Three Years After Start of Syria Conflict, Latest Report to Human Rights Council details “Horrific” Violations

We welcome the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria and thank the commission for its extremely important work over the past two and a half years, despite the Asad regime’s refusal to cooperate and grant access to the Commission.

As we gather today, three years after the start of the Syrian revolution, more than 100,000 people have died, 6.5 million internally displaced, and more than 2.5 million have fled to nearby countries as refugees.  The COI has again reported additional and ongoing gross violations carried out by government forces and militias, including murder, hostage-taking, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, unlawful use of child soldiers, targeting civilians, and the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs.  We appreciate the COI’s efforts to document the abuses and violations perpetrated by non-state armed groups, including by Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIL, whose conduct we strongly condemn. Full Statement

"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."
- Secretary of State John Kerry’s Statement on the UN Resolution on Syria (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."
- Secretary of State John Kerry’s Statement on UN Security Council Resolution on Syria (Feb 22)
Ambassador Samantha Power met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius today to discuss efforts to bring peace to Syria.

Ambassador Samantha Power met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius today to discuss efforts to bring peace to Syria.

“The participation of these women will be invaluable because like other women before them, including in Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, and among Israelis and Palestinians, they raised unique issues during negotiations. Women focus on the need to re-establish civilian security; they emphasize the need to maintain and rebuild communities; and they focus attention on the needs and interests of the displaced. Women are well-connected to war-affected communities back home; they help create lines of communication to increase local knowledge and ownership of talks and support for negotiated solutions”. -Carla Koppell Read More

The participation of these women will be invaluable because like other women before them, including in Sudan, Uganda, Iraq, and among Israelis and Palestinians, they raised unique issues during negotiations. Women focus on the need to re-establish civilian security; they emphasize the need to maintain and rebuild communities; and they focus attention on the needs and interests of the displaced. Women are well-connected to war-affected communities back home; they help create lines of communication to increase local knowledge and ownership of talks and support for negotiated solutions”. -Carla Koppell Read More

Details of Secretary of State John Kerry's Travel to Montreux, and Davos, January 21-25, 2014

In Montreux, Secretary Kerry will participate in the ministerial-level and UN-hosted International Conference on Syria, also known as Geneva II. In Davos, Secretary Kerry will deliver remarks at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on the United States’ commitment to and engagement in the Middle East region.

U.S. Deputy Secretary Burns Discusses Syrian Humanitarian Crises at UNHCR Executive Committee High-Level Segment 

Photos by  U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers

“As the nature of the conflict and the humanitarian crisis continues to evolve, so must our response.  But one thing ought to remain constant – our enduring commitment to Syria’s refugees and to all those who offer them protection.” - Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (Full Text)
Photo by  U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers

As the nature of the conflict and the humanitarian crisis continues to evolve, so must our response.  But one thing ought to remain constant – our enduring commitment to Syria’s refugees and to all those who offer them protection.” - Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (Full Text)

Photo by  U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers

A ship carrying wheat from the United States of America — enough to help feed more than 3.5 million Syrians for one month — has just delivered its cargo to the port of Beirut. The shipment is part of WFP’s massive emergency food assistance operation for Syrians forced to flee the conflict in their country. It’s the second ship to bring US wheat for WFP’s work in Syria in less than six months.


Learn more about WFP’s emergency operations for Syrians in need here: wfp.org/crisis/syria

Today, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Dean Pittman discussed U.S. goals and priorities for the 68th UN General Assembly. In closing his speech, he said, ”We live in a complex, interconnected world in which power is increasingly diffused. Nonstate actors are more influential than ever, youth voices are finding new amplification, and a number of countries are emerging as centers of influence with aspirations to global leadership. These truths do not, however, diminish the need for American leadership on the global stage, but instead reinforce its crucial importance. We do ourselves no favors by dismissing the United Nations as antiquated or ineffective, or threatening to decapitate an institution we played such a key role in building and continue to play in reforming its bodies to improve effectiveness. Our continued, robust leadership at the UN not only safeguards many of our core interests, it also promotes the living vision of an international gathering place sustained for the benefit of all nations and people.” See What Else he Said HERE

Today, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Dean Pittman discussed U.S. goals and priorities for the 68th UN General Assembly. In closing his speech, he said, We live in a complex, interconnected world in which power is increasingly diffused. Nonstate actors are more influential than ever, youth voices are finding new amplification, and a number of countries are emerging as centers of influence with aspirations to global leadership. These truths do not, however, diminish the need for American leadership on the global stage, but instead reinforce its crucial importance. We do ourselves no favors by dismissing the United Nations as antiquated or ineffective, or threatening to decapitate an institution we played such a key role in building and continue to play in reforming its bodies to improve effectiveness. Our continued, robust leadership at the UN not only safeguards many of our core interests, it also promotes the living vision of an international gathering place sustained for the benefit of all nations and people.” See What Else he Said HERE

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept. 12, 2013, for meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on Syria’s chemical weapons site. The Secretary was welcomed at the airport by Ambassador Betty E. King, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.
U.S. Mission Photos by Eric Bridiers

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept. 12, 2013, for meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on Syria’s chemical weapons site. The Secretary was welcomed at the airport by Ambassador Betty E. King, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.

U.S. Mission Photos by Eric Bridiers

On Friday, August 2, 2013 a group of U.S. and international students participating in the Osgood Center for International Studies’ Summer Symposium on Foreign Policy visited the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. for a briefing with officials from the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO-Bureau). Sarah Debbink from the IO-Bureau Office of UN Political Affairs opened with brief remarks about the U.S. engagement with the UN Security Council and the situation in Syria.  Philip Frayne and Wesley Reisser from the IO-Bureau’s Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs discussed the how the U.S. is working with multilateral institutions to address the human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria followed by a discussion about the complexities of the situation.

[State Department Photo]

On Friday, August 2, 2013 a group of U.S. and international students participating in the Osgood Center for International Studies’ Summer Symposium on Foreign Policy visited the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. for a briefing with officials from the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO-Bureau). Sarah Debbink from the IO-Bureau Office of UN Political Affairs opened with brief remarks about the U.S. engagement with the UN Security Council and the situation in Syria.  Philip Frayne and Wesley Reisser from the IO-Bureau’s Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs discussed the how the U.S. is working with multilateral institutions to address the human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria followed by a discussion about the complexities of the situation.

[State Department Photo]

Secretary Kerry Meeting With United Nations and Other International Humanitarian Organizations

image

Secretary of State John Kerry will host the leaders of several United Nations and other international humanitarian organizations at the U.S. Department of State on July 23 to discuss the humanitarian response to the ongoing Syrian crisis. 

Participants expected for this meeting include Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA); Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Program (WFP); William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM); as well as senior leaders from the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Learn More

note: loading more posts will reset any filters applied
More