Tuesday, October 3, 2017

US Support for the UN Action Plan for Libya

Press Statement
Heather Nauert
Department of State Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 22, 2017

The United States welcomes the September 20 United Nations (UN) announcement of an action plan to advance political reconciliation in Libya and help the Libyan people achieve lasting peace and security.

We applaud the vigorous outreach by UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Libya Ghassan Salamé to Libyan leaders and call on all Libyans to support and engage in his mediation efforts. The Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) remains the framework for a political solution to the conflict throughout the transition period. In this regard, we strongly support UN facilitation as the Libyan people carry out this critical transition, specifically by seeking to negotiate mutually-agreed limited amendments to the LPA, adopt a new constitution, and prepare for national elections.

The United States will not support individuals who seek to circumvent the UN-led political process.
The United States remains committed to working with Libya, the UN, and our international partners to help advance political reconciliation, defeat terrorism, and promote a more stable future for the Libyan people.

Monday, October 2, 2017

US Institute of Peace Hosts Symposium on Peace in Nigeria

Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects for Advancing Durable Peace

09/29/2017 06:35 PM EDT

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
Under Secretary for Political Affairs
U.S. Institute of Peace
Washington, DC
September 28, 2017

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good morning. Thank you, President Lindborg, for the kind introduction. I am grateful to you and Ambassador Carson for the invitation to participate in this important symposium on Nigeria. It is great to be back at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where each day you bring together key policy makers to engage in open dialogue on today’s most pressing issues.

Our Africa Bureau produces incredible diplomats. We have one in Don Yamamoto here today. It’s a
Bureau that really works at what I consider to be the cutting edge of American diplomacy and working in a part of the world that is in a remarkable and profound state of transition and has enormous lessons in terms of peacebuilding, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, building economies, and globalization, which are incredibly important for all of us. Some of us are going to have to relearn these lessons. Our engagement in Africa is a very, very important part of that.

I was here two weeks ago to discuss the burgeoning U.S.-African partnership, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to join you this morning to continue that conversation in the context of Nigeria – one of our most important partners in Africa.

I want to acknowledge the Senior Working Group, a distinguished cohort of Nigerian civic leaders, for your efforts and commitment as peacebuilders. Your work to defuse conflicts over a range of issues from elections to land use inspires us all.

When Nigeria’s northern governors came to this institution in late 2016, the clear consensus was that addressing the war and poverty plaguing northeast Nigeria required robust initiatives for education, reconciliation, and political inclusion. I am pleased the working group here today is bringing together your collective years of experience as spiritual leaders, military commanders, journalists, election officials, human rights advocates, and educators to develop strategies to address these enduring challenges. The United States is proud to be your partner in these vital efforts.

Our Strategic Partnership

The U.S.-Nigeria partnership is rooted in the deep connections between our people. It is also rooted in our shared interests in promoting mutually beneficial trade and investment, combatting the surge of terrorism, and responding to Nigeria’s development and governance challenges.

These priorities are being addressed every day through our robust bilateral partnership. As President Trump underscored during his recent working lunch with African leaders, we cannot have economic prosperity without peace, and we cannot have sustained peace without good governance.

On the economic front, Nigeria stands apart. It is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, and the United States’ second largest bilateral trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria’s vibrant and dynamic economy, full of innovation and entrepreneurship, has driven its economic growth. According to Global Entrepreneurship Watch, 35 percent of Nigerians are involved in some sort of entrepreneurial activity. However, Nigeria could unleash its potential further by pursuing growth through market-based policies, not state-centered ones. A market-based approach that minimizes barriers between buyers and sellers will encourage additional investment and trade, and lighten the regulatory load on its budding entrepreneurs and investors.

A related issue to increased economic growth and investment that should remain front and center is Nigeria’s youth bulge. Nigeria is expected to become the third most-populous country in the world by 2050. It will be essential that we consider the voice of Nigeria’s youth today to ensure their leadership and commitment tomorrow. We support this engagement through the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI, and through the more than ten thousand Nigerian students at institutions of higher learning in the United States.

On the political front, Nigeria is a recognized leader across the continent. Within West Africa, we are grateful for Nigeria’s leadership in the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, and particularly during the political transition in The Gambia in December 2016. We are also grateful for its robust peacekeeping presence on the continent from the DRC to Mali.

Nigeria’s peaceful, transparent elections in March 2015 showed the rest of Africa and the world that a complex, diverse society could conduct peaceful democratic transitions of leadership. Many of you here today played an important role during that period. As the country heads into state elections and the 2019 national elections, the United States is ready and willing to offer our technical assistance, as we have in the past.

On security issues, Nigeria is an important leader and partner in the Lake Chad Basin collaborating with its neighbors to defeat the scourge of Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa. The United States supports this and other efforts to bring security and stability to citizens affected by violence. At the United Nations last week, the U.S. government announced $54 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Lake Chad region, bringing the total to almost $700 million over the past two years. While humanitarian support is an immediate necessity, it cannot be a long-term solution.

My meeting with the Nigerian Foreign Minister last week was a great opportunity to learn more about what else the Nigerian government is trying to accomplish on the security front. It is clear to me that Nigeria is well aware that the fight against terrorism will be won not only by the military’s conduct on the battlefield, but also by its conduct off the field. Nigeria understands that human rights abuses and impunity tarnish its international reputation, undermine the trust of its citizens, impede counterterrorism efforts, and ultimately hinder our ability to fully partner with Nigeria.

