OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
MARCH 29, 2021
The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken held a virtual meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today to discuss U.S. priorities at the United Nations. They focused on the ways in which we can work together to address regional and global challenges and strengthen the foundational principles and values of the UN and the multilateral system, including the protection of human rights and the dignity of every individual no matter their citizenship, ethnicity, religion, gender, or race. Secretary Blinken welcomed close coordination with the UN regarding the political settlement and the permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan as well as the need to renew and expand cross-border aid delivery in Syria. They discussed efforts in Ethiopia to secure greater humanitarian access across the country, the necessity for Eritrean forces to withdraw from Tigray, and the need for independent, international investigations into human rights abuses, noting the recent travel of Senator Christopher Coons as President Biden’s emissary. On Western Sahara, Secretary Blinken underscored U.S. support for political negotiations and urged the Secretary-General to expedite the appointment of a Personal Envoy. Secretary Blinken welcomed the new interim Government of National Unity in Libya, underscored the importance of national elections in December of this year and the need for foreign forces to depart, and pledged full support for UN Special Envoy Jan Kubis and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). They agreed to continue close U.S.-UN coordination on these and other matters.