Archive for September, 2009

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations , U.S. Mission to the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York City
September 30, 2009

AMBASSADOR RICE: Good morning. It’s my great pleasure to introduce to you somebody who needs no introduction, our tremendously distinguished Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who chaired this morning a historic session of the United Nations Security Council. I’m extremely grateful for her leadership and her partnership in this and in so many other ways. And I will give her to you in just a second.
I will apologize for having to leave. I am in the middle of chairing a Council session and consultations on Guinea, and I expect to come back in my capacity as president to brief you on the results of that subsequently. The Secretary of State.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you so much, Ambassador Rice. And I want to reiterate my appreciation for your tremendous leadership here, the entire U.S.-UN mission. We thank you for presiding over the Security Council with such distinction this month and for this last week of work that you helped organize for the President, for myself, and for our Administration.
I was very honored to chair the Security Council today on an issue that is of critical importance. As I have said many times over many years, the role and rights of women in today’s world is a critical core concern of foreign policy. It is national security. Of course, it has a moral and human and social and economic dimension. But the more we know about conflicts, the more we realize that women who do not start conflicts are often the victims. But women have tremendous potential for being peacemakers and peacekeepers. So we will do more to prevent violence against women and girls, particularly sexual violence, as we focused on in the resolution today. But we will also do more to end the conflicts that have made women and children their primary victims and women have to be at the table in ending those conflicts and charting new courses for their societies. So I’m particularly grateful to the Secretary General and the Security Council for taking up this important matter.
I look forward to working to make sure that we coordinate efforts, we have mechanisms that will really produce results. This is not about duplication, this is about a commitment that will actually produce the kinds of actions that all of us know are needed. So with that, let me throw it open.
QUESTION: I want to ask you about a letter that you might have received from Foreign Minister Kouchner from France about the extradition of film director Roman Polanski, and if you did receive such a letter, the gist of what it requested.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I have not seen the letter. I have read about the letter that, I think, both Minister Kouchner and perhaps, Minister Sikorski of Poland have sent. But this is a matter that is not before me. This is a matter that is in the justice system of our government. And I will, of course, respond and answer any questions that my counterparts have, but this is a matter to be dealt with in the ordinary course of law enforcement and justice in the United States.
QUESTION: I wanted to ask you about Mr. Goldstone’s report, which was released yesterday in Geneva, and since you’ve mentioned about impunity, don’t you think the same principles should apply to the Palestinians who live in Gaza facing Israel’s actions? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. We believe that the mandate for the Goldstone report was one-sided, and that many of the recommendations are appropriately dealt with by the institutions within Israel; therefore, we believe that the appropriate venue within the international system is the Human Rights Council. We and other nations will be engaged about that, but we have grave concerns about the recommendations.
QUESTION: What role would you like members of the Colombian Supreme Court – Court of Justice in the next coming days – what are your issues regarding – or your interest regarding this meeting?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not aware that I will be personally meeting. But I believe there may well be, if there is such a meeting, others within our government, including from the State Department. We have worked very closely over many years with the Colombian Government to support the people of Colombia in their struggle against both the narco-traffickers and the drug cartels, as well as the continuing insurgency by the FARC. We are always evaluating what needs to be done. And we also offer, we hope, constructive advice whenever possible to assist the Colombian Government and the Colombian people.
Yes, yes. Yes, right there. Yeah, yeah.
QUESTION: Hello, Madame, how are you? Iran seems unwilling to step down from its position that it will not suspend enrichment of uranium. Are you – on the eve of these talks, are you at all considering any such formula to step down from your demand of suspension of uranium in order to make these talks in Geneva go forward? What is your message on the eve of these talks?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am certainly looking forward to the talks commencing in Geneva. We have made it very clear, through the P-5+1 and also through bilateral approaches to Iran, that we support what the international community has said with a unified voice. The P-5+1 statement that we issued last week here in the United Nations clearly set out the dual tracks that we are proceeding on.
On the one hand, Iran has a choice – to comply with its international obligations – and that would mean not only offering inspection, but ending its activities absent the kind of monitoring and supervision that would guarantee that what they’re doing is solely for peaceful purposes, and the alternative track, which is greater isolation and international pressure.
I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of this meeting which has not yet started, but we obviously are doing everything we can with others in the international community to make the choices to Iran very clear.
Thank you all. Thank you all very much.
QUESTION: (Off-mike.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a United Nations matter.
# # #

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As announced yesterday, Secretary Clinton acted as chair at a U.N. Security Council meeting today on the subject of violence against women and girls in conflict-related situations. Below is some video from that meeting, and the latest press release from the State Department on this event.

United Nations Security Council to Adopt Resolution to Protect Women in Conflict Situations

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 30, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will chair a United Nations Security Council Session to adopt a strong resolution to end sexual violence against women and children in conflict-related situations. The resolution, drafted by the United States, outlines actions the UN and Member States can take to help prevent conflict-related sexual violence and end impunity.

The draft resolution states that “ending impunity is essential if a society in conflict or recovering from conflict is to come to terms with past abuses committed against civilians affected by armed conflict and to prevent future such abuses.”

