UBM Buys Seatrade Communications to Enhance Maritime Industry Offering

HONG KONG, Aug. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — UBM, owner and organiser of Cruise Shipping Miami, Marintec China, Sea Japan, and other events serving the Cruise and General Maritime industries worldwide, today announces its acquisition of Seatrade Communications Ltd. 

Seatrade is recognised as a brand leader in the global business to business maritime industries. The company’s Cruise sector events include Seatrade Latin America Cruise Convention and Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, supported by Seatrade Cruise Review and the online portal Seatrade Insider. General Maritime events include Sea Asia in Singapore and Seatrade Middle East Maritime in Dubai, supported by the online Seatrade Global portal and Seatrade Magazine. In the Offshore Marine space it organises Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East in Abu Dhabi.

UBM and Seatrade have a long history of successful partnership on various maritime events worldwide. This acquisition brings together the two leading portfolios in this sector, serving to simplify the events landscape for customers and industry stakeholders alike.

Seatrade has been led by its Executive Chairman and owner Chris Hayman since 2003. Chris will remain with the business as Chairman, ensuring continuity of relationships, content and strategic guidance.The business will remain headquartered in Colchester, UK, with its offices in Dubai, Singapore and China continuing to drive growth in these regions.

Michael Duck, UBM’s Global Maritime Director and Executive Vice President of UBM Asia said:

“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Seatrade for many years, and are delighted to now bring UBM and Seatrade together as one business to better serve our community of customers, delegates and readers across the maritime world. The unified portfolio and management structure will create a simplified, coherent and stronger global offering for our clients. From both a company and personal perspective, I am delighted that Chris Hayman – who is widely known and respected throughout the maritime industry – will be staying with the business. We look forward to working with him and the world class teams at both UBM and Seatrade over the coming years.”

Chris Hayman, Seatrade’s Chairman and owner, said: “Seatrade’s strategy of developing high quality events and global intelligence for the general shipping, offshore marine and cruise sectors, fits well with UBM’s world class events in these fields. We look forward to working with them to expand our combined global reach, and to provide the kind of content which is so critical to success in these dynamic industry sectors.”

Contacts

Mike Tan,

Senior Vice President,

UBM Asia

 

T: +852 2585 6120

E: mike.tan@ubm.com

 

Peter Bancroft,

Director of Communications,

UBM plc

 

T: +44 (0) 20 7921 5961

E: communications@ubm.com

Logo – http://www.prnasia.com/sa/2010/04/19/20100419602891.jpg

Notes to Editors

1. About UBM plc

UBM plc is a leading global events-led marketing services and communications company. We help businesses do business, bringing the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online and in print. Our 5,000 staff in more than 20 countries are organised into specialist teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

For more information, go to www.ubm.com; follow us on Twitter at @UBM_plc to get the latest UBM corporate news; follow @UBMNews for news from all UBM’s businesses; follow @UBM for a flavour of UBM from selected members of UBM’s Twitterati.

2. Website links

Marintec China: www.marintecchina.com

Sea Japan: www.seajapan.ne.jp/en

Cruise Shipping Miami www.cruiseshippingevents.com/miami

Sea Asia: www.sea-asia.com

Seatrade Latin America Cruise Convention: www.latinamerica-cruise.com

Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum: www.seatrade-middleeastcruise.com

Seatrade Middle East Maritime: www.seatrade-middleeast.com

Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East: www.middleeastworkboats.com

Seatrade Global: www.seatrade-global.com

Seatrade Insider: www.seatrade-insider.com

Seatrade Magazine: www.seatrademagazine.com

3. Image

A high resolution image of Michael Duck, UBM’s Global Maritime Director and Executive Vice President of UBM Asia, and Chris Hayman, Seatrade’s Chairman, is available on request.

Extra Days Special! Eurail Offers up to Five Free Travel Days

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Aug. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Eurail Select & Global Pass Holders Receive Free Extra Days to Explore Europe 

From August 1 to September 30, 2014 Eurail’s latest promotion offers non-European residents additional free travel days on the Eurail Global Pass Continuous and 4-Country Select Passes.  

By offering free travel days, Eurail aims to maximize its customers’ travel experience with the possibility of discovering even more of Europe by train. The number of extra travel days depends on the type of pass: the campaign offers one extra travel day for the 4-Country Select Pass, two extra travel days for the 15-day Global Pass Continuous, three extra travel days for the 21-day Global Pass Continuous and five extra travel days for the one month Global Pass Continuous. This special offer is applicable to all product variations for both first and second class.

As passes are available within a six month pre-booking period, Eurail customers can profit from this promotion until April 2015. Thus, they can further benefit from the many advantages that are synonymous with off-peak traveling. “The advantages of shorter lines in tourism sites and lower prices are obvious,” states Silvia Gorlach, Marketing Manager of the Eurail Group G.I.E. “As visiting Europe once the large crowds have left, is a completely different experience, in which tourists have the chance to discover Europe, its culture and inhabitants in a more authentic and relaxed environment.”

Eurail’s Extra Days promotion runs alongside Eurail’s “Free Roaming” promotion, launched on July 7, offering the first 2,500 Eurail Select and Global Pass customers who register their pass purchase on http://www.eurail-roaming.com a Eurail Free Roaming SIM Card with a pre-paid credit of 18 Euros.

Eurail Passes are available from a worldwide network of Authorized General Sales Agents. Please visit http://www.eurailgroup.org/eurail

Established in 2001, the Eurail Group G.I.E. is responsible for the marketing and management of the InterRail and Eurail Passes that provide unlimited rail travel across Europe. The organization is based in Utrecht (Netherlands) and is wholly owned by thirty railways and shipping companies. In addition, the Group has many benefit partners, including hotels, transport companies and museums, which offer their services either at a reduced rate or free of charge to rail pass holders.

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Manson K. Brown – Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Department of Commerce
  • Carmen Amalia Corrales – Member, Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Rafael J. López  – Commissioner on Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Health and Human Services

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Evan Jonathan Wallach – Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy
  • Christopher P. Lu – Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
  • Tom Malinowski – Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
  • Danny Russel – Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
  • Stefan M. Selig – Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
  • Sarah Sewall – Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
  • Peggy L. Brookins – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Kent McGuire – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Evelynn M. Hammonds – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Michael T. Nettles – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Spencer Overton – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Becky Pringle – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • John Rice – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Regina Stanback Stroud – Member, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans

Members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China will continue serving in their current roles in addition to these appointments.

