The relationship between the US and the UN is noticeably warmer these days, with new ambassador Susan Rice getting high marks across the board, write Adam Benz and Robert Friedman in Good magazine. Granted, she replaced Bushie John Bolton, who prior to his appointment could barely conceal his disdain for the world body. A UN official says it's nice not to hear "criticism for criticism's sake" from the US corner.
One tangible sign of the thaw is the US' new seat on the Human Rights Council. The real test, however, will come on issues where the two sides part ideologically. UN leaders weren't happy, for example, when the Obama team skipped a racism conference deemed too focused on Israel. But that disagreement wasn't enough to sour the honeymoon. "We expect the Obama administration to take a clear-eyed, clinical approach," said the UN official. "The White House will use the UN where it suits them."