Ag groups seek confirmation of U.S.-Mexico ambassador

img ]

A coalition of 33 U.S. food and agriculture industry members called for the prompt confirmation of the Honorable Kenneth Salazar to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. In a letter sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the groups site Salazar’s proven statesmanship and keen insights into the long, rich and complex relationship between the United States and Mexico.

The letter acknowledges the many significant challenges regarding labor, migration, and trade, and notes that Senator Salazar’s skills will strengthen the two countries’ important bilateral relationship.

“NAFTA has yielded strong benefits to both countries and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement promises to build upon those gains,” the letter notes. “However, issues regarding labor, migration and trade related policies face significant challenges.”

“We applaud President Biden’s nomination of Senator Salazar to fill the critical ambassadorial role to Mexico and respectfully recommend his prompt confirmation,” says John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. “Mexico is one of America’s most important food and agriculture trade partners, and Senator Salazar’s unique qualifications and leadership background will strengthen our bilateral relationship even further.”

Together, the group of associations represent much of the food and agriculture sector that is responsible for roughly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, directly supporting more than 20 million jobs - constituting more than 13% of total U.S. employment. As a net producing nation of food and agriculture products, foreign markets are critical to the economic vitality of the food and agriculture sector.

Signing onto the letter includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Grain and Feed Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, CropLife America, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association and others.

CIS a dominant presence at Ambassador for a Day event

img ]

In connection with International Women’s Day, the British Embassy hosted the winners of its ‘Ambassador for a Day 2021’ competition on June 16.

A total of 17 girls aged 14-17 were selected from across the country and paired up with women ambassadors serving their countries in Denmark.

The theme was ‘Think Global, Live Local’ and the winners were asked to write an essay about what positive difference they would like to contribute to in their own communities.

CIS: A tour de force

The select group of winners included no less than eight girls proudly representing Copenhagen International School.

The eight CIS students who participated in the initiative were: Alice Meregalli, Anwita Karanth, Beatriz Silva, Ebba Wiklund, Freya Constable, Nour Makhlof, Marie Anna Storch, and Tarang Dalela.

Words of wisdom

Dalela was paired up with Norwegian Ambassador to Denmark, Aud Kolberg, who was quick to hand out some golden nuggets of leadership to her young protege.

“As a young woman entering the workforce, my main advice is to be positive and take the challenges and opportunities you can get,” Kolberg said.

“Say yes! Show that you are willing and that you want to learn. No one expects you to be perfect, but they do want somebody who is willing to stretch, to learn and finally grow into a leadership position.”

Following the event, Dalela sat down with CPH POST to shed some light on how the process was for her and what she hopes to achieve by taking part.

How did you learn about the Ambassador for a Day competition?

I first got to know about the competition from my school, when the principal sent out an email regarding it. I initially became interested by reading the title – ‘Ambassador for a Day’. I was curious as to what it would entail: signing papers all day, shadowing an Ambassador, getting training. I went to their website, and saw that they were offering to partner with the winners, for a joint project/activity in an area of the winner’s choosing.

What inspired you to take part in this initiative?

There was an opportunity to meet the Ambassador of the UK, other female ambassadors, and business and civil society leaders. I decided that I must participate. The prospect of being able to create awareness about the under-representation of women in the Tech industry, especially in leadership roles, has been something I feel passionately about, and this opportunity would make it tangible.

What do you hope to learn from this experience?

From this experience, I would like to learn more about leadership, and the skills needed to become a successful leader. I am hoping that I would be able to effectively convey my message across to people, and make them aware about the vast gender disparity in many industries, especially the Tech sector, which has phenomenally grown in the recent years.

Do you see yourself as having a future within diplomacy?

At this point of time, I am not sure if I would like to become a diplomat, but I would definitely like to be in a leadership position in my future work. I think that this program/experience will provide me with the relevant skill-set and mindset to become a successful leader.

Myanmar’s Junta Tries – and Fails – to Appoint a New UN Ambassador

img ]


Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Myanmar’s military junta has attempted – unsuccessfully – to replace the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, foreshadowing a looming battle over diplomatic recognition at the world body.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres dated May 12, a copy of which was obtained by the news agency, the junta’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said he had appointed the former military commander Aung Thurein as Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador.

