Will Davis, from the UN Information Center (UNIC — as Will puts it, the “most painful acronym in the UN system”), just sat down with Alan Stock, a conservative radio host out of KXNT in Las Vegas. Will’s job is to serve as a “mini-ambassador” in D.C. and to report back on Washington happenings to headquarters in New York. As such, he is ideally placed to comment on the U.S./UN relationship. Will said:
Relations are good. They’ve always been fundamentally good. Right now the U.S. has a sense that there are a lot of ways that they can work with the UN to accomplish international goals that are in its interest. They can get things done in that regard if they excercise a bit of diplomatic muscle.
Stock retorted with the oft used refrain that “due to Iraq and Afghanistan” many Americans “feel that the U.S. isn’t on its side.” Will responded:
Don’t be mistaken, the UN is already in Iraq and Afghanistan. And don’t forget that the Secretary-General recently said that ‘Iraq is not a single county’s problem. Iraq is the world’s problem.’
Stock’s last question was about the U.S. presidential elections and preferences at the UN. Will deftly stayed neutral:
That question is perfectly designed to get me fired. What we do see is increased willingness on the part of all candidates to work more with partners. They seem to understand that not even the world’s superpower can go it alone and that the U.S. is most effective when it works with other countries.