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[PROFILE] Sichan Siv - Ambassador and Civil Rights Activist

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  • madchinaman
    SICHAN SIV Public Member of the U.S. Delegation http://www.humanrights-usa.net/bios/siv.html Sichan Siv is Senior Adviser to the International Republican
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2003
      SICHAN SIV
      Public Member of the U.S. Delegation
      http://www.humanrights-usa.net/bios/siv.html

      Sichan Siv is Senior Adviser to the International Republican
      Institute. From 1993 till his current position, he was managing
      director of the investment bank Commonwealth Associates, financial
      advisor at Prudential Securities, and managing director of Hayes &Co.

      From 1989 to 1993 Mr. Siv served in the Bush Administration as
      Deputy Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Deputy
      Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.

      From 1977 to 1989 Mr. Siv held various positions in human services,
      international development, and government relations, including Asia-
      Pacific manager at the Institute of International Education and
      adviser to the Cambodian Delegation to the U .N. He escaped to
      Thailand from Cambodia in February 1976, after having been in forced
      labor camps for one year, during which he was twice marked for
      death. In June he was resettled as a refugee in Wallingford,
      Connecticut. In Cambodia, from 1969 to 1975, he had been a flight
      attendant for Royal Air Cambodge, a high school teacher, and a
      program associate at CARE.

      Mr. Siv was a Colombo Plan Scholar at the Teachers' Training College
      of Singapore and was graduated from the University of Phnom Penh
      (Bachelier en Droit, Diplome du Professorat, Licence es Lettres). He
      holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University,
      where he was a Maguire Scholar and International Fellow. Mr. Siv was
      born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and is married to the former Martha
      Pattillo of Pampa, Texas. They reside in Washington, DC.

      =================

      Ambassador Sichan Siv
      http://www.un.int/usa/ss_bio.htm

      Sichan Siv was nominated by President George W. Bush in October
      2001 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Representative
      to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
      Ambassador Siv was a delegate to the 57th U.N. Commission on Human
      Rights. From 1989 to 1993, during the Administration of the 41st
      President, George Bush, he served as Deputy Assistant to the
      President for Public Liaison and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
      for South Asian Affairs.

      =============

      Sichan Siv
      Managing Director, ICG Consulting
      http://www.apaics.org/apa/profiles_sichan_siv.html

      In 1976, Sichan Siv began planning his escape from Khmer Rouge-
      controlled Cambodia. He escaped to Thailand after having been in
      forced labor camps for one year, during which he was twice marked
      for death. Later resettled in Wallingford, Conneticut as a refugee,
      Siv held various positions as a high school teacher, flight
      attendant, and a Manhattan taxi driver. Overcoming adversity, he
      graduated from Columbia University with a Master of International
      Affairs, where he was a Maguire scholar and an International fellow.
      Siv went on to work as adviser to the Cambodian Mission to the
      United Nations until 1989. He then served the Bush administration as
      Deputy Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Deputy
      Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, from 1989-
      1993. Siv is presently Managing Director of ICG Consulting


      Ambassador Siv holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia
      University.

      He was born in Cambodia and was resettled as a refugee in
      Wallingford, Connecticut in 1976. He is married to the former
      Martha Pattillo of Pampa, Texas.

      ===============

      Sichan Siv
      http://www.georgebushfoundation.org/bush/html/EndowedLectures/BioSich
      anSiv.htm

      Sichan Siv is Senior Adviser to the International Republican
      Institute. From 1993 until his current position, he was managing
      director of the investment bank Commonwealth Associates, financial
      advisor at Prudential Securities, and managing director of ICG
      Consulting.

      From 1989 to 1993 Mr. Siv served in the Bush Administration as
      Deputy Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Deputy
      Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.

      From 1977 to 1989 Mr. Siv held various positions in human services,
      international development, and government relations, including Asia-
      Pacific manager at the Institute of International Education and
      adviser to the Cambodian Mission to the U.N. He escaped to Thailand
      from Cambodia in February 1976, after having been in forced labor
      camps for one year, during which he was twice marked for death. In
      June he was resettled as a refugee in Wallingford, Connecticut. In
      Cambodia, from 1969 to 1975, he had been a flight attendant for
      Royal Air Cambodge, a high school teacher, and a program associate
      at CARE.

      Mr. Siv was a Colombo Plan Scholar at the Teachers' Training College
      of Singapore and was graduated from the University of Phnom Penh
      (Bachelier en Droit, Diplome du Professorat, Licence es Lettres). He
      holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University,
      where he was a Maguire Scholar and International Fellow. Mr. Siv was
      born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and is married to the former Martha
      Pattillo of Pampa, Texas. They reside in Washington, DC.

