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Diplomacy in Action

More IO Highlights


Assistant Secretary Crocker's Travel to Rome and Vatican City
(May 22)
: Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker traveled to Rome and Vatican City, May 24–26, to attend the World Food Program’s (WFP) Executive Board meeting and for consultations with counterparts and Rome-based international organizations. Full Text»


Protecting Press Freedom Across the Globe
Date: 05/22/2015 Description: Ambassador Power Hosts Panel Discussion on Press Freedom © USUN ImageDipnote (May 22: Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, in part, that everyone has the right "to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Despite this clear articulation of the universal importance of freedom of the press, journalists around the world are targeted and censored, threatened, and killed just for exercising their right to free expression. Full Text»


Towards a New Global Education Agenda
Date: 05/21/2015 Description: USAID Senior Advisor for International Education Christie Vilsack visits with primary grade students in Malawi.  © Photo courtesy of Christie Vilsack, USAIDDipnote (May 21): In a small first grade class at Mikombe Elementary School in rural Malawi, a girl named Martha is receiving the opportunity of a lifetime -- she is learning to read in her local language, Chichewa. This might not sound like an incredible feat, but for many children in developing countries around the world, especially girls, literacy is elusive. Poor education systems, untrained teachers and a lack of textbooks in local languages are just a few of the obstacles that hinder education for all in countries like Malawi. Full Text» 


Inclusive Education and the World Education Forum 2015
Date: 05/20/2015 Description: Young students color worksheets at a school in Kingston, Jamaica - State Dept ImageDipnote (May 20): "I’m happy to say that thanks to laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (whose 25th and 40th anniversaries we celebrate this year), the discrimination I experienced as a child is no longer lawful. We continue to work to improve access to education for students with disabilities in the United States, so that inclusive education is not the exception it was when I was growing up, and students with disabilities can obtain the skills and qualifications they need to be competitive in the labor market." Full Text »


Condemning Escalating Violence in South Sudan
(May 20)
: The United States condemns the intensified fighting and violence in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states in South Sudan by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the armed opposition, and forces led by General Johnson Olony that have led to massive new displacements and had a devastating effect on civilians. We call on all sides to silence the guns immediately, permit the UN Mission in South Sudan to investigate the sites of all alleged human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and allow all humanitarian workers immediate, free and unobstructed access to conflicted-affected communities regardless of their locations. Full Text»


#WorldEducationForum: Building A Powerful New Education Agenda To Transform Lives
Date: 05/19/2015 Description: Girls walk to school in India - State Dept ImageDipnote (May 19): While more children than ever are in primary school, a goal set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000, the world needs to continue to push ahead because inequities remain. Too many children are in school, but aren’t learning. Too many children are out of school, not learning. And, too many children -- especially marginalized groups defined by socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender and disability -- are not transitioning to secondary school, much less vocational or higher education, to gain the literacy and other skills needed to be escape poverty and become global citizens. Full Text»


An Open and Secure Internet: We Must Have Both
Date: 05/18/2015 Description: Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech about Internet freedom and cybersecurity on May 18, 2015, before an audience at Korea University in Seoul, Republica of Korea. - State Dept Image(May 18):  In a speech at Korea University Secretary Kerry discussed the importance of an open and secure Internet. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry underscored that the United States believes that the Internet should be open and accessible to everyone. Full Text»

 


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»


Why Multilateralism Matters - Remarks to Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce
Date: 05/24/2015 Description: Permanent Representative to the UN Pamela Hamamoto © USUN ImagePermanent Representative to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva Pamela Hamamoto (June 2, 2015) Since I arrived in Geneva almost a year ago, there have been quite a number of high profile issues that have kept us busy, including working with the World Health Organization on the response to the Ebola crisis and repeated visits by Secretary Kerry – including this past weekend – as part of the negotiations with Iran. Full Text»