President Obama said, “These men and women have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers.  I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Department of Commerce

Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown served as Deputy Commandant for Mission Support for the U.S. Coast Guard from 2012 to 2014.  He served as Commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area in California from 2010 to 2012 and as Commander of Coast Guard District 14 in Hawaii from 2008 to 2010.  Vice Admiral Brown’s previous tours of duty include Assistant Engineering Officer aboard the icebreaker “Glacier” and command of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and Group Charleston.  In 2006, he assumed command of the Maintenance & Logistics Command Pacific of the Coast Guard, where he had previously served as Assistant Chief of the Civil Engineering Division.  In 2004, he served as Senior Advisor for Transportation to Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq.  In 2003, Vice Admiral Brown served as the Chief of Officer Personnel Management at the Coast Guard Personnel Command.  From 1999 to 2002, he was the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation.  He received a B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an M.S. from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Carmen Amalia Corrales, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Carmen Amalia Corrales is a Partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, a position she has held since 1998.  Prior to joining Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in 1990, Ms. Corrales served as a judicial clerk for Justice Marie Garibaldi of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1989 to 1990.  She is a member of the Committee for the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, a Trustee of Bloomfield College, a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Political Science, and a member of the Board of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Corrales received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Rafael J. López, Nominee for Commissioner on Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Health and Human Services

Rafael J. López is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President, a position he has held since 2013.  From 2010 to 2013, he was an Associate Director at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  From 2009 to 2010, Mr. López served as the President and CEO of The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc.  From 2006 to 2009, he served as the Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families.  Mr. López was Deputy Director of the City and County of San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families in 2006 and was Senior Deputy for Health and Human Services for Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina from 2005 to 2006.  From 1999 to 2004, he served as the founding Executive Director of First 5 Santa Cruz County.  Mr. López received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Judge Evan Jonathan Wallach, Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy

Judge Evan Jonathan Wallach serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a position he has held since 2011.  He previously served on the U.S. Court of International Trade from 1995 to 2011.  He was a litigation partner at the law firm of Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas, Nevada from 1982 to 1995.  He served as General Counsel and Public Policy Advisor to Senator Harry Reid from 1987 to 1988, and served in the Nevada National Guard as a Judge Advocate from 1989 to 1995.  Judge Wallach was an attorney in the International Affairs Division of the Judge Advocate of the Army at the Department of Defense.  He served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971, where his awards included the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm.  Judge Wallach received a B.A. from the University of Arizona, a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an L.L.B. from the University of Cambridge.

Christopher P. Lu, Appointee for Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China

Christopher P. Lu is the Deputy Secretary of Labor, a position he has held since April 2014.  Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.  In 2013, he was a Fellow at The University of Chicago Institute of Politics and the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy.  From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Lu was Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary at the White House.  In 2008, he served as Executive Director of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.  From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Lu served as Legislative Director and then as Acting Chief of Staff for then-Senator Barack Obama.  From 1997 to 2005, Mr. Lu was Deputy Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Minority Staff).  He began his career as a law clerk to Judge Robert E. Cowen on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and as an attorney at Sidley Austin, LLP.  He was Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from 2011 to 2013.  Mr. Lu received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Tom Malinowski, Appointee for Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China

Tom Malinowski is the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the Department of State (DOS), a position he has held since April 2014.  Previously, from 2001 to 2014, he was the Washington Director for Human Rights Watch.  From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Malinowski served as a Senior Director for Foreign Policy Speechwriting on the National Security Staff at the White House, and from 1994 to 1998 he was a speechwriter and member of the Policy Planning Staff at DOS.  Earlier in his career, he was a Research Assistant for the Ford Foundation from 1992 to 1993 and served as a Special Assistant to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1988.  Mr. Malinowski received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.Phil. from Oxford University.

Danny Russel, Appointee for Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China

Danny Russel is the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, a position he has held since July 2013.  Previously, from 2011 to 2013, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs.  From 2009 and 2011, Mr. Russel served as the Director for Japan, South Korea, and North Korea on the National Security Council and was the U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe, Japan from 2005 to 2008.  From 2002 to 2005, he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, and from 1999 to 2002 he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.  Mr. Russel was Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 1999, and served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary from 1995 to 1996.  He served as Political Section Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea from 1992 to 1995, Political Advisor to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992, and Branch Office Manager and Vice Counsel in Nagoya and Osaka, Japan from 1985 to 1989. 

Stefan M. Selig, Appointee for Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China

Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, a position he has held since June 2014.  From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Selig was the Executive Vice Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  From 1999 to 2009, he held various leadership roles at Banc of America Securities, including Vice Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions.  From 1992 to 1999, Mr. Selig held various senior investment banking positions, including Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at UBS Securities.  In 1988, he was a founding partner of Wasserstein Perella & Co.  Earlier in his career, he worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at The First Boston Corporation and also served on the Board of Directors of Service for the UnderServed. Mr. Selig received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Dr. Sarah Sewall, Appointee for Member, Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China

Dr. Sarah Sewall is the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights at the Department of State, a position she has held since February 2014.  Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a visiting professor at the Naval War College.  In 2012, she was Minerva Chair at the Naval War College, and from 2006 to 2009 she served as the Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.  Dr. Sewall joined the Kennedy School in 2000 as Director of the National Security and Human Rights Program and founded the Mass Atrocity Response Operations Project and the Project on the Means of Intervention.  From 1998 to 1999, Dr. Sewall was Associate Director at the Committee on International Security Studies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow at Harvard’s Program on Negotiations in 1997.  From 1993 to 1996, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance at the Department of Defense.  She was Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell from 1987 to 1996.  In 2008, she directed the National Security Agency Review for the Obama-Biden Transition.  Dr. Sewall received a B.A. from Harvard University and a D.Phil. from Oxford University.

