USA at the 2018 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson For Immediate Release MEDIA NOTE September 7, 2018 U.S. Delegation to the 2018 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting Ambassador Michael G. Kozak will lead the U.S. delegation to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to be held ...
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On the 5+2 Transnistrian Settlement Process

Statement on the 5+2 Transnistrian Settlement Process As delivered by Political Counselor Gregory Macris to the Permanent Council, Vienna June 14, 2018 The United States joins others today in welcoming substantive progress in the Transnistrian Settlement Process, endorsed at the recent round of 5+2 talks held in Rome May 29-30. As an observer to the ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian to the Permanent Council, Vienna June 14, 2018 Mr. Chair, intense fighting near the Donetsk Filtration Station led to a temporary suspension of its operations last week, jeopardizing the ...
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Response to UNHCR and the IOM

Response to the addresses to the Permanent Council by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Senior Regional Advisor for Europe and Central Asia Manfred Profazi.
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U.S. Implementation, Oversight and Enforcement of the EU-U.S. & Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks

May 1, 2018: From January 2017 through May 2018, the U.S. Government has taken action to support the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks. These measures enhance privacy protections for EU and Swiss individuals, while ensuring that American and European businesses can count on the Privacy Shield to deliver innovative products and services across the Atlantic. ...
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At the OSCE: The Week in Review

The Week in Review: January 22nd to January 26th Economic and Environmental Forum: The Digital Economy and Security The link between the digital economy and security was the focus of this year’s first conference in the 2018 Economic and Environmental Forum (EEF) cycle in Vienna on Monday and Tuesday. We see great opportunity for collaboration on ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Deputy Political Counselor Darren Perdue to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 16, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The conflict in the Donbas seems to have returned to an established pattern as we enter the ...
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Interview with U.S. Delegation Head Ambassador Michael Kozak on the 2017 OSCE HDIM

Interview with U.S. Delegation Head Ambassador Michael Kozak on the 2017 OSCE HDIM On September 13, 2017, the Security and Human Rights Monitor  published an interview with Ambassador Michael Kozak, the Head of the U.S. Delegation. In the interview he outlined the main issues of concern for the United States at the 2017 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. Questions were prepared by Stephanie Liechtenstein, ...
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Response to Report of External Auditor on Financial Report and Statement for 2016 and to Report of the OSCE Audit Committee, July 2016-June 2017

We welcome measures taken to streamline the budget process and documents, and we support the Audit Committee’s recommendations for the OSCE to continue efforts at reforming the budget cycle to improve the ability of fund managers to plan and implement projects more effectively.
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Response to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine, Ambassador Vaidotas Verba

The Project Coordinator in Ukraine (PCU) plays an indispensable role in providing assistance to Ukraine. Key projects offer training on psychological support to people in conflict-affected areas; advocate for humanitarian demining; promote the safety of journalists; and support policy recommendations that draw attention to the plight of displaced persons.
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Opening Session of the 2017 Annual Security Review Conference

Opening Session of the 2017 Annual Security Review Conference As prepared for delivery by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Kathleen A. Kavalec to the 2017 Annual Security Review Conference, Vienna June 27, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Last year, I delivered an intervention at this conference asking participating States to consider what we as ...
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Conventional Arms Control and Building Confidence- and Security-building Measures: Problems and Prospects

In parallel we can – and, in fact, have begun to – engage in a comprehensive dialogue on our security concerns, to explore all the factors that are currently contributing to a sense of lessening stability and security in Europe. We must work toward finding practical ways to reverse those negative trends. The United States ...
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Reply to the Opening Session of the RFOM Conference “Media Freedom in Volatile Environments”

We agree that we can all do more to strengthen journalist protections.  We agree that there is a need for more fact-based reporting.  And we agree that these issues need to be addressed democratically and in a manner consistent with OSCE principles and commitments.
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Closing Session of the Second Preparatory Meeting of the 25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum in Astana, Kazakhstan

The United States will remain an active participant in this continuing conversation, one that includes civil society, academic experts, government officials, and business representatives, to discuss opportunities to strengthen security and good governance through a greener economy and stronger partnerships.
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Remarks to the Opening Session of the Second Preparatory Meeting of the 25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum

Remarks to the Opening Session of the Second Preparatory Meeting of the 25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum As delivered by U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan George A. Krol Astana, Kazakhstan June 15, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. Good morning fellow delegates, representatives, and distinguished guests, including many of you who have joined us from capitals, ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan

Together with France and Russia, the United States intends to continue working through the Minsk Group as the primary channel for resolving this conflict and upholding a common commitment to peace and security in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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Response to Altai Efendiev, Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

We share the concerns of Organization for Democracy and Economic Development member states about the active and protracted conflicts in this region, and are deeply concerned by continuing violations of member states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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On Continued Reports of Arrests, Unlawful Detention, Torture, and Killing of Gay Men by the Chechen Government

The Human Rights Watch report, which appears to us to be well documented and to rely on independent sources in Chechnya, gives a timeline of events, provides multiple victims’ accounts of the violence perpetrated against them, and offers recommendations to Russian authorities, foreign governments, and international bodies.
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Commitments by Russia in Ukraine

Within 30 meters of a hospital, there was a shell crater four meters in diameter and two meters deep, assessed to have been fired from a 152mm artillery piece located in “separatist”-controlled territory. Because a shell of this size will generally kill anything within 50 meters of impact, it caused extensive damage to the hospital.
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Interpretative Statement on the Decision on the Programme Office in Dushanbe

The United States has joined consensus on the new mandate for the OSCE field presence in Tajikistan, now called the Program Office in Dushanbe. We do so with the understanding that the new mandate will not be used to restrict the autonomy of the Office and its ability to respond flexibly to challenges or issues ...
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Joint Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

We do not expect attitudes about LGBTI persons to change overnight, but we do expect that political leaders will lead the fight against hate crimes and intolerance. They must ensure the ability of LGBTI persons to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to express themselves, to associate, and to peacefully assemble.
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On Europe Day

The United States and the European Union have a strong and enduring partnership based on our shared democratic values, strong economic ties, and mutual commitment to addressing global challenges.
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Responses to the Russian Federation Statement on Privacy Concerns

National security matters are an issue of public debate in the United States, a debate which involves civil society, human rights activists, the media, journalists, bloggers, comedians, and any number of other individuals and organizations, all of which are free to express themselves, organize, associate, and peacefully assemble to make their views heard.
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Response to Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shaken the very foundations of security and stability in Europe, and is antithetical to a vision of Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. The United States affirms its staunch support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles by Russia

Only a visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement in the security situation will allow progress on the Minsk agreements, starting with a real and sustainable ceasefire, disengagement of forces, and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Yet Russia continues a pattern of behavior that undermines disengagement.
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Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation

Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation’s claim that ODIHR’s determination regarding how to observe the French elections is another example of an “unbalanced” approach by ODIHR is unjustified and ...
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Reply to Russia on the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Reply to Russia on the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 201 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation referred to the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as an obsolete international guardian that should be ...
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Russia’s Continued Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

We urge Russia to respect the human right of all to exercise the fundamental freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief-- including the right to profess and practice one’s religion alone or in community with others -- in accordance with its OSCE commitments and international obligations.
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On Continued Reports of Arrests, Unlawful Detention, Torture, and Killing of Gay Men by the Chechen Government

The United States continues to be disturbed by reports of arrests, unlawful detention, torture, and killings of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation, as well as those subjected to abuse by association. These violations and abuses of human rights cannot be ignored.
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Interpretative Statement: Declaration of Support for the Special Monitoring Mission

We note that all participating States must cooperate with the Special Monitoring Mission and must take no action to obstruct its access to Crimea or any other region of Ukraine. We offer our gratitude to all monitors, staff, and leadership of the Special Monitoring Mission for their dedicated service under difficult and at times dangerous ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ambassador Moore, the ongoing involvement of your Mission in supporting the country’s priorities remains a vital part of stability and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The OSCE Mission continues to assist the host government with implementation of reforms and strengthening the rule of law, democratic institutions, and mechanisms for the protection of human rights.
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Response to the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

ODIHR is leading the way on numerous areas of critical importance to the comprehensive and lasting security of our region. ODIHR’s work on tolerance and non-discrimination, in particular regarding combating violent hate crimes, anti-Semitism, and intolerance towards Roma and Sinti, is essential at a time when intolerance is on the rise throughout the region
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Young Journalists from Ukraine and Russia Inspire a Free Media Champion

