Blog Archives

Mandela Washington Fellows Honor Mandela’s Legacy Through Service

What is the best way to honor the memory of a world leader who made a profound impact on countless lives? Mandela Day, which falls on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18, is one of many ways the world celebrates Mandela’s legacy. As South Africa’s first black president, Mandela brought an end to apartheid, serving as a global advocate for human…
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Sports Diplomacy Hits a Home Run!

As sports fans, my colleagues and I here in the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs are excited that Washington, D.C. is hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 17.  Also known as the "Midsummer Classic," this game brings together the best players in Major League Baseball in a competition between teams representing the American League…
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Journeying to No Man’s Land

The United States and Bangladesh share a long history of partnership, cooperation, and friendship. USAID has particularly deep roots in Bangladesh. While I was in Dhaka last month, several Bangladeshis told me that they remember the days, immediately after independence in 1971, when they received food aid with the USAID logo on it. Things have changed since then: Bangladesh has…
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Local Governments Ramping Up Efforts to Counter Violent Extremism

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Department of State partner in advancing global counterterrorism collaboration, just hosted the third annual Strong Cities Network Global Summit in Melbourne, Australia, on July 10-12. Countering violent extremism (CVE) requires a whole-of-society approach that addresses the local dynamics that terrorists exploit for recruitment. While local leaders are the best positioned to mobilize community stakeholders…
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This Week at State: July 13, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the key moments from This Week at State: Secretary Pompeo Travels to Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Belgium Following meetings in…
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As the World Watches the 2018 FIFA World Cup, State Department Celebrates Soccer Diplomacy

With an estimated four billion fans, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. As the finals begin at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, people in every corner of the globe are excited to watch and cheer on the last teams standing. Since 2002, the Sports Diplomacy Division of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural…
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State Department’s Foreign Police Training Pays Dividends with Thai Cave Rescue

The recent Thailand cave rescue shined a light on the incredibly complex, dangerous and difficult work undertaken by authorities trying to undertake an evacuation mission. The entire world held its collective breath as Thai rescuers deployed divers, helicopters, military personnel, physicians and many others in what was ultimately a successful operation. One critical piece of this puzzle -- the efforts…
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The United States and Mexico – North American Partners with a Shared Border, a Joined History and a Common Future

Today Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo makes his first official visit to Mexico, joined by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner. The stature of the delegation is noteworthy and a testament to the importance the Administration and the United States place on the bilateral relationship and…
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Secretary Pompeo Attends NATO Summit, Co-Hosts Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Meeting in Brussels

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Brussels, July 10-12, accompanying the President to the NATO Summit. During the Summit, Allies discussed increased defense spending and burden sharing, enhanced deterrence and defense, and NATO’s strengthened efforts to fight terrorism. Here are some moments from the President and Secretary’s participation in the NATO Summit: President Trump has landed in Brussels,…
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Forging New Strategies for U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment

This year the U.S Department of State is proud to host the 17th annual African Growth and Opportunities Act Forum, commonly known as AGOA, from July 11-12 in Washington, DC. This year’s theme “Forging New Strategies for U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment,” reflects the U.S. commitment to boosting economic growth, spurring development, and reducing poverty in Africa through sustainable business practices…
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Secretary Pompeo Travels to United Arab Emirates

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Abu Dhabi from July 9-10, where he met with leaders of the United Arab Emirates to discuss ways to further strengthen the U.S.-U.A.E. partnership and advance our common security and economic priorities. Here are some highlights from the Secretary's visit to Abu Dhabi: Embassy Abu Dhabi was thrilled to welcome U.S. Secretary…
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U.S.-Afghanistan Relationship

On July 9, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Afghanistan to meet with President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan officials. While in Kabul, Secretary Pompeo said, "Our South Asia strategy has sent a clear message to the Afghan peoples and its security services that we will support them as they continue to fight to defend their country… The strategy has…
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Secretary Pompeo Travels to Pyongyang, Tokyo, and Hanoi

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo travels to Pyongyang, Tokyo, Hanoi, Kabul, Abu Dhabi, and Brussels July 5-12.  Secretary Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang, July 5-7, to continue consultations and implement the forward progress made by President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore. In Tokyo, July 7-8, the Secretary met with Japanese and South Korean leaders to discuss our shared commitment…
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This Week at State: July 6, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the key moments from This Week at State: USAID Administrator and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Travel to Northern Iraq…
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Celebrating U.S. Independence Day

