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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.

New U.S. Humanitarian Assistance to Respond to Syria Crisis
(June 25):
The United States today announced more than $360 million in additional life-saving assistance for those affected by the war in Syria… The funding supports the operations of the United Nations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as well as other international and non-governmental organizations. It will provide shelter, water, medical care, food, protection, and other necessities to millions of people suffering inside Syria and nearly four million refugees from Syria in the region. Full Text»

U.S. Statement, Follow-up and Review Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations
U.S. Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Tony Pipa (June 24):
First, let me just begin by underscoring the vital importance of this piece of Agenda—and why it matters so greatly that we reach the strongest possible outcome on follow up and review. Simply put, only through reaching the right balance for monitoring progress at the global, regional and national levels, will we know whether our efforts are adding up for our citizens and for the planet we inhabit. Follow up and review enables us to track what works—and, just as importantly—to adjust and accelerate and redouble our efforts when we’re falling short. Full Text»

U.S. Statement: Goals and Targets Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations
U.S. Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Tony Pipa (June 23):
 As the draft Political Declaration notes, the proposed goals and targets renew and improve upon the critical ambitions of the MDGs, but notably and rightly take our ambitions further. They now include strong goals in previously underserved or overlooked areas - gender equality, peace and governance, sustained and inclusive growth, sustainable energy, oceans - with the potential for long-term transformative impact. The integration of social, economic, and environmental dimensions reflected in the 17 proposed goals provides us a welcome and ambitious framework for accelerating and achieving significant progress on sustainable development. Full Text»

Remarks on the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations
U.S. Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Tony Pipa (June 22):
We welcome this zero draft as a good starting point that can serve as a foundation for a productive and ultimately successful negotiation. We look forward to engaging over these final weeks to make the most of our collective opportunity: to achieve an ambitious and actionable global consensus on sustainable development, one that brings an end to poverty, that is inclusive and leaves no one behind, and that ensures environmental sustainability. These must remain the core of the agenda, and we appreciate very much your central focus on these ambitions within the zero draft. Full Text»

Reasons To Care About World Refugee Day
Date: 06/19/2015 Description: DipNote: Displaced child stands next to his tent in Kabul, Afghanistan - State Dept ImageDipNote (June 19): Each year on June 20, we commemorate World Refugee Day to salute the courage and resilience of the world's refugees and displaced persons. This year, however, it takes on a particularly special meaning. According to the just-released Global Trends Report by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), nearly 60 million people have fled their homes as refugees, internally displaced people or asylum seekers. It is a staggering number – equivalent to one in every 122 people on this planet. Now, more than ever, the world’s refugees and displaced people need our help. Full Text»

World Refugee Day
Secretary Kerry (June 18):
World Refugee Day, marked on June 20, is a time to honor those who flee violence and persecution and those who help them on their journey. It’s almost unfathomable that nearly 60 million men, women and children are now displaced inside and outside of their countries. That is the largest number the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has ever counted and 8 million more than the record set just one year ago. Full Text»

The Pope Urges the World To #ActOnClimate
DipNote (June 19):
In issuing this call the Pope has shown wisdom, moral courage and leadership in the effort to preserve our common home and to protect the global poor from the tragic effects of environmental degradation. His plea is for all the citizens of the world, not just people of faith, to join the movement to care for the planet. Full Text»

Women Farmers Gain Rights to Their Land With Support From USAID
Date: 06/19/2015 Description: DipNote: Women do farm work near Dushanbe, Tajikistan - State Dept ImageDipNote (June 19): We also know that people with secure access to land are more likely to invest in that land and its sustainable use. And yet, around the world many women farmers still have limited agricultural resources and lack secure land rights. Last May in Tajikistan I met two women determined to gain equal treatment for all. Together, these women fought for rights for smallholder farmers -- and won. Full Text»

U.S. Pledges Additional Humanitarian Assistance for People Affected by the South Sudan Crisis
(June 16):
The United States announced more than $133 million in additional humanitarian assistance today in response to a surge in conflict and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions in South Sudan over the last two months. The announcement was made in Geneva, Switzerland, by a U.S. delegation… at an international conference on the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and its impact on the region. Full Text»

Testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Power (June 16):
"As the members of this Committee know, we are living in a time of daunting global crises. In the last year alone, Russia continued to train, arm, and fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine; a deadly epidemic spread across West Africa; and monstrous terrorist groups seized territory across the Middle East and North Africa, committing unspeakable atrocities. These are the kinds of threats that the United Nations exists to prevent and address." Full Text»

UNHRC 29th Session: Agenda Item 2, General Debate
US Mission Geneva Eric Richardson (June 15):
"The United States appreciates the High Commissioner’s report. We welcome continued engagement of OHCHR on human rights challenges throughout the world. We especially look forward to the Council’s focus on women and the all-day discussion on eliminating violence and participation in power and decision making. This session also provides opportunities for meaningful engagement on discrimination against women and girls; sexual and reproductive health services and reproductive rights; child, early, and forced marriage; and many other topics." Full Text»

