The Washington Times - September 18, 2009, 09:30PM

Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, briefed reporters at the White House on Friday. Here is my exchange with her:

Q    Can I ask another question about the — another angle of the reform question?  What are the next steps for China and some of the world’s other rising powers to have more of a stake and more of a say in global institutions such as the U.N. and some of the other ones?  And will be there any movement next week or any steps taken next week towards that goal?



AMBASSADOR RICE:  China has a big stake and is playing large already at the United Nations; has been, as you know, a member of the Permanent 5.  It acts in that role very much in an active way.  China is one of the countries with which we work quite closely on the Security Council.


But it’s also a major player in the General Assembly where it has traditionally come to work with and sometimes on behalf of the non-aligned movement, which is part of a phenomenon that I alluded to earlier where activity in the General Assembly has in the past often broken down in the form of bloc politics — non-aligned and sometimes Western and developed on the other hand.


These sorts of blocs and divisions are outdated.  They often don’t serve the national interests of the countries that participate in these blocs.  And part of what we are beginning to see, and certainly what we think is essential to tackle the challenges that I described at the outset, is for countries to move beyond those traditional reflexive bloc affiliations and look at ways to step up individually and collectively to meeting 21st century security threats.


Q    So that’s more of an ongoing conversation, you don’t expect any —


AMBASSADOR RICE:  No, I don’t — no.  and I’m not quite sure what you envision when you ask that.


Q    It’s more of the IMF/World Bank, so I’m just trying to figure out if there’s anything going on at the U.N.


AMBASSADOR RICE:  No, not in that context.


— Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times

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