This Week at State: June 30, 2017

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This Week at State: June 30, 2017

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post.

Here are the highlights from This Week at State:

State Department Released 2017 Trafficking in Person (TIP) Report, Recognized TIP Heroes 

On June 27, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson released the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

Each year, the State Department produces the TIP Report the result of extensive research and analysis by staff in Washington and U.S. embassies around the world, informed by our engagement with foreign officials, NGOs, faith groups, experts, and international organizations. The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. This year’s report focuses on the responsibility of governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable. With more than 20 million estimated trafficking victims around the world and fewer than 15,000 prosecutions and 10,000 convictions reported by governments, the Department recognizes work still remains.  

Secretary Tillerson was joined at the June 27 event by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Ambassador-at-Large for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Susan Coppedgein honoring this year’s eight TIP Report Heroes for their tireless efforts in the fight against human trafficking. Later that day, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Susan Coppedge briefed the media at the Department of State on the 2017 TIP Report.

United States Supported Report on April 4 Khan Shaykhun Sarin Attack

On June 29, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact Finding Mission (FFM) issued a report confirming that sarin or a sarin-like chemical weapon was used on April 4, 2017, in Khan Shaykhun, Syria.  The United States strongly supports the impartial and highly professional efforts of the FFM and the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), an additional independent international expert mechanism established by the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council, to determine who is responsible for the attack, will now convey the FFM report to the JIM.

U.S. Priorities at the UN Human Rights Council's 35th Session Outlined

U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Nikki Haley attended the opening of the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva from June 6-23. While there, Ambassador Haley highlighted the critical role U.S. leadership plays in shaping the international response to urgent human rights situations.

During her June 6 remarks Ambassador Haley confirmed the U.S. commitment to human rights while reinvigorating discussions on reform of the HRC. In her address in the HRC chamber and a speech at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Ambassador Haley laid out the United States’ position on future involvement with the Council. She underscored the need for the HRC to focus international attention and action on the worst human rights violators, including through reforms to the Council’s membership, and the need for members to show leadership in cooperating with UN human rights mechanisms. The United States joined 47 other states in signing a Dutch-led joint statement proposing measures to improve the Council’s membership and strengthen its credibility.

U.S. Government Officials Met With Indian Prime Minister Modi in Washington, D.C.

Secretary Tillerson met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington, DC on June 26, The Secretary later joined President Donald J. Trump for his meeting with Prime Minister Modi at the White House.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington, D.C., on June 26, 2017.

During a joint press conference at the White House following the meeting, President Trump emphasized the importance of economic and security partnerships between our countries, two of the world’s largest democracies. President Trump said, “Together, our countries can help chart an optimistic path into the future, one that unleashes the power of new technology, new infrastructure, and the enthusiasm and excitement of very hardworking and very dynamic people.” President Trump also announced Prime Minister Modi invited Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to lead the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India later this year as an effort to further the two nation’s economic partnership.

U.S. Recognized 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

In a statement on June 29, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert marked the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the inauguration of its new Chief Executive. Spokesperson Nauert also noted the United States calls on all parties concerned to uphold Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the crucial ideal of “One Country, Two Systems,” as codified in the Basic Law and the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration.

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