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Archive for September, 2009

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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How lovely to see this family together.

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Remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative Closing Plenary

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Sheraton Hotel and Towers

New York, NY

September 25, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON:

Thank you so very much, and it is once again a great, great delight, a personal privilege, to be here at CGI and to see how this innovative approach toward changing the future, by investing in people, and using the talents of so many to make the cases for those whose voices will not be heard here, has made such a difference.

What I have found in the last five years with the extraordinary development of CGI is the hunger for people to be part of partnerships and networks that will make a difference. And it won’t surprise you to hear that I’m very proud of my husband, and I think what he has invented and brought to life here is extraordinary. (Applause.)

As Secretary of State, I really, in terms of protocol, should be acknowledging all of the heads of state and heads of government who are here, but there are far too many. And so let me just express my deep appreciation for your involvement and for your presence here, and we look forward to working with you and your governments as we move forward on the new agenda of the Obama Administration.

And this issue that I will talk about briefly today is really a paradigm of what we’re trying to do differently. And I have to acknowledge that much of what we are attempting to do is derived from what I have seen happen here at CGI, the kind of new approach, the marrying of philanthropy and capitalism, the investment in people, and the results that have really been extraordinary.

And so I congratulate all who helped to put on this (inaudible) CGI. I especially thank you for having a separate track on girls and women, which I think was well received for all the obvious reasons. (Applause.) And this is an exceptional gathering of people who have made exceptional commitments to bettering our world. We see it in everything you do. It seems a good opportunity given the talent, the energy, and the passion in this room to talk about an exceptional global challenge – chronic hunger and what we all can do about it.

The short film you just saw narrated by Matt Damon is just a snapshot of what is happening right now. And it does serve as a visual punch to the words that I will share with you today. And I hope that it stays with you. As we roll out our food security initiatives in the Administration, we will be looking to work with the countries represented here and many of the organizations.

But let me begin by asking you with me to consider the daily life of the world’s typical small farmer.

She lives in a rural village in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, or Latin America. She farms a piece of land—land she does not own. She rises before dawn and walks miles to collect water—if there is water to be found. She works all day in a field, sometimes with a baby strapped on her back.

If she’s lucky, drought, blight, or pests don’t destroy her crops, and she raises enough to feed her family—and maybe even has some left over to sell. But there’s no road to the nearest market and no one to buy from her anyway. Everyone else is as poor as she is.

Now let’s consider the life of a young man in a crowded city 100 miles from that farmer. He has no job—or a job that pays pennies. He goes to the market—but the food is rotting, or priced beyond reach. He is hungry, and often angry.

She has extra food to sell, and he wants to buy it. But that simple transaction can’t take place because of complex forces beyond their control.

The scope and scale of this initiative that we will be rolling out over the next days, weeks, and months is really all about this woman farmer and this young man, and one billions others around the world. The daily effort to grow, buy, or sell food is the defining struggle of their lives. Empowering the world’s farmers to sow and harvest plentiful crops, and ensuring that the food they produce reaches people most in need, is a global challenge that lies at the heart of what experts refer to as “food security.”

The Obama Administration has developed an unprecedented initiative aimed at advancing food security worldwide. The scope and scale of this initiative represents an elevation of development as a key element of our foreign policy. And our approach represents a rethinking of development policies and priorities.

Now, those of you who have worked on development projects around the world are aware of the debates going on about whether development really works. And there are reasonable arguments on both sides—examples of success and of failure.

Some things are clear. After years of effort and billions of dollars, we have not achieved the lasting results we desire. But we have learned some very valuable lessons. We know that the most effective strategies emanate from those closest to the problems, not governments or institutions hundreds or thousands of miles away. We know that too often our efforts have been undermined by a lack of coordination, too little transparency, haphazard monitoring and evaluation, an over-reliance on contractors who work with too little oversight, and by relationships with recipient countries based more on patronage than partnership. And we know that development works best when it is based not in aid, but in investment. Indeed, many of these lessons are reflected in the work you do here at CGI.

