United Nations Vital to U.S. Interests, Negroponte Says
The United Nations has a vital role to play in Iraq -- both before and after
July 1, says U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte, adding that
U.N. involvement in countering terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction (WMD) are also high priorities for the United States.
In prepared testimony before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State,
and the Judiciary April 1, Negroponte said the United Nations "engages in
activities affecting every area of U.S. national interests around the globe."
Effective U.S. leadership in the United Nations enables us "to leverage our
influence and resources" and maximize "U.N. capabilities in coordinating
international action and strengthening international peace and security", he
Negroponte also cited the many other serious issues facing the United Nations as
a whole and the Security Council specifically on the eve of the 59th General
-- support for establishment of a self-sufficient constitutional government in
-- furtherance of the Middle East roadmap to peace;
-- deployment of a multinational peacekeeping force in Haiti to be followed by a
U.N. stabilization force;
-- ongoing peacekeeping efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo;
-- support for the fight against HIV/AIDS; and
-- encouragement for member states to strengthen their laws to prevent
trafficking in persons as well as enforcement of the laws and protection of
Following is the text of Negroponte's remarks as prepared for delivery:
United States Mission to the United Nations
April 1, 2004
(As Prepared For Delivery)
Statement for the Record by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, U.S. Representative
to the United Nations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the
Judiciary, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 1,
Mr. Chairman, it is an honor to testify before your subcommittee. As I
emphasized during my testimony two years ago, I believe that it is essential to
have close cooperation and an open dialogue with Congress. I therefore look
forward to a frank and open discussion with you as I try to complement the
statement of Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes by offering you my New York
perspective on U.S. objectives and budgetary requirements at the United Nations.
I ask that my full statement be submitted for the record.
During these last two years much has changed in our world, but not the U.S.
vision of global stability, universal democracy and expanding prosperity that
guides our work at the U.N.... We are mindful that as the world's largest
international organization, the U.N. engages in activities affecting every area
of U.S. national interests around the globe.
At the moment, the highest U.S. policy priorities involving the U.N. are
transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi people and preparing for Iraqi elections,
strengthening the U.N.'s support for global efforts against terrorism and the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and using the U.N. to successfully
address threats to international peace and security posed by potentially failing
In meeting these and other priorities, effective U.S. leadership and
participation in the U.N. enables us to leverage our influence and resources,
and to exploit U.N. capabilities in coordinating international action,
strengthening international peace and security, promoting economic and social
development and good governance, and establishing technical and normative
As the largest contributor to the U.N., the U.S. also must and does take the
lead on reforms designed to maximize U.N. efficiency in the use of resources and
ensure the effectiveness of its programs. Good stewardship of U.S. taxpayer
contributions provides recipients around the world with the best value for each
dollar given while results-based budgeting and program prioritization direct
expenditures away from obsolete or low priority activities.
On the eve of the 59th General Assembly, a number of serious issues face the
United Nations as a whole and the Security Council specifically. They are both
country specific and thematic. Let me list a number of them for
-- supporting the establishment of democracy in Iraq, including transferring
sovereign authority back to the people of Iraq, preparing for the election of
the transitional government and assisting with the drafting of a permanent
-- implementing the Bonn Agreement and supporting the new constitution in
Afghanistan as that country continues to make progress on its journey towards
peace and stability;
-- encouraging both sides to take the necessary steps to achieve President
Bush's vision of a two-state solution articulated in the Middle East Roadmap;
-- using the deployment of a Multinational Interim Force, to be followed by a
U.N. stabilization force within three months, to bring a measure of calm and
stability to Haiti;
-- supporting ongoing peacekeeping efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote
d'Ivoire and the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] and anticipating possible
missions in Burundi and Sudan;
-- encouraging the international tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda,
and Sierra Leone to complete their work successfully;
-- enhancing the ability of the United Nations to promote security and stability
around the world through a revitalized counterterrorism committee;
-- promoting an end to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
-- supporting the fight against AIDS;
-- promoting the participation of women in the political process in all
-- supporting the passage of a total ban on human cloning;
-- promoting economic growth and development through the spirit of partnership
established in Monterrey two years ago;
-- encouraging member states to strengthen their laws to prevent trafficking in
persons as well as enforcement of the law and protection of victims; [and]
-- initiating the temporary relocation and subsequent rebuilding of the U.S.
