by Steven Ertelt
December 3, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — John Danforth, ambassador for the United States to the United Nations said Thursday he would be stepping down from the position. He will vacate his post in January, just seven months after taking the job.
Danforth said he was resigning to take care of his ailing wife and because of frustrations with the United Nation’s bureaucratic process that makes accomplishments difficult.
For over two years the UN has held an intense debate about whether or not to ban all or some forms of human cloning.
Last month, the international agency decided to postpone a decision yet again while diplomats work out the language of a possible compromise statement that would call on nations to ban all forms of human cloning.
The U.S. has worked with more than 60 other nations to pass a treaty requiring such a ban, though opponents want to allow human cloning for research purposes.
Danforth said his top reason for leaving was to take care of his wife, Sally, who is dealing with health concerns and is recovering from a badly broken ankle after a fall.
"Forty-seven years ago, I married the girl of my dreams, and, at this point in my life, what is more important to me is to spend more time with her," Danforth said in his letter to Bush. "Because you know Sally, you know my reason for going home."
According to The Washington Post, Danforth had recently expressed frustration over the effectiveness of the United Nations.
"While the U.N. is an important part of multilateralism, which is essential to U.S. foreign policy, it’s very difficult to get strong resolutions passed," Danforth told the Post in a recent interview. "It’s built for compromise, and it’s built for wordsmithing. It’s difficult to create real policies because of the ornate structure of multilateralism, at least the U.N.’s version of it."
There is no word on possible replacements for Danforth.
As a U.S. Senator from Missouri, Danforth compiled a pro-life voting record on abortion, though pro-life groups were concerned about his views on bioethics issues like stem cell research and human cloning.
However, the Bush administration position against all forms of human cloning never wavered under Danforth’s tenure.