Jesse Helms at the UN

February 7, 2000

Over a week ago Senator Jesse Helms spoke before the United Nations. Since he is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and long-time critic of the United Nations, I expected fireworks. After all, no one has accused Jesse Helms as having many unexpressed thoughts.

Well, the speech went better than expected although he didn't receive applause or acknowledgment from the audience. He was friendly and complimentary when appropriate, and tough on calling for the United Nations to implement certain structural reforms. And he called for the body to accept the compromise he brokered where the United States would pay $926 million in exchange for these reforms.

Early in his remarks he said, "It is my intent to extend to you my hand of friendship and convey the hope that in the days to come, and in retrospect, we can join in a mutual respect that will enable all of us to work together in an atmosphere of friendship and hope--the hope to do everything we can to achieve peace in the world."

He also talked about the concern of many Americans about the direction of the United Nations. "Since I became chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, I have received literally thousands of letters from Americans all across the country expressing their deep frustration with this institution." And he added, "The American people will never accept the claims of the United Nations to be the sole source of legitimacy on the use of force in the world. A United Nations that seeks to impose its presumed authority on the American people without their consent begs for confrontation, and--I want to be candid--eventual U.S. withdrawal."

I applaud Jesse Helms for saying what needed to be said to the United Nations. Now we will see how the institution responds.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.