Facebook Chat With Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer

On September 21, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer held a live Facebook chat previewing U.S. priorities at the 67th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

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  1. Assistant Secretary Brimmer Responds to Your Questions
  2. Assistant Secretary Brimmer welcomed the thoughts of the audience in her opening statement.
  3. Good Morning! Next week, the center of global diplomacy will be New York City, where the 67th UN General Assembly will open its high-level sessions. The President and Secretary of State will lead our delegation and we will have many opportunities to address a host of challenging issues. I welcome your thoughts on the issues that I and many other world leaders will be meeting to tackle next week. What do you think is the most important issue for us to address?
  4. At this year’s “UNGA”, we are focusing particular emphasis on enhancing multilateral mechanisms for peace and security, which will include high-level events on the Sahel, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Middle East.
  5. Assistant Secretary Brimmer answered questions on a wide range of topics related to the United States'  work with international organizations.  Michael Boyce asked: 
  6. For decades, the US has worked through the UN system to deliver vital humanitarian relief around the world. With humanitarian needs now growing rapidly (and the US foreign aid budget not keeping pace), how can the US bring nontraditional donors like Turkey and the Gulf States into the UN fold?
  7. Humanitarian assistance provides a vital lifeline to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Londstanding and new donors will be needed to continue to support this aid. Turkey has generously welcomed refugees from Syria and provided humanitarian assistance for Syrians and other people. Gulf states and others are expanding their assistance and we encourage all countries to give generously to help people in dire situations.
  8. Other questions focused on events unfolding in the Middle East.
  9. I would like to know what will you do about Syria since Russia and China are blocking possibilities for UN action? I hope you choose my question.
  10. We think that the crisis in Syria is one of the most difficult questions that we face. We are all moved by the tragedy facing the Syrian people and want to find ways to help. We were disappointed that Russia and China vetoed the resolutions in the Security Council. However, that will not stop efforts to help the Syrian people. We think that it is important to support the nonviolent Syrian opposition, to help the Syrian people with their political transition. It is also extremely important to provide humanitarian assistance to the thousands and thousands of people displaced by this tragedy. The United States has provided over 100 million dollars in assistance to help the Syrian people.
  11. Assistant Secretary Brimmer also discussed the role of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and other peacekeeping operations.  
  12. I would like to ask about keeping peace between the states of North and South Sudan in order to preserve the effort of UNMIS and puncture mechanism that must be done on the ground
  13. The United Nations has been crucial to helping advance peace between Sudan and South Sudan. There are three peacekeeping operations in this region, including UNMISS in South Sudan. UNMISS is helping the new country of South Sudan. We think UNMISS has performed well, and in some cases valiantly. However, it faces a deteriorated operating environment. We urge Sudan and South Sudan to resolve all outstanding issues including those related to contested border access, citizenship, and security. Such agreements must be reached and implemented for the sake of stability in both countries and the wider region.
  14. For more information, U.S. Department of State's work with International Organizations, please visit the Bureau of International Organization Affairs website, find them on Tumblr, or follow @State_IO on Twitter.