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Archive for April, 2012

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Dinner for PM Noda, posted with vodpod

Secretary Clinton Hosts a Dinner for the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: I want to thank the National Geographic Museum for hosting us this evening as we welcome Prime Minister Noda for his first official visit to Washington. I also want to acknowledge the legendary violinist Midori, who will be playing for us tonight, and our guest chef Bryan Voltaggio. Thank you both very much.

We are here tonight to celebrate the friendship between the United States and Japan. This is a bond between us that promotes security, stability, and prosperity not only in the Asia Pacific but around the world. Our countries are standing side by side to meet the most important challenges of our time.

Japan remains an essential world leader, even in the face of the unspeakable tragedies that it suffered. Americans are inspired by the bravery and resilience of the Japanese people.

In addition to the partnership between our two governments, what is most important about our relationship are the ties between our two peoples. Many of you here tonight have played an important role in strengthening the bonds that our countries share. But we want to be sure that it is not just a relationship of the present and the past, but also one of the future.

That’s why we are working to create opportunities for the young people in both of our countries. Our shared goal is to promote a tomodachi or friendship generation of young people who will be our future leaders. That’s why we have created a private-public partnership, the TOMODACHI Initiative, to bring young people from both countries together. We are looking forward to receiving hundreds of young Japanese students and sending hundreds of young American students, through student exchanges, sports programs, and entrepreneurial programs.

There is no better symbol of our enduring friendship than the cherry blossoms that have been announcing the arrival of springtime in Washington for 100 years. One hundred years ago, the United States received 3,000 cherry trees as a gift of friendship from the Japanese people. Tonight, I am pleased to announce a gift of 3,000 Red Twig Dogwood trees for the people of Japan from the American people. (Applause.) Prime Minister, this gift is commemorated by the plaque behind us, and we hope that these dogwood trees in Japan will, like the cherry trees here, serve as a symbol of the strong relationship and friendship between our countries.

And so, Prime Minister, I would like to offer a toast to the Japanese and American people, to our enduring friendship and partnership, and to a future we build together of peace and prosperity for ourselves and the world. (Applause.)

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2+2 Meeting between the U.S. and the Philippines, posted with vodpod

Remarks With Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, and Philippines Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good afternoon. It is such a pleasure for me to welcome our colleagues from the Philippines, Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Gazmin. And I am always happy to welcome my longtime friend and colleague, Secretary Panetta.Today we held the first ever 2+2 meeting between the United States and the Philippines, a testament to our shared commitment to write a new chapter in the partnership between our two countries. With the growing security and economic importance of the Asia Pacific, the United States is actively working to strengthen our alliances, build new partnerships, and engage more systematically in the region’s multilateral institutions.

At the heart of this strategy is our effort to deepen and broaden our alliance with our friend and treaty ally, the Philippines. This alliance is rooted not just in a deep history of shared democratic values but in a wide range of mutual concerns. And today we had a chance to cover a number of them.

First we discussed our bilateral military cooperation. Our alliance has helped keep both of our countries secure for more than 60 years, and it has been a bulwark of peace and stability in Asia. Today the United States reaffirms our commitment and obligations under the mutual defense treaty.

We also discussed steps we are taking to ensure that our countries are fully capable of addressing both the challenges and the opportunities posed in the region in the 21st century. We need to continue working together to counter violent extremism, to work on addressing natural disasters, maritime security, and transnational crime.

We also discussed the evolving regional security situation. We both share deep concerns about the developments on the Korean Peninsula and events in the South China Sea, including recent tensions surrounding the Scarborough Shoal. In this context, the United States has been clear and consistent. While we do not take sides on the competing sovereignty claims to land features in the South China Sea, as a Pacific power we have a national interest in freedom of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, and the unimpeded, lawful commerce across our sea lanes. The United States supports a collaborative diplomatic process by all those involved for resolving the various disputes that they encounter. We oppose the threat or use of force by any party to advance its claims. And we will remain in close contact with our ally, the Philippines. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the foreign secretary as we approach the ASEAN Regional Forum in July.