Mission over the next several years and assisting the United Nations to begin
its own renewal effort through the Capital Master Plan.
Mr. Chairman, the Transitional Administrative Law that will govern Iraq during
the period of Iraq's transition to full democracy has been completed. This
document represents a remarkable accomplishment -- Iraqis representing diverse
backgrounds, views and interests worked together in the spirit of compromise to
map their way forward politically and assert the fundamental human rights of all
Iraqis. They deserve our full support, not only our direct efforts but also our
support in mobilizing the resources of the international community, including
Difficult challenges remain. Former regime loyalists, foreign fighters, and
hardened international terrorists continue to plague the Iraqi people with
attacks on police stations, religious gatherings, and schools.
The United Nations has a vital role to play in Iraq -- both before and after
July 1 -- and the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General [Kofi Annan], [U.N.
envoy] Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, and the members of the United Nations electoral
teams vividly demonstrate this role. The Iraqi people, the United Nations, and
the Coalition all support the transfer of sovereignty by June 30, as well as
direct national elections for the transitional assembly by January 2005, but
there is much to be done.
We therefore welcome the United Nations' active and robust engagement in helping
the Iraqis define their own future and transition to a democratic society at
peace with its neighbors. In particular, the U.N.'s considerable elections
expertise will be invaluable as Iraq prepares for the monumental task of holding
national elections at the end of this year. Further, we welcome the U.N.'s
efforts in the form of Mr. Brahimi's work to provide advice and assistance on
the mechanism for governing Iraq between the transfer of sovereignty and
national elections, as well as on elections preparations.
The Oil-for-Food [OFF] program has been another key issue that required U.S.
attention and effort over several years with regard to Iraq. For our part, we
were actively working to monitor and counter possible wrongdoing by the former
government of Iraq throughout the life of the program. Through the 661
Committee, the U.S. took action to counter the illegal surcharge on oil pricing
by imposing a retroactive pricing mechanism. We reviewed each OFF humanitarian
contract that was approved for import into Iraq to ensure dual use and WMD-related
items would be blocked. Through the Multinational Maritime Interception Force (MIF),
the U.S. worked to prevent the illegal export of oil outside the program.
Although our efforts to implement additional preventative measures -- including
the implementation of commercial protection, land and border monitoring and a
comprehensive "smart sanctions" resolution -- were opposed by other members of
the Council, we were successful in implementing the Goods Review List (GRL) in
With the onset of the conflict in March of last year, CPA (Coalition Provisional
Authority) authorities, in coordination with Iraqi Ministry and U.N. agency
officials, reviewed over 5,000 OFF contracts to determine their relative
priority. During this process, CPA eliminated a 10 percent surcharge imposed on
many of the contracts, as Iraqi officials brought them to light. After
termination of the program on November 21, 2003, the United Nations World Food
Program was requested to assist the Coalition Provisional Authority and the
Iraqi Ministry of Trade with procurement and logistics to keep the Public
Distribution System supplied with food-basket goods. Shipments of food and other
humanitarian supplies are now managed by the newly established Coordination
Center jointly staffed by Iraqi and Coalition officials. The Center's role is to
ensure the steady, secure, and managed flow of remaining Oil-for-Food goods and
newly procured goods. The Ministry of Trade will take complete control of
procurement on April 1 and will assume full responsibility for all aspects of
the program on July 1.
With regard to the allegations of misconduct and abuse under the Oil-for-Food
program that have surfaced in recent weeks, the U.S. and CPA stand ready to
cooperate with and support ongoing investigations. The CPA is currently
assisting the Governing Council and the Iraqi ministries to gather and secure
relevant documents. The Secretary-General of the U.N. has opened a high-level,
independent inquiry into the allegations against U.N. personnel and those
companies and contractors that were involved in the Oil-for-Food program. Member
States' cooperation in these investigations will be critical.
Iraq's neighbors and regional partners have a unique opportunity to play a
constructive role in this transition, but anyone in the international community
with the resources to contribute should come forward to help the Iraqi people.
Mr. Chairman, the Bush administration is thankful for the steadfast support
Congress has shown with regard to Afghanistan and looks forward to continuing
this critical partnership. Two years after the start of the process set forth in
the Bonn Agreement, Afghanistan, with the assistance of the international
community, has made significant progress in its journey towards peace and
stability. Some of the key accomplishments to date include the creation of the
Afghan Transitional Administration, the adoption of an Afghan Constitution, the
launch of a new Afghan currency, the rebuilding of essential roads, the return
of more than two million refugees to Afghanistan, and the return of some four
million children to school.