The measure builds on two previous Security Council resolutions, 1820 and 1325, which were instrumental in raising the issue of sexual violence in conflict-related situations onto the Security Council’s agenda.

Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, requires parties in conflict to respect women’s rights and support their participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction. Resolution 1820, adopted in 2008, establishes a clear link between maintaining international peace and security and preventing and responding to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. It committed the Security Council to considering appropriate steps to end such atrocities and to punish their perpetrators.

Conflict-related sexual violence against women and children continues in many areas around the world. Many of the survivors of sexual violence are children, particularly girls. In the Democratic Republic of Congo approximately 1,100 rapes are being reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day. In addition to these rapes and gang rapes, of which there have been hundreds of thousands over the duration of the conflict, the perpetrators frequently mutilate the women in the course of the attacks.

The United Nations Development Fund for Women reported that in Rwanda, up to half a million women were raped during the 1994 genocide. The numbers were approximately 60,000 in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s; in Sierra Leone, the number of incidents of war-related sexual violence among internally displaced women from 1991 to 2001 was approximately 64,000.
The follow-on resolution:

* Calls for the appointment of a Special Representative to lead, coordinate, and advocate efforts to end conflict-related sexual violence against women and children.
* Requests the Secretary General identify a team of experts to assist governments to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and address impunity, including through strengthening civilian and military justice systems and enhancing national capacity, responsiveness to victims and judicial capacity.
* Requests that UN peacekeeping missions provide information about the prevalence of sexual violence when reporting to the Security Council.
* Requests that UN Security Council Sanctions Committees consider patterns of sexual violence when adopting or targeting sanctions.
* Requests that the Secretary-General identify women’s protection advisors in peacekeeping operations in countries where appropriate.
* Calls for the Secretary-General to submit annual reports on the implementation of both this resolution and 1820, as well as for more systematic reporting on conflict-related sexual violence.

The Security Council’s action to adopt this resolution is part of the Obama Administration’s work to protect women and children in conflict situations. For more information on Global Women’s Issues please visit www.state.gov/.



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Hillary with Joe Today

Serious as things are, Hillary always finds a way to lighten up a little.  This picture with Joe Biden at the White House today, while the President met with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen is cute.  Hillary, lately, has managed to be in still shots that have made it appear that she was dancing.

1. Slow-dancing with Obama;

2. Square-dancing with Bill;

3. Now with Joe!

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AP Photo Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talk as President Barack Obama begins remarks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

AP Photo Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talk as President Barack Obama begins remarks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

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From the State Department:


Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 29, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will chair the United Nations Security Council Session on Wednesday, September 30, on Women, Peace and Security during which the council will vote on a resolution to address sexual violence in armed conflict. The Security Council will vote on the resolution sponsored by the United States, as a follow up to Security Council Resolution 1820, which confronts sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations. The Security Council Session begins at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the United Nations Headquarters.

During its June 2008 Security Council Presidency, the United States introduced and garnered the passage of Resolution 1820 as a follow-up to Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. The Security Council unanimously adopted UNSCR 1820 on June 19, 2008.

Washington, DC
September 29, 2009

Cross-posted at A Rose for Hillary

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Our indefatiguable and very lovely Secretary of State was right back at work early this morning meeting with the Foreign Ministers  of  Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, Armenia, H.E Edward Nalbandian, and Afghanistan, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta. She left NYC for DC and additional events this evening there where she has some meetings scheduled for tomorrow, but will return to NYC for additional UNGA activities on Wednesday.

Remarks With Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New York City
September 28, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress) we’ve developed (inaudible) openness in what is often very difficult circumstances with the many challenges that we face. Good morning. Good morning. Well, this is a special privilege and pleasure.


SECRETARY CLINTON: It represents the importance of the U.S.-Turkish partnership. And the foreign minister and I speak on a regular basis on a range of issues that are important, including energy and Turkey’s EU accession process and the normalization efforts with Armenia and the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East. There’s hardly an issue that we do not discuss.

And I very much appreciate the strong commitment that the Turkish Government has made to the Armenia normalization process, and I also am very grateful for the strong relationship that the United States and Turkey have had, which continues today.

So thank you so much, Minister, for being with us.

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. It is a great honor and privilege for me to meet with you again (inaudible). As has been described by President Obama, our relations (inaudible) model in the sense of (inaudible) both the depth and the scope of our relations, from Middle East to Central Asia, from EU to (inaudible) almost in all fields, and recently this year we are also member of United Nations Security Council (inaudible) another area of cooperation. So therefore we need to talk and consult (inaudible). We have been doing this by phone, through (inaudible) several occasions. Thank you very much again.

Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister H.E. Edward Nalbandian After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2009


SECRETARY CLINTON: I am very pleased to have this opportunity to meet with the foreign minister. He and I have talked on the phone. I have watched his very diligent and effective efforts over the last months that I’ve had the privilege of being the Secretary of State. And I want to reiterate our very strong support for the normalization process that is going on between Armenia and Turkey, which we have long said should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe.

We will continue to work closely with the foreign minister and, of course, with his president and the Government of Armenia. And we also are very committed to the democratic development of Armenia. We want to be a partner and a friend in increasing prosperity and economic development as well. So this is a comprehensive relationship. We are very focused on this challenge of normalization which Armenia has demonstrated great commitment to, yet our relationship is much broader and much deeper in addition to that.

FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN: Thank you, Madame Secretary. It’s my pleasure to meet again in the United States and to meet with you, Madame Secretary, and this is a good opportunity to discuss a wide range of the issues on our bilateral agenda and international issues and specifically in our region, Turkish-Armenian normalization (inaudible).


FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN: Thank you very much for this (inaudible).

In the pictures below, you see her with the Turkish delegation seated at the table. The handsome gent in the bilateral pictures is Dr. Spanta. We have no pictures at the moment of FM Nalbandian. Neither have we found a press release with remarks with Dr. Spanta. As these become available, we hope to add them here.

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(Thank you, Stacy of Secretary Clinton blog, for the link!)

Here is the transcript.

Interview With Harry Smith of Face the Nation

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New York, NY
September 25, 2009

MR. SMITH: Madame Secretary, thank you so much.


MR. SMITH: The President said, about this secret facility that’s been uncovered in Iran, that it is inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program. What does the United States think this secret facility is for?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we believe that it is a covert facility designed for the Iranian enrichment. It has not been disclosed, and therefore, it raises additional suspicions about the Iranian intent regarding their nuclear program and this week we had several very important developments. First, we had, in this room, a bilateral meeting with President Medvedev and President Obama. And in a very small setting where — I was there — the President talked with great specificity with President Medvedev about the dual track that we are on regarding the Iranian nuclear program, and the upcoming meeting on October 1st and opened the discussion about the information that we had concerning this facility.

MR. SMITH: So he told President Medvedev?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, yes. And what we — also saw happen later that day was an agreement by all the members of the so-called P5 + 1: the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China, all in agreement, saying that we expected answers from Iran in the October 1st meeting, and that we are working on what’s called a dual track.

We are pursuing the answers. We have made it clear to Iran that they have a right to peaceful nuclear energy for civilian purposes under appropriate safeguards and monitoring, but not to a nuclear weapons program. And if we don’t get the answers that we are expecting, and the changes in behavior that we are looking for, then we will work with our partners to move for sanctions.

MR. SMITH: You talked this summer about if — if diplomacy failed, you called the sanctions “crippling sanctions” would be in order. What would those be?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Harry, we’re exploring how you broaden and deepen sanctions. Now, sanctions are already in place. But, like many sanction regimes, they’re leaky. But in the last eight months since we’ve been dealing with North Korea on a similar set of issues, we have forged an international consensus around very tough sanctions and that’s given us some additional information about how to proceed on the Iranian front.

But this is a very serious matter. The Russians have come out with a strong statement, saying that the burden has now shifted. It has shifted to Iran. They have to come to this meeting on October 1st and present convincing evidence as to the purpose of their nuclear program. We don’t believe that they can present convincing evidence that it’s only for peaceful purposes. But we are going to put them to the test on October 1st.

MR. SMITH: They have managed to hide a nuclear weapons development system for almost 20 years. Do you suspect that this is for other peaceful purposes because they have insisted for the last half dozen years or so that the only reason that they are interested in enriching uranium is for nuclear power, for electricity?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it certainly is hard to accept that at face value. This latest incident concerning the facility at Qum, it would have been disclosed were it for peaceful purposes. There would have already been IAEA inspections.

We have been following this for several years, in cooperation with some of our international partners, watching and assessing what the Iranians were doing. And then, when this became known — actually, through the Iranians, beginning to provide some information about it — we disclosed the fact and gave the information we had to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

So, I guess one has to ask, if it’s for peaceful purposes, why was it not public? Why was the fact of it not generally known, instead of through our working with partners to discover it —

MR. SMITH: Because the IAEA guidelines basically dictate that if you’re even going to do anything like this you have to send us your plans —

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s right. That is exactly right. And of course, as you point out rightly, there have been many other actions along the way that raise similar doubts.

Now, the Iranians keep insisting, “No, no, this is just for peaceful purposes.” Well, I think. as the Russians said in their statement, and as we believe, and what this meeting on October 1st is to test is “Fine. Prove it. Don’t assert it, prove it.” And we are looking to see what they have to say.

MR. SMITH: You keep talking about the Russians, and it’s interesting, because President Medvedev almost did cartwheels once the President announced that the radar shields were not to be constructed in the Czech Republic and the missile systems weren’t to be constructed in Poland.

Do you really have — is Russia really in tune with the United States on this? Because they have made verbal statements in the past, and then when it comes time to have the rubber meet the road, so to speak, they haven’t been there. Will they really be there this time?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think Russia has begun to see many more indications that Iran is engaging in threatening behavior. Certainly these last incidents seem to confirm that. And, finally, the Russians were very supportive of our sanctions against North Korea. President Medvedev said in this room that sanctions may not be preferable, but they may be inevitable.

So, I think this is what diplomacy and engagement is about. We are doing what we think is right for the United States. The missile defense decision, the Iranian process, this is in the interest of our people, our security, our safety, and our friends’ and allies’. But we also believe that, in working closely with Russia, sharing information, that they have been quite helpful this past week.