Finally, we discussed the maturing economic relationship between our countries as well as our shared commitment to enhanced development, trade, and investment. We would like to see the Philippines join the Trans Pacific Partnership trade community. The foreign secretary raised the Philippines’ interest in seeking passage of the Save our Industries Act, and we have conveyed that message to the United States Congress. And of course, I complimented the Philippines and the Aquino government on the progress with our Partnership for Growth and the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact.

So once again, colleagues and friends, we appreciate your participating in this first ever 2+2, and we look forward to our future cooperation.

Secretary del Rosario.

SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. I am honored to be here. Today marks a milestone in the alliance and strategic partnership of the Philippines and the United States. For the first time, we held our 2+2 consultations at the ministerial level. Our consultations were timely. Discussions on key issues of common interest to us were conducted within the context of our respective domestic concerns as well as the challenges and opportunities which coexist in the Asia Pacific region. The 2+2 consultations paved the way for us to revisit the bilateral engagement between the Philippines and the United States. It opened an avenue for us to consider ways of fine-tuning our relations as we adapt to changing circumstances both in our region and the world at large. Thus, the focal points of our consultations were how best to keep our alliance relevant and responsive to each other’s needs.

We reaffirmed our shared obligations under our mutual defense treaty and underscored the necessity of ensuring that our alliance remains robust, agile, and responsive. We committed to jointly explore modalities by which the President could build a minimum credible defense posture and agreed to prioritize high-value and high-impact joint military exercises and training to meet our common objectives, including maritime security.

Moreover, we reaffirmed our common interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce and transit of peoples, as well as a rules-based multilateral, peaceful approach in resolving competing claims in maritime areas within the framework of international law, including UNCLOS.

In the field of economic and development cooperation, we agreed to accelerate the implementation of the Partnership for Growth, which aims to establish an inclusive growth path for the Philippines as well as the Millennium Challenge Compact to reduce poverty in our country.

The Philippines and the United States shall endeavor to increase bilateral trade and investment as well as tourism exchanges. We agreed to continue discussions on Philippine interest to eventually join the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. In the area of good governance, we shall promote the establishment of a national justice information system for the Philippines. We will also work to sustain our partnership in combating human trafficking.

In the multilateral arena, we both expressed support for efforts to increase cooperation in the ASEAN, in APEC, and in the East Asia Summit. Beyond doubt, the combined action of the Philippines and the U.S. in promoting converting interests and shared objectives would propel our alliance and strategic partnership towards a higher trajectory at a faster velocity.

Our just-concluded 2+2 consultations is the latest impetus in sustaining this positive momentum. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Secretary Panetta.

SECRETARY PANETTA: Good afternoon. I’d like to join Secretary Clinton in saying what a great pleasure it was to host Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Gazmin for one of the first 2 by 2 meetings here in Washington with the Philippines. I look forward to hosting Secretary Gazmin for dinner at the Pentagon this evening.

We had a very successful meeting today with our Filipino counterparts, and we discussed a number of ways our governments can work more closely together to strengthen the importance alliance that we have to deepen our engagements and to find shared solutions to the joint security goals that we share.
Our two nations have forged deep and abiding ties through shared sacrifice and common purpose. Seventy years ago this month, American and Filipino soldiers fought and bled together shoulder to shoulder during the opening battles of World War II at Corregidor and Bataan. Through dark days, and many of those dark days fought together, our forces joined again in 1944 to begin the hard-fought battle to liberate the Philippines. We honor that legacy with our renewed commitment to this U.S.-Philippine alliance.

Ours is an alliance and a friendship built on historic ties, common democratic values, and a shared desire to provide our two peoples a prosperous and more secure future. I want to emphasize how deeply the U.S. values this great partnership and the importance of the Mutual Defense Treaty that remains the cornerstone of our security relationship. Working together, our forces successfully are countering terrorist groups in the southern Philippines. We are improving the Philippines maritime presence and capabilities with the transfer of a second high-endurance cutter this year. We are working to expand and improve joint ISR programs and our ability to counter cyber attacks. And I’m pleased to see the close cooperation being built between our forces through training and exercises such as the recently completed exercise Balikatan in 2012.