Combatting Terrorism: Looking Over the Horizon
Under Secretary Sarah Sewall (June 15):
"Violent extremism’s growth over the last decade is an extremely dangerous and destabilizing phenomenon. It is essential that the world mobilize against such backward-looking intolerance and cruelty, which threatens humanity’s moral, political, and economic progress." Full Text»

Education is Essential to Combat Child Labor
Date: 06/12/2015 Description: A child works in a brick factory - State Dept ImageDipNote (June 12): Today, June 12, the global community commemorates World Day Against Child Labor with a focus on the essential role of education in combating child labor. I was honored to be in the audience just a day before World Day Against Child Labor, when Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi addressed a special sitting of the 104th Session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva. His advocacy, along with the efforts of civil society, was essential to the development of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, now adopted by 177 of 189 ILO member nations, including the United States. Full Text»

South Sudan Government Expels Top UN Aid Official - Why It Matters
Date: 06/18/2015 Description: Children with gourds wait to gather spilled grains from air-drops of World Food Programme aircraft. © UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeDpiNote (June 11): News that the Government of South Sudan expelled the United Nations’ top humanitarian official in the country on May 29 has sparked outrage. The UN Secretary General, the UN Security Council, the U.S. government, the alliance of U.S.-based NGOs InterAction, the South Sudanese NGO Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, the European Union and many other governments voiced condemnation of the action to expel Toby Lanzer. Full Text»

Cultural Heritage: A Powerful Unifying Force at Risk Like Never Before
Date: 06/10/2015 Description: Rubble fills Sharia al-Sweiqa, inside the Old City of Aleppo, Syria, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site © UN ImageDipNote (June 10): In many ways, cultural heritage defines what it means to be human. It is a tangible reminder of the beauty and accomplishment of the ancient civilizations, our common origins, and our shared history and identity. It inspires a sense of belonging and is a source of pride. Culture has the exceptional potential to be used as a tool for expression and peaceful cooperation, as it reminds us of the contributions and experiences of humanity. Full Text»

United States Welcomes UN-facilitated Consultations on Yemen
(June 8): 
The United States welcomes the June 6 announcement that the UN-facilitated consultations among Yemeni stakeholders will begin in Geneva on June 14. We reiterate the call of the Security Council for Yemenis to attend these talks in good faith and without preconditions. Full Text»

World Oceans Day
Date: 06/07/2015 Description: World Oceans Day photo - State Dept ImageSecretary Kerry (June 7): "World Oceans Day, June 8, reminds of us the importance of our oceans and maintaining their health. As we continue working and developing on and near the water, we cannot forget the impacts on our ocean – and we need to work vigilantly to protect it." Full Text»

World Environment Day
Date: 06/04/2015 Description: World Environment Day photo - State Dept ImageSecretary Kerry (June 4): "Every person on Earth has a role to play in protecting the environment we share—on World Environment Day, June 5, and every day. Every one of us has a responsibility to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the same safe and healthy planet that we inherited." Full Text»

Condemning Expulsion From South Sudan of UN Deputy Special Representative
(June 2):
The United States condemns the Government of South Sudan’s decision to expel the United Nations Deputy Special Representative in South Sudan and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Toby Lanzer. Full Text»

Assistant Secretary Crocker Travel to Mexico City
(June 1):
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker will travel to Mexico City, Mexico on June 3 for trilateral consultations on multilateral issues with her counterparts from the Governments of Mexico and Canada. Full Text»

Moving Forward to Strengthen the NPT
Date: 06/01/2015 Description: An aerial view of United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY © UN Image/Andrea BrizziDipnote (June 1): In diplomacy, as in life, sometimes hard work pays immediate dividends, and sometimes the results don’t materialize like you hoped. Such was the case for delegations from parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which spent the month of May in New York, working arduously to find ways to strengthen the NPT. Despite best efforts, the 2015 NPT Review Conference ended without consensus on a final document. Full Text»

Commemoration of International Day of UN Peacekeepers
Secretary Kerry (May 29):
"Today we honor the service and sacrifice of the courageous men and women serving under the flag of the United Nations with the mission of peace. That mission, which dates back nearly 70 years, is central to the purpose of the United Nations and indispensable to the peace and security of the globe." Full Text»

Under Secretary Richard Stengel Travel to Paris
(May 29):
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel will travel to Paris, France from June 1 – June 3. A principal focus of their meetings in Paris will be discussions with international partners on the trafficking of looted antiquities. While in Paris, they will meet at UNESCO with Director-General Irina Bokova and participate in a roundtable with stakeholders to discuss measures that the international community can take to cut off trafficking in antiquities, especially from Iraq and Syria. Full Text»

Post-2015 Session on Follow-up and Review
U.S. Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Tony Pipa (May 18): 
"As we have all noted here many times, the success of this agenda will rise or fall based on the strength of our implementation – and this, in turn, will depend on the strength of our platforms and mechanisms for monitoring progress and facilitating accountability. Thus we greatly appreciate our conversation this week. We will speak today to two key elements of our follow up and review process: 1) its underlying principles, and 2) its institutional architecture." Full Text

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