Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Chargé d'Affaires, United States Mission to the United Nations, at a Press Conference on the July Program of Work for the UN Security Council

Rosemary A. DiCarlo
Charge d'Affaires United States Mission to the UN 
New York, NY
July 2, 2013




AS DELIVERED

Moderator: Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for coming today for the Program of Work press conference. I am here today with a woman who I believe needs no introduction but since this is her first time in her new capacity as Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Mission or Acting PermRep, I thought I would just take a moment to let you know that that's how you can refer to her, and with that I think we will go ahead and allow her to make her opening statement.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thank you, I think this is on. It is on. Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for coming.

I'd like to go through the Program of Work for the month of July that was adopted this morning. Tell you a bit about what we have planned before going to your questions. We have a very busy schedule this month, but I want to highlight a few important meetings.

On July 25th, the United States will convene a ministerial meeting chaired by Secretary Kerry that will focus on restoring peace in the Great Lakes region. This session will build on several events that have brought renewed energy to this effort.

Secretary-General Ban has accepted our invitation to brief, as has World Bank President Kim. Special Envoy Mary Robinson and high-level representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and the African Union have also been invited to brief the Council. Also, a high-level representative of Rwanda has been invited to speak as a Council member.

We hope that this debate will help sustain the international attention on the Great Lakes region and encourage continued positive momentum following the signing of a regional framework agreement.

Now On July 17th, we're looking forward to convening an open debate on a topic that we think all of you will take much interest in - that is the protection of journalists in armed conflict and post-conflict situations. Since the Council last considered the protection of journalists in 2006, world-wide violence against journalists has worsened, and there has been a particular increase in murders and imprisonment arising from conflict situations. Our hope is that this thematic session will provide Council members - and all member states - an opportunity to hear directly from journalists about the acts of violence they face while operating in conflict areas.

We are very pleased that Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will brief at this session, and we have invited the following individuals as briefers: American journalist Richard Engel from NBC, Somali journalist Mustafa Haji Abdinur from Radio Simba and Agence-France Presse, Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad from The Guardian and Kathleen Carroll from the Associated Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists. The briefers will give member states a first-hand account of the dangers inherent in conflict journalism. Obviously reporting from conflict areas is an invaluable, if indirect, source of information for the Council.

To further the crucial work you and your colleagues do, we will be hosting a side event, a TechCamp, to bring together technologists, media professionals, the NGO community, and international organizations to explore tech solutions to problems confronting journalists in conflicts around the world. The TechCamp will be held at CUNY Graduate School for Journalism from July 25th to 26th. This will be an interactive and hands-on event where roughly 80 participants from countries across the globe will spend the majority of their time in small group discussion.

Now turning to the more traditional business of the Security Council, we will renew the mandates of UNMISS and UNAMID and we'll also maintain our regular engagement on Sudan and South Sudan as outlined in Resolution 2046, including the issues of Abyei and the dire humanitarian crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

On July 8, Special Representative Hilde Johnson will brief the Council on the regular 120-day report on UNMISS. On July 11 and 24th, Special Envoy Haile Menkerios will discuss the security situation on the ground, the implementation of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism and the status of the agreements on oil and economic cooperation. And finally, on July 24th, Under Secretary-General Ladsous will brief the Council on the Secretary-General's quarterly report on UNAMID.

Now, the 1701 consultations on July 9th will be an important opportunity for the Council to hear directly from Special Coordinator Derrick Plumbly about the impact on Lebanon of the conflict in Syria, including the recent border incursions that have threatened Lebanon's sovereignty. And on July 23rd, we will hold the quarterly open debate on the Middle East.

On Cyprus, July 15th consultations will allow us time to discuss with Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim the state of relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and the possibility of progress toward a settlement.

Also on the 15th of July, the Chair of the Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia, will brief the Council on the Committee's activities during the previous ninety days.

