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George H.W. Bush held diplomatic posts at the United Nations and in Beijing before becoming vice president and then president of the United States.  As U.S. Ambassador to the UN 1971-73, Bush said “I learned that the United Nations is like a parliamentary body in a sense. You’re working for votes. I learned that you can’t always do it your way. I learned to treat other countries, large and small, with respect. Even the small ones. Once I went to call on the Burundi embassy which consisted of a secretary, the ambassador and one other guy. And word spread through the United Nations that the United States ambassador is willing to reach out. And that helped. When you get down to some close votes, and a person who didn’t have instructions could vote as he chose, we could win some votes that way.”




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