Today, senior State Department officials held a virtual discussion on promoting shared values, including democratic governance, human rights, and women’s empowerment in the Indo-Pacific with the Ambassadors to the United States and the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations from 12 Pacific Island nations. This was the third in a three-part series of virtual, interagency discussions with these key Pacific partners about advancing cooperation on issues such as preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic and development cooperation.
This session on promoting shared values was led by Assistant Secretary Robert Destro, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Acting Assistant Secretary Pamela D. Pryor, Bureau of International Organization Affairs; Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley Currie, Office of Global Women’s Issues; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Sandra Oudkirk, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Participants reaffirmed their shared commitment to transparent, democratic, and inclusive governance, human rights, and women’s economic empowerment, which contributes to peace, security, and prosperity. The United States, as a leading economic, political, development and security partner in the Pacific, will continue to collaborate with these sovereign countries to advance our shared values.
Prior sessions discussed preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic and development cooperation. The United States announced more than $200 million in new funding for the Pacific as part of the Pacific Pledge. This whole-of-government assistance includes more than $78 million in new programming across the Indo-Pacific Pillars and $130 million in support for the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two sessions featured senior representatives from across the U.S. interagency, including from the State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Defense (DoD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Peace Corps, U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).