Will the next American ambassador to the United Nations know anything about Africa?
The U.N. is embroiled in crises from the Middle East to North Korea. But roughly half of the Security Council’s resolutions and statements focus on African issues, and 80 percent of U.N. peacekeepers are deployed on the continent. Any ambassador to the U.N. should, therefore, have at least a passing interest in Africa.
Both of the Obama administration’s representatives in New York, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, were established authorities on African affairs. Rice devoted a good part of her time at the U.N. to facilitating South Sudan’s independence. Power prioritized halting bloodshed in the Central African Republic, or CAR, and Burundi. It was a bit of a shock to the U.N. system when President Donald Trump appointed a U.N. envoy, Nikki Haley, who knew next to nothing about Africa.