With millions of girls ‘at risk’ today of genital mutilation, UN chief calls for zero tolerance

Female genital mutilation, is “an abhorrent human rights violation” still affecting women and girls around the globe, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in his message for the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, marked on Wednesday.

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Europe and Eurasia: Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr Travels to Slovakia and Belgium

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Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC
February 5, 2019


Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr will travel to Slovakia and Belgium February 5–7.

In Slovakia, Special Envoy Carr will attend a conference on Combating Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Region February 5–6. This high-level conference in Bratislava will gather government representatives, political leaders, and relevant stakeholders from academic, civil society, and the media to participate in a dialogue about challenges and good practices in addressing anti-Semitism.

Special Envoy Carr will then travel to Brussels, Belgium February 7 to participate in a conference on Combating Anti-Semitism and Better Protecting Jewish Communities Across the European Union. This conference will gather European Union member states to discuss efforts to continue addressing the needs of European Jewish communities.

Please contact DRL-Press@state.gov for more information.



http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/02/288786.htm
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Piracy and high seas crime growing, becoming more sophisticated, UN Security Council told

International maritime crime is becoming “increasingly sophisticated” as criminal groups exploit jurisdiction and enforcement challenges on the high seas and pose “immediate danger to people’s lives and safety”, the UN anti-drugs and crime chief warned the Security Council on Tuesday.

Piracy and high seas crime growing, becoming more sophisticated, UN Security Council told
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February 05, 2019 at 10:36AM

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the UN’s blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all – calls for a reduction in inequality between and within countries. Nevertheless, global inequality is increasing. So what can be done?

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world
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UN chief hopes for new agreement after Israel concludes international observation mission

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his gratitude to the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), West Bank, after Israel decided not to renew its mandate.

UN News
February 02, 2019 at 11:42AM
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Europe and Eurasia: U.S. Intent To Withdraw from the INF Treaty February 2, 2019

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Press Statement

Michael R. Pompeo

Secretary of State

Washington, DC
February 2, 2019


On December 4, 2018, the United States announced that the Russian Federation is in material breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an assessment shared by all NATO Allies. The United States also provided notice that unless Russia returned to full and verifiable compliance in 60 days, the United States would suspend its obligations under the Treaty as a consequence for Russia’s material breach.

Russia has not taken the necessary steps to return to compliance over the last 60 days. It remains in material breach of its obligations not to produce, possess, or flight-test a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. The United States has gone to tremendous lengths to preserve the INF Treaty, engaging with Russian officials more than 30 times in nearly six years to discuss Russia’s violation, including at the highest levels of government. Despite our efforts, Russia continues to deny that its noncompliant missile system – the SSC-8 or 9M729 – violates the Treaty. In accordance with customary international law, the United States has suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty, effective today, in response to Russia’s material breach.

In addition, today the United States provided Russia and other Treaty Parties with formal notice that the United States will withdraw from the INF Treaty in six months, pursuant to Article XV of the Treaty. The United States has concluded that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of the Treaty arising from Russia’s continued noncompliance have jeopardized the United States’ supreme interests, and the United States can no longer be restricted by the Treaty while Russia openly violates it. If Russia does not return to full and verifiable compliance with the Treaty by eliminating all 9M729 missiles, their launchers, and associated equipment in this six-month period, the Treaty will terminate.

The United States takes its treaty obligations seriously and will not stand idle when others flout their obligations. Violations of treaty obligations must have consequences. The United States remains committed to effective arms control that advances U.S., allied, and partner security; is verifiable and enforceable; and includes partners that comply responsibly with their obligations. The United States stands ready to engage with Russia on arms control negotiations that meet these criteria. Regrettably, the INF Treaty is no longer effective due to Russia’s ongoing material breach. Today’s actions are to defend U.S. national security and interests and those of our allies and partners.



http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2019/02/288722.htm
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UN chief welcomes new Government in Lebanon, after eight-month impasse

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed, on Friday, the announcement of a new Government in Lebanon; the result of eight months of negotiation, following general elections last May.

UN chief welcomes new Government in Lebanon, after eight-month impasse
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February 01, 2019 at 02:16PM

Call to revitalize ‘language of the ancestors’ for survival of future generations: Indigenous chief

Hundreds of ancestral languages have gone silent in recent generations, taking with them the culture, knowledge and traditions of the people who spoke them. To preserve and revitalize those that remain, the United Nations on Friday officially launched the International Year of Indigenous Languages, at UN Headquarters in New York.

UN News
February 01, 2019 at 10:50AM
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Europe and Eurasia: Remarks to the Press

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Remarks

Michael R. Pompeo

Secretary of State

Press Briefing Room
Washington, DC
February 1, 2019


SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone. At the core of President Trump’s foreign policy are a few very, very simple truths. The security of the American people must be our greatest consideration, the agreements into which we enter must serve American interests, and countries must be held accountable when they break the rules. For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse. To this day, Russia remains in material breach of its treaty obligations not to produce, possess, or flight-test a ground-launched intermediate-range cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. In spite of this violation, for almost six years the United States has gone to tremendous lengths to preserve this agreement and to ensure security for our people, our allies, and our partners. We have raised Russia’s noncompliance with Russian officials, including at the highest levels of government, more than 30 times, yet Russia continues to deny that its missile system is noncompliant and violates the treaty.

