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Archive for November, 2011

Statement On Egyptian Elections

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 30, 2011

 


Yesterday, Egypt concluded the first two-day round of voting in its historic transition to democracy. I congratulate the Egyptian people for a peaceful, successful start to their election process. Egyptians are justifiably proud to begin the process of choosing their new leaders. The United States stresses the importance of Egypt’s transition to democracy continuing in a just, transparent and inclusive manner.

The American people will continue to stand by the people of Egypt as they move toward a democratically elected civilian government that respects universal human rights and will meet their aspirations for dignity, freedom, and a better life.

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Remarks at the Special Session on Gender at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Busan Exhibition and Convention Center
Busan, South Korea
November 30, 2011

Thank you so much, Michelle, and thanks to all of you who are here at the Session on Gender as part of the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. First and foremost, I want to thank UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, Korean Minister for Gender Equality and Family Minister Kim Kum-lae, everyone participating on this panel, and all of my colleagues and counterparts in the audience for prioritizing this discussion today.

I was standing listening to Michelle, who in her usual effective and strong way was making the case, but I could sense in her voice the same frustration that I feel from time to time, which is: How much longer do we have to make this case? This is a cause near and dear to my heart, as I know it is to many of you. It is at the core of our development and diplomacy policy. We know all the reasons why removing barriers to women’s integration and participation is essential to building growth and development, and we know that it is now quantified. The World Bank, the IMF, other internationally recognized sources have demonstrated time and again how much GDP can be increased, how much per capital can be increased. So we really have no choice but to tailor and target women and girls in our development programs.

And there’s an old saying: “What gets measured, gets noticed.” So that means we must collect data so we are constantly focused on how better to integrate women into our economies, and using this evidence, to build gender-inclusive development policies that work.

Now, for example, many countries collect data on loans given to small and medium sized businesses. But very few track how many of those businesses are owned by women. How many women who apply for small business loans actually get them? What are those loans worth compared to loans granted to men? With reliable answers to questions such as these, we can begin reforming credit policies, asset, ownership, and inheritance laws that still disadvantage women.

When we measure these same indicators consistently over time, then we will notice whether or not we are making progress.

Earlier this year at the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Ministerial, I called on the OECD, the World Bank, the UN, and the international community to standardize the data we have on women’s inclusion to make it more useful. These institutions have now come to the table here in Busan with a list of core indicators to track women’s status in education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

And today I am very pleased to announce a new collaboration between several governments and international organizations. It’s called the Evidence and Data for Gender Equality, or EDGE. This initiative responds to the growing demand of countries for financial and technical support to improve gender statistics. EDGE will help harmonize economic data broken down by gender across different surveys and national systems. Five donors have already pledged to support the EDGE initiative, creating partnerships with National Statistics Offices to implement common pilot activities that collect data on women’s entrepreneurship and assets – two areas where gender gaps in the data are largest.

Now, gathering this kind of empirical evidence is critical to the Busan Action Plan for Gender Equality and Development. And I look forward to seeing this initial data report and implementation plan that we have each agreed to share by next June.

In this forum, we have emphasized the need to hold ourselves to higher standards of accountability and transparency, and to stay focused on delivering results. The Action Plan will help us track our progress and stay on target over the next few years. And most importantly, it will help ensure the commitments we make here are translated into real improved opportunities for women – more women accessing education, more women finding employment, more women entrepreneurs receiving small business loans.

I believe we are entering the age of participation, one in which every individual can make valuable contributions to the global marketplace if they have the opportunity to do so. And it is incumbent upon us to make sure that men and women alike have that opportunity.

So I am very grateful to each of you for recognizing the absolute core importance of this work, and I turn it back to my friend, Executive Director Bachelet, and our panel of experts. Thank you.

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Press Availability in Busan, South Korea

Press Availability

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Busan Exhibition and Convention Center
Busan, South Korea
November 30, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hello, everyone. It’s a great pleasure to be back in the Republic of Korea.

