Archive for November, 2009

Reuters Pictures
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks about AIDS initiatives of the Obama administration during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, November 30, 2009, on the eve of International AIDS day. Watching are Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (L) and U.S. Global AIDS coordinator Eric Goosby.

Remarks On The Administration’s Efforts on HIV/AIDS

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Washington, DC
November 30, 2009

As Valerie Jarrett leaves, I want to thank her for her leadership on this and so many issues here in the White House and in the Administration, and for her personal testimony as to the importance of this issue for her, for President Obama, for all of us.

We are gathered on the eve of World AIDS Day to renew and recommit ourselves. It is obvious to those sitting in this audience, as I look out at you and see people who have been involved in this struggle for a long time, that you know that we have made progress, but we face an unending pandemic, one that spares no one, that unfortunately, disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, and which is the defining health challenge of our times. And we have to address it through a series of broad and cross-cutting global partnerships and a whole-of-government approach. And that is exactly what we are attempting to do.

We know the ravages and complexities of HIV/AIDS here in our own country, and we know, many of us, what it looks like around the world. But we can take some heart in the progress that has been made over the last two decades. Access to antiretroviral treatment in low- and middle-income countries has risen tenfold in the last five years. New HIV infections have fallen by 17 percent over the last eight years. And much of that progress has been due to the concerted efforts of the United States Government and our partners.

I want to applaud President Bush for making a serious commitment to American leadership in combating HIV/AIDS. His administration spearheaded the creation of PEPFAR – the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. And by supporting its implementation and activities, the United States has made the largest effort in history by any nation to combat a single disease. I remember well serving as a senator from New York how there was bipartisan support on behalf of this initiative, and the extraordinary commitment of dollars and technical assistance that backed it up.

PEPFAR has provided lifesaving antiretroviral treatment to over 2 million men, women, and children worldwide, through partnerships with other governments and NGOs. We’ve supported care for more than 10 million people, including 4 million orphans and vulnerable children. And PEPFAR’s efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission have helped nearly 240,000 HIV-positive mothers give birth to children who are HIV-free. So it is clear that our nation’s investments are having an impact. And President Obama is dedicated to enhancing America’s leadership in the fight against global AIDS with PEPFAR serving as the cornerstone of our Global Health Initiative to promote better and more sustainable health outcomes.

Later this week, Ambassador Goosby will present the five-year strategy for the future of PEPFAR outlining the important role that PEPFAR will play in transitioning from emergency response to sustainable health systems that help meet the broad medical needs of people with HIV and the communities in which they live. In its next phase, PEPFAR programs will support a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach in many countries to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and get services to people at earlier stages.

Obviously, our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it, but also to combat discrimination more broadly. We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide. It is an unacceptable step backwards – (applause) – on behalf of human rights. But it is also a step that undermines the effectiveness of efforts to fight the disease worldwide.

We will also redouble our efforts to address the needs of women and girls who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in many parts of the world. Promoting the health of women strengthens families and communities and has positive spillover effects in areas like poverty reduction and education. Since we know the most effective health programs are integrated with functioning local and national governments, we will work with partner governments to assess capacity, identify gaps, and make customized plans to meet each country’s needs.

Now, that means creating more programs like the ones that Ambassador Goosby and I visited in Africa over the summer. In Angola, for example, our PEPFAR Partnership Framework supports the country’s HIV National Strategic plan to strengthen the health care infrastructure there.

We visited a clinic in South Africa, which we co-sponsor with the South African Government, and heard from patients who not only receive care but also support as they face the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.

Our investments in PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and overall global health have made a positive difference. And we will continue our support, but we have to do more. We have to make sure that our programs foster conditions that improve people’s lives and, in turn, promote stability, prosperity, and security.

In this time of very tight budgets in our own government and our own people suffering from unemployment, from other kinds of cutbacks in services, we have to do more even here at home. We’ve seen some of the results of the cutbacks that are happening at the state and local level. So while we are talking about our commitment internationally, let’s not forget our fellow citizens who are suffering right now.

And then we also have to make the case to our fellow citizens that our investment in dealing with the pandemic worldwide is in America’s interest. So we are committed to doing so. President Obama is implementing the repeal of the “HIV entry ban,” a longstanding policy that prevented people living with HIV/AIDS from entering our country. The repeal will take effect early in the new year, and will be vigorously enforcing it.

Today, I am pleased to announce that, with the repeal of the ban, the International AIDS Society will hold the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. (Applause.) This conference will draw together an estimated 30,000 researchers, scientists, policymakers, healthcare providers, activists, and others from around the world.

So as we look to 2012, we have to continue to seek a global solution to this global problem. On World AIDS Day, let us renew our commitment to ensuring that those infected and affected by HIV—the woman on treatment who is supporting her family, the child who dropped out of school to care for sick parents, the doctors and nurses without adequate resources— that all those who have joined together to fight this pandemic will someday live in a world where HIV/AIDS can be prevented and treated as a disease of the past.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Hmmmmmm. I guess THIS was not important enough for the Bureau of Public Affairs to tell us about, either.