Opening Remarks at the World Food Program Executive Board
Assistant Secretary Sheba Crocker (May 24):
"We’re here today because the World Food Program is a valued partner for each of our countries. I would like to begin by thanking the women and men of WFP for the inspiring contribution they make every day to feeding people in desperate need around the world. I saw this first hand in the wake of the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami, when I was working on the UN’s recovery effort. WFP was at the forefront of the response effort in Aceh and other hard-hit places. Today, WFP is on the front lines in places like Syria, Yemen, Nepal, Somalia, and not least in Ebola-affected West Africa, where we are pleased to see a fragile but improving situation." 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»


Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom Travel to Paris for Jazz Day
Washington, DC (Apr. 28): 
Deputy Secretary Higginbottom will travel to Paris to mark the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) fourth annual International Jazz Day. During an April 29 reception to honor visiting jazz legends, the Deputy Secretary will make remarks highlighting the American origins of jazz and its evolution into an international language of peace, tolerance, and understanding. Full Text»


Remarks at the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference
Date: 04/27/2015 Description: Secretary Kerry participates in the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations. - State Dept ImageSecretary of State John Kerry (Apr. 27): "I am pleased to stand here today representing a President and an Administration that is committed to the vision of a world without nuclear weapons and to taking the prudent actions that are necessary to one day make that possible. Now, as most of you know, this summer the world marks 70 years since representatives from dozens of countries came together in San Francisco to sign the United Nations Charter. In doing so, they pledged to save humankind from the scourge of war and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom." Full Text»


Remarks on Follow-up and Review of Financing for Development and Means of Implementation
U.S. Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Tony Pipa (Apr.  24):
 "For today, we see no dividing line between the principles that define a strong review framework for Financing for Development, and a follow-up process for the broader Post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Certainly there will be different sources and kinds of data and different layers of reporting at the international, regional and national levels. But this complexity already applies across the agenda, and the fundamental principles of our approach must be consistent throughout. We believe strongly in one, integrated framework for reviewing the post-2015 development agenda and Financing for Development." Full Text»


Assistant Secretary Crocker Travel to Geneva and Copenhagen
Washington DC (Apr. 17):
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker will be in Geneva April 20 – 22 to co-chair the spring meeting of the Geneva Group. The Geneva Group consists of seventeen of the largest contributors to the United Nations (UN) budget. The group meets regularly to discuss and pursue measures to promote budget discipline and improve transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness across the UN system. Full Text»


Food for Peace Boot Camp Trains Officers To Combat Global Hunger
Date: 04/24/2015 Description: Elizabeth Petrovski poses with farmers that she interviewed as part of a needs assessment during food for peace bot camp in Zimbabwe. - State Dept ImageDipNote (Apr. 24): Boot camp usually conjures up images of new military recruits being subjected to fiery drill sergeants, endless marching, agonizing calisthenics, and weapons training -- remember Bill Murray’s character in the film Stripes? Preparing soldiers for combat is important for national security. Boot camp at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Food for Peace also trains officers in security -- but in this case it is food security: making sure people have enough nutritious food to survive. I recently had the opportunity to attend a Food for Peace Boot Camp in Zimbabwe where, as a complement to my policy background, I learned how decisions are made on whether to send U.S. assistance to countries suffering from acute hunger. Full Text»


Don’t Forget About Syria
DipNote (Apr. 15):
In Kuwait on March 31, the international community pledged more than $3.3 billion to alleviate suffering brought on by the crisis in Syria. The pledges, which included $508 million from the United States, will help millions of people affected by the crisis this year, but they did not meet the $8.4 billion dollars needed under UN appeals. This gap between needs and resources raises important issues about the most severe crisis of our time. Full Text»


GPOI Delivers Heavy Engineering Equipment to Nepal for Peacekeeping Missions
Date: 04/15/2015 Description: U.S. military personnel deliver heavy engineering equipment in Nepal. © Nepal Office of Defense CooperationDipNote (Apr. 15): In 2005 the United States established the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), a State Department funded program dedicated to building international capacity to conduct peacekeeping operations. The program works closely with the Department of Defense to develop peacekeeping capabilities in partner countries around the world. Since GPOI’s inception, program implementers have supported Nepal’s ambitious efforts to train and equip its peacekeeping forces. Full Text»


