This Week at State: March 17, 2017

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This Week at State: March 17, 2017

Missed key foreign policy coverage over the last week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote will recap the latest U.S. Department of State highlights covering a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one easy to read post.

Here are the highlights from This Week at State:

Secretary Tillerson Makes First Visit to the East Asia and Pacific Region

On March 17, Secretary Tillerson traveled to the Republic of Korea for meetings with senior officials to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues, including the United States’ continued “ironclad” support of the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance and the growing threat presented by Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). While in Seoul, the Secretary held meetings with the acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and Foreign Minister Yun.

“The U.S. commitment to our allies is unwavering. In the face of North Korea's grave and escalating global threat, it is important for me to consult with our friends, and chart a path that secures the peace. Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, and economic measures. All options are on the table. North Korea must understand that the only path to a secure, economically-prosperous future is to abandon its development of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction.” - Secretary of State Tillerson, Seoul, Korea March 17, 2017

The day prior, Secretary Tillerson traveled to Tokyo, Japan. While in Japan, the Secretary underscored the Administration’s commitment to broaden U.S. economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region and reaffirmed the importance of cooperation within the U.S.-Japan alliance during discussions with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo.

Secretary Tillerson travels to Beijing on March 18 for the final leg of his Asia trip. Follow the State Department on Twitter and Facebook and visit www.state.gov for more information.

The United States Reaffirmed Commitment to a Sovereign Ukraine

On the third anniversary of Russia's Crimean "Referendum," the United States reaffirmed its commitment to a sovereign and whole Ukraine.

“The United States does not recognize Russia's “referendum” of March 16, 2014, nor its attempted annexation of Crimea and continued violation of international law. We once again reaffirm our commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity...Crimea is a part of Ukraine. The United States again condemns the Russian occupation of Crimea and calls for its immediate end. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.” - Press Statement by State Department Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner

Ambassador Nikki Haley Addresses the 61st Commission on the Status of Women
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, delivered remarks during the 61st UN Commission on the Status of Women, an annual two-week session that brings together more than 40 UN member government representatives and civil society to discuss ways to improve the lives of women around the globe. The theme of this year’s session was “Women in the Changing World of Work.” In her remarks, Ambassador Haley shared her mother's story and emphasized the importance of ensuring fair, equal opportunities for women and girls around the world.

And now, a look ahead to what is happening next week at State:

Secretary Tillerson to Host Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ministerial

On March 22, Secretary Tillerson will host the foreign ministers and senior leaders of the Global Coalition working to defeat ISIS. This meeting will take place at the Department of State in Washington D.C., and will be the first meeting of the full Coalition, now at 68 members, since December 2014. 

The ministerial will include a detailed discussion of priorities for the Coalition’s multiple lines of effort, including military, foreign terrorist fighters, counterterrorist financing, counter-messaging, and stabilization of liberated areas, to increase the momentum of the campaign.  Additionally, Ministers will discuss the ongoing humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria that are affecting the region.

Editor's Note: This entry is also published on Medium.com/StateDept.

Follow the State Department on Twitter and Facebook for additional information and updates.

Catch up on previous This Week at State blogs on DipNote and Medium.com.