New York Foreign Press Center Briefing with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft

New York Foreign Press Center Briefing with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft.

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Welcome to the foreign press centers Video conference briefing with Ambassador Kelly Craft, US permanent representative to the United Nations. Please keep your microphone muted until you are called on to ask a question. If you have technical problems during this briefing, you can use the chat feature, and we will try to assist you as a reminder of today’s ground rules. This briefing is on the record. We will share a transcript any video following this briefing, ambassador over to you. Thank you, Thank you, Katie. And thank you for organizing today and thank you, everybody for joining us. I feel like we’re all in each other’s living room, so this is quite an unusual time, and it’s it’s worked for everyone. And so I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, both with interviews and also within the Security Council. In one of the things I wanted to talk about, today was just how we have been able to to change so quickly from meeting in the council to to be able to have our meetings and be very effective with our online and our PTC’s. And obviously everyone knows that when I arrived, one of my first objectives was talking about credibility within the Security Council, and there’s no better time to talk about it. Then, during a time when we’re voting on saving millions of lives in Syria, as we will discuss that also and you know, just discussing the narrow and cynical goals of Russia and China and how they aren’t using the Syrian people really, um, politicizing them in order to prop up the Assad regime. And that’s another issue that I’d like to talk about also, and just the dishonesty of this entire campaign around the Assad regime and why and why they can take care of their own people when we know very well that they’re not, um, you know, I’ve been to the Syrian border. I visit Turkey. Andi. I have seen the way what can work when a president like President Erdogan takes care of the refugees and I just to be able to discuss this And then obviously we can talk about the People’s Republic of China. We can talk about general secretary she and their abuse of the Uighurs, their abuse of Africans, their abuse of Tibetans, the situation in Hong Kong. We have a lot to talk about it in only 30 minutes. So I’m gonna would rather have the questions from each of you. And thank you. All the walls joined us today. I really appreciate this. Now I’m excited to be able to engage in conversation. So back to UK take you back to her. Um, our first question comes from if, if you’d like to upper question Ah Hadeel toys from the North Press Agency of Syria. If you have. If you would like to ask your question now we can amuse you. Yes. Hello. Thank you so much. Ambassador. My question is that 1/3 off Syria, which is under the control off SDF sell a CF Syrian Democratic Council. Their political body student Democratic sample is not represented in Geneva talks until now. They don’t have any real presentation. Do you have any recommendations in off people off northeast Syria under the control of as CS in infinite bottles? You know, that’s a great question. And our policy, the U. S. Policies very consistent and clear on representation. And, you know, we have been focused as you well know on a Syria owned and a Syria led political process and This is in accordance with the once for the U. N. Security Council resolution 22 54. Which means we want full representation for all Syrians in order to achieve the political in order to achieve unity in Syria. So thank you for for bringing this up. I think it’s very important that, um that we have representation from all the bodies, especially the SDF. Her case. Thank you. You’re welcome. Thank you. And for those of you joining via the zoo map, you can click your raise hands button at the bottom of the participant list to indicate you have a question. You could also use the chat feature. And then we will also take really been one person the phone. We can also potentially take a question after we finish with the pope. Sons who, um, give everyone a chance to indicate Prince. So the rays hand feature is, um, at the bottom of the participant list. There should be an option to put your hand. There’s a little blue hand option. Okay, we’re gonna have a question coming of your chat. In the meantime, I saw the handbrake is out from link A white. Um, please over. Do you think I will amuse you so thank you very much, Ambassador. For this briefing it just you. My name is in front of my nature newspaper. This I was wondering your opinion. Looking back at the Secretary General School for cease for you think it was an effective action that you think you have an effect in places like Syria? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the question. As you well know, that with Secretary General in March announced the ceasefire, the global ceasefire I think what that did is it really highlighted the importance of our frontline workers and his call for the ceasefire in order to implement in to protect and secure our front line workers. And that goes everybody from delivery vehicles to medical personnel, two volunteers that air helping on the ground. And as you know, that also opened up where the Security Council we had to unify in it. It was through the French presidency in June when the French had the presidency of the Security Council that we were all after four months of negotiating and the United States was very firm on making certain that the Security Council understood that we were focused on the global ceasefire and nothing else. We