Press Availability on the D.R.C. and the Great Lakes Region
Date: 05/04/2014 Description: Head of UN mission in D.R.C., Martin Kobler met with Secretary of State John Kerry.  © USUN ImageSecretary Kerry (May 4): "I’ve just come from a productive, good meeting with President Kabila and Foreign Minister Tshibanda. We spoke candidly about the enormous opportunities and the challenges that are faced by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and we spoke very candidly also about the ways in which we can make progress going forward. I congratulated the president on the accomplishments that he and his government have achieved, together with the work of MONUSCO, but we also talked about the steps that now need to be taken to provide further stability; increased, broader democracy; greater justice; and a greater amount of economic development for the Congolese people." Full Text» Special Briefing on the D.R.C. with Special Envoy to the Great Lakes and the D.R.K. Russell Feingold» Trip Page»

Commemorating World Press Freedom Day
Secretary Kerry (May 2): "
May 3 we commemorate World Press Freedom Day at a time when for too many, a free press is under assault, and the journalists, bloggers, photographers, essayists, satirists, and essayists who give life to the words “free press” are in danger. People everywhere count on a free press to keep us informed, hold leaders accountable, filter fact from fiction, and unmask false narratives masquerading as truth." Full Statement» Highlights of State Department and USAID Efforts to Support Press and Media Freedom»

International Jazz Day: Living Legacy of the U.S. Jazz Ambassadors
“You can't understand America without understanding jazz.” -- President Barack Obama

Date: 04/30/2014 Description: Jazz Artist Louis Armstrong Departs for South America in 1957. © AP ImageAmanda Hicks (April 30): "In the coldest days of the Cold War, the State Department launched an effort to tell the American story in a new, powerful way to inspire the hearts and minds of people in all corners of the world. To voice the promise and possibility of that story, thoughtful leaders of the time needed something uniquely American, boundlessly creative, and deeply rooted in individual expression. That voice was jazz. In 1956, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., an early promoter of jazz as a global cultural bridge, proposed to send a big band around the world to represent the United States through music. On his cue, the Department of State launched the first tour by a “Jazz Ambassador” -- with none other than jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. On that groundbreaking tour, Gillespie led an orchestra to Southern Europe and the Middle East, drawing huge crowds, creating thousands of new jazz devotees, and altering forever the way in which nations envisaged and employed cultural diplomacy." Full Text»

Combating International Crime: Global Cooperation Conference Brings International Law Enforcement and Security Professionals to New York City
Washington, DC (April 29):
From April 29 to May 3, 45 law enforcement and security professionals from 37 countries will assemble in New York City for the sixth annual “Combating International Crime: Global Cooperation” conference. The participants will explore the structure of the U.S. criminal justice system, and U.S. responses to a range of threats, while developing relationships and partnerships between themselves and American colleagues. Today, cross-border contacts and collaboration are more critical than ever in mitigating threats to the public. Full Text»

Vaccinating the World: World Immunization Week
Date: 04/30/2014 Description: A health worker administers polio vaccine to a child. © AP Image
Andrea Strano (April 28): "Heroically, health workers are on the front line of providing life-saving vaccines to those who need them. Health care workers around the globe brave stigma, civil unrest, dangerous weather, and other threats to complete their mission. Armed only with training, equipment, and vaccinations from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others, these health professionals do the work of the World Health Organization and UNICEF to vaccinate the world. In the 1970s, children’s immunizations reached just 10 percent. Today it is around 79 percent, thanks to global coordination and the aid that the American people provide through USAID and CDC." Full Text»

Appointment of U.S. Special Representative for the Central African Republic
Washington, DC (April 22):
The Bureau of African Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador W. Stuart Symington as Special Representative for the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). As Special Representative, Ambassador Symington will play a leading role in shaping and coordinating U.S. strategy toward the C.A.R. to end the violence, address humanitarian needs, and establish legitimate governance in C.A.R. He will work closely with African, European, and other bi-lateral partners, as well as with the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations, to address the complex security, political, economic, social, and assistance issues arising in C.A.R. Ambassador Symington’s extensive background in, and commitment to Africa, including as the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda and Djibouti and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Niger, make him an ideal candidate to help advance U.S. goals in C.A.R. Full Text»

Geneva Statement on Ukraine
Washington, DC (April 17):
The following Joint Statement was released by the United States, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia.

