On Need for U.S. Leadership:

I will bring a firm message to the UN that U.S. leadership is essential in the world. It is essential for the advancement of humanitarian goals, and for the advancement of America’s national interests. When America fails to lead, the world becomes a more dangerous place. And when the world becomes more dangerous, the American people become more vulnerable. At the UN, as elsewhere, the United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice.

On Anti-Israel Bias:

[A]ny honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers. Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel. In the General Assembly session just completed, the UN adopted twenty resolutions against Israel and only six targeting the rest of the world’s countries combined. In the past ten years, the Human Rights Council has passed 62 resolutions condemning the reasonable actions Israel takes to defend its security. Meanwhile the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations. This cannot continue.

On UNSC Res. 2334—”I Will Never Abstain”:

It is in this context that the events of December 23 were so damaging. Last month’s passage of UN Resolution 2334 was a terrible mistake, making a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians harder to achieve. The mistake was compounded by the location in which it took place, in light of the UN’s long history of anti-Israel bias. I was the first governor in America to sign legislation combatting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, or “BDS” movement. I will not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel. In fact, I pledge to you this: I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.

After the passage of the infamous UN resolution equating Zionism with racism in 1975, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan came to the unsettling realization that, as he put it, “if there were no General Assembly, this could never have happened.” Today, over forty years later, more and more Americans are becoming convinced by actions like the passage of Resolution 2334 that the United Nations does more harm than good. The American people see the UN’s mistreatment of Israel, its failure to prevent the North Korean nuclear threat, its waste and corruption, and they are fed up.

On Human Rights:

In the matter of human rights, Mr. Chairman, whether it’s the love of my family’s and America’s immigrant heritage, or the removal of a painful symbol of an oppressive past in South Carolina, I have a clear understanding that it is not acceptable to stay silent when our values are challenged. I will be a strong voice for American principles and American interests, even if that is not what other UN representatives want to hear. The time has come for American strength once again.

On U.N. Accountability to U.S. Taxpayers:

We contribute 22 percent of the UN’s budget, far more than any other country. We are a generous nation. But we must ask ourselves what good is being accomplished by this disproportionate contribution. Are we getting what we pay for? To your credit, the Congress has already begun to explore ways the United States can use its leverage to make the United Nations a better investment for the American people. I applaud your efforts, and I look forward to working with you to bring seriously needed change to the UN. If I’m confirmed, I will need you, and I hope to have your support. In short, Mr. Chairman, my goal for the United Nations will be to create an international body that better serves the interests of the American people.

On U.N. Reform, U.S. Idealism & Engagement:

My job – our job – is to reform the UN in ways that rebuild the confidence of the American people. We must build an international institution that honors America’s commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights. I hope this can be done. I believe it is possible. And I know that if you confirm me, I will do all I can to see that it happens. Some say we live in cynical and distrustful times. But I believe we all carry in our hearts a bit of the idealism that animated the creation of the United Nations.

 

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