As we celebrate Independence Day across the United States, U.S. embassies and consulates are also commemorating the July 4th holiday, sharing U.S. culture and the holiday’s traditions with the people of their host countries. During these celebrations, U.S. Ambassadors and other staff at embassies and consulates often highlight the importance of our friendships and partnerships abroad. Here are some highlights…
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Iran Diplomacy Update

Today, Brian Hook, State Department Director of Policy Planning, provided an update on the progress we’re making to advance the President’s Iran policy. Mr. Hook said: “It has been almost two months since President Trump announced our withdrawal from the Iran deal and a little over one month since Secretary Pompeo laid out a roadmap for achieving a better deal. …
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This Week at State: June 29, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the key moments from This Week at State: Secretary Pompeo Meets with UN Secretary General Guterres, Speaks with Global Leaders Secretary of State Michael…
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Celebrating Caribbean American Heritage Month – A Jamaican American Perspective

June is National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This annual commemoration was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 and has been recognized by U.S. Presidential proclamations since 2006. This year President Trump said, “As trailblazers, Americans with Caribbean roots have sewn their own unique thread into the fabric of our nation.” As a testament to the U.S. government’s commitment…
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The Power of Local Communities in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

For more than 15 years, the State Department has led the U.S. government in bilateral and multilateral engagement with foreign governments to bolster their efforts to combat trafficking in persons. What we have learned over the years is that victims of modern slavery are exploited in forced labor and the commercial sex industry in virtually every country around the world.…
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Who Are the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes?

Each year, the Department of State honors individuals from around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals have included NGO workers, community activists, lawmakers, police officers, survivors of human trafficking, and concerned citizens. They are recognized for their tireless efforts–despite resistance, opposition, and threats to their lives–to protect victims, punish traffickers, and raise awareness about…
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The Readout: A Conversation on International Narcotics and Law Enforcement

As we mark World Drug Day on June 26, 2018, Acting Deputy Spokesperson Elizabeth Fitzsimmons holds a conversation with Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten D. Madison at the Department of State, in Washington, D.C. The Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering…
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Breaking The Cycle: Combatting The Opioid Crisis Through Global Drug Demand Reduction

June 26 marks the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, or World Drug Day. This global event, established by the United Nations in 1987, strengthens cooperation and spurs action towards the ambitious goal of a world free of illicit drug use.  The consequences of drug use are felt by millions of people in the United States and around the…
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This Week at State: June 22, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the key moments from This Week at State: United States Offers Support for Peace Talks in Afghanistan Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Afghan President Ghani’s decision to extend…
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Sowing Hope for the Women of Rwanda

U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) in Rome’s Program Specialist Ann Wise and I accompanied a group of six international journalists along with a World Food Programme (WFP) representative last month on a media reporting tour of Rwanda. There, we saw various projects that the Rome-based UN Agencies, WFP, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the International Fund for…
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Tackling Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities and its Ties to Terrorist Financing

As part of the Department of State’s efforts to cut off terrorists’ access to funds, the Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT) launched an initiative last year to analyze the linkages between terrorist financing and the illegal trafficking of looted cultural property in Iraq and Syria. The project also focused on identifying the gaps in the ability of…
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Accountability and Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Conflict

On June 19, the United States joins the international community in standing with the survivors of sexual violence in conflict. We mark the fourth International Day to Eliminate Sexual Violence in Conflict and 10 years since the United States under the leadership of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led the international community in recognizing for the first time—via the…
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Economic Diplomacy and America's Economic Revival

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined his vision of the State Department's role in America's economic rival through a broad-ranging policy speech at the Detroit Economic Club on June 18, 2018. "Economic diplomacy has always been central, when done right, to the State Department’s mission," Secretary Pompeo emphasized. [email protected] at @deteconomicclub: Economic diplomacy means we use American economic power and…
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Deepening Community Police Ties Helps To Counter Terrorism in the Sahel

In the Sahel, terrorists exploit ungoverned spaces and porous borders to attack vulnerable populations. These ungoverned spaces are safe havens and allow terrorists to threaten U.S. and Western interests, flout the rule of law, raid rural communities for food and weapons, and foment instability. Local security forces lack the capacity to mount an adequate response, making communities more vulnerable to…
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Serving the American People: A State By State Look

How does the U.S. Department of State benefit American communities here at home? The Department of State serves the American people by executing the Administration’s foreign policy priorities, advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing passport and visa services, and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world -- and all for a very small amount of the…
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Cheering for the World Cup at Home and Abroad