The Council is scheduled to renew the mandate of UNAMI, which will continue to provide critical support to the Iraqi government. On July 24th Special Representative Martin Kobler will brief for the last time as head of UNAMI.

In addition to UNAMI, UNMISS and UNAMID, the Council is scheduled to renew the mandates also of UNOCI and UNFICYP, as well as the sanctions regime for Somalia and Eritrea.

Now we'll be following a number of other troubling situations around the globe, in particular, of course, Syria.

Now, finally, given that this is the month of July, we will also be holding a reception on July 29th to celebrate our Independence Day as well as the end of the presidency. And with that, I'd be happy to take your questions.

Moderator: We'll go ahead and start with the President of the UN Correspondents Association. Pam.

Reporter: Thank you very much, Erin. And Ambassador DiCarlo it's Pamela Falk from CBS News and on behalf of the UN Correspondents Association, welcome, congratulations on the Presidency and on your position as acting PermRep. So thank you very much for briefing us.

My question to you is since Secretary of State Kerry has been around the Middle East, a lot of shuttle diplomacy, is there any thought of re-invigorating the Middle East Quartet since the United Nations does obviously have a role in that, and then just one little technical question, will there be, will you be doing anything with Malala when she comes to the UN? Thank you.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thank you Pamela for your question. First of all, Secretary Kerry is actively engaged, as you said, in the Middle East peace process. He was just in the region, he's made clear he's been invited back, he intends to pursue this. He and the President devote a tremendous amount of attention to this issue. Obviously, we are going to use every avenue, every mechanism that we can to further this process. Right now his focus is on getting the two parties back to the table.

As far as Malala is concerned, we will not be doing something during our Presidency here, with Malala. But we are aware of events that are going on around town.

Reporter: Madame Ambassador, this is Kahraman Halisçelik with Turkish Radio Television. I have two questions, if I may. One is about Syria. Our sources say that actually the Geneva II Conference will not convene probably until after September. Now, until - if it convenes - until the conference, what can be achieved in the Council? I mean, during this month or the following months. What will you do, in your capacity as the Ambassador for the U.S.? And the other question I have is on Cyprus. You know, the UN needs a lot of money to maintain a lot of the peace missions around the world. Why do you think it is necessary to have a UN mission in Cyprus, where there is no conflict? Thank you.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks for your question. First of all, on Syria on Geneva II, we've said from the beginning that the conference would be convened as soon as practical. And no date has been set, no deadline has been set, but Secretary Kerry did speak with Foreign Minister Lavrov in Brunei, they had very good discussions. They resolved some of the issues that have been raised the previous week when Assistant Secretary Beth Jones and Robert Ford met with their counterparts. And we will continue to work actively toward a date as soon as possible for the conference.

As far as the Council is concerned, we're obviously following the issue very carefully, particularly on the humanitarian side. We had a humanitarian briefing recently by Valerie Amos. We can depend that the Council will follow it. I cannot predict what meetings we might have, whether there would be actions or not, but it's certainly an issue that is on everyone's mind, not only the issue in Syria, but its impact on the region.

Your question on Cyprus - on the UN Peacekeeping operation there - we have seen that Cyprus is, has been very valuable to the parties and again, I speak now in my national capacity here, the mission, UNFICYP, has helped with a number of confidence-building measures that have really sort of helped create the environment for talks and for negotiations. My understanding is that the government of Cyprus, I believe, supports, about 50% of that mission, so it's only half funded by the UN.

Moderator: We'll take the next question from the Associated Press.

Reporter: Thank you, Madame Ambassador. I have one follow-up question on Syria. Is the United States still actively providing information to the Secretary General and to Ake Sellstrom's team on possible chemical weapons use in Syria? And on the main debate on the 25th on the Great Lakes Region, do you expect any outcome from it? Will there be a resolution? Will there be a presidential statement? And what, in a broader way, is your hope for the outcome and taking that issue forward?

