New US envoy to UN grilled on first day - by refugee students

By REUTERS
August 6, 2013 05:31
1 minute read.

UNITED NATIONS - US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power faced some tough questions during her first day on the job on Monday, but they did not come from other UN Security Council envoys - instead she was grilled by refugee students in New York City.

At the International Rescue Committee's Refugee Youth Summer Academy in downtown Manhattan, students asked Power questions ranging from how did she meet President Barack Obama to would she send troops to Afghanistan and her thoughts on communism.

"My job in the Security Council will be much easier than answering your questions," joked Power, a former journalist who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the US government's failure to prevent genocide in the 20th century.

An outspoken rights defender, Power is using her first week on the job to flag her activism. On Friday she will chat online with rights advocates and on Saturday she will address a summit organized by Invisible Children, a group best known for a viral video urging the arrest of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

"I'm a great believer ... that US foreign policy should be about individuals," Power told the refugee students in New York, who came from Tibet, Sudan, China, Iran, Russia and elsewhere. "Every time we make decisions as a government we should think about people like you and the countries that you came from."


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