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Bureau of International Organization Affairs

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Date: 06/07/2016 Description: Photos clockwise from the top: Bureau of International Organization Affairs; U.S. Mission Geneva, UN Photo, U.S. Mission Geneva, UN Photo, New America Foundation, UN Photo. © UN Image
Photos clockwise from the top: Bureau of International Organization Affairs; US Mission Geneva, UN Photo, US Mission Geneva, UN Photo, New America Foundation, UN Photo.

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.

Selection of the Fifth Annual U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations

July 21: The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), is pleased to announce the selection of the fifth annual U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations. The Youth Observer, Ms. Nicol Perez, from California, was chosen from a competitive pool of over 350 applicants. Full Text»

Remarks on the One-Year Anniversary of the JCPOA

Secretary Kerry (July 14): "One year ago today, China, Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain, the United States, known as the P5+1, succeeded after several years of intensive negotiations in securing an agreement with Iran in order to restrain Iran’s nuclear program in a way that guaranteed to the world that Iran would not be pursuing a nuclear weapon. From that moment, 19,000 centrifuges have been put under IAEA scrutiny and storage." Full text»

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Syrian Crisis

July 12: Secretary Kerry announced today that the United States is providing nearly $439 million in additional lifesaving humanitarian assistance for those affected by the war in Syria. This new funding brings U.S. humanitarian assistance in response to this conflict to nearly $5.6 billion since the start of the crisis. This new announcement reflects the generosity of the American people and demonstrates U.S. commitment to helping address the unprecedented magnitude of suffering and urgent needs. Fact Sheet»

Celebrating American Heritage as World Heritage

July 7: Each year, tens of millions of visitors enjoy America’s national parks. As the National Park Service prepares to celebrate its centennial, it’s an appropriate moment to take note of U.S. parks and sites that have been accorded recognition as World Heritage sites. Today, the United States proudly boasts 23 World Heritage Sites, and appreciates greatly the international prestige and increased tourism that come with such a designation. The treasures on the World Heritage List are as diverse as the country itself; they include Grand Canyon National Park, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Independence Hall, and the Statue of Liberty. The most recent inscription, in 2015, was of the San Antonio Missions in Texas, comprised of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Alamo. Dipnote»

Key U.S. Outcomes at the UN Human Rights Council 32nd Session

July 6: Although the United States is not a voting member of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) this year – it is sustaining robust engagement with the Council, working with countries from all regions to address urgent human rights situations and issues. At this session, focusing on women’s rights, U.S. leadership helped to keep the HRC at the forefront of global efforts to promote and protect human rights. Fact Sheet»

UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Date: 06/30/2016 Description: Supporters celebrate passage of the UN Human Rights Council creating an Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  © US Mission to UN Agencies in Geneva

Secretary Kerry (June 30): "The United Nations Human Rights Council today adopted its third UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons, creating an Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This Expert will serve as a global focal point on combatting challenges faced by LGBT persons—a step that reflects the growing global momentum against human rights violations and abuses that LGBT persons continue to face around the world." Full Text» 

Remarks on "The Global Refugee Crisis: Overcoming Fears and Spurring Action," at the U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Power (June 29): "We are in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Just like the people at the heart of it, this crisis crosses borders, oceans, and continents. And because it is global in scale, anything less than a global response will fall short of addressing it." Full Text»

U.S. Statement on Item 4: General Debate on Human Rights Situations Requiring Council Attention

Ambassador Keith Harper (June 22): "The United States remains deeply concerned about the human rights situations in Syria, Burundi, South Sudan, DPRK, and Russia, which we address in more detail elsewhere during this session. We are also deeply concerned that China’s new Law on the Management of Foreign NGO Activities… Egypt increasingly restricts the exercise of freedoms of expression and association… We are deeply concerned about the growing threat of mass atrocities in the DRC… We urge Cuba to end the practice of arbitrary short term detention…" Full Text»

U.S. Statement to the UN Human Rights Council: U.S. Welcomes the On-Going Critical Work of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria

Ambassador Keith Harper (June 22): "The United States welcomes the on-going critical work of the Commission of Inquiry. We also strongly support the May 17 ISSG statement’s request for UN Special Envoy for Syria de Mistura to facilitate agreements between the Syrian parties for the release of detainees and the call for any party holding detainees to protect the health and safety of those in their custody. We urge all parties to act consistent with all relevant UN resolutions." Full Text»