The next major step on the road to democracy in Afghanistan will be national
elections. These elections will be the first in Afghanistan's history based on
the principle of "one person, one vote" and universal suffrage, and should
result in the first truly democratically elections.
The success of the Constitutional Loya Jirga represented a historic milestone
for the state-building effort in Afghanistan. The new constitution adopted on
January 4 forged a contract between the Afghan people and those who govern them
both now and in the future. The commencement of the Disarmament, Demobilization
and Reintegration (DDR) program in October 2003, and the electoral registration
program that began in December were also milestones of the Bonn Process. We look
to our partners, the international community, and most importantly the Afghan
people to help ensure our continued success. With that goal in mind, I want to
recognize the good work that is being done right now in Berlin at the
international conference on Afghanistan. I hope that the Berlin Conference will
result in a renewed commitment to success in Afghanistan, as well as new
financial and in-kind donations.
The security situation in Afghanistan, especially in the areas near the border
with Pakistan, continues to feature prominently in the view ahead to national
elections for a new Afghan Government. The accelerated segment of the ongoing
U.N.-led electoral registration cannot achieve its target numbers if
registration teams are denied access to certain provinces because of the
security situation. We remain extremely grateful to NATO for its leadership of
the International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) in Afghanistan. I commend the current NATO Secretary-General (de Hoop
Scheffer) as well as his predecessor (Robertson) for their efforts to expand the
NATO force. Substantial new troop contributions have not yet materialized, but
we hope that they will in the months ahead. I also wish to extend my gratitude
to the brave men and women of Operation Enduring Freedom, including the soldiers
and civilians of our Provincial Reconstruction Teams, for representing a force
for good in the parts of Afghanistan that most desperately need it.
Mr. Chairman, the United States remains committed to President Bush's June 24,
2002, vision for the Middle East. We are currently engaged in intensive
discussions with the Israeli government, as well as other regional partners,
about Prime Minister Sharon's ideas that include the possible unilateral
withdrawal from settlements. We believe such a move could generate momentum and
could help in moving forward towards the realization of President Bush's vision
and the implementation of the roadmap. Disappointingly, the Palestinian
Authority has taken no meaningful steps to quell the onslaught of suicide
bombings or fulfill its security obligations under the roadmap.
The United States government continues its engagement on the economic track with
the Palestinians, but progress is intimately linked with Palestinian performance
on security and implementation of the roadmap. Israel must take steps to ease
the humanitarian conditions on the Palestinians, take action on settlements and
outposts and address concerns about the route of the security fence. Any final
settlement between Israelis and Palestinians must be achieved by negotiations.
Neither side can impose final conditions on the other. We remain committed to
the vision outlined by President Bush in his June 24, 2002, speech of two states
living side by side in peace and security. The roadmap is the vehicle for
implementation of this vision.
Mr. Chairman, Haiti is an example of a nation teetering on the brink of failure.
Following President Aristide's resignation in February, the Security Council
unanimously adopted resolution 1529 that authorized the deployment of a
Multinational Interim Force for a period of not more than three months.
Supporting Haiti's "constitutional succession and political process," the
resolution mandates this force to "contribute to a secure and stable
environment, to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance, and to
facilitate the provision of international assistance to the Haitian police and
the Haitian Coast Guard in order to establish and maintain public safety and law
and order and to promote and protect human rights." A follow-on resolution will
be needed in a few weeks in order to establish a stabilization force to support
continuation of a peaceful and constitutional political process and the
development of a secure and stable environment. Getting the U.N. force to take
over for departing Multinational Interim Force troops by June 1 is a key policy
To date, France, Chile, Canada and the United States have sent troops to Haiti
as part of the Multinational Interim Force. For its part, the United Nations
dispatched an assessment mission to Haiti; the Security Council has just
received the Secretary-General's report as to the next steps they will
The Secretary-General has urged the international community not take a
"band-aid" approach to Haiti but rather commit to a long-term involvement to
help rebuild institutions. Now that Haiti has a new Prime Minister and an acting
president, next steps will include re-establishing the Haitian National Police
throughout the country and preparing for national elections in 2005.
