tv Hearing on U.S. Work with International Organizations CSPAN March 4, 2022 6:49pm-7:52pm EST
hearing looking at engagements. it's about one hour. >> okay we're looking at the subcommittee on international development organizations in corporate social him back will come to order. thank you for our witnesses for being here today, for american engagement with international organizations. without objection, the chair is authorized to -- and all members will have five days to submit statements and material for the record. to insert something into the record, please have your staff email the previously mentioned address or contact full committee staff. please keep your video function on all times, even when you're not recognized for the chair. members are responsible for muting unmuting themselves and please remember to mute yourself after you finish making.
consistent with h.res.8. staff members will only mute witness is as appropriate to illuminate background wise. i woke myself for welcoming remarks. thank you for enjoying for joining me on this meeting. so we show jay season is here with us today, congratulations on her confirmation. we know the importance of your role. throughout your career you've been called to public service and top tough jobs, and this will be a challenging role for you michele j. sison. we are still recovering from personal turnover, and documentation from the inspector general during the previous estrogen. i know many organizations are still waiting for confirmation, i hope the senate will move swiftly to get these individuals fully in place.
i hope his hearing marking americas renewed engagement with international organizations will also signal renewed engagement with the department and congress on this issue. this is the first hearing in the house foreign affairs committee with the senate confirmed assisted secretary of state, -- since 2003. it's an opportunity to speak to the role multilateralism and international organizations. like u.s. foreign policy. both my colleagues in the larger public would benefit from the opportunity to understand and engage in -- regularly. particularly since your word is just as important as those of many other bureaus as the department of state who have frequent opportunities to testify in front of congress. the system of international organization established in the wake of world war ii is an incredible achievement but we cannot take for granted. the united nations kept the peace between major powers for decades, and plays a critical
role in peacekeeping around the world. the un system and other institutions have also helped to advance technical and humanitarian cooperation in many areas. at the same time, more than 75 -- of the signing of the united nations charter we see more and more signs that the edifice of international borders are in need of renewal. we face new challenges like climate change and climate driven migration. we have those esoteric questions about standards and governance, which have major impact on geopolitics and how we all live our lives. and we face all challenges in a new guys, whether that's a worldwide pandemic or armies mass-ing an international borders with threats of invasion. russia's military buildup and potential invasion of ukraine is a major challenge for the first world order that was founded with russia present at the creation, to repudiate the idea that unprovoked aggression like what we saw into world
words in two world wars was unacceptable basis for invasion. international organizations have kept the peace and we have to look at the changes we need to have to secure that these organizations continue to be relevant. but in the decade since world war ii, we have found new partners as well. we've seen japan and germany as well as new powers like india demonstrate that they have a stake in the international order. and the capability to help address some of the urgent problems of our time. i believe it's time to ask other institutions drawn up according to the warsaw or colonial alignments from decades ago reflect the world today. with all that in mind, i hope that during this hearing we will hear not only how you are doing american patriotism to these international organizations, but how they may be reimagined to maintain a foundational place in a rapidly changing world. i appreciate the state
department and your eagerness to work with this committee. technical assistance was invaluable, as legislation that i was on with a subcommittee last year -- to support participation in international organizations as well as a bill representative to make sure we are meeting our obligations for peacekeeping at the un. both of these bills passed the house recently. a senior member of your team, ambassador -- testified in her last meeting. both being important bipartisan organizations. throughout all that, your bureau has -- hope that we will continue work in that bipartisan manner as we address policy and management challenges facing the international organization affairs. during her tenure.