U.S. National Statement to the UN Crime Congress
Remarks (Apr. 13):
Thank you, Mr. President. The United States delegation is grateful to the Government of Qatar for its hospitality this week, and for its leadership in organizing and hosting a meaningful and productive Crime Congress. Mr. President, we are here this week to discuss the linkages between crime prevention, criminal justice, and sustainable development. It is clear that there can be no prosperity without security, and that there can be no security without effective, transparent, and responsive governance under the rule of law. Full Text»


The 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report: What Lessons and Challenges Will Shape the Post-2015 Global Education World?
Date: 04/09/2015 Description: Children study and practice writing at a school in India. © AP ImageDipNote (Apr. 9): 2015 is a monumental year for the world's global education goals. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end this year as do the Education for All (EFA) goals which were adopted during the World Education Conference in Dakar, Senegal in 2000. Today the 12th and final edition of the Global Monitoring Report (GMR), 'Education for All (EFA) 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges' launches charting progress of the six EFA goals. Full Text»


World Health Day: Food Safety and Food Security
DipNote (Apr. 7):
World Health Day serves as an important occasion to recognize the achievements and challenges in the global health community. While health emergencies such as Ebola and polio have taken over the headlines, we must not forget the critical linkages that food and nutrition have with health and other development issues. This year’s World Health Day highlights the importance of food safety -- which directly impacts both food security and the global health agenda. Full Text»


Making Progress on Health Now and Post-2015
Date: 04/07/2015 Description: Woman farmer works in a potato field, © AP ImageDipNote (Apr. 7): While the world has made significant progress, the international community must continue to mobilize action to address malnutrition and pressing global health challenges. We aim at nothing less than a grand convergence in health, where the developing world enjoys health outcomes similar to those in the developed world. As the end date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) rapidly approaches, the United States strongly supports a Post-2015 Development Agenda that addresses the unfinished business of the MDGs: to end preventable child and maternal deaths, realize the promise of an AIDS-free generation, and keep the world safe and secure from infectious disease and emerging threats. Full Text»


UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Secretary of State John Kerry (Apr. 4):
The observance of UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on April 4 allows the United States to take pride in its efforts to address the humanitarian impact of these deadly devices on civilian populations around the world. Nonetheless, landmines and other unexploded ordnance continue to endanger civilians in over 60 countries across the globe. We must make that our focus during the coming year. Full Text»


Climate Change: The Defining Challenge of our Generation
Date: 03/31/2015 Description: Steam and smoke is seen over a coal burning power plant. © AP ImageDipNote (Mar. 31): Today the United States took an important step and formally submitted its commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry underscored the United States commitment to playing a leading role in the global effort to address climate change, calling it the “defining challenge of our generation.” Full Text»


Submission of the U.S. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Secretary of State John Kerry (Mar. 31)
: "I was in Beijing with President Obama last November when he outlined the United States’ ambitious post-2020 greenhouse gas emissions target alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. At a joint press conference, our nations each outlined bold climate change and clean energy objectives. For our part, the United States committed to cut our emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2025 – which would put us on the path to economy-wide reductions of around 80 percent by mid-century." Full Text»


Remarks at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, Kuwait City, Kuwait
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power (Mar. 31): "
Countries must close the widening gap between what we are providing and what the Syrian people desperately need. That is why President Obama sent me here today to announce that the United States is pledging $507 million, in addition to the nearly $3.2 billion we have provided since the conflict began. We are directing this aid to help meet Syrians’ immediate needs, such as treating more than 2 million patients in U.S.-supported hospitals and clinics, and feeding nearly 7 million people." Full Text»


Syria: The Greatest Humanitarian Crisis in a Generation Demands the Response of a Generation 
Date: 03/24/2015 Description: U.S. will provide nearly $508 million in additional life-saving assistance to benefit those affected by the war in Syria. - State Dept ImageDipNote (Mar. 31): U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power led the U.S. Delegation to the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria today. The pledging conference hosted and sponsored by the State of Kuwait, raised financial resources to respond to humanitarian needs in Syria and neighboring countries resulting from the ongoing conflict. Full Text»