Begin Text: The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens. All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism. All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated. Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes. Full Text»

U.S. Participation in the Arria Formula Meeting of the UN Security Council on Human Rights in North Korea
Washington, DC (April 17):
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power will engage in interactive discussion on behalf of the United States in the Arria formula meeting for Security Council members on the human rights situation in North Korea at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 17. Ambassador Robert King, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, will travel to New York April 16-17 to attend this important first discussion on human rights in the DPRK by Security Council members. While in New York, Ambassador King will meet with resettled North Koreans, the former members of the Commission of Inquiry, academics who follow DPRK issues, and UN officials. He will also meet with civil society groups, including executive members of the Association of the Family of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea. Ambassador King will return to Washington, D.C. on April 17. The Arria formula meeting was co-sponsored by the United States, France and Australia. Full Text»

U.S. Support for UN Security Council Resolution Authorizing a UN Peacekeeping Operation for the Central African Republic
Press Statement (April 10): The United States commends the United Nations Security Council for its leadership in adopting a forward looking resolution today to address the crisis in C.A.R. Today’s resolution authorizes establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation in September 2014, which will build on the strong work and sacrifices made by the African Union-led International Support Mission in C.A.R. (MISCA) and French forces, as well as the EU forces that will soon join them. The new UN integrated mission in C.A.R. (MINUSCA) will have the responsibility not only to protect civilians and establish a safe environment for delivery of humanitarian assistance, but also to help support the reestablishment of governance, assist in election preparations, facilitate the disarmament and demobilization of combatants, assist in reconciliation, promote and protect human rights, and support the formation of accountability mechanisms for those responsible for human rights abuses. Full Text»

Why Every Girl Should (Literally) Count
U.S. Youth Observer to the UN Tiffany Taylor (Apr. 4): “Every year millions of children around the world are not registered at birth. And considering that approximately one person out of 12 worldwide is a girl or young woman between the ages of 10 and 24, the lack of documentation for one of the fastest-growing segments of the population in developing countries is truly a global issue." Full Text»

U.S. Delegation to the World Urban Forum VII
The Department of State is pleased to announce members of the U.S. Delegation attending the World Urban Forum (WUF) VII, to be held April 5 - April 11, 2014, in Medellin, Colombia.

  • Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (Head of Delegation)
  • Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (Alternate Head of Delegation)
  • Salin Geevarghese, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation, at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Lynette Poulton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Nairobi
  • Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Office of Economic Resilience at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Jennifer Witriol, Associate Director of the Monitoring and Evaluation, Property Rights and Land Policy Team at the Millennium Challenge Cooperation More»

Acting Assistant Secretary Pittman's Travel to Geneva
Washington DC (April 1):
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs H. Dean Pittman will be in Geneva April 3-4 to co-chair Geneva Group consultations. The Geneva Group consists of sixteen of the largest contributors to the United Nations budget. The group meets regularly to discuss and pursue measures to promote budget discipline and improve transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness across the UN system. Acting Assistant Secretary Pittman also will meet with UN leadership in Geneva, including at the World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization. For updates, follow Acting Assistant Secretary Pittman on Twitter @State_IO. Full Text»

Department of State Leads U.S. Delegation to World Telecommunication Development Conference
Washington, DC (Mar. 28):
Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, will be leading the U.S. delegation to the 6th World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates March 30 - April 10. The WTDC is the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) quadrennial conference scheduled to set the development agenda, guidelines and Action Plans for the ITU over the next four years. Last held in Hyderabad, India in 2010, the WTDC is an important multilateral event for international telecommunication and broadband development policy. Full Text»

Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard Travels to Switzerland and Chad
Washington, DC (Mar. 29):
Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard will travel to Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, March 31, 2014 for meetings with officials from United Nations and other international humanitarian organizations. On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Assistant Secretary Richard will travel to Ndjamena, Chad, where she will meet with Chadian government officials and representatives of both international and nongovernmental organizations. Assistant Secretary Richard will also travel to southern Chad with representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to visit refugees from the Central African Republic living in camps as well as Chadians who had been living in the Central African Republic but have had to flee the violence there. Full Text»

