WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Wednesday after President-elect Donald Trump nominated South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations:
“I want to acknowledge Governor Haley’s nomination to be our next ambassador to the United Nations. I look forward to leading my Democratic colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee in a thorough hearing of her qualifications, her foreign policy experience, and world view. The UN can be an indispensable force for a better world and America’s ambassador to the UN is on the front lines of international diplomacy every day, doing crucial work to build coalitions, stand up for our values, and call out wrongs when they arise. A strong and capable US Ambassador to the United Nations is critical for American leadership in the world and to safeguard and extend our interests and values.
“The UN must continue to improve its operations, but through United States leadership it can play a vital role in achieving key American foreign policy goals, helping to resolve international conflicts, confront terrorism, and deliver humanitarian aid to desperately vulnerable men, women and children. America’s leadership at the UN has also advocated for sustainable development goals that promote economic development, support civil society, strengthen governance, combat corruption, and advance international efforts to protect against climate change.
“Our Ambassador at the United Nations must also lead the fight for American values at the United Nations by standing up against violations of international law, against war crimes, against human rights violations, and by speaking up for democracy and freedom of speech. These core values must be at the forefront of America’s foreign policy agenda. We must continue to be there for our allies and stand firm against illegal aggression.
“Our new UN Ambassador will also confront the task of dealing with the Russians at the United Nations. Unfortunately, Russia has shown itself to be a global bully and not a partner. Our UN Ambassador will have to ensure that Russia will be held accountable and not be permitted to manipulate facts or ignore international norms and the rule of law. Embracing these values has never been more important than it is today.
“I believe strongly that America’s ambassador to the UN must also stand up for human rights. Taking up the cause of human rights is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Countries that don’t protect civil society, ethnic minorities, or religious freedom create cleavages that destabilize whole regions.
“President Trump will need a national security team with strong international experience who can lead the country through the critical national challenges facing our country, while also fight for the American values which have made this country great at home and the democratic leader of the world.
“I look forward to meeting Gov. Haley and discussing these and other issues with her in the coming weeks and months.”
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