The Honorable Thomas R. Pickering

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1997-2000); U.S. Ambassador to the UN in New York (1989-1992)

"The notion that we should take care of our own people first during times like these overlooks the problem. When issues are global, it is important to work together on the shared responsibilities and challenges. The best way to deal with our own problems at home is to be an active leader on the global sphere. This is how we can most capably and responsibility deal with the domestic crisis.

We need to modernize our global institutions if they are not working, but we still need alliances. Furthermore, we should not try to recreate the wheel with new institutions. We need to refine what we have, not build new ones as that is not possible in this day and age. It took decades for those to coalesce. That would be like climbing Mount Everest in a single bound; it can’t be done.

Diplomats are trained to be masters of many subjects, and this includes instruction to have science know-how and similar understanding. The fundamental role of a foreign service officer is to move into many subjects, to understand them and work effectively within them."

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