We also know that development, if done right, is essential to solving the complex problems of an interconnected world. And we are committed to doing it right—starting now.

Some may ask how is food security related to our own future – those of us here in the United States. Well, the answer is that food security is not just about food. But it is all about security – economic security, environmental security, even national security.

Massive hunger poses a threat to the stability of governments, societies, and borders. People who are starving, who have no incomes, who can’t care for their families, are left with feelings of hopelessness and desperation. And so we know that desperation of that magnitude sows seeds of its own—of tension, conflict, and even the violence we saw in the film. Since 2007, there have been riots over food in more than 60 countries.

Agriculture—which encompasses not only crops, but livestock and fish—is critical to economic growth around the world; for more than three-quarters of the world’s poor, farming is their only source of income and avenue to prosperity. Food is linked to energy security: when the price of oil spikes, the cost of transporting food rises, while the increased demand for biofuels also affects prices. And it’s linked to climate security; droughts and floods caused by climate change destroy cropland and send food prices higher.

So food security is not merely a question of getting food to hungry people. And it is not simply a moral imperative. It represents the convergence of complex issues that have a direct bearing on economic growth, energy and environmental factors, and our strategic interests. And as such, it demands a comprehensive response.

If we can build partnerships with countries to help small farmers improve their agricultural output and make it easier to buy and sell their products at local or regional markets, we can set off a domino effect. We can increase the world’s food supply for both the short and the long term; diminish hunger; raise farmers’ incomes; improve health; expand opportunity; and strengthen regional economies.

Now, our initiative is, admittedly, ambitious, because we intend to address the root causes of hunger by investing in technologies and infrastructure that will make farming more productive and profitable in developing countries, while making it easier for food to reach the people who need it. It will enhance nutrition, so children are healthy enough to learn and adults are strong enough to work. And we’ll maintain our deep commitment to emergency food assistance, to answer the urgent cry for help when tragedies and disasters take their toll—as is happening now in the Horn of Africa, where drought, crop failures, and civil war have caused the worst humanitarian crisis in 18 years.

We know that reforming global agriculture is possible. We’ve seen it done before. The Green Revolution in the ‘60s saved hundreds of millions of lives in Latin American and South Asia through investments in agricultural productivity. But as Dr. Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, always reminded us, that revolution was never fully won. There are many places it passed by, especially Africa. And in some countries, hunger has resurged. That’s why Dr. Borlaug kept working in his lab and advocating for investments in agriculture right up until he died last week at 95. His life-saving work is still worth fighting for.

In July, President Obama and the leaders of the G-8 pledged $20 billion to a global effort to strengthen agriculture. The United States pledged a minimum of $3.5 billion over the next three years. We’ve called on Congress to fully fund our request for 2010, and we’ll ask for additional funding for agriculture the following year—funding that complements, not supplants, our continuing commitment to emergency humanitarian relief.

And our effort will be guided by five principles.

First, we will work with partner countries to create and implement their plans. Few know better the complex obstacles that hinder a country’s food supply than the people who live and work there. That may sound like a very simplistic statement, but it has not guided policy often enough in the past. We will work closely with countries to map out the particular investments they need to bolster their agricultural sector. Now, in one country, roads may be a top priority; in another, irrigation and water or greater access to credit and markets or drought-resistant feed. Once the plans are in place, we will help countries put them into action.

This partnership entails shared responsibility. We will work with countries prepared to make substantial commitments themselves—not only to agricultural development, but also to strong institutions, good governance, fighting corruption, and maintaining transparency.

The Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program provides a model. All of its member nations have pledged to devote 10 percent of their national budgets to agricultural development. Rwanda has become the first country to complete its agricultural development plan and it’s already showing results. In three years, Rwanda’s investment in agriculture has increased fivefold and agricultural GDP has doubled.

