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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

International Organizations

Bureau of Resource Management
May 10, 2010


Photo showing Secretary Clinton chairing the UN Security Council Session on Women, Peace and Security in New York, September 2009.

Secretary Clinton chairs the UN Security Council Session on Women, Peace, and Security, New York, September, 2009. AFP Image

The challenges facing the United States have never been more multilateral in nature: nonproliferation, disarmament, food security, human rights, and climate change. International organizations, including the United Nations (UN) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, are crucial partners in any effort to address these challenges, and the United States employs vigorous and constructive interaction with these organizations to advance U.S. national interests. Multilateral institutions leverage greater global resources and complement bilateral assistance. The Administration’s reinvigorated commitment to multilateral diplomacy and promotion of more effective, responsive, and accountable international organizations is best supported through a whole-of-government approach.

The United States works with the UN and its many subordinate and affiliated organizations, and supports UN agencies in humanitarian and development responses around the world. Together, both the Department of State and USAID have been vocal advocates for the management reforms that are now reshaping how agencies such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Program, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Food and Agriculture Organization coordinate during humanitarian crises.

In the last year, the United States has reinvigorated multilateral engagement that leads to direct benefits for American citizens. Early results of that effort include:

  • President Obama’s initiative to strengthen and support UN peacekeeping.
  • Secretary Clinton’s leadership in combating sexual violence in armed conflict, which resulted in the adoption of Resolution 1888 in a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting chaired by the Secretary.
  • Adoption of tough UNSC sanctions on North Korea.
  • Election of the United States to a seat on the Human Rights Council.
  • Direct involvement in the evaluation of the Paris Declaration including election to a seat on the evaluation management group.
  • The re-opening of the Trans-Atlantic Development Dialogue with the European Union focused on climate change, food security, and the Millennium Development Goals after a decade’s hiatus.


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