John Bolton to be our next ambassador to the United Nations.

The president and I have asked John to do this work, because he knows how to get things done. He is a tough minded diplomat. He has a strong record of success and he has a proven track record of effective multilateralism.

For the past four years, John has served as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs. In that position, John has held primary responsibility for the issue that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has identified as one of our most crucial challenges to international peace and security: stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

John helped build a coalition of more than 60 countries to help combat the spread of WMD through the president's Proliferation Security Initiative. John played a key diplomatic role in our sensitive negotiations with Libya when that nation made the wise choice to give up its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

And John was the chief negotiator of the Treaty of Moscow, which was signed by Presidents Putin and Bush to reduce nuclear warheads by two-thirds.

RICE: In President George H.W. Bush's administration, John served as assistant secretary of state for international organizations and worked on several key diplomatic initiatives with the U.N., including work on U.N. reform and work on the payment of arrearages in assessments.

In 1991, John was the principle architect behind the initiative that finally led the United Nations General Assembly to repeal the notorious resolution that equated Zionism and racism.

And few may remember this, but John worked between 1997 and 2000 as an assistant to former Secretary James Baker in his capacity as the secretary general's personal envoy to the Western Sahara. John did this work pro bono. If few Americans have direct experience working for the United Nations, I'm confident that fewer still have gained that experiences on their own nickel.

Through history, some of our best ambassadors have been those with the strongest voices -- ambassadors like Gene Kirkpatrick and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

John Bolton is personally committed to the future success of the United Nations and he will be a strong voice for reform at a time when the United Nations has begun to reform itself to help meet the challenging agenda before the international community.

John will also help to build a broader base of support here in the United States for the U.N. and its mission.

As Secretary General Annan has said, "U.S. support for the U.N. is critical to the success of this institution." The United States will continue to do its part.

John, you have my confidence and that of the president. We thank you for the work you have on behalf of our nation.


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