BAD NEWS awaiting Pakistan @ Coming UN General Assembly 09/19-23 – US Asst. Sheba Crocker

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CROCKER: Well, good afternoon everyone. And as Mark said and I know you are all aware, we are approaching high-level week of the UN General Assembly’s 71st session, which is notable, as it always is for many reasons, but this year especially because of the fact that it will be President Obama’s last UN General Assembly as well as the last for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In keeping with the President’s determination for the past eight years to use this unique diplomatic environment of UNGA to maximum positive effect, this year, as we have done in the past, will feature events and activities designed to advance key U.S. multilateral objectives. You may recall that last year’s UN General Assembly featured activities that the U.S. participated in and led that resulted in significant new commitments to UN peacekeeping, that strengthened the range of allies and actions to counter ISIL and violent extremism, that launched ambitious new development goals, and that significantly advanced the climate change negotiations.

This year, we are focusing on three topline priorities as we head into the UN General Assembly: humanitarian response, peace and security, and countering terrorism and violent extremism. In addition, the United States will also move forward with UN member-states on a number of other issues of continuing importance, including, again, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, nuclear disarmament, and UN reform.

Of course, as Mark noted, Secretary Kerry’s schedule is evolving by the minute, so for today I will speak briefly about the key events that are already confirmed and that reflect the Secretary’s priorities for high-level week in New York.

At present, we expect the Secretary to arrive in New York on Saturday the 17th of September. On Sunday the 18th, his first official event will be to represent the United States at a ministerial meeting on the Global Demining Initiative for Colombia, where participants will announce concrete pledges to humanitarian mine action and to help Colombia rid itself of land mines by 2021.

Later that same afternoon, on September 18th, he will attend the Social Good Summit, where global leaders and grassroots activists will discuss the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world.

On the morning of Monday the 19th, the Secretary is currently slated to hold a series of bilateral meetings, and in the afternoon he will deliver remarks on behalf of the United States at the General Assembly’s High-Level Plenary on Refugees and Migrants. And this event precedes and complements the President’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, which takes place the next day.

On Tuesday morning, the 20th of September, President Obama will make his eighth and final speech to the General Assembly, and the Secretary will obviously be present for that and will also join the President that same day during the President’s meetings with the General Assembly president and with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary will also join President Obama on the 20th of September at the annual lunch hosted by the secretary-general for heads of delegation – delegations. And that same afternoon – again, September 20th – the Secretary will join the President for his Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, which will be cohosted by the secretary-general and by the heads of state or delegations from Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Sweden, and Mexico.

You’re all fully aware, I know, of the scope and scale of the global refugee crisis. And the President’s summit responds not just to the headlines of yesterday and today but to the broader and enduring strains on the humanitarian system. We expect that the summit will result in significant new, sustained commitments to UN humanitarian appeals, expanded refugee resettlement programs or alternative legal pathways for admission, and new opportunities for refugees and their host communities to benefit from improved refugee access to education and to legal employment.

On the morning of Wednesday, September 21st, the Secretary will attend an event hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the landmark climate change agreement that was adopted by nearly 200 countries in Paris last December. The event comes on the heels of the United States and China formally joining the Paris Agreement on September 3rd and is focused on encouraging other countries to do the same, with the goal of bringing the agreement into force by the end of this year.

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