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BWC Executive Director Peter Yeo’s Statement on President Obama’s Remarks Before the UN General Assembly

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Washington, D.C. (Sept. 23, 2010) – In his second address before the UN General Assembly today, President Obama affirmed America’s reengagement with the world and the important role the UN plays in addressing global challenges. Peter Yeo, Executive Director of the Better World Campaign, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks:

“I welcome President Obama’s remarks today calling attention to some of the most pressing issues confronting our world and his Administration’s efforts to work through the UN to confront global challenges. Preventing conflict and maintaining peace, promoting smart and sustainable global development, and advancing human rights, are all critical elements to U.S. national security interests and areas where the UN is actively engaged.

“On peace and security, the President discussed the importance of UN sanctions against Iran and the role of the UN in ridding the world of nuclear weapons.  He emphasized the critical responsibility of peacekeeping operations, whose troops serve an integral role in supporting democracy and human rights, by providing security and stability in some of the toughest conflict areas of the world where no single country can act alone. The President’s call to reinvigorate peacekeeping also means that Congress must continue to ensure full funding for peacekeepers so that they can do the job that we have asked them to do. At the same time, the UN must continue to institute the tough peacekeeping reforms that are required to ensure that peacekeeping operations can deliver, that sexual violence can be prevented, and that civilians will be protected.

“Accountability at the UN is well underway, but these efforts must continue.  Under the Secretary-General’s direction, the UN has taken major strides in improving management practices, internal controls and oversight.  With U.S. leadership, we can continue to push for improvements in accountability and performance at the UN, because a strong UN that delivers is in the best interest of the United States.

“Yesterday at the UN’s conference on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Obama Administration put forth a bold new development policy that highlights the important linkages between security, economics, trade and health.  By choosing to unveil this landmark strategy at the UN, it shows how closely the Administration wants to work with UN agencies in implementing them.”

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.

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Media Contact:

info_bwc@unfoundation.org