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thank you for your questions. On the first question - again, I'm answering in my national capacity - I keep forgetting to distinguish here. On the issue of Syria, yes, indeed, we have spoken with Ake Sellstrom. We think it's important for any country that has information about use of chemical weapons or possible use of chemical weapons to provide U.N. investigator this information so we have had discussions with him. Obviously, the goal is for Mr. Sellstrom to enter Syria so that he can do a thorough investigation of all of the information at hand. That has not happened regrettably, but we and others will continue to call for this access.

The second question - Great Lakes and the outcome for that meeting. We want to raise the visibility of it and we want to continue high-level attention to the Great Lakes region. A lot has been done. The Secretary General and President Kim of the World Bank took a joint trip. They added another pillar to this initiative -security, political, and development. This is really important. That's why we're really honored that President Kim has agreed to participate in this session to underline the need to tackle, if you will, the underlying causes of the conflict in the region. We do anticipate a product from that session. We would anticipate a presidential statement basically reinforcing a lot of what we have said before: encouraging all the parties - all the signatories to the framework agreement - to live up to their commitments. We are working with the delegation of France on the PRST. They have the lead and the pen on this in the Council.

Moderator: We'll take the next question from Raghida.

Reporter: Yes, the question is partly about Syria, partly about Iran. There has been a decision by the GCC, the Gulf Council Cooperation to come to the Security Council with the issue of Homs. You've also seen statements by the Secretary-General worried about the developments in Homs. In either of your capacities, or both, could you tell us what are you doing about that? Do you plan to also put Homs on the map in the Security Council? And in the second part, the second question, is regarding what you said on Sanctions Committee and the briefing by the Australian ambassador. Do you have anything in mind on that, or just a briefing, given that there has been a violation of Security Council resolutions by Iran regarding the role that Iran is playing in Syria? Can you shed light in both capacities, please?

Ambassador DiCarlo: Okay, on the first issue - let me take the second issue first, and I'll speak in my capacity as president. This is the periodic briefing of the Sanctions Committee to the Security Council. It's the 90-day report, where it is compiled by the committee based on the information at hand, in particular from the Panel of Experts. So this will be the periodic briefing. It'll be in the chamber, where we anticipate member states will deliver interventions - will speak on the issue - and raise the importance of Iran's complying with existing resolutions and its international obligations.

On the first issue on Syria, and I'll split this up if you don't mind. The Council has not received any official or even informal request to host a meeting on this issue. I've seen reports, we've seen reports in the press, but we do not have a request from a member state to host a meeting on this issue. As I said, the Council is going to be following the issue. Certainly, the United States will follow it closely. I can't predict what kind of meetings we might have or what we might be doing in the Council, but I can just assure you that this is on our radar every day.

Reporter: As a follow up, in your national capacity, do you plan to move at all on the issue of Homs? Do you have something to say about it? And also, will you satisfy yourself with just hearing the briefing on Iran? National capacity.

Ambassador DiCarlo: In a national capacity, okay. On the issue of Homs, I mean we've been very clear. We've denounced the violence there. We've called for unimpeded access by humanitarian organizations, and we have deplored, frankly, what is going on with Homs. We are also providing, as we can, medical assistance, humanitarian assistance, to the opposition in the area. We'll continue to do so.

I'm not sure if I understand your question correctly on what do we plan to do. As far as president of the Council is concerned, we are going to be chairing the meetings that member states call for or agree on, on the matter. And then, on the issue of Iran, I think I can be quite clear in saying that we're monitoring very, very closely all of Iran's non-compliance, and when it is appropriate, we will take further action in the Council.

Moderator: Reuters next.

