Keeping the Peace: Vice President Pence Addresses the UN Security Council

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Vice President Mike Pence sits at a table, behind a placard that reads "United States", and speaks into a microphone.
Vice President Pence Addresses the United Nations Security Council in New York City on September 20, 2017.

Keeping the Peace: Vice President Pence Addresses the UN Security Council

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the United Nations (UN) Security Council on September 20, as part of the 72nd UN General Assembly meetings. Focusing his remarks on the theme of “keeping the peace”, Vice President Pence addressed a variety of global security challenges, from peacekeeping reform to threats to international peace around the world to the credibility of the UN Human Rights Council. Here are some highlights from his remarks:

On Peacekeeping Reform

Emphasizing the need for peacekeeping reform, Vice President Pence highlighted the United States’ five principles for peacekeeping reform. He reiterated the United States’ belief that these principles will help to ensure that UN peacekeeping operations are “more efficient, more effective, more accountable, and more credible.” 

On North Korea and Other Threats to Peace

In his remarks, Vice President Pence addressed several threats to international peace. “In Eastern Europe,” he said, “Russia continues to compromise the sovereignty of its neighbors.” While mentioning continued threats from radical Islamic terrorists, the Vice President also mentioned Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East, calling it “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

Vice President Pence also focused on North Korea, thanking the UN Security Council for its recent resolutions imposing new sanctions, but also calling on the United Nations and the Security Council to do “much more to confront the threat posed by North Korea.” 

On the UN Human Rights Council

Vice President Pence also raised concerns about the function and operation of the UN Human Rights Council, a body which is overseen by the UN Security Council. Mentioning the membership of “many of the worst human rights violators in the world” including Cuba and Venezuela, Vice President Pence stated, “A clear majority of the Human Rights Council’s members fail to meet even the most basic human rights standards.” He continued, “To keep the peace most effectively, this body must have the credibility to pursue peace by advancing the cause of human rights." 

The Vice President concluded his remarks with a call for renewed dedication to the United Nations’ mission.

“So let us rededicate ourselves to the mission upon which this body was founded -- the first words of the U.N. Charter, “to maintain international peace,” must again be our lodestar, our ideal, and our aspiration.

Through reform of our efforts and reform of this institution, through renewed courage to speak and act whenever and wherever the unalienable rights of innocent people, or the peace of the world, is at risk we will create, as our President said, a more safe and peaceful future for all mankind.”

-      Vice President Mike Pence

Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.com

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