Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez Before Their Meeting

28 May

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Washington D.C.

Treaty Room

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  I am delighted to have the vice president and foreign minister here with us today.  The partnership between the United States and Colombia is absolutely vital.  We work together on so many different issues and in so many different ways, and it’s a particular pleasure this morning to have an opportunity for us to continue that work, to deepen the partnership on many challenges, I think some opportunities as well, and I very much look forward to the conversation.  Welcome. 

VICE PRESIDENT RAMIREZ:  Thank you very much, and Secretary Blinken, as you said, this is a long history that we have together, working together for values that we share – democracy, development, the creation of jobs.  We have a lot of common challenges, and for Colombia, it has been the most important relation.  We have to maintain this commitment to increase opportunities for our people, not only Colombia but also in the United States.  And for us, this is a relation that we really want to have in the first point always.  So thank you very much for giving us this opportunity.  And thank you because I know that you are arriving from a long trip, so this is the importance of our relation.  Thank you.  

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, Vice President.  Thank you all.  Have a good morning.  

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

28 May

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On May 29, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to UN peacekeeping.  We join the international community in honoring those who have served in UN peacekeeping operations since 1948, the more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have died in the line of duty, those who have been injured, and those who continue to risk their lives every day upholding peace.  We are heartened to see an increase of women peacekeepers every year; they inspire and support women and girls to be leaders in their communities and agents of change.

At its core, peacekeeping is about helping people whose lives have been ravaged by conflict and creating space for durable peace to take root.  We are focused on promoting the protection of civilians, sustainable political solutions, human rights, and gender equality as priority aspects of peacekeeping missions – these efforts help build the conditions for enduring peace.

We are also advancing improvements and reforms in several key areas: providing missions with achievable and realistic mandates; building the capacity of troop- and police-contributing countries and providing them the necessary resources to effectively and safely implement those mandates; enhancing peacekeeper performance, accountability, safety, and security; and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers and holding perpetrators accountable.

While the United States is the largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, we also contribute key, scarce capabilities to UN peacekeeping and invest heavily in long-term bilateral capacity-building partnerships through the Global Peace Operations Initiative and the International Police Peacekeeping Operations Support program.

UN peacekeeping continues to be one of the most effective mechanisms for promoting international peace and security and protecting the world’s most vulnerable populations.  The United States is committed to strengthening and reforming UN peacekeeping to help make it as effective and efficient as possible in delivering on its vital global mission.

Azerbaijan Republic Day

28 May

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Azerbaijan as you celebrate Republic Day and mark the 1918 establishment of the first democratic government in the Muslim world.

The United States values the thirty years of partnership with Azerbaijan on economic, energy, and security cooperation, and our ongoing dialogue on improving Azerbaijan’s respect for human rights and the rule of law.  We recognize Azerbaijan’s significant contributions to European energy diversification through the Southern Gas Corridor.  Strong institutions and processes that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, rule of law, transparency, and accountability, are vital to us achieving our shared goals and building stronger and deeper ties.

The United States also values the connections fostered between thousands of Azerbaijani and American citizens through people-to-people exchanges, as well as through our Embassies’ public outreach.

As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains committed to helping the sides negotiate a long-term political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and address the humanitarian impact of the fighting, including the release of all detainees, accounting for those missing, and the full and expeditious exchange of remains.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Son

28 May

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.  Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Son celebrated the strength of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership and reaffirmed our shared commitment to protecting and preserving the rules-based order in the South China Sea.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister also discussed ongoing concerns regarding the military coup in Burma and commitments to addressing climate change and tackling COVID-19.  Secretary Blinken emphasized U.S. commitment to ASEAN centrality, the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, and support of a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam that respects human rights and the rule of law.

Security Council Extends Arms Embargo on South Sudan, Mandate of Expert Panel, Adopting Resolution 2577 (2021) by 13 Votes in Favour, 2 Abstentions

28 May

The Security Council, acting through its written silence procedure today, renewed the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures, while expressing its readiness to adjust them in light of conditions on the ground.

Conference on Least Developed Countries: Preparatory Committee

28 May

Note:  Owing to the liquidity crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic impacting our Organization, only a partial summary of today’s meetings of the Preparatory Committee for the fifth Conference on Least Developed Countries is available at this time.  The complete summary will be issued later as Press Release DEV/3441.

Somalia’s Electoral Agreement

28 May

Ned Price, Department Spokesperson

The United States welcomes the May 27 agreement between Somalia’s national and Federal Member State leaders to proceed with parliamentary and presidential elections on the basis of the September 17, 2020, framework.  We commend Prime Minister Roble’s efforts and call on Somalia’s leaders to maintain the spirit of cooperation and compromise demonstrated during this week’s negotiations.  We encourage them to move swiftly to implement the agreement, as concluding a peaceful, inclusive, and transparent electoral process as soon as possible is vital for Somalia to continue on its path to peace and prosperity.  We look forward to continuing our support for that process.