once again congratulations on a confirmation. welcome to the subcommittee. i look forward to testimony. with that i will now turn over to ranking member mullet talk us. >> thank you for holding this hearing, and doing the conducting oversight of our engagement within united nations and other international organizations. assistant secretary thank you for being here with us. as with our previous hearings, the post-world war ii international order has come under increased threat in recent years, as countries like china and russia look to rewrite the world. the current situation in ukraine is a prime example of this dangerous phenomena. united states created international organizations like the un and other agencies to prevent them from taking hold across the world. but we are unfortunately
witnessing china and russia, undermining these institutions in realtime. the world health organization, routinely pirated, the chinese communist party speaking -- and spreading misinformation which led to the death of an. >> we know the plate and actors, like china is not just limited to the world -- organization. and many times taiwan has been excluded from organizations in general. including the civil aviation organization, interpol and as we've seen in months the olympics. as a result, and as i've said before, the u.s. engagement with international organizations should be tempered and clear eyed. it does not seem to agree -- last year the president declared the united states would rejoin the --
council a sham body which protected despots and dictators, and hiding the world's worst abuses. china, russia, cuba and venezuela. have seen to this shrine of human rights. instead of focusing on human rights issues abroad, the council continues to fight its efforts on persecuting. israel, is permanently featured on this as its own item. while the sikh changes for the council, we have not seen a single piece of reform since -- ended council last year. they should be a requisite. and it's not a hopeful goal left to be brought into the future. while costing the u.s. taxpayer
trillions of dollars, it permits the world's largest carbon emitter, china to make meager contributions. under the agreement china, the second largest economy in the world, will continue with carbon emissions until 2030. the united states -- we bring financial contributions in addition to our values our american values. u.s. counsel sports one quarter of the peacekeeping of the united nations, makes large contribution to a wide range of other international organizations. but back home, the men and women to fund these agencies rarely see a return on their dollar. this must come to an end. won't get this administration continues to work started by president trump in office, we must continue to use this office to make sure that our partners and allies are united holding these international organizations accountable.
doing so it requires leadership that starts in the white house -- chairman castro thank you for scheduling this and the work that's already been done, to conduct rigorous oversight with international organizations. we have a duty to the american taxpayer to ensure that our engagement is targeted strategic and maximizes on the positive impact of the united states and abroad thank you and i look forward to your testimony ness. thank you, ranking member. i will now introduce our distinguished witness. we have the honorable michele j. sison assistant for the [inaudible] with the u.s. department of state. miss sison was recently confirmed by the senate in december two liters critical bureau and previously served as the united states ambassador haiti, sri lanka, and the maldives, lebanon, and the uae. miss sison, you have five
minutes. welcome. >> good afternoon, and thank you, chairman castro, ranking member molly attack us, and members of the subcommittee for having me here today. president biden has made clear that we will flip our core u.s. values at the center of our foreign policy. this means we must actively outcompete efforts by nations that stand in opposition to u.s. values on human rights, democracy, labor rights, and transferred economic practices. to achieve this we must work in partnership with other nations, and in my short time as the new assistant secretary for international organization affairs i can state with real confidence that the multi lateral world becomes more complex and more important with each passing year. i've seen across my state department career the reality that the un and other international organizations are increasingly engaged in all
corners of our globe with growing relevance to the urgent challenges the world faces. and that was the driving force behind the president's determination to restore u.s. leadership in multi lateral spaces. and over the last year, that determination has played out in concrete raise. when we join the paris agreement, and an expanded leadership on climate matters, including ads cop26 in glasgow. we've re-committed to the world health organization and are actively engaged in reforming and strengthening its capacity to support global health security, including responding to covid-19. future pandemics under their health emergencies. we are leading by example as the largest national contributor to covax, providing more than 400 million doses of vaccines to 110 countries around the world. we put human rights back at the center of u.s. foreign policy by reengaging with the un human rights council, and we are
working as never before to increase the number of qualified americans in leadership positions across the international system. and we've made clear that we are not simply returning to international organizations, we are restoring american leadership to promote and protect american interests and values. and a strong principled leadership at the relations we are building with partners are key in safeguarding multilateral institutions from those such as the peoples republic of china and the russian federation that seek to bend the one system to their authoritarian agendas. we need the un at its best. that means a un dedicated to its founding ideals, and committed to accountability and a culture of reform, a un that rejects anti israel bias, antisemitism and racism in all its forms, a un that promotes the universality of human
rights, humanitarian principles, sustainable development, and cooperation among nations. the un that embraces, not excludes, the active, meaningful participation of civil society voices, and also increasing taiwan's meaningful participation in the un system and international organization. that's an important priority as well. we need a un that demonstrates real value to the american people. that means talking with americans about how our cooperation through the international telecommunication union supports u.s. economic growth by contributing to the conductivity of global telecommunications networks, wearing a world in a way that's open and free, and how our multilateral work supports standards for food safety that help american farmers sell their food around the world, so they are not forced to compete with cheaper products because corners were cut. it's about how you end
