On the Australian Sanctions Regime

3 Dec

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

The United States commends Australia on passing legislation that strengthens its sanctions regime to address more comprehensively human rights abuses, corruption, malicious cyber activity, violations of international humanitarian law, and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation globally — all of which threaten international peace and security. The new legislation will enhance U.S.-Australia cooperation on defending human rights and combatting corruption.

Together with other allies and partners, the United States and Australia will seek to promote our shared democratic values with similar tools and continue to call on international partners to adopt sanctions structures that can address these challenges to democratic ideals.  Human rights abusers, corrupt and malign actors, transnational criminals, and those who seek to proliferate WMD, no matter where they are located, will not have access to our financial systems.  The United States looks forward to continuing our partnership with Australia, other like-minded governments, and civil society alike to defend human rights, combat corruption, promote responsible behavior in cyberspace, and promote accountability and good governance.

Participants Adopt Report, Rules of Procedure for Conference on Establishing Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Middle East, as Second Session Concludes

3 Dec

The second session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction concluded today with the adoption of the Conference report and rules of procedure.  The Conference also established a Working Committee for the intersessional period.

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2608 (2021), Security Council Renews Authorization for International Naval Forces Fighting Piracy off Coast of Somalia

3 Dec

The Security Council today renewed for an additional three months its authorization for States and regional organizations cooperating with Somalia to use all necessary means to fight piracy off the coast of the East African country.

Security Council Committee concerning Libya Grants Humanitarian Travel Exemption, Valid for Six Months, to Three Listed Individuals

3 Dec

On 3 December 2021, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya decided to grant a humanitarian travel exemption, pursuant to paragraph 16(a) of resolution 1970 (2011), effective from 1 December 2021 through 31 May 2022, to the following three individuals.

Activities of Secretary-General in Colombia, 22-24 November

3 Dec

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, accompanied by his wife, Catarina Vaz Pinto, arrived in Colombia from New York on Monday, 20 November, for a two-day visit in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the landmark 2016 Final Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP).

Resumed Thirty-First Meeting of States Parties to United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea to Be Held on 8 December

3 Dec

The resumed thirty-first Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea will be held at Headquarters on 8 December 2021 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., for the purpose of filling one vacant seat in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf allocated to the members of the Commission from Latin American and Caribbean States.

Joint Statement on the Syria Special Envoy Meeting

3 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is the Joint Statement on the Syria Special Envoy Meeting.

Begin Text.

Representatives of the Arab League, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, Iraq, Jordan, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States met December 2 at the envoys-level in Brussels to discuss the crisis in Syria.

We reaffirmed our support for the unity and territorial integrity of Syria and to the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as for the implementation of all aspects of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, including an immediate nationwide ceasefire, the release of the arbitrarily detained, and the unimpeded and safe delivery of aid.

We welcomed UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen’s briefing and pledged to redouble our support to his continued efforts, including in the Constitutional Committee, to engage all parties and advance progress towards a political resolution to the crisis in accordance with UNSCR 2254.  We will also firmly press for accountability for the most serious crimes.

We expressed deep concern regarding the continued suffering of the Syrian people as a result of over 10 years of violence and the dire humanitarian situation on the ground.  We emphasized that access to life-saving humanitarian assistance must be provided through all modalities including cross-border and cross-line as well as early recovery projects consistent with UNSCR 2585, across the whole of Syria.  We stressed the importance of continuing the UN cross-border mechanism that reaches over three million Syrians each month and to which there is no alternative, as well as the need to maintain support to Syrian refugees and to the generous host countries, until Syrians can voluntarily return home with safety and dignity in line with UNHCR standards.

End Text.

U.S.-EU: Joint Press Release by the EEAS and Department of State on the Second High-Level Meeting of the U.S.-EU Dialogue on China

2 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is the text of a joint press release by the U.S. Department of State and the European External Action Service.

Begin text:

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman and European External Action Service Secretary General Stefano Sannino held the second high-level meeting of the U.S.-EU Dialogue on China on December 2 in Washington. They reviewed the work of the six working groups that were launched since the first high-level meeting in May. They reiterated that the United States’ and EU’s respective relations with China are multifaceted and emphasized the importance of the United States and EU maintaining continuous and close contacts on our respective approaches as we invest and grow our economies, cooperate with China where possible, and manage our competition and systemic rivalry with China responsibly.

Deputy Secretary Sherman and Secretary General Sannino also discussed the growing list of China’s actions that are of concern, including those that breach international law and run counter to the shared values and interests of the United States and the EU. They discussed ongoing human rights abuses and violations in China, including the systemic repression of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang and in Tibet, and the erosion of autonomy and democracy in Hong Kong. They expressed a shared interest in continued exchanges and cooperation, including in multilateral fora, on human rights issues in China. They also reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law and principles, and strengthening the effectiveness of multilateral institutions by coordinating to advance shared priorities related to human rights, global standards, clear institutional procedures, and wherever possible on elections in international organizations. Noting the harmful effects of disinformation on democratic societies, they expressed their readiness to deepen U.S.-EU information sharing on disinformation sponsored or supported by China.

Deputy Secretary Sherman and Secretary General Sannino reaffirmed the importance of protecting and building economic and technological resilience, diversifying and strengthening supply chains, and addressing economic coercion. They reiterated the importance of close U.S.-EU cooperation to uphold the rules-based international order, including securing a level playing field for all countries. They also emphasized the importance of protecting intellectual property rights, critical infrastructure, and sensitive technologies, as well as information-sharing on tools to strengthen economic resilience, reduce loopholes and vulnerabilities, and shield against risks, including from non-market practices.

They expressed strong concern over China’s problematic and unilateral actions in the South and East China Seas and the Taiwan Strait that undermine peace and security in the region and have a direct impact on the security and prosperity of both the United States and European Union. They further reaffirmed the importance of upholding and promoting freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and discussed how to counteract risks in the areas of strategic stability and cybersecurity.

Deputy Secretary Sherman and Secretary General Sannino recognized the importance of diplomacy with China, most notably where interests intersect and where constructive cooperation is possible. They debriefed on recent U.S. and EU high-level meetings with Chinese government officials, including in support of common goals in Iran and the Korean peninsula, and stressed the importance of results-oriented engagement on key transnational challenges, such as the climate crisis, health security, and trafficking in persons and drugs. Building on the recent U.S.-China and EU-China statements on climate action, they discussed working with Chinese government counterparts on policy matters such as reducing methane emissions and decarbonization, as well as sharing the results of these meetings.

Deputy Secretary Sherman and Secretary General Sannino decided to continue meetings in this dialogue at senior official and expert levels, with the next high-level meeting to take place in mid-2022.

Secretary Blinken to Participate in Reuters NEXT Virtual Global Conference

2 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will participate in the Reuters NEXT Virtual Global Conference at 1:30 p.m. EST, Friday, December 3.  He will take part in a conversation moderated by Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni.

This event will be livestreamed on www.state.gov.

For further information, please contact the Office of Press Relations at PAPressDuty@state.gov.