The U.N. Needs Reform

Aug 01 2013

Today, I voted against President Obama’s nomination of Samantha Power as Ambassador to the United Nations.  The United Nations is in need of swift and sweeping reform, and I do not believe Ms. Power is the right person to lead this effort.

While the Obama administration has paid lip-service to the idea of UN reform, it has not done nearly enough to fight for the needed changes to end waste, mismanagement, corruption, and bias against the United States and Israel.   

The administration has used the United Nations to pursue goals that are controversial and divisive in the United States.  Issues such as environmental regulations, gun rights, and the use of military power should be left to our federal, state, and local governments; not an unaccountable body of international bureaucrats.

These efforts can be seen in the push for ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the pursuit of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).   Such treaties do not provide any economic or security benefits to the United States, and undermine U.S. sovereignty. 

Ms. Power has made a well-known career advocating for the use of American power to intervene in foreign conflicts for humanitarian purposes.  This includes her support of and reported influence on the American intervention in Libya is 2011 and her role as the head of President Obama’s Atrocities Prevention Board.

I opposed the President’s intervention in Libya, and do not believe he had the necessary authorization from Congress to do so. 

Ms. Power’s nomination signals the President’s intention to continue using the UN to circumvent Congress on important issues while neglecting the need for effective and wide-ranging reforms.   We can no longer tolerate business-as-usual at the United Nations, and I will continue pushing for the changes needed in the U.S.-U.N relationship.