Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero to Travel to India, Bhutan, and Nepal February 8-14, 2011

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 7, 2011

Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero will travel to southern India and New Delhi from February 8 to 11 to discuss bilateral coordination on global issues, visit Tibetan refugee settlements, explore cooperation to strengthen elections organizations in third countries and consult on regional disaster management. She will hold bilateral meetings with senior government officials while in New Delhi.

Following her visit to India, Under Secretary Otero will travel to Bhutan from February 11 to 12 to discuss global issues as well as the protracted situation of the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. She is the most senior Obama Administration official to visit Bhutan  and will participate in bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Jigme Thinley and other senior officials. She also will meet with civil society leaders.

In her final stop, Under Secretary Otero will visit Kathmandu, Nepal, February 12 to 14, where she will address the Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium entitled “Be Aware, Be Prepared: Implementing lessons learned from other earthquakes.” The purpose of the event, which is hosted by the Government of Nepal in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy and the United Nations, is to raise awareness among key decision-makers of Nepal’s vulnerability to a catastrophic earthquake; demonstrate the commitment of the Government of Nepal and the international community to disaster risk reduction, and review lessons learned from recent disasters to inform policy and planning in Nepal. She will also hold meetings with senior Nepalese officials and civil society representatives and engage on Tibetan refugee and trafficking in persons issues.

As Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero oversees the bureaus of Population, Refugees and Migration; Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; and the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor. She also serves as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

PRN: 2011/175