MS ORTAGUS: Well, thank you, everybody, for being on this Friday afternoon. I’m very, very excited for this briefing because it’s something, I think as many of you know, that is personally important to me.
So yesterday, we released the plan to implement the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security. This strategy focuses on supporting women leaders around the world who make contributions to global security, including by ensuring that the State Department and its personnel have the necessary skills and tools to carry out this very important mission.
The United States is leading by example in women’s empowerment on the global stage. Just a few days ago, we were proud to announce the fact that for the first time ever, 12 out of the 24 directorates at the National Security Council are led by women.
I am joined for this on-the-record briefing by my friend, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley Currie. Ambassador Currie will offer brief opening remarks, and then we’ll turn it to your questions. Please note that while this call is on the record, the contents of this briefing is embargoed until the end of the call. And as a reminder, you can dial 1 and then 0 to go ahead and get in the question queue.
Go ahead, Kelley.
AMBASSADOR CURRIE: Thank you so much, Morgan. It is great for me to be able to talk about something that our office, the Office of Global Women’s Issues, works so hard on every day. It’s such a huge part of our work, and we’ve been looking forward to being able to make this implementation plan public for some time now.
So we’re really excited that yesterday we released, along with DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and our colleagues at USAID, our individual agencies’ implementation plans to work against the 2019 U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security.
And as some of you may know, that strategy was developed in response to the 2017 Women, Peace, and Security Act that President Trump signed. It was one of the first pieces of legislation he signed upon coming into office, and it made the United States the first country in the world to have comprehensive legislation on women, peace, and security.
And so what these plans, these four plans do, they take us from strategy to action around the world, and it gives us the ability to work on the ground to empower women, ensure their rights are respected and their voices are heard, and it gives our team – our team members – sorry – our team members here at the State Department the tools that they need to carry out that important mission set.
And here at the department we’re focused on four areas: policy, diplomacy, programs, and partnership. We’re weaving these Women, Peace, and Security tenets throughout our foreign policy apparatus to make it part of our DNA as an agency. We’re working with our embassies to ensure that women have a voice in their communities and government through a whole range of activities and programs. And we’re working, as I said, to make sure that the State Department personnel have the tools and training that they need to implement this plan every day, no matter where they are or what kind of crisis or conflict or other situation they’re working through. We’re building relationships every day that help us to carry out this important strategy and that give us the ability to impact situations on the ground in a positive way, and to bring women into conversations that they’ve historically been excluded from.
So I think, as you can see from Morgan’s great video that she did yesterday, from the statement from the department, from the level of enthusiasm that we have and that we’ve gotten from all of our colleagues across the department here as we’ve set to build out this plan, this is a priority for the State Department. Around the world we’ve seen the results when women are empowered to speak to their own futures. And from Afghanistan to Syria, from Sudan to Colombia, today more than ever women are leading and driving change. And they’re doing it with support from the United States.
We know for a fact that when women are involved in these discussions, whether it’s the local issues in their own communities, or getting a seat at the negotiating table for the most critical issues of their countries, that it helps their countries to become more stable, more peaceful, and more prosperous.
And with that, I welcome your questions.
OPERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, once again, if you have a question, please press 1 0 on your telephone keypad.
At this time we are showing no questions in queue. You may continue.
MR BROWN: If you have a question, go ahead and press 1 and 0. Okay. Well, it looks like there are none. Ambassador Currie, thank you so much for taking the time out to take this call today. We appreciate you doing that and for all the effort you and others have put into this implementation plan.
AMBASSADOR CURRIE: Okay. I’m glad that we are able to do this. I want to make sure that our colleagues in the media know that they can find the full plan on our website, on the department’s website. Yesterday it was on the front splash page. I’m not sure if it’s still right there, but it’s also on the White House website along with the plans for the other three agencies and the White House’s statements on this issue. And thank you.
MR BROWN: Thanks once again. Thanks for those who dialed in. And with that, I wish you all a good Friday afternoon and a good weekend.