Statement Attributable to Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund

“President George W. Bush’s remarks today to the UN General Assembly demonstrate that the UN continues to play a key role in U.S. foreign policy. The President cited the UN’s valuable contribution in the promotion of democracy and in bringing peace and stability to conflict-ridden areas of the world.

“The past few months have once again demonstrated that by working with the UN, the U.S. can advance its interests while sharing risks and burdens with other nations. In Iraq, at the encouragement of the U.S., the UN played a key role in helping to set up that country’s interim government and UN staff are leading the way to organize elections for next year. In Sudan, the U.S. has worked with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and through the UN Security Council to call international attention to this tragic situation and to provide aid to the suffering.

“President Bush was right in stating today that ‘The United Nations and my country share the deepest commitments,’ such as a respect for and a responsibility to ‘proclaim the equal value and dignity of every human life.’ I encourage the President to remember these words and to promote steps that strengthen our nation’s ties with the UN. One such step is for the President to encourage Congress to fully fund U.S. obligations for UN peacekeeping missions, which are facing increasing responsibilities around the world in places such as Haiti, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”