Is it true that President Obama is going to start his U.N. Speech today with the "We are the World" video?
OK, maybe not but c'mon admit it...you would love to Willie Nelson, Harry Belafonte and Lionel Ritchie reunited right?
Hey, it's just a joke but you can still watch the "We are the World" video below.
On a more serious note, here's what UN Ambassador Susan Rice had to say about the Obama Administration's views regarding the UN and World cooperation.
The United States has dramatically changed the tone, the substance, and the practice of our diplomacy at the United Nations and our approach to the U.N. as an institution, as well as our approach to multilateralism in general. We start from the premise that this change is necessary because we face an extraordinary array of global challenges -- things like poorly guarded nuclear facilities, terrorism by al Qaeda and its affiliates, nuclear challenges from Iran and North Korea, genocide and mass atrocities, cyber attacks on our digital infrastructure, pandemic disease, climate change, international criminal networks and organizations.
These transnational security challenges can only be dealt with in cooperation with other nations. They can't by definition be dealt with by any single country in isolation. In the 21st century America's security and well-being is in fact inextricably linked to the security and well-being of people elsewhere. And the United Nations is thus essential to our efforts to galvanize concerted international action to make Americans safer and more secure.
So in both the Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly, we're working to forge common purpose with other nations. And let me briefly go over the principles that have guided our new approach to the U.N.
First, we work at the U.N. to promote America's core national security interests. On North Korea, we negotiated a unanimous Security Council resolution imposing the toughest sanctions on the books against any country in the world today. We also continue our work in the Security Council to ensure that Iran meets its nuclear obligations and to deal with pressing crises in places from Congo to Somalia. Second, we participate constructively. Rather than throw up our hands and walk away, we're trying to roll up our sleeves and get things done.
So consider the United Nations Human Rights Council. In May, we changed course and sought a seat on the council, and we won that seat with 90 percent of the votes cast. We joined this troubled body fully aware of its many flaws. But we recognize that we can't fix it or contribute to fixing it simply by carping from the outside.
Third, we stand firmly on principle and resolute on issues that matter most to us. But we're not picking petty battles simply for the sake of being contrary. In the past, we've sometimes let ourselves be defined as much by what we stand against as what we stand for.
So we've changed course. We've embraced as our own the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which we had previously shunned. We've rescinded the Mexico City Policy that barred U.S. assistance to programs that support family planning and reproductive health services. We signed the first new human rights convention of the 21st century, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We reversed course to back a statement at the General Assembly opposing violence and discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation. We no longer balk at mentions of reproductive health, or oppose references to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Fourth, we seek constructive working relationships with nations large and small. While we pursue more effective cooperation among members of the Security Council, the 15 members of the Security Council, we're also mindful of the fact that the United Nations consists of 192 member-states. All of them vote in the General Assembly. And more than half of the U.N.'s membership consists of small states with populations of less than 10 million people.
So we work with the vast majority of countries on the basis of both mutual interest and mutual respect to try to bridge old divides and resist the efforts of a handful of customary spoilers to prevent shared progress.
Fifth, we meet our obligations. As we call on others to help reform and strengthen the United Nations, the United States has to do its part as well. And we are. We're paying our bills. We've worked with Congress to pay our dues in full and on time. And thanks to the strong support of Congress, we've been able to clear U.S. arrears to the U.N.'s regular budget and those to its peacekeeping budget, which accumulated from 2005 to 2008. We'll meet our 2009 obligations on the peacekeeping budget in full. And if the administration's FY 2010 budget request is fully funded, we'll keep current on both our regular and peacekeeping accounts, allowing us to start to move towards ending the practice begun in the 1980s of paying our bills to the U.N. and other international organizations nearly a year late.
And finally, we push for serious reform. The U.N. needs both greater efficiency and greater effectiveness. Each dollar must serve its intended purpose. It must be spent cleanly and wisely, be it for development or peacekeeping. We need peacekeeping operations to be planned expertly, deployed more quickly, budgeted realistically, equipped seriously, ably led, and ended responsibly.