      ==============

      The United Nations Today: A Personal Perspective
      Asia Society Washington Center
      Ambassador Sichan Siv
      Washington D.C., January 10, 2003
      http://www.asiasociety.org/speeches/siv.html

      Thank you very much Joe (Snyder) for that kind introduction.
      Congratulations on your new role as Director of the Asia Society
      Washington Center. I cannot think of any one more deserving and
      better equipped to take on this important responsibility.

      Happy 2003 to everyone! The Year of the Sheep will begin at the end
      of this month for Chinese, and on April 13 for Cambodians, Thais,
      and others. That's the day when Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743.
      He remains the only President of the United States whose birthday is
      celebrated by Theravada Buddhists.

      I salute Joe Snyder's decision to start a new Asian American
      Speakers Series in Washington. Programs like this, which highlight
      the contributions of our great nation's ethnic groups, underscore
      the very foundation of diversity upon which America was built: E
      Pluribus Unum. I am very honored to be the first speaker of the
      series.

      President Bush has appointed some 100 Americans of Asian ancestry
      (AAA) to his administration. The 19 Senate confirmed positions
      include two Cabinet members: Secretaries of Labor Elaine Chao and
      Transportation Norm Mineta.

      Here, we have Sam Mok, Assistant Secretary of Labor. As Chief
      Financial Officer, he has to find ways to spend $55 billion and
      account for every penny of it. The level and number of Americans of
      Asian ancestry (AAA) in the Bush Administration are history and
      record setting, higher than all previous administrations combined.

      Twenty-six years ago this month, I moved to New York. I had arrived
      in Connecticut in June 1976 to start my new life as a free man.
      After picking apples and washing dishes for seven months, I decided
      to do something different. In January 1977, while standing at a
      Manhattan street corner, I saw yellow Checkers with "Drivers Wanted"
      signs. I called and was told to go and take a test. It was the most
      difficult test I have ever taken in my life.

      There was a series of questions, mainly about directions. One
      asked: "How do you get from the Waldorf Astoria to the United
      Nations?" I had no idea where these places were, much less how to
      get from one to another.

      I probably checked the box that said "Cross the Hudson River to New
      Jersey and take the Turnpike south." I may have answered all the
      questions wrong. At the end, I showed the test to the examiner.
      While waiting for the verdict, my heart was pumping faster and
      faster.

      My rating officer glanced at the piece of paper, and he looked at me
      from head to toe, again, and again. Finally, he said: "You passed!"

      Today, it is my privilege to represent the United States at the
      United Nations, under the leadership of Ambassador John Negroponte.
      We have five ambassadors there, three less than the Dominican
      Republic. John Negroponte is one of the smartest people I have ever
      met. He is so bright, yet so low key. He is always calm, which makes
      me wonder if, in his previous life, he had been a Buddhist monk.

      Every year, the President selects three ordinary citizens to serve
      as public delegates. We always benefit from their wisdom and varied
      perspectives. At the 57th Session of the General Assembly, South
      Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida are represented. Jim Shinn of the
      Garden State is with us today.

      The U.S. delegation also draws strength from the experience of Area
      Advisers, who distinguished themselves with particular regional
      expertise. I am pleased that Ambassadors Joan Plaisted, Bill Marsh,
      and Charlie Twining can join us. Will you all please stand up to be
      recognized?

      Last year, I had the opportunity to oversee the U.S. Mission's work
      at the International Conference on Financing for Development in
      Monterrey, the Second World Assembly on Aging in Madrid, the U.N.
      General Assembly Special Session on Children in New York, and the
      World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. We also had
      the privilege of hosting Mrs. Laura Bush in March, when she was the
      keynote speaker at the U.N. International Day of Women.

      During this 57th Session, U.S. policy objectives focus on five
      areas: international counter-terrorism cooperation, support for U.S.
      led efforts to promote Middle East peace, new partnership between
      developed and developing countries (with emphasis on Africa), a more
      efficient and effective United Nations, and greater respect for
      human rights and support for democracy.

      First, let me explain how relevant the U.N. is to some of the
      highest foreign policy and national security interests of the U.S.
      These are the war against terror, the search for peace in the Middle
      East, the imperative that we keep weapons of mass destruction out of
      the wrong hands, as well as the President's compact for global
      development, with a new accountability for both rich and poor
      nations.

      It is important to understand the relationship that exists between
      the United States and the United Nations. Some have said that under
      President Bush, America has become unilateralist. This is not the
      case, and represents a misunderstanding of our philosophy. In truth,
      some issues require creative diplomacy.

      While the U.N. is often one avenue, U.S. national interests and
      values may require that we be selective and set priorities for what
      we address at the U.N. In fact, the wisest use of our representation
      often is to complement, or reinforce, initiatives taken elsewhere.

