Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer of Bureau of International Organization Affairs today stressed that robust U.S. engagement at the UN will be sustained.
Ms. Brimmer highlighted that the UNited States will never abandon its unique position as a beacon of freedom and democracy, and will never turn its back for global leadership role, and will never restrict its engagement with the United Nations.
“U.S. engagement with the UN has never been more critical or more beneficial to our nation. We cannot turn back the clock to a time when the world was simpler and less interconnected, and multilateral engagement was less essential to core U.S. interests.” -Ms. Brimmer
Ms. Brimmer also outlined today the U.S. priorities at the United Nations.
She stressed that the importance to the United States of its engagement at the UN is hardly a new phenomenon. She stated that multilateral diplomacy is central to American foreign policy, and important issues will be decided at the United Nations whether or not the United States chooses to be actively engaged.
“But as the world has changed, our foreign policy – even how we engage multilaterally – has adapted as well.” -Ms. Brimmer
She pointed out that in Libya, the United States has worked across the UN system to marshal a robust international response to the crisis. She noted that with U.S. allies and partners, the United States won tough Security Council sanctions and an International Criminal Court referral of Qadhafi’s depredations.
“In Afghanistan and Iraq, the UN also plays an indispensable role to contribute to political stability. UN political missions in both countries work to strengthen democracy and mediate local conflicts, allowing us to draw down our military forces on schedule.” -Ms. Brimmer
She explained that UN also plays a central role in global efforts to combat nuclear proliferation. Security Council sanctions on Iran have hampered that regime’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
“U.S. support for peacekeeping crosses party lines. The previous Administration oversaw the largest increase in the number of peacekeepers and missions in the history of the United Nations, with deployed peacekeepers more than doubling over an eight-year period.” -Ms. Brimmer
Ms. Brimmer cited that the United States rejects the alarmist suggestions that the UN is somehow running roughshod over U.S. interests. She said aside from being factually wrong, they ignore the many ways that U.S. multilateral diplomacy advances our national security and supports the security of its allies, partners, and friends.
“It misses the political reality of what actually happens across the UN system. For the most part, few substantive actions are adopted in UN bodies without U.S. support and leadership. That does not mean that achieving our goals is easy, or that we always get what we seek. There are plenty of instances where we have to press long and hard for an outcome that is not always certain.” -Ms. Brimmer
Ms. Brimmer stressed that U.S. global leadership at the UN means they pay their fair share of the burden – not more, but also not less.
She stated that on the eve of the 66th UN General Assembly, there remains much work to be done to help the United Nations adapt structures built in 1945 to better address the challenges of 2011 and beyond. She said the world has changed faster than the United Nations has.
“But if we are to protect our security against transnational threats, advance our values as an alternative to extremism, and promote the international stability and interaction we need in order to advance our economy, U.S. engagement in the United Nations is more essential than it has ever been.” -Ms. Brimmer