Before I begin, I want to say a brief word about yesterday’s events at the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran. The United States condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. It is an affront, not only to the British people but also to the international community, and we stand ready to help in any way that we can to make the point, as strongly as possible, that governments owe a duty to the diplomatic community to protect life and property, and we expect the Government of Iran to do so.

Today, here in Busan, I had the opportunity to address two high priorities for U.S. foreign policy. In meetings with President Lee and with Foreign Minister Kim, I reaffirmed America’s deep bond with one of our closest allies. And at the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, I engaged on a great global challenge and a personal passion of mine – creating sustainable growth and improving lives around the world.

Let me begin with my meetings with the president and foreign minister. The alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea is a lynchpin of security, stability, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific. This alliance has never been stronger. President Lee, Foreign Minister Kim, and I discussed issues of global and regional importance, as we always do when we have the opportunity to exchange views.

And we particularly focused on the importance of promoting nuclear nonproliferation on the Korean Peninsula. I know we recently passed the one-year anniversary of the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. Let me reaffirm that the United States stands with our ally, and we look to North Korea to take concrete steps that promote peace and stability and denuclearization.

I also congratulated President Lee on the passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. It has been a long time coming, it took a great deal of work on both sides, but now we can get down to the important business of creating more jobs and economic opportunities for both our people.

And I thanked President Lee for hosting the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness here in Busan. As he eloquently told the audience this morning, 50 years ago Korea was recovering from a devastating war. Today, it is a vibrant industrial power and a major contributor to growth in other countries. And no one understands the importance of effective development better than the Korean people.

I came to the forum as the first American Secretary of State to do so to send a clear message: creating economic growth and delivering development results are not side issues. They are central matters in America’s foreign policy. We have elevated development alongside diplomacy and defense as a pillar of America’s foreign policy because it is core to promoting our values and interests. Countries whose economies are growing are more stable and less likely to spark regional crises. They become partners that can help solve global challenges.

And so not only is development a top priority for my country, it should be a priority for every nation, whatever its income level or stage of development. And I was very pleased to see the high-level representation from heads of state in government, ministers, and other officials representing governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, civil society, and NGOs.

In this morning’s plenary session, I spoke about the sometimes-difficult steps that every nation – developing and developed – the private sector and civil society groups can take to deliver tangible results. The task for all of us is to use development investments in a different way, as a catalyst that sparks self-sustaining progress. I’m very pleased to see these principles reflected in the political statement from this conference, which President Lee released earlier today. That statement reflects our shared vision and commitment to maintaining political leadership, and it is important in turning our aspirations into actions.

And finally, I participated in two events that mark important advances in our work to promote growth – first, a special session on gender, because the evidence is in and it is unmistakable: It pays to invest in women and girls, in their opportunities, from education to employment to health. Countries that make these investments are more likely to see sustainable economic growth. So we know what to do, but we don’t yet know how to do it. So we need better data to guide these investments, and the project we launched today, the Evidence and Data for Gender Equality, or the EDGE Initiative, will standardize the information that is collected on women’s inclusion in a economies by many different agencies that will help us make sure we are targeting our resources in ways that do the most good for the most people.

I also was able to meet with the four countries’ representatives who are part of our new Partnership for Growth – El Salvador, Ghana, Tanzania, and the Philippines, the countries we are working with to try to put into practice all of these changes that we think will bring about better results.

And lastly, I want to thank not only the Government of the Republic of Korea, but the OECD, which has been a leader in creating a new development strategy. And how we mobilize domestic resources so that they are available for the development of people in their own countries remains a key challenge, and I thank them.

So we’ve covered a lot of ground already today, and I’ll be happy to take your questions.

MS NULAND: We have time for two questions today. The first one goes to Matt Lee of Associated Press.

QUESTION: Hi, Madam Secretary. Next week, you are going to be attending this conference in Bonn on Afghanistan, and I’m wondering, considering the fact that you were just in Pakistan a couple of weeks ago and came away from that with high hopes or at least some expectation that cooperation would improve, I’m wondering how disappointed you are or how bad a thing it is that the Pakistanis are refusing to attend.

