IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Another Rice to consider

I suppose I knew about Susan Rice’s appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and I suppose I expected some change in US UN policy and relations, but Amb. Rice’s recent speech seems to indicate a potenttially significant change in attitude.  Have a look at the article from Reuters and from the U.N. Dispatch.  There are a number of very quotable passages in her August 12 speech,  but I particularly like this one:

“The reach, scale, and complexity of 21st-century security challenges put unprecedented demands on states and the entire infrastructure of international cooperation we helped build after 1945. If ever there were a time for effective multilateral cooperation in pursuit of U.S. interests and a shared future of greater peace and prosperity, it is now. We stand at a true crossroads. We must move urgently to reinvigorate the basis for common action. The bedrock of that cooperation must be a community of states committed to solving collective problems and capable of meeting the responsibilities of effective sovereignty.”

This is obvious, of course, to anybody who considers the swelling agenda of world problems as we finish off the first decade of the 21st century.  However, without going into detail I think we could say that such a world view has been out of fashion (for lack of a stronger term) in American foreign policy for some time–or, at least, has been pushed aside by a more traditional view of national security.   So it is refreshing to have a senior U.S. official talking in terms that at least seem pertinent to our globalizing world.

Still, it’s early days yet, and we will have to wait and see what the real possibilties of change in U.S. policy are.  I remember Pres. Clinton’s administration coming into office with a somewhat similar view–though their idea was that the U.S. could redeploy resources at home by letting the U.N. have a bigger role in the Post-Cold War world–and it proved impossible to implement.   If you are watching the ugly town hall meetings about health care reform, you can see that there is still some way to go before the American public is ready to consider change  (even necessary change) in many policy areas.

Should be interesting to watch. 🙂


August 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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