MR. SMITH: Is there anything the Iranians can do in this meeting on October 1st to dissuade you from what you believe they’re up to? What can they say in this meeting to say, “All we’re trying to do is make electricity.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they can’t say anything, because they’ve said that for years. But they can open up their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for.

MR. SMITH: Is that the only thing the U.S. and the other nations that will be there, is that the only thing that you’ll be satisfied with? If they completely open the doors?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have to be satisfied. And there may be other approaches short of that. But, you know, I think it’s really essential that we satisfy ourselves and the international community, which has passed numerous resolutions against Iran’s program, pointing out that they are violating UN and IAEA obligations and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. So words are not enough. They are going to have to come and demonstrate clearly to the international community what they’re up to.

MR. SMITH: Finally, in a region, in a nation that has known some instability over the last couple of months, what do you think this means in light of that as a backdrop?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Harry, that’s a really important question, because we know that there has been instability. It’s not just what we see on the television screen but what is reported to us. But we are dealing with the government that is there. We encourage the free expression of ideas and political choices, but this nuclear program really is the core of our concern right now. And we are very urgently pursuing the engagement strategy that the President talked about while simultaneously working to get the kind of very tough sanctions that may well have to be imposed.

MR. SMITH: Let’s talk about Afghanistan for a couple of minutes. General McChrystal made his report to President Obama. One of the things he says is there is a year window in which the United States has to act in order to ensure that the insurgency doesn’t basically take over the country. Do you agree with that assesment?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me just put General McChrystal’s report into a broader context, because it doesn’t stand alone. It is part of a process. And let’s look at what we have done during the last nine months under President Obama’s leadership.

We inherited a situation. We didn’t reject it out of hand, we didn’t accept it out of hand. We engaged in a very thorough review. We reached some critical decisions, including looking at both Afghanistan and Pakistan together because, of course, the threat goes back and forth, across the borders.

We also reaffirmed our commitment to going after al-Qaeda to dismantling, defeating them. We believe — and we have seen this, just this week here in New York — we believe that al-Qaeda poses a direct threat to the United States, to friends and allies throughout the world. So, we are very clear about our mission. Our mission is to protect the United States and to protect our friends and allies, and to go after the scourge of al-Qaeda and related extremist groups.

Now, the decision that was made to add troops in the Spring has not even been fully implemented yet. You know, you don’t get up and just deploy the 82nd airborne, and they get there the next day. We are only now reaching the deployment cycle.

We also know that going hand to hand with our military strategy was our civilian strategy, a much more focused effort, a much more accountable one, dealing with the government of Afghanistan. So we not only saw the change of commanders in the military, we saw a change in our ambassador, and a beefing up of the embassy in Kabul.

At the same time, Afghanistan is going through an election. And this is not like an election in Western Europe or in the United States. To carry out an election in these circumstances was going to be difficult under any conditions. It’s not over yet. We have to wait until it is resolved — hopefully very soon — then make a new commitment about how we’re going to meet our strategic goals. And it’s going to be up to the President to determine how best to achieve that.
So, General McChrystal, the new commander was asked for his assessment, there is other input that is coming throughout the government that the President will take on board. But I think we ought to look at it in context.

MR. SMITH: There is growing discontent about sending more troops into Afghanistan. And one of the issues is the Karzai government, which is corrupt at least, and may, in fact, have tried to steal this most recent election. Is it worth American blood to help support a regime like that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, with all respect, we’re doing this for the United States. We are doing this because we think that a return to a safe haven in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda, with Taliban elements associated with al-Qaeda for the same purpose, to basically run a syndicate of terror out of either Afghanistan or the border regime is something we cannot tolerate. And you know, we have to recognize that this was always going to be a challenge.

Now, having said that, does the Karzai government, or whoever is the next president, have to do more to fulfill the needs of the Afghan people, to understand what is expected for the rule of law, transparency, accountability? Absolutely.

But, again, we inherited a situation with a set of expectations and behaviors that we have gone about attempting to influence and change. And one of my highest priorities is, once this election is finalized, to work with our entire civilian team, with Special Representative Holbrooke, with Ambassador Eikenberry, and everyone else, to really impress upon the new government what is expected of them.

But let’s not forget, Harry, this is about us, sitting right here in New York. This is about making sure that we’ve got the intelligence and the capacity to interrupt potential attacks, that we try to continue our efforts to destroy al-Qaeda that are, unfortunately, still to this day, attempting to kill and destroy Americans and others

MR. SMITH: Najibullah Zazi went to Pakistan to the border areas in order to get bomb training. Is Pakistan doing enough to clean up its own house?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, look at, again, what has happened in the last nine months. Pakistan has increased its commitment in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda —

MR. SMITH: They were successful in the Swat valley.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely successful. A lot of people thought that would never happen. I believed that if we engaged very intensively with our Pakistani friends — and we did, through meetings in Washington and in Islamabad — if we shared information, we listened to each other, that there would be a decision by the civilian and military leadership that the threat was directed at them, that it could undermine their government. In fact, it will lead to very dangerous consequences, in terms of the survivability of the state in many parts of the country.

So, yes, have they taken action? Absolutely.

MR. SMITH: Have they done enough is the question?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you know, we are always working for more. As I just finished saying, we are not satisfied with anything. This is not a check box kind of experience where “We’re done with that, we’re done with that.”