The 2018 World Cup is in full swing! And while we at DipNote may not be taking sides, some of our embassies and consulates around the world sure know how to support their adopted home teams. Check out some of their World Cup spirit: U.S. Embassy in Uruguay U.S. Embassy in Mexico La espera terminó. ¡Hoy empieza el mundial #Rusia2018! Con esta…
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This Week at State: June 15, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the key moments from This Week at State: President Trump Meets North Korea Chairman Kim at Singapore Summit President Donald…
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Eid Mubarak: Celebrating With Our Friends and Partners Around the World

On June 14, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended his best wishes to our Muslim friends and partners celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. "Eid al-Fitr reminds all of us in the United States and abroad, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to maintain the spirit and lessons of Ramadan throughout the year: to promote peace, to be of service to…
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U.S. Embassy Photo Contest Showcases Beauty and Culture of Iraq

Photographs strongly shape our views of the world.  The images coming out of Iraq for the past fifteen years have shown us a country affected by war and terrorism, but they have fallen far short of showing the rich and diverse beauty of the culture and landscape.  The prevalent photos miss the current reality of the country that Iraqis know…
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On the U.S. Army’s Birthday, Celebrating The Diplomatic Couriers’ Roots Laid by Soldiers

couriers 001-1918-1919_500px.jpg U.S. Army Silver Greyhounds, the precursors to today’s Diplomatic Courier Service, transport pouches in Europe by road in 1918-1919 (Department of State photo, courtesy family of Amos J. Peaslee) The U.S. Army honors its 243rd birthday on June 14. The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Courier Service, which is marking its 100th anniversary in 2018, has a century-long…
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Working Toward a Future Without Child Labor

On the World Day Against Child Labor, June 12, we’re reminded of progress made in the fight against child labor and we take stock of the work that remains. The international community has marked this day yearly since 2002, a time when an estimated 246 million children were engaged in child labor, nearly 180 million of which involved in hazardous…
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The Singapore Summit: Building a Lasting Peace on the Korean Peninsula

President Donald J. Trump and North Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. During their meetings, President Trump and Chairman Kim conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the…
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United States Prepares for Singapore Summit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Singapore June 10 to participate in President Donald J. Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and bilateral events with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. "The ultimate objective we seek from diplomacy with North Korea has not changed. The complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the only…
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Safe Travels During Storm Season

A tropical vacation may sound like the perfect getaway this summer, but it comes with a risk: the Atlantic hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season officially lasts from June 1 to November 30, though most tropical hurricanes develop between May and October. Storms towards the latter part of the season do tend to be bigger and stronger. You can still…
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This Week at State: June 8, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are key moments from This Week at State: Secretary Pompeo Marks 29th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…
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Diving with Decapods: the Smithsonian-Indonesia PEER Partnership

If you are one of the 7 million people who visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History each year in Washington, D.C., then you may have seen a coral reef exhibit in the Sant Ocean Hall. This exhibit shows the dazzling array of different species you can find in a dead coral head, just one small section (about a…
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#FamilyTravelHacks: Tips for Parents Applying for their Kid’s Passport

After waking up multiple times each night to feed our infant daughter, my wife and I have learned a new definition of tired. In between the bleary-eyed 4 a.m. feedings and zombie walks to the nursery, we’ve been dreaming about vacation. We’re flying domestically this summer and may drive over the border into Canada, so we decided a U.S. passport…
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Commemorating World Environment Day 2018

June 5 marks World Environment Day. Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on an environmental concern. The theme for 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” is a call to action for all of us to come together to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the burden of plastic pollution on our natural…
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Relationships That Last: Building Security Partnerships Through International Military Education and Training

The United States has a vested interest in having the most capable allies possible, not only for U.S. national security but for global stability as well. To that end, the State Department and the Department of Defense are engaged in several initiatives aimed at improving the capabilities of the security forces of our allies and partners. In addition to providing…
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This Week at State: June 1, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the highlights from This Week at State: United States Welcomes Long Overdue Freedom for Joshua Holt in Venezuela In a…
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Historic Timeline of U.S. Diplomatic Couriers

1776: First American Courier - On July 10, 1776, four days after the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress commissioned the first diplomatic courier, Captain Peter Parker, as commander of the U.S. sailing brig named Dispatch to carry sensitive correspondence to France.  1776-1914: Dispatch Agent System – During more than a century the U.S. Department of State used “bearers of…
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‘None Swifter Than These’ – Diplomatic Couriers Honor 100 Years of Service

