The Human Rights Council 22nd Session, which ended on March 22, was one of the most significant in the Council’s short history. The packed agenda and vast portfolio of country situations and human rights issues addressed over the past four weeks are clear evidence of the Council’s ability to serve as the lead entity in the UN for promoting and protecting human rights.
In addition to the Council’s official agenda, nearly 150 different parallel events sponsored by civil society and governments took place, a clear signal that human rights defenders consider the Council a crucial venue for their work. When Shin Dong Hyuk, a young man who escaped from the brutal North Korean labor camp in which he had been born and grew up, gave compelling testimony at an event organized by a leading NGO, it was clear that the Council can and does bring the reality of human rights issues… more »
Real Progress in the Global Fight Against Non-Communicable Diseases
About the Author: Ambassador Betty E. King serves as Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.
It happened quietly, and it didn’t make any headlines, but an agreement reached in Geneva last week represents a key step forward in the battle against some of the world’s biggest killers: non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
On November 9, health officials representing member states of the World Health Organization agreed to a global monitoring framework and a set of voluntary global targets on NCDs, which are the leading cause of death worldwide, representing 63 percent of deaths annually, and 70 percent in the United States. For three intensive days, health officials held meetings to negotiate the final details of a strategy in the making since September 2011, when world leaders gathered at the UN General Assembly and agreed to the Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases. That Declaration… more »
On June 30, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for the meeting on the Action Group on Syria. After the meeting, Secretary Clinton said, “As you’ve just heard from Special Envoy Annan, today the international community came together to endorse a plan for a democratic transition in Syria that aims to end the violence and pave the way for a post-Assad unity government.
“Kofi Annan called this meeting to mobilize the political will needed to implement his six-point plan. And after a long day of intense discussions, the next steps are clear.”
Secretary Clinton continued, “No one has any illusions about the difficulties ahead. We are dealing with not only a murderous regime in a combustible region, but the potential for that region to be gravely affected by the continuance of this violence. But the stakes of inaction by… more »
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks on Syria following the meeting of the Action Group on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland on June 30, 2012. [Go to http://www.state.gov for more video and transcript.]
Press Availability Following the Meeting of the Action Group on Syria
Remarks Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State Palais de Nations Geneva, Switzerland June 30, 2012
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. As you’ve just heard from Special Envoy Annan, today the international community came together to endorse a plan for a democratic transition in Syria that aims to end the violence and pave the way for a post-Assad unity government.
Kofi Annan called this meeting to mobilize the political will needed to implement his six-point plan. And after a long day of intense discussions, the next steps are clear.
First, we all agreed to support Kofi Annan’s principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led transition, including the goal of a democratic, pluralistic Syria that upholds the rule of law and respects the universal rights of all people and all communities, regardless of ethnicity, sect, or gender; maintaining the integrity of the Syrian state and its institutions; the formation of a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers, which would be broadly inclusive and chosen by mutual consent; and an inclusive and transparent Syrian-led process to review the constitution and prepare for free and multiparty elections. These are principles that have formed the basis for successful democratic transitions all over the world, and they offer the best chance for restoring peace and meeting the needs and aspirations of the Syrian people. MORE
An Update From the Global Fund Board Meeting in Geneva
About the Author: Ambassador Eric Goosby serves as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.
Recently, I met with my fellow Global Fund Board members in Geneva and I am buoyed by the reform that is happening at the Fund under the leadership of new General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo. As everyone knows, the United States has been pushing aggressively for reform, linking our historic pledge of $4 billion from FY 2011 — 2013 to it. I am pleased to report that while we have been encouraged by the significant reforms the Fund has been pursuing over the past year, the pace of reform has now quickened — meaning that the Fund will be able to save even more lives.
The Fund remains absolutely committed to ensuring the disbursement of approximately $10 billion in its current funding period, 2011-2013 — $2 billion more than it disbursed between 2008 and 2010. This includes money for new,… more »
U.S. Senior Advisor on Darfur Travels to Geneva, London
Office of the Spokesperson
August 8, 2011
Ambassador Dane F. Smith, U.S. Senior Advisor for Darfur, departs Washington this evening en route to Geneva, Switzerland, and London, United Kingdom. In Geneva, Ambassador Smith will meet with humanitarian agencies and organizations to discuss how to support international efforts aimed at creating sustainable opportunities to improve the livelihoods the Darfuri people while decreasing dependence on humanitarian assistance. He will also discuss the importance of renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert with delegations to the UN Human Rights Council. In London, the Senior Advisor will meet with his counterparts and other interested parties to discuss the way ahead on Darfur.