want to, you know, we really want to be in lockstep with the secretary General. Do I think that it is helped? I would like to say guess because it has allowed us to have more humanitarian aid and protecting the workers that are delivering the aid. And I know I have heard from different delivery companies throughout the world that their access has seemed safer to them. And so you know, they too, are worried about their individuals that are delivering the AIDS. So this not only is just about the humanitarian aid that’s that’s sitting there, it’s about what it takes to get there. So this global ceasefire has been very helpful. And if anything, it’s really highlighted the fact that the Secretary General is very much engaged and really challenged the Security Council and all of us to be able to come together and make it a point that we’re focused on the global ceasefire. Thank you very much. You’re welcome. Okay. Next, we have a question from Joyce Karam from the national level. You? Yeah, I thanks, Sbc. Um, my question is on the Russian via on the cross border eight to serious. What is your next plan? That this has happened. I understand that my day vote tomorrow. Eso That’s number one. And if I can quickly a number two. Some of few Middle East partners have, actually, you know, became closer with Russia and China. How much are you concerned about that? And what’s your message to these countries? That order, you know, east and, uh uh, hedging a little bit. You know what? After the U. S. You know what? Let’s focus on the vote that happened this just about 30 minutes ago. And that was the Russian admit amendment that they just wanted to have the one border crossing for six months. And if you compare this to January with our votes, we obviously Russia and China voted in favor of the Russian amendments. But we were so successful this time around that we were able to really point out to the countries that normally would have voted with Russia and China. Whether that is the South Africa, Tunisia, Vietnam, they abstained. So we have. We feel like we have a success and sending a message to the world and in sending a message of the Security Council that there is not one minute Are we going to allow only half of the refugees to be able to to have access to humanitarian aid with our next steps? You know what I’m engaged in at this? Very second is our next boat, which is coming in this afternoon on the Belgium, the German Copan holders with the two border crawl, Satan’s for six months. And we have been working all hours, day and night to make certain that the members of the council understand the importance of not allowing Russia and China to politicize the humanitarian assistance in order to pop up the Assad regime. You know, we’re planning ahead. We’ve got to be six steps ahead of everyone. So we are. We are looking forward for Friday, tomorrow for the vote, and we are going to be fighting for as to say that as many lives as possible. And that means that we will be fighting for the two borders, Um, for a six month time and we’re all focused on battle will be working up into the minute of votes, Mom. So thank you for raising that and my other question. Do you feel you know, a shift among your allies? You know, perhaps closer ties with Russia and China. You know what I’m trying to do is really shone the light on the People’s Republic of China and on how they are undermining multilateral institutions to advance their own interests. So they have really formed with Russia, and you know, they’re gaining more confidence because obviously they have underlying reasoning for being more engaged at the U. N. Am I worried about the countries that maybe are looking more at the attitude and in forming with Russia and China know because I can tell you that the Trump administration has made it very clear to these countries that anyone that stands in the way of democracy and the rule of law will most certainly hear from us. Thank you so much. Thank you. We have another question from Hadeel since. Go ahead. Well, I need you as I wanted to ask if you’re noticing any change in Russia in Russia’s approach, just eerie a after the Caesar Act. Do you believe that Russia’s willing now who participate and play a positive role in pushing for political change? in transition in Syria. You know, that’s a great question. The Caesar act has been something that I have been bringing up repeatedly in my in line statements. And it doesn’t, you know, this act does not change the U. S. Policy in Syria at all. It reinforces our existing lines of efforts to advance the justice for the victims and promote accountability for the regime’s atrocities. You know, we have to make certain that everyone knows we, the United States, the Trump administration is committed to enduring defeat of Isis and Al Qaeda. And this means that we are going to be looking for a political solution in Syria in line with the Security Council resolution 22 54. And this will mean removing all Iranian commanded forces in Syria. Thank you. Okay. Our next question will come from it to some. Are them Well, im you were the briefing. Um, my name’s some of them from a lot of each of the newspaper. I have just first full up question on the just to clarify something you said, and I’m not sure if I got to drive on the Syria resolution. So are you saying that the resolution that is now put the boat is similar has also to cross border and two and not one, as the Russians want. And if that correct, how is different from the one that the Russians used ev Angel against on my question and is about, um, the step that the Trump administration the present it took regarding that? A a lot. Both. Even American scientists are saying that that’s you undermined, uh, that work a place in school before he’s