And then secondly, looking ahead to your trip to Burma late this afternoon, can you tell us what specifically you would like to see the Burmese do, and what is the U.S. prepared to do to reciprocate on those steps? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, with respect to Pakistan, what happened across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was a tragic incident. I called my Pakistani counterpart, Foreign Minister Khar, on Sunday to express our condolences on behalf of the American people and to pledge a full investigation into the circumstances of the event. Generals Dempsey and Allen, Ambassador Munter have been in close touch with their Pakistani counterparts, and we will look to move this investigation forward as swiftly and thoroughly as possible.

What is most important, I think, is that we learn lessons from this tragedy, because we have to continue to work together. We have all said many times that terrorism and extremism in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region threatens both countries as well as the interests and citizens of many other countries across the world. Nothing will be gained by turning our backs on mutually beneficial cooperation.

Frankly, it is regrettable that Pakistan has decided not to attend the conference in Bonn, because this conference has been long in the planning. Pakistan, like the United States, has a profound interest in a secure, stable, increasingly democratic Afghanistan. Our gathering in Bonn this coming Monday is intended to further that goal. Everyone knows Pakistan will be a major participant in what occurs in the future, so I would express regret and hope that perhaps there can be a follow-up way that we can have the benefit of Pakistani participation in this international effort to try to work toward a stable, secure, peaceful outcome in Afghanistan.

With respect to our upcoming trip, I am obviously looking to determine for myself and on behalf of our government what is the intention of the current government with respect to continuing reforms, both political and economic. And I’m going to save specific comments till I’ve had that chance, starting tomorrow, to begin my consultations. But obviously, we and many other nations are quite hopeful that these flickers of progress, as President Obama called them in Bali, will be ignited into a movement for change that will benefit the people of the country.

MS. NULAND: And last question, Ms. Hong Ton He of YTN.

QUESTION: (In Korean.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Wait, wait, wait. I’ve got to put my earpieces in. Thank you. Okay.

QUESTION: (In Korean.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Very good question. Because as I said in my remarks this morning, and again at the Gender Session, research shows that countries that invest in their girls and their women make more progress. I was later discussing this with President Lee, and he was talking about how education, even after the devastation of the Korean War, was readily available because of the commitment of both the government and the families of Korea for both their daughters and their sons. We know that investing in women’s employment, their health and education, have strong consequences for development.

So here’s what we are attempting to do. Just in the last three years, we have revamped our agriculture programs, which are now very much focused on women. Why? Because in the world, particularly Africa and Asia, the vast majority, as much as 60 to 70 percent, of the people in the field at smallholding – small agricultural holdings, who are doing the work of planting, of livestock tending, of harvesting, of marketing, are women. So how can one have a development policy for agriculture and leave women out?

Yet we know from research that often women are not given the chance to participate in programs that provide better seed or technical advice about how to do irrigation more effectively. Women who often labor in the fields of their family’s holdings are denied the right to continue to even live in their homes on that property if their father dies or their husband dies or their older brother dies. And so laws that eliminate the right of women to have the benefit of their work in agriculture are standing in the way of productivity.

We have also worked very hard to look at the impediments to economic growth, and we find that women are often denied access to credit. You may have a man and a woman who both go to the same lender, and they are not treated the same, even if they’ve come with the same collateral, the same background, the same work experience.

So those are just two examples of what we’re trying to do, which is working with countries to help them eliminate the barriers to participation in the economy for both men and women, but very often in the developing countries the barriers against women’s participation are greater. So focusing on tearing those barriers down will unleash creative productivity, will create entrepreneurs.

And the final thing I would say is that when we talk about putting women at the center of development, it does require us all to ask: Well, what are the barriers that maybe we’ve never seen before? Many years ago, I was in Africa, and everywhere I went I saw women working in the fields, I saw women carrying water, I saw women fetching firewood, I saw women at market stalls. And I was talking to some economists, and I said, “Well, how do you evaluate the contributions of women to the economy?” And the answer was, “We don’t, because they don’t participate in the economy,” meaning the formal economy. But if women across Africa all of a sudden stopped working one day, you would find that they actually contribute a lot to the economy.

