22 U.S. Code § 6411 - Office on International Religious Freedom; Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

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§ 6411.
Office on International Religious Freedom; Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom
(a) Establishment of Office

There is established within the Department of State an Office on International Religious Freedom that shall be headed by the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom appointed under subsection (b).

(b) Appointment

The Ambassador at Large shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall report directly to the Secretary of State.

(c) DutiesThe Ambassador at Large shall have the following responsibilities:
(1) In generalThe primary responsibilities of the Ambassador at Large shall be to—
(A)
advance the right to freedom of religion abroad, to denounce the violation of that right, and to recommend appropriate responses by the United StatesGovernment when this right is violated; and
(B)
integrate United States international religious freedom policies and strategies into the foreign policy efforts of the United States.
(2) Advisory roleThe Ambassador at Large shall be a principal adviser to the President and the principal adviser to the Secretary of State regarding matters affecting religious freedom abroad and, with advice from the Commission on International Religious Freedom, shall make recommendations regarding—
(A)
the policies of the United StatesGovernment toward governments that violate freedom of religion or that fail to ensure the individual’s right to religious belief and practice; and
(B)
policies to advance the right to religious freedom abroad.
(3) Diplomatic representationSubject to the direction of the President and the Secretary of State, the Ambassador at Large is authorized to represent the United States in matters and cases relevant to religious freedom abroad in—
(A)
contacts with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and specialized agencies of the United Nations, the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other international organizations of which the United States is a member;
(B)
multilateral conferences and meetings relevant to religious freedom abroad; and
(C)
contacts with nongovernmental organizations that have an impact on the state of religious freedom in their respective societies or regions, or internationally.
(4) Coordination responsibilitiesIn order to promote religious freedom as an interest of United States foreign policy, the Ambassador at Large
(A)
shall coordinate international religious freedom policies across all programs, projects, and activities of the United States; and
(B)
should participate in any interagency processes on issues in which the promotion of international religious freedom policy can advance United States national security interests, including in democracy promotion, stability, security, and development globally.
(5) Reporting responsibilities

The Ambassador at Large shall have the reporting responsibilities described in section 6412 of this title.

(d) Funding

The Secretary of State shall provide the Ambassador at Large with such funds as may be necessary for the hiring of appropriate staff for the Office, including full-time equivalent positions and other temporary staff positions needed to compile, edit, and manage the Annual Report under the direct supervision of the Ambassador at Large, and for the conduct of investigations by the Office and for necessary travel to carry out this chapter. The Secretary of State should provide the Ambassador at Large with sufficient funding to carry out the duties described in this section, including, as necessary, representation funds. On the date on which the President’s annual budget request is submitted to Congress, the Secretary shall submit an annual report to the appropriate congressional committees that includes a report on staffing levels for the International Religious Freedom Office.

(Pub. L. 105–292, title I, § 101, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2791; Pub. L. 114–281, title I, § 101(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1428.)
References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (d), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 105–292, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2787, known as the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6401 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2016—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 114–281, § 101(a)(1), inserted before period at end “, and shall report directly to the Secretary of State”.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 114–281, § 101(a)(2)(A), substituted “responsibilities” for “responsibility”, inserted dash after “shall be to”, designated remainder of existing provisions as subpar. (A), substituted “; and” for period at end, and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 114–281, § 101(a)(2)(B), inserted “the principal adviser to” before “the Secretary of State” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(3)(C). Pub. L. 114–281, § 101(a)(2)(C), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (c)(4), (5). Pub. L. 114–281, § 101(a)(2)(D), (E), added par. (4) and redesignated former par. (4) as (5).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 114–281, § 101(a)(3), substituted “appropriate staff for the Office, including full-time equivalent positions and other temporary staff positions needed to compile, edit, and manage the Annual Report under the direct supervision of the Ambassador at Large, and for the conduct of investigations by the Office and for necessary travel to carry out this chapter. The Secretary of State should provide the Ambassador at Large with sufficient funding to carry out the duties described in this section, including, as necessary, representation funds. On the date on which the President’s annual budget request is submitted to Congress, the Secretary shall submit an annual report to the appropriate congressional committees that includes a report on staffing levels for the International Religious Freedom Office.” for “staff for the Office, for the conduct of investigations by the Office, and for necessary travel to carry out the provisions of this section.”

Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom

Pub. L. 113–161, Aug. 8, 2014, 128 Stat. 1855, provided that:

“SECTION 1.
SHORT TITLE.

“This Act may be cited as the ‘Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2014’.

“SEC. 2.
SPECIAL ENVOY TO PROMOTE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN THE NEAR EAST AND SOUTH CENTRAL ASIA.
“(a)Appointment.—
The President may appoint a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia (in this Act referred to as the ‘Special Envoy’) within the Department of State. The Special Envoy shall have the rank of ambassador and shall hold the office at the pleasure of the President.
“(b)Qualifications.—
The Special Envoy should be a person of recognized distinction in the field of human rights and religious freedom and with expertise in the Near East and South Central Asia.
“SEC. 3.
DUTIES.
“(a)In General.—The Special Envoy shall carry out the following duties:
“(1)
Promote the right of religious freedom of religious minorities in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia, denounce the violation of such right, and recommend appropriate responses by the United StatesGovernment when such right is violated.
“(2)
Monitor and combat acts of religious intolerance and incitement targeted against religious minorities in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia.
“(3)
Work to ensure that the unique needs of religious minority communities in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia are addressed, including the economic and security needs of such communities.
“(4)
Work with foreign governments of the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia to address laws that are discriminatory toward religious minority communities in such countries.
“(5)
Coordinate and assist in the preparation of that portion of the report required by sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151n(d) and 2304(b)) relating to the nature and extent of religious freedom of religious minorities in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia.
“(6)
Coordinate and assist in the preparation of that portion of the report required by section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6412(b)) relating to the nature and extent of religious freedom of religious minorities in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia.
“(b)Coordination.—
In carrying out the duties under subsection (a), the Special Envoy shall, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate with the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and other relevant Federal agencies and officials.
“SEC. 4.
DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION.
“Subject to the direction of the President and the Secretary of State, the Special Envoy is authorized to represent the United States in matters and cases relevant to religious freedom in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia in—
“(1)
contacts with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and specialized agencies of the United Nations, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other international organizations of which the United States is a member; and
“(2)
multilateral conferences and meetings relevant to religious freedom in the countries of the Near East and the countries of South Central Asia.
“SEC. 5.
CONSULTATIONS.

“The Special Envoy shall consult with domestic and international nongovernmental organizations and multilateral organizations and institutions, as the Special Envoy considers appropriate to fulfill the purposes of this Act.

“SEC. 6.
SUNSET.

“This Act shall cease to be effective beginning on October 1, 2019.

“SEC. 7.
FUNDING.

“Of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to the Secretary of State for ‘Diplomatic and Consular Programs’ for fiscal years 2015 through 2019, the Secretary of State is authorized to provide to the Special Envoy $1,000,000 for each such fiscal year for the hiring of staff, the conduct of investigations, and necessary travel to carry out the provisions of this Act.”

 

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