an American to decide about different policies, and they give an example off. If it wasn’t the W, h. O and America being part of our spoken, they wouldn’t have been. American scientists have been able to go to China in January as part of the delegation and to collect. And I’m not information’s s So what do you say to that on? Do you think that such a step is really helping on a global level two regarding the programs that will be closed, whether have yes, thank you. You know, back to be the resin Syria resolution. So what we proposed yesterday were the two border crossings for 12 months. So today. So when we propose that the Russians came back with amendment. Obviously they vetoed. Along with China, they came back with an admit mint for one border crossings for six months. So what we are proposing today, our boat will be our two border crossings for six months. So we were able to vote down. The council made a very strong, strong statement all of us together that we will not accept the one border crossing for six months. So we’re waiting on the vote for the Copan holders for Belgium and Germany and assuming that this should come in any time, what’s important is that we’re focused on the two border crossings for the six months. You know, if you vote with Russia and China or with Russia on the one border crossing for six months, what about the other order? And the other people just can’t Hey can choose whose lives you’re gonna say. And so every life is very important to me, and I want to make certain that we maximize and we were able to say this many lives as possible, and we’re going to be fighting to the bitter end of this and making certain that we shine a light on every step of the way on what Russia and China are trying to do, as in politicizing humanitarian aid in order crop of Assad regime. Now when it comes to the w h. O. Because you will know that on May 29 the president’s announcement that he was going to be withdrawing and we gave the wh show, we gave Dr Tendrils plenty of time to be able to to come back to us and to show that he was trying to fix what was broken or trying to turn the corner and be more transparent. We didn’t see this so that on July, the sticks the six of this year, the president we issued a letter that stated our withdrawal. This is a year of your technical withdrawals. That would be July 6th 2021 is you know, the US leads the world in humanitarian assistance. We are right now with Kobe. We’ve committed two billion. We have 10 billion allocated. We will continue to support all of the NGOs that are the world leaders as faras transparency and accountability. And you know that just happens to be two of which are run by Americans, which is you Necessity and the World Food Program. Um, what we’re focused on is making certain that we are engaged with institutions that work that are transparent. I owe it to the American taxpayers to make certain that their dollars are spent with organizations that are transparent, that are accountable, that are effective. And they’re saving lives. And, you know, we we gave the W H o and opportunity to turn this around, and we did not see any efforts on their behalf. So we we want to support institutions that work organizations that work. That’s what we’re all about. They were not performing as they were supposed to do, and that was to be transparent and to try to mitigate this virus and many others in the past. Thank you for asking that question. Okay, we have a hand raised from Alexia. Suppose, please. Over to you? Yeah, the hello, Madam Ambassador or ah, Russian. All previous question off Mike Oleg’s exclusion confirms that Russian influence and presence in the Middle East East Regional Special in Siris huge now and it’s the part of Kremlin policy in here in Israel. We expect the gain off each, especially with zeroing off current presidential tariffs as a result off last week Plebiscite in Russia Are you able to come? And somehow the result of this wording, especially in case off one off amendments now after the walking Russian local law, have a preference under international? You know, what we’re working toward is making certain that that Russia understands that the rule of law is very important to us. It is vital to democracies. And you know you are. You are seeing Russia prop up the Assad regime in Syria. We are we are, you know, obviously, Russia is very much engaged in countries and in in this information and dishonesty, and basically, at times I look at this as good and eagles, and there’s no better example than Russia with the Assad regime. This is a very clear example of right and wrong and good and evil. And with the international, all we have to make certain international law upholds all of the truths of democracies the transparency, this honesty and most importantly, the freedom democracy that people deserve all over the world. Thank you. You look okay. Our next question comes from and don’t go happy. Um, we will. You Please, go ahead. Thank you, Ambassador, for this briefing. My name is Don glassy. I’m a reporter for the Asahi Shimbun. And my question is on international cooperation. So you previously said that it is trying to show American leadership at the Security Council. So looking back up the boardwalk, the U. N. Security Council on, for example, the cross border resolution on Syria or the coded resolution? How do you think this paralysis or dysfunction can be fixed? Thanks. You know, my goal is is is to engage all of the countries in the Security Council and all of the countries in the general’s for the member states, for that matter, because the Security Council really owes it. We we work for everyone. So we’re not just the 15 of us in a room. We have to keep in mind that we represent the entire member states. Um, yes. The