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U.S. Participation in the 70th Session of the UNHCR Executive Committee in Geneva
October 16, 2019

Carol T. O’Connell Sitting At the UN

U.S. Participation in the 70th Session of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Executive Committee in Geneva, Switzerland
Office of the Spokesperson

October 15, 2019

From October 7-11, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration led the U.S. delegation to the 70th Session of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Executive Committee.  In her address to the plenary session, Acting Assistant Secretary Carol T. O’Connell reaffirmed America’s humanitarian leadership and highlighted that the United States continued to be UNHCR’s largest donor in FY 2019, in line with our broader role as the largest contributor to humanitarian assistance in the world.  To mark the mid-point of UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness, the Acting Assistant Secretary’s statement highlighted that statelessness is a problem that can be solved if Member States take bold steps, such as eliminating discrimination against women in nationality laws, and avoid creating new situations of statelessness.  Acting Assistant Secretary O’Connell also underscored core U.S. objectives of increasing burden-sharing with other governments and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian programs.  In closing, she expressed the United States’ gratitude for the efforts of all humanitarian workers and emphasized the need for all parties to armed conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

In further bilateral meetings, the U.S. delegation discussed these and related issues in greater depth with foreign government officials, UNHCR leadership, and non-governmental organization representatives to enhance our collaboration.

For further information about U.S. global leadership in humanitarian affairs, please contact PRMPress@state.gov