The new U.S. defense strategy that we rolled out earlier this year recognized that one of the important regions of the world that we must focus on and that America’s future security depends on is the Asia Pacific region. As a resident Pacific power, the United States is committed to a rule-based regional order that promotes viable and vibrant trade and the freedom of navigation. We are enhancing our defense cooperation and expanding security partnerships throughout the region in order to sustain peace and stability, and we are committed to continuing our robust, stabilizing presence in that region.

I look forward to sitting down later today with Secretary Gazmin to discuss, among other things, how we can deepen our engagement in ways that enhance this very important alliance and that promote our common vision of regional security in a very important Asia Pacific region. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Secretary Gazmin.

SECRETARY GAZMIN: Good afternoon. Today’s meeting was a manifestation of the mutual desire of the Philippines and the U.S. to further deepen our strategic partnership. After watching our alliance endure through the years, we deem it crucial to prepare for the security challenges of today and tomorrow.
This is why we decided to hold the first 2+2 meeting, to be able to exchange views on how to formulate adoptive and responsive strategic policies. We have reached a critical juncture in our alliance, where our concerns in both traditional and nontraditional aspects of our security have become much more intertwined. While we are sustaining the gains for successful efforts in various areas of cooperation, we need to intensify our mutual trust to uphold maritime security and the freedom of navigation and thereby contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
Meanwhile, the effects of natural disasters have become too disastrous and thus necessitate greater cooperation for expedient and effective response. We look forward to working together and consult one another on how to improve the capability to uphold maritime security and institutionalize efficient humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Keeping these two objectives in mind, we look forward in working as reliable allies that contribute to the peace and stability in the region. We are also mindful that our efforts to further our alliance need to be in full consideration of our respective national laws and political context.

Thank you and good afternoon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

MS. NULAND: We’ll take two from each side today. We’ll start with NBC, Andrea Mitchell.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, thank you. I know you can’t get into the specifics of the Chen Guangcheng case, but the whole world is watching. And already Mitt Romney has said that any serious U.S. policy towards China has to confront the facts of the lack of political freedoms and other human rights abuses. So can we be sure that your interests, America’s interests in these talks in strategic issues such as Iran and Syria and North Korea and trade will not take precedence over human rights? And what are your concerns about all the activists who have now gone missing and the fate of Mr. Chen’s family?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, I look forward to traveling to China this evening. We will be going to Beijing for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. We have a full range of issues that covers all of the political and economic matters that are of concern to our nations and our people. I’m not going to address the specific case at this time, but I just want to put it in a broader context.

The U.S.-China relationship is important. It’s important not only to President Obama and me, but it’s important to the people of the United States and the world, and we’ve worked hard to build an effective, constructive, comprehensive relationship that allows us to find ways to work together. Now a constructive relationship includes talking very frankly about those areas where we do not agree, including human rights. That is the spirit that is guiding me as I take off for Beijing tonight, and I can certainly guarantee that we will be discussing every matter, including human rights, that is pending between us.

QUESTION: And those people who have gone missing?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have nothing to add to what I’ve said at this time. I have a full agenda of many issues of great concern to us, including human rights and the freedom and free movement of people inside China who have a right to exercise those freedoms under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

MS. NULAND: Next question, Jose (inaudible).

QUESTION: Mr. del Rosario, the standoff at the Scarborough Shoal is into its fourth week now. Did you get an unequivocal assurance from the U.S. it will come to the aid of the Philippines if shots are fired? And what was the type or form?

Also, short of shots being fired, how do you see the endgame of Scarborough being played out if China cannot be persuaded diplomatically to withdraw its vessels from the area?

SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: Those are several questions rolled into one, my friend, but let me begin from your last question. We do have a three-track approach to endeavoring to solve the problem that we currently have with China in the Scarborough Shoal. It encompasses three tracks.

The first track is the political track. We are pursuing the ASEAN as a framework for a solution to this problem through a code of conduct that we are trying to put together and ultimately approve. Hopefully that will quiet the situation.

Secondly, we are pursuing a legal track, and the legal track involves our pursuing a dispute settlement mechanism under UNCLOS. There are five of them. We think that we can avail of one or two of those mechanisms, even without the presence of China.

Thirdly, we are pursuing a diplomatic approach, such as the one that we are undertaking, which is to have consultations with China in an attempt to defuse the situation.

In terms of U.S. commitment, I think the U.S. has been very clear that they do not get involved in territorial disputes, but that they are firm in terms of taking a position for a – towards a peaceful settlement of the disputes in the South China Sea towards a multilateral approach and towards the use of a rules-based regime in accordance with international law, specifically UNCLOS. They have expressed that they will honor their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty.

MS. NULAND: Next, Cami McCormick from CBS News.

QUESTION: Secretary Panetta, this is for you. White House Counterterrorism official John Brennan today spoke openly for the first time about drones. He said the – President Obama wanted more transparency on this issue and more openness. As former CIA director and now Defense Secretary, I’m wondering, is there some national security benefit to talking about this now? Why was the decision made? And what are your thoughts on it?

SECRETARY PANETTA: I’m going to let the speech speak for itself. All I’ll say is that this country has engaged in a number of operations, both covert and overt, to go after al-Qaida and our terrorist allies – or their terrorist allies. And we have been very successful at weakening al-Qaida as a result of that. This is a group that attacked this country on 9/11, and we have made clear that we are going to do everything we can to defend this country, using every means possible. And the means we use are those that we feel are most effective to go after al-Qaida.

MS. NULAND: The last question today, (inaudible) Times.

QUESTION: My question is for Secretary Gazmin. Secretary, in light of the current Chinese-Philippines standoff in Scarborough Shoal, what kind of assistance have you asked to bolster Manila’s ability to patrol its waters and to deter what you call intrusions?

SECRETARY GAZMIN: Thank you for the question. The assistance we have sought is to help us bring the case to international legal bodies, so that the approach is the legal rules-based approach in resolving the issue in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

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Remarks at the Reception for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Thomas Jefferson Room
Washington, DC
April 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh my goodness. Well, that’s quite a claim. And I won’t go that far, but I will thank Ann, Assistant Secretary Ann Stock, for her commitment to this program and so many like it that really tell a story about our values and what we think is important. And I’m delighted to welcome all of you here to the State Department.

I had planned and been looking forward to being at this dinner, because you had been so well organized, you planned it far in advance, and then we worked out a date for the prime minister of Japan to come to Washington and when the White House said, “Well, why don’t you have a dinner for him at the State Department?” I said, “Well, we’ve already got this other dinner at the State Department, and I’m not about to ask them to move.” So I have to leave here to go over to the National Geographic building to host a dinner for Prime Minister Noda.

But I wanted to come by and thank all of you. I wanted to thank Fortune. I wanted to thank Pattie Sellers. I want to thank all of you for what you have done to really put the issue of women and women’s opportunities and successes at the forefront. And I know, Pattie, you’re not only editor-in-chief of Fortune, you also —

MS. SELLERS: I’m not editor-in-chief. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, well, editor-at-large. Editor-at-large, yes, editor-at-large, sorry. But editor-at-large plus co-chairing the Most Powerful Women Summit. And I’m grateful that Fortune and the State Department have worked together for several years now on the Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership. So far we have connected 174 emerging women leaders from over 42 countries – (applause) – the West Bank, and Gaza with mentors from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders.

And I would like to ask, first, all of the mentors to raise your hand who are here tonight. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.) And then I want to ask all the mentees to raise your hand. (Applause and cheers.)

