Senior Official Murray’s Travel to Honolulu, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur

3 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

U.S. Senior Official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Matt Murray will travel to Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, December 4-9 for the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting (ISOM) and to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for outreach and engagement with counterparts and stakeholders on the U.S. APEC host year December 12-16.

Senior Official Murray’s trip to Honolulu will underscore the United States’ enduring commitment to inclusive and sustainable economic growth throughout the Asia-Pacific region and kick off the U.S. 2023 APEC host year.  ISOM will build on the outcomes of the 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November and will be an opportunity for the United States to share our 2023 priorities with APEC economies and other stakeholders.   Senior Official Murray will also meet with local stakeholders to demonstrate how engagement with the APEC region supports economic prosperity for Americans, expands women’s participation in the global economy and supports U.S. innovation in the digital economy.

In Singapore, Senior Official Murray will participate in an event hosted by the APEC Secretariat’s Executive Director to commemorate the handover of APEC host year responsibilities from Thailand to the United States.  In both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, he also will engage the private sector and government officials on U.S. priorities for APEC, including at events hosted by the American Chambers of Commerce in both countries.

Learn more about the outcomes from APEC 2022 here.

For further information, please contact the U.S. APEC Team at DOSAPEC@state.gov.

Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Sabry

3 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry.  The Secretary congratulated Foreign Minister Sabry on the approaching 75th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence. The two discussed the United States’ support for Sri Lanka during its economic crisis, including nearly $240 million in new U.S. government assistance, and the importance of comparable treatment for all creditors as critical to debt restructuring and securing an IMF program.

Secretary Blinken urged the Government of Sri Lanka to continue its ongoing efforts toward economic and political reforms focused on transparency, inclusion, and good governance.  The Secretary also welcomed Sri Lanka’s agreement to join the Global Methane Pledge.  Both sides affirmed their common interest in tackling the climate crisis by accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to clean energy, and strengthening resilience to climate impacts.  In addition, the leaders discussed the two countries’ shared commitment to advance democratic principles, including respect for human rights.

Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry Before Their Meeting

3 Dec

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Washington, D.C.

Treaty Room

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I’m very pleased to have Foreign Minister Sabry here.  We had a chance to meet on the margins of the ASEAN —

FOREIGN MINISTER SABRY:  Yes.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  — meetings, so second time we’re able to get together in person.  We’ve had almost 75 years of partnership with Sri Lanka.  We’ll celebrate that next year, and of course we are working very closely together on issues of global import, including the climate crisis, where Sri Lanka has been taking some important steps to help the world address it.  And of course the United States has been working closely with Sri Lanka in the midst of the serious economic challenges that Sri Lanka is facing.  We provided some $240 million in assistance and loans, and we’re also working together both to support economic stability but also political stability and progress.

So I’m looking forward to continuing our discussions here today.  Welcome.  It’s really good to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER SABRY:  Thank you very much, Secretary Blinken, for inviting me, and it’s a pleasure being here.  Sri Lanka and the U.S. have been long-term partners – 75 years of diplomatic relationship that – almost the period of independence.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yeah.

FOREIGN MINISTER SABRY:  So one of the first countries to recognize us.  We were very happy.  And then we have had a very good relationship.  I must take this opportunity, Secretary, to pay my gratitude for American people and your administration, Biden administration, for a lot of support during a very testing time for Sri Lankans.  So we are grateful particularly for your humanitarian support – loans, grants – and technical support.  We are extremely grateful, and we are looking forward to work for even better relationship and particularly in the Indian Ocean and eastern Pacific.  And I must make this opportunity to also thank you and the Treasury for playing a leading role in allowing us and facilitating us to approach the IMF, restructure our debt, and to go to the board sooner than later in order to get our EFF as soon as possible.

Thank you very much, my friend.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Come on in.  Thanks, everyone.

Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Meeting with Spanish State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs Ángeles Moreno Bau

2 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Deputy Secretary Sherman met with Spanish State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs Ángeles Moreno Bau on Wednesday in Washington, DC.  The Deputy Secretary commended Spain’s humanitarian and defense support for Ukraine.  They discussed deepening cooperation, especially with Latin America, in advance of Spain’s Council of the EU presidency starting in July 2023.  They reaffirmed our commitments to upholding human rights and the rules-based international order in light of challenges posed by Russia and the People’s Republic of China.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

2 Dec

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

In recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, the United States reaffirms its critical role as a champion of disability inclusion around the world.

The Department of State advances this priority through funding grants, while also sharing resources and expertise to support governments, disabled persons organizations, and other stakeholders in designing and implementing disability-inclusive policies and practices. U.S. Special Advisor on International Disability Rights Sara Minkara spearheads our international disability policy efforts.

The United States also co-chairs the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network with our civil society partner, the International Disability Alliance. Through GLAD, we initiated a new ad hoc working group on inclusive democratic participation and political action.  In addition, we are continuing our work on disability-inclusive democracy with governments, civil society, and the private sector as a part of the Summit for Democracy.

Successful inclusion also requires visibility; persons with disabilities must be included and reflected in policy solutions, whether in the context of climate action, political participation, or crisis planning.

Today we recommit to making disability an integral consideration in all foreign policy endeavors.  We do so knowing that societies are more secure, innovative, and productive when all people are valued and empowered to fully participate in society

Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

2 Dec
In Haiti, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has increased their cholera treatment centres from 49 to 62. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Development Programme (United Nations Development Programme), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched cholera and health activities in the Port-au-Prince area focusing on women and girls impacted by gang violence there.

Assistant Secretary Noyes Travels to Bangladesh and Thailand

2 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes will travel to Bangladesh on December 3-7 and Thailand on December 7-10, 2022.

In Bangladesh, Assistant Secretary Noyes will meet with government officials to express our gratitude for their generosity in hosting Rohingya and other refugees fleeing the worsening humanitarian crisis in Burma.  She will meet with non-governmental and international organization partners to highlight the U.S. commitment to supporting the Rohingya refugee response and impacted host communities.

In Thailand, Assistant Secretary Noyes will meet with senior government officials as well as non-governmental and international organization partners to discuss refugee protection and humanitarian assistance for vulnerable populations in Thailand and our continued support for humanitarian partners.  She will highlight our commitment to the enduring U.S.-Thailand alliance and partnership.

IN THE STATES: Biden’s Economic Plan Is Working

2 Dec

In the states this week, local news was full of headlines showing President Biden’s economic plan is working, from lower gas prices to manufacturing jobs coming back.

Here’s what they’re reading about gas prices hitting their lowest level since Russia invaded Ukraine:

Also this week, President Biden visited Bay City, Michigan, to tout the American manufacturing jobs boom, thanks in large part to the Biden-Harris administration’s Made in America agenda.

Across the states, headlines show investments from the Biden-Harris administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are continuing to be awarded to help lower costs, make Americans’ travel faster and safer, reduce emissions and more. 

Finally, this week, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland welcomed Tribal leaders from across the country for the White House Tribal Nations Summit, where they reiterated their commitment to working with Tribal nations across the country. 

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