The US on Monday assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for March.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the start of the monthly term, Ambassador to UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the US’ agenda includes “re-engaging with the world, restoring our alliances and our partnerships and leading by example and by keeping American principles and American people center of our foreign policy.”
Thomas-Greenfield recalled President Joe Biden’s administration already took steps towards that end by rejoining World Health Organization and returning the Paris Climate Accord.
“We will put urgent humanitarian crises in the spotlight,” she said referring to the humanitarian crises in Yemen and Ethiopia.
She added that the UNSC scheduled an open debate about both countries on March 11.
Hundreds of thousands in Tigray were internally displaced while more than 60,000 reportedly fled to neighboring Sudan following military confrontations between the federal army and forces loyal to the now-outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
On Nov. 3, the TPLF attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers and looting sizable military hardware, triggering the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to launch a massive law enforcement operation in Tigray.
While Yemen has been in violence and chaos since 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee the country the following year.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises with 3.65 million internally displaced and 20.7 million people in need of immediate humanitarian aid.
On Myanmar, Thomas-Greenfield reiterated Washington’s concerns, saying the US takes it “very seriously” and she already discussed the matter with 14 members of the UNSC this morning. A meeting will be held on the situation “sooner than later,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Myanmar has seen large protests since the military declared a state of emergency on Feb. 1 after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of the then-ruling National League for Democracy (NLD).
At least 18 people were killed on Sunday as the military regime cracked down on protesters, according to the UN Human Rights Office.
Responding to a question about possible cooperation areas with China, the ambassador said that the relationship between the US and China is “very complex” and the two countries have “serious disagreements” especially on human rights. But Thomas-Greenfield voiced hope for cooperation with Beijing on climate change.
She added the US will “never give up” on diplomacy.
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