Second, we are addressing the underlying causes of hunger. We will invest in everything from research to develop better feed and seeds, to innovative insurance programs, so small farmers are protected against bearing the entire burden of risk inherent in agriculture. We will link farmers and agribusinesses to markets; invest in storage, refrigeration, and processing facilities; and help pave a path into the global market.

We will also put women at the heart of our efforts. We have seen again and again—in microfinance and other programs—that women are entrepreneurial, accountable, and practical. They invest their earnings directly in their families and communities. And they pay back loans at a higher rate than is the norm. So women are a wise investment. And since the majority of the world’s farmers are women, it’s critical that our investments in agriculture leverage their ambition and perseverance.

Thirdly, we will improve coordination at the country, regional, and global level. Now, when we take on global challenges like hunger and poverty, we often work in separate silos, duplicating some efforts while others fall through the gaps. This is especially true when it comes to working with private business, foundations, universities, and other critical partners, so many of which have deep expertise and valuable local knowledge and relationships. We’ll change that by bringing the players together, and we started that inside the government.

Cheryl Mills, as my Chief of Staff and Counselor, was the person I asked to put together our initiative. And she began holding the first meetings ever of the entire government working on food, people from not only the State Department and USAID, but the Agriculture Department and other government agencies as well. We had to bring all of our own people to the table first, and now we’re going to try to bring everyone to come and join us.

Our fourth principle is leveraging the benefits of multilateral institutions. Global institutions have the reach and resources to do more than any single country can. By leveraging their power, we can encourage more countries to become donors and coordinate financial flows. And we will make the most of their expertise that exists around the world in large infrastructure projects that make global agriculture possible.

In Mali, for example, the World Bank financed the modernization of a system of canals that improved irrigation, and as a result, rice yields and farmers’ incomes increased dramatically. In Ethiopia, the World Bank rebuilt and expanded road networks, which reduced travel time and freight costs by 25 percent.

Fifth, we pledge a long-term commitment and accountability to our efforts. It may take years, even decades, before we reach the finish line, but we’re going to give it all we have in the time that we are able to.

Our patience, however, should not be mistaken for complacence. We will make significant investments in monitoring and evaluation. We’re going to track commitments, just as we do here at CGI, to make sure pledges are fulfilled, and to gather data and publicly track our progress and results. That way, we are all accountable, and we’ll know if we’re falling short and need to change strategies.

Now, I began by talking about the importance of development as a key element of our foreign policy, and it is. Because obviously, what we’re hoping is that, done right, we will enhance social stability and economic progress. So this global hunger initiative is not only an undertaking for development experts. It will also require robust diplomacy.

Our ambassadors do the critical and painstaking work of convincing foreign governments to undertaking reforms, making investments necessary for initiatives like this to take root, reaching out to other countries and partners beyond government. We will work with multilateral institutions to guide global efforts like the G-8 food security commitments, the Millennium Development Goals, the multi-donor trust for farming that the G-20 called for yesterday. All of this requires knowledge, patience, talent, and persuasion and problem solving.

This is difficult work. And to do it right, we need a State Department and a United States Agency for International Development up to the challenge, ready and willing to work closely together, with the right structures, resources, and policies in place. That’s why, earlier this year, I launched the first ever review of both agencies called the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the QDDR. The Defense Department has for years done a QDR, the Quadrennial Defense Review, and I thought it was time that diplomacy and development were there as well in the framework of what national security and foreign policy means. Now, we’re looking carefully at how we can best elevate and integrate development and diplomacy, and we are going to have a government-wide review of our strategies and policies. We will ask the hard questions and we will make the tough decisions.

But there’s one last piece of our strategy that can make all the difference to our success: and that is all of you. The people in this room represent an incredible collection of talent, expertise, experience, energy, and heart. We need your ideas and your feedback, and we need your active support, in any and every capacity.