Peggy L. Brookins, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Peggy L. Brookins is the Co-Founder, Director, and Mathematics Instructor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Institute of Technology at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, where she has worked since 1978.  Ms. Brookins has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, inBloom, The Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences Ad Hoc Committee on Teachers as Professionals, the Content Technical Working Group for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and as a commissioner on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.  Ms. Brookins has been inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame and is a Florida Education Association “Everyday Hero.” She is an Aspen Ideas Scholar, a National Board Certified Teacher, and received the Florida Education Association Excellence in Teaching Award.  Ms. Brookins received a B.S. from the University of Florida.

Dr. Kent McGuire, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Dr. Kent McGuire is the President of the Southern Education Foundation (SEF), a position he has held since 2010.  Prior to joining SEF, Dr. McGuire served as Dean of the College of Education at Temple University from 2003 to 2010, where he was a tenured professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  Dr. McGuire was a Senior Vice President at MDRC, Inc. from 2001 to 2003, and served as Assistant Secretary of Educational Research and Improvement at the Department of Education from 1997 to 2001.  From 1994 to 1997, Dr. McGuire was a Program Officer at Pew Charitable Trusts, and from 1990 to 1994 he was a Program Director at Lilly Endowment, Inc.  He currently serves on a number of boards, including Cornerstone Literacy, the Harwood Institute, the Institute for Education Leadership, and The New Teacher Project.  Dr. McGuire received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from Columbia University Teacher’s College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Dr. Evelynn M. Hammonds, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Dr. Evelynn M. Hammonds is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.  She has served as a Member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities since 2010.  From 2008 to 2013, Dr. Hammonds served as Dean of Harvard College and from 2005 to 2008 she was Senior Vice President for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University.  Dr. Hammonds joined the Harvard faculty after teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1993 to 2002, where she founded the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine.  She is a member of the Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering, and serves on a number of boards, including the Board of Overseers of the Museum of Science in Boston and the Board of Trustees of Spelman College.  Dr. Hammonds received a B.S. from Spelman College, a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an S.M. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Dr. Michael T. Nettles, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Dr. Michael T. Nettles is Senior Vice President and the Edmund W. Gordon Chair of the Policy Evaluation and Research Center at Educational Testing Service (ETS), positions he has held since 2006 and 2003, respectively.  He was previously Vice President of Policy Evaluation and Research from 2004 to 2006 and Executive Director of Policy Research from 2003 to 2004.  Dr. Nettles was a Professor of Education at the University of Michigan from 1992 to 2003, and served as the first Executive Director of the Fredrick D. Patterson Research Institute of the United Negro College Fund from 1996 to 1999.  Dr. Nettles previously served as Vice President for Assessment at the University of Tennessee System from 1989 to 1992, and was a Research Scientist at ETS from 1984 to 1989.  He was Assistant Director for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission from 1981 to 1984.  He serves on the boards of a number of organizations, including the Southern Education Foundation, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Bank Street College of Education, and the Corporate and Philanthropic Council of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.  Dr. Nettles received a B.A. from the University of Tennessee, and an M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

Spencer Overton, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Spencer Overton is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School (GWU), a position he has held since 2002.  Mr. Overton is currently on leave from GWU, while he serves as the interim President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.  He also took a leave of absence from 2009 to 2010 to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice.  From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Overton was an Acting Professor of Law at the University of California, King Hall School of Law, and from 1999 to 2000 he was a Charles Hamilton Houston Fellow at Harvard Law School.  Mr. Overton practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton from 1997 to 2000 and at Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen, and Freeman from 1994 to 1996.  He began his career as a clerk for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1993 to 1994.  Mr. Overton received a B.A. from Hampton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Becky Pringle, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Becky Pringle is the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Education Association (NEA), a position she has held since 2008.  Ms. Pringle previously served as a member of NEA’s Executive Committee and spent 31 years as a middle school science teacher in the Susquehanna School District in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Pringle has served on the Board of Directors for the NEA and for the Pennsylvania State Education Association.  She has chaired the NEA Reading Task Force, NEA Elementary and Secondary Education Act Advisory Committee, and the workgroup that developed the NEA’s Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability.  During her tenure on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Ms. Pringle was elected Finance Chair.  She also served on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Teacher Preparation commissioned by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and currently serves on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.  She has received numerous awards, including the Pennsylvania Academy’s Teaching Excellence Award.  Ms. Pringle received a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. from Pennsylvania State University.

John Rice, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

John Rice is the Founder and CEO of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT).  Mr. Rice founded MLT in 1994 and became its full-time CEO in 2000.  He has served as a Member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities since 2010.  Mr. Rice previously worked for the National Basketball Association (NBA) as managing director of NBA Japan from 1998 to 2000 and as director of marketing for NBA Latin America from 1996 to 1998.  Mr. Rice worked for the Walt Disney Company in new business development and marketing from 1992 to 1996, and worked for AT&T as an account executive from 1988 to 1990.  Mr. Rice serves on the Board of Trustees of Yale University, is a Director of Walker & Dunlop Inc., and serves on the boards of several non-profits, including the American Management Association, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and LIFT.  Mr. Rice received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud is currently the President of Skyline College in San Bruno, California, a position she has held since 2011.  She previously served as the Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College from 2001 to 2010.  From 1997 to 2001, she was the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Mission College in Santa Clara, California.  Prior to that, Dr. Stanback Stroud was a Nursing Professor at Rancho Santiago College from 1985 to 1997 and at Craven Community College from 1983 to 1985.  From 1993 to 1995, she served in various leadership roles on the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.  Dr. Stanback Stroud received a B.S.N. from Howard University, an M.S. from Golden Gate University, and an M.A. and an Ed.D. from Mills College.

Daily News of 2014-07-31

MEX 14 / 31.07

DAILY NEWS

31 / 07 / 14

G-7 Leaders Statement on Ukraine

G-7 leaders joined yesterday in expressing their grave concern about Russia’s continued actions to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. “This week, we have all announced additional coordinated sanctions on Russia, including sanctions on specific companies operating in key sectors of the Russian economy. We believe it is essential to demonstrate to the Russian leadership that it must stop its support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine and tangibly participate in creating the necessary conditions for the political process.”, said G-7 leaders in a joint statement. “We remain convinced that there must be a political solution to the current conflict, which is causing rising numbers of civilian casualties. We call for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, and underline the need to implement President Poroshenko’s peace plan without any further delay.”

