Here are three things you don’t often see getting along in Washington these days:
A Democrat, a Republican … and a Muppet.
But last night at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s (USGLC) annual Tribute Dinner, under the theme #SmartPower, that’s exactly what we saw happen.
Senator John McCain gave a touching tribute to his long-time friend Vice President Joe Biden, as leaders from international development NGOs, corporations, the U.S. Congress and military, and more, came together to honor him for his long-standing commitment to international affairs.
Oh, and thanks to dinner co-chair H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of the Sesame Workshop, Grover from Sesame Street was on hand to kick off the festivities – showing that in a world that’s more globally connected than ever, our relationship with the international community is something that every generation cares about.
In an inspiring evening that highlighted bipartisan support for multilateralism and U.S. leadership in international affairs, the USGLC also honored Congresswomen Kay Granger of Texas and Nita M. Lowey of New York for their work to advance international development, especially empowering women and girls around the world. Having testified before their subcommittee, I’ve seen firsthand their passion and commitment to international affairs.
And of course, as in any discussion about making the world a better, safer, and more prosperous place, the United Nations was never far from the conversation.
From Vice President Biden saying he’ll never forget a visit to a UN refugee camp in Chad, to announcing that the U.S. will be a leader in the UN’s post-2015 development process, it was clear that this administration is committed to working hand-in-hand with the UN to tackle the world’s most pressing issues – including the Syria crisis, Iran’s nuclear agenda, and typhoon recover in the Philippines.
Overall, the mantra of the night was something that we at the UN Foundation could not agree more with:
Investing in international affairs is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.
As a board member of USGLC, I was particularly proud to stand with them last night in honoring Americans who have shown such outstanding leadership on the world’s stage – and we can’t wait to continue working with them to reach our shared goal of making the world a better place for all.