Reporter: Thanks. I wanted to follow up on Edie's question about the Great Lakes. You mention that one of the issues you want to look at is living up to the commitments of the framework agreement. The recent Group of Experts report on the DRC raised the fact that, well it said that Rwandan support for M23 has decreased, but continues, and it said that the FARDC has been collaborating with the FDLR. Don't these issues concern the U.S. and is this something that you might raise in the course of these discussions? Thanks.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks for your question, Lou. The Group of Experts report is currently with the DRC Sanctions Committee for consideration, it's going to be discussed by the Council later in the month. The report will be released publically after the Council discusses it. We can't comment on the contents of this report while it is confidential. It is a confidential Committee report at this point.

Moderator: All the way in the back. If you could identify yourself.

Reporter: Celia Mendoza for Voice of America Latin American service. We're interested to find out what the Council will do or will be monitoring what's happening in Egypt, and also what you can say about the situation with North Korea, especially after the meeting that the Secretary of State had with the Asian countries in the region.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thank you. On the issue of Egypt, obviously we're very - all Council members are very concerned by what's happening in Egypt. I won't speak for them, but all I can say is that this is an issue that they would be watching as we will be watching carefully. The United States is certainly watching the issue carefully. Egypt has not been on our agenda, and that said, I think it's very clear we're all following closely at this point. But there is no scheduled meeting on it.

And DPRK. Sorry, I forgot the second part. On DPRK, we've been very clear that we are ready for negotiations, we are ready for dialogue, we're open to it, but then North Korea has to abide by its international commitments, by its obligations, by commitments it made back in 2005. We haven't seen that happen yet.

Moderator: We'll go to Matt Lee.

Reporter: For the new Free U.N. Coalition for Access. Thanks for doing this. I wanted to ask about the - I understand you can't talk about the Groups of Experts on the DRC, but it's public knowledge this idea of the rapes that took place in Minova back in November. 135 rapes. And there have been two arrests, it appears, so far of the FARDC units involved. One unit was actually trained by the U.S. I wanted to sort of sharpen the question and say, is the U.S. satisfied by DPKO continuing to work with those units? When this GOE report, which is already seen, becomes public, it describes also FARDC units involved in gold mining, child soldiers, and the like, and I just wondered what the U.S. thinks the role of the Council is in ensuring that the UN system doesn't work with the units involved in these activities?

And also - this is definitely in your national capacity - 19 members of Congress wrote to the Secretary-General last month about the role of the UN in - they said - the introduction of cholera into Haiti - urging them to take greater responsibility and for the UN to do more. And I wonder, is the mission aware of that letter, and has it taken any action, or been asked to by those Congress people, to ensure greater UN action on that issue? Thanks.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks for your question. First of all, again, the report will be studied by the Council, and we will certainly be participating in that discussion. We are, ourselves, in our national capacity, I would say that we ourselves assess reports that we get either from the UN or from elsewhere. We are assessing reports of possible outside interference in the DRC. We continue, obviously, to be very clear with DPKO, with the UN, with troop contributors that we expect them to abide by UN guidelines - that we expect the kind of behavior that we would demand of our own forces, and these are areas that we will continue to look into and continue to make very clear that certain kinds of behavior are not unacceptable. Now I'm not agreeing with what you have said. I'm just saying that in the case that this has been determined, that is our position.

Oh, Haiti cholera. I'm sorry, I haven't seen that letter, and we'd have to get back to you on that.

Moderator: We'll go to Benny Avni.

Reporter: Two quick questions. First of all, in the footnotes you have nonproliferation - I wonder what that is? Secondly, about Egypt, to go back to the situation in Egypt, one of your predecessors - if memory serves - even served as acting ambassador for a while - Anne Patterson - has been personally brought up by demonstrators in the last few days. I wonder if - for criticism - I wonder if in your national capacity, even personal capacity, you have anything to say about the criticism directed at the U.S. in Egypt?

Ambassador DiCarlo: Okay, thank you. Thanks, Benny. On nonproliferation, this is an item that we have almost every month as a footnote, and it refers to Iran and North Korea in particular - the whole nonproliferation agenda in general, but certainly for Iran and North Korea.