Fact Sheet: Key U.S. Outcomes at the UN Human Rights Council 25th Session
Washington, DC (Mar. 28):
The outcomes of the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) underscored the importance of robust U.S. engagement at the Council, where the United States continues to work with a diverse range of countries from all regions to address urgent human rights concerns. U.S. leadership helped to keep the Council at the forefront of international efforts to promote and protect human rights. The United States successfully led two resolutions at this session: one that renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression and another focusing on accountability for human rights abuses and violations in Sri Lanka. More»

Remarks With OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu Before Their Meeting

Secretary of State John Kerry (Mar. 25): "We are just about at the 50 percent removal mark. That’s significant, but the real significance will only be when we get all of the weapons out. Regrettably, the Syrians missed a March 15th date for destruction of facilities. We have some real challenges ahead of us now in these next weeks. We in the United States are convinced that if Syria wanted to, they could move faster. And we believe it is imperative to achieve this goal and to move as rapidly as possible because of the challenges on the ground." Full Text»

Launch of Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative
This first-of-its-kind, global program is dedicated to assisting survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence around the world. To mark the launch of this program, the Department of State hosted experts from around the world to discuss the initiative, including activists from India, Mexico, Nepal, and South Africa. This targeted program addresses the immediate security needs of survivors of severe gender-based violence, as well as individuals under credible threat of imminent attack due to their gender or gender identity. The initiative includes provision of short-term emergency grants to cover medical and psychosocial care, emergency shelter, legal assistance, and other costs. Full Text»

U.S. Support to Regional Efforts to Counter the Lord's Resistance Army
In May 2010, President Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to support regional partners’ efforts to end the atrocities of the LRA in central Africa. For nearly three decades, the LRA has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. As of December 2013, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) estimated that approximately 326,000 people were displaced or living as refugees across the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), and South Sudan as a result of the LRA threat. The United States’ comprehensive, multi-year strategy seeks to help the Governments of Uganda, the C.A.R., the D.R.C., and South Sudan as well as the African Union and United Nations to mitigate and end the threat posed to civilians and regional stability by the LRA. Full Text»

The Global Divide: Health Inequalities Among Women and Children
Date: 03/19/2014 Location: New York City Description: U.S. Youth Observer to the UN at a meeting for the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. © UN ImageU.S. Youth Observer Tiffany Taylor (Mar. 19):
"Research shows that the largest cohort of young people in history are now entering their reproductive years. However, they are being met with limited access to reproductive and sexual information as well as services. If we truly seek to achieve sustainable development, youth must get involved in pushing ahead the United Nations’ agenda on providing reproductive health and education to women and young girls. We must find every opportunity we can to promote the reproductive rights of women and young girls globally." Full Text»

Fact Sheet: Increased U.S. Cooperation with Ukraine
Washington, DC (Mar. 12):
Ukraine is facing a moment of historic challenge and historic opportunity. In the coming months, the Government of Ukraine will need to take steps to restore economic stability and to conduct free, fair, and inclusive presidential elections to allow the Ukrainian people to choose their own future.

During Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s visit to Washington today, we discussed specific steps the United States is taking to support Ukraine at this critical time, including the $1 billion loan guarantee we are working with Congress to provide, and the package of technical and other assistance we are preparing, to meet Ukraine’s priority needs. Specific U.S. assistance measures and initiatives discussed today include the following: Full Text»

U.S. Delegation to the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
The Department of State is pleased to announce the U.S. delegation attending the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to be held, March 10–21, 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York.

  • Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Co-Head of Delegation
  • Ambassador Catherine Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, Co-Head of Delegation
  • Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, U.S. Representative on the UN Economic and Social Council, Deputy Head of Delegation

They were accompanied by five public delegates. The CSW session was live-streamed here. For more information, please click here. Follow the conversation with hashtag #CSW58 on Twitter. Full Text»

International Women’s Day
Secretary Kerry (March 7): "International Women’s Day is a moment to pause and reflect on the contributions of women to the world and to reaffirm our commitment to continued progress on gender equality. It’s also a powerful reminder that women are advancing peace and prosperity around the world in really remarkable ways… So here’s what I’m saying and what we all need to demand: Women must be involved in the decisions that affect us all. They must have a place at the peacekeeping tables and in the tough negotiations following deadly conflict. They must have a seat on the boards of corporations that impact our economies, and they must have a voice in the halls of justice that uphold the rule of law." Full Text»