      One of our priories is the Middle East. I do not need to retrace the
      history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people,
      nor do I need to restate in detail the well-known elements of
      President Bush's policy: the United States supports Israel, and the
      vision of Israel and Palestine living in peace and security side-by-
      side. Ultimately, Israel and the Palestinians will have to make
      peace on terms that each accepts.

      The tremendous shock of September 11th put the U.N. and the world in
      a different time-scale. Everyone knew right then that global
      terrorism had to be stopped. However, President Bush's cautionary
      remarks that the war against terror will not end on a given day must
      be kept in mind.

      The U.N. response to "Nine Eleven" supports U.S. and our allies'
      efforts in the war on terrorism. The Security Council passed
      Resolution 1373, which requires all member countries to investigate
      and report to the Security Council loopholes within their domestic,
      legal, and regulatory systems, which terrorists might exploit to
      move money and operatives within or across their borders.

      This serves America's interests. As President Bush has repeatedly
      said, "Terrorism cannot function without money. That's why the front
      organizations that raise terrorist money, the financial institutions
      that convey it, and the entities that hide it have to be shut down."

      Compliance with international law must be enforced. Iraq is a case
      in point. For years now, the U.N. has been confronted by its refusal
      to comply with obligations. Here again a settled matter of
      international consensus must and will be defended.

      Saddam Hussein's Iraq remains a menace to international peace and
      stability, to its neighbors, and to the Iraqi people. The Baghdad
      regime must comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions,
      fully declaring and destroying its prohibited weapons of mass
      destruction, and dismantling its programs.

      The Middle East, global terrorism, and Iraq's efforts to develop
      weapons of mass destruction are elements of the U.S. agenda at the
      U.N. designed to promote peace, prevent crimes and violence, and
      thwart attempts to generate war.

      In economic matters, America is committed to working with the U.N.
      to assist countries in their development. As President Bush said on
      the eve of the U.N. Conference on Financing for Development last
      March: "The growing divide between wealth and poverty, between
      opportunity and misery, is both a challenge to our compassion and a
      source of instability.

      We must confront it. We must include every African, every Asian,
      every Latin American, every Muslim in an expanding circle of
      development." To do this, the President proposed that we follow
      Lincoln's advice and "think anew." Foreign assistance programs need
      reforms; too little has been accomplished despite all that has been
      spent.

      He challenged donor and recipient countries alike to accept a
      linkage between increased aid flows and demonstrable commitments to
      good governance, the health and education of the poorest (especially
      women and children), and sound economic policies that foster
      enterprise and entrepreneurship.

      Human rights is a cornerstone of our foreign policy. In March 2001,
      President Bush appointed me as a delegate to the 57th U.N.
      Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. There, I condemned the Taliban
      destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamian as "cultural terrorism."

      We have spoken and continue to speak out on country specific issues.
      Since the time that Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the Commission in its
      early years, America remains the strongest voice in support of human
      rights everywhere.

      There can be no success in diplomacy without a commitment to the
      belief that there are ways to harmonize international interests,
      that tragedies can be averted, and that noble ideals can be honored.
      If anything, the hallmark of the United Nations has been its long-
      standing commitment to the rights of all mankind to live in
      tranquility and brotherhood. There is a bond of shared beliefs in
      the U.S. Constitution, the U. N. Charter and the Universal
      Declaration of Human Rights, that speaks to the individual rights of
      mankind and nations to live in peace.

      We are pursuing a broad agenda at the U.N. Yet, we are trying to
      focus our efforts on the issues of greatest significance to U.S.
      interests and values. It is not possible to do everything at once.
      Nor is it possible to resolve tragic conflicts overnight.

      In my opinion, diplomacy nowadays is no longer charm, champagne, and
      chandeliers. It is more the ability to convince and convert.
      Patience is a great virtue in the conduct of foreign policy. One
      must be patient, one must be practical, and one must be persistent.

      Neither lasting peace nor lasting prosperity can be achieved any
      other way. At the United Nations, each time I walk in, they look at
      me. Through me, they see America. They see its opportunities and its
      promises. They want to know what I have to say. The place suddenly
      becomes quiet the minute they hear: "On behalf of the United
      States..." That is my proudest moment!

      Thank you very much.

      During Q&A, the following issues were discussed: Khmer Rouge
      tribunal, Saddam Hussein & Iraq, U.S. arrears, UNFPA funding, North
      Korea nuclear threat, food crisis in southern Africa, HIV/AIDS,
      Afghanistan, religious freedom, refugee issues, World Food Program,
      U.S. leadership in U.N. humanitarian assistance programs, ECOSOC
      priorities in 2003.
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