- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2009

UNITED NATIONS — Newly arrived U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice on Monday pledged that the Obama administration would support broad U.N. goals to relieve global poverty and disease, and work to improve the troubled U.N. peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

“President Obama’s view is clear — that our security and well-being can best be advanced in cooperation and in partnership with other nations,” Ms. Rice said moments after formally presenting her credentials to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “There is no more important forum, for that effective cooperation, than the United Nations.”

She said Washington will support U.N. efforts to reduce poverty, promote development, fight disease and nuclear proliferation, and protect civilians in Darfur. She also touched on the importance of U.N. reform, an intractable process that has vexed her predecessors.

Ms. Rice also indicated that the Obama administration would pursue multilateral pressure on Iran, even as it engaged in direct diplomacy.

“We will look at what is necessary and appropriate with respect to maintaining pressure towards that goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program,” she said.

The ambassador said she planned to spend the rest of her first day meeting with U.S. mission staff and other ambassadors.

Ms. Rice, 44, who has been criticized by some former colleagues for her hard-charging style, also promised to work well with others.

“I will listen. I will engage,” she said. “And I will work to advance the United States’ interest, recognizing that in many, many instances, our national interests are best advanced when we are working hand in hand with that of others.”

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