As the position of ambassador to the United Nations is about to be vacant, from the retirement of the well-regarded Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, and the president is considering alternatives, I wish to throw someone’s hat in the ring.
It is sometimes hard to believe, but the embassy to the United Nations has at times been a serious position. The first American ambassador to the United Nations, Edward Stettinius, retired as secretary of state to take the position. In 1945, it was widely seen as a forum for coordinating the post-war activities of the cooperating victorious allies in World War II: The United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, France, and China.
France was included because British prime minister Winston Churchill saw that France, as well as former enemies Germany and Italy, though all defeated, would have to be resurrected, France as a major ally, to avoid a vacuum in Western Europe to be exploited by Stalin’s USSR. China was included as a permanent member of the Security Council because President Franklin D. Roosevelt foresaw that it would pull itself together and become a great power, as it had been at intervals in its long history. Both these decisions were justified by subsequent events, as Charles de Gaulle and Mao Tse-tung led their nations back to important positions in the world.
Of course, Stalin tore up his Yalta Conference commitments to a free and democratic liberated Eastern Europe and instead, with the occupying Red Army, brought forth a part of the world that would be known as the Iron Curtain: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria. Before he did so, it was expected that the five co-founders of the U.N. would concert on all matters of security interest and assert themselves in this apparently collegial atmosphere.
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