All articles from: April, 2009

H1N1 – "Swine Flu" – CDC Updates Page

The United States Government has declared a public health emergency in the United States. CDC’s response goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency. CDC is issuing and updating interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation.

For more information visit the CDC webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

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Human Rights Commitments and Pledges of the United States of America

On March 31, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Susan Rice announced that the United States will seek a seat this year on the United Nations Human Rights Council with the goal of working to make it a more effective body to promote and protect human rights.

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Human Rights Pledges and Commitments of the United States

The deep commitment of the United States to championing the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is driven by the founding values of our nation and the conviction that international peace, security, and prosperity are strengthened when human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected and protected. As the United States seeks […]

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Statement by Robert Wood on the Durban Review Conference

“…The DDPA singles out one particular conflict and prejudges key issues that can only be resolved in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. The United States also has serious concerns with relatively new additions to the text regarding “incitement,” that run counter to the U.S. commitment to unfettered free speech.

Unfortunately, it now seems certain these remaining concerns will not be addressed in the document to be adopted by the conference next week. Therefore, with regret, the United States will not join the review conference. The United States remains fully committed to upholding the human rights of all individuals and to fighting racial discrimination of every form in every context. We will continue to work assiduously in all United Nations fora and with all nations to combat bigotry and end discrimination.”

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CCW Closing Statement – April 2009 GGE

We believe that many of the countries participating in this process who have large stockpiles of cluster munitions could agree to a text along the lines of the one before us, and that these countries will live up to the commitments they make. Therefore, we continue to hope that we will be able to reach agreement and realize the humanitarian gains that are within our grasp here.

My delegation is prepared to support an informal meeting to continue our work in the period between now and the Meeting of States Parties in November. However, we think it is very important, if we are going to have such a meeting, that delegations come to it prepared to roll up their sleeves and work toward final compromises on the remaining issues that need to be resolved to reach agreement on a Protocol. There is no sense in having such a meeting if there is no political will to make these necessary compromises.

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Opening Statement at CCW GGE Meeting – April 2009

I would like to start by reiterating my delegation’s strong support for a CCW protocol on cluster munitions that will have a significant humanitarian benefit. In this regard, we welcome the text that you prepared at the end of the last session in February after engaging in extensive consultations during that session.

While we will have some specific comments on the text that you prepared which we will offer at an appropriate time this week, we believe that the text is generally an excellent basis on which to continue our work. We look forward to both formal and informal sessions this week to try to move this process forward.

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WTO Report on the Financial and Economic Crisis and Trade-Related Developments

The United States thanks Director-General Lamy and the Secretariat for this Report on the Financial and Economic Crisis and Trade-Related Developments that monitors the trade-related implications of individual economies’ responses to the ongoing economic crisis.
… Overall, in the face of strong pressures in many capitals, major protectionist measures have been avoided. Our monitoring has also made us aware of numerous restrictive measures being considered by our trading partners but which have ultimately been rejected. We appreciate such decisions.

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Statement by Robert Wood: Durban Review Conference: U.S. Position

The United States welcomes the recent progress that has been made through the efforts of many delegations, governments and officials in the formulation of the draft outcome document for the Durban Review Conference on April 20. …. There remain, however, elements of the current draft text that continue to pose significant concerns.

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United States Imposes Tariffs On Softwood Lumber From Four Canadian Provinces Due To Canada’s Failure To Comply With The Softwood Lumber Agreement

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today announced that the United States is imposing 10 percent ad valorem customs duties on imports of softwood lumber products from four Canadian provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan). The United States is exercising its right to take this action in response to Canada’s failure to cure a breach of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement between the United States and Canada (SLA) and failure to impose the compensatory measures determined by the Tribunal. These duties will remain in place until such time as the United States has collected $54.8 million.

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Human Rights Council: Excerpt from State Department Briefing

Human Rights Council in Session in Geneva

…the reason why we have decided to seek election to the Human Rights Council is because after this review – and it was a very thorough review that was undertaken by the Administration – we believe that it’s important to try to promote human rights by being in the council instead of outside. And as Secretary Clinton and President Obama have said, human rights is at the forefront of our foreign policy. And we believe that the only way that we can make the changes that we want to see in the Human Rights Council is to be in that council.

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