President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Rep. Barbara Lee to be a U.S. representative to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly -- even as Lee helps rally opposition to Obama's proposed military strike on Syria.
If her nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Lee, D-Oakland, will continue to represent her House district while assuming the new duties in the U.N. session that starts Sept. 17.
The General Assembly is the United Nations' main deliberative, policy-making and representative organ, with five representatives and five alternates from each of the 193 member nations. It meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required.
Lee issued a statement Wednesday saying she's "deeply honored" to be among the nominees.
"The United Nations is a critical body in our global community, and is essential to our shared future," she said. "This nomination comes at a time when tensions in our world are at a fever-pitch, and I believe now more than ever that the United States must fully engage the United Nations and the international community to ensure a safer and more peaceful world."
She said her goal will be "to help foster stronger ties, deeper bonds and increase our commitment to the vision of the United Nations: a better world for all."
Lee has a long history opposing military action. She is currently among the first and most vocal House members to adamantly oppose military action against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons in that nation's civil war.
She told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that she's "cautiously optimistic" about Russia's proposal to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons to the international community for destruction, but she's also introducing other congressional alternatives, including calling upon the U.N. General Assembly to seek action against Syrian leaders in the International Criminal Court.