Confirmation hearing begins for UN ambassador

Veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield faced her Senate confirmation hearing to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
5:54 | 01/27/21

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Transcript for Confirmation hearing begins for UN ambassador
I'm deeply honored to appear before you all this president Biden's nominee to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations. And I'm so grateful to the president for placing his trust in me. My has been rocky at Greeneville are retired foreign service specialists is here with me today along with my son lofty act and you've heard we called juice. Our daughter Lindsay is serving their country currently in the Ponce Olivia. I'm so proud of them at all and so grateful for their lap and their support and sacrifice. As I take on this important position. I would also like to think my extended family and that includes. All. Members. The Department of State who have been sending me so many kind messages of support. When I joined the foreign service in 1982. I was not the norm. Many of my colleagues had gone to Ivy League schools and I'd gone to segregated our exclusives you've already entered into LSU. As a consequence of the losses. Not to mention I was joining an organization facing two class action lawsuits that apply to me. One lit by a black officers in the foreign service and the other by women. And yeah act. I had an extraordinary 35 year career that culminated as he assistant secretary of state for African figures. To me that represents the progress and the promise. Of America. Still I'd never expected that I would have the chances step into the shoes of so many luminaries. Leaders like Jeane Kirkpatrick. Who was a permanent represented him when I first joined the service. Are my own mentor ambassador Ed Perkins the first African American ambassador to South Africa a UN ambassador. And a giant among diplomats. Are the iconic secretary of state Madeleine Albright follow most recently by four other women. Ambassador Susan Rice Samantha powers Nikki Haley and Kellie craft my most recent predecessor. Like my manager's role models and predecessors. I strongly believe diplomacy is an irreplaceable tool. In the work of advancing America's interest. And building a better world. Throughout my career from Jamaica to Nigeria Pakistan to Switzerland. And as ambassador to Liberia. I've learned that affected. Diplomacy means more than shaking hands and staging photo ops. It means developing real robust relationships. It means finding common ground and managing points that differentiation. It means doing genuine. Old fashioned people to people diplomacy. President Biden epitomizes that approach. He believes in considering every diplomatic tool in the two yet. Including bringing stronger language and tougher tactics to the table we need it. You can be assured that will be my approach to if I'm fortunate enough to be concerned. Of all of our diplomatic twos perhaps our most powerful instrument is the United Nations itself. The UN is uniquely poised to take honor shared global challenges. From countering terrorism to promoting the rights of women and girls to feeding tens of millions. Living on the brink of famine. As Ralph bunche put it in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. The United Nations is the greatest peace organization ever dedicated to the salvation of mankind's future under. But that's only true if America is leading the way. When America shows not. When we are consistent. And persistent. When we exert our influence in accordance to our values the United Nations can be an indispensable. Institution. For advancing peace security. And our collective well being. If instead we walk away from the table and allow others to fill the void the global community staffers and so do American interest. In particular we know China is working across the UN system. To drive in authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values that the institution. American values. There success depends on our continued withdraw. That will not happen on mine watch. From climate change to cope at nineteen non proliferation to mass migration. Technological disruptions to human rights violations. Today's problems are urgent. They are complex. And they are global. Meeting these challenges means meeting with their fellow nations especially. In the world's most important diplomatic form. Two Verity and before I answer your questions let me outlined three key priorities that will guide my work this US ambassador. To the United Nations if confirmed. First. Our leadership must be rooted in our core values support for democracy. Respect for universal human rights. And the promotion of peace and security. Second. We must have the courage. To insist on reforms that make the UN efficient and effective. And third. As US ambassador to the United Nations if confirmed. I would seek to develop a strong partnership with this committee. Which are at the great pleasure working with often throughout my career in the foreign service. I want the conversation. And the collaboration. We began today to continue throughout my service and I look forward to answering your question.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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