May 28, 2024

Antony Blinken speaks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry ahead of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the Department of State, on April 14, 2022. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the Department of State, on April 14, 2022. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/

United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on Thursday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in advance of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) this month in Sharm El-Sheikh.  

“The Secretary underscored his appreciation for Egypt’s climate leadership and commitment to further deepening the U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership, which is strengthened by tangible progress on human rights in Egypt,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. “In this regard, he welcomed the reported releases over the preceding months of significant numbers of political detainees, and voiced support for additional such pardons and releases, as well as for steps to strengthen due process of law and protections for fundamental freedoms for all.”

Price added that Blinken reaffirmed the critical contributions of civil society, including to a successful COP27.

“Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Shoukry also discussed shared efforts to advance regional peace, including support for elections in Libya, and ongoing efforts to ensure equal measures of prosperity, security, and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians,” Price said.

Meanwhile United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield discussed Peace Operations for Sustainable Peace during a UN Security Council Briefing on Thursday.

Greenfield asserted that “sustainable peace requires all of us to come together and ensure that modern UN peace operations are truly multidimensional and integrated.”

She said, Thank you, Madam President. We appreciate Ghana’s efforts in convening us for this important discussion. And I’d like to thank the Secretary-General for his briefing as well. And thank all of you, our distinguished group of briefers for your insightful contributions. I would like to start by taking a moment to recognize those who risk their lives every day in the pursuit of peace, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect others.

Colleagues, sustainable peace requires all of us to come together and ensure that modern UN peace operations are truly multidimensional and integrated. As Her Excellency Mary Robinson noted, in order to achieve sustainable peace, security, sustainable development, and human rights are key.

The Secretary-General has called on us to do just that through the “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative, which emphasizes the primacy of politics in conflict resolution and the role peace operations play in supporting political solutions. It reminds us that the task of peacekeepers is to create space for political solutions and support local stakeholders as they tackle the root causes of the conflict.

Here’s what that looks like in practice: For the UN Mission in South Sudan, the Security Council has outlined a strategic vision for the mission’s role in supporting inclusive and accountable governance. In Mali, MINUSMA is tasked with supporting Malian implementation of a peace agreement and a strategy to address the root causes of violent conflict in the center of the country.

In both cases, we have found that leaders of peace operations can operate more effectively and confidently when they have a clear sense of what the Security Council expects them to achieve. That is why we started to introduce longer-term “strategic visions” into peace operations’ mandates.

But let’s be clear: To be successful, we must have support and cooperation from host countries for the full implementation of UN peace operations’ missions mandates. We also recognize that peace operations cannot address the underlying causes and drivers of conflict alone. The drivers of conflict are generational challenges that require a full range of actors to come to the table. Local and national governments, civil society leaders, and humanitarian organizations, the private sector, and UN Member States. And another key group that is too often shut out of the political process are women.

We must work to ensure that women’s perspectives are integrated across peace operations functions, so the meaningful inclusion of women and girls in the political process and decision-making becomes the norm. The Women, Peace, and Security Agenda has a vital role to play in UN peacekeeping operations. At the same time, we must ensure that young people have a seat at the table, since we know that their participation in peace and security is essential to the longevity of peace. Just look at Africa alone. The median age is 19 years old. That tells us how important youth are to the future of any peace operations.

In many situations, we have also seen the importance of regional actors taking the lead, particularly in the case of the African Union. We applaud the AU’s efforts to promote peace and stability on the continent. And we encourage the AU to continue implementing compliance frameworks for peace support operations.

Colleagues, the UN has a unique comparative advantage in advancing sustainable peace. We have the power to coordinate across the international community to identify clear and achievable goals. And the Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace” offers an important opportunity to consider how to make the UN more responsive to modern challenges, as we address the root causes of conflict.

For our part, the United States remains deeply committed to UN peacebuilding efforts. As called for in “Our Common Agenda”, we strongly support the expanded role of the Peacebuilding Commission across a range of issues, including human rights and climate change, and we welcome their contribution to today’s meeting. The PBC has an important convening role to play and can help mobilize attention and commitment to international peacebuilding efforts.

I also want to note that the United States is now implementing our own strategy to prevent conflict and promote stability. This effort builds on lessons learned from our own experiences in conflict-affected environments and integrates best practices for addressing the root causes of conflict and preventing future ones. In fact, the UN has applied many of these same lessons from the value of local buy-in to the importance of integrating all diplomatic, humanitarian, and security activities under a coherent plan.

The United States stands ready to continue working within and outside the Council to address all causes of armed conflict. Together, let us continue to support the heroic work of UN peacekeepers and to do everything, everything in our power to end protracted conflicts and build sustainable peace.

Thank you, Madam President.

READ ALSO – Statement at the 77th General Assembly Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 83: Report on the UN Charter and Strengthening the Role of the Organization

Elizabeth Grosso
Attorney-Advisor
New York, New York
November 3, 2022

AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Chair.

We welcome this opportunity to provide a few observations about the work of the Special Committee on the UN Charter this year.

We participated with interest in the annual thematic debate on the peaceful settlement of disputes, which this year focused on judicial settlement. We focused our remarks on the vital role of the International Court of Justice, and the diversity of means that exist for bringing disputes before the Court. We look forward to future exchanges of state practices on other peaceful methods of dispute settlement.

We also appreciated the annual briefing on sanctions. The United States emphasizes that targeted sanctions adopted by the Security Council in accordance with the UN Charter remain an important instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security. We continue to support further discussion on options to strengthen their implementation. While sanctions implemented outside of UN auspices are not the focus of this Committee’s work, we wish to also make clear our view that those sanctions are also a legitimate means to achieve foreign policy, security, and other important objectives.

With respect to proposals of new subjects for consideration by the Special Committee, we continue to welcome new proposals that are practical, non-political, and do not duplicate efforts elsewhere in the United Nations. However, we urge member states to avoid using the Special Committee as a forum for the airing of bilateral concerns, or to pursue topics more appropriately raised in other fora.

We also urge those wishing to reinvigorate the Special Committee to withdraw proposals that have languished on its agenda and to give serious consideration to biennial meetings or shortened sessions, given the heavy demands on meeting resources at the UN. We hope the Special Committee will take further steps to improve its efficiency and productivity, and to make the best use of scarce Secretariat resources.

We also take this opportunity to thank the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs for their hard work on the Repertory of Practice of the United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, which are valuable resources on the practice of the United Nations organs.

Finally, we must mention our disappointment that a substantive report of the deliberations of the Special Committee this year could not be adopted due to one delegation’s demand to omit any description of the numerous statements made condemning the invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the UN Charter. While member states often disagree on the difficult subjects raised in the Special Committee, each of those divergent positions should be indicated in the report, as has been in the case in previous reports. One party should not be permitted to demand that a position stated by a group of delegations clearly within the scope of the Committee be erased entirely as if it never happened. We trust that at its next session, the Special Committee will return to its well-established tradition of respectfully recording delegations’ diverse views for the benefit of the public and the historical record.

Thank you.

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