January 24, 2017

Van Hollen Statement on Confirmation of Governor Nikki Haley

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen submitted the following statement to the congressional record on the vote to confirm Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the U.N.:

"Mr. President, in 1945, at the close of World War II, the 50 Allied nations formed the United Nations to help prevent another world war. Since its founding, the U.N. has grown to 193 nations. While it has many serious flaws, it has been an important tool for promoting peace, protecting human rights, providing humanitarian assistance, and safeguarding the environment.

"United States Ambassadors to the U.N. have included some of America's leading figures, including Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., Adlai Stevenson, Arthur Goldberg, George H.W. Bush, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Andrew Young, Madeleine Albright, Bill Richardson, and John Danforth. President Eisenhower raised the ambassadorship to cabinet rank. Although both Presidents Bush removed the position from cabinet level, President Obama restored it to that level. I am pleased that President Trump has decided to keep it there.

"The United States Ambassador to the United Nations must advance principles that the United States has promoted over the years - the rule of law, individual liberties, and human rights. Our Ambassador must not only maintain, but strengthen our relationships with our allies.

"Unlike many past Ambassadors to the U.N., Governor Nikki Haley has little experience in foreign policy. But as Governor, she developed important experience building coalitions, and that skill should serve her well as Ambassador to the U.N.

"Some positions that Governor Haley took during her confirmation hearing give me pause. For example, Governor Hailey made some statements about the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement that indicated unfamiliarity with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I am pleased, however, that Governor Haley distanced herself from some of President Trump's most divisive positions, and I will support her nomination."