V - International Organizations  pp. 113-130

International Organizations

By Sean D. Murphy

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During 1999–2001, the United States remained extensively involved in the work of international organizations as a means of cooperating within the multilateral system. In particular, the United States pursued initiatives for containing the spread of weapons of mass destruction; enforcing sanctions against “rogue” states, such as Iraq, including through the interdiction of vessels on the high seas; protecting the global environment from the threat of ozone depletion, acid rain, climate change, deforestation, and threats to public health; and combating international crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism. The United States actively supported—with funds and in-kind resources—the work of UN agencies seeking to protect those most at risk worldwide, such as the work of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the World Food Program. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations viewed international economic institutions, notably the World Trade Organization, as a means of promoting U.S. economic development. Further, the United States encouraged the use of multilateral bodies to set regulatory standards and arbitrate differences among countries in areas of food product safety, air safety, telecommunications, intellectual property, and others.

In its role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States continued to play a special role in UN efforts to maintain international peace, promote democracy, defend human rights, and peacekeeping.