Wunna Maung Lwin said in an accompanying letter that Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s currently recognized U.N. ambassador, “has been terminated on Feb. 27, 2021, due to abuses of his assigned duty and mandate.”

Shortly after the February 1 coup that brought the military back to direct rule, Kyaw Moe Tun gave an emotional address to the U.N. General Assembly, in which he publicly broke with the junta and appealed for “the strongest possible action from the international community” to restore democracy to the country.

He also urged all countries to refuse to recognize the military regime, a call that has also been echoed by human rights groups and senior U.N. officials including Christine Schraner Burgener, the secretary-general’s special envoy for Myanmar.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

The day after Kyaw Moe Tun speech, later described by diplomats as “brave” and “courageous,” Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing’s military administration fired the ambassador from his post, appointing his deputy in his place. But Kyaw Moe Tun refused to leave, and the AP reports that there has been no reported action on the foreign minister’s letter from May. Under the U.N.’s rules, delegations whose credentials have been challenged “retain all their rights until, and unless, they are revoked by a [General Assembly] decision.”

While the U.N.’s rules have allowed Kyaw Moe Tun to remain in his post, a contrasting situation has played out in London, where Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Kyaw Zwar Minn, who also pledged loyalty to the ousted government, was hurled into limbo after being locked out of the London embassy building by his deputy and the country’s military attache in April.

Diplomat Brief Weekly Newsletter N Get briefed on the story of the week, and developing stories to watch across the Asia-Pacific. Get the Newsletter

While the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the “bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime,” the U.K. government has since accepted the change. It has done so because of established diplomatic norms: according to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, an ambassador’s job officially ends once the host country has been informed. The U.K. Foreign Office confirmed it had received such a notification, and said that it “must accept the decision taken by the Myanmar regime.”


However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, which has been forthright in its condemnation of the coup and has imposed a raft of sanctions on senior members of the regime, remains mum on whether it has accredited the junta’s chosen replacement as ambassador, the former fighter pilot Htun Aung Kyaw.

The issue was raised in Parliament on July 19, in a written question from Stephen Kinnock, shadow minister for foreign and commonwealth affairs, who asked whether the government has accredited Htun Aung Kyaw. Nigel Adams, the minister of state for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, refused to provide any details, saying “we do not discuss the details of accreditation requests in specific cases.”

As James Landale, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, noted in April, the situation presents a dilemma for the British government. By accepting that Kyaw Zwar Minn has been sacked as ambassador, as it is bound to do under the Vienna Convention, “it will face accusations that it is tacitly accepting the authority of the regime in Myanmar. And this is something it does not want to do.” A similar charge would follow its acceptance of his replacement.

In addition to the conflict between established diplomatic norms and the morality of recognizing the current government, the situation also points to a deeper dilemma, which is that Western governments that oppose the coup are also unwilling to take the plunge and formally recognize the opposition National Unity Government (NUG) as Myanmar’s legitimate government.

This likely reflects the fact that the military junta, however contested by the population, is in control of the central state apparatus, while there are clear doubts as to the NUG’s ability to gain power in anything short of a grinding, years-long nationwide civil war or an outside military intervention.

In this context, there is no good practical argument (though there is certainly a moral one) for forfeiting diplomatic representation inside Myanmar, since the junta would almost certainly eject from the country any mission that recognized the NUG. This is especially the case given the humanitarian emergency that is currently unfolding due to the explosion of COVID-19, and the perhaps unavoidable need to engage, even at arm’s length, in order to provide vital aid. The best remaining option is a form of engagement with the NUG and opposition forces that sends a powerful signal, but stops short of formal recognition.

As I noted in an article in the June issue of The Diplomat magazine, these disagreements could soon be resolved – at least theoretically – at the U.N. General Assembly’s Credentials Committee, a nine-member body that is in charge of accrediting diplomats.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

The Committee is scheduled to convene for its annual meeting next month, and if Myanmar comes up (as is likely), the proceedings could be contentious: among its current members are the United States, which has voiced its strong opposition to the coup, and China and Russia, both of which have decided to recognize and work with the new military government. Whichever way the U.N. committee ends up ruling – if it ends up making a definitive ruling – it could play an important role in deciding how foreign governments choose to engage with the two warring factions in Myanmar’s seemingly intractable crisis.