Advancing U.S. Interests at the United Nations (excerpts)

The Obama Administration has dramatically changed our course at the United Nations.  The President’s new era of engagement has led to concrete results at the UN that advance U.S. foreign policy objectives and American security.  The dividends of U.S. leadership at the UN are tangible – the stiffest UN sanctions ever against Iran and North Korea, renewed momentum against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials, a coordinated global effort to help Haiti recover and rebuild, internationally agreed principles to address food insecurity, and direct U.S. participation to reform the flawed UN Human Rights Council. In a world facing so many complex transnational challenges, rebuilding a strong basis for international cooperation has allowed the U.S. to work collectively to solve problems at the United Nations, furthering core national security interests for the American people.

Strengthening UN Peacekeeping and Conflict Prevention Efforts

  • Improving Peacekeeping Effectiveness:  In September 2009, President Obama hosted the first-ever meeting with the leaders of the top troop-contributing nations to UN peacekeeping operations, underscoring America’s commitment to this vital tool, which allows countries around the world to share the burden for protecting civilians and fragile peace processes in societies emerging from war. The U.S. continues to advance initiatives to strengthen UN peacekeeping capabilities, including by seeking to expand the number, capacity, and effectiveness of troop and police contributors, helping secure General Assembly approval for vital peacekeeping reforms, and working with fellow Security Council members to craft more credible and achievable mandates for operations in Haiti, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and several other current operations.  

Sudan: Following the indictment by the International Criminal Court of the President of Sudan and the retaliatory expulsion of humanitarian relief workers, the U.S. pressed for the return of the aid groups and opposed the deferral of the ICC arrest warrant.  The U.S.  has carefully supported the effective implementation of peacekeeping mandates in Southern Sudan and Darfur, and promoted improved cooperation between these two peacekeeping missions, in line with the Obama Administration’s comprehensive approach to Sudan.  The U.S. continues to work closely with senior UN officials to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground, and ensure that the UN is prepared to support the upcoming referenda. President Obama will attend the high-level Sudan meeting hosted by United Nations Secretary General Ban during the General Assembly, to bring high-level attention and focus to actions that can support on-time referenda that reflect the will of the Sudanese people.
The U.S. strongly backs the work of the Sudan sanctions Committee and the Sudan Panel of Experts.  The U.S. led negotiations on resolution 1891, renewing the mandate of the Experts and making the sanctions and the Committee more effective.

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