Well, it’s true around the world. And we know that if we lower these barriers, GDP and per capita income will increase in every region of the world, in every country, including my own. So focusing on that is in everyone’s interest, in particular our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters, and future generations of women to come.

Thank you all very much.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

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Keynote at the Opening Session of the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Busan Exhibition and Convention Center
Busan, South Korea
November 30, 2011

Well, good morning, and let me begin by thanking President Lee and the Korean Government for the excellent preparation and for the example that we have heard about and see for ourselves here in Busan. And let me also thank the OECD for helping to organize this Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

I’m pleased to be the first American Secretary of State to attend such a forum. We’ve already heard some excellent addresses with a lot food for thought, and I imagine that all of the prior speeches will be studied and relied upon as we judge the outcomes of our efforts here at Busan. Let me therefore say that I will put my entire remarks on our website for anyone who wishes to read them, but let me make a few comments about how I see what we are doing here today together, because I think it’s important that we recognize the accomplishments that have occurred, in some places quite dramatically, as we have heard not only about Korea but also about Rwanda. But let us also acknowledge honestly the challenges and the problems that we must address if we expect to see greater progress.

It’s imperative to recognize a fact that is important in all of our deliberations. Official development assistance from governments and multilateral organizations is no longer the primary driver of economic growth. In the 1960s, such assistance represented 70 percent of the capital flows going into developing countries. But today, because of private sector growth and increased trade, domestic resources, remittances, and capital flows, it is just 13 percent – even as development budgets have continued to increase.

So what does that mean for us? Well, with official development assistance representing a much smaller share of the resources flowing into developing countries, we have to think differently about how we use it. I believe it must serve as a catalyst to spark self-sustaining progress – by helping to reduce risks that prevent companies from doing business in developing countries; by helping governments and domestic financial institutions expand credit to local small and medium enterprises; by working with governments to address the structural barriers to advancement, especially for women – and we’ve heard already about education, but there are also outdated land tenure laws and access to capital that are real impediments – and by lending technical assistance that helps governments build their capacity to better serve their own citizens.

In short, we need to continue shifting our approach and our thinking from aid to investment, investments targeted to produce tangible returns. And we have to be very honest about it, because wise investors choose their investments carefully. They manage for risks; they amplify their impact by trying to draw even more participants to the table. But when a particular investment is not producing the projected returns, there have to be tough decisions made about whether to modify or eliminate it.

So even as we point to progress, I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to dwell on our accomplishments, but instead I’d rather talk honestly about what each of us – traditional donors, emerging economies, developing countries, the private sector, civil society, and NGOs – can do now to deliver on the commitments we have made and to produce the results we seek.

I recognize that the changes we’ve seen in development mean that old distinctions – like “donor” and “recipient” – are less relevant, since many emerging economies are both donors and recipients, but it is still worth taking stock of what each of us is called to do.

I’ll begin with traditional donors, including the United States and the multilateral organizations represented here. Of the 13 measures of progress we all agreed to in Paris six years ago, we have achieved just one, and that just barely, related to coordination. Now, I recognize that these metrics are aspirational, but I believe we can and must do better. So let me describe a few of the concerns we hear about traditional donors and what the United States is attempting to do in response.

First, we need to get serious about what we mean when we talk about country ownership of development strategies. Let’s be clear. Too often, donors’ decisions are driven more by our own political interests or our policy preferences or development orthodoxies than by our partners’ needs. But now our partners have access to evidence-based analysis and best practices, so they can better decide what will work for them. We have to be willing to follow their lead. We have tried to do that in the three-plus years in the Obama Administration, starting with recognizing that development needed to be elevated alongside defense and diplomacy as one of the three pillars of our foreign policy. So we set about working not only through the State Department, but USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation to do just that. So, for example, our new U.S. Global Health Initiative supports country-led plans to try to strengthen health systems so our partners can eventually address more of their own health needs.