At this moment there are 13 peacekeeping missions around the world with a 14th
scheduled to begin in Cote d'Ivoire on April 4. Three peacekeeping missions were
closed during the 2002-2003 period (UNMOP, UNMIBH and UNIKOM). Several others (UNAMSIL,
UNMISET, UNIFIL, UNMIK) have been "right-sized" during this period, contributing
to savings resulting from the closure of missions. We remain committed to the
reforms put forth in the Brahimi report and are working with member states and
the U.N. to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations
Africa dominates the peacekeeping agenda. From Sierra Leone to Liberia to Cote
d'Ivoire to the Congo, the Security Council has authorized blue helmet
operations. Each presents it own challenges and opportunities. And Africa may
witness other peacekeeping operations in the near term. For example, we
anticipate a Security Council vote authorizing a peacekeeping mission in Burundi
sometime in April.
The peace talks between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM) continue under the leadership of Kenya and the
Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD). The United Nations is engaged in
contingency planning for a monitoring mission in the hope that the parties
conclude a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We have consistently informed the U.N.
that it should plan for a lean and mobile monitoring mission that would track
compliance by the parties. Given the length of the conflict, it is likely that
the mission would last the full six years as foreseen in the Machakos Protocols,
signed in July 2002 by the parties.
The United States is a leading supporter of efforts to bring to justice those
alleged to have committed grave violations of the laws of armed conflict and
international humanitarian law.
Currently, three courts are in session: the International Criminal Tribunal for
the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In 2003, in the interest of efficiency
and the implementation of completion strategies for both Tribunals, the position
of a single Chief Prosecutor for both Tribunals was changed: the ICTR acquired
its own Chief Prosecutor. We continue to work on implementing the completion
strategy to reach a successful conclusion to the trial phase by the end of 2008
for the ICTY and ICTR. It is U.S. policy that the most serious offenders will be
tried at the ICTY and the ICTR while the others will be tried in local
jurisdictions. The Special Court for Sierra Leone has operated effectively and
has contributed to the goal of holding accountable those who are guilty of
committing wartime atrocities. Unfortunately, its voluntary funding mechanism,
because of the failure of other countries to contribute, is falling short of its
goal for 2005 and the Secretary-General has proposed that the final tranche of
funding come from United Nations assessed contributions.
The International Criminal Court [ICC] has begun operations. The U.S. regards
the Court as gravely flawed in the areas of accountability, due process,
relationship to the Security Council and U.N. Charter, and jurisdiction. The
risk of politicization is great. It does not recognize the principle that there
shall be no double jeopardy except with respect to its own decisions. Therefore,
we continue to try to conclude bilateral agreements that provide protection for
our nationals from the jurisdiction of the ICC. We also intend that the Security
Council renew its request (binding on the ICC), made in each of the last two
years, that the ICC not commence any investigation or proceeding with respect to
nationals of States that are not parties to the Rome Statute who participate in
U.N.-authorized or established operations.
Perhaps the most significant contribution by the Security Council to the global
campaign against terrorism was the adoption of Resolution 1373 in September
2001. This Resolution is sweeping. It imposed a series of counterterrorism
obligations on all States and established the Counter-Terrorism Committee [CTC]
to monitor implementation.
Through its capacity-building and global coordination initiatives, the Committee
has become a significant element of the worldwide campaign against terrorism. It
has helped energize States and organizations around the world to pay more
attention to combating terrorism, whether through the adoption of new or the
improvement of existing counterterrorism legislation or the development and
implementation of counterterrorism action plans. It has galvanized more than 60
international, regional, and sub-regional organizations worldwide to become more
active in the fight.
Recently, the Committee prepared a report that identified not only the
difficulties Member States are having implementing Resolution 1373, but also
highlighted its own internal structural problems preventing the CTC from
performing as effectively as desired. After months of deliberations, the
Committee agreed that a restructuring of its support staff is needed to enable
the Committee to carry out its mandate. The wider U.N. Membership supports the
restructuring. The Security Council implemented the restructuring on Friday,
March 26 when it adopted Resolution 1535.
The Resolution established the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate
(CTED) headed by an Executive Director, who will oversee the work of 15-20
counterterrorism experts, as well as other staff. A principal goal is to provide
the CTC with an executive arm that can be proactive with the many States eager
for more interaction with the Committee and its experts than is presently
We are committed to ensuring that the CTED makes the Committee and therefore the
Security Council more effective while maintaining a reasonable and responsible
budget that does not take away from funding from other important U.N.