Read the full statement online .

June 2014: Euro area unemployment rate at 11.5%; EU28 at 10.2%

The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in June 2014, down from 11.6% in May 2014, and from 12.0% in June 2013. This is the lowest rate recorded since September 2012. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.2% in June 2014, down from 10.3% in May 2014, and from 10.9% in June 2013. This is the lowest rate recorded since March 2012. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Eurostat estimates that 25.005 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.412 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in June 2014. Compared with May 2014, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 198 000 in the EU28 and by 152 000 in the euro area. Compared with June 2013, unemployment fell by 1.537 million in the EU28 and by 783 000 in the euro area. European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: “The unemployment figures for June 2014 confirm the first signs of economic recovery we have been seen in Europe over the past year. But while job destruction seems to have come to a halt, the reduction of unemployment has only been very modest so far. Our objective must be to create the right macroeconomic conditions for sustainable recovery and for Member States to implement structural reforms such as the Youth Guarantee to ensure that the recovery is job-rich. Only then will we see the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs every month, and an end to these excessively high and unacceptable levels of unemployment.”

Other news

Bank transfers: Single Euro Payments Area to bring easier payments and transfers in euro area from 1 August

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) creates a true European Single Market for retail payments in euro where and transfers, direct debits and payments between Member States are as easy and fast as the equivalent domestic transactions. It will become operational in all eurozone countries on 1st August 2014. It will also apply to euro-denominated transactions in non-eurozone countries from 30th October 2016. SEPA will greatly facilitate euro payments for citizens and businesses and increase competition between banks.

Commission adopts French programme to use €499 million from Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

The European Commission has approved today the French Operational Programme to use the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). France, the first Member State to have its FEAD programme adopted, will receive 499 million euros in current prices in the period 2014-2020 to support the provision of food aid to those most in need in the country (complemented with €88 million from national resources). Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, commented: “I welcome the swift adoption of the French operational programme. The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived will play a key role to help Europe’s most vulnerable citizens with food or other basic goods. In many Member States severe material deprivation is on the rise and many households cannot afford a meal. I am looking forward to approving the programmes of all the other Member States, so that the rest of the 3.8 billion euros available can be put to the best use in our fight against poverty”.

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights: Customs authorities detain nearly 36 million fake goods at EU borders in 2013

Customs authorities in the EU detained almost 36 million items suspected of violating intellectual property rights (IPR) in 2013, according to the Commission’s annual report on customs actions to enforce IPR. Although this is less than previous years, the value of the intercepted goods still represents more than € 760 million. Today’s report also gives statistics on the type, provenance and transport method of counterfeit products detained at the EU’s external borders. See also the Q&A: MEMO/14/501 .

EU develops new driverless car parking system – so you never waste another minute looking for a space

There are only a few minutes before your flight check-in closes, or before your train departs, but you now have to spend precious time hunting for a free space at the airport or station car park. Imagine leaving your vehicle at the main entrance and letting the car do the rest on its own. Researchers from Germany, Italy, the UK and Switzerland are working on this, and successful tests took place at Stuttgart airport earlier this year. €5.6 million of EU funding is invested in the system which will be available in the coming years. Vice President Neelie Kroes said:We need to think ahead and find smarter ways to move, to save time, money and our environment. Who wouldn’t want to save time parking their car?

Compromise found: Part of EU fleet can continue fishing in Mauritanian waters until end of 2014

EU vessels fishing shrimps and small pelagics in Mauritanian waters in the framework of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Protocol will be able to continue to do so until 15 December 2014. This is part of the compromise which EU negotiators found last night in Nouakchott after the Mauritanian authorities had upheld the position that all EU vessels would have to leave Mauritanian waters as of 1 August 2014. According to the agreement found, Mauritania accepted EU fishing activities for a period of 24 months as part of the bilateral Fisheries Protocol, hence the shrimps and small pelagics fisheries which started in January 2013 can continue, whereas those EU vessels which had been fishing tuna and demersals since August 2012 during a transitional period will need to leave Mauritanian waters today. Furthermore, the EU and Mauritania agreed to continue the discussions for a renewed Fisheries Protocol so to allow the full EU fleet to resume their activities soon. More information

Flash estimate – July 2014: Euro area annual inflation down to 0.4%

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.4% in July 2014, down from 0.5% in June, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, services is expected to have the highest annual rate in July (1.3%, stable compared with June), followed by non-energy industrial goods (0.0%, compared with -0.1% in June), food, alcohol & tobacco (-0.3%, compared with -0.2% in June) and energy (-1.0%, compared with 0.1% in June).

Aides d’État: la Commission conclut que la cristallerie belge Val Saint-Lambert a reçu des aides d’État incompatibles; autorise la vente de certains de ses actifs

La Commission européenne a conclu que certaines des mesures d’aide octroyées par la région wallonne à Val Saint-Lambert SA (VSL) ont conféré à l’entreprise un avantage indu sur ses concurrents, en violation des règles de l’UE en matière d’aides d’État. VSL doit à présent rembourser ce montant, majoré des intérêts, pour atténuer les distorsions de concurrence engendrées par l’octroi de ces aides incompatibles avec le marché intérieur européen.

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Pirelli’s steel tyre cord business by Bekaert

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the steel tyre cord business of the Italian company Pirelli by its Belgian-based rival NV Bekaert SA. Steel tyre cord is used to reinforce radial tyres and has a major impact on their safety and performance. The Commission concluded that the acquisition would not raise competition concerns as the merged entity’s customers, which are large, multinational tyre companies, have countervailing buyer power which is further strengthened by over-capacity in the steel tyre cord market. In addition the Commission found that Bekaert will continue to face effective competition from a number of other strong competitors located outside the European Economic Area (EEA), in particular in Belarus, Korea and China. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7230 .

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Uniqa Life by Uniqa Insurance Group.

