All articles from: November, 2008

Remarks by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor on International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the U.S. Mission

This afternoon I would like to address one community whose educational support you have discussed this week – persons with disabilities. In all countries this group represents a large minority of our fellow citizens, and in all of our countries we face a similar challenge to maximize the life experience and opportunities of this important minority. For all of us, we risk the loss of valuable human resources, talent, and productivity for our economies and societies when we sideline our fellow citizens.

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U.S. Opening Statement – Meeting of States Parties to Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

Mr. President, we must recognize that the CCW has failed this year to achieve its main task – the adoption of a new protocol on cluster munitions. Our failure is all the more disappointing because the opportunity to agree to a protocol that would have had substantial humanitarian benefits was within our grasp. We will have some additional observations on the GGE when its report is considered by this Meeting.

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U.S. delegation to the CCW: Statement on the work of the GGE

Mr. Chairman, my delegation finds it deeply disappointing that a group of states has blocked progress on this important humanitarian effort because they have remained completely focused on unrealistic results here and have not worked constructively to achieve a balanced, positive result. During the course of the negotiations these last two weeks, and in particular over the last couple of days, it has become clear that further progress in 2008is impossible given this approach by a number of delegations.

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Statement by U.S. Delegation to Group of Governmental Experts: Points on humanitarian benefit of draft protocol

We have listened carefully to the argument made by some states that the draft text we are working on here would have no humanitarian benefit. In our view, the appropriate standard by which to judge the adequacy of an eventual protocol is whether it will have a significant humanitarian benefit on the ground.

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U.S. Delegation: Statement on proposed changes by Group of 25

We have studied the proposals put forward by some of the group of 25. We understand that the ideas expressed in these statements stem from a number of countries’ strongly held view that cluster munitions should be banned completely. My delegation would like to reiterate why a complete ban or a copy of the Oslo Convention is simply not an acceptable approach to my country, and to many other countries in this room.

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Opening Statement by Stephen Mathias, Head of the U.S. Delegation

Mr. Chairman, my delegation believes that the draft you have circulated is an excellent basis for our work this week and gives us a real chance to achieve consensus this year on a new CCW protocol addressing the issue of cluster munitions.

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