Why You Should Still Care About Syria
Date: 03/30/2015 Description: Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, washes cothes at a displaced camp, near the Turkish border with Syria. © AP ImageDipNote (Mar. 31): This month, the Syrian conflict entered its fifth year. The relentless fighting has taken a catastrophic toll, making Syria the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. More than 220,000 people have lost their lives and more than 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria–3 million more than a year ago. More than half of the entire Syrian population has fled their homes due to the violence, and an entire generation of Syrians–like Amina–are losing their childhood. Full Text»


On the Ground in South Sudan: Delivering Humanitarian and Food Assistance Against The Odds
Date: 07/25/2013 Location: South Sudan Description: Relief food arrives in South Sudan.  © USAID ImageDipNote (Mar. 28): Only three short years ago, the South Sudanese people saw their long struggle for independence culminate with the birth of the world’s newest nation. The current conflict robs them of the opportunity to enjoy peace, stability, and prosperity. WFP is one of the U.S. Government’s most stalwart partners in helping the people of South Sudan, as well as in providing humanitarian assistance for Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, Ebola-affected countries and other crises around the world. Full Text»


Key U.S. Outcomes at the UN Human Rights Council 28th Session 

Fact Sheet (Mar. 27): The outcomes of the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) underscored the importance of robust U.S. engagement at the Council, where the United States continues to work with countries from all regions to address urgent human rights concerns. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement to the Council during the high-level segment reaffirmed that U.S. leadership has helped to keep the Council at the forefront of international efforts to promote and protect human rights. Full Text»


The Goals and Targets Session of the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiation Process
U.S. Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Tony Pipa (Mar. 26)
: "We want to begin our discussion of goals and targets by first reinforcing our appreciation for this group’s collective effort during the Open Working Group. That experience built a strong foundation of shared vocabulary, a formidable evidence base from which to draw, understanding of mutual interests and concerns, and of course a report that serves as a guide for our discussions here. We recognize as well that we build these goals and targets on a strong lineage from the Millennium Development Goals and the Rio+20 Conference, and that we must thus use their lessons wisely." Full Text»


With U.S. Support, El Salvador Grows as an International Peacekeeper
Date: 03/24/2015 Description: DipNote: With U.S. Support, El Salvador Grows as an International Peacekeeper -- Salvadoran UN Peacekeepers. © AP ImageDipNote (Mar. 24): El Salvador is a founding partner in the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) -- a U.S. Government-funded security assistance program working to meet the growing global demand for peacekeepers. This month, with support from the GPOI program, El Salvador took a major step with its first independent deployment of 90 Salvadoran peacekeepers in support of the United Nations-led stabilization effort in Mali. Full Text»


From Hyogo to Sendai: A New Action Plan for Resilience
Date: 03/23/2015 Description: Man walks in flooded ricef field following Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines. © AP ImageDipNote (Mar. 23): Last week, I led the U.S. delegation to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. The result: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Establishing ambitious targets, this framework includes goals of reducing mortality, minimizing economic and infrastructure losses, and getting countries to commit to disaster risk reduction strategies. Full Text»


U.S. Delegation to the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
Washington, DC (Mar. 17):
The Department of State is pleased to announce the U.S. Delegation attending the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held March 9–20, 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York. Full Text»


The Future of UN Peace Operations
Date: 03/10/2015 Description: Participants of U.S. Institute for Peace event on the ''Future of UN Peace Operations.
 © USIPDipNote (Mar. 13): Peacekeeping operations are central to our collective determination to promote peace and security around the world. It is the right time for the international community to come together to ensure that the UN’s blue helmets are as effective as possible, and continue to offer the way to a stable peace for those who have seen conflict. Full Text»