As a complement to the work of the CTC, the Security Council's 1267 Committee
works to neutralize the impact of terrorists and their groups. Sanctions include
an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze. Member states must implement
measures imposed under Resolution 1267 and provide required written assessments.
Security Council Resolution 1526, which the U.S. drafted, further increased
emphasis on member state compliance with the sanctions measures. The new
eight-member Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team called for in the
Resolution was tasked to "collate, assess, monitor and report on" steps being
taken to implement and enforce those measures aimed at curbing terrorists
ability to carry out their acts.
As President Bush stated during his September 2003 speech to the United Nations,
"...we must confront together the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
... The deadly combination of outlaw regimes and terror networks and weapons of
mass murder is a peril that cannot be ignored or wished away." To that end, the
United States introduced a draft Security Council resolution on March 24, 2004
to the full Security Council. That draft is the product of careful groundwork
and extensive negotiations among the Permanent Five (P5) members of the Security
Council. The Resolution states that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons and their means of delivery is a threat to international
peace and security. It calls on Member States to criminalize proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery to or from non-state
actors, enact and enforce effective export controls, and secure proliferation
Mr. Chairman, despite the strides that we in the United States have facilitated
over the last several years, the AIDS pandemic continues to ravage our world,
particularly the African continent. The president has committed to a 5-year, $15
billion, multi-faceted approach to fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The plan aims
to prevent seven million new infections, treat two million HIV-infected people,
and provide care to 10 million people affected by HIV/AIDS, including orphans
and vulnerable children.
The Emergency Plan virtually triples U.S. international HIV/AIDS assistance and
includes bilateral programs that continue in over 70 countries as well as a $1
billion pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and a
new $9 billion program focused on 14 countries in Africa and the Caribbean.
The U.S. remains the largest single donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria. We have contributed $623 million to date and have
pledged $1.97 billion from the Fund's inception through 2008. This amounts to 36
percent of total pledges and 27 percent of all contributions through February
2004. We are also the largest donor to UNAIDS, the coordinating body for U.N.
action on AIDS.
We are continuing our efforts to keep the General Assembly engaged on the issue,
including thorough preparation for a 2005 meeting to review progress towards the
targets established in the U.N.'s 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
The U.S. was a leader in bringing AIDS to the attention of the Security Council,
through Resolution 1308 in 2000. The Security Council held an open meeting in
October 2003 to review progress in implementing 1308, with a primary focus on
Women and Political Participation
Mr. Chairman, the U.S. took the lead in the 58th General Assembly to sponsor a
resolution (58/142) on "Women and Political Participation." The resolution was
adopted by consensus, and attracted 110 additional cosponsors from all regions
of the world. The resolution contains practical recommendations about ways to
empower women to vote, advocate, manage, and govern.
The United States is actively working to promote the resolution's implementation
around the world. We are funding programs to train women in Latin America,
Africa, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia to run for office and
to lead non-governmental organizations. The U.S. is partnering with NGOs
[non-governmental organizations] and institutions like the National Endowment
for Democracy in private-sector programs that target rising women leaders in the
political, social, health, and economic spheres. The United States is investing
heavily in bringing women into the political equation in post-conflict areas,
where their choices and vision are critical, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The power of women to mold new societies and to reshape them for the betterment
of their countries is enormous.
The United Nations General Assembly will revisit the topic of human cloning
during the Fall 2004 General Assembly. In 2003, the General Assembly decided by
consensus to defer discussion of this topic for one year. The United States,
along with over 65 other nations, has been pushing for an outcome that addresses
all forms of human cloning -both experimental and reproductive -- equally and at
the same time. A smaller group of states has been pushing for a convention that
would ban reproductive cloning only, leaving states free to pursue experimental
U.S. policy remains committed to the position that all human cloning is wrong
and should be banned. Cloning a human embryo, for any purpose, is an affront to
human dignity and individuality. "Experimental" or "therapeutic" cloning
requires the creation of a human embryo for the purpose of killing it to extract
stem cells, thus elevating the value of research and experimentation above that
of a human life. The killing of a human being can never be justified for
Financing for Development
Two years ago, heads of State and government, meeting in Monterrey, Mexico,
arrived at a consensus on the importance of mobilizing all resources -- both
developing country and developed country -- in partnership to advance economic
growth and development. That consensus emphasized that each country has
principal responsibility for its own economic and social development.