But look at what has been accomplished, and I think that we will continue to see a very close coordination. But it is important for Americans to understand that focusing on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, who are largely — but not exclusively — now in Pakistan, cannot be done if we allow them to return to a safe haven in Afghanistan. So, this has to be viewed as part of the overall strategy.

MR. SMITH: Madame Secretary, well thank you so much for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thanks, Harry. It’s always good to talk to you.

PRN: 2009/T12-31

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Secretary Clinton is one busy woman. Yesterday she met with Latin American leaders, Ricardo Martinelli and Patricia Espinosa, with the Gulf Cooperation Council, and she hosted a meeting on food security with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Today she is appearing on Face the Nation. Some of her remarks from yesterday appear below. She is always organized and succinct.

U.S.-Mexico High-Level Group Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 26, 2009

QUESTION: When did you arrive?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Sunday, last Sunday. And then I will be here next week, as well. And then, on Wednesday morning, I am chairing the Security Council on violence against girls and women, and some of the steps we are taking in the UN to elevate that, and (inaudible) the structure.

QUESTION: Do you have anything you want to say about your meeting with Mr. Solana this morning?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It was, as always with Javier Solana, a very comprehensive in-depth discussion about the many issues that we are working on with the European Union. And you know, the agenda, obviously, covered the entire waterfront: Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East, Bosnia, the Balkans. I mean, it just was a very broad and productive conversation.

QUESTION: Did you make any headway on the Honduras?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have been working on that, and that is something that we will be discussing later. But, obviously, we are hoping that there will be a mission to Honduras that will finally get both sides to agree to the San Jose accords. But stay tuned. We will know more about that later.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

Meeting of the United States, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq Concluding Statement by the Participating Foreign Ministers

Office of the Spokesman
New York, NY
September 26, 2009

The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and the United States met today in New York City to coordinate on efforts to promote their shared vision of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Middle East, and to intensify their consultations as partners and friends.

The Ministers welcomed the trilateral meeting among President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas on September 22, and expressed their hope for rapid progress towards the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Ministers welcomed President Obama’s important statement before the UN General Assembly which calls for the re-launching of negotiations – without preconditions – that address the permanent status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees, and Jerusalem. The Ministers reiterated their call for a freeze on settlement activities. They expressed their continued support for an independent, viable, and democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel, with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Road Map, and the Arab Peace Initiative. They reiterated their full support for the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian government led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and their efforts to build the institutions of a future state. The Ministers also reiterated their support for achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

The Ministers encourage Iran to engage constructively and expressed their hope that the planned meeting between Iran and the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and Germany on October 1 will begin a process that resolves international concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities.

The Ministers recognized that Iraq has made significant gains in the past year and expressed support for the Iraqi people and government as they face challenges, such as the horrific August 19 terrorist attacks on the foreign and finance ministries, and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators. The Ministers categorically condemn all terrorist attacks and expressed support for every effort endeavoring at restoring peace, security, and stability in Iraq. The Ministers also expressed support for Iraq as it prepares for 2010 national elections. The Ministers underlined the importance of regional support to the government of Iraq and the Iraqi people in their efforts to achieve a prosperous, united, and democratic Iraq that lives in peace with itself and with its neighbors and respects its international obligations. The Ministers stressed the principle of non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.

The Ministers further noted their concern for the situation in Yemen. The Ministers expressed full support for the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh; for the unity, security, and stability of Yemen; and for efforts for a peaceful dialogue. The Ministers underscored the importance of ensuring the security of civilians and relief workers, and the provision for the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to civilians affected by the conflict. The Ministers reiterated their support for the Yemeni government’s economic and governance reform initiatives, and their willingness to continue to assist Yemen in improving the lives of its people.

The Ministers, recalling previous meetings of this group, emphasized the importance of continuing these meetings under this configuration of states in order to exchange views and consider common approaches to key issues that affect their shared goals for the region.

Remarks at Food Security Event Co-Hosted with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon During the UN General Assembly

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 26, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is a great pleasure for me to be joining Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and all of you to exchange ideas and join forces against one of the most urgent threats facing our world: chronic hunger, and all of the consequences that it causes, some of which we saw in the short film leading into our conference today.

I wish that we had time to acknowledge every head of state and government minister here today, as well as all the representatives from foundations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and the private sector. But there are far too many of you — which is the good news, that we have such an extraordinary turnout. And so, let me join with the Secretary General in welcoming and thanking all of you for taking time out late on a Saturday afternoon to be here.

Yesterday, at the Clinton Global Initiative, I discussed the principles that the Secretary General referred to: how we are going to fight hunger together and begin to alleviate and decrease poverty through sustainable agricultural development. We want to make sure that enough food is available, and that people have the resources to purchase it. That is a key foreign policy objective of President Obama and our administration. This is an issue that affects all of us, because food security is about economic, environmental, and national security for our individual homelands and the world.

As the Secretary General mentioned, five principles were embraced at the G8 summit in Italy. And these principles will guide our efforts.

The first of these principles is the need to invest in country-led plans. Few people know better the complex obstacles that hinder a country’s food supply than the people who actually live and work in that country. And we will have the greatest chance at success if we pursue partnership, not patronage.

