Five reasons for working with the United Nations

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003

The League of Women Voters urges President Bush to continue working with the United Nations to resolve the situation with Iraq. International cooperation is an essential element in guarding against terrorism and protecting all nations from attack, particularly those that may involve nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

Working with the United Nations provides the U.S. with many foreign and domestic policy advantages. First, it ensures a full and exhaustive debate of a range of alternative policies and actions. Second, it builds unity of purpose by clearly defining the objectives to be fulfilled. Third, it assures the world that the U.S. is not acting solely for its own benefit while reassuring the American people that the U.S. is not acting alone. Fourth, it provides the legitimacy of international law. And fifth, it increases the chances of long-term success through international peacekeeping and nation-building efforts.

For these reasons, the U.N. should be an important component of U.S. foreign policy. We should work actively and constructively within the U.N. system, exercising diplomatic leadership in advance of decision-making. Resolution of past crises has shown the effectiveness of multilateral action in dealing with international problems.

For decades, the League of Women Voters has supported the role of the U.N. in developing, maintaining and protecting peace around the world. Today, when multilateral action is needed to combat terrorism, to establish the institutions and conditions for real economic and social development in post-war Afghanistan and other countries, and to guard against weapons proliferation, the active involvement of the international community and the United Nations is even more important.

Cheryl Jebe, President

League of Women Voters Alaska


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