“In February 2016, my Office hosted nine young journalists from Ukraine and the Russian Federation as part of our ‘Two Countries – One Profession’ project. Although all of these dialogues have been extremely valuable, I was particularly moved by the conviction and dedication of these young people to their work as journalists. Journalists are the ...
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On the Closure of Crossing Points and the Illegitimate Referendum in Georgia’s Regions

The United States is deeply concerned by the decision of de facto Abkhaz authorities to close two controlled crossing points along the administrative boundary line of the occupied territory of Abkhazia in Georgia. These closures will further restrict freedom of movement and damage the livelihoods of local residents.
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On the Political Situation in Macedonia

The United States was disappointed that President Ivanov declined to offer the opportunity to form a new government to representatives who have a clear parliamentary majority. We believe this action was inconsistent with OSCE commitments, basic democratic principles, and the rule of law, which are core values of this Organization.
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Reply to the Russian Federation on Ukraine

In regards to the question from the Russian delegation about the U.S. position with respect to the recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, it is the assessment of the United States that these are combined Russian-separatist forces and that Russia continues to provide the materiel, financial, and other direct support that fuels the conflict ...
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Statement on Office in Yerevan

We are very concerned by the situation regarding the OSCE Office in Yerevan. This office, like all OSCE field missions and institutions, is an important element of the work done by this organization to assist participating states with the implementation of their OSCE commitments. Should the Office in Yerevan be forced to close, this will ...
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Reply to Russia on Ongoing Violations by the Russian Federation in Ukraine

Reply to Russia on Ongoing Violations by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna February 2, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for recognizing me as the representative of the United States of America.  We represent the policy of the United States ...
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

This conflict will remain volatile until weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements are withdrawn, and the framework decisions on disengagement and demining are fully implemented. Otherwise, there is little to stop small-scale clashes from escalating, and this conflict from continuing.
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Response to Cyprus Foreign Minister and Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe | Statement to the PC

Security through a rules-based international order founded on the protection of human rights and inclusive, democratic societies can best be achieved when international organizations such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe work in concert to protect and promote our common values.
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Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia | Statement to the PC

Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia  |  Statement to the PC As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna January 19, 2017 The United States is concerned about the December 28 decision by Chechnya’s Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of Zhalaudi Geriev, a local independent ...
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Press Release: United States Joins 21 Other Partner OSCE Delegations in Presenting the 2017 Democracy Defender Award to Russia’s Golos Movement

"As the only independent electoral watchdog in Russia, the Golos Movement provides an essential voice before, during, and after elections to monitor transparency, openness, and lawfulness, and identify electoral fraud and abuse."
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On the Russian-Separatist Forces’ Offensive near Svitlodarsk, Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the offensive launched by combined Russian-separatist forces on Sunday, December 18, in what appears to have been a failed attempt to seize territory in strategic areas outside the town of Svitlodarsk, which is located near separatist-held Debaltseve. This brazen violation of the Minsk agreements is an issue ...
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TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable  December 15, 2016  Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria  AMBASSADOR BAER:  Thanks everyone.  I know that this is supposed to be a conversation that is forward looking and that is looking specifically at the Austrian Chairmanship taking over next year, but in order to have some idea ...
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TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service December 14, 2016 Neuer Saal, Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria QUESTION:  Journalists are being intimidated, attacked, and recently one of our journalists, another one, was arrested, as you might have heard.  Allashov was arrested along with at least five members of his ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Russia’s Ongoing Violations of Ukraine’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity | Statement to the PC

I wanted to respond, not really directly to our distinguished Russian colleague, but rather, to point out to the rest of my distinguished colleagues around this table – just picking up on that last point that we heard from the Russian delegation this morning: that all those who are interested in dialogue need to accept ...
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Response to the OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings | Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Jarbussynova to the Permanent Council.  Ambassador, thank you for efforts and for the accomplishments of the Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings highlighted in your report. The United States strongly supports the work of the OSCE Special Representative and that of her staff, ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.  Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to sustain the violence in eastern Ukraine, with hundreds of explosions registered daily and proscribed heavy weapons used, including multiple launch rocket systems. Despite overwhelming evidence that Russia arms, trains, and fights alongside so-called “separatists,” Moscow continues to deny involvement. On December 9, fighters in the separatist-held ...
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Ambassador Baer’s Interview with Gazeta.ru

