The Right Move for U.S.?

Today’s national security challenges are global in nature.  Threats like terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and pandemic disease respect no borders.  The United Nations can help provide the global reach and influence required to respond to, or ultimately help prevent, these threats from becoming crises.  A truly unique body, the UN offers us the ability to communicate and collaborate with nearly 200 countries on a breadth of issues.

Whether providing famine relief, staunching nuclear proliferation, creating arms embargoes, blocking the travel and financial support of rogue actors, establishing global standards to prevent money laundering, or curbing the spread of pandemics like Avian Flu, the UN’s work enables the United States to reap real national security benefits that advance American interests and make us safer and stronger here at home. Our economy also benefits, as the UN procures goods and services from more than 3,000 businesses across the U.S.

No doubt, U.S. contributions to the UN must be judicious and prudent: accountability, transparency, and effectiveness are essential for any organization, including the UN.  At the same time, our ability to burden share with other nations helps defray costs, promote stability, and enhance the impact of our resources. Withholding U.S. funding weakens both our influence and support for our national priorities, while strengthening the hands of our adversaries.

By actively using all of the real foreign policy, national security and economic tools at our disposal, we help develop the international knowledge, capability and capacity required to help address challenges that, if left to fester, land on our doorstep.  We, the undersigned Republicans and Democrats, believe that support of the UN is one of the most cost-effective ways for the U.S. to successfully address global challenges and leverage our global leadership.



Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State 1997-2001
Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor 1997-2001
General Charles Boyd, USAF (Ret.)
William Cohen, Secretary of Defense 1997-2001
John Danforth, US Senator (R-MO) 1977-95
Chuck Hagel, US Senator (R-NE) 1997-2009
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Rita Hauser, Chair, International Peace Institute
Carla Hills, US Trade Representative 1989-93
Thomas Kean, Governor (R-NJ) 1982-90; 9/11 Commission Chair
Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador to the UN 2007-09
Donald McHenry, Ambassador to the UN 1979-81
George Mitchell, US Senator (D-ME) 1980-95
John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State 2007-09
Sam Nunn, US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
William Perry, Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary of State 1997-2000
Bill Richardson, Ambassador to the UN 1997-98
Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board
George Shultz, Secretary of State 1982-89
Alan Simpson, US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97
Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State 1994-2001
John W. Warner, US Senator (R-VA) 1979-2009
John Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Timothy Wirth, US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93
Frank Wisner, Under Secretary of State 1992-93
Andrew Young, Ambassador to the UN 1977-79
General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.)

Science Diplomacy is Crucial to U.S. Foreign Policy

The United States is and must remain the global leader in science, technology, higher education and innovation. Respect for American science and technology is evident even in regions where there are strong negative views of U.S. foreign policies – students from around the world still flock to attend our colleges and universities. As we seek to promote our national security interests overseas, we should turn this strength into an effective tool for U.S. diplomacy.

Many of our most pressing foreign policy challenges – energy, climate change, disease, desperate poverty and underdevelopment, and WMD proliferation – demand both technological and policy solutions. In these and other areas, U.S. national security depends on our willingness to share the costs and benefits of scientific progress with other nations.

Enhanced international scientific cooperation can also lead to greater economic prosperity at home. The U.S. needs new technologies and markets to create jobs, grow new industries and rebuild consumer and investor confidence. Sustainable international partnerships allow us to leverage limited resources and give American companies access to cutting edge research and expertise around the world.

We, the undersigned Democrats and Republicans, believe President Obama, the Administration, and Congress should elevate the role of Science Diplomacy in U.S. national security and foreign policy, and should work to:

  • Strengthen links between U.S. and foreign scientific communities as a key part of U.S. diplomacy;
  • Offer scientific cooperation and technological assistance as a bridge to opening broader dialogue with former adversaries and as an incentive to prevent conflict;
  • Bring the world’s top scientists and engineers together to tackle pressing global challenges like energy security, climate change, poverty, disease, and WMD proliferation; and
  • Provide funding for exchange programs, collaborative research, technical assistance and capacity building to fully qualified U.S. governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Now is the time to draw upon every tool of U.S. power to promote our interests in the world. We should make maximum use of a core strength of this country – Science Diplomacy.


Peter Agre Nobel Prize, Chemistry, 2003; AAAS President 2009-10
Howard Baker U.S. Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
David Baltimore Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine, 1975
Samuel Berger National Security Advisor 1997-2001
Vinton G. Cerf Vice President & Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
Rita Colwell Director, National Science Foundation 1998-2004
Paula J. Dobriansky Under Secretary of State 2001-09
Slade Gorton U.S. Senator (R-WA) 1981-87, 1989-2001
Lee Hamilton U.S. Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99; PSA Co-Chair
Gary Hart U.S. Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Siegfried S. Hecker Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory 1986-97
Carla Hills U.S. Trade Representative 1989-93
Roald Hoffmann Nobel Prize, Chemistry, 1981
Alice Huang President, AAAS 2010-11
Nancy Kassebaum-Baker U.S. Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean Governor, New Jersey 1982-90; 9/11 Commission Chair
Neal Lane Science Advisor to the President 1998-2001
David Lee Nobel Prize, Physics, 1996
John Lehman Secretary of the Navy 1981-87
John H. Marburger III Science Advisor to the President 2001-09
William Perry Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering Under Secretary of State 1997-2000; Chair, CRDF Advisory Council
Peter Raven Director, Missouri Botanical Garden
John Whitehead Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Frank Wisner Under Secretary of State 1992-93
William Wulf President, National Academy of Engineering 1996-2007; Vice-Chair, CRDF Board of Directors





Please read the Baltimore Sun op-ed on political science and the San Diego Union-Tribune op-ed on science diplomacy and conflict reduction, both written by Dr. Peter Agre and Amb. Thomas Pickering. In addition, please look at the San Francisco Chronicle’s blog piece on global security and scientific progress.

