U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Houston Tuesday. Haley gave a speech and participated in a Q&A session at the University of Houston. After a group of protesters briefly interrupted her at the introduction, Haley told the audience the disruption was a reason to celebrate, noting her husband and brother are combat veterans who "fought for (the protesters) right to do that." From there, she spoke broadly about global challenges, changes she would like to see at the UN, and the importance of U.S. leadership in the world.
Haley echoed the criticism President Trump has frequently made about the U.S. getting short shrift from the UN despite being its largest contributor. "Our participation in the UN should produce something of value," she said. "Because if we don't get a return on our investment, then we shouldn't be a part of it." Haley also criticized the UN for failing to crack down on human rights abuses by countries around the world. "That's the foundational dilemma of the United Nations...it is set up to treat all countries as the same, but all countries are not fundamentally the same," she told the audience.
Haley, who recently got attention for her impassioned defense of the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem in the face of strong UN opposition, told the crowd that the proper role of America is to be a leader on the world stage, and stand up to "the mob" even when it's not popular. "Countries really do want U.S. leadership," she said. "And so the most important thing I can tell you from the President's perspective and certainly from mine is the country is better and the world is better when the U.S. leads, and that's what we have to do is just continue to lead."
Haley also praised Houston, noting the community's response to Hurricane Harvey "gave us all a master class in how to be good citizens and good human beings."