World Refugee Day

Secretary Kerry (June 20): "Today, we honor refugees’ resilience and courage. We also recognize the tremendous contributions made by local and international non-governmental organizations on the front lines of delivering life-saving assistance. This year’s commemoration comes at a time when brutal conflicts are forcing record numbers of innocent people to flee, and challenging the world to find better ways to protect them." Full Text»

El-Nino Brings Drought and Hunger to Madagascar

Date: 06/17/2016 Description: DipNote: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies in Rome David Lane visits community in Madagascar with USAID officials to learn about devestating effects of droughts caused by El Nino. - State Dept Image

June 17: Concern about the effects of this year’s El Nino weather pattern on food production grew to alarm in recent months, raising the prospect of a widespread and serious food crisis. After consulting with U.S. and UN colleagues, I decided to travel to Madagascar -- an island nation that gets little attention and where this year’s drought is taking an extra heavy toll -- in order to better understand the depth of a crisis that is severely affecting a large number of people in countries across Southern Africa. DipNote»

U.S. Statement to Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission’s 20th Anniversary Ministerial Meeting

Under Secretary Gottemoeller (June 13): "I am honored to be here representing the United States of America, as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the establishment of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Since the United States signed the CTBT in 1996, we have strengthened the nuclear nonproliferation regime and enhanced the security of our world. Though we have made great progress, the Treaty’s full potential has not been fulfilled. We must remain steadfast in our support for the Treaty and for the critical work of the Preparatory Commission." Full Text»

Remarks by Ambassador David Lane at the Opening Session of the World Food Program Executive Board

Ambassador David Rome Lane (June 13): "WFP has continued to grow as a committed and reliable partner, and its staff and leadership have responded with flexibility to myriad needs and our shifting expectations. WFP has stepped up to the increasing complexity of conflict and upheaval affecting families and communities across the Middle East, recently reaching a new high in its logistics capability, as Gerda mentioned, by successfully carrying out high altitude air drops. WFP has also played a key role providing an essential common procurement platform in the Ebola response. Against this backdrop, and with unified support from its member states, WFP is simultaneously undertaking significant structural adjustment to more closely align strategy and resources with costs and programmatic outcomes." Full Text»

Remarks at a UN General Assembly Meeting on the Election of the President of the General Assembly for the 71st session and on the Orlando Attack

Ambassador David Pressman (June 13): "Protecting the dignity of human beings, in all of their diversity, will be the work that leads to a more peaceful United Nations. May what happened in Orlando only underscore the urgency, the imperative. And may that be the work of the next General Assembly, the next President of this body, and every Member State in this room." Full text»

U.S. Statement on the 10th Anniversary of the Human Rights Council

Ambassador Keith Harper (June 13): "The Council has accomplished a great deal since its founding, especially in more recent years. It has addressed situations where there are significant human rights violations and abuses. The Council has advanced critically important thematic issues that pose global challenges. We believe this is the primary purpose of the Council, and we should continue in this direction." Full text»

#GlobalLeadership in Strengthening UN Peacekeeping

Date: 05/29/2016 Description: DipNote: UN Peacekeepers - State Dept Image

May 29: More than one million women and men have served with pride, distinction, and courage since the UN deployed its first peacekeeping mission in 1948. Today, more than at any time in history, peacekeepers face complex and dangerous situations, paired with increasing demands for their service and a renewed strategic vision of their importance. DipNote»

#GlobalLeadership: A Record of U.S. Engagement at the UN Human Rights Council

Date: 05/25/2016 Description: U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper at a session on mainstreaming human rights on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.  © UN Image

May 25: In 2009, President Obama decided that the United States should seek election to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), a body with a decidedly mixed record of success in promoting and protecting human rights. Seven years later, the United States has completed two active terms on the Council -- terms that featured new country-specific initiatives on Burma, Iran, North Korea (D.P.R.K.), Syria, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and others, groundbreaking efforts on LGBTI rights as well as women’s rights, and a renewed focus on the universality of human rights, including freedoms of expression, assembly and religion. DipNote»

Joint Statement on the Affirmation of the Importance of and Adherence to International Humanitarian Law Issued at the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, Turkey

May 24: The United States and 48 other UN member states have endorsed the joint statement below affirming the importance of and adherence to international humanitarian law at the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, May 23–24. Upholding humanity is at the core of humanitarian action and of the United Nations Charter. Civilians caught in armed conflict are among the world’s most vulnerable people. Protecting the vulnerable from harm and preserving their dignity, in particular by upholding international law and seeking accountability for violations, should be at the very top of the international community’s agenda. Media Note»


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