However, in our efforts to infuse the spirit of Monterrey into the treatment of
economic issues in the U.N., we have seen how deeply ingrained "old thinking"
is, and how difficult it is to dislodge the notion that only increased foreign
aid, or more extensive debt forgiveness, will bring about development.
To counter this, we are promoting the concept of economic freedom and national
responsibility in U.N. bodies. Economic freedom means creating the conditions,
which will mobilize domestic capital and allow the private sector in developing
countries to fulfill its essential role as the engine of growth and development.
To promote the goals of the Monterrey Consensus, the U.S. is moving forward with
the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). There is tremendous interest at the U.N.
for its results-based and partnership approach, which underpins our message that
the vision of our leaders in Monterrey must be, realized one country at a time
through domestic good governance, sound policy, and the enabling environment
that will lead to the most effective mobilization of national resources.
Trafficking in Persons
President Bush has made the fight against this horrific modern form of slavery
an American priority. He highlighted our commitment to the fight during his
September 2003 address to the U.N. General Assembly, saying, "Each year, an
estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the
world's borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and
others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade." The president
committed an additional $50 million to support the global fight against human
trafficking. The $50 million is in addition to the $150 million the
administration has invested in combating trafficking over the last two years (FY
‘02 and FY ‘03).
Mr. Chairman, the United States works through many U.N. mechanisms to fight
trafficking in persons. These include support for General Assembly resolutions
and voluntary contributions to U.N. bodies which assist victims of trafficking
and which assist countries in suppressing trafficking.
To give you an idea of the grass-roots nature of these initiatives, some U.S.
contributions assist the U.N. to translate and distribute public service
announcements into Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hausa, Swahili, Chinese, French
and German. Other funds are used to assist in harmonizing legislation in the
Western African region to bring it in line with the U.N. protocol on
trafficking. Funds have also been used to help establish a center where victims
in Indonesia can receive medical, legal and psychological attention before
returning to their homes.
The U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
Especially Women and Children supplementing the U.N. Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime entered into force on December 25, 2003. The
president sent the Convention and its supplementary protocols on Trafficking in
persons and Smuggling of Migrants to the Senate for advice and consent in
February 2004. The Administration supports ratification.
Buildings -- the Mission and the U.N.
Mr. Chairman, for a number of years the U.S. Mission to the United Nations has
worked to secure funding so that our crowded, outdated and unsafe facility could
be replaced. In June of this year, we will move into temporary quarters pending
the demolition of the current building and construction of a new one. The
construction contract should be awarded in January 2005 with move-in projected
for spring 2008.
For similar reasons, we must also address the state of the U.N. Secretariat
building and headquarters complex. At over 50 it is showing its age. On March
16, the U.S. formally tabled in the budget committee of the General Assembly a
provisional offer of a loan to the United Nations of up to $1.2 billion for 30
years to finance the Capital Master Plan. Reactions to the U.S. proposal have,
so far, been mixed. Some states expressed disappointment that the U.S. did not
offer an interest-free loan which was the U.S. financing mechanism in the early
1950's to construct the U.N. headquarters in New York. Ireland (on behalf of the
EU), China, India, Brazil and Japan were those countries expressing
disappointment while the Russian Federation and others appreciated American
efforts to finance the Capital Master Plan. All made clear they were willing to
keep lines of communication open. The Russian Federation, in particular, said
the U.S. offer was helpful and should be endorsed by other states. Finally,
every state that offered public comments urged the Secretary-General to look
into voluntary funding mechanisms from public as well as private sources, a
request that is contained in two previous General Assembly resolutions.
Mr. Chairman, the United Nations is seized with challenges to world order and
security. The foregoing examples illustrate some of the conflicts confronting
us. There are other challenges to peace and security that are not specific to
one country. These challenges touch most member states in one way or another.
Some, like the international tribunals, are a result of war. Others, like the
scourge of HIV/AIDS can be more devastating than any war. The United Nations is
one avenue we have to meet those challenges. The United States Mission to the
United Nations is dedicated to using the resources of the U.N. to address these
and many other challenges confronting our world today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the Committee for your attention and I would
welcome your questions.
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