diplomacy, supported by international partners partners, kind of eradicate tensions that can lead to protected conflicts and an unspeakable human suffering, and it's about how peace keepers provide stability and create space for reconciliation, which reduces the risk of broadening conflict. it's also about promoting international labor standards that allow american companies to compete on a more level playing field. it's about international controls on fentanyl to deny drug traffickers the raw materials needed to replenish their supply, and it's about the promotion and protection of human rights as expressed in the universal declaration of human rights. and so much. more now, i'd like to spend just a moment on that last point. in january, the united states assumed and elected seat for a term on the human rights council. the first session since we joined starts february 28th, and there is much ahead of us
to come to accomplish, including renewing the special reporters of burma, iran and korea, and the [inaudible] on syria. reinforcing vigilantly for, human rights of members of minority groups, and persons of disabilities, and highlighting other countries specific human rights crises, including in belarus, south sudan and nicaragua. of course, at the same time, any discussion of the hr sea must also recognize its corrosive anti israel vial bias, it buys that the administration has committed to confront aggressively wherever and whenever it appears. and that means being at the table to advocate on israel's behalf. it means engaging with the office of the high commissioner for human rights and with hrc member states to make clear, strong u.s. opposition to problematic anti israel mandate, including the open-ended commission of inquiry.
it means redoubled efforts to build a community of member states to minimize and eventually eliminate agenda item seven and other resolutions that unfairly target israel. and it means working thoughtfully with regional groupings to reshape the council's membership, so those who violate and abuse human rights, such as the prc, russia, cuba, and venezuela, or no longer able to occupy those important positions. and it means leading by example. and welcoming scrutiny of our own human rights record to demonstrate to the world that all countries should be held to the highest human rights ideals. now, leading also means outcompeting countries that misused iran, diminish its effectiveness for controlling the purposes. for example, the peoples republic of china seeks to use the un to promote the problematic belt and road initiative, and now it's global
development initiative. prc attacks on rules, values and standards undermine core human principles, particularly respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. now, we are working hard to push back on prc actions and to present our own affirmative vision of a strong un working for the global good. and we are sharply focused on appointments or elections of qualified, independent and like-minded u.s., and like-minded candidates for leadership positions in the un system. and we've had a number of recent successes. in october, professor todd buchwald was elected to the un committee against torture. in november, jeffrey mounts was reelected to the international civil service commission. in december, professor justin hansford was elected to serve on the un permanent forum on people of african descent. and on february 1st, ambassador
cathy russell began her tenure as the executive director of eunice. in addition, u.s. support for doreen bogdan-martin to become the secretary, the next secretary general of the international telecommunication union highlights our commitment to effective and innovative leadership of that important body. in short, the i.o. bureau supports strong u.s. leadership at the un and across multilateral venues to advance our u.s. national interest, and to protect the american people, to promote u.s. prosperity, and protect our core american values, as well as to drive through reforms that are needed to ensure the effectiveness of these international organizations. thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you, and i welcome your questions. >>s for five minutes each. purs uant to house >> thank you so mr testimony. i now recognize members for
five minutes each, and pursuant to house, was all time [inaudible] for the purposes all-time yet it is for the purpose of questioning our witnesses. because of the format of this hearing all recommend recognize members by seniority, alternating between majority and minority. i can only call on you if your present with your video on. if you miss your term these let our staff know and we'll circle back to. if you seek recognition, you must unmute your microphone and address the chair verbal. and now start by recognizing myself. assistant secretary sison, thank you again for joining us here today. i want to turn our attention first to the issue of hearing what's at stake when it comes to u.s. leadership at the united nations. what do you see as the consequences of the united states not engaging with the united nations and multilateral organizations? i don't appreciate, if it's possible, a concrete example of what it means for americans and for their lives when we engage or we don't engage? >> thank you very much for that
question, mister chairman. and again, i appreciate this opportunity to engage with all of you so early on in my tenure, you know, seven weeks in, it weeks in to my tenure. our engagement with the un system really gives us this platform on the world stage to reassert our u.s. leadership and work with our partners to push back on those countries with authoritarian agendas who are working hard to reshape international institutions and alter the standards and push back against human values and our american values. so i'm going to take the example, since you've asked for a specific example, of what we are doing here in the i.o. bureau two take targeted
actions to oppose harmful efforts -- and these are peoples republic of china efforts in large part -- such as inserting problematic language into un security council and general assembly resolutions and other multilateral documents. including country strategic plans for some of the un agencies out in the field. and even in my first few weeks here has assistant secretary, i have had the responsibility of engaging directly with a number of senior un officials on this very question, focusing on the point that this language, which is embedded in a number of the draft documents we see, implies un support for a single member
state's global policy platform. and my point back to these un leaders, even in these early weeks of my tenure, has been that the un needs to live up to its own ideals, the un charter, not this sort of state-centric top-down model. but the vision of human rights commitments, the rights of freedoms, fundamental freedoms of the individual. and there are, you know, subtle language that works its way in to these documents. our new i.o. msp office, our office of multi strategy personnel is weeding out this office. and we've had several example this this week, mister chairman thank you for your interest in this important issue. i'm not hearing -- >> you are muted. >> yeah, no. thank you about that.
