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polisci255 - U.S. PowersAtU.N by MICHELE KELEMEN It's the...

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U.S. Underwhelmed With Emerging  Powers At U.N. by MICHELE KELEMEN It's the time of year when world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York. And this year, there will be a lot of talk about multilateral diplomacy — a priority for the Obama administration since it came to office. Obama's team has courted the world's rising powers, even publicly backing India's hopes to one day be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. But now that India, along with South Africa and Brazil, have rotating seats on the council, U.S. officials and many human rights activists complain they're not living up to expectations. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., says she's had a chance to get a close-up look at how those three countries have been acting on the world stage lately. She's not sounding particularly enthusiastic. "This has been an opportunity for them to demonstrate how they might act if they were to obtain permanent membership, and for us to assess our level of enthusiasm about that," she says. "Let me just say we've learned a lot, and not all of it, frankly, encouraging." 'Extremely Disappointing' Philippe Bolopion, who monitors the U.N. for Human Rights Watch, has also been keeping tabs on these countries and doesn't like what he sees, either — especially in the case of Syria. "It is extremely disappointing, to say the least, to see that India, Brazil and South Africa, for example, are not more eager to get more Security Council action on Syria," he says. "Over 2,000 protesters, peaceful protesters, have been killed — and yet these countries are reluctant to apply any significant pressure on the Assad regime." U.N. ambassadors from those three nations went to Syria to meet
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with officials in President Bashar Assad's government. While Bolopion says it made sense for them to try diplomacy, that effort has clearly failed. Still, he says, they don't seem eager to step up the pressure
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