January 18, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Nomination Hearing for Nikki Haley to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Nomination Hearing: The Honorable Nikki R. Haley, to be the Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations

January 18, 2017

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman

The United Nations Security Council was created after World War II to create stability and to maintain security in the world. And yet as we look around the world today, it is failing in its cause of peace and security.

We can only look to Syria, where over a half a million people have been slaughtered, people have been tortured, chemical weapons have been used against people, and yet the United Nations Security Council has been unable to do anything to counter what has happened there. Russia has remade the map [of Europe] by invading Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine, and yet the United Nations has been unable to deal with that issue. China is violating all kinds of international norms in the South China Sea, and yet the United Nations Security Council is unable deal with that issue.

As a matter of fact, the United Nations Security Council has been unable to deal with the issues that it has agreed upon, its own resolutions; whether it is North Korea and the violations taking place and the half-hearted efforts that have taken place by members to really push and enforce strong sanctions. In Iran, we had the same issue where an agreement has been reached, and yet Iran continues to violate, especially on ballistic missiles. Something that, again, the United Nations Security Council had agreed to. And what it has done instead is continued to pursue anti-Semitic measures.

The permanent five have two members that actually are causing the world to be less stable, and that is Russia and China. So, we have got a built in issue here, where any of those permanent five members can veto the actions of the rest and keep the United Nations from rightfully dealing with issues that need to be dealt with. As a matter of fact, the gap between what the United Nations was meant to be and what it has become has never been wider at this moment in time.

The U.S. is the largest contributor, twenty-two percent of the normal dues. We pay 29 percent of the peacekeeping dues or participation. We also give billions of dollars to other organizations that are affiliated. And yet we see in the peacekeeping mission violations of sexual exploitation and abuse. And yet, again, it seems no real action [is taken]. And yet I believe the United Nations can and should play an important role in conflict areas in delivering humanitarian aid. But I think we're at a pivotal point, and that's why I'm excited that our nominee is here today.

While our former secretary-general, to me in many cases, for me it was hard to determine if even had a pulse when big issues were being dealt with by the world, I will say the new U.N. Secretary-General, Guterres, seems to me to be somebody that really wants the United Nations to do what it was intended to do. I had several very strong conversations with him over the last several days as the United Nations was dealing with some current business, and I have a feeling you're going to have a much better partner when confirmed to this position.

I know that Governor Haley is a fierce advocate for U.S. interests, all of us who met with her in our offices have seen that. I really do believe that she is a person that knows the United Nations needs tremendous reform and change, and I really believe we have a right to demand that as the largest contributor, as the greatest country on earth. I think that our nominee will in fact demand that, and I think [we] will, in fact, see very positive changes when she's confirmed.

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