Kelly Knight Craft’s Long To-Do List at the United Nations

Kelly Knight Craft’s Long To-Do List at the United Nations
Kelly Knight Craft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in Washington, June 19, 2019 (DPA photo by Alex Edelman via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Richard Gowan is filling in for Judah Grunstein this week.

Will Kelly Knight Craft make much of a diplomatic impact on the United Nations? The new U.S. permanent representative to the U.N. has already endured hefty criticism. Craft has little diplomatic experience other than a recent spell as the Trump administration’s ambassador to Canada, though she spent unusually long parts of her posting to Ottawa back in America. Environmental groups have also argued that her marriage to a senior coal industry executive means that she should not participate in U.N. climate talks.

Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee greeted her confirmation last week with a long minority report concluding that Craft has “neither the experience nor the skillset” for her new job. She has admitted to a “clear-eyed humility” about her grasp of multilateral negotiations and given some ground to her critics by promising to recuse herself from any U.N. discussions on coal.

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