"The importance of documentation at birth cannot be overestimated: Without a birth certificate, as a girl grows up it will be difficult, if not impossible, for her to attend school or get a job. She will not be able to own her own land or start her own business. She will not be able to vote. She will likely be confined to the home and left unpaid. She becomes an invisible member of society."
- Tiffany Taylor, U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations; Huffington Post: Why Every Girl Should (Literally) Count [Full Text]

U.S. Support for UN Peacekeeping in Mali

by Alicia Van Der Veen

In the vibrant, bustling city of Bamako, Mali, with live music emanating from restaurants and venues, you might be forgiven for not immediately understanding the need for a UN peacekeeping mission in the country.  But the situation in Mali’s north is quite different.  A 2012 military coup engendered by the army’s collapse in the face of attacks by armed Islamists and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) left the north under the control of armed extremists who imposed harsh Sharia law in an area long-known for its moderate interpretation of Islam.  Following the January 2013 French intervention that prevented the extremists’ southward assault and evicted them from cities in the north, the UN Security Council authorized the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, or MINUSMA, in April 2013… Read More

Tiffany Taylor, US Youth Observer and Sarah Gale, Teen Advisor for the Girl Up Campaign post for photos with Dr. Jill Biden, and Kathy Calvin President & CEO of the United Nations Foundation at an International Women’s Day Luncheon.

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 will be accompanied by the following five Public Delegates:

  • Jimmie Briggs, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Man Up Campaign
  • Caren Grown, Economist in Residence, American University
  • Ambassador Betty King, former U.S. Representative to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva and former U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
  • Sharon Kotok, former advisor to the U.S. Department of Stat
  • Nora O’Connell, Associate Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy, Save the Children

Other members of the U.S. Delegation include technical experts from the Department of State, including the United States Mission to the United Nations and several bureaus and offices; USAID; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Homeland Security; as well as officials from the White House; the U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations; and Representative Barbara Lee, a Congressional Delegate to the UN General Assembly.

The theme of this year’s session is “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.”

The CSW session is being live-streamed here. For more information, please click here.

"Organizations like the World Food Program (@wfp), the Food and Agriculture Orgnization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) play a central role in the international community’s efforts to address food security, promote agriculture development and to create a world in which food security is a reality for all". - U.S. statedept Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Nerissa Cook

On February 17, 2014, the United Nations will release an unprecedented report on Human Rights in North Korea based on a year long investigation that involved interviews with over 80 witnesses, victims and prison camp survivors. 

The press conference to release the report will be webcast live athttp://webtv.un.org/ , and the report itself, its annexes, and the detailed findings on which it is based, will be posted on www.ohchr.org at 14:00 on 17 February. 

The Commission of Inquiry was established in March 2013, by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to “investigate the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea… with a view to ensuring full accountability, in particular where these violations may amount to crimes against humanity.” Among the violations investigated are those linked to the right to food, and to prison camps, torture and inhuman treatment, arbitrary detention, discrimination, freedom of expression, the right to life, freedom of movement, and enforced disappearances, including abductions of nationals of other States. 

As part of its investigations, the Commission conducted public hearings with more than 80 victims and other witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington D.C. Excerpts of witness testimony and illustrative individual cases will feature in a 372-page document, which will be published alongside the report itself.

The Commission is scheduled to formally present its findings to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 17 March. 

Additional information can be found on the COI homepage:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/…

Music: Cylinder Five by Chris Zabriskie: http://chriszabriskie.com

"Today, for the first time, Israel participated in one of the core coordinating groups focused on human rights and social policy at the United Nations. Israel’s participation in the “JUSCANZ” caucus in the United Nation’s Third Committee is an important step toward securing Israel’s full participation across the UN system."
- Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Israel’s Membership in JUSCANZ in New York’s Third Committee, February 11, 2014
Tiffany Taylor, United States Youth Observer to the UN, A Day in the Life of a Peacebuilder