UN Human Rights Council Convenes in Geneva
Date: 03/04/2014 Description: Dr. Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, addressed the High Level Panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming on ''The Protection and Promotion of the Human Rights of Migrants.''  © U.S. Mission Geneva/Eric BridiersThe UN Human Rights Council meets in Geneva from March 3 - 28, 2014 for its 25th regular session. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall traveled to Geneva, to deliver remarks at the high-level segment. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Paula Schriefer is serving at head of delegation for the remainder of the session. See highlights from the session:

White House Fact Sheet: International Support for Ukraine
President Obama has made clear that the United States will continue to support the Government of Ukraine, including economically. We have been working closely with international partners to develop an assistance package that will provide rapid financial and technical assistance to help Ukraine restore economic stability and conduct free, fair, and inclusive new elections that will allow the Ukrainian people to continue to make democratic choices about their future. The new Ukrainian Government has inherited an economy with enormous potential but that is currently financially fragile and uncompetitive. The Government of Ukraine has said publicly that it will work to meet these urgent challenges. As the government implements important reforms, the United States will work with its bilateral and multilateral partners to ensure that Ukraine has sufficient financing to restore financial stability and return to growth. Full Text

Release of 2013 Human Rights Report
Secretary of State John Kerry (Feb. 27):
"This is about accountability. It’s about ending impunity. And it’s about a fight that has gone on for centuries, as long as human beings have been able to think and write and speak and act on their own. The struggle for rights and dignity couldn’t be more relevant to what we are seeing transpire across the globe. The places where we face some of the greatest national security challenges today are also places where governments deny basic human rights to their nations’ people, and that is no coincidence. And it is particularly no coincidence in an age where people have access and want access to more information and the freedom to be able to act – to access information and to be able to act on the basis of that information. That is what has always characterized democracies and free people." Full Text & Video»

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Discusses Iran During Her Trip
Under Secretary Sherman (Feb 22):
"There is only one measure of success of a comprehensive agreement with Iran, and that is if an agreement means that Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon and that the international community will have assurance in the exclusively peaceful nature of a nuclear program in Iran. That is our objective. We have begun very tough negotiations that will go on through July. We hope to get to a successful end and to a comprehensive agreement at that time. We have set a framework and a timetable for the negotiations." Full Text | Roundtable With Journalists | Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman Travels to Jerusalem, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

UN Security Council Resolution on Syria
Secretary Kerry (Feb 22):
"This could be a hinge-point in the tortured three years of a Syria crisis bereft of hope. This overdue resolution, if fully implemented, will ensure humanitarian aid reaches people in Syria whose very lives depend on it. This is all about saving innocent lives and relieving the burden on Syria's neighboring countries. After three years of slaughter and savagery, people rightfully will question whether progress is possible, but this resolution holds the promise of something real. The proof is on paper. By naming the areas in Syria where sieges must be lifted, demanding that hospitals, schools and other places where civilians gather must be demilitarized, insisting that aid must be allowed to cross borders and follow the most direct routes to the suffering, and by underscoring that attacks against civilians, including barrel bombing, must end, the international community hasn't minced words. This is a resolution of concrete steps to answer the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today." Full Text | Ambassador Power’s Remarks at a Security Council Stakeout Following the Adoption of UNSC Resolution 2139 on Humanitarian Access in Syria

This page contains an IFRAME item that cannot be displayed on mobile devices.

Peacekeeping Missions Strengthen the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Settings
Director Raffi Gregorian (Feb. 20):
"On February 19, the United Nations Security Council met for an open debate on strengthening of the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict settings. The session addressed how the failure of legal institutions can lead to conflict and cause repeated cycles of violence, displacement, humanitarian crisis, and instability. As Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo highlighted in her remarks to the Security Council, “respect for the rule of law is critical for the establishment of stable, secure, and democratic post-conflict societies.” Full Text» | Amb. DiCarlo Remarks at the UN Security Council»

Release of the Final Report of the UN Commission of Inquiry into the Human Rights Situation in the D.P.R.K.
Marie Harf (Feb. 17):
"We strongly welcome and support the final report released by the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.), which provides compelling evidence of widespread, systematic, and grave human rights violations by the D.P.R.K. The COI report reflects the international community’s consensus view that the human rights situation in the D.P.R.K. is among the world’s worst. We urge the D.P.R.K. to take concrete steps – as recommended by the COI – to improve the human rights situation for the North Korean people. The COI’s investigation – through, for example, its public hearings in Seoul, Tokyo, London, and Washington – clearly and unequivocally documents the brutal reality of the D.P.R.K.’s human rights abuses. We continue to work actively with our partners and with international organizations to raise awareness of and address the deplorable human rights conditions in the D.P.R.K." Full Text» | Link to the Final Report on the OHCHR Homepage»

