Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Somalia, the Middle East and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, at the Security Council Stakeout

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 17, 2009


Ambassador Rice: Thank you, good afternoon. Speaking in my capacity as President of the Security Council, I want to share with you some comments that the Council wishes me to make on their behalf, about the tragic situation in Somalia today. As you may know, there appears to have been a double suicide bombing that caused significant loss of life among AMISOM forces and have killed and wounded a number of soldiers as well as senior leadership of AMISOM. The Security Council strongly condemns these suicide bombings and the loss of life that has resulted. We express our deep condolences to AMIOSOM, to those that have been killed and wounded, and their families. We reaffirm in the strongest terms our support for AMISOM and its mission for the transitional government in Somalia and for the Djibouti peace process.

Speaking now in my national capacity, let me say the following: As you know, the Council today discussed the Middle East. The United States stressed the importance of looking to the future and of building the conditions for the early resumption and swift conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and we stress that obviously we are working strenuously to that end and Senator Mitchell is in the region doing just that.

I also want to note that we today circulated a draft resolution for the summit that will be held on September 24th on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament. This draft resolution deals comprehensively with the importance of making significant progress towards the goal of nuclear disarmament as well as strengthening and reaffirming our commitments to the requirements of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to the securing of loose nuclear materials in an urgent fashion. We look forward to continuing our discussions with colleagues on that draft resolution.

And, finally, I would like to share with you an important announcement that was just made in Washington regarding the H1N1 pandemic. It is one that has real relevance to the work of the United Nations and to our shared interest in promoting and sustaining global health.

As the World Health Organization has reported, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has continued to spread globally since April causing outbreaks around the world. The speed and the scale of our global response will help minimize the overall impact of the pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza and ensure our collective and common security in our increasingly interdependent world.

Today President Obama announced that the United States is joining with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on collective action aimed at saving lives and minimizing the economic and social dislocations that may be caused by the 2009 H1N1 influenza around the world.

In a continued effort to act aggressively to stop the global spread of this pandemic, President Obama announced today that the US is prepared to make 10% of our H1N1 vaccine supply available to developing countries through the World Health Organization. Joining with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in recognition that diseases know no borders, as vaccinate supplies emerge they will be made available to the WHO on a rolling basis to assist countries that will not otherwise have direct access to the vaccine. We invite and encourage other nations to join in this urgent global health effort donating vaccine, money and/or technical assistance in an international effort to save lives around the world.

Happy to take your questions.

Reporter: Ambassador in your national capacity concerning the Security Council meeting: we could say on non proliferation, the draft, in your previous statements made clear the U.S. did not want to get into any country specific issues on this, however do you believe that consensus is emerging particularly among the P5, and will emerge next week, will indeed create a better atmosphere, and create, facilitate an agreement on a way forward, to such as when the P5+1 sit down on October 1st in Istanbul and deal with the Iran issue and also the DPRK. In other words, is there hope for a spillover on this even though it really doesn’t directly attack these two issues?

Ambassador Rice: Whether or not there is a spillover it is clearly in our global and shared interest that there be strong action and a strong affirmation of our shared commitment to securing loose nuclear materials, strengthening the nonproliferation regime and making progress on disarmament. So this summit we hope and believe will create an atmosphere that will directly spur progress on these important fronts as we move into important upcoming sessions, for example the nonproliferation treaty review conference, and certainly our ability to underscore our shared commitment to strengthen the nonproliferation regime ought to have beneficial impetus as we look at those circumstances where the regime is threatened.

Reporter: Madam Ambassador, do you have a comment in either your capacity as President of the Security Council of in your national capacity regarding the Goldstone report that just came out.

Ambassador Rice: I’ll speak in national capacity. The United States is reviewing very carefully what is a very lengthy document. We have long expressed our very serious concern with the mandate that was given by the Human Rights Council prior to our joining the Council, which we viewed as unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable. We have very serious concerns about many of the recommendations in the report. We will expect and believe that the appropriate venue for this report to be considered is the Human Rights Council and that is our strong view. And most importantly our view is that we need to be focused on the future. This is a time to work to cement progress towards the resumptions of negotiations and their early and successful conclusion and our efforts, and we hope the efforts of others, will be directed to that end.


PRN: 2009/179