i wanted to ask you about unesco. as you know, the law papers united states from finding certain you dine organizations that add with palestine as a member. following unesco's admission of palestine as a member in 2011, the united states stopped being due to unesco and eventually withdrew from the organization in 2019. the biden administration has requested a waiver to facilitate u.s. participation unesco. can you speak to the white united states shouldn't just [inaudible] unesco and was at state in that body? >> thank you very much for that question, chairman. you know, the -- sure the administration decide to rejoin unesco, there are a couple of key factors here, i think, that i'd like to highlight. unesco is engaged in a broad range of work that impacts u.s. security and commercial
interests, including the shaping of internationalist standards and best practices, not only on education, but on issues like ethics of emerging technologies, ethics of artificial intelligence, open access to information which has implications for intellectual property. and i've got to say, in the absence of u.s. leadership while we've been out, the prc and others have become more assertive in unesco, shaping some of the draft language, or trying to shape some of the draft language, trying to shape standards in the way that run up right against democratic norms and which again, prc, we see them seeking to advance their authoritarian agendas in this setting. now, of course, i also need to underscore that should the administration decide to rejoin unesco, we will be, of course, working to ensure that the u.s.
seeks and and, does not permit any disproportionate focus on israel as a part of our engagement with unesco. >> member thank you for that answer if there's anything else knit accompli senegal for the record. >> want thank you very much, you mentioned two important issues. with the human rights and our rules, and the second was fentanyl and how we can utilize international organizations to crack down on the smuggling of the fentanyl ingredients from china and mexico to the united states. if you could touch on those two issues, and start with the fentanyl because you already did talk about human rights as to mr. castro's questions. >> thank you, ranking member, as i came into this position in
the international organization, i'm aware of our involvement into areas of the un system. universal postal union of course, looking at how some of this product is moved from countries into our country. and also the work of unodc on these issues. and i do look forward to continue to engage with you and your staff. i couldn't agree more but this is a critical issue for our population here and i look forward to continuing to discuss this important issue with you. >> how do you think we can utilize these organizations to stop this worldwide drug
trafficking? >> i think you put your finger on it, it is going into member states and talking about what this is doing in our communities and how this is hurting america youth, and really creating and understanding among other member states whether it's at the unodc or the upu. and how we tie our domestic priorities or our agenda here in the united states to our multi lateral priorities. i think that is one issue that i could see coming in from the field as a diplomat who's been working overseas for a number of years and these postings. i think we need to do better in the i.o. bureau connecting our domestic priorities and our messaging that we are bringing
up at the international organizations. we ask our ambassadors out in the field to go and explain why an issue is so important to our country. it is bringing it home to the realities. >> i think being that fentanyl is now the number one killer, from 18 to 45 year old a americans i would encourage you to press upon the administration how critical it is that we take swift and strong action to deter this type of praying of american citizens and secure our borders, that we work to stop these. and i would love to hear your ideas. if you have any idea specifically of how our memberships in these organizations to try to crack down on it. secondly with regards to human rights and human rights council, it is so offensive and disturbing to so many of us
that these perpetrators sit and actually run this council, and we've mentioned a few of them earlier like china and russia, and cuba and venezuela. what specifically do you think that we should be doing to change the makeup of this body. to also make sure that they are actually not legitimizing human rights violators, but instead cracking down on them. >> ranking member, i could not agree more. the hrc is flawed, it is a flawed membership. we will continue to work for medium turn, long term change in the membership of the human rights council. so we can work with a group of countries with better human rights records.