Second, we will address the underlying causes of hunger, by investing in everything from research to better seeds to insurance programs for small farmers to large-scale infrastructure projects that create sustainable, systemic change. And we will put women at the heart of our efforts, because most farmers of small holdings in the world are women.

Third, we will improve coordination at every level. Too often in the past, we have worked in silos, duplicating some efforts and overlooking others. Now we want to bring every partner from every sector together around a virtual one table across the world to discuss each country’s plan, and then devise a way of executing it.

Fourth, we will leverage the benefits of multilateral institutions to support and help fulfill the country plans, because these institutions have the reach and resources to do more than any single country could do.

And, fifth, we pledge a long-term commitment, based on accountability. Now, we know that this is going to take years, and even decades, before we reach the finish line. But we have to stay committed. Because what we have seen, as illustrated in the film, is that international support for agriculture has declined, while contributions to emergency aid have increased.

We will continue, of course, to invest in the crises and the emergencies, but we want to begin to try to alleviate the crises and the emergencies by once again enabling people to feed themselves. Now, together, these principles represent an approach based on investments in our collective future. And they will help us achieve broad-based results that last.

Now we are going to hear from some people who have both experience and perspective about this effort. I am going to ask every speaker to limit their remarks to two or three minutes, because we have so many people who wish to speak. And I know that’s difficult. But we will take any prepared remarks that are longer than that, and we will compile them and distribute them so that you will be able to see the full context of each speaker’s presentation.

Let me begin with Rwanda, a stand-out example in country-led planning. And President Kagame will speak to this principle. Rwanda completed a compact and strategy through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program. And the government of Rwanda followed through on its plan, and used its own resources to do so.

So I have the great honor of introducing the President of Rwanda.


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Updated 7:25 EDT

AP Photo  Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council attend a meeting held by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, second right, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.

AP Photo Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council attend a meeting held by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, second right, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) +3 Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 26, 2009

QUESTION: (In progress) IAEA into its facility, IAEA inspectors. Is that a welcome development? Would that be enough of a gesture for there to be progress in these talks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is always welcome when Iran makes a decision to comply with the international rules and regulations, and particularly with respect to the IAEA. I have just been talking with my colleagues from the Gulf states, the GCC, and we are hopeful that, in preparing for the meeting on October 1st, Iran comes and shares with all of us what they are willing to do, and gives us a time table on which they are willing to proceed.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you, guys.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, on this particular meeting, what specifically have you asked your Gulf area counterparts, in terms of throwing their support behind the peace process, as the President would like?

And also, one for Prince —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are not having any questions to any of our guests. They came to enjoy the hospitality and the conversation.

But we have talked about a broad range of issues, and you might very well be able to list those that have been the subject of our discussion. But I am not going to be describing these private conversations. But I just want to say that I am very grateful for, not only this meeting, but the extremely productive nature of it. Thank you all.

MODERATOR: Okay, thank you all.

AP Photo  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, meets with Ricardo Martinelli, left, President of Panama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.

AP Photo Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, meets with Ricardo Martinelli, left, President of Panama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.

Honestly, every day this week her schedule has been packed, and this is how she looks on a working Saturday! She looks gorgeous!

AP Photo Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,2nd left, accompanied by Carlos Pascual, left, US Ambassador to Mexico meets with Patricia Espinosa, 2nd right, Foreign Minister of Mexico accompanied by Arturo Sarukhan, right, Mexican Ambassador to USA at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.

U.S.-Mexico High-Level Group Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 26, 2009

QUESTION: When did you arrive?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Sunday, last Sunday. And then I will be here next week, as well. And then, on Wednesday morning, I am chairing the Security Council on violence against girls and women, and some of the steps we are taking in the UN to elevate that, and (inaudible) the structure.

QUESTION: Do you have anything you want to say about your meeting with Mr. Solana this morning?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It was, as always with Javier Solana, a very comprehensive in-depth discussion about the many issues that we are working on with the European Union. And you know, the agenda, obviously, covered the entire waterfront: Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East, Bosnia, the Balkans. I mean, it just was a very broad and productive conversation.

QUESTION: Did you make any headway on the Honduras?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have been working on that, and that is something that we will be discussing later. But, obviously, we are hoping that there will be a mission to Honduras that will finally get both sides to agree to the San Jose accords. But stay tuned. We will know more about that later.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 25, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as President Obama, President Sarkozy, and Minister Brown said in their statement today, Iran’s efforts over a number of years to build a covert enrichment facility near Qom deepens our already deep concern, and the growing international understanding about the scope and intent of Iran’s nuclear program.
This is further evidence of Iran’s continued defiance of IAEA and the United Nations obligations. Iran is breaking rules that all nations are expected to follow, and we fully support an immediate IAEA investigation. We remain committed to the October 1st meeting of the P-5+1, and we are encouraged by the work that was done this week here in New York, the very important statement that was agreed to by all members of the P-5+1, including China and Russia, and of course, the European Union as well, setting forth what we expected out of these negotiations.
The nuclear program was on the table before. It is on the table with increased urgency now. And this revelation that has been shared with the world makes clear, we hope, to those who have either not formed an opinion or doubted the necessity of the dual-track approach we are pursuing to work with us. This is now a clear challenge to the international community because this facility sharpens our sense of urgency, it underscores Iran’s absolute need to engage seriously with us on October 1st, and take immediate steps to demonstrate the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear program, which they have been claiming despite growing evidence to the contrary. So we are very clear and very resolved about what we are attempting to accomplish here.
QUESTION: If the Iranians don’t engage seriously on October the 1st, is that it, from your point of view? Are you willing to engage in further conversations?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, we’re going to take it one day at a time. This is an unfolding narrative. As more and more information is shared with the world, as the comments made by Ahmadinejad during his recent appearance, and both before and since illustrate attitudes and approaches that are really at variance with almost universal principles and understanding of historical reality. So we are going to wait and see what Iran says when the meeting is held on October 1st.
STAFF: Thank you. Thank you, everybody.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not going to prejudge it, but clearly, this is an incredibly important disclosure that the world needs to digest.
STAFF: Thanks, everybody.

