‘Finding global solutions for global problems’ focus of UN-civil society forum

The 67th United Nations Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Conference kicked off today at UN Headquarters in New York, with speeches affirming the importance of multilateralism, closer partnerships between the UN and civil society, and the role that young people have to play.

‘Finding global solutions for global problems’ focus of UN-civil society forum
August 22, 2018 at 02:05PM by a people finder usingInternational Phone Book the best way to find people.

Europe and Eurasia: U.S. Strategy Toward the Russian Federation

http://internationalpeoplesearch.com


Remarks

A. Wess Mitchell

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Washington, DC

August 21, 2018


As delivered

Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez, thank you for inviting me to testify today. If you’ll indulge me, I want to start with a piece of welcome news, it’s unrelated to this morning’s testimony. Yesterday, August 20th, the U.S. government removed to Germany, Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi camp guard at the notorious, Trawniki slave labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. While this process took far longer than we wanted, the removal of this individual can bring some comfort to Holocaust survivors and others who suffered at the hands of those, like Palij, who did the cruel bidding of the inhuman Nazi regime.

I will use my prepared comments today to outline in brief form, the overarching strategy of the United States towards the Russian Federation. The foundation for this strategy is provided by three documents, as directed and approved by the President: the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the Russia Integrated Strategy.

The starting point of the National Security Strategy is the recognition that America has entered a period of big-power competition and that past U.S. policies have neither sufficiently grasped the scope of this emerging trend nor adequately equipped our nation to succeed in it. The central aim of the administration’s foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundaments of American power.

Our Russia policy proceeds from the recognition that, to be effective, U.S. diplomacy must be backed by “military power that is second to none and fully integrated with our allies and all of our instruments of power.” To that end, we have reversed years of cuts to the defense budget, begun the process of recapitalizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, requested close to $11 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, and worked within NATO to bring about more than $40 billion in new European defense spending. At the NATO Summit, we established two new NATO Commands (including one here in the United States), new counter-hybrid threat response teams, and major, multi-year initiatives to bolster the mobility, readiness, and capability of the Alliance.

In tandem, we have worked to degrade Vladimir Putin’s ability to conduct aggression by imposing costs on the Russian state and the oligarchy that sustains it. Building on Secretary Pompeo’s testimony, I am submitting for the record a list of actions this administration has taken. These include, to date: 217 individuals and entities sanctioned, 6 diplomatic and consular facilities closed and 60 spies removed from American soil.

Our actions are having an impact. Research by the State Department’s Office of the Chief Economist shows that on average sanctioned Russian firms see their operating revenue fall by a quarter; their total asset valuation fall by half; and they are forced to fire a third of their employees. Following the announcement of sanctions in April, the Russian company, Rusal, lost about fifty percent of its market value. In the five days following our August 8 announcement of Chemical and Biological Weapons Act sanctions, the ruble depreciated to its lowest level against the dollar in two years.

Even as we have imposed unprecedented penalties for Russian aggression, we have been clear that the door to dialogue is open, should Putin choose to take credible steps toward a constructive path. In Syria, we created de-escalation channels to avoid collisions between our forces. In Ukraine, we have maintained an effort under Ambassador Kurt Volker to provide the means by which Russia can live up to its commitments under the Minsk Agreements. But in all of these areas, it is up to Russia, not America, to take the next step.

We have placed particular emphasis on bolstering the states of frontline Europe. In Ukraine and Georgia, we lifted restrictions on the acquisition of defensive weapons. In the Balkans, we have played a hands-on role in resolving the Greece-Macedonia name dispute and engaging with Serbia and Kosovo to propel the EU-led dialogue. From the Caucasus to Central Europe we are promoting energy diversification, fighting corruption, and competing for hearts and minds.

Our strategy is animated by the realization that the threat from Russia has evolved beyond being simply an external or military one; it includes influence operations orchestrated by the Kremlin in the very heart of the Western world. These activities are extensively resourced and directed from the highest levels of the Russian state.

It’s important to state clearly what these campaigns are and are not about.

What they’re not about is a particular attachment to U.S. domestic political causes. They are not about right or left, not about American political philosophy. As the recent Facebook purges reveal, the Russian state has promoted fringe voices on the political left and right, including groups who advocate violence, the storming of federal buildings, and the overthrow of the U.S. government. Russia foments and funds controversial causes – and then foments and funds the causes opposed to those causes. Putin’s thesis is that the American Constitution is an experiment that will fail if it is challenged in the right way from within. Putin wants to break apart the American Republic, not by influencing an election or two, but by systematically inflaming the fault-lines within our society. Accepting this fact is absolutely essential for developing a long-term response to the problem. The most dangerous thing in the world we could do is to politicize the challenge, which in itself would be a gift to Putin.

