Obama’s Choice for U.N. To Have Cabinet Rank, Advocate Strong Action Against Mass Killings

Peace and Freedom is told by reliable sources that President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice will have cabinet rank….

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President-elect Barack Obama has chosen his foreign policy adviser, Susan E. Rice, to be ambassador to the United Nations, picking an advocate of “dramatic action” against genocide as he rounds out his national security team, Democrats close to the transition said Sunday.

By Peter Baker
The New York Times

Jim Bourg/Reuters

Barack Obama chose his foreign policy adviser, Susan E. Rice, to be ambassador to the United Nations, Democrats said Sunday.

Mr. Obama intends to announce Ms. Rice’s selection at a news conference here Monday along with his previously reported decisions to nominate Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state, keep Robert M. Gates as defense secretary and appoint Gen. James L. Jones, a retired Marine commandant, his national security adviser, the Democrats said.

The choice of Ms. Rice to represent the United States before the United Nations will make her one of the most visible faces of the Obama administration to the outside world aside from Mrs. Clinton. It will also send to the world organization a prominent and forceful advocate of stronger action, including military force if necessary, to stop mass killings like those in the Darfur region of Sudan in recent years.

To reinforce his intention to work more closely with the United Nations after the tensions of President Bush’s tenure, Mr. Obama plans to restore the ambassador’s post to cabinet rank, as it was under President Bill Clinton, according to Democrats close to the transition.

While the cabinet consists of 15 department heads, a president can give other positions the same rank for the duration of his administration.

“She’s obviously one of Obama’s closest advisers, so it underscores how much of a priority he’s making the position,” said Nancy Soderberg, a senior United States diplomat at the United Nations under Mr. Clinton. “If you look at the last eight years, we obviously need to be more engaged at the U.N. and realistic about what the U.N. can do.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/us/politics/01rice.html?em

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