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US envoy to Lanka keen on UN role

2014 Jul 30

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and nominee for Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and Deputy Representative of the United States in the Security Council of the United Nations Michele J. Sison, says if confirmed to her new post she will look at advancing America’s interests at the UN.

Making a statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday (Tuesday) Sison said that she has been privileged to serve her country country three times as US Ambassador: in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka and Maldives.

“Throughout my career, I’ve worked with our international partners on issues as varied as nonproliferation, counterterrorism, climate change, and post-conflict transition. Representing our nation in challenging posts around the world — from Haiti to Cote d’Ivoire, and Pakistan to Iraq — I have seen that the United Nations, for all its shortcomings, has the ability to complement and amplify U.S. efforts to achieve a number of our foreign policy goals, including to prevent and end armed conflicts, ensure accountability, and build the conditions for a lasting peace,” she said.

She recalled that she has worked closely with the UN throughout her career to promote accountability and respect for human rights, as well as to address the issue of sexual or gender-based violence in conflict.

The US envoy to Sri Lanka also noted that although she recognizes the UN’s potential to advance critical U.S. priorities, she is also well aware of the UN system’s limitations and the challenges it faces to ensure that its important work is performed efficiently and effectively.

“Some of these challenges are internal to the UN system, and some reflect the competing priorities of its member states. If confirmed, I will actively pursue our shared priority of ensuring that American taxpayer resources are used effectively to advance U.S. goals and objectives. I pledge to work to ensure UN fiscal discipline, transparency, ethics, oversight, and reform. I will also continue this Administration’s firm commitment to fight any unfair bias against Israel at the UN,” she told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

She also recalled that she has worked closely with the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and if confirmed she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the Committee to advance US national interests at the United Nations.

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