"The United States has taken further action today in response to Russia’s continued illegal intervention in Ukraine and provocative acts that undermine Ukraine’s democracy and threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. At the contact group meeting in Geneva on April 17, 2014, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union decided on a number of steps to deescalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including refraining from further violence or provocative acts. Since April 17, Russia has done nothing to meet its Geneva commitments and in fact has further escalated the crisis. Russia’s involvement in the recent violence in eastern Ukraine is indisputable."

Secretary Kerry (Apr. 8): ”The United States and our allies will not hesitate to use 21st-century tools to hold Russia accountable for 19th-century behavior.” Full Text»

Happy World Health Day, world!  Find out how #Just1Bite can cause serious diseases and how to protect yourself [Source: World Health Organization]

Happy World Health Day, world!  Find out how #Just1Bite can cause serious diseases and how to protect yourself [Source: World Health Organization]

"While the human rights situation has improved over the past year, Mali remains a fragile country facing numerous challenges relating to transitional justice, security reform, economic recovery, peace building, and reconciliation."
- US Human Rights Council Head of Delegation Paula Schriefer at Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali [Full Statement]

Jazz Appreciation MonthTribute to John Coltrane & “A Love Supreme”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
11 AM – 12 PM

The National Museum of American pays tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and the 50thAnniversary of his iconic composition A Love Supreme with a music celebration by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) and donation ceremony with reflections by Ravi Coltrane – son of John Coltrane – and photographer Chuck Stewart who photographed the recording session in 1964. Coltrane’s original music score of A Love Supreme and handwritten notes reflecting his thoughts are on display at the museum through June 17. 

"While Iran has begun to shift its rhetoric on human rights, the United States remains deeply concerned that Iran continues to suppress free expression and civil society, harass members of its ethnic and religious minority populations, and imprison human rights defenders and journalists on politically-motivated charges."
- Paula Schriefer, Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 25th Human Rights Council, Geneva, March 17, 2014
State Department Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Brownfield & Office of National Drug Control Policy Botticelli co-lead US Delegation to Comission on Narcotics and Drugs 2014 

State Department Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Brownfield & Office of National Drug Control Policy Botticelli co-lead US Delegation to Comission on Narcotics and Drugs 2014 

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.

U.S. Statement at the HRC Item 2 General Debate

Deputy Assistant Secretary Paula Scriefer: …we support their message to all South Sudanese on the importance of respecting human rights. The United States is deeply concerned with reports from South Sudan of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, and torture.

We acknowledge the extraordinary responsibility undertaken by UNMISS to shelter over 70,000 South Sudanese in seven UN compounds. We also appreciate the work of the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission, and thank the Human Rights Officers for their work. We look forward to their next report and recommendations.

Finally, we are pleased to note that Assistant Secretary General Simonovic will be visiting Ukraine in the coming days and look forward to his reporting. Read More

"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."
- Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks at the release of the State Department’s 2013 Human Rights Report

 ““Strong nations recognize the value of active citizens.  They support and empower their citizens rather than stand in their way, even when it is inconvenient – or perhaps especially when it is inconvenient – for government leaders.”

- President Barack Obama said this at the Civil Society Roundtable at the UN General Assembly in September 2013.  

How does your government support its citizens?- Read the 2013 #HumanRights Report 

Secretary Kerry will release the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices today at approximately 11:30 a.m. EST. Watch a live broadcast of this event here http://video.state.gov/live/

Secretary Kerry will release the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices today at approximately 11:30 a.m. EST. Watch a live broadcast of this event here http://video.state.gov/live/

"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)
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