NASHVILLE, TN— United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today served as Ranking Member at a hearing on State Department nominations before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and delivered opening remarks. The following nominations were considered: C.S. Eliot Kang to be Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Adam Scheinman to be Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat to be Director General of the Foreign Service, Bathsheba Nell Crocker to be U.S. Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, and Michael Carpenter to be U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the nominees for appearing before this Committee today and for their willingness to serve this great nation. We look forward to hearing from them today.
I would like to start with the nomination to be the Director-General of the Foreign Service. This position has the unique responsibility of recruiting, retaining, and sustaining the Foreign Service and the Civil Service workforce of the State Department.
As a former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I recognize that the people of the State Department are critical to the success of American diplomacy. For the United States to tackle the growing number of complex global challenges, we should seek to build the finest diplomatic corps in the world. I look forward to hearing from the nominee about how to achieve this goal.
Next, I would like to turn to the nomination to be the Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation. As strategic adversaries, such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, continue to expand their arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, the world is becoming more dangerous each day.
The United States should look for opportunities to expand counter-proliferation efforts and ways to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. I am particularly interested to hear from the nominee about his views on the increasing WMD threats from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and what the United States should be doing.
I would like to turn to the nomination to be the Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation. There are a growing number of countries, such as China and Iran, pose significant challenges with respect to nuclear energy and nonproliferation norms. I look forward to hearing from the nominee about ways to update the NPT for the 21st century.
Now, I would like to turn to the nomination to be the U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, we are at a critical juncture with many of our European allies and partners, and they need to know that the United States can remain a reliable partner. This is even more important considering Russia’s efforts to spread malign influence throughout Europe. I look forward to hearing from the nominee about these issues.
Now, I want to turn my attention to the nominee to be the Representative of the United States to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. As the lead U.S. official representing over 100 UN bodies in Geneva, you will be responsible for advancing U.S. interests in many multilateral organizations.
As we all know, China and other strategic adversaries are looking to expand their influence by remaking global institutions in their image. I look forward to hearing from the nominee about what steps she intends to take to fight of America.
Mr. Chairman, I yield my time back to you.