U.S. Priorities for UN General Assembly

Sep 16, 2016

Humanitarian response, peace and security and countering terrorism and violent extremism will be top priorities for the United States as delegates join those of 193 nations during the high-level week of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The United States remains firmly committed to employing multilateralism to advance its national interests and promote a more peaceful, productive and prosperous world. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker, said events and activities throughout the week will advance key U.S. multilateral objectives.

Humanitarian response will be at the top of the agenda when President Barack Obama along with leaders from Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Sweden, Mexico and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon co-host the Leaders' Summit on Refugees.

“The President's summit responds not just to the headlines of yesterday and today but to the broader and enduring strains on the humanitarian system,” said Assistant Secretary Crocker.

“We expect that the summit will result in significant new, sustained commitments to UN humanitarian appeals, expanded refugee resettlement programs or alternative legal pathways for admission, and new opportunities for refugees and their host communities to benefit from improved refugee access to education and to legal employment.”

The U.S. will continue to support efforts to promote peace and security, relying on UN envoys to advance political tracks in Syria, Libya, Yemen and other crisis-stricken countries. To this end, Secretary of State John Kerry will attend a Security Council session focused on Syria and will cohost a ministerial event on Libya, among other meetings.

The U.S. will build on previous commitments to the UN Peace Operations, aiming to enhance the UN's ability to undertake conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding activities, while at the same time promoting accountability for conduct for peacekeepers.

The United States will continue to strengthen multilateral cooperation on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, with emphasis on global initiatives to counter Da'esh or ISIL, other violent extremist groups, and foreign terrorist fighters. We will also seek to enhance the UN's capacities to implement the recommendations of the Secretary-General's Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

“The United States will also move forward with UN member-states on a number of other issues of continuing importance,” said Assistant Secretary Crocker. These include climate change, sustainable development, human rights, nuclear disarmament, and UN reform.