“No one country, no individual group of nations is going to resolve this problem by themselves. This is going to take a collective, global response – all hands on deck. That’s the only way to get it done.”—Secretary Kerry on Ebola, October 17, 2014
Preventing Exploitation of Migrants in the Horn of Africa
They couldn’t have been older than 16. Traveling on foot along a barren, dusty road toward Djibouti’s coastal city of Obock, the small group of Ethiopian boys were probably the farthest from home they had ever been. Clutching yellow jugs for water and flimsy plastic bags filled with dry meal as food, they braved exhaustion and Djibouti’s deadly summer heat, most likely hoping to make enough money in the Gulf countries or beyond to secure a more prosperous life for themselves and their families.
“On World Food Day, U.S. reaffirms our commitment to fight poverty, hunger, and under-nutrition – and to addressing one of the greatest threats to food security: climate change.”—Secretary Kerry, October 16, 2014
Reconstructing Gaza: U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Palestinians
Earlier today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $414 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry said, “…This money will, we hope, help promote security and stability, and economic development, and it will provide for immediate distribution of food, medicine, and shelter materials for hundreds of thousands for the coming winter. And it is money that is going to help reconstruct Gaza’s damaged water and sanitation system, so that Palestinians in Gaza will have access to water that they can drink and homes that they can actually start rebuilding.” Read more here.
“All of these things are frankly urgent if we are going to move quickly to contain the spread of Ebola. We need airlines to continue to operate in West Africa and we need borders to remain open. We need other African countries with the capacity to send responders to join the effort.”—Secretary of State John Kerry in his comments on the Ebola response. Read more.
The President last month outlined a stepped-up U.S. response, leveraging more thoroughly the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to support the civilian-led response in West Africa. Domestically, we have prepared for the diagnosis of an Ebola case on U.S. soil and have measures in place to stop this and any potential future cases in their tracks.
Specifically, our strategy is predicated on four key goals:
Controlling the epidemic at its source in West Africa;
Mitigating second-order impacts, including blunting the economic, social, and political tolls in the region;
Engaging and coordinating with a broader global audience; and,
Fortifying global health security infrastructure in the region and beyond, including within the United States.
Joint Op-Ed by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi: 'A Renewed U.S.-India Partnership for the 21st Century'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Barack Obama met today in Washington, D.C., which marked their first bilateral summit. The two heads of state also addressed the U.S.-India partnership in a joint Op-Ed that appeared in the Washington Post this morning. Read the text here: http://go.usa.gov/v8Re
“Societies where women and girls are empowered are more prosperous and stable - not occasionally, but always.”—Secretary Kerry at an Equal Futures Partnership event on the margins of UNGA, September 22, 2014
69th United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week
Today marks the opening of the 69th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Week in New York. World leaders and representatives from 193 countries will come together to work on an agenda packed with burning issues: foreign terrorist fighters, Ebola, climate change, and much more.
International Coastal Cleanup Day: Cleaning Up the Ocean, One Piece of Debris at a Time
Picture yourself walking along a stretch of coastline. Maybe you’re on a tranquil island in the South Pacific, or a busy beach along the Atlantic Ocean, or even a remote, icy shore near the Arctic. No matter which location you’re imagining, all of these places can share an unfortunate feature: marine debris.
While soda cans, disposable diapers, or fishing lines may seem harmless, marine debris is one of the greatest threats to the ocean. Plastic bags, for example, look like food to turtles and other marine wildlife – but instead of a good meal, a gulp of marine debris can lead to injury, starvation, and even death. Beachgoers can step on broken glass, cans, needles or other items. Marine debris can also damage or entangle boats, potentially creating safety hazards for passengers and having a serious impact on economic livelihoods.
That’s the problem — now here’s what you can do to be part of the solution. Roll up your sleeves and help clean-up trash on or near shorelines where you live whenever you can, but especially on Saturday, September 20 as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, an annual global effort to clean-up marine debris. You won’t be alone; during last year’s coastal cleanup, 648,015 volunteers in 92 countries picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash. U.S. diplomats from Tokyo to Tijuana to Benin teamed up with local communities to clean up their local waterways and beaches as part of the International Coastal Cleanup effort. Visit this website to find a cleanup near you.
September 22 marks the opening of sixty-ninth United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Week in New York. World leaders and representatives from 194 countries will come together to work on an agenda packed with burning issues: foreign terrorist fighters, Ebola, climate change, and much more.
Incredible things can happen at UNGA — diplomacy often breaks out in uncommon and unanticipated ways, and the convening gravity of the United Nations gives Manhattan a decidedly multilateral tilt every September. In his speech earlier this year at West Point, the President discussed at some length his vision of American foreign policy leadership — leadership that would not shrink from challenges to U.S. interests, but would also seek to seize and employ opportunities for collective action when such a path offered the best chance for realizing U.S. goals.
U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Syria Crisis
Secretary of State John Kerry announced today the United States is providing nearly $500 million in additional humanitarian aid to help those affected by the war in Syria. This is the largest funding announcement made by the United States in response to the largest appeal the United Nations has ever issued. The UN’s revised Syria appeals, issued in July, requested $6 billion in contributions to mitigate the impacts of a tragedy of historic proportions.
Beheadings are not the only horrors perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL. Over the past two months, there has been a tragic stream of reports about thousands of women and girls abducted from their families and sold in markets. These violent extremists are attacking their own women and girls.
While captive, these women and children have been tortured, raped, given to ISIL thugs as “brides,” or kept as sex slaves. Some have committed suicide to avoid sexual enslavement. Others have been forced to watch as ISIL beat their children to coerce the women into converting to Islam. Some have simply been executed. Hundreds of women and girls have been taken from Iraq to ISIL camps in Syria and never heard from again.
“Now is the time for Iraq’s leaders to govern their nation with the same vision and sense of purpose that helped to bring this new government together in the first place. And in that effort, they should know the U.S. will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqis.”—Secretary Kerry on the formation of the Iraqi government, September 8, 2014
The Germans neared Paris by early September 1914 and the sense of crisis grew. On September 2, U.S. Ambassador to France Myron T. Herrick visited French President Raymond Poincaré at the Elysée Palace as the Government of France prepared to remove its seat to the safety of Bordeaux. Poincaré…
Joint Op-Ed by President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron: 'We Will Not Be Cowed by Barbaric Killers'
In a joint Op-Ed in the Times of London, U.S. President Barack Obama and United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the importance of the NATO alliance in confronting evolving challenges in the world today. The text of their Op-Ed appears below.
"When Nato last met in Britain in 1990 the Cold War was ending. As Margaret Thatcher and President Bush, Sr. pledged to continue to stand together, many might have thought that a new era of peace and prosperity would make this great security alliance less relevant. But today Nato is as vital to our future as it has ever been.