Note to: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Daily Appointments Schedule:

The fact that the title “Secretary” contains the word “secret” does not imply that her schedule and activities should be a secret.

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Of course you had to have some kind of ESP to know this was going to happen since the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs did not post a Daily Schedule today.

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Remarks With Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
November 30, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is wonderful to welcome such a good friend to the State Department back to Washington. Prime Minister Rudd just had an excellent comprehensive meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office where we discussed a wide range of issues from climate change to Afghanistan. And it is always a personal delight for me to have the chance to engage with the prime minister, who’s one of the real creative thinkers about so many of the issues that we are confronting. And we want to thank you, Prime Minister, and especially to thank the people of Australia for our years of friendship and alliance on so many important matters.

PRIME MINISTER RUDD: Thank you, Secretary of State. And it’s great to be back in Washington, and we did have a good discussion with the President this morning, covering our common challenges in Afghanistan for the future. Australia takes its alliance with the United States very seriously. That’s why we have been with America for a long time in Afghanistan, and why we will be with America for the long haul.

When it comes to climate change, the clock’s ticking for us all when it comes to Copenhagen. And we’re working closely with our American friends to secure the best possible outcome for an important deal for the planet, for our economies, for jobs, for the environment.

But Secretary of State, thank you for having me as your guest here in this marvelous building, the State Department, where I’ve been many times before, but always look forward to the opportunity of coming back.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you, Kevin.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

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This is my totally shallow (well maybe not totally) post for the day.  Since I hope with all my heart that the Secretary of State is spending one more peaceful day of this holiday weekend at home with her family, and there are only a few new pictures up at Getty of her and Bill at a Broadway show (39 Steps) yesterday, which I will not post since they are watermarked, I will share a photo gallery of a characteristic Hillary gesture.

Especially when she is in a house of worship, but on other occasions as well, we see photos of her looking up.  Usually she is also smiling.  It is touching, charming, thoroughly captivating.  I think some of those times, just a hunch, she’s talking to her dad.  Here are some of those photos.

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In The Clintons aim to keep their worlds from colliding , in Thurday’s Washington Post, Mary Beth Sheridan lays out an excellent analysis of how Hillary and Bill Clinton manage to remain professionally untangled even though their international paths criss-cross like fishnet. Hillary supporters and loyalists are accustomed to responding to detractors who alleged that Hillary would simply be like a little wind-up version of Bill were she to occupy the Oval office.

No,  the Clintons, even if you want to refer to them as “Billary” (which I do not) are not monolithic. Her stances and his do not necessarily occupy the same square foot, as the late Tim Russert was so talented at digging out. But their paths cross international air routes, especially in regions of their personal special interests like Northern Ireland and Haiti, so keeping their virtual trapezes from crashing takes precision.

Sheridan reports:

‘A very tricky area’

The Clintons declined requests for interviews, but their aides emphasize that Secretary Clinton is carrying out the Obama administration’s foreign policy and say that their shared priorities are a coincidence. Some lawmakers, however, are wary of potential conflicts. Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation has received large contributions in recent years from governments such as Saudi Arabia’s, as well as Indian tycoons and prominent supporters of Israel — presenting what Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) called a “multimillion-dollar minefield of conflicts of interest.” In response, the former president agreed to release the foundation’s donor list and allow ethics officials to review some foreign pledges; the first annual disclosure of contributions since Hillary Clinton was confirmed is weeks away.

“They need to walk a very careful line; it’s a very tricky area. Hopefully that is being heeded, in terms of fundraising, by the Clinton Foundation,” said Andy Fisher, a spokesman for Sen. Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Secretary Clinton will be revisiting the Foreign Relations Committee this coming week to testify regarding the new Afghanistan Policy just six weeks short of the first anniversary of her knockout confirmation appearance before that committee last January.   She is certain to impress as she did in the past.  Also, when the CGI annual report is issued, all of the “i”s are sure to be dotted, and every “t” crossed.   Bill does not want, in any way,  to interfere with Madame Secretary’s important work.  (Meanwhile,  I know I am not alone in hoping they are spending a loving,  relaxing holiday weekend together.)

Read Mary Beth’s article here.

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I am bored and have a bad case of HWS. I am glad she is getting some off-time and rest, so I am not suggesting that the lovely SOS needs to be out there on jaunts and in front of the cameras all the time, but when she is not, this blog dries up a little. So, as a consolation, I am posting some of my favorite pictures of her with Bill,  who,  I hope,  is taking very special care of her this weekend. I am sure he is pampering Madame Secretary.

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This is what she she wore – and it is my favorite!  Turn around, Hillary!  Let us see you from the front!  Gorgeous!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We all hope you are home and resting and wish you a lovely Thanksgiving with your dear family.

(Parenthetically we also WISH you had posed for at least ONE photo last night at the State Dinner since it seems you might have worn THIS!)