Couriers are as old as diplomacy itself. Shakespeare’s plays often included royal messengers bursting into the scene with vital information, for example, but for much of the early history of the United States, diplomats relied on temporary arrangements (military, government, and commercial) to safely move sensitive dispatches and shipments. However, when the United States decisively entered World War I in…
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U.S. and UN Enhance Accountability for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping Missions

Nearly 100,000 United Nations peacekeepers help stabilize conflict-affected countries, maintain peace and security, and protect civilians around the world. The UN requires all personnel to meet strict standards to qualify for service as peacekeepers and to uphold the highest standards of conduct, professionalism, and accountability while they are deployed. While the vast majority of men and women who serve do…
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With U.S. Support, El Salvador Steps Up for Peacekeeping Mission in Mali

El Salvador stands as a leader and role model to many other countries seeking to step up to the challenge of international peacekeeping. In 2015, after sending troops to peacekeeping missions with other countries, El Salvador achieved a major peacekeeping milestone in 2015 when it made its first independent contribution to the UN peacekeeping mission to the United Nations Multidimensional…
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Why Religious Freedom is One of the Most Important Issues of Today

Freedom of religion is America’s first freedom. The Founding Fathers understood religious freedom to be a universal human right to be protected for the benefit of all.    The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act affirmed the freedom of religion as a foreign policy priority of the United States. It created the annual report on International Religious Freedom, the report we…
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PEPFAR Marks 15 Years of Saving Lives

This year is the 15th anniversary of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Fifteen years ago, when PEPFAR was created, an HIV diagnosis was still a death sentence in many countries, and entire families and communities were falling ill. Faced with this death and devastation, the United States government responded resoundingly. President George W. Bush sent ripples…
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This Week at State: May 25, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are key moments from This Week at State: State Department Offers Condolences on Death of Pakistani Exchange Student On May 19, Secretary of State Mike…
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[email protected] Presents — A Walk to Remember: Commemorating Memorial Day

"The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart… should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude and rededication on this solemn occasion." – Abraham Lincoln As we commemorate Memorial Day this weekend, Veterans @ State recommends taking a self-guided walk to honor our nation’s fallen heroes.  Take advantage of the numerous…
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In Memoriam: Diplomatic Couriers Who Have Made The Ultimate Sacrifice

The 100 diplomatic couriers assigned to the U.S. Department of State face long hours, endless trouble-shooting, constant travel, and the ever-present risk of road, rail, water, and air accidents. Established during the peace negotiations at the end of World War I, the Diplomatic Courier Service marks its 100th anniversary in 2018. During the past century, at least six couriers have…
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Fighting Malnutrition Through Diversified Diets

Zaina, a new mother in eastern Uganda, could tell that there was something wrong with her 8-month-old twins. Nakato and Wasswa were thinner than other children their age in the community, and they behaved differently, too. Neighbors encouraged her to seek help. “Before I brought them to this hospital, neither of my children acted like a normal baby,” Zaina explained.…
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Reshaping His ‘American Dream’ – DSS Special Agent Reflects During Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Special Agent Scott Kim grew up in a small, blue-collar town in the shadow of New York City’s metropolitan skyline. Living among predominantly Irish and Italian American families, his was the only Asian family in the neighborhood. Yet his Korean heritage was always present in his family life, due in large part to his parents’ efforts. And his appreciation of…
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After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy

On May 21, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered remarks at The Heritage Foundation titled "After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy." He outlined the way forward following the President’s decision to withdraw from participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In his first major foreign policy address as Secretary of State, Pompeo presented a roadmap to…
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This Week at State: May 18, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the highlights from This Week at State: United States Congratulates Iraqi People on Parliamentary Elections The United States congratulated the…
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Bike Diplomacy: Promoting American Culture and Education in Turkmenistan

Sometimes diplomacy means taking a message directly to the people, even if you need to bike across the country to do it. SCA_Biking_02.jpg Information Officer J.R. deLara in front one of Turkmenistan’s distinctive yurts, during a cross-country public outreach bike trip. (Photo courtesy of Alex Koch) Starting April 1, I undertook a two-week bike trip across Turkmenistan, a former Soviet…
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Exchanges and #GlobalSecurity

toward-safe-secure-world-royce-1000.jpg Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce meets with the IVLP participants. Transnational crime networks cost the global economy upwards of $870 billion per year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Criminal networks act without border restrictions, threaten regional stability, and undermine free markets. This criminal activity can harm American citizens…
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Exchange Alumni in Action: Tackling the Opioid Crisis

