New York -- Chairman Howard L. Berman (D-CA) today led a bipartisan delegation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to the United Nations for briefings on a wide array of issues, including Iran's nuclear weapons program, the global food crisis, the situation in Zimbabwe and U.N. management reforms.

The group met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. envoy to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad, Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe and the U.N representatives of the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, members of the Permanent Five member-states in the Security Council.

"The UN is a key player in every major issue affecting U.S. and global security," Berman said. "For all of its flaws, it is an indispensible partner. As such, sustained U.S. engagement must be a priority for our foreign policy."

"Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is a strong leader," Berman noted "He is committed to improving the UN and making it an effective actor in tackling the complex global challenges we currently face. Our committee continues to enjoy a close working relationship with the secretary general."

Participants in the delegation were:

Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Chairman

Gary Ackerman (D-NY)

Donald Payne (D-NJ)

Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)

Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)

Joe Crowley (D-NY)

Diane Watson (D-CA)

Brad Miller (D-NC)

David Scott (D-GA)

Russ Carnahan (D-MO)

Jim Costa (D-CA)

Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)

Albio Sires (D-NJ)

Ron Klein (D-FL)

And Shelley Berkley (D-NV), a former member of the committee and current leader of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue

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