A Progress Report on UN Reform
Recorded on March 28, 2006
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium
Message from Senator Jesse Helms...
Thank you to The Heritage Foundation and the Better World Campaign
for hosting the Jesse Helms International Diplomacy Lecture. Thanks
also to all of you who have made time in your schedules for this
event, and I particularly applaud Senator Coleman for his
willingness to speak this evening....
When it was my privilege to be Chairman of the Senator Foreign
Relations Committee, we initiated and passed bipartisan legislation
to strengthen the U.S. relationship with the United Nations by
requiring critical reforms at the UN. In return, the U.S. agreed to
meet its obligations to pay dues in full. We did that because an
effective United Nations can be a vital foreign policy tool of the
United States. I have often said that if the United Nations did not
exist, something very similar would have to be created as a place
for countries to resolve their differences and work together to
address the world's pressing problems.
Since it founding 60 years ago the UN has evolved and expanded in
ways that no one foresaw in its earliest years. A meeting place in
New York for international leaders has become the operational hub
for extensive humanitarian, development, and peacekeeping
operations all over the world. This growth has been accompanied by
significant operational challenges and management failures that
have been well documented in the press and in oversight
There is a benefit in this bad news. These current problems in
management and oversight also provide a rare opportunity to
accomplish significant reforms to further strengthen the United
Nations and its ability to help nations meet the global challenges
Senator Coleman has made it his business to become an expert on
the issue of UN reform, and I want to thank him for his determined
and skillful efforts to call attention to the urgent need for
change. The U.S. Congress, in concert with the Administration, must
play a constructive and productive role in UN reform efforts. These
efforts are an important part of advancing the national security
interest of our great nation.
With our leadership in seeing that plans for change become
policies for improvement, the United Nations can become an
organization whose headquarters we are proud to host -- and whose
work we are proud to support.