Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice on United Nations Day

For Immediate Release | October 24, 2012

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations

New York, NY

On United Nations Day, we mark the passage of 67 years since ratification of the UN Charter by the allied World War II victors, led by the United States. The UN’s foundational treaty gave life to ideals embodied by the late American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and bore the signatures of 51 original members from every corner of the globe. As the principal forum for international cooperation, the United Nations has averted wars, saved lives, fought disease and poverty, and protected human rights for almost seven decades. Throughout, despite its evident flaws and shortcomings, the United Nations has enabled a bipartisan succession of American Presidents to share the costs and burdens of tackling the world’s most pressing challenges.

Upon taking office four years ago, President Obama pledged to renew America’s leadership at the United Nations, recognizing its essential role in advancing U.S. strategic interests and defending universal values. President Obama has kept that promise and, today, the results of U.S. leadership are clear: the toughest UN sanctions ever against Iran and North Korea; progress towards our goal of a world without nuclear weapons; an unprecedented mandate to save lives in Libya; support for the birth of South Sudan; robust protection of democracy in Cote d’Ivoire; vital UN assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq; an historic political transition in Somalia; initial progress in improving the performance of the Human Rights Council; resolute defense of our staunch ally Israel against unbiased treatment; and reinvigorated global efforts to end conflicts, support democratic transitions and fight terrorism.

For four years, the Obama Administration has led in supporting the UN’s provision of lifesaving humanitarian aid in crisis zones and global efforts to empower women. The United States has stood up for the human rights of LGBT individuals and taken critical steps to reduce poverty, fight hunger, increase food security, combat disease, build resilient health systems and promote sustainable economic development-efforts that will promote a healthier, more prosperous and more just world. The United States has also championed a more modern, more efficient, more effective United Nations and helped the Organization achieve its first meaningful budget cut in more than a decade.

On this United Nations Day, we recognize the many benefits Americans derive every day from the United Nations. Sixty-seven years after ratification of the UN Charter, the United States under President Obama remains firmly committed to preserving and strengthening this important institution and the U.S.-UN relationship. As a consequence, America is stronger and more respected, the American people are safer, and the world is better equipped to handle the challenges of the 21st century.

Note from the U.S. Mission:  Dr. Zerbo will assume the role of Executive Secretary in August 2013.