Well, I’m excited because we have both mentors and mentees who are really stepping up to lead in the midst of historic political, social, and economic change. We have many relationships that are being created between you to spread information and inspiration at the same time. I really believe in this kind of mentoring and networking, because all too often it’s lonely out there, it’s hard out there, and you need support and guidance along the way. And for me, that’s not only important on a personal level, but I’ve seen the difference that women leaders, women activists, women citizens can make from one end of the world to the other.
Now, we are trying very hard to make sure that women are at the heart of American foreign policy and national security, not just because we think it’s a nice thing to do, but because we’re convinced by the evidence that it makes a real difference. So this is a celebration, and it’s a thank you for everybody who has participated in this program, but it’s also yet one more step on the way toward trying to ensure that women and girls are given the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.

So I thank you all. I’m sorry I won’t be here this evening to get to know you a little better and have some personal conversations, but for me, this is one of these events that I think has a lot of potential, because I don’t know who all is going to be in what position going forward.

Now, there’s somebody special that I want to introduce. I was looking for her. Sometimes she’s hard to find in a crowd. But I want her to come here. I want Senator Barbara Mikulski to come up here – (laughter and applause) – because I want you to know Senator Mikulski – (applause and cheering) – is the longest serving woman in history in the United States Congress. (Applause and cheering.) And when I was in the Senate we called her “the Dean” because she was the dean of all the women. Now she has surpassed the longevity of all the women.

And I want you, as I have to depart – I know you weren’t expecting this Barbara, but nobody expresses herself than Barbara Mikulski. I want her to give you just a little bit of an idea, because life is funny and unpredictable. Barbara was a social worker in Baltimore. And then something motivated her to be an advocate and to speak out and then to decide to run for public office. Now, earlier today, I know there was a panel that I heard about that I think Ann Stock and Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson and Under Secretary Tara Sonenshine were on, Barbara. And in the discussions with some of you, a number of you said well, your fathers, your brothers, your husbands are urging you to run for office, but you’re not sure you’re willing to do it because you’ll get so discouraged from the other women in your lives, that your girlfriends, your women relatives, they’re afraid for you, they’re worried about you, they don’t whether it’s a good idea.

And so I want Barbara to give you just a little favor – (laughter) – of – yeah, you’ve got to encourage all these young women from all over the world, Barbara. So please join me in welcoming Senator Barbara Mikulski. (Applause.)

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Video Message for OSCE Northern Ireland Event

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 30, 2012

I am delighted to send greetings to all of you in Dublin. You have gathered here with an important mission in mind. There is a lot to be learned by examining the pieces that came together to achieve a peaceful political settlement in Northern Ireland.Conflict resolution and mediation is one of the most difficult issues that we have to grapple with as a society. Building trust between parties and achieving and sustaining a peaceful settlement is an onerous task. But, it is also one of the worthiest challenges that you can choose to take on.

Over the course of the conference, you will engage in a series of high-level discussions involving some of the chief architects of the peace process. I hope that these discussions will inspire you. The Good Friday Agreement shows us that peace is a formidable goal, but it is an achievable one.

I also encourage you to consider the important role that women play in resolving conflict. In my visits to Northern Ireland and other places around the world, I have seen first-hand how women can be powerful mediators who build coalitions and foster compromise.

I admire your resolve in tackling these challenges, and I look forward to learning about what you discover throughout the course of this conference. Good luck.

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Public Schedule for April 30, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
April 30, 2012

 


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the assistant secretaries, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

11:40 a.m. Secretary Clinton joins President Obama’s bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, at the White House.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

12:40 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends President Obama’s working lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, at the White House.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

3:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton participates in the U.S.-Philippines ministerial dialogue 2+2 meetings with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Foreign Secretary of the Philippines Albert del Rosario, and Defense Secretary of the Philippines Voltaire Gazmin, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

4:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a joint press availability with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Foreign Secretary of the Philippines Albert del Rosario, and Defense Secretary of the Philippines Voltaire Gazmin, following U.S.-Philippines ministerial dialogue 2+2 meetings, at the Department of State.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

6:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends a reception for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

7:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a dinner for the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda, at National Geographic, in Washington, DC. Please click here for more information.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR REMARKS)

PM Secretary Clinton departs on foreign travel. Please click here for more information.