we are going to continue to engage with like-minded members on the council and try to encourage countries with good human rights records, good democracies and transparent records to actually run or to be candidates for the council. to engage with new ranking members and other members of this committee on how we can get the hr sea to focus. on some of these worst violators. i agree having russia, china, cuba, venezuela is very very problematic. so hrc it's flawed but it gives us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on a number of priorities where we are pressing for accountability. as i mention the commission of inquiry on syria, the special repertoire is for iran, north korea, dprk, and so a flawed institution but one we want to
make better by being at the table. we are more effective when where they are pushing back on these issues. >> i ran out of time thank you. >> thank you. let's go to vice chair jacobs. >> thank you so much for testifying before the committee, i want to follow up with a question to the chairman, on the u.s. standing at the un. and i want to talk about u.s. peacekeepers at the un and the impact it has on u.s. influence and standing. could you describe this on past and present, not only that it's had on u.s. standing bodies, but the peacekeeping operations and how has russia or cuba use this to their advantage. >> thank you representative jacobs, thank you also for your long-standing interest and your leadership and advocacy on this
issue. i was watching that even before i was confirmed. so congressional support for our multi lateral commitments is absolutely vital. the issue of paying our bills in full and on time is incredibly important. when we do not pay our bills in full and on time, others push at us and so we have seen china, others, seek to make this a point. our influence at the united as the united states and at the un, is greatest when we pay our bills in the full amount and on time. so our failure to live up to our financial obligations is something that those who would
like to poke at us are going to jump on it. and this is strategic competition as we call it. i will also note that cap or no cap, in terms of the peace keeping -- we certainly have an obligation to the american taxpayer, to constrain cost whenever possible. to look at efficiencies and look for effective mandates that protect civilians to limiting waste. we are deeply committed to all those objectives but the support for un peacekeeping and support for un leadership for un peacekeeping, that is strengthened when we pay our bills. >> thank you. i would also like to talk about the importance of lifting the voices of civil society and actors at the un that you pointed out earlier, you've seen authoritarian actors, like
china and unesco they've shut out important voices at the un. how will the u.s. prioritize in ensuring a civil society voices are uplifted at institutions that frankly weren't made to serve them and where local actors have been under representative a underrepresented. and what steps does the i.o. bureau plan to take under the biden administration. to make sure that it is more transparent and open to u.s. civilians working in the society. >> thank you that's another important question. we are absolutely committed to promoting and geo participation in the work at the un. and i personally the secretary from i.o. wants to hear from the american civil society, and i was grateful to the foundation last week when they brought in a number of u.s.