I hope you will visit our website, state.gov, to learn more about our global hunger initiative. And in the coming days and weeks, we’ll be asking for your advice and for your help. We’re looking forward to a vibrant conversation because this will, I can guarantee you, spark enormous debates around the world, and a lot within in our country. Because as Bill said, we didn’t get here by accident. We moved away from investments in agricultural productivity toward emergency food aid and forgot a lot about what we knew made all of it work together. And so we have to begin to really delve into this in a way that hasn’t been done for a long time.

So we hope that you will be part of this vibrant conversation, because in the end, as we strategize in a setting like this or in a government conference room or a lecture hall somewhere in the world, let’s keep sight of what this is really all about: that woman farmer and that unemployed young man, and what their future means, not just for them but for all of us.

Revitalizing global agriculture will not be easy. In fact, this is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive diplomacy and development efforts our country has ever undertaken. But it can and will be done. And it is worth doing. And if we succeed, our future will be more prosperous, more stable, and more peaceful.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

PRN: 2009/T12-22

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Hillary had quite a day.  She attended the U.N. Security Council meeting.  You see her here with President Obama, Ambassador Susan Rice, Rahm Emmanuel, and other Security Council dignitaries along with her friend the David Milband, F.M. of the U.K. She met with officials of Northern Ireland, and hosted a luncheon for female heads of state and foreign ministers where, we are sure, she made many new friends.

Her remarks at the luncheon are below.

Remarks at Female Heads of State and Foreign Ministers Luncheon

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 24, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON:
Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you so much. I was stuck in traffic because so many heads of state and heads of government are leaving to go to Pittsburgh, so I was at the United Nations for a meeting and just – all traffic stopped, so I saw several of the (inaudible) that are on their way to this lunch standing there also.

So (inaudible) go ahead and get started so that – I know everyone has a busy schedule. This has been an extraordinary week already with all of the work that has gone on, and I particularly appreciate the commitment that the United Nations is showing now to women’s issues not just as a marginal issue, not just as an add-on issue, but as a core issue, both in how the United Nations is organized and in the priorities that we choose to pursue.

The history of this lunch goes back to 1993, when my friend – oh, please, (inaudible), come in – when my friend and colleague, Madeleine Albright, hosted the first women’s lunch for the women permanent representatives of the United Nations. There were six women at that time. And then as the years went by and Madeleine became Secretary of State, she expanded it, and then Condi Rice continued it, and now we have a much bigger group of heads of state and governments as well as foreign ministers.

I am so pleased that we would have this chance just to visit together for an hour in our very busy schedules, and there’s a lot that I think we have to share. We have some of the people from our government, our Permanent Ambassador to – our Permanent Representative to the United Nations is Ambassador Susan Rice. Our government’s first Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is Melanne Verveer. Esther Brimmer is our Assistant Secretary for International Organizations. Please, come in. Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Director of Policy Planning in my office in the State Department. Maria Otero is the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs. So these are some of the women who are in positions of responsibility in our foreign policy area, our national security area.

So I’m delighted that we could have around this table so many distinguished women from all over the world. Some of you I’ve known for a long time, some I’m just meeting for the first time, but I hope you all feel very welcome and not too worn out by the pace of the United Nations General Assembly if this is your first experience of it.

I wanted to just mention a few issues. As many of you know, I have advocated for many years that women are the key to progress and prosperity around the world. I believe that. I know that many of you do as well. And the evidence increasingly supports that assertion. We know that investments in women yield very big dividends, and we want women to be given the tools so that they can make the most out of their own lives – run for office to be president or prime minister, work your way up to be appointed to a position of foreign minister, so many opportunities, because we know there is so much talent.

But what I have concluded over the years is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. And in many places, opportunity is still out of reach for women, no matter how smart they are, how hard they work, how much encouragement they might be given even by their own families, that it is still a very difficult task.