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Secretary Clinton to Kick-Off Seventh Annual Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 27, 2012

On Monday, April 30, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will kick-off the seventh annual Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership at the U.S. Department of State, which brings 25 emerging women leaders from Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burma, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe to the United States from April 29 – May 25, 2012. This public-private partnership, which is conducted in coordination with the Vital Voices Global Partnership, connects emerging international women leaders with one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders to encourage the next generation of women leaders to bring positive change to their companies and communities.

The program opens with a three-day orientation in Washington, D.C. where participants will meet with senior women in government, academia, and business. The second phase of the program pairs each of the international participants with one or more of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women leaders for a three-week mentoring program, where they will share skills and experiences. The program will conclude with a two-day debriefing in New York City, where participants attend workshops on media and communications strategies and meet with senior executives from New York-based companies.

During this program, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders will share their time, talent, and expertise in business and leadership with the international emerging women leaders. This year’s mentors include: Linda Addison of Fulbright & Jaworksi, LLP; Ellen Alemany of Citizens Financial Group, Inc.; Molly Ashby of Solera Capital; Tory Burch of Tory Burch LLC/Tory Burch Foundation; Antoinette “Toni” Cook Bush of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Kathy Bushkin Calvin of the United Nations Foundation; Christa Carone of Xerox Corporation; Susan Chambers of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Pamela Craig of Accenture; Weili Dai of Marvell Technology Group Ltd.; Shelley Diamond of Young & Rubicam, Inc.; Gerri Elliott of Juniper Networks, Inc.; Lauren Flaherty of Juniper Networks, Inc.; Stephanie George of Time Inc.; Anna Griffin of Juniper Networks, Inc.; Kimberly Kadlec of Johnson & Johnson; Jacki Kelley of Universal McCann; Phyllis Korff of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Laura Lang of Time Inc.; Marissa Mayer of Google, Inc.; Ashley McEvoy of Johnson & Johnson; Martha McGarry of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Deborah McWhinney of Citigroup Inc.; Donna M. Milrod of Deutsche Bank AG (DB); Pat Mitchell of The Paley Center for Media; Kathleen Murphy of Fidelity Investments; Karen Peetz of BNY Mellon; Kim Perdikou of Juniper Networks, Inc.; Dina Habib Powell of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; Liz Robbins of Liz Robbins Associates; ; Jennifer Taubert of Johnson & Johnson; Roxanne Taylor of Accenture; Bridget Van Kralingen of IBM Corp.; Sherrie Rollins Westin of Sesame Workshop; Susan D. Whiting of The Nielsen Company; and Pontish Yeramyan of Gap International.

Secretary Clinton To Host Dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Noda at National Geographic

Washington, DC
April 27, 2012

On April 30, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton will host a dinner for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at National Geographic in Washington, D.C. Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Noda will discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues and will celebrate the enduring people-to-people ties between our two nations. They will highlight efforts such as the TOMODACHI initiative, Japan’s Kizuna Project, and will announce a new gesture of friendship between our countries. Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Noda will also be given a private tour of the “Samurai: The Warrior Transformed,” an exhibit currently on display in the National Geographic Museum.

The dinner will begin at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Travel to China, Bangladesh, and India

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 26, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to China, Bangladesh, and India departing Washington, D.C. on April 30.

In Beijing May 3-4, Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will join their Chinese co-chairs, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, for the fourth joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). As with earlier S&EDs, this year’s event will be a “whole of government” dialogue that brings together cabinet members and agency heads, as well as other officials and experts, from agencies across both of our governments. In addition, Secretary Clinton will co-chair with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong the third U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) taking place May 3-4 in Beijing. The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of culture, education, sports, science and technology, and women’s issues.

