Newt Gingrich: United Nations Champion

UPDATE: The Weekly Standard reports that Gingrich’s National Security Team is taking shape. Former CIA Director James Woolsey is on the team. When else did James Woolsey work with Gingrich? As a member of the Gingrich-Mitchell Taskforce on the United Nations, of course!

So, Newt Gingrich is emerging as the Republican frontrunner to challenge President Barack Obama.  I, for one, salute this development. Among each of the 11 candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, Gringrich is the only one to have co-authored a lengthy treatise about the value of the United Nations to American interests and how the world body can be reformed to more reasonably face 21st century challenges.

I’m not kidding. In 2005, Gingrich co-chaired the  Taskforce on the United Nations with George Mitchell.  The Taskforce was housed at the United States Institute of Peace and produced a lengthy discussion of how the United Nations could serve as a vehicle to advance American interests and human rights around the world.

This report was a big deal at the time. Two of its key recommendations were rather swiftly implemented by the United Nations. This includes  1) that the old Commission on Human Rights be abolished and replaced with a smaller, more nimble Human Rights Council. 2) that the “responsibility to protect” become enshrined at the United Nations. Beyond those top line recommendations, the Taskforce suggested that the Secretary General should have more power than he currently does. Specifically, they made the very reasonable suggestion that the Secretary General be empowered to more easily hire and fire officials without the interference of powerful member states.

I look forward to Newt Gingrich re-visiting these compelling arguments for constructive engagement with the United Nations in future GOP presidential debates.