Opinion

GUNASEKARA: Kelly Knight Craft Is America’s Best Hope For Saving The UN

Getty Images

The Senate is set to vote this week on whether to confirm President Trump’s appointee as ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Knight Craft. Casting a vote for Craft, who presently serves as our ambassador to Canada, should be easy for both Republicans and Democrats.

The U.N. was created to ensure international security and enable the development of strong diplomatic relations among the 193 member states. While well-intentioned from the start, the U.N.’s modern record makes clear it has become an institution that is better at perpetuating problems instead of developing constructive ways to solve them. 

Rather than serving as a tool to rein in terrorist states, rogue nations and human rights violators, it has become a stomping ground for extremism financed by American taxpayers. Money sent to the U.N. goes toward two primary sources of funding: the peacekeeping budget and the regular budget. The United States accounts for $2.5 billion of the total budget, which is more than what 184 nations contribute combined.

Under U.S. law, the maximum assessment for peacekeeping operations is 25 percent. The U.N., however, continues to assess the U.S. at almost 28 percent, leaving the U.S. technically in arrears. Of course, when one country financings a huge portion of the peacekeeping operations theirs is little incentive to audit the overall peacekeeping operations. The U.S. should pay these arrears only after the U.N. incorporates a maximum assessment of 25 percent in the methodology for calculating the peacekeeping scales of assessment.

American tax dollars are being wasted allowing authoritarian dictators and despots to hobnob in the Big Apple. The U.N. is now a stomping ground for regimes like Venezuela, Iran and Cuba who use their global recognition to legitimize a complete disregard for the inalienable rights of their own citizens. While member states willingly turn a blind eye to these fundamental problems, they continue to pass anti-Semitic resolutions denigrating the one true beacon of hope and key ally the U.S. has in the middle east — Israel.

This December, the United States will ascend to the presidency of the U.N. Security Council, Craft is well suited to push back against the efforts to remake the Security Council into a “climate security body.” While she understands the realities of climate change, Kelly Knight Craft will fight the activist takeover of the U.N. who have been pretty forthright in their true goal which is to advance socialist economic structures instead of fixing tangible environmental issues.

Fortunately, President Trump understood the nature of these problems and what it will take to advance reforms when he nominated Kelly Knight Craft. Craft spent the last two years masterfully representing Americans interest in Canada during the most dynamic and challenging period in recent memory. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted, Craft was a critical part of the team that renegotiated the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and “helped secure cooperation on sanctioning Russia for its aggression against Ukraine and on pursuing democracy for Venezuela.”

The U.N. can continue to be a tool for the U.S., but only after changes are made to the overall budgeting process and member states refocus their actions toward fulfilling the body’s original purpose. President Trump’s reelection in 2020 coupled with Craft’s southern charm and kill-them-with-kindness approach is just what America needs to make these long-term reforms a reality. 

Surya Gunasekara is a member of U.S. Asia Institute Congressional Circle. He previously served as an energy attorney with the Department of Defense and counsel with the American Petroleum Institute.

Mandy Gunasekara is a former senior adviser in the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency, where she was responsible for international environmental agreements.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.