A military response alone will not lead to sustained peace in the Northeast. A holistic response is required. One that sets the conditions for the safe return of refugees and displaced persons. One where the Nigerian government works with civic leaders like we have here today to create the social and political infrastructure needed for lasting peace.

So, thank you again for the opportunity to be here this morning and for your dedication and determination to create a more peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

Sec. Tillerson Issues Statement on Nigeria’s National Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2017

On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian people as you celebrate your national independence on October 1.

The United States and Nigeria have a strong and enduring partnership that benefits both our nations. The U.S.-Nigeria partnership is built on our shared priorities of security, economic prosperity, and good governance; and is strengthened by innovation, trade, and optimism for the future. The United States reaffirms its commitment to support Nigeria in its fight to defeat Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, to support efforts to help rebuild the lives of the millions affected by the violence, and to provide a better future for all Nigerians.

We offer our best wishes to the people of Nigeria in your commemoration of the 57th anniversary of your independence.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sec. Tillerson Issues Statement on Guinea Bissau’s National Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
September 24, 2017

On behalf of the government of the United States, congratulations to the people of Guinea-Bissau as you celebrate your national independence on September 24.

The United States and Guinea-Bissau have had a long and valued partnership. The United States will continue to work with your government to strengthen democratic institutions, bolster economic growth and development, and improve security and human rights in Guinea- Bissau.

We extend to the people of Guinea-Bissau wishes of future success and prosperity as you commemorate your National Day.

Sec. Tillerson Issues Statement on Mali’s National Day

Department of State
Washington, DC
September 22, 2017

On behalf of President Trump and the people of the United States of America, we send our best wishes to the people of Mali as you celebrate your Independence Day on September 22.

The United States values our partnership with Mali. We will continue to grow our longstanding relationship to counter terrorist threats, strengthen Mali’s security institutions, assist with inclusive development, and support the full implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

On the 57th anniversary of your independence, the United States supports all Malians as they work to build a country that is peaceful, prosperous, and united.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

USAID Expands President’s Malaria Initiative in West and Central Africa

USAID Administrator Green Announces PMI Launch and Expansion in West and Central Africa

For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

Today, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced that the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by USAID and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will launch new country programs in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expand its existing program in Burkina Faso.

With the addition of five new focus countries in West and Central Africa, PMI will have programs in 24 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria remains a significant public health problem.  This is in addition to PMI’s two bilateral programs and targeted support in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Asia, aimed at combating antimalarial drug resistance.PMI’s country expansion will benefit almost 90 million additional people at risk of malaria. The U.S. Government will now contribute to ensuring the availability of effective malaria prevention and control interventions to approximately 332 million people at risk across the west-to-central African corridor from Senegal to Cameroon.  While launching and expanding PMI, the U.S. Government remains committed to partnering with existing PMI focus countries to accelerate progress in malaria control and continue the momentum towards elimination.

Together with partner countries, under national malaria control program leadership, and in collaboration with malaria stakeholders, PMI scales up a comprehensive, integrated package of life-saving interventions in communities.  This includes both prevention (insecticide-treated mosquito nets, intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women, seasonal malaria chemoprevention, and indoor residual spraying) and treatment interventions (malaria diagnosis and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies).  PMI support builds overall country capacity and strengthens health systems while improving malaria prevention and treatment services.  PMI support includes strengthening supply chain logistics, malaria case surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation of impact.

More than 480 million people at risk of malaria have benefitted from PMI programs.  In Fiscal Year 2016, PMI protected over 16 million people by spraying homes, distributed more than 42 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, and provided 57 million treatments of life-saving drugs and 63 million rapid diagnostic tests.

Women from 3 African Countries Participate in 2017 Global Sports Mentoring Program

Press Releases: U.S. Department of State and espnW Join Forces for the Annual Global Sports Mentoring Program

09/21/2017 03:16 PM EDT

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
September 21, 2017

From September 25 to October 31, seventeen international delegates and American sports sector mentors will take part in the annual U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP). In its sixth year, this program supports the U.S. Department of State’s global efforts to advance the rights and participation of women and girls through sports.

Working side-by-side with these emerging female leaders, senior executives in the American sports sector open their respective organizations as host sites while sharing personal entrepreneurial and management insights. During the mentorship, emerging global leaders develop business plans to support “sport for social change” initiatives in their home countries. These strategies allow communities at home and around the world to experience the benefits that come from cross-cultural relations and participation in sports, thereby creating more resilient and stable societies. In turn, the American mentors are enriched by new perspectives and an expanded domestic and international network.

The GSMP class of 2017 hails from Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, France, India, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Peru, South Korea, Taiwan, Uganda, and Venezuela. This delegation will join the ranks of 82 global alumnae—Olympians, Paralympians, journalists, ministerial officials, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, and sports administrators—from over 45 countries who are providing opportunities for thousands of individuals to become leaders on the field, in the boardroom, and in their schools and governments.

This year, U.S. mentors represent the following companies and organizations: America East, the Big East, Burton Snowboards, Eli Lilly & Company, ESPN, Fox Sports, Gatorade, Google, the NCAA, the National Hockey League (NHL), PGA of America, Saatchi & Saatchi LA, Under Armour, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, the University of Connecticut and the Women’s Sports Foundation. The GSMP is implemented in cooperation with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #EmpowerWomen. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at ECA-Press@state.gov and ESPN’s Jane Bullock at Jane.Bullock@espn.com.