ngos, including human rights, and defenders to meet with me virtually so i could hear firsthand from them on their priorities and have that initial exchange so early on in my tenure. so we want to make sure that we are welcoming civil society into the discussion in new york, in geneva and across the un system. we see that some other countries and hear him speaking about prc again, have made efforts to block legitimate ngos from participating. from participating in the un and bring that voice, to bring the peoples voice into these important discussions. we look at the the un ecosoc
committee in new york, where prc has looked to make it less effective -- and the human rights defenders and activists, and academics from the private sector voices, and we're going to continue to push back against this practice and to really make sure that we all benefit from the important voices. thank you so much. >> thank you my time has expired mister chair i yield back. >> thank you vice chair. >> okay we're going to do a second round for whoever has questions on the second round, so don't feel like you have to ask a question but you can do a second round in just a question. but before i see congressman. -- i wanted to see if yes he is
there i see him he's on mute. you're on mute. >> okay hopefully now i am unmuted. i can be seen and heard. sorry about that. >> no worries. >> madam ambassador, since you are long and varied career includes a time in lebanon. sadly it a better time. but also includes the investigation on syria, and that had been well underway before you were ambassador which is now more than a decade ago. what can you do to move what has turned into a multi decade investigation, of a 2003 assassination and the continued influence of iran in lebanon with its own military force? >> it is good to see you again, i remember very well of your
many visits to lebanon during my service there. let me say first and foremost, that we are absolutely committed to working with our allies and partners in iran's destabilizing activities, including what it's doing in lebanon, it's provision of weapons to the violent groups. in lebanon and of course throughout the greater region. the special tribunal in lebanon, as you note has been a multi year effort and i look forward to continuing to engage with you and your staff as we push for a result across the board. including the special tribunal, and also other pieces of the un
picture in lebanon and the basically the unifil peacekeeping mission. i know that you have long experienced many insights and i look forward to reconnecting on all of this. . rep. issa: thank you. unfortunately, that long experienced comes not always with a well thank you. unfortunately that long experience can comes with not a record of accomplishment, i'm afraid. lebanon is in much more dire position than it has been anytime in its entire history. following up on that, the subject of unifil, and i know that the finances of the united nations are complex, but unifil could only do it you'd admission if it has the support
of the lebanese armed forces. and i like you to comment on efforts to make sure that those forces are compensated enough that they show up in this very difficult time in which their pay has plummeted to about 5% of what it had been just a year ago. >> you are touching on a very important issue. i mean. obviously, unifil's operations and the challenges it faces, our partnership with unifil, our, you know, partnership also with the lebanese armed forces, the laf, are right at the top priority list also for me here in i.o. not just because of my previous service there, but also because of the impact on, you know, the rest of the region. the challenges that his ball
opposes to durable peace in lebanon and the need to, you know, assist the laf is, again, at the top of the priority list. and i look forward to continuing to work with you and your team as we, as we see how we can strengthen unifil's performance and effectiveness. >> are you appreciate that. and with my brief time remaining, i just want to ask, not a rhetorical question, but a question in light of what was said earlier. you repeated that we need to be our just gets not done in a timely fashion. isn't it fair to say that at least in the previous few years, there were legitimate disputes, some of which should be considered when we are pushing back on people who don't [inaudible] said we don't pay our fair share? >> yes.
obviously -- the issue of paying our bills, i think, is even more key. this language that we've seen, prc and others, surface in the fifth committee, the budget committee of the united nations there in new york. i want, you know, deputy perm rep in new york, 2014 to 2018, and did engage in the fifth committee from time to time. what we are hearing today is different from what i heard during that period. so again, we are going to be looking for efficiencies, eliminating waste, constraining costs, aware wherever and whenever possible. but we are also going to be pushing back against this false narrative that we are somehow not, supportive of un
peacekeeping and important goals, you know, that in support for the protection of civilians and stability. >> thank you. thank you, mister chairman. i yield back. >> all right, thank you. okay, i think that's all for round one. we'll start if you round two questions. let us know if you, let our staff know, please, if you have one. i'm going to start with a follow-up to my unesco question. reporting last week indicated that the israeli government understands the importance of u.s. participation in unesco, and would not be concerned by the united states rejoining the body. can you speak to the state department's engagement with the israeli government on unesco, and your best understanding of their position on that human body? >> thank you, mister chairman. and i have met with israeli