Assistant Secretary Crocker Remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Assessing the United Nations at Seventy
Date: 03/12/2015 Description: Assistant Secretary Crocker at the Council on Foreign Relations. - State Dept ImageAssistant Secretary Crocker (Mar. 12): "Seventy years ago, the need for an international body to provide a convening authority and a constraint for disputing nations was obvious. And though it is true that since that day in San Francisco there have been few constants on the international stage, it is also true that a body that was conceived primarily as a means to prevent war among the great powers of the world has met that fundamental objective." Full Text»


Our Next 'Beijing Moment': Achieving Gender Equality by 2030
DipNote (Mar. 11):
Twenty years ago, tens of thousands of people gathered in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women, where 189 governments made significant commitments to advance gender equality and the empowerment of all women, everywhere. As we reflect back on the unprecedented progress to translate the Beijing Platform for Action into concrete actions, this year’s 20th anniversary and the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women offer an opportunity for us to look at how far we’ve come to advance gender equality, both here in the United States and around the world. Full Text»


Deputy Secretary Blinken Remarks at the U.S. Institute for Peace on the Future of UN Peace Operations
Date: 03/10/2015 Description: Deputy Secretary Blinken at the U.S. Institute for Peace. March 10, 2015. © USIP ImageDeputy Secretary Blinken (Mar. 10): "The international community took a meaningful step forward in bolstering peacekeeping capacity in September at the UN Summit. Nearly one-third of the more than 30 countries in attendance announced they were considering new contributions of infantry battalions or force enablers to UN missions. Some nations re-affirmed their long-standing commitments, including Bangladesh and the Netherlands, and others offered to participate for the first time, like Colombia." Full Text»
 


Assistant Secretary Crocker Remarks at the U.S. Institute for Peace on the Future of UN Peace Operations
Date: 03/10/2015 Description: Assistant Secretary Crocker at the U.S. Institute for Peace. © USIPAssistant Secretary Crocker (Mar. 10): "Last September, in New York, I participated in the Peacekeeping Summit co-hosted by Vice President Biden, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Rwanda, Japan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. And the enthusiasm in the room and the commitment of the Summit participants to contribute to UN peacekeeping missions and to help fill key gaps was palpable. Our hope is that today’s event will build off that enthusiasm and that it will be one additional step on the path to strengthening and reforming UN peace operations and UN peacekeeping." Full Text»


ISIL's Destruction of Historical Heritage and Archeological Treasures
Secretary Kerry (Mar. 6): "
I am deeply disturbed by reports that ISIL has extended its destruction of Iraq’s historical treasures to the ancient archeological site of Nimrud. These depraved acts are an assault on the heritage of the Iraqi and Syrian people by an organization with a bankrupt and toxic ideology." Full Text»


Advancing Universal Values at the UN Human Rights Council
DipNote (Mar. 2):
We support the HRC because we strongly believe in its mission and its possibilities. We know that at best the Council can be a valuable means for reminding every nation of its commitments and obligations to human rights and for holding countries accountable when they fail to meet international standards. Full Text»


Secretary Kerry Press Availability in Geneva, Switzerland
Secretary Kerry (Mar. 2): "
A little while ago, as I think you know, I had the opportunity to address the UN Human Rights Council here in Geneva. And since the United States made the decision to re-engage on the council, we have worked hard to try to drive a number of significant steps to be able to bring new levels of international attention to some of the world’s most egregious human rights violations, and also to focus on some of the worst abusers – particularly, obviously, we have focused on North Korea and Syria." Full Text»


28th Session of the Human Rights Council
Date: 03/02/2015 Description: Secretary of State John Kerry addresses delegates in the Human Rights Chamber at the United Nations Palais des Nations on March 2, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland. - State Dept ImageSecretary Kerry (Mar. 2): "The moral standard that summons us all here and unites us in common action does not belong to any one nation or continent. The fundamental struggle for dignity has been a driving force in all human history worldwide, and what drives us are a set of universal values and aspirations." Full Text»
 


Assistant Secretary Crocker Travel to Geneva and Vienna
Date: 02/27/2015 Description: Assistant Secretary Crocker and Ambassador Harper at the Human Rights Council - State Dept ImageWashington, DC (Feb. 27): Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker  accompanied Secretary of State John Kerry to Geneva, Switzerland for the high-level segment of the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Full Text»