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Uniqa Life of Italy by the Uniqa Insurance Group (Uniqa) of Austria. Uniqa Life is a life insurance company active only in Italy, while Uniqa is an Austrian-based insurance group offering products and services in all insurance sectors (life, non-life, re-insurance) in a number of European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the very low combined market shares resulting from the transaction. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7298 .

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of GEA’s heat exchanger business by private equity company Triton

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control over the German heat exchanger business of GEA by the private equity company Triton of Jersey. Triton invests in medium-sized businesses in Northern Europe, in particular in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the five Nordic countries. GEA’s heat exchanger business manufactures a broad portfolio of heat exchangers serving different applications such as power, climate and environment or oil and gas. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, because the overlaps between the activities of Triton’s portfolio companies and GEA’s heat exchanger business are limited. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7306 .

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Doeflex by INEOS in plastic compounding sector

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Doeflex Compounding Limited (Doeflex) of the UK by INEOS AG (INEOS) of Switzerland. Doeflex is a PVC compounder with a single manufacturing facility located in Swindon, UK, controlled by two individuals. INEOS is a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. Among other activities, INEOS produces commodity S-PVC E-PVC, plasticizers and S-PVC compounds in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission examined the effects of the merger on competition in the area of S-PVC compounding and more specifically for the manufacture and sale of dry blended and gelled compounds in North Western Europe, Western Europe and the EEA. S-PVC compounds are intermediate products between S-PVC and end-products. They are obtained by blending additives such as plasticisers, heat stabilisers and pigments with S-PVC. S-PVC compounds are then further processed to produce end-products such as pipes, window and door frames, cables, etc. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because the merged entity would continue to face strong competition after the merger and customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in the market for S-PVC compounds and its sub-segments. The Commission found, in particular, that other strong players, such as Kem One, which recently acquired Solvay’s compounding business, and Begra will continue to compete with the merged entity in these markets. The Commission also found that in spite of the vertical links between INEOS’s upstream activities in S-PVC, E-PVC and plasticizers and its compounding business, the proposed transaction does not affect INEOS’s ability and incentives to shut out competitors from the S-PVC compounds market or customers from access to supplies because INEOS was already vertically integrated pre-transaction and the addition of Doeflex’s business has limited impact on the pre-existing situation because of its limited size. More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission’s public case register under the case number M.7132 .

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Bull by Atos

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Bull S.A. by Atos S.E., both of France. Atos delivers IT services, including managed services, business process outsourcing, consulting & systems integration and cloud & enterprise software. Bull is active in the development of High Performance Computing (HPC) supercomputers and uprange servers, in the design, building and managing of data centres, HPC infrastructure and cloud computing solutions, in the consulting as well as integration and maintenance of critical business applications and in the design, consulting and integration of end-to-end security solutions. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not give rise to competition concerns, given the parties’ moderate combined market positions resulting from the proposed transaction and the presence of a number of strong players that are active on the respective markets. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7308 .  

East Asia and the Pacific: U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights

As Prepared

Chairman Chabot, Congressman Bera, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on U.S. human rights policy in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This is an issue on which we believe there is broad bipartisan agreement, and both Congress and the Administration are united in our effort to press North Korea to improve its truly deplorable human rights situation.

Today, the DPRK remains a totalitarian state, which seeks to dominate all aspects of its citizens’ lives, including denial of the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, association, religion, and movement, as well as worker rights. Reports continue to portray a vast network of political prison camps where individuals are subject to forced labor under horrific conditions and the government commits human rights violations including extrajudicial killing, enslavement, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, and rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence.

Mr. Chairman, this past year, we made significant progress in our effort to increase international pressure on the DPRK to improve its human rights record. The decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in March 2013 to create a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to examine “grave, widespread, and systematic violations of human rights” in the DPRK was a landmark event. This resolution, which the United States co-sponsored, reflects the international community’s deepened concern about the deplorable human rights situation in the DPRK.

The independent Commission of Inquiry was chaired by Mr. Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, and included Mr. Marzuki Darusman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the DPRK and former Attorney General of the Republic of Indonesia, and Ms. Sonia Biserko, president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and a prominent human rights activist.

The Commission held a series of public hearings in Seoul, Tokyo, London, and Washington, where it heard from North Korean refugees sharing first-hand accounts of abuse and violence they suffered, and their horrific experiences leaving their homeland. The Commission also heard from leading international experts, who described deliberate denial of access to food, gender-based violence, and numerous other human rights violations in the prison camps. The full proceedings of these hearings have since been made available on the UN web site in video and in written transcript.

At the completion of its investigation, the Commission issued a final report on February 17 of this year that concluded that systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the DPRK, its institutions, and its officials. The report further concluded that in many cases, these human rights violations by the DPRK government and its officials may “meet the high threshold required for proof of crimes against humanity in international law.” The Commission’s comprehensive 400-page report is the most detailed and devastating exposé of DPRK human rights to date, and it laid bare a brutal reality that is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine.

The Commission formally presented its final report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in March of this year. After hearing from the Commission, the UN Human Rights Council—by an overwhelming vote approved a strongly-worded resolution praising the report and calling for accountability for those responsible for human rights violations. This resolution made clear that the international community has identified the DPRK as one of the worst human rights violators in the world.

This resolution—among many other things—called for the creation of a field office, or a “field-based structure,” under the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to preserve and document evidence of atrocities committed in the DPRK and to support the future work of the Special Rapporteur on DPRK human rights issues.

At the request of the High Commissioner’s office, South Korea has agreed to host this field office. We welcomed the decision to host this office, which will play an important role in maintaining visibility and encouraging action on the human rights situation in the DPRK.

Building on the momentum created by the UN Commission of Inquiry’s report, the United States joined Australia and France in convening the UN Security Council’s first-ever discussion of the human rights situation in North Korea. At this session on April 17, the Commission presented its report, and two North Korean refugees, Mr. Shin Dong Hyuk and Ms. Hyeonseo Lee spoke of their personal experiences in the DPRK before they escaped. Thirteen of the 15 members of the Security Council attended that discussion.