counterparts in the last couple of weeks on a number of issues in the un space. and i will work closely with israel and other like-minded partners, you know, should the administration decide to rejoin unesco, to prevent or oppose any biased or one-sided resolutions in that space, that unesco and focus unfairly focused on israel, as we do across the un system. because we push back across the iran system on any disproportionate focus on israel as part of our engagement -- as part of our engagement and would certainly would do with reengagement with unesco. also, of course, would be consulting with this committee and with congress writ large throughout this process. >> well thank you for that. and then my second question,
before i turn it over to i think -- we'll, darrell issa, he's got a question, then brad showman. your bureau is tasked with establishing united states policy towards international organizations. one important facet of our participation in the united nations is our commitment to the unredacted nations charter, and the body of international law that the un seeks to uphold, including other rights of migrants. i, along with many of my colleagues, have been alarmed by the biden administration's title 42 order which summarily expel individuals at the united states southern border. the un high commissioner for refugees has said that this apology is, quote, inconsistent with international norms and may constitute refoulement, unquote. harold koh, the former legal adviser to the state department, has affirmed these concerns, saying that the title 42 policy, quote, continues to violate our legal obligation to not expel or return individuals for fear
of persecution, death of torture, unquote, and violates the refugee convention, a foundational treaty for the united nations work on refugees. he called these deportations, quote, illegal and inhumane, unquote. while this is a cdc order, the state department [inaudible] responsible for ensuring that the united states policy adheres to our treaty commitments, including the united nations charter. as the state department made an assessment of the legality of the title 42 policy under international law? >> thank you for raising this question, mister chairman. as you note, title 42 is under cdc. i will certainly flag these
concerns that you raised with others here at the state department. the viewers that are looking at these issues, including prm and others. >> are you aware whether the state department has done that kind of assessment? >> i do not have visibility on the current state of discussion on title 42, mister chairman, and will definitely flag the your your questions to me today with our leadership. >> sure. and of course, i think we all appreciate and understand the cdc's role, but that policy directly impacts your work at the work of the state department, and the ability of the united states to live up to its un obligations as a partner with other nations around the world, in respecting human rights, the rights of the persecuted, the rights of refugees and migrants.
and so, given the serious legal concerns about this policy, it [inaudible] or commitments to the united states nations, i think one if it's not been wait you will see got into termination and share with the committee and the cdc. >> thank you mister chairman. and of course i do want to underscore that the u.s. and i.o. bureau? , of course, are committed to supporting, in our work, safe, orderly and humane migration. >> thank you. >> okay, with that, let me go over now to. >> i'm back, i'm back, ambassador i'm. back. >> to darrell. europe. >> thank you. and i just wanted to follow up briefly. i know that immigration is going to continue to be a global issue, and in your opening remarks you talked about the migration problems on a global basis. and as you know, we are seeing
at our southern border people from virtually every country on earth. but from a standpoint of your role of making sure that the world order is maintained, basically, are those migrants slash refugees supposed to not pick a country to come to, but in fact go to the first safe country, and it isn't the international law not one in which you get to pick the country you are a refugee too? i don't want to point that out, separate from our issues of border security. >> thank you so much for that question. the issue of our work with unhcr and iom, the un high commissioner for refugees and the international organization foreshorten for migration, our
shared responsibilities between the i.o. bureau and are prm, population, refused to send migration bureau. and certainly, we work together to address factors across the world in all parts of the world for humanitarian access issues, humanitarian response issues you know, we have our u.s. mission in geneva that works closely with unhcr and the other humanitarian assistance -- >> madam secretary, i'm sorry. that my shorter question was, it is a global responsibility, it doesn't fall to the united states to take those and who simply truth to come here and ask refugee status, is that
correct? >> [inaudible] . >> [inaudible] international law. >> yes, yes. it is a shared responsibility among the international community to look at these issues. >> sure, i appreciate that. the lastly, and this is one that we could pick any of the countries that you have represented as ambassador to, including lebanon, but the state department is currently plus or minus a year behind in all of its [inaudible] activities. from a standpoint of illegal immigration, and our meeting of global responsibility, i don't know you don't speak for the whole state department, but if you are aware of it, what can and should be done for us to meet that obligation? there are legitimate refugee requests coming in or at least proposed requests from all over the world, and those, unlike
those who show up at our border uninvited, are simply stuck there, even somebody who has a birthright as a u.s. citizen can't wait six months in britain just to get an appointment to get a passport. so isn't that an issue for where the state department is not meeting its obligations with the rest of the globe? >> thank you for raising these issues. i will certainly make known to my counterpart, the assistant secretary in the bureau of khan's consular affairs, doing a better, the issues he raised on passports, and it sounds like immigrant visa issuances as well as well as the refugee issue you highlighted with our prm purely to ship. >> thank you. and thank you for the many times you made your embassy available during trips to
