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Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed as US Ambassador to the UN

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 69.3%. 2 min read.

WILMINGTON, DE - NOVEMBER 24: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks after being introduced by President-elect Joe Biden as he introduces key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on November 24, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.??As President-elect Biden waits to receive official national security briefings, he is announcing the names of top members of his national security team to the public. Calls continue for President Trump to concede the election as the transition proceeds. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

The Senate confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the next US Ambassador to the United Nations Tuesday.

(CNN)The Senate confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the next US Ambassador to the United Nations Tuesday.

The vote was 78-20 and her confirmation comes less than a week before the United States' presidency at the UN Security Council for the month of March.

Thomas-Greenfield, a respected career ambassador who was jettisoned under the Trump administration, was one of President Joe Biden's first picks for his national security team.

In its first month, the Biden administration has taken a number of steps to restore both US participation in the multilateral body, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, moving to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council and stopping the US withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

During her confirmation hearing last month, Thomas-Greenfield pledged to hold China to account in the international body and spoke of the need for the United States to be a presence there.

"When America shows up -- when we are consistent and persistent -- when we exert our influence in accordance with our values -- the United Nations can be an indispensable institution for advancing peace, security, and our collective well-being," she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"In particular: We know China is working across the UN system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values of the institution -- American values.

Her experiences at posts in Africa, including as ambassador to Liberia, and her time as the top US diplomat in the Bureau of African Affairs are likely to be a boon to her as she takes on the UNSC presidency, as a high percentage of Security Council affairs deal with the continent.

Although she will likely be on the same page with her European Security Council partners, she is expected to face challenges on a number of fronts from China and Russia.

Current and former US diplomats praised Thomas-Greenfield as an ideal candidate to restore the standing of the US and rebuild credibility at the venerable multilateral institution.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary general "very much looks forward" to working with Thomas-Greenfield on issues such as climate change, Covid-19 and many other issues on a shared agenda.

Dujarric said Guterres knows Thomas-Greenfield well from past work on refugee issues.

"She's an inspired appointment," said Ireland's UN Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, who said she looked forward to working with Thomas-Greenfield.

"Linda Thomas Greenfield is exactly the right person for this job at this time," said Elizabeth Cousens, the president and CEO of the UN Foundation.

"She will be embraced by the diplomatic community, not just in New York but globally, because there has been such a cost to the vacuum in US leadership at the UN and that has brought with it a recognition from countries around the world that the United Nations, multilateral cooperation, is so much stronger when the United States is an active player working with partners to solve common challenges," Cousens told CNN.

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