Council members expressed grave concern about the horrific human rights violations and crimes against humanity outlined in the Commission of Inquiry report and urged the DPRK to comply with the report’s recommendations and to engage with United Nations human rights agencies. Council members emphasized the importance of accountability for human rights violations, and many expressed support for Council consideration of the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendation of referral of the situation in North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC). They expressed support for the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK and to establish a field-based office to strengthen monitoring and documentation of human rights abuses to ensure accountability.

In May, the United States participated in the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of North Korea. The UPR is a mechanism to assess each country’s human rights record, and puts all UN member-countries on the agenda of the Council for review. The UPR process provides the international community with another tool to discuss the situation in the DPRK, as well as provide recommendations to address it.

Most recently, on June 18, the Special Rapporteur on DPRK human rights, Mr. Marzuki Darusman, gave his report on the human rights situation to the UN Human Rights Council.

As I participated in these UN sessions, two things struck me. First, it is clear that the DPRK is feeling growing international pressure. The mounting criticism of its human rights record has clearly struck a chord in Pyongyang, which responded by condemning the Commission’s report and issuing its own reports on human rights in the United States and the Republic of Korea.

Second, with a growing number of countries standing up for North Korean human rights, the DPRK has very few supporters left. At the UN Human Rights Council session in June, only a handful of countries were supportive of the DPRK—most protested the singling out of one country and did not comment on the substance of the human rights violations. The countries who defended the DPRK were among the world’s worst human rights violators—Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Zimbabwe.

China’s statement at the June session was especially noteworthy. China objected to country-specific reports in general, but mainly defended itself against the criticism in both the Commission’s and the Special Rapporteur’s report against its refoulement of refugees from the DPRK who were attempting to escape through Chinese territory. The Chinese did not defend the DPRK’s human rights record.

As I look back over what has taken place already this year to focus attention on the human rights record of North Korea, I am reminded of Commission of Inquiry Chair Michael Kirby’s statement when he presented the Commission’s report. With the body of evidence of the North Korean human rights situation, he said, no one can now say “We did not know.”

Mr. Chairman, I would like to say a few words about another critical issue related to North Korean human rights: our efforts to increase North Koreans’ access to information. When the Commission of Inquiry presented its report to the UN Human Rights Council, it also released a 20-minute documentary, highlighting testimony of North Korean defectors. Because North Korea is one of the most closed societies on this planet—where internet access is reserved for a very tiny elite—ordinary North Koreans had no way to see the documentary, let alone any independent news about the abuses taking place inside their own country today.

While this information blockade makes it nearly impossible for North Koreans to read the Commission’s report or watch the video, we have recently seen modest indications that information from outside is becoming more available in North Korea.

It is still illegal to own a tunable radio that permits anything other than state-controlled information channels. However, the latest Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) study, a survey of 350 North Korean refugees and travelers who were interviewed outside of North Korea, found that:

• As many as 35 percent of them had listened to foreign radio broadcasts while inside North Korea.

• Foreign DVDs are now being seen by even larger numbers—approximately 85 percent of those interviewed had seen foreign (South Korean) DVDs in North Korea.

• Additionally, some two million cell phones now permit North Koreans to at least communicate with each other on a domestic network, according to open source reports.

Given the closed nature of North Korean society, international media are among the most effective means of sharing information about the outside world with residents of the country. Our government is a strong supporter of getting broadcasting of independent information about the outside world into North Korea. Thank you for continuing Congressional support for Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA). These efforts are important in breaking down the information barrier that the DPRK government has imposed on its own people.

Together with our partners in the international community, we must make clear to the DPRK that its egregious human rights violations prevent economic progress and weaken the regime. The United States has long made clear that we are open to improved relations with North Korea if it is willing to take concrete actions to live up to its international obligations and commitments.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to emphasize here that one of the highest priorities for the United States is the welfare and safety of American citizens abroad. The United States remains deeply concerned about the three U.S. citizens currently held by the DPRK. We have repeatedly requested that the DPRK grant them amnesty and release them so they may return to their families, and we will continue to do everything we can to secure their release.

The world will not, and cannot, close its eyes to what is happening in North Korea. Ultimately, we will judge the North not by its words, but by its actions. It needs to refrain from actions that threaten the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and comply with its international obligations under UN Security Council resolutions to abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear programs, among other things.

We have consistently told the DPRK that while the United States remains open to meaningful engagement, North Korea must take concrete steps to address the core concerns of the international community, from the DPRK’s nuclear program to its human rights violations.

Just as importantly, North Korea will also have to address its egregious human rights record. North Korea’s choice is clear. Investment in its people, respect for human rights, and concrete steps toward denuclearization can lead to a path of peace, prosperity, and improved relations with the international community, including the United States. Absent these measures, North Korea will only continue to face greater and greater isolation—as well as pressure from the international community.

East Asia and the Pacific: U.S. Policy Towards North Korea

As Prepared

Chairman Chabot, Representative Bera, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting my colleague Ambassador Robert King and me to testify today on U.S. policy toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The DPRK government continues to make choices contrary to the interests of its people, its neighbors, and the world community. It flagrantly violates its obligations through its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, posing a growing threat to the United States, our friends and allies in the region, and the global nonproliferation regime. It devotes scarce resources to its illicit weapons programs to its massive standing army, and to elaborate vanity projects for a privileged elite – all while the vast majority of North Korea’s nearly 25 million people continue to suffer. More troubling, a UN Commission of Inquiry has concluded that in many instances, the violations it found the DPRK regime to have committed over decades constitute crimes against humanity. And in the last year, the DPRK has repeatedly threatened the United States, and its neighbors, the Republic of Korea and Japan. It is increasingly a global outlier in every sense.

We have no illusions about the nature of the regime, nor its intentions. We have refused to respond to DPRK provocations with concessions. North Korean has obtained no benefits from its bad behavior. Instead, we have tightened sanctions and consistently underscored to the DPRK that neither its occasional and tentative “charm” offensives nor its more frequent periods of aggressive behavior will lead us or the international community to accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. As we seek the negotiated complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea, we know we must keep pressure on Pyongyang or it will not give up the weapons it claims it needs. That is why our policy mix includes sanctions and traditional deterrence measures. In short, ours is a comprehensive approach that seeks to denuclearize North Korea through diplomacy while ensuring deterrence of the North Korean threat.

