“We gather today to commemorate a shameful and brutal period in the world’s history. We remember the over 10 million men, women, and children who lost their lives and their dignity at the hands of the transatlantic slave trade. The rare messages of hope that come from this terrible time are the stories of the courageous men and women who fought for and won their God-given right to freedom. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice, dying in slavery, so that others may live in freedom.
“Sixteen days ago, we came to an agreement. Russia cast its vote in favor of the agreement. And with that vote, Russia promised its support for a 30-day ceasefire, as did the rest of the members of the Security Council…During the negotiations, the United States put all parties on notice that we needed to act if the ceasefire was not honored, and members of the Security Council agreed. And now that day has come. The ceasefire has failed.
“Our goal with this resolution is clear: The Assad regime needs to stop its military activities around eastern Ghouta, and for once, allow humanitarian access to all of those who need it. We are deeply skeptical that the regime will comply. But we supported this resolution because we must demand nothing less. We owe this to the innocent people of Syria begging for help.”
- Ambassador Nikki Haley
“It is important that we pause for a moment every so often to reflect why it is we’re here and what guides our work. And we should start by being honest: there is a lot of lip service paid to the Charter of the United Nations. Everyone claims to be motivated by it and to be acting in accordance with its principles. But all too often, Member States invoke the UN Charter not to inspire us to act, but to excuse their lack of action.
"You can choose to denounce the United States, reject the U.S. role in peace talks, and pursue punitive measures against Israel in international forums like the UN. I assure you that path will get the Palestinian people exactly nowhere toward the achievement of their aspirations. Or, you can choose to put aside your anger about the location of our embassy, and move forward with us toward a negotiated compromise that holds great potential for improving the lives of the Palestinian people.
“The world is watching and waiting for Burma to act. What we have seen so far is cruel and barbaric. To top it off, they have the gall to blame the media. Unhindered media access is vitally important. Journalists like the two imprisoned Reuters reporters are an indispensable source of information. I also call on the Secretary-General to quickly appoint a Special Envoy for Burma. And I call on the Burmese government to allow a UN fact-finding mission and the Special Rapporteur into the country.
“Our interest in free, fair, and credible elections begins with ensuring that the Government of the DRC genuinely represents and reflects the will of the Congolese people. But it is also about addressing a worsening political, human rights, humanitarian, and economic situation in the Congo.”
- Ambassador Nikki Haley
"As Kosovo approaches the tenth anniversary of its independence, we believe that the opportunity is at hand for such a genuine peace. The people of Kosovo are establishing the institutions of self-government. Last year a new administration was formed following free, fair, and peaceful democratic elections. A functioning, multi-ethnic democracy continues to strengthen in Kosovo, one that respects the rule of law and human rights of all. The UN Mission in Kosovo has been an important part of this achievement.
“It’s a true tragedy that Russia has sent us back to square one in the effort to end chemical weapons use in Syria. But we will not cease in our efforts to know the truth of the Assad regime and ensure that that truth is known and acted on by the international community. That is why we hosted all 15 members of this Council at the U.S. Holocaust Museum last week. The exhibit was called: ‘Syria: Please Don’t Forget Us.’ All of us saw undeniable evidence of the Assad regime’s atrocities and human rights violations.
“The United States remains deeply committed to helping the Israelis and the Palestinians reach a historic peace agreement that brings a better future to both peoples, just as we did successfully with the Egyptians and the Jordanians. But we will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace. To get historic results, we need courageous leaders. History has provided such leaders in the past. For the sake of the Palestinian and Israeli people, we pray it does so again.”