Yet there are so many wonderful examples of women leaders like yourselves and organizations around the world that are making a real difference. And women’s voices are now heard in every debate that is going on, in the public sector, of course, but increasingly in the civil society and in the private sector. I’ve seen examples on every continent of women banding together, organizing themselves, using microfinance, fighting to get an education, working to get healthcare, protecting their daughters, doing what is necessary to build a better future.

And I would very much like us to have some time today in this limited period we have to explore what we can do together, how we can support each other, but more importantly, how we can make girls and women a top priority.

And next week at the Security Council, we’re going to be taking steps to improve the United Nations’ response to sexual violence committed during armed conflict. I will be speaking next Wednesday on behalf of a U.S.-sponsored resolution to better implement the commitment that we should have to the role that women and girls should play in their lives, in their communities, and their countries, and in particular, to appoint a special representative of the Secretary General to lead, coordinate, and advocate for efforts to end sexual violence in armed conflict. I think we have to elevate that no matter what country we’re from. Those of us who have traveled, as I think all of us here have done, have seen the consequences, and some of you have lived the consequences and your families have suffered the consequences as well.

So we intend to make this a centerpiece of my term as Secretary of State. There are people who say, well, women’s issues is an important issue, but it doesn’t rank up there with the Middle East or Iran’s nuclear threat or Afghanistan and Pakistan. I could not disagree more. I think women are key to our being able to resolve all of those difficult conflicts, as well as provide for a better future.

So let me just conclude and – please, come in, how are you? So glad you’re here. Welcome. Let me just conclude and ask each and every one of you to think about any ideas you might have, any concerns you have that you would like to share before all of us. But mostly, let me just thank you for being here and for being in the positions that you are in and making a difference by setting an example and providing the role-modeling that is so necessary for not only girls and women to see, but for boys and men to understand there have to be changes in attitude, not just in policies and in law, in order for us to achieve the kind of equal rights and equal responsibilities that is our birthright.
I think they’re going to begin to serve, and what we want to do now is, if I could, impose upon my friend and the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who has been literally on the front lines of making difficult change and as an advocate and an activist, as a person involved in politics, and now serving her country after years of conflict.

PRN: 2009/T12-17

If you were never in love with her before, how are you doing now?

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The State Department did not oublish the text of this speech.  There was a background briefing, however.

 

Background Briefing on Burma

Special Briefing

Senior State Department Official
Via Teleconference
New York, NY
September 23, 2009