Diplomacy

We seek a solution to the North Korea nuclear challenge through peaceful, persistent, multilateral diplomacy. The United States has offered — and continues to offer — Pyongyang an improved bilateral relationship provided it takes action to demonstrate a willingness to fulfill its denuclearization commitments and address other important concerns which are also, we believe, shared by the international community. We have consistently signaled to the DPRK that the door for meaningful engagement is open while applying unilateral and multilateral pressure to steer it toward that door. Our policy has followed this dual-track approach: we are open to engagement when possible, but will continue to apply pressure as needed. Both elements are critical to sharpening Pyongyang’s choices, demonstrating to the international community the seriousness of our commitment to a negotiated settlement of this issue, and building multilateral support for the various pressure and deterrence actions we take.

Regrettably, the DPRK has consistently rebuffed offers for authentic and credible negotiations and instead responded with a series of provocations that have drawn widespread international condemnation and increased its isolation. In just the past few weeks alone, the DPRK has conducted seven Scud-class ballistic missiles launches in direct violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. These followed short- and medium-range ballistic missile launches earlier this spring, which Pyongyang punctuated on March 30 with threats to conduct additional longer-range launches and possibly a “new type” of nuclear test.

The DPRK says it is ready for “talks without preconditions.” No codebook is needed to decipher North Korea’s intention: seek open-ended discussion that diverts attention away from its nuclear program and to avoid committing to denuclearization. Pyongyang has been explicit on this point: it seeks acceptance as a nuclear weapons state. It wants to use Six-Party talks, as it has in the past, as cover to continue its clandestine weapons development. We are not interested in Six-Party talks that do not focus directly on steps to implement, as a first and primary order of business, North Korea’s September 2005 promise to denuclearize.

As a tactical matter, Pyongyang is asserting that the annual ROK-U.S. Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military exercises, which in 2014 will include representatives of ten United Nations’ sending states, are a casus belli. It seeks to portray these routine, defensive, and transparent drills, which have helped ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula for some 40 years, as a pretext for its provocative behavior and its weapons programs. Meanwhile, North Korea maintains —and frequently exercises — its own million-plus standing military, the largest per capita armed force in the world.

Six Party Diplomacy

The Six-Party Talks have regrettably been dormant since the DPRK walked out and declared the process “dead” in 2008. North Korea’s 2009 Taepo Dong-2 launch and nuclear test then undermined the modest progress that had been made pursuant to the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Since then, robust diplomatic interaction with the other four parties strengthened five-party unity on the end goal of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. As a result, Pyongyang hears a uniform and clear message from all five parties, strongly echoed by the international community, that it will not be accepted as a nuclear power, that it must live up to its denuclearization obligations, and that authentic and credible negotiations must be marked by concrete denuclearization steps.

On this point it is important to be clear. None of the Five Parties insists North Korea denuclearize before returning to the negotiating table. But we have underscored we need to see an early and demonstrable commitment by the DPRK to denuclearize. This means the onus is on North Korea to take meaningful actions toward denuclearization and refrain from provocations.

Despite the DPRK’s recidivism over the last half-decade, we remain committed to authentic and credible negotiations to implement the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and to bring North Korea into compliance with its international obligations through irreversible steps leading to denuclearization. But we will not engage in talks for the sake of talks and we will not compensate North Korea for the temporary absence of bad behavior. A resumption of Six-Party Talks makes sense if, and only if, there is plausible reason to believe that North Korea is prepared to negotiate seriously. North Korea knows this, but we have not yet seen signs that Pyongyang is prepared to meet its commitments and obligations to achieve the core goal of the September 2005 Joint Statement: the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

Inter-Korean Relations

The Republic of Korea is firmly at the center of our diplomatic efforts. There is no daylight between Washington and Seoul on the issue of what we expect from North Korea. As President Obama emphasized during his public remarks in Seoul in April, the United States supports President Park’s vision and desire for peaceful, progressive unification, as outlined in her March speech in Dresden, Germany. We hope to see Pyongyang take up President Park on her offer of an improved inter-Korean relationship. The DPRK — and the region — only stand to gain from embracing her principled vision.

The Role of China

Although we believe that there is more China can do in terms of bringing necessary pressure to bear on North Korea so that it concludes it has no choice but to denuclearize, Beijing has done a great deal. As North Korea’s last remaining patron, the PRC has a critical, indeed unique, role to play in addressing the North Korean nuclear challenge.

That is why North Korea remains at the top of our bilateral agenda with China, and why it figured prominently in Secretary Kerry’s discussions in Beijing in early July at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. We welcome the steps the PRC has taken to signal its opposition to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, including through its stated commitment to fully implement UN Security Council sanctions concerning North Korea. China voted in favor of two new rounds of UNSC sanctions and in September last year published a 900-item control list banning the export of many dual-use items to North Korea.

The United States and China share an interest in the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea. Beijing agrees with us on what North Korea needs to do – we have had the “what” of denuclearization nailed down since we negotiated the September 2005 Joint Statement. We are therefore now focused on coming to agreement on the “how” and the “when” of denuclearization. Can China do more to exercise its unique levers of influence over Pyongyang? Of course. And we remain in close touch with Beijing about ways we can work together to bring the DPRK to the realization that it has no other viable choice but to denuclearize.

Sanctions

We have no misconceptions about North Korea’s willingness to give up its arsenal voluntarily. All of North Korea’s actions over the past few years, from its nuclear tests to the amendment of its constitution to declare itself a nuclear state, signal that it has no interest in denuclearizing. We take this threat seriously, and remain ironclad in our commitment to the defense of our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan. Together with our allies and partners, we are working to shift Pyongyang’s calculus from believing that a nuclear program is necessary for regime survival to understanding that such a program is incompatible with its national interests.