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I want to call special attention to this speech.  It brought me to tears.  Those who missed what Hillary was doing in Africa should see and read this speech.  I have not found the video.

If you have never known what is at the heart of Hillary’s drive, this is it and here she explains why.  So for those who occupy themselves with gossip, with preoccupations about her wardrobe and her looks (both of which I find lovely),  with her level of happiness in her new job (very happy), and the level of  respect she gets from the White House (seems high to me), here is a speech that crystallizes the essence of Hillary Clinton.  This is what she is about.
Event hosted by the Government of the Netherlands
New York City, NY
September 25, 2009

I want to start by saying something that I believe with all my heart, and, obviously, those of you who are here believe it also, that the issues related to girls and women are not an annex to the important business of the world and the United Nations, they’re not an add-on, they’re not an afterthought; they are truly at the core of what we are attempting to do under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is the guiding message of this organization and what each of us in our own countries is called to do on behalf of equal opportunity and social justice.
So for me, this is a tremendous opportunity to speak about an issue that has basically been relegated to the backwaters of the international agenda until relatively recently: violence against girls and women, and particularly today, violence against girls.
I wish that we could transport ourselves into a setting where we could be in the midst of girls and women who have been suffering from violence, but we don’t have to because it’s all around us. It is in the home, it is in the workplace, it is on the streets of many of the countries represented here, including my friends Maxine and Celso. And it is in the places that make the headlines from time to time, and then in the very bottom paragraphs, there’s a reference to the violence that is a tactic of war and intimidation and oppression to prevent girls from going to school by throwing acid in their faces, by raping girls as a way of intimidating them and keeping them subjugated and demonstrating power.
So this, for me, is one of the most important events that I’ve done at the UN. I worked this week with President Obama on our agenda, on everything from nonproliferation and the threats posed by Iran to the P-5+1, to the ongoing challenge of the Middle East, and so much else. But oftentimes, my press – I’ll only speak for the American press – will pose a question that goes something like this: “Why are you spending so much time on these issues that are less important or not as significant as the ones that are really at the heart of foreign policy?”
And I usually patiently explain, for about the millionth time, that this is the heart of foreign policy. Because after all, what are we doing? We’re trying to improve the lives of the people that we represent and the people who share this planet with us. And we do it through diplomacy, and we do it through development, and occasionally we have to do it through defense. But violence against any one of our fellow beings is intolerable. And when it is part of the cultural fabric of too many societies, when it is an assumption of the way things are supposed to be, then it is absolutely a cause for our action collectively.
As some of you know, I traveled to Goma in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last month. I went to a refugee camp that is home to 18,000 people in a very small plot of land; in fact, land that is covered by lava from a volcanic eruption. And it was a stark reminder of a conflict that has left 5.4 million people dead since 1998. And walking through that refugee camp was, as I’ve often felt walking through camps in other places, both the best and the worst of humanity: the worst because of what drove these people to this extreme measure of fleeing their homes, leaving their fields, running from danger; and the best because of the international response.
But the people leading me through the camp – they had a man who was the president, a woman who was the vice president – were talking about what life was like day to day, because the camp provides no security. You are there, but if you venture out, as too many of the girls told me, for water or firewood, or literally just to breathe because you’re living arm-to-arm with thousands of other people, you put your life at risk. Something like 1,100 rapes are reported each month in the Eastern Congo; that’s an average of 36 women and girls raped every day.
I heard a lot of terrible stories. A 15-year-old girl who looked younger than her years, who was fetching water from the river, when two soldiers – she wasn’t sure who they were, were they irregulars, were they militias, were they the Congolese army. They were just soldiers who told her if she refused to give in to them they would kill her. They beat her, ripped her clothes off, and raped her.
I met one of the nine-year-old girls who was nabbed by two soldiers, who put a bag over her head, and raped her repeatedly in the bushes; and a woman who was eight months pregnant when she was attacked, and after being so brutalized and losing her baby, she was no longer accepted in her own home.
And then I met a woman who was about my age, who had four children and a husband. They were farmers from one of the small holding farms that so many of the world’s poor try to survive by. And she called them bandits. They took her husband out, shot him. Two of her children ran out to try to help their father, shot them, came into the house, shot the other two children all in front of her, and then repeatedly gang-raped her, left her for dead. And she told me she wished that she had died.
Well, these are the most extreme examples, but there are so many that we could point to. And since I believe that the progress of girls and women holds the key to sustainable prosperity and stability in the 21st century, this is a matter of great concern to me and to my country. When women are accorded their rights and accorded equal opportunities in education and healthcare and employment and political participation, they invest in their families, they lift them up, they contribute to their communities and their nations. When they are marginalized, when they are mistreated, when they are ignored, when they are demeaned, then progress is not possible, no matter how rich and well-educated the elite may appear.