One of the things that gets misunderstood is that while it is true that it is difficult to reach consensus today in the OSCE, on most things, there is agreement by at least 55 or 56 States. It is usually one or two holdouts. When it’s one, it’s usually the Russian Federation. And when it’s ...
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On Ministerial Council Declaration “From Lisbon to Hamburg: On the 20th Anniversary of the OSCE Framework for Arms Control” | Interpretative Statement

On the occasion of the adoption of the Hamburg Ministerial Council Declaration, “From Lisbon to Hamburg: Declaration on the Twentieth Anniversary of the OSCE Framework for Arms Control,” the United States of America would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure. We note that the declaration ...
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On the Conflict in Georgia | Joint Statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia to the 2016 OSCE Ministerial Council

We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We underline the need for a peaceful resolution over the conflict in Georgia, based on full respect of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law. We call upon the Russian Federation to fully implement ...
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On the Ministerial Council decision on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees | Interpretative Statement

In connection with the Ministerial Council decision just adopted on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure. The United States believes that this phenomenon is truly a multi-dimensional, cross-cutting ...
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On the Ministerial Decision on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees | Joint Interpretative Statement

In connection with the adoption of the Ministerial Decision on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, we would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure: The delegations of Azerbaijan, Canada, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States ...
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Secretary of State John Kerry at the Opening Session of the OSCE Ministerial | Statement to the 2016 Ministerial Council

Friends and colleagues, we meet in Hamburg today to reaffirm the same idea that tied us together in Helsinki 41 years ago: that our collective security is directly linked to the growth of our economies and the protection of basic human rights.
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The OSCE Ministerial Council

On December 8 & 9, foreign ministers from across the OSCE region will meet in Hamburg, Germany, for what’s known as the OSCE Ministerial Council. The OSCE Ministerial Council meeting is the highlight of the OSCE’s calendar year, and is often described as the OSCE’s ‘central decision-making and governing body’. But what actually takes place ...
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On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women | Statement to the PC

In commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United States reaffirms its belief that gender-based violence is never acceptable, that women and girls have the right to live free from violence, and that countries are stronger when homes, neighborhoods, and communities are safe for everyone. Over the past year—indeed, throughout history—there ...
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Response to OSCE’s Chief Monitor in Ukraine, Ambassador Apakan, and the CiO’s Special Representative, Ambassador Sajdik

The United States welcomes Ambassadors Apakan and Sajdik back to the Permanent Council. Ambassadors, we thank you for your report, and for your tireless efforts to see the Minsk agreements implemented in full. Ambassador Apakan, please convey our gratitude to your monitors and staff who serve in difficult and at times dangerous conditions. This week, ...
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Reply to Russia’s Response to Ukraine on Media Freedom in the Russian Federation | Statement to the PC

Given past statements made by the Russian delegation in this room, I can only assume that the distinguished representative of the Russian Federation is making his snide remarks about sponsors with reference to several of us around this table. I think it is important to back up and recognize that what happened in Ukraine three ...
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Concern about Conviction of Kazakhstani Civil Society Activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan | Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about the fairness of the legal process that resulted in the recent decision of the Kazakhstani regional court in Atyrau to convict and sentence Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan to five years in prison each for their alleged roles in organizing peaceful demonstrations in the spring of 2016. The United ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Response to Report by RFoM Dunja Mijatović | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Allow me to make a response to the comments just made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, our distinguished Russian colleague said that not a word was said about concerns about journalists in the United States. That is simply false. In fact, my statement started today in recounting an exchange that ...
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On New Charges Against Lawyer Burzurgmehr Yorov in Tajikistan | Statement to the PC

The United States wishes to express concern over the new criminal charges brought against defense lawyer Burzurgmehr Yorov. Mr. Yorov is already serving a 23-year sentence following a trial rife with procedural irregularities, and is likely being held in connection with his work as a defense attorney. On November 14, Tajikistan initiated a new criminal ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The situation continues to deteriorate in eastern Ukraine. In mid-November ceasefire violations reached their highest levels since the establishment of the Special Monitoring Mission in 2014. Furthermore, the SMM recorded last week the highest-ever number of violations from heavy weapons, including multiple launch rocket systems. Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to be responsible for the majority ...
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