Former Ambassador Richard Holbrooke was awarded the Program on Negotiation’s Great Negotiator Award in 2004. In remarks given during the award ceremony, he shared his recollections of an “incredibly intense” Christmas Eve negotiation in 1999. The United States owed the United Nations almost 1.5 billion dollars. The UN was about to take away the right of the United States to vote in the General Assembly, and US senators were threatening to pull out of the United Nations. In this video, Holbrooke describes how defining a workable financial solution in the face of “extreme short-sightedness” helped all countries concerned to resolve this heavily symbolic issue.
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