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Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014

June 29, 2015 Comments off

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014
Source: U.S. Department of State

The fundamental struggle for dignity has been a driving force in human history worldwide, and what drives us toward it is a set of universal values and aspirations.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are ideals that cannot be contained by national boundaries or ocean shores.

That is why it is especially troubling that so many people in so many places face grotesque restrictions on their freedoms and rights from their own governments.

For far too many people, 2014 was defined by suffering and abuse perpetrated by terrorist groups exploiting religious discourse and divisions to advance their totalitarian ideology, or by governments, such as Syria, sometimes acting in the name of combatting terrorism.

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014

June 22, 2015 Comments off

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014
Source: U.S. Department of State
From briefing:

Today the State Department is issuing the Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, which fulfills an important congressional mandate and provides us also with an opportunity to review the state of terrorism worldwide and to find the nature and the scope of the terrorist threat. Doing so also allows us to assess our effectiveness and to best calibrate our strategy and our response.

Reviewing how involved and engaged countries are in the various aspects of their counterterrorism efforts, which comprises really the bulk of this report, helps us to make informed assessments about our priorities and where to place resources in our various capacity-building programs.

Investment Climate Statements 2015

June 2, 2015 Comments off

Investment Climate Statements 2015
Source: U.S. Department of State

Investment Climate Statements provide country-specific information and assessments prepared by U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions abroad on investment laws and practices in those countries.

CRS — Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Fact Sheet on Legislation, FY1995-FY2015 (March 24, 2015)

June 2, 2015 Comments off

Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Fact Sheet on Legislation, FY1995-FY2015 (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Congress currently appropriates foreign affairs funding through annual Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations.1 Prior to FY2008, however, Congress provided funds for the Department of State and international broadcasting within the Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies appropriations (CJS) and separately provided foreign aid funds within Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs appropriations. The transition between the different alignments occurred in the 109th Congress with a change in appropriations subcommittee jurisdiction. For that Congress, the House of Representatives appropriated State Department funds separately from foreign aid, as in earlier Congresses, but the Senate appropriated State and foreign aid funds within one bill—the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations. By the 110th Congress, funding for both the Department of State and foreign aid were aligned into the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations in both the House and Senate.

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

May 13, 2015 Comments off

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) provides a blueprint for advancing America’s interests in global security, shared prosperity, and universal values of human dignity and freedom. As a joint effort of the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the review identifies major global and operational trends that constitute threats or opportunities, delineates priorities and reforms, to ensure our civilian institutions are in the strongest position to shape and respond to a rapidly changing world.

The Hong Kong Policy Report

April 17, 2015 Comments off

The Hong Kong Policy Report
Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General

The United States has considerable and longstanding interests in Hong Kong. Cooperation between the United States Government and the Hong Kong Government (HKG) remains broad, highly effective, and mutually beneficial. Our relationship with Hong Kong is based on the framework of “one country, two systems,” enshrined in Hong Hong’s Basic Law, which serves as a virtual (or de facto) constitution. Under this system, Hong Kong exercises autonomy in all areas except foreign policy and defense affairs. Hong Kong participates actively and independently in a range of multilateral organizations and agreements such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), with trade policy objectives that generally align with our own, and is recognized as a separate customs territory by the United States.

There are more than a dozen U.S.-Hong Kong agreements currently in force. Our day-to-day bilateral law enforcement cooperation is on par with many of our closest allies. Hong Kong’s strong traditions of rule of law, low levels of corruption, and high levels of public safety make it a preferred choice for American businesses in the region. The United States enjoys diverse cultural, educational, scientific, and academic exchanges with the people and Government of Hong Kong.

U.S. Department of State — Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Newly Digitized Foreign Relations Volume on the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

April 15, 2015 Comments off

Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Newly Digitized Foreign Relations Volume on the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Appendix to Diplomatic Correspondence of 1865 is a unique volume in the Foreign Relations series. Unlike the rest of the series, this volume was not produced to tell the story of U.S. foreign policy. Instead, it embodied the grief and shattered hopes expressed by foreign governments, civic groups, opinion leaders, religious organizations, professional societies, and ordinary laborers, both at home and abroad, upon learning of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination on the evening of April 14, 1865. In doing so, the volume recorded a remarkable global wave of admiration for one of the United States’ greatest leaders. On multiple continents, governments declared periods of mourning for the slain U.S. President and non-governmental associations commemorated Lincoln as a champion of liberty and spokesperson for the aspirations of common people.

The volume also served more subtle contemporary purposes. In showing foreign officials the orderly transition of power from Lincoln to Vice President Andrew Johnson, the volume testified to the durability of the U.S. Government, even amidst unprecedented strain. In some ways, the Appendix to Diplomatic Correspondence of 1865 volume was an early and widely-circulated Lincoln memorial, one that still reflects the hopes and values that Lincoln’s contemporaries ascribed to him, as well as the enduring faith that Americans place in the constitutional system that he fought to preserve.

This release is part of the Office of the Historian’s ongoing project, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center, to digitize the entire Foreign Relations series. The University graciously provided high quality scanned images of each printed book, which the Office further digitized to create a full text searchable edition. This volume is available online and as a free ebook on the Office of the Historian’s website.

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