U.N. Ambassador Calls Obama Cabinet ‘Amazingly Capable Foreign Policy Team’

By Penny Starr | June 18, 2014 | 5:19 PM EDT


Samantha Power, U.S. permanent ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to middle and high school girls at the U.N.'s "Girl Up" Conference in Washington on June 17, 2014. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Samantha Power, the United States’ permanent ambassador to the United Nations, told middle and high schools girls attending the U.N.’s “Girl Up” conference in Washington, D.C. that President Barack Obama has an “amazingly capable" team” advising him on national security and foreign policy.

“I operate now both within the U.S. government, because I, you know, I’m part of this amazing team with Ambassador [Susan] Rice, who’s the national security advisor; Secretary [of State John] Kerry; Secretary [of Defense Chuck] Hagel; [CIA director] John Brennan -- an amazingly capable foreign policy team and I’m totally honored and learn every day from each of my colleagues,” Power told the girls on Tuesday.

Powers’ comments came a day before the release of an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted between June 11 and 15 that showed Americans' approval of Obama's handling of foreign policy had dropped to 37 percent, an all-time low for the survey.

Power told the girls attending the conference that they she tries to build relationships with diplomats to promote the U.S. human rights and national security agenda.

Those efforts don’t always succeed, she added, because some people don’t “agree with the truths I am speaking” or because they “have a different perception of how their country’s interest would be advanced.”

Following Power’s speech, the young attendees were given a choice of several workshops to attend, including “The U.N. and You” and “Feminism is Not a Dirty Word.”

According to its website, Girl Up “is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation.

“We give American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls,” the website says.

The website also promotes population control and birth control for teenagers, issues routinely promoted by the U.N.

Power is considered a key figure in persuading President Barack Obama to take military action in Libya in 2011. She worked for then-Senator Obama as a foreign policy advisor before being named to his presidential administration.