On the issue of Egypt and Ambassador Patterson, who is an old colleague of mine and with whom I worked on UN issues together. I think we've been very clear in our support for Egyptian democracy, for the process. The President's been very clear that we don't support one side or another. We're supporting a process. Ambassador Patterson has done the same as well. She's called for calm. She's made very clear that individuals have the right to demonstrate, to speak openly, but to do so peacefully. So I think the criticism is quite unfounded.

Moderator: (Inaudible.)

Reporter: Joseph Klein, of Canada Free Press. Madame Ambassador, I just wanted to ask regarding the Arms Trade Treaty, whether - I guess in your national capacity - there is any plan in the near future for the U.S. to sign that treaty? Thank you.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks for the question. Yes, in my national capacity. We said when -the first day of signing of the Arms Trade Treaty - when others were signing, that we announced our intention to sign. We are awaiting the 90-day period for the language versions to be conformed, that's often a practice of the United States. We want to make sure that every version obviously has the same weight. And that period has not passed yet.

Moderator: Right here.

Reporter: George Baumgarten, correspondent for Jewish newspapers in North America and for Nation Media Group, East Africa, which will explain why I'm asking these different questions. The first, the open debate on the 23rd on the Middle East, I assume that would include a major briefing, probably, from Under Secretary Feltman? And with relation to the debate on the Great Lakes on the 25th, do I understand correctly that Secretary Kerry will be coming, and Mr. Kim, and will you include any consideration in the LRA affected areas in that debate? And this TechCamp that you're holding that day and the next day, is that something to which the UN media community is invited?

Ambassador DiCarlo: Ok. On the first question was on the Middle East debate. The Middle East debate, it will be Robert Serry. Special Coordinator Serry will be briefing. Jeff Feltman will be on vacation I understand at the time, and we will have Robert Serry briefing on a range of issues in the Middle East.

On the issue of the TechCamp, Erin has all the information on it, she's got a website and I'll direct you to the website, we have participants who have signed up already. It is www.techcampglobal.org/NYC. I can give this to you afterwards as well.

And you had one more question? LRA?

Reporter: (Inaudible.)

Ambassador DiCarlo: I don't know if briefers will make reference to the LRA or not, I think that we will see if it will happen. Yes, indeed, it will be Secretary Kerry who is chairing the meeting.

Moderator: Right here.

Reporter: Thank you, Madame Ambassador. My name is Yasu Sawa from Kyodo News, a Japanese wire service. My question is, do you have anything to share with us on the recent development of UNDOF, the Golan Heights peacekeeping operation, if there has been any member states that have come forward to contribute troops? And the second part is do you have any specific idea to implement better the sanction regimes both of Iran and North Korea? The Panel of Experts report last month, both Panel reports, was published indicating numbers of violation cases.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Okay, on the issue of UNDOF, I know that DPKO is working very actively with member states to solicit additional troops. I have not been informed of the status of it, whether additional troops have come forward yet, but they are in discussions with quite a range of countries. You know about the Fijian troops that have committed to come, and they are considering augmenting their numbers as well.

On the issue of sanctions, as you said, obviously, full compliance with sanctions is key, is important, and I think the Sanctions Committees and the Panels of Experts have been doing a very good job in trying to get out more information about these committees. Information is key here - information about what is happening, information about what countries need to do. I commend the chairs of the Sanctions Committees, who have been doing open briefings for the members of the UN community in order for them to understand a bit better on what kinds of things need to be done and how - the mechanisms for doing it. Thank you.

Moderator: Go right here.

Reporter: Thank you, Madame President. My name is Saloua Jendoubi with Kuwait News Agency. I understand the Council is going to renew the mandate on July 24th of UNAMI, and I wonder if the new resolution will reflect the tasks that have been assigned to UNAMI, the ones that were adopted last week between Iraq and Kuwait. Thank you.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Yes, thank you very much. We will be renewing the mandate. We don't envision a significant change to the mandate, I should tell you that. But there will be reference to the resolution that was adopted last week and the new role for UNAMI in Iraq-Kuwait relations.