Russia’s violation puts millions of Europeans and Americans at greater risk. It aims to put the United States at a military disadvantage, and it undercuts the chances of moving our bilateral relationship in a better direction. It’s our duty to respond appropriately. When an agreement is so brazenly disregarded and our security is so openly threatened, we must respond. We did that last December when the United States, with strong support from all of our NATO allies, formally declared Russia in material breach of the treaty. I also then provided notice that unless Russia returned to full and verifiable compliance within 60 days, we would suspend our obligation under that treaty. We provided Russia an ample window of time to mend its ways and for Russia to honor its commitment. Tomorrow that time runs out. Russia has refused to take any steps to return real and verifiable compliance over these 60 days.

The United States will therefore suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty effective February 2nd. We will provide Russia and the other treaty parties with formal notice that the United States is withdrawing from the INF Treaty effective in six months, pursuant to Article 15 of the treaty.

Russia has jeopardized the United States security interest, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it. If Russia does not return to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty within this six-month period by verifiably destroying its INF-violating missiles, their launchers, and associated equipment, the treaty will terminate.

Before I close, I want to give a special thanks to our NATO allies who have stood with us in our mission to uphold the rule of law and protect our people. Their solidarity reflects the historical strength and unity of the NATO alliance. Their support is good for our shared security, it’s good for trans-Atlantic unity, and it’s good for international peace and security. President Trump is grateful for all that you have done.

The United States is hopeful that we can put our relationship with Russia back on a better footing, but the onus is on Russia to change course from a pattern of destabilizing activity, not just on this issue but on many others as well. The United States stands ready to engage with Russia on arms control negotiations that advance U.S. and allied and partners’ security, and are verifiable and enforceable. It must also include all the partners that must all responsibly comply with their obligations. As we remain hopeful of a fundamental shift in Russia’s posture, the United States will continue to do what is best for our people and those of our allies.

I’m happy to take a couple of questions this morning.

MR PALLADINO: Reuters, Lesley Wroughton.

QUESTION: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Hi, Lesley.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, one of the big things that everyone is worried about is that this could eventually spark an arms race. What are you doing to prevent that? How concerned are you that Russia will not engage in that six months and that it could see this posture as a threat and take it on?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, the very risk that you identified is the one that we are suffering from today. The Russians are in violation of the agreement. That is, their commitment – this agreement that’s been in place for an awfully long time – the Russians have been violating. That is, they have begun to move towards what it is – that risk you actually have just identified. And you heard me this morning: We’ll continue to have conversations with them. We hope they’ll come back into compliance. We’ve had conversations at every level, at the senior levels, at technical levels, conversations about the nature of these systems. There’s no mistaking that the Russians have chosen to not comply with this treaty and present the risk of continued arms growth in a way that they had committed to back when they signed this treaty that they would not do, and if you just have one party to a treaty complying, you’re down the path that you describe.

We will continue to work with the Russians to achieve an outcome that gets us to a place. President Trump very much wants to have an agreement that is verifiable and enforceable on these systems and I hope we can convince the Russians it’s in their best interest as well. We certainly think that it is.

MR PALLADINO: One more question. Michael Gordon, Wall Street Journal.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Sir.

QUESTION: Sir, the Trump administration has withdrawn from agreements it doesn’t like, the JCPOA, and now you’ve indicated your intentions on INF because of the Russian alleged violation, but the question is whether – what new agreements can be worked out to take their place. The Russians have said they’re prepared to discuss a New START extension. The treaty expires in two years, which is not a lot of time if the administration plans to take a new approach. When will the United States be prepared to discuss the future of strategic arms control, and what is your vision of how to go about eliminating or reducing the world’s most dangerous arms?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, these are incredibly important questions. I would wager to say that President Trump has put this risk of proliferation as his highest American national security interest, and we’re endeavoring to do everything we can to ensure that the risks of proliferation that increase in these massively destructive weapons systems is diminished. But, Michael, it does no good to sign an agreement if a party’s not going to comply with it. The piece of paper, if it’s not being complied with, is – doesn’t reduce the risk, it doesn’t take down that threat. To the people around the world, the INF document today is being violated by the Russians. That is, the very agreement that they signed up for. We didn’t force them into the agreement; they decided this was in their best interest. They’ve now decided it’s not in their best interest to comply with that agreement.

So we are prepared to enter into negotiations on these complex arms control issues all around the world, including conversations about the renewal of other arms control agreements as we move forward. But make no mistake about President Trump’s mission set. President Trump’s mission set is to make sure that any agreement that we entered into has America’s best interest – that is, it protects the American people, protects our allies around the world as well, and has provisions that other countries are both capable and willing to comply with, and allow us to verify that they have complied with those agreements. Absent that, it’s just sitting around a table talking. It is incredibly important that we make sure that the provisions of these agreements are enforceable and verifiable, and that’s our aim. That’s our aim in every set of important arms control discussions that this administration will engage in.

Thank you all. Have a great day.



http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2019/02/288712.htm
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