United States Explanation of Position on Item 204 EX/5, Part I.D, “Follow-up of the Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”

The United States joins members of this Board in restating our unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.  We once again condemn Russia’s occupation and purported annexation of the Crimean peninsula, and call on Russia to immediately return control of the peninsula to Ukraine. We also recall United Nations ...
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National Statement, United States of America to the 204th Executive Board of UNESCO Delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Chris Hegadorn

Thank you, Mr. Chairman of the Executive Board, Madam President of the General Conference, Madam Director-General and staff, distinguished representatives and colleagues: It is with a degree of optimism that I address this Executive Board session, my last before departing the U.S. Mission to UNESCO later this year.  With a new leadership team at UNESCO ...
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United States Explanation of Position on item 202 EX/5 Part 1 (L)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Three-and-a-half years ago, Russia seized and occupied Crimea. Russia then staged an illegitimate referendum in which residents of Crimea were compelled to vote while heavily armed foreign forces occupied their land. Echoing the joint statement delivered by Sweden at last month’s information session concerning Crimea, the United States joins members of ...
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Statement by the United States on items 202 EX/38 and 39

The United States welcomes the agreements among key parties here at UNESCO to postpone consideration of these two items, as we have consistently objected to such one-sided and divisive resolutions. While a postponement itself does not resolve the underlying issues, it will be imperative for all sides and this Executive Board to work in the ...
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United States National Statement to the 202nd session of the Executive Board

United States National Statement 202nd Executive Board Session October 10, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chairman of the Executive Board, Madam Director-General Bokova, President of the General Conference, fellow Member States representatives. Let me begin by thanking those who shared condolences following the recent horrific shootings in Las Vegas, a grim reminder of why we must ...
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Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 201 EX/31

Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 201 EX/31 Statement as delivered on May 2, 2017 The United States regrets that the Executive Board was again presented with a one-sided resolution on which our position is well-known.  It is our view that going forward, Members should engage in a more constructive manner to ...
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Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 201 EX/30

Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 201 EX/30 Statement as delivered on May 2, 2017   The United States expresses its strong opposition to this agenda item.  While changed somewhat from the draft decision text since the last Executive Board session, these revisions are still insufficient, and the very agenda item itself ...
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U.S. Explanation of Vote on Agenda Item 5, Part I (G) at the PX 201st UNESCO Executive Board

U.S. Explanation of Vote on Agenda Item 5, Part I (G) at the PX 201st UNESCO Executive Board As Delivered Paris, April 28, 2017 Echoing the joint statement delivered by Sweden at last month’s information session concerning Crimea, the United States joins members of this Board in restating our unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity ...
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United States National Statement to the 201st session of the Executive Board

United States National Statement 201st Executive Board Session April 24, 2017   Thank you, President of the Executive Board, Madam Director-General, and fellow Member State delegations. With an election for a new Director-General and Executive Board Members scheduled for this coming November, this seems an appropriate time to underscore where the United States hopes this ...
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National Statement of United States Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines to the 200th Executive Board

National Statement of United States Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines to the 200th Executive Board October 10, 2016 Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Madam Director-General Bokova, President of the General Conference, Excellencies. We appreciate the condolences for Hurricane Matthew and extend our profound regrets to the people of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. The Director General has ...
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Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 200 EX/26

Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 200 EX/26 Statement as delivered on October 13, 2016 Despite our repeated calls and efforts with other Members on this Board to avoid such one-sided, and damaging resolutions, the Executive Board was once again presented with a near-identical text from earlier sessions. This text – like ...
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Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 200 EX/25

Statement as delivered on October 13, 2016 Before me is a binder containing all the resolutions involving Israel and the Palestinians since 2000. Through 2009, and even as late as 2013, these resolutions were not politicized and were adopted by consensus. But, in recent years, these resolutions have grown increasingly inflammatory and one-sided, to the ...
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National Statement of United States Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines to the 199th Executive Board

[As delivered] Merci Messieurs Les Présidents, Madame la Directrice Générale, Excellences. C’est le premier conseil exécutif depuis les élections, et nous tenons à féliciter nos collègues et L’Ambassadeur Worbs pour leurs nouveaux mandats. Nous voulons également exprimer notre profonde gratitude envers les Etats Membres pour leur confiance, et pour avoir permis aux Etats-Unis de continuer ...
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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Nix-Hines on Item (197 EX/32)

The United States takes the floor to explain our “no” vote and to express our deep regret that, despite the momentum of goodwill shared among Member States throughout this Executive Board, we were once again presented with this highly politicized agenda item, which was even more inflammatory than previous items. We do appreciate the removal ...
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Statement by Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines to the 197th Executive Board

Thank you Mr. President, President of the General Conference, Director General, Excellencies. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly during its 70th Anniversary, President Obama highlighted the international community’s many accomplishments, including diplomatic cooperation between the world’s major powers, a global economy that has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty; ...
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Statement by Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines to the 196th Executive Board

Mr. President, Chairperson, Madam Director General, Excellencies.  I am going to speak in French, at least a little bit; so please bear with me, especially those who are native French speakers.  It is a pleasure to be here again with you for my second Executive Board. Much has occurred since our last meeting.  Shocking attacks ...
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U.S. Intervention on Education Beyond 2015

