Former Ambassador John Bolton Delivers Talk to Yale SOM Class
According to John Bolton YC ’70, LAW ’74, the United Nations is a deeply flawed institution with problems that are not just bad for world peace, but global business. The institution, he told an SOM audience on February 22, needs to be fundamentally reformed in order to work properly. But, he added, the likelihood of this happening is depressingly slim.
Bolton, whose long career in Washington, D.C., culminated in being the United States representative to the UN in 2005 and 2006, has long held a dim view of the world’s deliberative body, considering it corrupt and ineffective. Speaking to students in the State & Society course, which is one of the core courses in the Yale Integrated MBA Curriculum, he outlined the numerous ways the United Nations — as pushed by countries in the developing world — is hampering global business. Over the last several decades, he said, developing nations have controlled much of the UN agenda, focusing its powers not on opening markets but redistributing resources from rich to poor nations. While such attempts have been less frequent in recent years, Bolton said he’s troubled that a new treaty governing how the sea bed can be developed could signal a return of such thinking. “It was a very widespread mindset,” he said. “I don’t discount the possibility it might return. The UN is a very attractive forum for countries that want to pool their limited strengths.”
Listen to or watch John Bolton discuss the Sea Treaty and other regulatory initiatives affected by the UN.