Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned her post and will step down at the end of 2018. Axios published the scoop October 9, 2018, reporting that Haley had discussed her decision with President Donald Trump the previous week. The news appears to have taken most people by surprise. It is fair to say that the relationship between the United Nations and the United States government has been contentious for many years. That relationship has changed dramatically since Trump’s inauguration and Haley has been exceedingly tough with her international counterparts.
Haley’s resignation may signal one of two things – and perhaps both: The president may be about to radically alter the relationship between America and the global organization or the former South Carolina governor may be preparing to step into a new role in the Trump administration.
Trump, Haley Tough on UN
As president, Trump has surprised many people with his approach and, more specifically, with his demeanor. His critics describe his manner as offensive and unpresidential but everyone else, including world leaders, seem to find it direct, refreshing, and honest. Certainly, the president’s achievements so far on the world stage belie the left-wing media narrative that Trump has alienated most of America’s allies and that international respect for the United States has been squandered.
At the United Nations, both the president and his ambassador have berated world leaders for their globalist agenda, as well as their frequent failure to stand up to rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea. Trump has made it clear that he will always put his country’s interests first and that he would expect every other national leader to do the same for their own countries.
Haley has overseen a dramatic shift in the relationship dynamic between the U.N. and the U.S. Most notably, America has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council over its barely-concealed contempt for Israel. Ironically, numerous member-states sitting on the council have some of the worst human rights records of any nation; China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, among them. Under Haley’s watch, the U.S. has also withdrawn from UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific Cultural Organization.
Life After the UN?
Speaking at the White House on October 9, with Haley by his side, Trump gave away very little, saying that the ambassador would be leaving at the end of the year to take a break. A critic of Trump’s during the 2016 election campaign, Haley has proved to be one of the president’s staunchest defenders.
What the future holds for Haley is not yet known but it would seem likely she will not be parting ways with the administration. “You can have your pick,” Trump told Haley at the presser. There are several posts for which she would be well suited: One might speculate that she is a future White House Chief of Staff or even Secretary of State.
The president suggested he would choose Haley’s replacement at the U.N. within weeks. It is, perhaps, telling that his attitude toward that decision appeared very casual; almost as if it was irrelevant. That could mean that he already knows who the next ambassador will be or that America’s relationship with the U.N. is about to change dramatically.