The problem of violence against women and girls is particularly acute in conflict zones, but that’s not the only place we find it. The UN has done some excellent work in the last years in war-torn areas. And while boys are pressed into service as child soldiers and trained to kill, and often drugged to do so, girls are raped and often forced into becoming sex slaves. And this has happened to thousands and thousands of children. We also know that despite the best efforts of those of us in this room, all too often these acts of brutality and de-humanity do not just affect the individuals, they affect the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.
Next week, I will chair a Security Council session here in New York on the epidemic of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict zones. And the United States will introduce a resolution to strengthen our efforts to curb these atrocities and hold all those who commit them accountable. We will call for a special representative of the Secretary General to lead, coordinate, and advocate for efforts to end sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict.
But violence against women and girls happens everywhere. You have not only domestic violence, but female feticide, dowry-related murder, trafficking in women and girls. It’s quite alarming that even among well-educated people in some countries, the rate of selective abortion against girls is alarming. There are millions – some estimate as many as 100 million – missing girls. And they are missing because they’re either aborted or they are still subjected to infanticide or they are denied nutrition and healthcare and allowed to die in alarming numbers before the age of five.
In Thailand in the 1990s, I met girls who’d been sold into prostitution by their fathers, when they were as young as eight. And by the time they were 12, many of them were dying of AIDS. I drove around the area in northern Thailand, and one of the people with me said, “You can tell which homes have sold their girls, because they’re the ones with the satellites” and that there’s a lot of peer pressure; it would go satellite, satellite, then you’d have no satellites, and then satellite, satellite.
So we know these statistics. A third of all women will face gender-based violence at some point in their lifetime. In some parts of the world, the number is as high as 70 percent. The United Nations estimates that at least 5,000 so-called honor killings take place each year. Nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls aged 15 or younger. And more than 130 million girls and young women have been subject to genital mutilation.
All over the world, you find a higher value on male children, girls being coerced into early marriages, denied access to schools, adequate nutrition and healthcare, and enslaved in forced labor. And so there are many stories. We have two young women with us today, and we have many more who they represent.
The problem is that very often there is no legal action taken against those who perpetuate this violence, even when they are members of a nation-state’s armed forces. We are pressing the government of the DRC very hard to bring to justice five officers of the military who have been implicated in either these actions themselves or in a permissive environment for them.
And there are many young women who are standing up and who need our support. The story of Mukhtar Mai, a young woman who I’ve come to know, who was gang-raped in 2002 on the orders of her tribal council in rural Pakistan because of something her brother had done. She was forced to walk home naked in front her village, and she was expected to kill herself. I mean, that’s what you do. You get humiliated, you get shamed, you get attacked. It’s your fault, you go kill yourself. And the crime, the best we could determine, was her brother was seen walking with a girl from an upper caste village.
So what happened to her? She refused to kill herself, and she refused to hide, and she refused to give in to the cultural milieu in which this attack had taken place. And her case became something of an international cause. And people began asking: What can we do for her? They donated money. She built the first school in her village. She herself enrolled in that school. And now, because of the money that has come in since she was courageous enough to speak out, the school has an ambulance service, a school bus, a woman’s shelter, a legal clinic, and a telephone hotline.
Now, she’s a remarkable young woman, but she’s not alone. And what we need to do is support those who are standing up. I have a friend here, Molly Melching, whom I first met and worked with more than 10 years ago in Senegal, where she very deliberatively began to build community rejection of female genital mutilation by going from village to village and making it a health issue, making it an issue that the tribal elders and the imams began to recognize was not in keeping with their views of themselves or of Islam. And this is possible. It takes time, and we can’t, can’t give up.
So let me just end with a call to action from the leaders of many religious faiths who came together last year to advocate for an end to violence against women, and here’s what they said: Each of our faith traditions speaks to the fundamental value of all human life. Violence against women denies them their God-given dignity. We cannot afford to remain silent when so many of our women and girls suffer the brutality of violence with impunity.
So this meeting could not be more timely or important. Now, we’ve got to follow up. And hopefully, in UNGAs to come, we will fill larger and larger rooms. We will have people making commitments. I know the Dutch Government is very intent upon trying to make sure that action follows. And we can work with our friends not only from Brazil, but I see many of my other colleagues here today. And I hope that we will be the voices for those women who will never appear before the Security Council, they will never leave Goma, they will never leave rural Pakistan, they will never leave their village in Latin America or anywhere else, to come and plead their case before us. So it falls to us to make sure their voices are heard.
Thank you very much.

Cross-Posted at A Rose For Hillary and The Department of Homegirl Security

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