 


Nomination of Dr. Chris Field as Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Washington, DC (Feb. 27):
The United States is pleased to announce the nomination of Dr. Chris Field to serve as chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading scientific body for the assessment of climate change. Dr. Field, a director at the Carnegie Institution for Science and professor at Stanford University, has served as co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group II since 2008, and has delivered two major assessments during this term. Full Text»


Secretary Kerry Travel to Geneva, Montreux, Riyadh, and London
Washington, DC (Feb. 26):
Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, on March 2, to address the high-level segment of the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. While in Geneva, the Secretary also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss Ukraine and regional issues of common interest. Full Text»


United States Hosts First Ever U.S.-India Dialogue on UN and Multilateral Issues
Washington, DC (Feb. 18):
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker hosted the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Vikas Swarup at the Department of State for the U.S.-India Dialogue on UN and Multilateral Issues on February 18. This dialogue was an opportunity for the two nations to discuss a wide range of important issues. Full Text»


United States Provides $125 Million to the World Food Program for the Syria Crisis
Washington, DC (Feb. 17):
Increasing its commitment to help those affected by the crisis in Syria, the United States is providing an additional $125 million in humanitarian assistance to the UN World Food Program (WFP), which feeds nearly six million Syrians and refugees from Syria every month. Full Text»


UN Security Council Resolution 2199 on ISIL
New York, NY (Feb. 12):
Adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, this resolution provides for a range of tools, including sanctions and other binding measures, to degrade these terrorist organizations' ability to carry out brutal attacks. It focuses extensively on terrorist financial support networks, particularly ISIL's raising of funds through oil smuggling, looting of antiquities, kidnapping for ransom and other illicit activities. Fact Sheet»


Submission of U.S. Universal Periodic Review Report
Washington, DC (Feb. 6):
On February 2, the United States submitted its report as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The U.S. Government will present its report in a dialogue with the UPR Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on May 11. Full Text»


International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Secretary Kerry (Feb. 6):
I’ve been Secretary of State for two years now and in all my travels, one of the most horrific and searing things I’ve witnessed is seeing firsthand the destruction to young women’s lives wrought by female genital mutilation and cutting. It has to end. We have to speak out. We cannot be afraid to talk about this and, uncomfortable as it may be, call it by its name: violence, plain and simple. Full Text»


Nomination of 10 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to UNESCO World Heritage List
Washington, DC (Jan. 30):
The United States is pleased to announce the nomination of a group of 10 buildings in seven states designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for inclusion on the World Heritage List. The UNESCO World Heritage List recognizes the “outstanding universal value” of the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet. Full Text» 


Announcement of Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Washington, DC (Jan. 28):
Mr. Pipa will lead U.S. engagement and negotiations during the intergovernmental process at the United Nations, where the global community will work to define—and agree upon—an ambitious agenda on sustainable development for decades to come. The negotiations will culminate in a presidential summit at the United Nations this coming September. Full Text»


The Future of Agriculture in Mozambique: Entrepreneurs
Date: 01/28/2015 Description: DipNote: Lucas Mujuju with S Soja (Only Soy) his soy-based drinkable yogurt  - State Dept ImageDipNote (Jan. 28): Farmers in Mozambique, like those in other developing countries I have visited, consistently said they want one thing most of all – to move beyond subsistence farming to a modern agricultural economy. They seek business skills to improve and diversify their production, so that they can increase their incomes and provide more opportunities for their families. At almost every stop, I heard about the acute need for the physical and financial infrastructure and commercial environment that will make this possible. Mozambican farmer and entrepreneur Lucas Mujuju is an example of how this can work. Full Text»