But we’ve also found that too often we see countries shifting resources out of their national budgets once donor money comes in, whether it is in a parallel organization or through the national ministries. So we have a substitute effect instead of a cumulative one. So as we make decisions about country-led development strategies, our partners have to be working with us in ways that truly set the outcomes we are trying to achieve and then hold both of us accountable for doing so.

Second, our partners express concerns about what is called “tied aid”: requirements that some development contributions must be acquired through firms in our own countries. We certainly understand the benefits of untying aid and we attempted to do so. While we cannot commit to have untied all American assistance, we are working to untie as much as possible. And actually in – between 2005 and 2009, we more than doubled the percentage of assistance that is untied, from 32 percent to 68 percent. But one of the reasons tied aid has persisted is in order to get political support for the budgets that we turn into official development assistance. So we try to untie as much as possible, but recognize the political constraints that we and others operate under.

Third, we hear from our partners that we need to focus on the right measures of success. All of us know the difference between inputs and outputs, but sometimes we confuse both with outcomes. Too often, we measure success by what we put in – namely the number of textbooks delivered to schools or seeds provided to farmers – rather than what we get out. We know textbooks alone don’t lead to a well-educated workforce and that seeds alone cannot produce a thriving agricultural sector. So we have to be clear about what our outcomes should be and then hold ourselves and all of our partners to them. Within our government, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has been a pioneer in this area. And USAID recently adopted a new measurement and evaluation model that has been broadly recognized as the gold standard.

Fourth, we hear that we need to be more flexible. And the truth is that we make and implement decisions more slowly than the private sector and often more slowly than some emerging economies. Now, of course, we do have to demand due diligence to make sure that dollars are spent effectively and efficiently, but I admit that, over time, our procedures have become bureaucratic and cumbersome. So we should take, with your help, a hard look at how we streamline our protocols so we can invest faster and adjust our strategies more quickly without sacrificing either high standards or outcomes. The United States, through USAID’s Forward agenda, is working to streamline our procurement process and channel more resources into government ministries that can use them efficiently.

And finally, I want to say a word about coordinating our efforts. This has been a topic of development conferences for so long that it is a cliché, but it is also still a problem. Many donors, like ourselves, have multiple agencies that engage in development. The United States Government alone has more than 15. And all too often, we require different measures of success, so it is easy to see how our good intentions can create frustrating burdens for our partners.

So we are trying some different approaches. Through the Obama Administration’s new Partnership for Growth, the United States is working intensively with four partner countries – El Salvador, Ghana, Tanzania, and the Philippines – to identify their biggest impediments to growth, and then to coordinate the efforts of every U.S. agency, from Agriculture to Treasury, in helping them overcome these barriers. In addition, our Feed the Future program now helps our partners bring together international donors to invest in the country’s plan to improve agriculture and food security.

So in all of these areas, from country ownership to coordination, the United States is responding to the concerns we have heard. We are guided by President Obama’s Policy Directive on Global Development and by the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review that I commissioned to make a blueprint for how State and USAID become more nimble, more effective, and more accountable. We recently launched a Foreign Assistance Dashboard at www.foreignassistance.gov, which lets anyone with an internet connection see where we’re investing and how much. And today we are taking another step. I’m pleased to announce that the United States will join the International Aid Transparency Initiative, and we will – (applause) – report data in a timely, easy-to-use format.

But just as traditional donors can work smarter and do better, so can others as well. We welcome the emerging economies that are embracing the responsibility to help solve shared challenges. For example, Brazil and Japan are partnering with Mozambique, whose climate and soil condition are similar to Brazil’s, to expand its soybean crop. And Mexico, like Brazil, is sharing lessons with all of us from its innovative conditional cash transfer programs.

All of us must live up to the international standards that the global community has committed to, starting with a commitment to help countries become more self-reliant. That means, for example, helping countries with natural resources escape the so-called “resource curse” that leaves them rich in oil, gold, or other commodities but poor by many other measures. And while national sovereignty is an important principle, it cannot become an excuse for avoiding scrutiny of development efforts, not if we want results. Transparency helps reveal our weaknesses so we can improve our work.

