UNGA 101

Kristen Silverberg, Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs

Welcome to the State Department’s new blog, Dipnote. My name is Kristin Silverberg and I lead the Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs which is responsible for managing the U.S. relationship with the United Nations.

Each September, the President and the Secretary of State go to New York to join their counterparts from around the world to honor the opening of the General Assembly of the United Nations. This year more than fifty heads of state and government are expected to be in New York for the opening events.

The United States helped to found the United Nations in 1945 and we remain the UN’s largest and most active supporter. We work with the United Nations to combat disease, stop the threat of nuclear proliferation, bring peace to post conflict environments, defend human rights, and promote development.

This year, the United States has a full agenda in New York. We’ll call on the Security Council to increase pressure on the Iranian regime to abandon its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. We’ll work with the United Nations to expand its presence and activities in Iraq, to better aid Iraqis in achieving national reconciliation and establishing constructive relationships with their neighbors.

President Bush and Secretary Rice will meet with their counterparts on ways to bring an end to the violence in Darfur. They’ll call for the rapid deployment of United Nations - African Union peacekeeping force and urge all parties to work toward a political end to the crisis.

President Bush and Secretary Rice will stress the importance that free trade and private investment play in combating poverty worldwide. Trade is a powerful anti-poverty tool because it spurs economic growth, increases opportunity, and creates new and better paying jobs. They’ll emphasize that trade is particularly effective when paired with good accountable governments and economic policies that unleash private sector growth.

President Bush and Secretary Rice will work with our partners to promote the President’s vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

And finally, we’ll discuss the best way forward on climate change which is a serious long term challenge. We’ll lead an approach that emphasizes international collaboration on a broad range of measures to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. We’ll propose international science and technology initiatives that promote energy security and economic growth.

As it is every year, the opening of the General Assembly will be an exciting period of intense diplomacy as we work together to address the world’s most pressing challenges.



Jeremy T.
Colorado, USA
September 26, 2007

Jeremy from Colorado writes:
This is an outstanding idea!!! Do you have an internal blog site for State Department employees as well? An internal blog would be great and would keep communication open and consistent.

Daniel S.
October 2, 2007

Dipnote Blogger Frederick Jones writes:
@ Jeremy - Thanks for the words of encouragement.

The Department is piloting a number of internal online communities that encourage the formation of online communities. For example, Communities @ State" is a program that the Office of eDiplomacy started in 2005 to allow State Department employees to create online communities to collaborate with colleagues throughout the Department and in other government agencies on topics of interest to them. The communities are built with open-source blogging software and often cover topics that often do not fit in with the traditional org chart. We have seen tremendous growth in the Communities program in the last year and now have 37 communities on subjects as diverse as the Palestinian economy, systems administration, North American border issues and even a blog for Marine Security Guards. There are about 200 active bloggers in the Department at this time.

Of course, we always have our traditional means to communicate with each other. Employees have a number of ways to communicate with each other such as classified and unclassified email systems and official cables. Cables are formal communications, akin to telegrams, back and forth between the U.S. and locations overseas. Cables, which are intended for internal consumption only, can be widely distributed so that they are read by numerous individuals throughout the Department. Last week a cable from our Ambassador in Iraq titled "Iraqi Refugee Processing: Can We Speed It Up?" generated a good deal of press after a copy of the document found its way to the Washington Post.

This Blog is our attempt to expand the transparency of the Department to those outside. Thanks for reading, hope you'll continue to find the Blog interesting.

September 26, 2007

Robin in Romania writes:
I am quite upset about the fact that the only two countries that did not sign the Kyoto treaty/pact are U.S.A. and Australia.

I think this has a great negative impact on US green policy! It's hard to believe that a country that has not signed the Kyoto pact is sincerely willing to do something about such major issues!

Still, I am waiting to see that happening!

AFSA Survey and Washington Post Story
September 25, 2007


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