Nancy E. Soderberg, United States ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 2001, addressed a standing room only audience in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on Monday evening, March 24. Soderberg opined that the future would bring healing to relations between the United States and the U.N. “I'm an optimist,” she said. “One has to be an optimist to work in foreign policy.”
Soderberg admitted that the situation at the UN today is as tense as it's been since the Bay of Pigs incident in the early 1960s. “But we have to remember that we are not fighting against the UN, but rather against France, China and Russia,” she noted. She argued the the U.S. and the UN would resolve their differences, in fact that they were already working together in planning assistance for post-war Iraq.
Soderberg discussed September 11th, the Korean situation, and Afghanistan in addition to the current situation in Iraq. She urged the young people in the audience to “stay engaged” and to learn all they could about foreign policy, as soon they will be the leaders of this nation.
A transcript of the talk is available. After the talk, Soderberg took several questions from the audience and lingered after the address to talk to individual students who were interested not only in her expertise in foreign policy but in her own career path.
The press release announcing the event is also available. Soderberg's talk was the final and keynote event in the A New World Order? Iraq, Terrorism, and the Future of International Relations symposium. Photos from the symposium events are also available. The symposium was featured in the March 25 Democrat and Chronicle article “Hobart looks at Mideast more closely” and in the Daily Messenger article U.S., U.N. have future together”.