UN Reform/3

Written by  //  May 2, 2019  //  Uncategorized, United Nations  //  No comments

Trump’s Nominee for U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft Has Billion-Dollar Ties to Coal
(New York) The president, not known for his interest in multilateral alliances, has taken his time nominating an ambassador to the United Nations since Nikki Haley left the position at the end of 2018. His prior, unofficial nominee, former Fox News host Heather Nauert, faced criticism for her lack of foreign-policy experience, diplomatic exposure, and understanding of U.S. alliances: Nauert caught serious flack for citing D-Day as an example of America’s “strong relationship” with Germany. Nauert withdrew from consideration in February after reports emerged that she once employed a nanny who was not authorized to work in the United States.
On Wednesday, Trump announced that Kelly Craft would be his first official nominee for the U.N. ambassadorship since Haley’s departure. Craft certainly has more experience than the past candidate: She’s currently serving as U.S. ambassador to Canada, was part of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. during the Bush administration, and played a role in the redraft of NAFTA now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Still, Democrats in the Senate will contest her nomination, and not without merit. Craft is married to Joseph W. Craft III, a billionaire coal executive who has made several efforts to cancel the Obama administration’s push to regulate his industry’s emissions, including a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and the postponement of a rule that would end the practice of coal plants dumping toxic metals into rivers.

1 January
U.S. and Israel officially withdraw from UNESCO
(PBS Newshour) The United States and Israel officially quit the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.
The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace.
The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit.
The U.S. has demanded “fundamental reform” in the agency that is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions. UNESCO also works to improve education for girls, promote understanding of the Holocaust’s horrors, and to defend media freedom.
UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay took up her post just after Trump announced the pullout. Azoulay, who has Jewish and Moroccan heritage, has presided over the launch of a Holocaust education website and the U.N.’s first educational guidelines on fighting anti-Semitism — initiatives that might be seen as responding to U.S. and Israeli concerns.
Officials say that many of the reasons the U.S. cited for withdrawal do not apply anymore, noting that since then, all 12 texts on the Middle East passed at UNESCO have been consensual among Israel and Arab member states.
In April of this year, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO said the mood was “like a wedding” after member nations signed off on a rare compromise resolution on “Occupied Palestine,” and UNESCO diplomats hailed a possible breakthrough on longstanding Israeli-Arab tensions.
The document was still quite critical of Israel, however, and the efforts weren’t enough to encourage the U.S. and Israel to reconsider their decision to quit.


Nikki Haley announces resignation as UN ambassador

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