USAID ANNOUNCES RISE: A NEW INITIATIVE TO BUILD RESILIENCE IN WEST AFRICA’S SAHEL

Today, at the high-level launch of the United Nations’ Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan in Rome, Italy, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg announced USAID’s RISE (Resilience in the Sahel-Enhanced) Initiative. RISE commits more than $130 million over the first two years of a five-year effort to build resilience to recurrent crisis in West Africa’s Sahel, a region where chronic poverty, food insecurity, drought, and violent extremism collide—and some 18.7 million people faced food insecurity in 2012 due to severe drought for the third time in a decade. Learn More

[via @StateDept] Congratulations to #Malaysia for becoming the firstGPOI - Global Peace Operations Initiative nation to achieve self-sufficiency training for their UN peacekeepers! Last week Acting Asst. Sec. Kelly visited Malaysia to see for himself: http://go.usa.gov/ZrK4

[via @StateDept] Congratulations to #Malaysia for becoming the firstGPOI - Global Peace Operations Initiative nation to achieve self-sufficiency training for their UN peacekeepers! Last week Acting Asst. Sec. Kelly visited Malaysia to see for himself: http://go.usa.gov/ZrK4

Ambassador David Lane, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, will travel to Cambodia from December 9–13, 2013. He will visit 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 will be accompanied by a group of journalists from Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia. They will visit a variety of projects run by the U.S. Government, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Progress in agriculture is key to the country’s future! Read more: http://goo.gl/vPQDm

Ambassador David Lane, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, will travel to Cambodia from December 9–13, 2013. He will visit 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 will be accompanied by a group of journalists from Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia. They will visit a variety of projects run by the U.S. Government, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Progress in agriculture is key to the country’s future! Read more: http://goo.gl/vPQDm

United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL): A Day in the Life of a UN Military Observer

Lt. William Abbott was driving along a highway southeast of Zwedru when he noticed a woman who had just given birth on the side of the road. She was almost 10km from the nearest clinic and desperately needed assistance. The peacekeeper did not think twice about helping her. For Abbott, a UN Military Observer based in Zwedru, it was all part of a day’s work.

“If you tell me there are problems, we’ll come here and fix them.” That’s what he told one local, and that’s the motto he works by.

Abbott, from the US Navy, is checking out this month after having completed a six-month mission in Zwedru. Read More

“This is an important week for people with disabilities, including myself.  In fact, it’s important to anyone who supports opening the world to Americans with disabilities, Americans who wish to enjoy the same opportunities as our fellow citizens to study, travel, serve, and work overseas.  On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disabilities Treaty), which embodies, at the international level, the principles of non-discrimination, equality of opportunity, accessibility, and inclusion grounded in our own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)”.
 - Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights

Read Full Blog Post: Ratification of the Disabilities Treaty: An Opportunity To Reinforce U.S. Leadership on Disability Rights

This is an important week for people with disabilities, including myself.  In fact, it’s important to anyone who supports opening the world to Americans with disabilities, Americans who wish to enjoy the same opportunities as our fellow citizens to study, travel, serve, and work overseas.  On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disabilities Treaty), which embodies, at the international level, the principles of non-discrimination, equality of opportunity, accessibility, and inclusion grounded in our own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)”.

- Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights

Read Full Blog Post: Ratification of the Disabilities Treaty: An Opportunity To Reinforce U.S. Leadership on Disability Rights

"Ultimately, the success or failure of the transition depends on the choices made by Yemen, by Yemen’s government and by Yemen’s people; that is both appropriate and it is a challenge for all of us to work as diligently as we can to attain the goal we all seek: a Yemen that is stable, confident, at peace with itself and its neighbors, and moving in the right political and economic direction."
- Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Sudan-South Sudan Consultative Forum

This afternoon, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Dean Pittman joined UN Foundation President and CEO and Representative Mark Meadows for a discussion about U.S. goals and priorities at the 68th UN General Assembly.  

note: loading more posts will reset any filters applied
More