As one of the sixteen GEFI Champion Countries, the United States applauds UNESCO’s leadership on the Post-2015 education development agenda. Securing a stand-alone education goal, and a limited set of targets focused on access plus quality, will serve as a powerful instrument to help eradicate extreme poverty within a generation. As First Lady Michelle Obama ...
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Explanation of Vote for Middle East Items

The United States takes the floor to explain our “No” vote and express our profound disappointment in the renewed politicization of these agenda items.  We understand these are difficult issues – but the harsh nature of these resolutions only distracts from the positive work of UNESCO; it belies the founding principles of this organization and ...
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Explanation of Position- Follow-up on the situation in the autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)

As a co-sponsor, the United States expresses our strong support for this important resolution and the commitment of UNESCO and its member states to advance respect for freedom of expression, support equal access to education for all, and protect and preserve cultural heritage. Respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights and fundamental ...
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Statement by Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines to the 195th Executive Board

Mr. Chairman, Madame Director General, Mr. President, and Distinguished Colleagues, I’m so honored to be here with you for my first Executive Board session. After President Obama announced my nomination, friends asked me one of three questions:  “What exactly is UNESCO?”  “Isn’t UNESCO that controversial political group?”  And for those familiar with UNESCO, “How are ...
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Explanation of Vote for EX/32, Follow-Up by UNESCO of the Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)

This resolution should not have been controversial.  It was grounded in principles that provide the foundation for international stability in law.  Article 2 of the UN Charter — the prohibition on the use of force to acquire territory, and respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Member States — these are the principles ...
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Explanation of Vote for EX/5.4, Follow-up relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem

We take the floor to explain our vote and express our disappointment that the parties and this Executive Board could not find meaningful consensus on this item. Without the consensus of all parties involved, this resolution distracts from the positive work of the Organization, and harms efforts to promote a positive atmosphere for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. ...
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Statement by Chargé d’Affaires Beth Poisson to the 194th Executive Board

Madam Director General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me start by welcoming the Chair and pledging our cooperation. As we look at the state of the world today, we see that the fundamental freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are under assault in many regions.  UNESCO has a unique and critical role to play in ...
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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Killion on Middle East Resolutions Targeting Israel

We are very disappointed that this body, the UNESCO Executive Board, rather than live up to its lofty goals to build peace in the minds of men and women, once again chose to needlessly politicize these issues before us. At a time when my country is working to foster communication and dialogue across the globe ...
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Statement by Ambassador David Killion to the 192nd Executive Board

Director General Bokova, Fellow Permanent Representatives and Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, This is the ninth time that I have addressed a UNESCO Executive Board on behalf of President Barack Obama and the United States of America.  It is also the final time that I will address you. Often in these statements I have recalled the ...
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Statement by Ambassador David Killion on the Destruction of Syrian Cultural Heritage

The United States fully supports the statement made by the Ambassador from Turkey and categorically rejects the claims made by the delegate from Syria. The United States strongly condemns the destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage, most recently, the reports of the destruction of the minaret of the iconic Umayyad mosque in the ancient city of ...
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Statement by Ambassador David Killion in Connection with the Agreement on Cultural Heritage in the Middle East

When President Obama visited the Middle East last month, he insisted that “peace is possible” but also challenged us to “create the change we want to see.”  Here, we have met his challenge by overcoming politicization at UNESCO. Today, this organization has accomplished what no one else could.  In the spirit of dialogue and cooperation ...
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Statement by U.S. Ambassador David Killion to the 191st Executive Board

Madam Chair, Madame Director General, Excellencies, Colleagues, Friends, UNESCO is an organization founded on hope – hope of a better world, hope that we can overcome conflict, hope that we can move forward together.  At the last Executive Board, thanks to the Russian Ambassador, and with support from the United States and many other countries, ...
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Statement by U.S. Ambassador David Killion to the 190th Executive Board

Madame Chair, Madame Director-General, Excellencies, Colleagues, Friends, We meet today at a critical moment for the future of the world’s cultural heritage.    The ancient markets of the Old City of Aleppo lie in ruins, Sufi shrines in Libya have been desecrated and historic mausoleums in Timbuktu have been destroyed. How are we to respond to ...
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Explanation of Vote for Agenda Item 24, Response of UNESCO to the Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

Thank you Mr. Chairman, The United States is profoundly disappointed that this resolution does not call for the outright removal of Syria from the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations – something for which we have repeatedly called for.  We agree with Director-General Bokova that, given the actions of the Assad regime, it is not clear ...
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U.S. Statement in Explanation of Vote on Resolution DR 9 Regarding the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Scien

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. The approval by this body of this Resolution urging the Director General to implement the Obiang Prize will be in vain. We recall that the Director General and her representatives have told this body and told the working group numerous times that the prize cannot be implemented. Mr. Chair, ...
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Statement by Ambassador David Killion to the 189th Executive Board

Madame Chair, Director-General Bokova, Excellencies, Colleagues, Friends: We are all keenly aware of the serious challenges that UNESCO and its member states have been facing over the past few months.  The road has been difficult, and still more obstacles lie ahead, but I am confident that we can – and will – rise to the ...
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