When our children were young, we took them to New York. Drew had lived there when he worked on a treaty dealing with the pollution of the seas for the United Nations.
Years later, our children were enthralled with our visit, especially seeing the U.N. Their father, quite the storyteller, guided us through the halls with his stories of the diplomats with whom he had come in contact, the history of the place and anecdotes from his time spent there.
Two events this past week relating to the U.N. brought these memories back. One, not getting the attention it deserves; the other, dealing with the Trump Administration, getting more attention than it would under any other administration.
Have you heard that the U.N. has released its Climate Change Report?
The report issued Oct. 8 by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says, “the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people. The planet is already two-thirds of the way there. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years.”
This is real, and it is scary; and instead of our government taking the leadership role, we are the only country to have pulled out of the “Paris Agreement” which puts forth measures to address the problem.
The second story is the resignation of our U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. I remember being quite impressed with her when, as governor of South Carolina, she removed the Confederate flag from the State Capitol. She had poise and determination – the “it” factor in spades.
Somehow, as our U.N. Ambassador, she has been able to effectively manage support of the president despite having disagreement with some of his policies and statements. One reason for that might be that she is not in Washington. Her office is in New York. Another is her obvious political savvy.
The timing of her announcement certainly attests to that savvy. It is believed that several administration appointees will be leaving, whether voluntarily or not, after the midterm elections. Resigning now, instead of being a footnote amongst all of the departures, she has her moment at center stage.
In her two years of battling Iran, North Korea, Russia and anti-Israel bias as Trump’s U.N. envoy, her tenure is viewed as one of professionalism and embodying a tireless work ethic.
Speculation about her future is running wild.
Speaking to the president, she insisted she has no plans to run for any political office in 2020 and that she would be campaigning for him.
“I don’t have anything set on where I’m going to go,” she said. Then, about her departure, she stated, “I think that the main thing was it’s been an intense time, and I’m a believer in term limits.”
She has it all, making her someone to watch in the future.
The true importance of these two occurrences may not be fully understood for years to come. Perhaps we will look back on this week as one dramatically affecting not only our country but the entire world.