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Home World U.S. Senate confirms Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador

U.S. Senate confirms Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador

The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s choice to lead US diplomacy at the United Nations.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s confirmation on Tuesday reflected the Biden administration’s determination to re-engage with the global body and former President Donald Trump’s diplomacy that has often left the United States internationally isolated.

Senators voted 78-20 to confirm Thomas-Greenfield for the post, which will be a Cabinet-level post.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year-old retired foreign service veteran who resigned under the Trump administration, will be the third African-American and the second African-American to hold the post. His confirmation was hailed by Democrats and United Nations supporters, who had deplored the Trump administration’s unilateral approach to international affairs.

“This confirmation sends a message that the United States is back and our foreign service is back,” said Representative Karen Bass, who chairs a House foreign affairs subcommittee on Africa, health. global and human rights around the world. “As a country and as a world, we are safer with Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US Ambassador to the United Nations.” “We can count on Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield to work with international partners to address our collective challenges and to play an active role in ensuring that the United Nations evolves with the demands of our time as a vital forum for collective problem solving and a catalyst for global progress, ”said Elizabeth Cousens, president of the United Nations Foundation, a private group that supports the efforts of the global body.

“This is the leadership America needs at the UN at this critical time for the United States and the world.” Republicans who opposed her said she was lenient with China and would not stand up for American principles at the United Nations. Thomas-Greenfield dismissed their concerns during her confirmation hearing, telling senators that a speech she gave in 2019 at the China-funded Confucius Institute was a mistake and was not intended to be a approval of Chinese government policies.

In the speech, she praised China’s $ 1 trillion global road and belt infrastructure program in Africa and called for a “win-win-win” situation where the United States and the China would promote good governance and the rule of law.

She told senators that China is a strategic adversary and that “their actions threaten our security, they threaten our values ​​and they threaten our way of life, and they pose a threat to their neighbors and they pose a threat to the world. “. Ms Thomas-Greenfield spoke of China’s diplomatic forays during the Trump administration, which pursued an “America first” policy that weakened international alliances. And she made it clear that there would be a change under Biden to re-engage internationally and promote American values.

She stressed that American leadership must be rooted in the country’s core values ​​- “support for democracy, respect for universal human rights and the promotion of peace and security”. And she said that effective diplomacy means developing “strong relationships,” finding common ground and dealing with differences, and “making authentic and old-fashioned interpersonal diplomacy.” During her hearing, she recalled attending a separate high school and then Louisiana State University “following a lawsuit”. She said she was “not the norm” among Ivy League graduates who also joined the foreign service in 1982.

“And yet, I have had an extraordinary 35-year career that culminated as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs,” Ms. Thomas-Greenfield said. “To me, this represents America’s progress and promise.”

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