(Parenthetically, I have to say my shallow comment of the day:  SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
Very HOT!)

Anyway, our loss.  But we want you to have a looooong restful holiday weekend with the people you love most, and we hope they pamper you as you so richly deserve (of course they will).

What WE are thankful for,  Madame Secretary, is YOU!  I thank God every day that I am living on earth at the same time you are.

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Daily Appointments Schedule for November 25, 2009 Washington, DC November 25, 2009 SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON: No Public Appointments OTHER: 12 Noon: Special Press Briefing by Special Envoy for Middle East Peace Senator George Mitchell, State Department Press Briefing Room (ON THE RECORD / ON CAMERA) THE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING WILL BEGIN AT APPROXIMATELY 12:30 P.M. ************************************************************************************************ Well, we know that does not necessarily mean no appointments but only that, if there ARE appointments, they will not be public. I hope it means she is home or headed there for the holiday! By the way, Secretary Clinton, looking adorable here. I hope we find some photos from last night! There do not seem to be any out there!

*********Breaking news from CNN is that the Secretary will  be back on HillForce One for NATO headquarters next week immediately following the President’s announcement of the new Afghanistan strategy.

**********UPDATE: This is in direct conflict with the CNN report above Sec. Gates, Sec. Clinton, Adm. Mullen Scheduled To Testify Wednesday On Afghanistan

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As you may know from sources OTHER than the State Department, which has been mysteriously and frustratingly tight-lipped about the events of the day, our very vibrant and (shallow comment of the day) adorable Secretary of State hosted a luncheon today for visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his delegation. Here are some charming photos, a video, and a transcript of her remarks.

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Remarks at Luncheon for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Ben Franklin Room

Washington, DC

November 24, 2009

Please be seated, and welcome to the State Department, to the ceremonial receiving rooms of the 8th floor. And it is a personal delight, as well as a high honor, to have so many of you gathered here, such a distinguished group, for this special occasion.

Prime Minister, Mrs. Kaur, we are so delighted and honored that you could be here and that you are the first official state visitors of the Obama Administration. And it’s a special pleasure to be here with my friends, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden.

When the Vice President and I served together in the United States Senate, one of the many issues on which we shared a common view was the importance of building a strong and sustainable partnership with India. I co-founded and co-chaired the Friends of India Caucus, the first country-focused caucus in the history of the Senate. And Vice President Biden, who was then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was absolutely central to the passage of the landmark civilian nuclear agreement between our nations. He worked for months to craft the compromise that made this agreement possible. And we have seen how it has opened vital new avenues of cooperation between India and the United States.

The Vice President understood early what is now a core tenet of foreign policy in the Obama Administration, that the ability and the commitment of India and the United States to work together will be critical to our successes in both nations in addressing common challenges and achieving shared goals in the 21st century.

As the world’s largest democracy and the world’s oldest democracy, we are poised to collaborate on a number of fronts, from strengthening our security and confronting the threat of violent extremism, to fostering breakthroughs in science and technology, to increasing political, economic, and social opportunities for the world’s women.

India’s emergence as a political and economic leader gives us the chance to widen opportunity in places that have been left out of global progress for so long. And the many ties that connect us, many evidenced here in this room, between families and businesses, universities, cultural institutions, and civil society groups, create so much potential for us to work together to improve the lives of citizens in both our countries.

I am particularly impressed by Prime Minister Singh’s absolute determination to raise the standard of living and provide greater opportunity for the people that he represents. You cannot talk with him for more than 30 seconds without feeling that passion and that commitment. (Applause.)

And I have been privileged to have worked with and followed the affairs of India over a number of years, going back to my time as First Lady, and certainly as senator. But I was especially pleased to return to India this summer as Secretary of State, where Minister Krishna and I announced a new Strategic Dialogue between our countries covering a range of issues, including nonproliferation and counterterrorism, education and development, trade, and agriculture, science and technology, clean energy, and climate, and so much else.

And while I was in India, I had the chance to meet with people from across the spectrum, from university students to agricultural scientists, to women entrepreneurs from rural areas who are transforming their lives. And I was reminded of the extraordinary diversity and energy of India, not unlike that of the United States, another pluralistic, diverse, occasionally raucous democracy that invites the free expression of ideas, elects leaders peacefully through free and open elections, and continues to move forward into the future with momentum.

So we live in exciting times. And President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I are committed to making the most of this promising moment by deepening the areas of cooperation that exist between India and the United States. We will work together to help shape a future that really fulfills the dreams of our people. Both Indians and Americans want a better life. That’s why our people are such hard workers and so committed to a better future for their children. And the Indian American community represented here today has been an absolute engine of progress and change here in our country.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, this is a very auspicious occasion for us. And we work with you to achieve the goals that you have stood for throughout your entire public career. We are grateful for the history and friendship that already unites us, and we are committed to building on that in the years to come. And one of the people who will be leading the way is my friend and colleague, Vice President Joe Biden. (Applause.)

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