U. S. Is the number one donor at the United Nations, and we make certain that that that they understand that with that, we also are demanding the accountability from every member state were also demanding accountability, whether it be through our peacekeeping missions, whether it be through any entity that NGOs any entity within the U. N. System with Secretariat. But what’s important is that we false for the relationships within the Security Council, just like what’s happening with the Syria cross border. We’ve been fostering these relationships for some time now. My predecessors have helped me get to this point where we have this vote today, where we’ve had people to abstain that normally would have voted with China and Russia. So it’s not just something that I’m doing is something that I’m building on from my predecessors and hoping to bring with me. I have administration that backs me. That is second to none. That is very firm, very strong, what they believe in. And that is the move of law and democracy around the world. Thank you, Ambassador. You’re welcome. Thank you. Um, our next question will be from Pearl. Matiba and I will also believe we have a few more minutes. So I will also remind everyone that if you do have a question, you can please let us know by a chat or by raising your hand the zoom feature. Thank you very much. A good afternoon, Ambassador Craft. I really appreciate your press available with you today. So thank you very, very much for this. Andi, you mentioned that South Africa abstained. So this is South Africa’s third term on the United Nations Security Council, having previously served in 2000 and 7 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012. Given the situation in the Middle East, how has their dedication to women peace and security strengthened, Weakened Corbyn ineffectual considering that South Africans made planes to be pitch waiting, the legacy of former President Alta Mandela’s commitment to peace. And I noticed, too, that on the United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria, the violations of uses and so on the plight of women and girls can. Yet there is no specific ver bage in the resolutions abstract that mentions of women, peace and security. Can you comment on your actions to ensure your advancing the U. S. Interests off a whole of government approach on the women peace and security agenda? Thank you. Yeah. You know, thank you for bringing this up, because it will allow me to tell you that my first trip, the very first place that I chose to travel, was to south Sudan, and that was to send a message to South Africa because that was Jerry are the Pearl River in South Africa. It was his presidency, and I had only been there a couple weeks at the U. N. And I would really wanted to show Jerry that I care that that the continent is a priority of mine and being in South Africa. Excuse me, being in South Sudan and meeting my main priority was to meet with women and to talk about women’s issues and their safety and their security, and that was able to really bring it back. I stayed in south Sudan as opposed to traveling with the rest of the council. Uh, I wanted to be with a lot of the women in the displaced camps in alkali and understand best what their issues were, and I can tell you that they have come a long way, but there’s a lot. There’s a lot more to be done, and that is one of the reasons that we wanted to also highlight that in the administration was women’s peace and security. And that’s that’s something that the administration’s working on that Ivanka Trump has been very engaged in. We want women to prosper in the work force. We want them to succeed is entrepreneurs which South ever has done so well. And we want to make certain that they are enablers in the economy is very important for women, not only women in family, because they do develop communities. They’re the ones that hold the communities together, but to make certain they can’t hold a community together unless they will say insecure, not only for themselves, but for their family, for their Children. So, you know, I mean, I am a consistently fighting for the the initiative of women, peace and security to be and get included in every resolution. So I really appreciate you bringing this up because it was my first trip to to to the continent into South Sudan. And it most certainly went out when I got on better played to come back home, my body to those women back with me. So I’ll be fighting for not only their case of security, but for women around the world. Whether it’s Afghanistan, Yemen, Latin America, wherever it ISS, you can call now. Thank you. We have one phone call color. Does that individual have a question just to give them an opportunity. All right. Um Well, thank you, Ambassador. Um, it’s 1 15 So that concludes our reaping today. Thank you to everyone for joining us. We will share it transcript and the video link to everyone. And again, thank you for joining and thank you to the ambassador. Thank you so much. And just about Just say to everyone that it’s so vital that especially during this time, in any time, what we call for global ceasefire that they to the are messengers. Because I I’m only one person, and I can only talk to so many of you. But they have such an audience of people that are really hungry, especially during Kobe. 19 there they’re hungry for news. And there how before to know what’s going on. And so I appreciate you all being, you know, the voice that’s out there for information for people and to really talk about the global ceasefire because it’s really important to let people know that we care that the Security Council is working on their behalf. Thank you, Ambassador craft. Thank you.

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