Last week, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled her “Be Best” initiative to promote the emotional, physical, and social health of children, one of the main pillars of which is to address opioid addiction. Alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs took on this challenge recently when they convened in Cleveland, Ohio around a common purpose: using their collective skills and knowledge…
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Italy’s Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units Trains Police for Peacekeeping Operations

As we observe National Police Week in the United States we seek to highlight the U.S. partnership with Italy’s Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU). Created in 2005, this is a joint effort to improve the quality and capability of formed police units (FPUs) deploying to United Nations (UN) and regional peace operations. FPUs are utilized for protection…
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U.S.-India Joint Training Further Strengthens Peacekeeping Missions in Africa

On Monday, May 7, U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster gave remarks at the opening ceremony for the third annual UN Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP-III), a joint U.S.-India initiative to build and enhance the capacity of African troop and police-contributing countries to participate in UN and regional peacekeeping operations. He was joined by India’s Ministry of External…
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The United States and the Holy See: An Enduring Vision for Peace and Freedom

Since taking up my post as United States Ambassador to the Holy See on December 22, 2017, I’ve often been asked to explain the benefits of maintaining an embassy to the Vatican. After all, the territory of the Holy See, the government of the Roman Catholic Church, occupies less than one quarter of a square mile.  So why do we…
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This Week at State: May 11, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week?  Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the highlights from This Week at State: President Trump Announces Presidential Delegation to the State of Israel to Attend the Opening of the United States Embassy in…
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Public Service Recognition Week: Highlighting Dedicated Public Servants from the Bureau of Consular Affairs

In honor of Public Service Recognition Week, we would like to highlight the great work done by our colleagues in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Consular Affairs is there for people during some of the most important events of their lives, documenting births, helping families after losing a loved one overseas, and many milestones in between. There is no higher…
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Reflections on My Visit with Rohingya Refugees

On April 18, I visited Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, a coastal town in southeast Bangladesh, close to the border of Burma. This was my first overseas trip as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom because of the importance of the Rohingya refugee crisis to me and this Administration. I had a chance to hear from individuals camped out…
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Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents Support Boston Marathon Security

Law enforcement officers around the world plan to honor National Police Week, which runs May 13-19, 2018 and centers on Peace Officers Memorial Day every May 15. The Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) regularly partners with federal, state, and local law enforcement at major international events. In one recent example, DSS joined thousands of counterparts to provide security…
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U.S.-Funded Explosive Hazard Clearance Restores Access to Clean Water in Iraq

In northern Iraq, fleeing ISIS militants adopted a “scorched earth” policy in many of the areas they once occupied, making it virtually impossible for civilians to return to their communities safely. In countless neighborhoods, ISIS either destroyed critical infrastructure such as power plants, water treatment facilities, hospitals, and schools, or emplaced explosive hazards to target returning Iraqis and prevent them…
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This Week at State: May 4, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the highlights from This Week at State: Secretary Pompeo Travels to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan Secretary of State Mike…
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Where It’s Risky to Tell the Truth: Press Freedom Declines in Too Many Countries

At the turn of the century, improved internet access, greater mobile phone ownership and easy-to-use digital media platforms transformed social participation in urgent issues of the day. These tools promised to lift the voices of previously silenced citizens and journalists in a new digital landscape -- even in some of the more repressive corners of the world where access to…
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Air Quality Awareness Week: Using Data and Partnerships

Ten years ago, U.S. Embassy Beijing installed an air quality monitor on its roof. The resulting data created one of the most successful science diplomacy stories in recent history and launched a global air quality monitoring program that now has 26 participating U.S. embassies and consulates and 50 virtual Air Quality Fellows. This week, April 30 to May 5, is…
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Analysis of a Crash: First Responders Save Lives, Bolstered by U.S. Engagement

U.S. Government-funded programs and training make a real difference in the capabilities of our partners overseas. It is rare that we see multiple interventions and programs successfully come together in one event, but that occurred on March 12, 2018, at Nepal’s only international airport -- Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). As U.S.-Bangla Flight #211 from Dhaka was landing at TIA,…
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Mike Pompeo Sworn in as 70th U.S. Secretary of State

