Americans’ Global Priorities for Obama Second Term: Support for UN is in Our Best Interest

Bringing Troops Home, Middle East, Global Economy Top Voters’ International Priority Issues

Washington, D.C.

January 16, 2013


Alexis Krieg

As President Obama prepares to begin a second term with new cabinet members and a Congress with more than 90 new members, bipartisan polling data released today by the Better World Campaign provides a clear picture of American priorities on international affairs.

The poll reveals that approximately eight in 10 voters say it is important for the U.S. to maintain an active role in the United Nations, and further that it is in America’s best interest to continue to actively support the UN. More than two thirds favor paying our dues to the UN on time and in full, and say that the UN has been supportive of America’s goals and objectives around the world.

“We are a responsible nation — a nation that understands that international cooperation is vital to our national security and foreign policy priorities.  As we work to emerge from a recession and the faces of our foreign policy leadership change, Americans understand, we need to stand with our partners to make real change on the international stage,” said Peter Yeo, Executive Director of the Better World Campaign.

Poll respondents were also asked what specific international issues they want the Administration to address and help resolve. Strong consensus emerged on bringing troops home and ending the war; creating peace in the Middle East and Israel; and addressing the global economy.

“Even—or perhaps especially—amid concerns about a teetering global economy, Americans cite strong support for involvement in the UN,” added Yeo. “Indeed, Americans’ priority issues are the ones that the United Nations addresses directly on a daily basis.  From promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction through the Millennium Development Goals, to aiding troop withdrawals in Afghanistan by disarming rebel groups, strengthening judicial systems and training police forces, the UN is directly supporting American objectives.”

Additionally, when given brief descriptions of UN specialized agencies, 82 percent said it’s important for the U.S. to be a member of UNESCO; 87 percent said it’s important to be a member of the World Food Program; and 92 percent said it’s important to be a member of the World Health Organization.

The nationwide poll of likely voters, conducted January 6-9 by the bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates, surveyed 900 registered voters (630 landline/ 270 cell) with a margin of error of ± 3.27 percent.

For a memo detailing the full results of the polling, click here.


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About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign (BWC), an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit