This is not from the Onion:
This is apparently not a new problem. The budget committee meetings tend to run late into the night at this time of year, as delegates struggle to meet deadlines. Some diplomats spoke up after Torsella’s very public shaming and said it’s not uncommon for delegates to show up visibly drunk to negotiations. We’re not talking about cheerful, oops-I-had-a-glass-of-chardonnay-at-dinner drunk either. “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,” one unnamed diplomat told the press, mentioning one incident where a delegate got so hammered that he barfed, though it’s unclear where. Another explained, “On one occasion the note-taker who was meant to be recording the talks was so intoxicated he had to be replaced.” One more unnamed diplomat said that delegates were showing up “falling down drunk.”
What’s sort of silly about Torsella politely asking these leaders of the world to show up sober to work is the simple fact that’s it’s just a request. It’s not like the US ambassador can dissolve the committee due to misbehavior, though he did say “we will respond accordingly” if the party animals can’t clean up their acts.
via US Ambassador Politely Asks UN Colleagues to Stop Showing Up Drunk to Meetings – Adam Clark Estes – The Atlantic Wire.
Even better, and the Model UN geek inside me loves this part, the Atlantic Wire includes the full text of Joseph Torsella, US ambassador for management and reform. He notes:
As for the conduct of negotiations, Mr. Chairman, we make the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone. 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.