Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today reiterated her call for systematic UN reform after former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel D'Escoto, a Sandinista, expressed strong criticism of the U.S. and other Western democracies while embracing dictatorial regimes, including Cuba. D'Escoto recently began his term as President of the U.N. General Assembly, whose 63rd annual session commences in New York this week. Ros-Lehtinen is the author of The United Nations Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act (H.R. 2712), which links financial support to reform efforts at the UN. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
This week's opening of the UN General Assembly session promises to be yet another platform for the anti-democratic, anti-U.S., anti-Israel faction at the UN to broadcast bombastic hate speech on the world's stage while smothering efforts to confront despotism, nuclear proliferation and violent extremism.
Far from providing the impetus needed to transform the anti-democratic culture of the UN, D'Escoto appears ready to use his soapbox to magnify the voices of those who oppose democracy and human rights. Without reform, we are in danger of allowing undemocratic forces to render the UN permanently impotent and meaningless.
Congress should swiftly enact pending UN reform legislation that will condition financial support on the UN's willingness to stop accommodating rouge nations who seek to wrestle control of its agenda away from those seeking greater accountability and transparency.