Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Shift on U.N. Seen in Rice Nomination"

Susan Rice
Paul J. Richards
Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Washington Post
today analyzes the implication of the appointment of Susan E. Rice to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Dr. Rice was a senior foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama during two years of his campaign, and was expected by many to be appointed to a position in the White House.
But Obama decided instead to put her in New York, in a more visible role -- ambassador to the United Nations -- and thereby send a message to the world's diplomats: The United States will look more kindly, come Jan. 20, on multilateralism and U.N. peacekeeping missions.

Obama said yesterday that he is restoring Rice's position to a Cabinet-level rank, an indication that he views the job as central to his goal of fostering more international cooperation.......

U.N. officials welcomed the selection of Rice, an unapologetic proponent of multilateralism, and said the decision to upgrade the post to Cabinet rank showed the Obama administration meant to pay greater attention to the world body.

"She's a woman of intellect, a woman of passion and somebody who would like to get things done," said Ibrahim Gambari, a senior U.N. troubleshooter who first met Rice when he was Nigeria's U.N. ambassador during the military rule of Sani Abacha.
Read Dr. Rice's biographical sketch in the New York Times.

Comment: Dr. Rice is obviously brilliant, with experience in the White House and State Department, and an apparently close relationship with the president elect. All to the good. Best of all, her appointment and inclusion in the Cabinet apparently signals an intention of the new administration to return to multilateralism, including strong involvement with the United Nations family of organizations. JAD

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