Being an accountable partner also means refusing to look the other way when leaders repress their own people. This year, the World Bank reported evidence that respect for economic freedom and civil and political liberties helps explain why some countries achieve better long-term economic outcomes than others. Well, it stands to reason. Any plan for growth that depends on opening new businesses will also depend on an environment where citizens can exchange ideas and compete for customers freely, and where all people have a chance to contribute to progress. It also depends on strong institutions: impartial courts, a competent, honest police force, a free press to call out corruption.

Finally, I know that the historical distinction between developed and developing countries still influences how some see development, with traditional donors on one side, emerging economies and developing nations on the other. That won’t work anymore. We need every provider of assistance at the table, emerging and traditional, public and private. And we need to make sure we get past the old divisions so we can deliver results for everyone.

This brings me to our developing-country partners. Today, we know donors must do more to support country ownership, but we also have to expect more from developing countries. The political will must be mobilized to take on the biggest obstacles to a country’s own development. For some, it may be a court system where the rule of law only applies to some of the people some of the time, or a system of laws that prevent women from owning or inheriting property. For others, it may be a tax system that makes it easy for people to avoid paying, or fails to levy taxes at all. And for many, it is a ruling elite who protect their own interests at the expense of their fellow citizens. And in many places, it remains security, and I applaud the countries of Central America, who are working together to take on one of the biggest barriers to development, the lack of sufficient security, by working to reform a criminal justice sector and fight corruption.

All of these challenges require leaders who have the courage to make tough choices and who are willing to tell powerful people something they don’t want to hear, that their taxes are going up, for example, or that their special privileges are going away. Elites in developing countries need to support political leaders who take on these tough issues that will benefit everyone by making the pie even bigger.

Developing countries also need to be smart shoppers. Be wary of donors who are more interested in extracting your resources than building your capacity. Some funding might help fill short-term budget gaps, but we’ve seen time and again is that these quick fixes will not produce sustaining results.

And finally, the developing countries represented here should recognize that the domestic and foreign private sector can play a productive role in development. Now, I understand that some of you may be reluctant to buy that, for understandable reasons. You have seen corporations put their profits ahead of your interests in the past, and you have suffered the consequences. But today, we see companies truly exercising corporate responsibility, like IBM and Unilever, offering sustainable solutions for development problems. If the business climate in a country is improved, if businesses can start without having to pass money through many hands and go through many hoops, you will see results, and you can create more opportunities for more people.

We recently saw an announcement in Haiti, where the Government of Haiti, working with a Korean company, Sae-A, is putting together a $70 million investment by one of the largest garment manufacturers in the world to help build that company’s first textile mill that will eventually employ 20,000 people. But it wasn’t only the employment. It was also building a school and building housing and helping to model what could work, coming straight out of the Korean experience.

And now, let me say a word to our partners from the private sector and civil society. I want to thank our civil society partners for your tireless efforts to improve lives around the world and congratulate you on developing the Istanbul principles for development effectiveness. Now it is time to get to work. (Applause.) And let me say, most importantly, like traditional donors, you must end the practice of creating your own strategies independent of a country-led plan. It is in your interest – (applause) – to coordinate with government agencies and other NGOs. Otherwise, we see you, what President Kagame very eloquently described, which is parallel programs that do not build capacity and leave sustainable outcomes.

As for the private sector, as you well know, some, if not many, in the development community are still reluctant to work with you. You can help bridge this divide. Don’t wait for activists to push you to set industry guidelines for workplace safety, pay, transparency, or other issues. Take these steps yourselves and build trust.

The potential is enormous. USAID, under Raj Shah’s leadership, recently launched a new partnership with the World Food Program and PepsiCo. Together, we will invest $6 million in Ethiopia, Prime Minister, to help smallholder farmers grow more chickpeas. Pepsi will buy those chickpeas and turn them into a high-energy paste, which the World Food Program will then distribute to malnourished children throughout the Horn of Africa. Let’s expand on models like this. We need new types of public-private partnerships, new mechanisms for sharing technology, and new ways to align your business interests with development goals.