On May 2, Mike Pompeo was sworn in as the 70th U.S. Secretary of State by Vice President Michael Pence in an official ceremony at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, DC. With @POTUS Donald J. Trump looking on, @VP Mike Pence ceremonially swears in @SecPompeo as America’s 70th Secretary of @StateDept. pic.twitter.com/DnIX0lqpNZ — Department of State (@StateDept) May 2, 2018…
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Keeping the Peace: Her Work Helps Prevent Crises Around the World

Running her own business is liberating for Alexa Courtney, the founder and CEO of Frontier Design Group, which is based in Arlington, Virginia and is a USAID implementing partner. However, she did not start out on a traditional entrepreneurial path. She began her career as a federal civil servant — including time at USAID and the U.S. Department of Defense…
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U.S. Assistance Enables the Safe Return of Iraqi Children to School

In June 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured Mosul and quickly seized other large swathes of land across Ninewa Province in northwestern Iraq. While some families were able to flee, many of those who were unable to escape had their lives changed forever, as they were forced to live under ISIS’s brutal regime. This was particularly…
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Secretary Pompeo Travels to NATO Foreign Ministerial and the Middle East

On April 26,  Mike Pompeo was confirmed and sworn in as Secretary of State. Just hours after his confirmation, he boarded a plane to embark on his first trip as Secretary of State. Secretary of State Pompeo traveled to Brussels, April 26 through April 27, and then to the Middle East to visit Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and Amman through April 30.…
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This Week at State: April 27, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are the highlights from This Week at State: U.S. Congratulates Winner of Paraguayan Presidential Elections In a press statement on April…
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Secretary Pompeo Travels to Brussels, Underscores U.S. Commitment to NATO

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Brussels April 26-27, where he met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participated in the NATO Foreign Ministerial.  He departed for this trip, which would be his first trip as Secretary of State, immediately after his confirmation -- no other Secretary of State in modern history has traveled so soon after confirmation.  During the Ministerial…
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Pompeo Sworn In as Secretary of State, Departs for NATO Ministerial and the Middle East

Mike Pompeo was sworn in as the 70th U.S. Secretary of State on April 26, 2018. The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President's chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President's foreign policies through the State Department, which includes the Foreign Service, Civil Service, and U.S. Agency…
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A Treasure Trove of Diplomatic Courier Antiquities Finds a Home at the State Department

For many, the term “diplomatic courier” might conjure up Hollywood images of Tyrone Power or Cesar Romero adventuring through foreign lands delivering the U.S. government’s most important communiques. But the family of the first diplomatic courier shared a piece of the real story behind the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Courier Service when they presented a treasure trove of historic…
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Fighting Malaria and Saving Lives

World Malaria Day showcases the global efforts to control and eliminate malaria. Every year on April 25, partners come together to celebrate success, recognize health workers, and underscore the need for expanded investment as well as sustained political commitment for malaria prevention, control, and elimination. On this occasion, the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development…
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10 Ways USAID Supports Routine Immunization Around the World

Every April, World Immunization Week is commemorated throughout the world to raise awareness and increase rates of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, we’re raising awareness by encouraging people at every level, from the general public to the private sector, to go further in their efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good. Immunization is among the most cost-effective…
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The ‘Unbreakable’ U.S.-France Alliance: President Trump Hosts French President Macron for a State Visit

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed the French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Mrs. Brigitte Macron, to the White House on April 24. The occasion marks the first official State Visit under the Trump Administration, as well as the first State Visit from France since President Francois Hollande came to Washington in 2014. Earlier today, President Trump…
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G-7 Foreign Ministers Address Global Political and Security Issues

Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan traveled to Toronto, Canada from April 21-23 to lead the U.S. delegation to the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. On April 22,  Acting Secretary Sullivan participated in the G-7 Outreach Session with Non-G7 Women Foreign Ministers, hosted by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. The G-7 foreign ministers also met to discuss Russia and Ukraine, the Middle…
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The Readout: A Conversation on Confronting the Opioid Crisis

More than 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids since 2000. President Donald J. Trump has mobilized his entire Administration to address opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a nationwide Public Health Emergency.The U.S. Department of State is working to assemble an international response to the opioid crisis.  At the 61st UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), March 12-16,…
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Connecting Communities Through English Language Education Programs

