Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post.
Here are the highlights from This Week at State:
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at U.S. Taliban Peace Deal Signing Ceremony
On February 29, Secretary Pompeo traveled to Doha, Qatar and attended the U.S.-Taliban Peace Deal Signing Ceremony. He also met with Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Left #Qatar knowing that the world is a safer place, with solid progress towards a political settlement that will end the war in #Afghanistan. Thank you to Qatar and our allies and partners for their support of peace in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/j6C9B6DxDT
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 1, 2020
Israel: Central to the Middle East’s Future
On March 2, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks at American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) 2020 Policy Conference.
During his remarks the Secretary said:
“The more the Middle East embraces Israel, the brighter the future will be. It’s really quite simple.
We stand with Israel.
We stand for peace in the Holy Land.
We stand with the great Israeli people.
And we stand for the unbreakable bond between our two great nations, rooted in our shared traditions of freedom and equality.”
Department of State Guidance to U.S. Companies Regarding the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Database Report Release
In a March 2 statement, Secretary Pompeo published guidance to U.S. Companies regarding the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Database Report release. The United States has long opposed the creation of a database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories which facilitates the discriminatory boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) campaign and delegitimizes Israel.
We urge @UN member states to join us in repudiating publication of the High Commissioner for Human Rights database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories and to oppose any expansion of the mandate. We will stand up for our companies & stand by our ally Israel.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 2, 2020
Institution of a Personnel Cap on Designated PRC State Media Entities
In a March 2 statement, the U.S. government instituted a personnel cap on certain PRC-controlled state media entities in the United States – specifically, the five entities that were designated by the U.S. State Department on February 18, 2020, as foreign missions of the People’s Republic of China. This cap limits the number of Chinese citizens permitted to work for these organizations in the United States at any given time.
2020 International Women of Courage Awards
On March 4, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and First Lady of the United States Melania Trump hosted the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards at the U.S. Department of State to honor 12 extraordinary women from around the world.
Today, @SecPompeo honored the #WomenOfCourage — a remarkable group of women who exemplify exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. Learn more: https://t.co/ODHRUxsJ2J pic.twitter.com/LkctiDz6fD
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 5, 2020
In its 14th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the Department of State has recognized 146 awardees from 77 countries. Following the IWOC ceremony, the 12 awardees will participate in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) visiting various cities throughout the country, before reconvening in Los Angeles for the conclusion of their program on March 16.
Proud to stand alongside @FLOTUS to honor these strong, courageous women who against all odds overcame barriers, and stood boldly for what is just. Our solidarity with these #WomenofCourage, and the many others like them around the world, will never waver. @StateGWI pic.twitter.com/U84cxXkJJG
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 5, 2020
This year the awardees are: Zarifa Ghafari (Afghanistan), Lucy Kocharyan (Armenia), Shahla Humbatova (Azerbaijan), Ximena Galarza (Bolivia), Claire Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Sayragul Sauytbay (Ele Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture), Susanna Liew (Malaysia), Amaya Coppens (Nicaragua), Jalila Haider (Pakistan), Amina Khoulani (Syria), Yasmin al Qadhi (Yemen) , and Dr. Rita Nyampinga (Zimbabwe). To learn more about these courageous women please read this media note.
America Announces New Humanitarian Assistance
On March 3, the United States announced two new increases in funding for humanitarian assistance. The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance around the world.
For the Syria Crisis Response
In Turkey, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Kelly Craft, announced $108 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria in response to the ongoing crisis caused by Assad regime, Russian, and Iranian forces. This includes nearly $56 million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and more than $52 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It brings the total U.S. humanitarian response to more than $10.6 billion since the start of the Syria crisis.
For Displaced Rohingya and Members of Other Affected Communities in Bangladesh and Burma
The United States announced more than $59 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh and internally displaced Rohingya and members of other affected communities in Burma. This funding will help address the emergency needs of more than 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh, many of whom are Rohingya women and children from Rakhine State, Burma, as well as the needs of Bangladeshi host communities.
The United States Celebrates the the 50th Anniversary of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
March 5, 2020 was the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The United States applauds its many milestones over the years in making the world a safer and more prosperous place.
IAEA Reports Nuclear Concern in Iran
In a March 5 statement, Secretary Pompeo addresses the two new reports IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi issued that heighten already serious concerns that the Islamic Republic of Iran is hiding its nuclear material and nuclear activities. He said “The international community must speak clearly and with one voice: full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA and compliance with the NPT is the only path forward for Iran.”
The United States Sanctions the Nicaraguan National Police and Three Commissioners
On March 5, the United States announced new financial sanctions against the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) and three NNP commissioners, Juan Antonio Valle Valle (Valle Valle), Luis Alberto Perez Olivas (Perez Olivas), and Justo Pastor Urbina (Urbina) for playing a role in serious human rights abuses and seeking to silence pro-democracy voices in Nicaragua.
ICC Decision on Afghanistan
In a March 5 statement, Secretary Pompeo discussed the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate alleged activities of the Taliban and U.S. and Afghan personnel related to Afghanistan.
“The United States is not a party to the ICC, and we will take all necessary measures to protect our citizens from this renegade, so-called court.”
Secretary Pompeo Meets with Foreign Leaders
Each week, we recap the latest from the U.S. Department of State and cover a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives. To learn more, go to www.state.gov and follow @SecPompeo, @StateDeptSPOX, @StateDept and Facebook.