What Russian efforts are about is geopolitics: the Putinist system’s permanent and self-justifying struggle for international dominance. As stated by a handbook of the Russian Armed Forces, the goal is “to carry out mass psychological campaigns against the population of a state in order to destabilize society and the government; and force that state to make decisions in the interests of its opponents.” Doing so involves an evolved toolkit of subversive statecraft first employed by the Bolshevik and later the Soviet state, upgraded for the digital age.

The State Department takes this threat very seriously. Countering it in both overt and covert form is among the highest priorities of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. As a co-chair of the Russia Influence Group, I work with General Scapparotti to bring the combined resources of EUR and EUCOM to bear against this problem. Under EUR leadership, all 49 U.S. missions located in Europe and Eurasia are required to develop, coordinate, and execute tailored action plans for rebuffing Russian influence operations in their host countries.

Within the Bureau, we recruited one of the architects of the Global Engagement Center legislation from the staff of a member of this committee; we formed a new position – the Senior Advisor for Russian Malign Activities and Trends (or, SARMAT) – to develop cross-regional strategies across offices. EUR created a dedicated team to take the offensive in publicly exposing Russian malign activities, which since January of this year has called out the Kremlin on 112 occasions. We are now working with our ally, the UK, to form an international coalition for coordinating efforts in this field and have requested over $380 million in security and economic assistance accounts in the President’s 2019 budget.

We recognize that Congress has an important role to play in providing the tools and resources needed to deal effectively with the Russian problem set. As Secretary Pompeo made clear in his recent testimony, we are committed to working with all of you to make headway against this problem and align our efforts in support of the President’s Russia strategy.

Mr. Chairman, thank you again for inviting me today. I look forward to your questions.



http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2018/285247.htm
http://ifttt.com/images/no_image_card.png

Europe and Eurasia: Germany Accepts Former Nazi Slave-labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij

http://internationalpeoplesearch.com


Press Statement

Heather Nauert

Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

August 21, 2018


The United States expresses its deep appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany for re-admitting former Nazi slave-labor camp guard Jakiw Palij, who was removed from the United States on August 20.

During World War II, Palij served as an armed guard at the Trawniki slave-labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. He concealed his Nazi service when he immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1949. A federal court stripped Palij of his citizenship in 2003 and a U.S. immigration judge ordered him removed from the United States in 2004 based on his wartime activities and postwar immigration fraud.



http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/08/285233.htm
http://ifttt.com/images/no_image_card.png

Somalia has ‘once in a generation’ gender equality opportunity – UN Women chief

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of the United Nations entity dealing with issues related to gender, UN Women, has encouraged Somalia to continue making progress in the areas of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

UN News https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/08/1017502
FindSomeOne

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

For the African continent to achieve sustainable development, more jobs must be created for its young people, including in the digitalized agriculture sectors, the United Nations agriculture chief told an international conference on Monday.

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth
August 20, 2018 at 10:20AM by a people finder usingInternational Phone Book the best way to find people.

Europe and Eurasia: Hungary National Day

http://internationalpeoplesearch.com


Press Statement

Michael R. Pompeo

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

August 20, 2018


On behalf of the Government of the United States, it is my pleasure to congratulate the people of Hungary on the occasion of Saint Stephen’s Day.

Hungary is a close friend and ally of the United States. We value our cooperation on many important issues, including defense cooperation, regional European security, and energy diversification. We deeply respect Hungary’s rich history, culture, and traditions, and we are grateful for the many contributions that Hungarian immigrants have made to American society in an array of fields, from the arts to business to technology. Bilateral exchanges and a growing trade relationship help strengthen the robust people-to-people ties that bind our two countries together today.

We look forward to continued partnership with Hungary to advance our shared interests and commitment to freedom and prosperity in Europe.



http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/08/285214.htm
http://ifttt.com/images/no_image_card.png

Senior UN children’s advocate says they “should never be targeted by violence”

Reacting to a recent upsurge in violent attacks affecting children, Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, called on Friday for those responsible to be held fully accountable.

UN News
August 17, 2018 at 02:32PM
Free International People Search

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

The Republika Srpska National Assembly in Bosnia and Herzegovina drew concern from the top United Nations expert on the Prevention of Genocide on Thursday, over its decision this week to revoke its endorsement of the 2004 Srebrenica Commission Report acknowledging genocide during the Bosnian war of the 1990s.

UN News
August 16, 2018 at 02:24PM
Free International People Search

In Tanzania visit, UNHCR official stresses freedom of choice is crucial for refugee returns

Refugees should never be pressured to decide if they should return to their home countries, a senior UN official has said.

In Tanzania visit, UNHCR official stresses freedom of choice is crucial for refugee returns
August 16, 2018 at 01:56PM : International People Search
August 16, 2018 at 01:56PM

UN experts cite ‘possible exploitation’ of workers hired to clean up toxic Japanese nuclear plant

A group of United Nations rights experts are urging the Japanese government to urgently protect tens of thousands or workers hired to help decontaminate the Fukushima nuclear plant, who are reportedly being exploited and exposed to toxic nuclear radiation.

UN News
August 16, 2018 at 12:28PM
Free International People Search