Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence
Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, Philippine and Iraq
Institute of World Politics
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Secretary John Negroponte took the podium. Ambassador Negroponte's public service record extends back decades, and he was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations at the time when the critical resolution 1559 was being planned. He praised the role of public delegates like Walid Maalouf at the United Nations. UN public delegates are political appointees, not career diplomats, and they can bring in a perspective from outside the Foreign Service. Turning to the matter of the resolution itself, he said that in 2003 he had thought that a resolution causing an exit of Syrian troops from Lebanon was "tilting at windmills." He also described part of the value of the resolution as getting the other powers "on the record." Ultimately, China and Russia did not veto the resolution, and this makes it possible to hold them to its provisions later on. Looking towards the future, Negroponte said that though 1559 was a watershed, it is not the end of the road. For Lebanon to prosper there is a need to resolve the situation with Syria and ultimately Iran.