The Secretary will then travel to Bangladesh and India from May 5-8, making stops in Dhaka, Kolkata, and New Delhi. In Dhaka, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior government of Bangladesh officials and civil society representatives to review robust U.S.-Bangladesh cooperation across the full range of political, economic, and security matters. In Kolkata, the Secretary looks forward to meeting state officials and other civil society organization representatives. In New Delhi she will meet with Indian government officials to review progress in the strategic partnership, looking forward to the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 13 and to be co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna.

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Remarks at the Department of State’s Annual Holocaust Commemoration

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Marshall Center Auditorium
Washington, DC
April 27, 2012

 


Well, thank you very much, Tina. And thank you for the work that you do and the bureau does and the impact that it continues to make. I’m very pleased to join with all of you today. I want to welcome Ambassador Szapary and Ambassador Simonyi – former Ambassador Simonyi, other distinguished guests, and in particular, just a few of the extended Lantos family members. But I would like the Lantos family members, in particular her – Annette’s daughters, “little” Annette and Katrina, and the other members of the family just to stand so that we can recognize you. (Applause.)I used to tell Tom and Annette all the time that their beautiful family, which I always received a picture of for the holiday season, was the single-best rebuke to the Holocaust perpetrators, and I used to keep that picture until I got a new one every year. In particular, one where everybody was in white was a very good – a favorite of mine. And I also want to especially recognize Tomicah Tillemann, who is our very able and effective first-ever coordinator of our outreach to civil society around the world. We talk a lot about how we work with governments; we are increasingly trying to find creative ways to work with the private sector and with civil society, and Tomicah’s been at the forefront.

As we gather here today in the well-named Marshall auditorium for George C. Marshall to remember the millions of Holocaust victims and the courage of those who worked to save them, I’m reminded of the words of the great Hungarian novelist, Imre Madach. History, he said, portrays “good and evil in such vast proportion that both appear miraculous.” Well, there were few stories that illustrate that truth more vividly than the lives of Tom and Annette. And we particularly miss Tom today, Annette.

Growing up in Budapest in the 1930s, Annette Tillemann’s parents ran a successful jewelry store, and she was their only adored daughter. Being the mother of an only adored daughter, I understand that. She wasn’t just adored; she was kind of adorable too. In fact, she won Hungary’s national Shirley Temple lookalike contest – (laughter) – when she was a little girl. She had a childhood sweetheart, a very precocious young man named Tom Lantos, whom she met when she was six. Life could not have been sweeter for her and her family. They were secure; they had a loving family; they were surrounded by friends; they were pillars of their community.

But as fascism spread across Europe, Annette’s father was conscripted into a forced labor battalion. New laws limited Jews’ access to many parts of Hungary’s social and economic life. Then, in March 1944, Nazi forces occupied Hungary. In the course of a few months, almost 500,000 of Hungary’s 800,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz or shot by roving bands of fascist thugs. By late 1944, almost every Hungarian Jew outside of Budapest was dead.

Amid this storm of hatred and evil, a young Swede accepted a special mission. Raoul Wallenberg was not a traditional diplomat. He had studied architecture in the United States; he had held a series of jobs in business. There was nothing in his background that would have marked him as one of the great heroes of the 20th century. But when the United States War Refugee Board approached him about traveling to Budapest to try and save the largest remaining concentration of Jews in Europe, Wallenberg answered that call. Amid so many missteps responding to the Holocaust, sending Wallenberg to Hungary was one of the things we got right.

When he arrived in July of 1944, thousands of Hungarian Jews were being killed or deported every day. Employing a combination of courage, creativity, and chutzpah, Wallenberg went to work immediately. He began distributing papers to thousands of Jews stating that they were under the protection of the Swedish crown. From a legal standpoint, these so called “protective passports” were a complete fiction. But amid the chaos and miscommunication of war, they worked.