Moderator: We'll take one or two more. Way in the back.

Reporter: Thank you. Two questions. One, I see the Central African Republic, is, sorry, Eran Sthoeger, Security Council Report, thank you. Central African Republic is in the footnote, but since there was a BINUCA report due by the end of the month I'm just wondering why it's not on the Program of Work? And second of all, given that there is the debate on the 25th on the DRC and the Great Lakes, I'm just curious as to - on the 11th there is consultations on MONUSCO - so I'm just wondering who would be briefing and on what exactly? Thank you.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks for your question. First of all, the BINUCA report is delayed, which is why the session on BINUCA - the peace building office in CAR - has come off the agenda. We kept Central African Republic in the footnotes because there is a lot of concern about what is happening there. We anticipate we might have a briefing from the Secretariat perhaps on - sort of - different aspects of the conflict going on.

And then your last question was MONUSCO. The reason MONUSCO is separate. The debate on the 25th is Great Lakes, writ large, DRC and Great Lakes. On the 11th we will be discussing the Secretary General's report specifically, and Hervé Ladsous, who is undersecretary general for peacekeeping will be our briefer.

Moderator: We'll take one or two more. I think there's one way in the back

Reporter: Thank you. Two questions. One, I see the Central African Republic - [is, sorry, Iran...Security Council Report, thank you] - Central African Republic is in the footnotes, but since there was a BINUCA report due by the end of the month, I'm just wondering why it's not on the Programme of Work. And second of all, given that there's the debate on the 25th on the D.R.C. and the Great Lakes, I'm just curious as to on the 11th there's consultations on MONUSCO, so I'm just wondering who will be briefing and on what exactly.

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks for your question. First of all, the BINUCA report is delayed, which is why the session on BINUCA, the peace-building office in the C.A.R., has come off the agenda. We've kept Central African Republic in the footnotes because there is a lot of concern about what is happening there. We anticipate we might have a briefing from the Secretariat perhaps on sort of different aspects of the conflict going on. And then - your last question was - MONUSCO. The reason MONUSCO is separate: the debate on the 25th is Great Lakes writ large - D.R.C. and Great Lakes. On the 11th, we will be discussing the Secretary General's report specifically, and Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, will be our briefer.

Moderator: Final question, Tim.

Reporter: Thank you, Madame Ambassador. Will Mr. Sellstrom be coming to the Security Council anytime? To brief the Council? And is he going to submit a report to you?

Ambassador DiCarlo: Thank you for your question. Currently, there are no plans for him to come to the Council and as far as any report is concerned I think you'd have to ask the Secretary-General's office. He's reporting directly to the Secretary-General.

Moderator: You want to take one more?

Ambassador DiCarlo: Sure

Moderator: One more.

Reporter: (Inaudible) which is the online site of (inaudible), and one of my questions is a follow-up to what you said earlier about the DPRK following up on its commitments made in 2005. I'd appreciate hearing exactly what you're referring to in 2005. And the second question relates to what has been raised as an issue about the UN Command not being an appropriate designation for the U.S. government decisions in the things involving the Koreas and what's happening with the - what's happening in general. And can you say, if you have a response, one in your national capacity, and two, if this was raised in the Security Council. If there's any sense in the Security Council to take this issue up?
Ambassador DiCarlo: First of all, I'm going to refer to you the Department of Defense on the UN Command. I think it would be better placed as a question to them. Certainly, we have been - this has not been raised in the Security Council, I can tell you that. Certainly, we have been very clear that North Korea needs to implement the commitments that have been made in the past regarding its nuclear program - to abandon all nuclear weapons and its nuclear program. And that is something that we have been quite consistent on.

Reporter: Will you refer (inaudible) to 2005?

Ambassador DiCarlo: We were just talking about the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks in 2005.

Moderator: Thank you, everybody.

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