To do that, we continue to use the multilateral and other tools at our disposal to increase the cost of North Korea’s illicit activities, to reduce resources earned through weapons exports that are subsequently reinvested in the WMD program, and to sharpen Pyongyang’s choices. Over the past two years, we have substantially upped the cost of these activities — particularly its proliferation and weapons sales abroad — by tightening the web of sanctions around the DPRK. We continue to work with a range of partners across the international community to improve implementation of UN Security Council sanctions, particularly those that target the illicit activities of the North’s diplomatic personnel and cash couriers, its banking relationships, and its procurement of dual-use items for its WMD and missile programs.

Full and transparent implementation of these resolutions by all UN member states, including China, is critical. We are working closely with the UN Security Council’s DPRK sanctions committee and its Panel of Experts, like-minded partners, and others around the globe to harmonize our sanctions programs and to ensure the full and transparent implementation of UNSCRs 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094, which remain the heart of the multilateral sanctions regime. As a result, we have seen greater actions taken by Member States to prevent illicit North Korea trade in arms, WMD-related material and luxury goods, most notably with the seizure by Panama of a substantial amount of military gear on the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang. The Panel’s annual report documented in further detail the numerous actions that States have taken to enforce UN sanctions and prevent further DPRK proliferation. It is clear that UN sanctions are having an effect and are diminishing North Korea’s ability to profit from its illicit activities.

The United States has expanded outreach to countries that have diplomatic or trade relations with North Korea to press them not to engage in military, WMD or other illicit activities banned by UN resolutions and U.S sanctions. Burma’s announcement that it would end its military relationship with North Korea and comply with the UN resolutions is the best example of these efforts, which will continue. We have also designated a number of key proliferators — and the banks and other front companies that support them — pursuant to our domestic sanctions authorities. The United States will continue to take steps to strengthen and bolster the existing sanctions regime, both through work in the UN context and through our own national measures.

Deterrence

The U.S.-ROK alliance, having celebrated its 60th anniversary, is stronger than ever. From our day-to-day combined efforts to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula, though our Combined Forces Command, to the counter-provocation and counter-missile planning our Department of Defense and Joint Staff colleagues engage in with their South Korean counterparts, we send a strong deterrence signal to North Korea that the security it is seeking is not to be found in nuclear weapons.

Our growing U.S.-ROK-Japan trilateral security cooperation also sends a powerful message of deterrence to Pyongyang, as seen most recently in our trilateral Search and Rescue Exercises, our July 1 Chiefs of Defense meeting between Chairman Dempsey and his counterparts in Seoul and Tokyo, the June 1 trilateral defense ministerial led by Secretary Hagel at the Shangri La dialogue, and my own periodic discussions with my able Korean and Japan counterparts. Other measures we have taken in the region to strengthen bilateral and trilateral missile defense cooperation are also inextricably tied to our larger diplomatic strategy of building and maintaining a strong diplomatic consensus opposed to a nuclear North Korea.

Human Rights

While denuclearization remains an essential focus of U.S. policy, so too, is the welfare of North Korea’s nearly 25 million people, the vast majority of whom bear the brunt of their government’s decision to perpetuate an unsustainable, self-impoverishing, military-first policy. As the UN Commission of Inquiry concluded in its impressive and sobering final report published this February, systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the DPRK, its institutions, and its officials.

I defer to my colleague, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King, to brief you on our policy on North Korean human rights. Ambassador King’s energetic and inspired efforts for over three years have demonstrated that the human rights issue remains a top priority and constant focus of the United States. He — and we — will continue to make clear to Pyongyang and the rest of the international community that U.S.-DPRK relations cannot fundamentally improve without progress on the human rights issue.

The U.S. government is deeply concerned about the well-being of the people of North Korea. We commend the non-governmental organizations and their staffs of skilled, tough-minded, and principled men and women who work with ordinary North Koreans at the grass-roots level to improve conditions for those who are not members of the elite, residing in relative comfort on Pyongyang. These men and women work tirelessly to feed, care for, and otherwise help sustain the ninety percent of North Koreans left to their own devices by the regime.

UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to begin this work.

The Importance of Protecting American Citizens

The State Department makes clear in its DPRK travel warning that foreign visitors may be arrested, detained, or expelled for activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea. The list of serious transgressions is long. It includes involvement in religious or political activities unsanctioned by the DPRK regime, unauthorized travel, and unauthorized interaction with the local population. Given the serious risks involved, we strongly recommend against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea.

Despite the risks, a number of tour operators — mainly run out of Beijing by Westerners — organize highly-regimented trips to North Korea, principally to Pyongyang. Let me make this clear: tour operators cannot protect our citizens. We ask U.S. citizens contemplating travel to North Korea to understand the consequences of their decision.

Three U.S. citizens are, today, being held by the DPRK regime. We have no higher priority than the health and well-being of American citizens. We are doing all we can to seek their release so they may reunite with their families. Their continued detention also constitutes a serious impediment to improved U.S.-DPRK relations; it frankly renders disingenuous Pyongyang’s assertion it wants a better relationship with the Unites States. Our thoughts are with our fellow citizens, and we will continue to advocate for their freedom — day in and day out — until we succeed. We remain grateful for Congress’ steadfast support in these efforts.

Conclusion

Ultimately, Mr. Chairman, our policy aims to bring the DPRK to the realization that it must take the steps necessary to end its isolation, respect the human rights of its own people, honor its past commitments, and comply with its international obligations. Each outrageous act North Korea commits, discredits the DPRK’s self-serving assertion that it is driven to act belligerently by others’ hostility. It is increasingly clear that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles to prolong the Kim regime and obtain material and political benefits from the international community. By creating a strategic challenge to the United States, the DPRK hopes to strengthen its narrative that the U.S. is responsible for North Korea’s bad behavior and uniquely on the hook to mitigate it. It is not. North Korea is responsible for North Korean actions, and resolving the DPRK nuclear problem is a multilateral task, just as the DPRK’s original aggression against the South was met with a strong response from the United Nations. Standing up to North Korea requires a sustained and concerted effort by all of the countries in the Six-Party process, and indeed the entire international community.

The DPRK leadership in Pyongyang faces ever-sharper choices. North Korea will not achieve security, economic prosperity, and integration into the international community while pursuing nuclear weapons, threatening its neighbors, trampling on international norms, abusing its own people, and refusing to fulfill its longstanding obligations and commitments.

Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.