Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero will travel to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from October 2 to 6 to discuss the promotion of democratic institutions and processes, human rights issues, and global issues related to peace, security, and stability. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Todd Robinson will accompany Under Secretary Otero on the trip.
During her visit to Burundi, Under Secretary Otero will engage with senior government officials and civil society representatives to discuss trafficking in persons, human rights, as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation. She will also meet with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to discuss common security and development objectives.
In the DRC, Under Secretary Otero will hold meetings with senior Congolese officials, civil society representatives, youth leaders, the private sector and international organizations to engage on a range of issues including conflict minerals, elections, mobile banking, human rights, health, and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). In addition to a stop in Kinshasa, she will visit South Kivu province where she will tour a hospital that treats SGBV victims and engage with a range of actors on working to disrupt the link between the minerals trade and armed groups.
As Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero oversees the bureaus of Population, Refugees and Migration; Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor and the Office of Global Youth Issues. She also serves as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.