White House Blog: Making the World Safer from Pandemic Threats: A New Agenda for Global Health Security
Date: 02/13/2014 Description: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, left, talks with Lisa Monaco at a meeting about the Global Health Security Agenda in Washington, DC.  © Department of Health and Human ServicesLisa Monaco (Feb. 13): "Today, I joined Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and representatives of more than 25 nations, the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to launch the Global Health Security Agenda, an international effort to enhance our ability to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks of infectious disease threats. This is not just a health challenge – it is a security challenge as well. Infectious diseases have the potential to cause enormous damage in terms of lives lost, economic impact, and ability to recover, just as with nuclear, chemical, or cybersecurity attacks. In today’s interconnected world, they emerge and spread faster than ever before." Full Text»

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Secretary Kerry (February 6):
"Eleven years ago, the United Nations set aside February 6 as the day each year for all of us to reaffirm our commitment to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and stand in solidarity with the women and girls forced to suffer its unspeakable consequences. The facts must shock every conscience into action. All told, about 120 to 140 million women in countries around the world have undergone FGM/C and another 3 million girls are at risk each year. Just as gender-based violence knows no boundaries, this tragedy spans the globe, including among many migrant communities in the United States." Full Text» DipNote»

U.S. Condemns Sectarian Violence in the Central African Republic
Spokesperson Psaki (February 5):
"The United States is deeply concerned by recent sectarian attacks against both Muslims and Christians in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). Clashes during the past few days in the town of Boda reportedly left over 75 dead, most of whom were Muslims. In late January, a convoy carrying mostly Muslims, including ex-Seleka militias, fired on the largely Christian residents of the town of Bocaranga, forcing many to flee. Many Muslim families have fled from their homes and some 50,000 third-country nationals have left the country. In the last year, approximately one million people have been displaced across the country, including some 85,000 new refugees that have fled to neighboring countries." Full Text»

DipNote: U.S. Formally Joins the UN Global Education Initiative
Date: 02/07/2014 Description: Students Hold a Hand-Written Sign for Malala Yousufzai. © AP ImageDAS Nerissa Cook (February 4): "Did you know that 57 million primary-aged children worldwide do not have the opportunity to attend school? Additionally, 69 million adolescents are not able to get a quality education. And of the many children who are fortunate enough to have some formal education, 250 million do not have basic literacy and math skills. These are alarming figures, because data shows that a good education can lead to a better life and a stronger economy." Full Text»

U.S. Designated a Champion Country in the UN Global Education First Initiative
Washington (January 28):
The United States is pleased to announce its designation by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as a UN Global Education First Initiative Champion Country. Launched by the UN Secretary General and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown in 2012, this initiative is an international call to action to raise education to the top of the public agenda by getting every child into school, improving the quality of education, and fostering global citizenship. As a Champion Country, the United States will serve as a global advocate for strategic investments in education, including better use of technology and innovation to enhance learning and workforce development. Full Text»

U.S. Condemns Renewed Violence in Central African Republic
Secretary Kerry (January 26):
"The United States is deeply concerned by renewed inter-religious violence in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). We condemn attacks by both anti-Balaka and Seleka groups in Bangui and the provinces. We are also deeply disturbed by reports that some C.A.R. leaders may be supporting attacks by anti-Balaka and Seleka, respectively, instead of working for peace and reconciliation. Preventing the violence from gaining further momentum and costing more lives will require all of C.A.R.’s leaders, past and present, to be clear in condemning it." Full Text»

U.S. Statement to IAEA Board of Governors
Date: 01/24/2014 Description: Ambassador MacManus -- Official Photo - State Dept ImageAmbassador MacManus (Jan. 24): "This week is an important milestone in the international community’s efforts to resolve concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. On Monday, January 20, implementation of the Joint Plan of Action began. This marks the first time in a decade that Iran has committed to take specific steps that halt progress on its nuclear program and roll back key parts of that program. In particular, Iran is taking steps to address a number of urgent concerns regarding its nuclear program, including its enrichment capacity, its existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, and its prospective ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium at the IR-40 reactor at Arak… Full Text »