lebanon. >> thank you. >> thank you and i yield back. >> thank you congressman. we go back next, to our vice chair, senator jacobs. >> well, thank you so much. i don't want to continue on my previous question regarding civil society. i think engaging u.s. civil society is very important at great, but arguably is even more important to ensure we are supporting civil society and other countries as the un engages and supports negotiations, peacekeeping operations, development work, etc, and not just the states. so for example, and other ways civil society is sometimes so doubt is the constitution of peacekeeping operations that you are in facilitating political negotiations. the un still plays a very top-down statement of report when we know the best conflict resolution [inaudible] robust engagement and in involvement from local surfaces society. refine this issue in the cypress peacekeeping operation, the conflict there, while relatively peaceful and on violent, has been intractable and negotiations supported by the code offices are at a
standstill. and when you talk to the creators on both sides, you can see that the process is extremely top-down, civil society [inaudible] on both sides of the conflict field shot out even though they have a very different and valuable perspective on the conflict, those who have been around since the 19 80s, as one of the youngest members of congress, i can tell you this is often the case. so, how does the state department plan to engage with the cypress mission and the good offices in cypress on operating opening up the negotiations and establishing a direct line to civil society on both sides? >> thank you so much for raising this. and i will say that one of the things that i've seen coming back now into the i.o. space, you know, was up in new york a deputy apartment rent, went back to haiti, now back in the i.o. space -- i see an even stronger focus now on civil society engagement, not only by the focus on new york, to bring
in civil society speakers into the security council or into ecosoc, but also the engagement on the ground with the peacekeeping missions. and thank you for raising the mission in cypress, unficyp, because the example there, i think, is really important. what we see the mission doing, bringing in women, bringing in youth. it's an international best practice that is being shared in the context of peace building, and our peacekeeping. this inclusivity, this active participation by youth and women, it is key, i think, in moving ahead in a broader cypress peace process that would lead to a lasting settlement and peace, but it's also important for other peacekeeping missions, civil affairs sessions, to look at what's being done there with
monthly by communal civil society and ngo meetings, you dialogues, all in building confidence and trust so i think this focus on civil society, also, looking at a private sector entrepreneurship pieces of this, environmental peace building initiatives. these are all best practices that i intend to share when i have the various special representatives of the secretary general, the srsgs and the drsgs, can sit on myself in the offices, they make their way to washington before they go to new york for this mandate renewals. i think this is absolutely a best practice. thank you. >> well, thank you, and i'll just highlight that in my conference chasers with civil society and young people all over the world, i think there's still a real sense that they're not being included in these conversations, and i would urge you to continue to prioritize this and continue to push the
un to do a better job at this. mister chair, i yield back. >> thank you, vice chair. and i'd like to thank everyone again for joining us for this subcommittees hearing. that concludes our questions. and i'll no close briefly. the members of the subcommittee will reflect on this testimony as we pursue our own legislative and oversight responsibilities of the united states engagement with united nations and other international organizations. last november, this subcommittee held a hearing on u.s. leadership with the united nations. on the administration strategies to contest elections and placed more americans within the u.s., un system. and for years, when senators daniel akaka of hawaii and george vojnovich ohio requested that the g.a.o. look into the issue of u.s. representation within international organizations. the last such report was in 2010. today i along with the
subcommittees ranking member, nicole valley attackers, and representatives [inaudible] meet and michael mccaul, the chair and making room remember of the house foreign affairs committees, requested the g.a.o. to resume these assessments. at this request will include trends in leadership positions, barriers to recruitment, hiring and retention, the state department's efforts to improve u.s. representation, and of the united states and preserve efforts to fund junior professional officers at the united nations across the range of u.s. agencies that participate. the united states air force on this issue have at times been strong and at other times been week. i'm encouraged by the biden administration's efforts to vigorously contest elections that international organizations, but i also recognize that the only way for these efforts to succeed is to be consistent and congress has an important role to play in ensuring that consistency. they g.a.o. report is an important part of the state department's own reporting on their efforts and will ensure that this issue will continue to be on congress's agenda in
the coming years so we can work with the administration to advance our values and priorities through these international bodies. i hope this hearing is the first of many where the committee can hear from the bureau of international organization on your work, your priorities, and continue to conduct oversight over these issues. with that, i want to say thank you again for your testimony, thank you for the members of congress for the questions, and we are now adjourned.