This project is made possible by the generous support of CRDF, AAAS, and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.


Renewing the U.S.-UN Relationship


We Agree: Renew the U.S.-UN Relationship

An Opportunity and Priority for the New Administration

In today’s rapidly changing world of interdependence, globalization, and transnational threats, the United States must balance a strong military with creative diplomacy to secure America’s interests. We must recognize that the United Nations is a critical platform and partner for advancing international cooperation on today’s global threats and challenges, such as poverty and disease, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and climate change.
The UN cannot succeed without strong U.S. leadership and support. The next President has a unique opportunity to revitalize the U.S.-UN relationship as a symbol of America’s commitment to constructive international cooperation. This investment will pay off substantially by helping to enhance our standing internationally and strengthen our ability to keep America safe and strong.

Accordingly, we, the undersigned, believe that the incoming Obama Administration should:

  • Make an early and visible statement on the United Nations that expresses American commitment to international cooperation through the UN;
  • Lead on UN efforts on nuclear proliferation, counterterrorism, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Play a constructive role in UN reform efforts and updating the UN’s management and budgetary systems;
  • Pay our debts on time, work to remove Congressional caps, and alter the schedule of U.S. payments so that we are in a position to honor our treaty obligations;
  • Engage with the UN on the shared interests of stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan and supporting effective democratic governments in those countries;
  • Obtain a seat on the faltering Human Rights Council and work to influence it from within;
  • Underscore our commitment to the system of international agreements and treaties by seeking Senate consent for key treaties signed but not ratified;
  • Place well-qualified Americans in open positions at the UN;
  • Help manage the growing workload assigned to UN peacekeeping by providing logistical and management expertise and other support needed to enhance UN capacities.



Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State 1997-2001
Gen. Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor 1974-77, 1989-93
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99
Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92
Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor, 1997-2001
Gen. Charles G. Boyd, Pres., Business Executives for National Security
Harold Brown, Secretary of Defense 1977-81
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor 1977-81
Warren Christopher, Secretary of State 1993-97
John Danforth, US Senator (R-MO) 1976-95
Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff 1988-89
Slade Gorton, US Senator (R-WA) 1981-87, 1989-2001
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Rita Hauser, Chair, International Peace Academy 1992-present
Carla Hills, US Trade Representative 1989-93
Karl F. Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary of State 1997-2001
Nancy Kassebaum Baker, US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean, Governor (R-NJ), 1982-90
Richard Leone, President, The Century Foundation
Amb. William Luers, President, UN Association of the USA
Donald McHenry, Ambassador to UN 1979-81
Joseph Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University
Edward Perkins, Ambassador to UN 1992-93
William Perry, Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering, Undersecretary of State, 1997-2000
Alan Simpson, US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97
Nancy Soderbergh, Representative for Special Political Affairs at the UN 1997-2001
Theodore Sorensen, White House Special Counsel 1961-63
Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State 1994-2001
Ted Turner, Founder and Chairman, UN Foundation
John Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Christine Todd Whitman, Governor (R-NJ) 1994-2001
Timothy E. Wirth, US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93
Frank Wisner, Undersecretary of State 1992-93
James D. Wolfensohn, World Bank President, 1995-2005
Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.)

U.S. Dues and UN Reform


These bipartisan leaders agree that cutting funding won’t promote much needed change
America needs the United Nations to help make our world more secure and peaceful.  To realize its full potential, the United Nations badly needs reform and constructive American leadership.  We support the call for major reforms of the United Nations system, and urge America’s leaders to work even harder to build international support for its critical agenda.  But America cannot afford to to cut off funding for the United Nations at a time when our nation and the world need it more than ever.


Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99, Vice Chair, 9/11 Commission
Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State 1997-2000
Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor 1997-2000
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor 1977-81
Warren Christopher, Secretary of State 1993-97
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Rita Hauer, Chair, International Peace Academy 1992-present
Carla Hills, US Trade Representative 1989-93
Nancy Kassebaum Baker, US Senator 1978-97
Thomas Kean, Governor New Jersey 1982-90, Chairman, 9/11 Commission
Anthony Lake, National Security Advisory 1993-97
John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy 1981-87, Commissioner, 9/11 Commission
Richard C. Leone, President, The Century Foundation
Sam Nunn, US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
William Perry, Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering, Undersecretary of State 1997-2000
Ted Sorensen, White House Special Counsel 1961-63
John C. Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Frank Wisner, Undersecretary of State 1992-93