The thirst worldwide for accessible high quality English language materials and instruction is unrivaled. English is the first language in human history to have more learners than native speakers. It is the primary language of commerce, science, academia, and entertainment. Almost all information and communication on the Internet is in English.  Blaire-Hart_resize.jpg Blaire Hartwas an English Language Fellow in Hyderabad,…
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U.S. Diplomats Celebrate Earth Day 2018

On April 22, American diplomats serving around the world joined their counterparts and local communities in celebrating Earth Day. This year, U.S. diplomats highlighted the need to curb the dramatic growth in the world's mismanaged waste and marine debris. These are some of the ways that embassies and consulates participated. April 22 marks #EarthDay. This Earth Day, the United States highlights the need…
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Earth Day 2018: Managing Mismanaged Waste and Marine Debris

On April 22, the United States joins countries around the world in celebrating the 48th annual Earth Day, widely viewed as the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. Earth Day began in the United States in 1970 as a response to public concern over rising pollution levels and anger over a massive oil spill near Santa Barbara,…
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This Week at State: April 20, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week, DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post. Here are key moments from This Week at State: United States Explains Allied Strikes in Syria, Outlines Next Steps Following the April…
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State Department Releases Annual Human Rights Reports

Today, the State Department released the 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Human Rights Reports). The Human Rights Reports document the status of human rights and worker rights in nearly 200 countries and territories. They are required by U.S. law and are used by a variety of actors, including the U.S. Congress, the Executive branch, and the Judicial branch…
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The Summit of the Americas Advances U.S Leadership in the Western Hemisphere

On March 30th, I was sworn as the new U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of Americas States (OAS). Four days later, I hopped on a plane for my first official act -- representing the United States as part of its official delegation to the Eighth Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru. The Summit of the Americas is a…
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Making Progress in Vienna Against a Crisis Facing America

Last month in Vienna, countries met during the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to tackle the world’s most pressing drug-control challenges. These include, as we in the United States know all too well, the great threats posed by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and its analogues. During this important global gathering, the United States called on countries to implement…
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A Strong U.S.-Japan Alliance: President Trump Hosts Prime Minister Abe for Official Working Visit

President Donald J. Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for summit meeting at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on April 17 and 18th. The two leaders, joined by Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan and other senior U.S. and Japanese government officials, affirmed their strong determination to strengthen our shared resolve on North Korea, and increase the capability of…
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Strong Health Systems Increase Access to Quality Health Care for All

When people are healthy, nations have a chance to prosper and develop. If mothers die in childbirth and newborns do not make it to their fifth birthday, nations suffer because they are deprived of their most important asset: their people. Let’s face it: In the 21st century, no one should die of preventable causes, let alone because of childbirth or…
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Remembering the 1983 Suicide Bombings in Beirut: The Tragic Events That Created the Diplomatic Security Service

On April 18, 1983, a suicide bomber detonated a one-half-ton pickup truck laden with 2,000 pounds of TNT near the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. It was the deadliest attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission to date, and changed the way the U.S. Department of State secured its resources and executed…
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Remembering Barbara Bush

On this solemn day, we mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, an outstanding and memorable woman of character.  As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family.  Mrs. Bush lived a life that reminds us always to cherish our relationships with friends, family, and all acquaintances.  In the…
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Three Women Who Are Bridging the Digital Gender Divide

Today, 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not own mobile phones, and the gap between men and women’s uses of the Internet has grown steadily over the past three years. This digital gender divide is reinforcing existing socioeconomic gaps between women and men. On International Women’s Day 2018, USAID convened many of our U.S. Government colleagues who are…
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The Readout: A Conversation on Holocaust Issues

In the latest edition of "The Readout," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert spoke with U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Thomas K. Yazdgerdi and Zygmunt Rolat, a Polish Jewish citizen who survived the Holocaust, immigrated to the United States, and became a founding donor of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, built on the site of the Warsaw…
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Shaping the Next Generation of Georgian and U.S. STEM Leaders

Through an innovative partnership with San Diego State University (SDSU), the Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC) Georgia Compact is shaping the next generation of Georgian and U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders. The compact offers the opportunity for Georgia’s best and brightest young adults to pursue U.S. bachelor’s degrees in subjects such as chemistry and computer engineering without leaving their home…
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Ambassador Haley Addresses Emergency UN Security Council Meeting on Syria

Today, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivered remarks during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on military strikes in response to Syria's chemical weapons use. Ambassador Haley said, "This is our fifth Security Council meeting in the past week to address the situation in Syria. A week has gone by in which we have talked.…
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