Ambassador Power’s Remarks at a General Assembly Meeting on Anti-Semitism
Ambassador Power (Jan. 22):
Today we are taking a historic step by holding the first-ever meeting in the General Assembly on tackling this long-standing and growing problem. The United States is proud to have joined 36 other nations in calling for this meeting last October. But unprecedented as this step may be, and in addition to the commitments that we hope countries will announce today, we urge everyone in this room to return to their capitals with the urgency and energy this monstrous global problem demands, to turn words into long overdue actions. Governments cannot do this alone; we have to rally civil society partners around this effort, including diverse religions and ethnicities, human rights groups and civil rights groups. Full Text»


2015 is the UN International Year of Light
DipNote (Jan. 22):
By proclaiming 2015 the International Year of Light, the UN endeavors to raise awareness of the centrality of light and light-based technologies to our lives, our future, and to the overall benefit of society. Activities on national, regional, and international levels have been planned for IYL 2015, and people of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to participate. A consortium of hundreds of worldwide partners including scientific societies, educational and research institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector have actively coordinated to promote and celebrate the significance of light, and light based technologies, to human health, art, scientific inquiry, and development. Full Text»


Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom Hosts Youth Roundtable on the Future of Development with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah as Part of action/2015 Global Campaign
Date: 01/14/2015 Description: Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and USAID Administrator Shah With Action/2015 Participants - State Dept ImageWashington, DC (Jan. 14): The 15-year-old students will meet with Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah to discuss their hopes for tackling some of the world’s biggest development challenges, their vision of what the world will look like in 2030, and their ideas for a successful Post-2015 Development Agenda, the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals. Discussion topics will center on tackling global development challenges in energy access, global health, hunger and food security, and opportunities for women and girls. These teens were born in 2000, the year that the UN launched the Millennium Development Goals, and they will be the generation for which the Sustainable Development Goals developed later this year will have the largest impact. Full Text»


Ambassador Power’s Remarks at the University of Louisville McConnell Center
Ambassador Power (Jan. 12):
While this isolationist view exists, President Obama, Leader McConnell, and millions of Americans recognize that we must work together to ensure continued U.S. leadership in the world. We understand that we cannot retrench. We cannot back down from these great challenges around the world today, in which our security and our principles are on the line. And we know we need to make this case to the American people. You see evidence of our shared commitment to engage with the world in the way America has responded to three foreign policy challenges of our time: bending the curve of a deadly Ebola outbreak; confronting violent extremism; and advancing freedom and democracy in a decades-long military dictatorship, Burma. In all three of these instances, our ability to marshal America’s unparalleled strength behind a single goal has changed and saved lives, and advanced both our national security interests and our values. Full Text»


U.S. Government Contributes $1 Million to IAEA in Ebola Fight
Washington, DC (Jan. 8):
The U.S. Government has contributed $1 million to the International Atomic Energy Agency for a new project that will improve and streamline efforts to diagnose the Ebola virus in Africa. Of the total U.S. contribution, $650,000 is provided through the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative and $350,000 through other extra-budgetary contributions to the IAEA. The IAEA’s project will provide high-quality training and cutting-edge equipment based on nuclear science applications to teams of virologists in 11 African countries—Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Uganda—to help them more quickly and safely diagnose emerging diseases, including Ebola. Full Text» 


Feed the Future: Progress in the Goal of Ending Hunger
DipNote (Jan. 8):
For generations, the United States has been a leader in providing development assistance across the globe to alleviate suffering. But global food price spikes and resulting instability in 2007 and 2008 were a wake-up call: More needed to be done to break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. The answer: Unlock the potential of agriculture as the key to reducing hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition through an initiative that became Feed the Future. In just a few short years, Feed the Future is already changing the face of hunger and poverty for some of the world's poorest families. Full Text» 


U.S. Welcomes Robust UN Electoral Observation Mission to Burundi
Washington, DC (Jan. 7):
The United States welcomes the start of the UN Electoral Observation Mission to Burundi (MENUB) on January 1. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as it once again becomes a stand-alone entity within the UN system. Although much has been accomplished in Burundi since the end of its civil war, much remains to be done. With national elections in Burundi beginning in May, MENUB has an important role to play in supporting a peaceful and inclusive electoral process that enables the people of Burundi to continue to build a more stable and prosperous society. Full Text» 



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