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Bureau of International Organization Affairs

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The Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) is the U.S. Government’s primary interlocutor with the United Nations and a host of international agencies and organizations. As such, the Bureau is charged with advancing the President’s vision of robust multilateral engagement as a crucial tool in advancing U.S. national interests. U.S. multilateral engagement spans the full range of important global issues, including peace and security, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, economic development, climate change, global health, and much more.

Commemorating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
Secretary Kerry (May 16):
"International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is a call to action, a plea to stand with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities (LGBTI) across the world and reaffirm our commitment to the equality and dignity of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination against LGBTI persons must end -- and it must end now." Full Text»

150th Anniversary of the International Telecommunication Union
Secretary Kerry (May 15):
"The United States congratulates the International Telecommunication Union on 150 years as an influential and important international body for the coordination of global telecommunications. From the spread of telegraphs and telephones to the rapid growth of radiocommunications, which enabled satellites and today’s mobile networks, the ITU has continually provided a forum for discussion, debate, and collaboration of international telecommunications issues." Full Text»

Universal Periodic Review of the United States
Date: 05/11/2015 Description: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council Keith Harper, Universal Periodic Review © UN ImageU.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council Keith Harper (May 11): "I am pleased to introduce the United States delegation for our country’s second Universal Periodic Review. We believe that every nation benefits from having a mirror held before it. Every nation has challenges, and can reach greater heights by participating seriously in the UPR. This process provides us the vital opportunity to self-assess, to listen to others, and to more effectively address the concerns of individuals in our country." Full Text»

Statement on the World Health Organization's Announcement on Liberia
Acting Department Spokesperson Marie Harf (May 9): "
The United States congratulates the people of Liberia on reaching the important milestone marked by the World Health Organization's announcement that the current outbreak of Ebola in Liberia has ended after having gone 42 days without any new cases. This achievement is a tribute to the Government of Liberia’s rapid and sustained response in combating and containing the disease, in collaboration with the international community." Full Text»

U.S. Condemns Violence in Sudan
Acting Deputy Department Spokesperson Jeff Rathke (May 8):
"The United States is gravely concerned about the continuing fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region and Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Actions by the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups, especially following the return of some elements of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), have displaced countless civilians this year and exacerbated an already serious humanitarian crisis." Full Text»

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies to Lead Journalists on a Visit to Tajikistan
(May 7):
Ambassador David Lane, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, will travel to Tajikistan from May 11-16, 2015. Together with U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Susan Elliott, he will visit rural communities and observe how the United States and the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies collaborate to support rural households, farmers, businesses and government officials to improve food security and nutrition and promote agricultural development in Tajikistan. Full Text»

United States Announces $68 Million in Humanitarian Assistance to Yemen
(May 6):
Secretary Kerry announced the United States is providing more than $68 million to help humanitarian organizations meet the needs of nearly 16 million people in need of assistance in Yemen, including 300,000 newly internally displaced persons. The funds will support the activities of the World Food Program, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, and other organizations, providing food, water, shelter, medical care, protection, and other assistance. Fact Sheet»

Commemorating World Press Freedom Day
Secretary Kerry (May 5):
"On May 3rd, we honored journalists who defend democratic ideals through their commitment to discovering and telling the truth. In doing so, we also paid tribute journalism itself, a profession to that is essential to good governance and the functioning of democracy. This is a critically important time to acknowledge the contributions of journalists. As the Committee to Protect Journalists recently reported, this is the “most deadly and dangerous period for journalists in recent history.” From violent extremists and criminal gangs who abduct and kill reporters to authoritarian governments that persecute them, press freedom is under attack." Full Text»

The Organization of Work for the Second Part of the Resumed 69th Session Before the Fifth Committee
U.S. Representative to the UN for UN Management and Reform Isobel Coleman (May 4):
"I would like to take this opportunity to provide some preliminary comments regarding the issues that this Committee will consider in the weeks ahead. My delegation remains committed to this Committee’s vital role in closely scrutinizing the requests of the Secretary-General to ensure that the peacekeeping budgets reflect actual requirements, are driven by realistic planning assumptions, and incorporate prudent management initiatives. In reviewing the budget requests, we commend the Secretary-General’s continued efforts to identify efficiencies." Full Text»

Welcoming Christiane Amanpour, New Goodwill Ambassador and Voice for Press Freedom
Date: 05/03/2015 Description: Christiane Amanpour speaks at ceremony where she is named UNESCO Goodwil Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety.  © [UNESCO PhotoDipNote (May 3): Seeking to heighten its work advancing human rights, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has appointed internationally recognized CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour as a new Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom participated in the inauguration ceremony in Paris last Wednesday. "The simple fact is that journalists cannot do their jobs if they are threatened or under attack," Deputy Secretary Higginbottom stated during the ceremony. Full Text»

Highlights of State Department and USAID Efforts to Support Press and Media Freedom
Fact Sheet (May 1):
On World Press Freedom Day, the United States pays special honor to the importance of media freedom – a crucial element of freedom of expression – at home and abroad. A diverse and independent press is crucial to holding governments accountable and sustaining democracy around the world… The U.S. Government has also brought media freedom issues to the fore at the United Nations and in regional multilateral forums. Full Text»

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