Revitalizing Arms Control Through Multilateral Engagement

Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller discusses missile defense, and the START and Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) treaties in Bucharest, Romania, in December 2011. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

By Rich Davis, Director for the Office of Euro-Atlantic Security in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.

In what is to be her last visit to Europe in 2011, Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, visited Brussels, London, Sofia, Bucharest, and Chisinau. She engaged in a Verification Dialogue with the European Union in Brussels, and in a speech delivered at Wilton Park in England, she outlined the efforts the United States has made toward commencing Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty negotiations. She also held constructive conversations reaffirming our commitment to revitalizing conventional arms control in Europe with her counterparts in Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova.

When working together on many issues of mutual interest, incnoluding pursuing beneficial agreements on top priorities like nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, we can provide a better foundation for further cooperation and dialogue across a broad range of issues. Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller was joined by Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Tom Countryman in Brussels, where they participated in the U.S.-EU Verification Dialogue and discussed the way ahead in arms control and nonproliferation challenges. Full Text

Joint Statement:United States, Republic of South Sudan at the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan

The Governments of the United States and the Republic of South Sudan are pleased to have hosted the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan December 14-15, 2011 to highlight the national development vision of South Sudan and the opportunities for investment in the country.  The United States and South Sudan appreciate the support and participation of the conference co-sponsors – the United Kingdom, Norway, Turkey, the European Union, the African Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Corporate Council on Africa, and InterAction.  Senior officials from each of these governments and organizations participated in the conference, providing valuable insights and contributions. 

At the conference, President Salva Kiir Mayardit presented a forward-looking development vision of South Sudan and emphasized his government’s commitment to promoting a climate conducive to attracting and retaining new investment, including taking specific legislative actions and encouraging regional and international trade, especially in several key sectors.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton noted the U.S. commitment to partnering with South Sudan as it works to develop its economy and strengthen its institutions of government for the benefit of its people. 

Participants in the conference saluted the people of South Sudan for achieving their independence in July and welcomed the government’s early focus on and commitment to accountability, transparency and good governance.  Follow-through on this commitment is critical to fulfill the aspirations of the South Sudanese people for economic and social development. The conference focused on several important themes central to this goal:  responsible management of oil revenue and natural resources; effective social services delivery; investments in education, health and agriculture; human capital and institutional capacity development; promotion of women, youth and respect for diversity; and efficient coordination of international assistance.  In addition, participants discussed specific investment opportunities in sectors such as oil and renewable energy, information technology, agriculture, transportation infrastructure, clean water and sanitation, capacity building services, and financial services.  South Sudan proposed and participants agreed that investments, international support and development assistance will be linked to national priorities.  South Sudan will engage the international community on a high-level dialogue to strengthen institutions to advance accountability and transparency. 

Going forward, the United States Government and other key partners — including other donors, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations — reinforced a commitment to work alongside the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to serve as a catalyst for new partnerships and opportunities to assist in achieving prosperity and social development for the people of South Sudan.   The conference emphasized that South Sudan must be supported in its desire for peace in order to enable it to concentrate on the needs of its people, who have waited long for the opportunity for a better life.

Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook launches the first implementation meeting of the Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief. Ambassador Cook: "Resolution 16/18 secured an international consensus around an action-oriented approach to combat religious intolerance in line with respect for universal human rights—including religious freedom and freedom of expression. The resolution calls on states to take specific measures to combat religious intolerance. The focus of this implementation meeting is identifying best practices on prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on religion or belief, training government officials to avoid discrimination in their official duties, putting enforcement mechanisms in place and engaging with members of religious communities."

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