Kelly Knight Craft, who is replacing Nikki Haley as the United States ambassador to the United Nations, officially presented her credentials to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on September 12th. In her remarks to the press afterwards, Ambassador Craft declared that she was coming to the UN “as a voice of America’s unwavering commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights and whenever possible peaceful resolution of conflicts.” She added, ” In a world marked by humanitarian crises and geopolitical challenges, strong American leadership is absolutely critical, and I intend to provide it. I will defend America’s values and interests. I will stand by our friends and allies. I will advocate for the poor and the weak.”
Former Ambassador Haley set the bar very high for the position, speaking forcefully about the UN’s shortcomings, the need for significant reform, and particularly regarding its anti-Israel bias. One of her most notable accomplishments was to push through the UN Security Council the toughest multilateral economic sanctions ever imposed on the North Korean regime. Ambassador Craft will surely have big shoes to fill. However, contrary to the demeaning barbs her Democrat detractors threw at Ambassador Craft during her Senate confirmation hearing, Ambassador Craft possesses the requisite qualifications to effectively represent and defend U.S. interests and values at the United Nations and to hold the institution accountable.
During her opening statement to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the occasion of her confirmation hearing, Ambassador Craft talked about the importance of U.S. leadership to thwart the “bad actors at the UN.” She pointed to Russia and China in particular, citing their “cynical approaches to the United Nations.” She promised that she will miss no opportunity to draw attention to their “malign influence at the UN; to distinguish American leadership from the corrosive, underhanded conduct of those nations; and to reinforce the values—our values—that were central to the UN’s founding.” Ambassador Craft also decried the “unrelenting bias and hostility in UN venues” towards Israel. “The United States will never accept such bias, and if confirmed I commit to seizing every opportunity to shine a light on this conduct, call it what it is, and demand that these outrageous practices finally come to an end,” she said. read more