October 18th, 2007
04:05 PM ET
15 years ago

Richardson to Republicans: We need the U.N

Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador, offered advice to a few Republicans in Des Moines Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson on Thursday defended the United Nations and its role in international diplomacy against recent Republican attacks.

"[I will] introduce some Republicans to a basic reality," said Richardson. "[The] United Nations...is a necessary and important framework for building the international cooperation that will be necessary to confront problems like environmental degradation and poverty."

In a speech addressing 21st century global threats, the New Mexico governor said the U.N. is vital to peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, and solutions to global climate change.

"As a former U.N. ambassador there - your ambassador there - I, more than
anyone in this race, understand the shortcomings of that institution," the New Mexico governor admitted. "But I also know the incredible power in the legitimacy of international cooperation."

Richardson also took shots at his opponents - both Democratic and Republican - over their international resumes.

"My colleagues in this race have my respect, but it is a simple fact that the next international deal negotiated by any of them will be their first."

Richardson's remarks come the same day Republican candidate Mitt Romney
called the U.N. a "failure."

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Iowa
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. C.LyOns, New York, NY

    No, we don't. I'm quite sure we can converse with other nations and engage in rigorous diplomacy without the United Nations.

    Posted By Mike, NY : October 18, 2007 10:32 pm

    –HA! Don't make me laugh....like the rigorous engagement with an isolated Iraq....no that wasn't enough we had to put boots on the ground. I agree will Gov. Richardson the U.N. is necessary not to say that there aren't major deficiencies but I think that is partly because it doesn't have the full backing of the US.

    October 19, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Robert, Vivian, LA

    UN Failures: Somalia, Darfur, Yugoslavia (until the US intervened), Vietnam, Kosovo, Middle East, Sudan, Liberia, North Korea, Iraq putting totalitarian regimes on the human rights council, AIDS in Africa, starvation and famine in Africa, Cambodia, pollution.

    UN successes....I'll have to get back to you.

    October 19, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. David, Arlington, VA

    How the heck is Romney qualified to call the UN a failure? Last I checked, he is ZERO education or experience dealing with international affairs or foreign policy (like most posters on these, and many other, blogs).

    October 19, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. James, Buffalo, NY

    Typical. We need out of the UN. It is bad news and always has been. Look at the latest United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It is the biggest giveaway of American sovereignty and resources since Jimmy Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty. And look at what French president Sarkozy recently said that The United Nations should avail itself as an instrument for a "new world order of the 21st century,". We all know the UN was established to work toward on world government. PERIOD. EXCLAMATION POINT!

    October 19, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. VanReuter NY NY

    Bill Richardson is a large (no pun intended) joke!


    October 19, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Anita Owen, Salem, Oregon

    Bill Richardson has more international and global warming experience than any other Candidate. And I agree that the U N is absolutely necessary for solving the world problems. It may not be perfect and have some corruption but if you believe it Democratic process then this is the institution to support and work cooperatively with. Our own government is not perfect either and some of our citizens were involved in the UN Oil for Food Scandel. Each and every US citizen is responsible for our U S government and for our effect on the United Nations Institution. Be informed citizens. It appears to me that Republicans have worked to destroy our Democracy Process in America and are doing everything possible to destroy the Democratic Process in the UN. The world does need to work together. There are so many problems to deal with.

    October 19, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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