The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org released a new poll affirming public support of the United Nations in the United States and around the world. Like similar polls in recent years, the new poll challenges the conventional wisdom about how one thinks the American public views the United Nations. For example, the poll asked respondents in 14 countries whether they would support “giving the UN the power to regulate the international arms trade.” By a large majority (60%), Americans were in favor. Also, when asked whether publics believe there should be a standing peacekeeping force “selected, trained, and commanded” by the United Nations, a whopping 72% of Americans agreed. Publics in other countries, such as France, South Korea and Peru gauged equally strong sentiment for these proposals, as well as giving the UN the authority to investigate violations of human rights.
Contrary to how one might assume Americans regard their country’s relationship with the United Nations, it would seem that even in relatively controversial areas like regulating the arms trade and establishing a standing “international” army, Americans are remarkably pro-UN.