Speeches Shim

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

January 25, 2022

Thank you, Secretary Blinken of course, right with our State Department colleagues, our Justice colleagues, all the people we’ve heard from today, it is a whole of government frontline effort more and more. It has been really inspiring—and extra motivating—to hear from so many colleagues and agencies about all that they are doing. And especially to hear the extent to which this work clearly stems from deep personal commitments, as well as the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, which as you noted, Secretary Blinken, also itself follows the leadership in a bipartisan manner now over several decades. 

As many have said today, human trafficking—the second largest criminal industry in the world, after the drug trade—affects 25 million people each year. But today I want to start by talking about one person, who has given us permission to share his story: Saiful Islam. 

Monday, January 24, 2022 - 11:15am

When COVID-19 struck during Ryan’s last post as Mission Director in Indonesia, he naturally had to usher in rapid, destabilizing changes: a dramatic shift to telework, painful ordered departures for family members, and a reinvigorated push on public health. During that time, Ryan held regular town halls to update Mission staff on the response to the pandemic. And he kept spirits up, sharing inspirational videos and checking in to see how staff were coping. Due in no small part to Ryan’s persistence, even in the midst of the pandemic, in July of 2020 the Government of Indonesia agreed to a major framework with USAID to strengthen democracy, reduce poverty, and fuel economic growth. One of his colleagues sums it up best: “Ryan led the mission through the threat of a government shutdown, through budget cuts and dramatic priority shifts, and we always came out on top and, in fact, stronger.”

Saturday, January 22, 2022 - 6:30pm

Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina finds itself at yet another crossroads. And the durability of its 26 years of peace are being called into question. Investigative journalists I met with yesterday spoke about the fear people across Bosnia and Herzegovina are feeling about the potential for increasing division and instability. I also spoke with a group of survivors of wartime detention camps, all from different ethnic backgrounds, all incredibly resilient and dedicated to reconciliation, but deeply concerned by the current political crisis. Deeply concerned about divisive rhetoric and believing that their experiences and their telling of their experiences, particularly the young people, offer a reminder that this country can never go back. Young leaders, public servants I spoke with yesterday also expressed how much they love their country, but openly worried for its future, and they described the cynicism that so many people have about politicians.

Friday, January 21, 2022 - 9:45am

I would like to thank both Minister Djapo and Minister Gašić for their leadership, for their welcome of me to their country, and for their close collaboration with USAID and the dedication that they bring to growing tourism in this country everyday. I would also like to thank Justin Reid and Tripadvisor for their partnership with USAID’s Turizam project, and their commitment to promoting the beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 5:15pm

It’s good to be back here in Bosnia. I had the privilege to live and work here during the dark days of the war. My experience here changed my life and gave me the motivation to dedicate my career to trying to promote the cause of peace and human rights. Bosnia and Herzegovina finds itself at a very difficult crossroads now. I have just come from a meeting, a very powerful meeting, with three survivors of the wartime prisoner camps. These are individuals who suffered horribly in prisoner camps. And hearing their stories was a reminder that this country and the great people of this country can never go back. Politics are hard. But war is horrific.

Friday, January 14, 2022 - 1:30pm

Alongside USAID’s work to build back stronger, more resilient, more equitable health systems in over 100 countries, ATscale is bolstering its efforts to make accessible the products, systems, and services that so many of us take for granted. Because when it comes to inclusive development, we recognize that assistive technology is not simply a “nice to have.” It is imperative, both morally and economically.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 12:45pm

Alongside COVID-19, the climate crisis is contributing to record droughts, more powerful hurricanes, and increasingly deadly wildfires in the region, leaving crop yields devastated, homes destroyed, and untold suffering in their wake. Marcela will oversee Bureau efforts with partners to address needs on the ground, reduce emissions, and strengthen efforts to adapt to extreme climate events. Countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala continue to see outflows of irregular migration. Marcela will put her rich experience to use as she works with the Northern Triangle Task Force to address the root causes pushing families to attempt migration in the first place, including climate change, poverty, corruption, violence, and human rights abuses.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 1:15pm

The United States has made clear: We will continue to support the Afghan people—through diplomacy, by convening partners to act, and through humanitarian aid of the kind that we’re here to discuss today.

We are grateful for the partnership and the work of those who have developed the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan. If fulfilled, this plan would support over 22 million Afghan people, meeting their most basic and urgent human needs. It will ensure accountability to affected populations and help prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls.

Monday, January 10, 2022 - 1:15pm

USAID is meeting the Administration’s call and taking concrete steps to strengthen and elevate our anti-corruption programming, and integrate these considerations throughout our work. And after months of hard work, USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force announced a suite of bold anti-corruption programs at last month’s Summit for Democracy, which are designed to provide new approaches to addressing the age-old problem of corruption — a problem that impacts all of our development sectors and undermines all of our development objectives, and which Administrator Samantha Power has called “development in reverse.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 3:15pm

In addition to his focus on strengthening health systems, Atul will lead efforts to prevent needless child and maternal deaths, respond to infectious disease threats and expand our family planning programming to better address the health and rights of women and girls. And critically, Atul will bring his characteristic mentorship and empathy to the nine offices of the Global Health Bureau as they work to spread health equity around the world.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 9:00am

The development and endorsement of the Strategic Plan for Training the Social Service Workforce is a huge milestone in the coordinated efforts to strengthen Cambodia’s social service workforce. The plan allows for the development of a standard, competency-based training curriculum to upskill individuals. It does this by providing the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to better ensure that quality social services are provided throughout the country. This ensures that children are in safe, nurturing, family-based care - which is our shared, ultimate goal. It is important to highlight other complementary efforts to strengthen child protection services in Cambodia.


Last updated: January 26, 2022

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