UNGA 69: Why the UN Matters More Than Ever
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.
Right now, the world has the responsibly to act, to step up, to do more.
President Obama on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, September 16, 2014
Learn more about the U.S. response to the Ebola epidemic here.
There are few ideas more powerful – more infused with universal aspiration – than democracy.
Secretary John Kerry on International Day of Democracy, September 15, 2014
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.
Read more on www.state.gov.
ISIL’s Abuse of Women and Girls Must Be Stopped
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.
Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.
President Obama on the ISIL threat, September 10, 2014
On September 9, Secretary of State John Kerry departed for travel to Amman, Jordan; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow his trip on Twitter and on www.state.gov.