The US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice(C)sits across the table from the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (not shown)on January 26, 2098 at the United Nations in New York. by AFP/Getty Images
Bloomberg | Feb 19, 2009
By Bill Varner
Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — The global financial crisis and the Obama administration’s openness to expansion of the UN Security Council gave new impetus today to negotiations on the first changes in the panel’s makeup in 40 years, diplomats said.
“The United States believes that the long-term legitimacy and viability of the United Nations Security Council depends on its reflecting the world of the 21st century,” Ambassador Susan Rice said on the first day of a new round of talks on how to expand the UN’s principal policy-making body.
Rice, who advised President Barack Obama during his election campaign, said the U.S. would make “a serious, deliberate effort” to expand the 15-nation Security Council and added that the new administration doesn’t link the process to other proposals to improve UN management and oversight.
The U.S. under former President George W. Bush resisted changes in council membership, backing only Japan for a new permanent seat, and tied expansion to other improvements in the world body.
The Security Council includes five permanent members with a veto — the U.S., the U.K., China, France and Russia — and 10 nations elected to two-year terms. The makeup largely reflects the post-World War II world order.
Brazil, India, Japan and Germany are pushing for permanent seats, based on their growing economic power, and African nations say the need for better geographic representation calls for one or more governments in their region to assume a veto- wielding seat. Proposals have included as many as 12 new members.
Progress in a debate that began 20 years ago was made possible by an agreement last year to move beyond speeches to formal negotiations under a timetable calling for talks on all of the major hurdles.
Negotiations on categories of membership are scheduled to be held on March 4, followed by discussions of the veto, regional representation, size of the council and working methods. The talks are to conclude by the end of April.
“The prospects are better against the backdrop of the international financial and economic crisis,” German Ambassador Thomas Matussek said. “Everyone is talking about global governance, whether we want the world run by the G-13 or G-20, or do we want it run by the only legitimate global institution we have, which is the United Nations. If this drags on, the focus will shift to the G-20, and that will weaken the institution.”
The G-20 comprises the largest economies in the world, including major emerging markets.
Indian Ambassador Nirupan Sen called the new U.S. stance “excellent,” while cautioning that it was too soon to tell whether the negotiations would break the previous stalemate.
Afghan Ambassador Zahir Tanin, who is leading the talks, called today’s opening session “historic” and said there was “no return” to former intransigence.
China, for example, has blocked Japan’s permanent membership, saying it hasn’t sufficiently atoned for atrocities committed in China during the prelude to World War II.
Susan Rice – From Wikipedia
Susan Elizabeth Rice (born November 17, 1964) is an American foreign policy advisor and United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Rice served on the staff of the National Security Council and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton’s second term. Rice is the United States’ third woman ambassador to the UN, following Madeleine Albright and Jeane Kirkpatrick.
Rice was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the Shepherd Park area. Her father, Emmett J. Rice, is a Cornell University economics professor and former governor of the Federal Reserve System.
She and Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State, are both female foreign policy experts of African American descent who have ties to Stanford University; however, they are not related.
Awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, Rice attended New College, Oxford, where she earned a M.Phil. in 1988 and D.Phil. in 1990. The Chatham House-British International Studies Association honored her dissertation titled ” Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe , 1979-1980: Implication for International Peacekeeping” as the UK’s most distinguished in international relations.
Rice’s classmates and professors at Oxford included advocates of the role of the United Nations and international law (Sir Adam Roberts, Benedict Kingsbury), of global economic governance and international economic cooperation (Ngaire Woods, Donald Markwell…
Rice married Canadian-born ABC News producer Ian Officer Cameron (born in Victoria, British Columbia) in 1992; they met as students at Stanford. They reside in Washington, D.C. with their two children.
Rice was a foreign policy aide to Michael Dukakis during the 1988 presidential election. She was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm, in the early 1990s. While at McKinsey, Rice was affiliated with the Firm’s Toronto office.
Rice served in the Clinton administration in various capacities: at the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997; as Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping from 1993 to 1995…
Assistant Secretary of State
Secretary of State Madeline Albright is a longtime mentor and family friend to Rice, who urged Clinton to appoint Rice as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in 1997. Rice was not the first choice of Congressional Black Caucus leaders, who considered Rice a member of “Washington’s assimilationist black elite”.
Rice was considered “young, brilliant, and ambitious”, and she worked to “integrate Africa in the global economy while at the same time aiming to increase U.S. national security”. At the same time, she was criticized by detractors who considered her “authoritarian, brash, and unwilling to consider opinions that differ from her own”, and reportedly having disputes from some career diplomats in the African bureau. Newsweek national correspondent Martha Brant wrote that:
Some complained that she had the same problem as many Clinton appointees: youthful arrogance. “She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know,” says one Africa expert who deals with her. “And she doesn’t tolerate dissenters.”
Rice was managing director and principal at Intellibridge from 2001 to 2002. In 2002, she joined the Brookings Institution as senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development program. At Brookings she focuses on U.S. foreign policy, weak and failing states, the implications of global poverty, and transnational threats to security. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Rice served as a foreign policy adviser to John Kerry.
Rice is currently on leave from the Brookings Institution, having served as a senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign. On November 5, 2008, Rice was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. On December 1, 2008, she was nominated by President-elect Obama to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position which he also upgraded to cabinet level.
Susan Rice serves on the boards of several organizations, including the National Democratic Institute, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, board of directors of the Atlantic Council, advisory board of Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, the board of directors of Bureau of National Affairs, board of directors of Partnership for Public Service…
She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group.
Recipient, Walter Frewen Lord prize, Royal Commonwealth Society, 1990
Association prize, Chatham House-British Internat. Studies, 1992
In a 2002 op-ed piece in the Washington Post, former Ambassador to Sudan Timothy Carney and news contributor Mansoor Ijaz implicated Rice and counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke in missing an opportunity to neutralize Osama bin Laden while he was still in Sudan. They write that Sudan and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were ready to cooperate on intelligence potentially leading to bin Laden, but that Rice and Clarke persuaded National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to overrule Albright.
Similar allegations have been made by Vanity Fair contributing editor David Rose and Richard Miniter, author of Losing bin Laden, in a November 2003 interview with World.
While the writings of Carney, Ijaz, Rose and Miniter each claim that Sudan offered to turn bin Laden over to the US and that Rice was central in the decision not to accept the offer, The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (the 9-11 Commission) concluded in part “Sudan’s minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Laden over to the United States.