OPERATOR: Welcome, and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. During the question and answer session, please *1 on your touchtone phone. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
Now, I will turn the call over to Mr. Crowley. He may begin.
Date: 09/23/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton attends the Friends of Burma Ministerial, at the United Nations Headquarters.  © State Dept Image by Michael GrossMR. CROWLEY: Good evening, P.J. Crowley from the State Department here. Thanks for joining in. As you know, we’ve been reviewing our Burma policy for several months. This evening, Secretary Clinton provided an intervention at the UN, at the Friends of Burma meeting. Afterwards, I would call your attention to some comments that she made in the stakeout area. And here, to provide some additional perspective for what she announced, we have a Senior State Department Official who will conduct kind of a background briefing. We also tonight will – we hope – we expect to release the full text of the Secretary’s intervention, which will explain a lot of things in detail, and I expect we’ll have an on-the-record briefing, probably tomorrow in Washington, to lay out our new policy approach.
But here to provide some perspective for what you’ve heard today, I’ll turn it over to the Senior State Department Official.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Hello. Thanks, P.J. I’ll just start off maybe with a few minutes of comments and then be happy to take your questions.
You all know that the Secretary announced in February in Jakarta that we would begin this policy review. And I think it’s really important to remember what she said at that point, which is that we have a strong interest in Burma and that our goals were to see a democratic and peaceful and prosperous Burma, and that the purpose of the policy review was not really to look at those goals, which remain constant, but rather, to see if there was a more effective way of achieving those goals.
And she said at that time, as you’ll recall, that neither a sanctions-based policy or ASEAN’s approach of engagement had worked, and so it was appropriate to look at some new ideas and see if we could come up with a better way. And the policy review has been going on, as you know. There was some slowdown in the process because when the Burmese arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and put her on trial, it went on for quite a while. It seemed to us we wanted to await the outcome of that before coming to our conclusions. And we’re now at that point of coming to the conclusions, and as P.J. said, we’ll be rolling them out in the next day or two.
The Secretary provided an intervention today, as he said, that did not go into details, but that highlighted the main conclusions. The points I would emphasize – again, I’ve already said it, but it’s so important, I want to emphasize it – again, that the goals of our Burma policy remain the same – a democratic, peaceful, prosperous Burma that respects the rights of its people. And that toward that end, we will continue to push and work toward release of political prisoners, a genuine dialogue between the government and the opposition and the ethnic minority parties that allows the people of Burma to shape their own democratic future.
And toward that end, we will be using a mix of policy tools. Sanctions remain important, as the Secretary said today, an important tool. By themselves, they have not produced the results we would like, but that does not mean they don’t have value. And also dialogue, as well as continuing things that help the people of Burma – humanitarian assistance, those sorts of things. So going forward, we can expect to use a mix of tools.
And I have to stress we’re going into this with eyes wide open. We’re not expecting dramatic, immediate results. This is a problem in Burma. I mean, the military’s been in power since 1962. We have been working hard at this for many, many years. It’s not an easy situation to resolve, and it’s unlikely that there’s going to be dramatic change soon. But we think that going forward with a more nuanced approach that focuses on trying to achieve results and that’s based on pragmatism, it increases the chances of success over time.
Well, I think I’ll stop there and take your questions.
OPERATOR: Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. If you would like to ask a question, please press *1. Please unmute your phone and record your name clearly when prompted. Your name is required to introduce your question. To withdraw your request, press *2. Once again, as a reminder, if you’d like to ask a question, press *1. One moment while we wait for the first question.
Our first question comes from Mr. Dave McCombs. Your line is open.
QUESTION: Hello. Yes, I’d like to ask whether this policy review is based on any regional changes, any change in the view of Burma’s relations with other countries in the region and whether or not any changes would be unilateral?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That’s a good question. I’d say two things. One, throughout this process of the policy review, we’ve been in close consultation not only with people in the United States that follow Burma, but also with the countries in the region, as well as others who are interested in Burma.
I wouldn’t say that the review or the results of the review are necessarily based on any change in Burma’s relations with other countries. The one thing I would note is that we have heard from the Burmese, fairly clearly over the last several months, for the first time – at least for the first time in many years – an interest in engaging with us and improving relations with us. And so it seems to us useful to see if we can use that interest to advance our goals.
OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Mr. John Pomfret. Your line is open.
QUESTION: Thank you. I’m wondering whether you plan any meetings with senior Burmese officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, or, for that matter, soon, whether here or in Burma?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: At this point, we’re still looking at that. We’re putting, as I said, the finishing touches and we’ll be coming out in – with more details in the next few days. And what I would say is that we will certainly let you know if we do have such a meeting.
QUESTION: Thank you.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Oh, if I can just add on that, there was one report that Kurt Campbell would be seeing the prime minister of Burma. That, I can tell you, is not the case, but I won’t say anything more at this point.
OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Mr. Matthew Lee. Your line is open.
QUESTION: Yeah. I’m wondering if you could just – I mean, thank you for this. And what you said is interesting, but it – essentially, it doesn’t really flesh out so far, at least, what the Secretary said. Can you explain exactly how you’re going to be engaging with the Burmese leadership?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, I think, again, we’ll be coming out in the next – probably tomorrow or the next day —
QUESTION: Right, but she —
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: — and saying on the record with more detail —
QUESTION: Right. But you’re on background now.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Right.
QUESTION: I was hoping —
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think, basically, we’ll be talking to them. And I would emphasize that we talked to the Burmese already. So —
QUESTION: So how is this – so can I ask, then, how is this any different? I mean, yes, you have an embassy with a chargé there.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: They have an embassy with at least a chargé, and probably an ambassador in Washington. So if you’re already talking to them, what is the significance of the Secretary saying, on the record, that you’re going to be engaging directly with the Burmese authorities? How is that going to take place?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, we will be coming out with more details on that. We don’t —
QUESTION: Has it not been decided yet? I’m not – I guess I’m not understanding – if you’re on background and you’re talking about, yes, you’re going to go and announce something on the record, why can’t you flesh out what the Secretary said to us already on the record?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay. We expect the Burmese will be designating someone who would be an interlocutor for us. And so we have to just kind of take it one step at a time.
QUESTION: Okay. And would you expect to reciprocate?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, we will certainly have someone who would be available to talk. But we’re – I don’t know that we’re going to designate, officially, an interlocutor.
QUESTION: Well, because that job is – the job exists already, but —
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Right.
QUESTION: — it’s been unfilled.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, certainly, separately, we do – under the law, of course we are obligated and expect to name the special envoy for Burma. And that process is underway, but a person hasn’t been named, as you know.
QUESTION: Okay. So what you’re talking about is something separate from the special envoy post that what’s-his-name was going to take, but then – that was appointed in the last few days of the Bush (inaudible).
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Right. Right. Well —
QUESTION: So this – so you’re talking about they’re going to designate someone who will talk to you, and you’re going to designate someone who will be available to talk to them, but that person is not necessarily going to – or is not going to be the special envoy who’s obligated by – that you’re obligated to have by law?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah. Well, I would say it this way. At this point, we don’t have a special envoy named, so obviously that person can’t be – isn’t available to start talking. I would say when that person is named, I’m sure we will look at whether that person is the right person to talk to the Burmese.
QUESTION: Okay. And lastly —
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: But since we don’t have someone now, it’s not really an option.
QUESTION: Okay. Well, do you – is that something that you expect to be announcing tomorrow, or is that something that’s further —
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The special envoy?
QUESTION: Yeah.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: No.
QUESTION: No —
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Not yet, not tomorrow.
QUESTION: Okay. All right. Thank you very much.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay.
OPERATOR: Again, as a reminder, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1. Our next question or comment comes from Mr. Arshad Mohammed. Your line is open.
QUESTION: Hi, two things. Can you, at a minimum, at least, tell us that the engagement that you plan to have going forward will be at a higher level than the engagement that you’ve had in the past?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Sorry, that noise was – I think I understood you – the question was whether the engagement would be at a higher level?
QUESTION: Than it has been in recent years. And secondly, can you give us – you know, the Secretary said that the sanctions are important. Can you tell us that – whether or not you have any intentions of removing any of the current sanctions or of adding any additional sanctions?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Right. Sorry, there was a lot of feedback on the line. Yeah, I think the engagement will be at a higher level and – than it has been. And I think on terms of sanctions, the Secretary said sanctions are a useful tool, but by themselves are not sufficient. I think we’ve been clear for – even in the past, that the sanctions are in place to try to achieve a goal. And certainly, if we – if Burma made progress toward addressing our concerns on the core political issues, certainly I think we would look at sanctions. But at this point, they haven’t made any such progress.
QUESTION: So is it fair to say that then, at this point, you have no intention of removing any of the current sanctions?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, I would put it this way. If we made any – were to make any adjustments going forward, it would be based on tangible progress by Burma.
QUESTION: Thank you.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Not a – not preemptive.
QUESTION: Got it. So they move first, not you.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Right.
QUESTION: Thanks.
OPERATOR: Again, as a reminder, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1. One moment while we wait for any incoming questions. I am showing no further questions at this time.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much.
OPERATOR: Thank you. This concludes today’s conference. Thank you for your participation. You may disconnect at this time.

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