When Wallenberg saw that the documents were saving lives, he persuaded other diplomatic missions in Budapest to issue them as well. With bullets flying all around him, he leapt onto deportation trains and, like a hand reaching into the grave, pulled people out of the box cars, carrying them to safety. He bought up large apartment buildings with funds from the United States, posted oversized Swedish flags outside, filled the rooms with Jews, and claimed that premises were under Swedish protection. He threatened German commanders with postwar prosecution if they went through with plans to blow up the Jewish ghetto. In almost every action he took, Wallenberg vastly exceeded his diplomatic orders. He subverted the bureaucracy. He shredded protocol. And thank God he did.

When Annette’s childhood sweetheart, Tom, escaped from a forced labor camp for the third time, he, like thousands of others, found refuge in one of Wallenberg’s safe houses and survived the war. Annette received a protective passport issued by the Portuguese and escaped out of Hungary with a group of diplomats from their embassy as the frontlines advanced toward Budapest. The danger didn’t end there, however. On Christmas Day 1944, as a lone 13-year-old girl, she had to sneak past armed soldiers and across a no man’s land before swimming an icy river to reach the relative safety of Switzerland.

Now, many Jews, along with countless others – the Roma, the physically and mentally handicapped, homosexuals, dissidents, adversaries to the Fourth Reich – they were not so fortunate. And many members of Annette’s family were killed. As we gather today, we remember them, and the millions of innocent mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who fell victim to Nazi extremism. But we also take hope in the example of Raoul Wallenberg and other rescuers, some of whose names we know – Carl Lutz, Oskar Schindler and Corrie Ten Boom, and others whose names we are still learning.

I want to emphasize that none of these heroes and heroines worked alone. People may have carried different titles in 1944, but people like Wallenberg had supporters within the institutions. He had program officers and accountants who helped him purchase safe houses; consular officers who assisted in issuing protective passports; motor pool drivers who helped him carry people to safety; policymakers here in Washington who had the vision to send him there in the first place. So no matter what it might say on whatever job description we have now or in our futures, each of us can do more. Each of us can be part of that chain of humanity that stands for the very best that we can be.

We’re striving to do that in our foreign policy, and on Monday, President Obama outlined our new efforts to prevent mass atrocities. We’re working through UNESCO to spread Holocaust education to Africa and Asia. We’re working with other groups to try to combat extremism. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. If it’s rooted in ideology or it’s rooted in religion or it’s just rooted in a perverse drive for power, whatever the reasons, we have to stand against it.

And Annette’s life after the war provides a case study into how you could apply the lessons of the Holocaust. When the fighting ended, she came to the United States and married Tom. She built a new life in California, but she always remembered Raoul Wallenberg and her experience in Hungary.

Wallenberg disappeared into the Soviet prison system after being arrested by the Red Army. Annette started lobbying President Carter and the Soviet Union for answers about his fate, even peppering President Carter with questions about the case on a radio call-in show. When Tom became the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress ever, she helped him pass legislation making Wallenberg the second honorary citizen of the United States after Winston Churchill, hoping it would expand our ability to find out what happened to him.

Annette also worked to persuade Tom, who didn’t need a lot of persuading, to create the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. And she spent decades as its unpaid executive director. From Darfur, to Tibet, to Bosnia, to Burma, now to Syria, we need her voice and all of our voices speaking up about every major human rights case. And when Tom passed away in 2008, Annette vowed to continue her advocacy and founded the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights.

So we welcome Annette today not only as a survivor who overcame the evil of the Shoah, but as someone who met that evil with good, who tried always to remember how fortunate she was to have survived, and felt called to continue the work that so many had done to make her survival possible. It is perhaps miraculous, but it shouldn’t be. We have to contest with good and evil every day. It’s part of the work that I do. We have to figure out ways to support those who are facing great dangers, who are standing up for human rights, and we have to think of ways to outsmart and to stop and prevent those who pursue their own agendas and try to justify what they do, but who cannot escape the label of being evil by anyone with a conscience.

So Annette, we welcome you here. And more than that, we thank you. We thank you for the life you have lived and the example you have set. My friend, Annette Lantos. (Applause.)

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