By Jueseppi B.
It’s official: We have a new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations!
Samantha Power Confirmed By Senate As Next U.N. Ambassador
WASHINGTON — The Senate easily confirmed President Barack Obama’s selection for ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday, capping a month in which senators used a bipartisan truce on once-mired nominations to fill a cluster of vacancies in the president’s second-term administration.
Senators approved Samantha Power for the post by 87-10. The vote put the former Obama foreign policy adviser and outspoken human rights advocate into the job formerly held by Susan Rice, whom the president has made his national security adviser.
“As a long-time champion of human rights and dignity, she will be a fierce advocate for universal rights, fundamental freedoms and U.S. national interests,” Obama said in a written statement after the vote.
Samantha Power (born September 21, 1970) is an Irish American academic and writer, and, following an appointment by President Barack Obama on June 5, 2013, and confirmation by the United States Senate on August 1, 2013, by a vote of 87-10, the 28th and current United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
She began her career by covering the Yugoslav Wars as a journalist. From 1998 to 2002 Power served as the Founding Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University‘s Kennedy School of Government, where she later served as the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy. She was a senior adviser to Senator Barack Obama until March 2008, when she resigned from his presidential campaign under controversy.
Power joined the Obama State Department transition team in late November 2008, and was named Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the National Security Council — responsible for running the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights — positions that she held from January 2009 to March 2013. In April 2012, Obama chose her to chair a newly formed Atrocities Prevention Board. During her time in office, Power’s office focused on such issues as the reform of the UN; the promotion of women’s rights and LGBT rights; the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities; the protection of refugees; the campaign against human trafficking; and the promotion of human rights and democracy, including in the Middle East and North Africa, Sudan, and Burma. She is considered to be a key figure within the Obama administration in persuading the president to intervene militarily in Libya.
Power has written or co-edited four books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, a study of the U.S. foreign policy response to genocide.
Samantha Power, confirmed by the Senate today, is just the person we need to continue strengthening the U.S.-UN relationship. As she said herself, the U.S. has a “critical role to play in insisting that the UN meet the necessities of our time. It can do so only with American leadership.”
|United States Ambassador to the United Nations|
August 1, 2013
|Succeeding||Rosemary DiCarlo (Acting)|
|Born||September 21, 1970 (age 42)
|Spouse(s)||Cass Sunstein (2008–present)|
|Alma mater||Yale University
We couldn’t agree more.
She certainly has big shoes to fill: Her predecessor, Susan Rice, was a real champion for strong U.S. engagement with the UN.
But I have no doubt that Samantha Power is up to the task. She played a key role in getting the U.S. to rejoin the Human Rights Council, and she’s been an outspoken advocate for ending genocide and protecting civilians worldwide.
Most importantly: She knows just how critical it is for the U.S. and UN to work together in tackling the world’s biggest problems.
So let’s make sure she feels welcome.
Nomination as U.S. ambassador to the UN
On June 5, 2013, the President Barack Obama announced her nomination as the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations. In remarks at the announcement, Power said: “Even as a little girl with a thick Dublin accent who had never been to America, I knew that the American flag was the symbol of fortune and of freedom….I came home from school every day, as my mother can attest, my dad can attest, and I sat in front of the mirrors for hours, straining to drop my brogue so that I, too, could quickly speak and be American.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said: “I support President Obama’s nomination of Samantha Power to become the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I believe she is well-qualified for this important position and hope the Senate will move forward on her nomination as soon as possible.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called her “solid choice to serve as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. As United Nations Ambassador, Samantha Power will aggressively represent the United States interests in an increasingly hostile body. Power will also be a strong supporter of the United States’ close ally Israel. Former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said that he is “very encouraged by the president’s appointment.” Dennis Ross stated that “Sam Power brings lots of experience to the job and will be a powerful voice representing America’s interests and values.”
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote: “We are pleased that President Obama has nominated a true champion of human rights who led the effort to make averting genocide and atrocities a core part of American policy to head the U.S. delegation at the United Nations…She experienced first-hand the hostility faced by Israel and the abuse of the U.N. bodies to promote anti-Israel bias. As someone who appreciates, to the core of her being, the meaning of international human rights mechanisms, Samantha is clear eyed and understands the injustice of their abuse to target Israel’s legitimacy.” Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, noted that “Samantha Power and I have worked closely over the last four years on issues vital to Israel’s security. She thoroughly understands those issues and cares deeply about them.” Professor Dershowitz reiterated his strong support for Power: “She’s a perfect choice. A perfect choice. She has real credibility to expose the U.N.’s double standard on human rights. She also understands the principle of ‘the worst first’—you go after the worst human rights abusers first.”
Lawyers for Cholera Victims also see her nomination as an opportunity for the US to pressure the UN to respond justly to the cholera epidemic. Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti cites her “long and effective record of support for the rule of law, especially international law,” as a sign that she will stand up for accountability for the victims of UN cholera in Haiti. The Director of the Israel Project, Josh Block, noted that “Samantha has made a commendable effort to build ties with the pro-Israel community and develop deeper appreciation of the issues vital to our interests in the region, Israel’s security, and the U.S.-Israel relationship.
In her role at the United States National Security Council, she also helped lead the administration’s efforts opposing the Palestinian bid to circumvent peace negotiations with Israel with unilateralism at the U.N.” The Jewish Council for Public Affairs noted that it has “worked closely with Samantha Power over the years in her roles as journalist, activist, and government official. Power has been a critical voice on human rights issues and we are very proud of our joint work to confront atrocities, including that in Darfur and the ongoing crisis in Sudan.”
The President of the Rabbinical Assembly, Gerald Skolnik, said that the Assembly “look[s] forward to working with Samantha Power in her new role as UN Ambassador on our mutual interests of defending universal human rights and Israeli security. The Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Steven Burg, tweeted that she is a “great choice.” The National Jewish Democratic Council said that “Power, the country’s foremost scholar on genocide and an outspoken advocate for human rights, represents some of the Jewish community’s most important values.” A recently posted document gives several examples of pro-Israel, Republican support for her.
Her nomination has also been opposed by a number of people. Former US ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton and former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy Frank Gaffney have criticized her for a 2003 article in The New Republic that she wrote in which she compared the United States to Nazi Germany.
Statement from the President on the Confirmation of Samantha Power as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Statement from the President on the Confirmation of Samantha Power as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
I’m pleased that the Senate has confirmed Samantha Power as our next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by a strong, bipartisan majority. As one of our country’s leading foreign policy thinkers, Samantha knows that our nation’s interests are advanced with strong and principled American leadership. As a long-time champion of human rights and dignity, she will be a fierce advocate for universal rights, fundamental freedoms and U.S. national interests. I’m grateful that Samantha will continue to be a vital member of my national security team, and I know that under her leadership our U.N. Mission in New York will continue to represent American diplomacy at its best.
August 01, 2013 | 45:46 |Public Domain
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President Barack Jussein Obama Issues Order To Prevent The Next West, Texas-Style Explosion
On Thursday, President Obama issued an executive order on chemical facility safety, three and a half months after the deadly ammonium nitrate explosion in a West, Texas fertilizer plant. The order outlines a number of new initiatives intended to modernize oversight of plants and strengthen the coordination of the various agencies responsible for safety at these facilities.
To take up those mandates, the order establishes a new Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group, which will include the top officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Homeland Security. It also directs federal, state, local, and tribal groups to figure out how to work together better on this issue.
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