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U.S.-UN Partnership Key to Achieving State of the Union Goals

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Washington, D.C. (Feb. 12, 2013) — In his State of the Union address this evening, President Barack Obama outlined key foreign policy initiatives that will require the U.S. to engage its partners and allies at the United Nations, according to Peter Yeo, executive director of the Better World Campaign. In a statement, Yeo said:

“President Obama laid out an ambitious foreign policy agenda this evening — one that is too important and too big for the U.S. to accomplish alone, and it should not have to. From addressing nuclear nonproliferation, to drawing down the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, to moving the needle on climate change, we will need strong, continued engagement with our allies and international organizations like the United Nations.

“With regard to countering nuclear threats, the UN General Assembly, Security Council, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all provide venues for countries to build unified fronts against rogue states like Iran and North Korea.

“As for bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close, this transition will continue to be aided by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, which is disarming rebel groups, strengthening judicial systems and training police forces every day.

“And on climate change, the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative has secured over $50 billion in public-private commitments and engaged 65 developing countries to improve access to modern energy services, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable sources.

“With tough budget discussions ahead, we must remember that the U.S. cannot afford to tackle these initiatives alone. Americans agree:  More than two-thirds of Americans say that the UN has been supportive of America’s goals and objectives around the world, and eight in 10 believe it is important for the United States to maintain an active role within the United Nations. To achieve our most critical foreign policy goals, the U.S. must continue to meet its commitments to the UN and approach these challenges with the world behind us.”

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.

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