U.S. Buzzkill Wants U.N. Diplomats to Argue Budgets Sober

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Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

The United Nations has a drinking problem, thinks Joseph Torsella, the U.S. ambassador for management and reform at the U.N., who on Monday got a promotion from Captain Buzzkill to admiral by publicly scolding his colleagues for boozing during budget sessions. "As for the conduct of negotiations, we make the modest proposal that the negotiation rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone," Torsella said squarely. Apparently it is the thing in U.N. circles to drag out end-of-year budget negotiations as late as possible in order to extract concessions from counterparts eager to get out for the holidays.

As one Security Council diplomat explained to Foreign Policy, "After three weeks together and 20 hours a day, people start to get really comfortable enough. But if you are dumb enough to get so drunk you can't negotiate, then you deserve [to get out played]." The Atlantic Wire points out that Torsella's request for sobriety isn't really enforceable, though he did threaten to "respond accordingly" should the drinking keep up. So with more budget negotiations looming ahead of the Easter break, an alternate solution to curbing the tippling would be to hire some sturdy Ron Swanson types to carry out the negotiation drinking. On second thought, that might not be such a good idea.