All articles from: February, 2009

U.S. Posture Toward the Durban Review Conference and Participation in the HRC

Sadly, however, the document being negotiated has gone from bad to worse, and the current text of the draft outcome document is not salvageable. As a result, the United States will not engage in further negotiations on this text, nor will we participate in a conference based on this text. A conference based on this text would be a missed opportunity to speak clearly about the persistent problem of racism. …

…We believe, however, it furthers our interests and will do more both to achieve these ends and advance human rights if we are part of the conversation and present at the Council’s proceedings. Accordingly, we will participate in this month’s Human Rights Council session as an observer and will use the opportunity to strengthen old partnerships and forge new ones. These times demand seriousness and candor, and we pledge to closely work with our partners in the international community to avoid politicization and to achieve our shared goals.

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U.S. Statement at the Conference on Disarmament

We have all noted with concern the collision last week between the privately operated Iridium communications satellite, and the inactive Russian Cosmos satellite. We are in communication with the Russian Federation regarding the collision, and those discussions began promptly after the collision – this in itself is a valuable transparency and confidence building measure. The U.S. Department of Defense is currently assessing the events leading up to the collision, but will need additional time to arrive at definitive conclusions – perhaps weeks.

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Trade Policy Review of Japan – U.S. Statement

Japan is a vitally important member of the international trading community, and remains an important trading partner of the United States. Our two-way goods trade totaled $206 billion last year, and Japan is still our fourth largest trading partner. As such, the United States welcomes those measures taken by Japan since its last Trade Policy Review in 2007 that have helped support the global trading system.

Noteworthy contributions include Japan’s broad continuing support for open trade and investment goals through international fora such as APEC, and through its work with the United States and other partners to improve intellectual property protection regimes and enforcement around the world.

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Press Conference with Assistant Secretary Daniel Fried – Georgia Talks

The Georgia talks here at Geneva have experienced an intensive day of work, day and a half of work. We had a significant success, agreement on proposals for joint incident prevention and response mechanisms. That is a significant step forward. It’s positive, it’s practical. Agreement on this document was achieved despite the fundamental differences between the parties on the ground about status, but in spite of this we have recorded an achievement.

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Durban Inter-Sessional Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group Session

Today, we are here to explore with you whether it is possible to move beyond our differences and focus the Durban Review Conference on the racism and xenophobia that seriously persist today in our world.

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U.S. Participation in Consultations for the World Conference Against Racism

The State Department will send a delegation to the February 16-19 consultations for the World Conference Against Racism as a means of evaluating the current direction of Conference preparations and whether U.S. participation in the Conference itself is warranted.

This will be the first opportunity the Administration has had to engage in the negotiations for the Durban Review, and – in line with our commitment to diplomacy – the U.S. has decided to send a delegation to engage in the negotiations on the text of the conference document.

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