And there is one last challenge I want to discuss, and that is to echo the eloquence of Queen Rania: leveraging the impact that women can have on effective development. If we didn’t know before, certainly a growing body of research should convince us that nations which invest in women’s employment, health, and education tend to have more economic growth; farmers are more productive, children healthier and better educated. So for our part, the United States is putting women at the center of our development efforts, and we are collecting data – (applause) – to make sure we’re having the impact we want.

In just a little while, I will attend a meeting for the gender issues, and I thank Korea for cosponsoring that. That will be chaired by Michelle Bachelet, where we will announce our program for trying to collect data to convince those who remain unconvinced to invest in your girls and your women if you wish to develop. (Applause.)

So today, I’m asking all of us to take a hard look at where we need to improve, starting with my own country’s shortcomings, because the stakes are too high for anything else. And as we look ahead to future gatherings where our work will be discussed, we need to be able to say that out of Busan we really made a difference, we learned from our mistakes, we took on the hardest problems, and we held all of us, with no exceptions, to the highest standards, and then we delivered on our commitments. Not just a commitment to a certain level of funding, or even to a series of principles, as important as those are, but the ultimate commitment to improving the lives of millions of people and to helping those who are on the frontlines doing development work day in and day out, and a commitment to the idea that every person, boy or girl, should have the right to fulfill his or her God-given potential in the world of the 21st century. That is, after all, the purpose of development, and that is the goal of this forum, and it is an honor to join all of you in working to achieve it.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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For what it is worth, here is yesterday’s schedule,  just posted by DOS,  followed by today’s.

 

Public Schedule for November 29, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
November 29, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
Secretary Clinton is en route to foreign travel in Busan, Republic of Korea to participate in the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. She is accompanied by Counselor Mills, Assistant Secretary Campbell and Director Sullivan. Click here for more information.

PM LOCAL Secretary Clinton arrives in Busan, Republic of Korea.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

 

 

Public Schedule for November 30, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
November 30, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel.

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Dressed (beautifully and appropriately) in pink, our girl issued the following fact sheet on empowering women and girls at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness at Busan today.

The Special Session on Gender at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness at Busan

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 29, 2011

A panel discussion hosted by Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, and Kum-lae Kim, Korea’s Minister for Gender Equality and Family, and moderated by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women.

Why gender equality for development effectiveness?

Achieving our internationally agreed development goals requires accelerated progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment. A growing body of evidence shows that empowering women and reducing gender gaps in health, education, labor markets, and other areas is associated with lower poverty, higher economic growth, greater agricultural productivity, better nutrition and education of children, and a variety of other outcomes.

Participants in this session include representatives of partner countries, donors, women’s organizations, private sector and mulitlateral organizations, and development banks. They will discuss ways to translate evidence into action at the country level, and their support for gender related commitments in the Busan Outcome Document and “building blocks.”

Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE):

  • The Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) Initiative is a new initiative to improve the availability and use of statistics that capture gender gaps in economic activity. It capitalizes on the United States’ call to action at the May 2011 OECD Ministerial Session on Gender and Development and builds on recommendations of the UN International Agency and Expert Group on Gender and Statistics.
  • Working in close cooperation with international organizations and government statistical agencies, the UN Statistics Division and UN Women will lead and manage the Initiative from 2012-2015, which will include: 1) the development of an online database for a harmonized set of indicators on education, employment, and entrepreneurship, among others, and 2) a set of common, pilot activities in a small number of partner countries to develop protocols and data collection methods for sex-disaggregated data on entrepreneurship and assets, two areas with large data gaps.

The Busan Joint Action Plan for Gender Equality and Development:

  • The Joint Action Plan captures commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment made at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and identifies actions to improve foreign assistance to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
  • The plan commits to accelerating a results-focused agenda that will promote greater gender equality and women’s empowerment, addressing the factors underlying women’s lower economic, political and social status. This requires accurate information, rigorous analysis, coordinated action, partnerships, improved capacity, investment and monitoring of gender equality commitments.

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