Signing of the Cessation of Hostilities between the Government of South Sudan and the Opposition Forces
Washington (Jan. 23):
We congratulate the IGAD mediation team for its crucial work in realizing this critical step in resolving the conflict in South Sudan. The United States continues to stand with the people of South Sudan, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, humanitarian actors, and all those that continue to work under difficult and dangerous circumstances to alleviate the suffering and protect innocent civilians affected by this crisis. Full Text»

Intervention at the Geneva ll International Conference on Syria

Secretary Kerry (Jan. 22): "There is another way forward. We all know it. It is what this conference is organized around. It is the Geneva communique, which has the support of the international community as a peaceful roadmap for transition. And the only thing standing in its way is the stubborn clinging to power of one man, one family. I believe the alternative vision of the Syrian people is one that can gather the respect and support of people all around the world. It is a place that doesn’t force people to flee or live in fear, a Syria that protects the rights of every group. We have not only an opportunity, but we have an obligation to find a way forward so that the people of Syria can choose their leadership, know peace, and for 9 million refugees, finally be able to return home in dignity." Full Text» Press Availability»

Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action Between the P5+1 and Iran and Provision of Limited, Temporary, and Targeted Sanctions Relief
Washington (Jan. 20):
These actions implement U.S. commitments under the Joint Plan of Action, which is designed as a first step toward a peaceful and comprehensive solution to international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

On November 24, 2013, the United States and its partners in the P5+1 reached an initial understanding with Iran that halts progress on its nuclear program and rolls it back in key respects. As outlined in a Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), this initial understanding includes the first meaningful limits on Iran’s nuclear program in close to a decade. In return for these important steps to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, the P5+1 committed to provide Iran with limited, targeted, and reversible sanctions relief for a six-month period. Full Text»

U.S. Deeply Concerned by Widespread Violations and Abuses of Human Rights in the C.A.R.
Date: 01/20/2014 Location: New York City Description: Peter Mulrean, Charge d'Affaires, a.i., U.S. Mission, Delivers statement at Special Session on the C.A.R. © UN ImageCharge d’Affaires Mulrean (Jan. 20): "We welcome the appointment of Ms. Marie Therese Keita Bocoum as the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the C.A.R., given the ongoing dire security situation, and reports of increased human rights violations and abuses since the Council last addressed the C.A.R. in September 2013….The United States remains deeply concerned by the ongoing and widespread violations and abuses of human rights in the C.A.R. We are particularly troubled by the eruption of large-scale, retaliatory cycles of communal violence in December 2013, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and an almost complete breakdown in law and order in the capital Bangui, and across the country. The reports of heinous acts of violence committed against women and children, including killings, mutilations, and rape, are especially troubling." Full Text»

Fact Sheet: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Syrian Crisis
Washington (Jan. 15):
Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced today the United States will provide $380 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the war in Syria. With this additional funding, the United States’ humanitarian assistance since the crisis began is more than $1.7 billion to help those suffering inside Syria, as well as refugees and host communities in the neighboring countries. Full Text»

Additional Humanitarian Assistance for South Sudan
The United States announced $49.8 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help victims of conflict in South Sudan. With this new assistance, the United States has provided more than $300 million in humanitarian assistance in Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 to assist South Sudanese victims of conflict as well as refugees seeking asylum in South Sudan. This new funding includes $24.8 million for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and $7.5 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, for their 2014 programs in South Sudan. Full Text»

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies Leads Journalists on a Visit to Cambodia

Date: 12/13/2013 Description: Ambassador David Lane helps serve food to schoolgirl during his visit to Cambodia.  (Photo taken by Sharon Ketchum, December 2013, US Mission to the UN in Rome.) © UN Image

Ambassador David Lane, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, recently traveled to Cambodia. He visited rural communities and observe how the United States and the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies collaborate to support farmers, businesses, and government officials to improve food security and promote agricultural development in Cambodia. The Ambassador was accompanied by a group of journalists from Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia. They visited a variety of projects run by the U.S. Government, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Ambassador Lane blogged about his trip:

You can view photos from his trip on the U.S. mission to the UN Agencies in Rome Facebook Page.

[This is a mobile copy of More IO Highlights]