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Obama to Elevate U.N. Ambassador to Cabinet Rank

In a move praised by nonprofit groups, President-elect Barack Obama has announced the selection of Susan E. Rice, a Brookings Institution scholar and former State Department official, to be United Nations ambassador.

In nominating Ms. Rice, Mr. Obama also plans to restore the position to cabinet rank, as it was under former President Bill Clinton, reports The New York Times.

In the Times article, Ms. Rice drew praise from the nonprofit Save Darfur Coalition for her advocacy on behalf of a stronger response against the fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region.

The United Nations Foundation, meanwhile, applauded both the selection of Ms. Rice and the decision to restore the position to cabinet rank, saying in a statement that it “sends an unambiguous signal to the world that the United States plans to re-engage with the United Nations at the highest levels.”

But John R. Bolton, who served as U.N. ambassador under the Bush administration, told the Times that it was unwise to elevate the position to cabinet level.

“One, it overstates the role and importance the U.N. should have in U.S. foreign policy,” he said. “Second, you shouldn’t have two secretaries in the same department.”

What do you think of Mr. Obama’s decision to make his U.N. ambassador a member of the cabinet?

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