Archive for November, 2012

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Remarks at the Art in Embassies 50th Anniversary Luncheon


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
November 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very, very much. I am absolutely delighted to see the Ben Franklin Room filled for this event, which is so important to us here at the State Department.

And I want to thank Beth for her tireless efforts and her unwavering commitment to expanding the role of art in American diplomacy. I am delighted that she’s had such an extraordinary time working to tell the story of what Art in Embassies means here at home and around the world. And I’m very grateful that she has served in this position on behalf of my tenure here at the State Department and our country. And of course, I want to thank Virginia Shore, who, as Beth said, has over the past 20 years made Art in Embassies an internationally recognized leader in cultural diplomacy. These two extraordinary leaders have really left their mark.

We have so many distinguished guests that I will give you a general thank you. Beth was able to recognize some of you who are here with us. I also notice a number of ambassadors from other countries who have joined us today. We are so fortunate to be here to honor five extraordinary artists who have given of themselves and their gifts to this program.

For over half a century, Art in Embassies has been working to place American art in our embassies and consulates around the world. And today, there are more than 10,000 works hanging or standing or being exhibited in some way, depending upon the medium, in more than 200 overseas missions. (Applause.) Yes, let’s give that a round of applause. That obviously could not happen without an enormous amount of support. And in fact, over the last 50 years, more than 20,000 individual and institutional partners have contributed to this effort.

One of the great characteristics of our country are our public-private partnerships. They are really at the core of how we do everything. De Tocqueville noticed that, but we’ve continued to perfect and increase our extraordinary partnerships between government and business, between civil society and academia. Our partnerships are really at the core of who we are and what we do. And this program could not exist without those partners. So on behalf of the Obama Administration, and especially everyone who works in our Diplomatic Corps around the world, we have been blessed by your generosity.

Let me just take a minute to explain why this is such an important cause for me personally and for our country. Starting when I was First Lady, working with Joe Carroll and others, I saw the importance of conveying who we were as Americans in as many different venues and using as many different approaches as we could muster. And I have seen the results from my extensive travels now for more than 20 years.

And during the past four years, being privileged to serve in this position, I’ve spoken frequently about what different kinds of diplomacy we can use to advance our nation’s values and interests. Sometimes that obviously means old-fashioned diplomacy, fly to a capital, meet with presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, other officials. Sometimes it’s using new technology to connect people, to give them a voice. Sometimes it’s doing a town hall with hundreds of young people to hear what’s on their minds. And we do all of that and more.

But art is also a tool of diplomacy. It is one that reaches beyond governments, past all of the official conference rooms and the presidential palaces, to connect with people all over the world. And that’s the art we are celebrating this afternoon, along with the luminous talents of our honorees and their contributions to the artistic landscape of our nation and to our diplomacy.

Each of them has delighted imaginations for decades. And they truly are living testaments to the timeless and unending human urge to create and connect. So they provide us with another language of diplomacy, one that evokes our universal aspirations as human beings, our common challenges, and our responsibilities for thinking through and addressing the problems that we face together.

From Beijing to Monrovia, even here in Washington, these five artists have contributed works of art that are the building blocks of this shared language. And that is why we are honoring them with this first-ever Department of State Medal of the Arts Award, for their contributions to the advancement of understanding and diplomacy.

Just think of what each of these artists means for people yearning to express themselves, that young artist living under a repressive regime, that budding painter who’s not quite sure where he or she fits in. Now, not all of these people will ever meet any of these artists, but they will learn about them and themselves, maybe even know something of their spirit and tap into a deeper level of inspiration, because they will encounter their works.

I feel it every time I walk into an American embassy or consulate in any part of the world. And I hear so many people who visit our missions comment on the art. And, of course, the Americans who live and work there are the most grateful of all.

So none of this would be possible without all of you, and I want to thank you. You help us connect and you help us be better understood and you help us explain who we are as Americans and what we stand for.

So we are delighted to be hosting this special celebration. And now I want Beth to come back to the podium and tell you more about each of these accomplished artists as we present the awards. Thank you. (Applause.)

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Public Schedule for November 30, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
November 30, 2012



12:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Art in Embassies 50th Anniversary luncheon, at the Department of State. Please click here for more information.

4:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Lakhdar Brahimi Joint Special Representative for Syria, in Washington, DC.

7:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds brief meetings with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, at the Willard Hotel, in Washington, DC.

7:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy 2012 Saban Forum opening Gala Dinner, at the Willard Hotel, in Washington, DC. Please click here for more information.

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This is yet another amazing speech.  I just watched it on CSPAN.  She summarizes her efforts at State in this one, and it stands as the best synopsis so far of The Clinton Doctrine – an intricate tapestry of issues and advocacies.  Wow!  Are we all going to miss Mme. Secretary!  I cannot imagine how we will all get along without seeing her and hearing her guiding words of wisdom.

(Parenthetically,  it is still in my sidebar:  It is high time we ratify L.O.S.T.!)

N.B. The exchange at the end with David Rothkopf about the box is priceless!

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Remarks at the Foreign Policy Group’s “Transformational Trends 2013” Forum


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
The Newseum
Washington, DC
November 29, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, David, and I’ll look forward to seeing your Ellen DeGeneres imitation. I’m very pleased to be here, and I want to thank all of you for your attention to this event and the topics that have been covered.

Before I begin, I want to say a few words about the unfortunate and counterproductive resolution at the United Nations General Assembly that just passed, because it places further obstacles in the path to peace. We have been clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve: two states for two people, with a sovereign, viable, independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.

And I see my longtime friend and colleague, Ehud Barak, here, and I know he would agree with that, as both the most decorated soldier in Israeli history and a distinguished public servant. I’ll have more to say about this later, but I did want to begin by recognizing the challenge that this will surely present.

I want to add my words of welcome to all of you. I want to thank Admiral McRaven for being here. It’s wonderful that you are here, Bill. We very much appreciate your participation. Foreign Minister Sikorski, a good friend and colleague, who himself is a top global thinker – well deserved because of the careful, comprehensive views he’s developed over many years of hard work about issues as fundamental as freedom.

And of course, I see right before me a wonderful friend and colleague, former Senator John Warner, who has been just a great example of public service – military and civilian – his entire life. And to all of our friends and colleagues from the diplomatic corps. And thanks, of course, to David and Susan and Deb and everyone at Foreign Policy for joining with the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning to organize this conference about transformational trends. And I want to thank Jake Sullivan and everyone at Policy Planning. When Jake Sullivan first came to work for me, I told my husband about this incredibly bright rising star – Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law School – and my husband said, “Well, if he ever learns to play the saxophone, watch out.” (Laughter.) Now we travel all over the world together and people say how excited they are to meet a potential future president of the United States, and of course they mean Jake. (Laughter.)

Well, I will state the obvious to begin. We do live in a rapidly changing world. And many of the constants that shaped American foreign policy for decades are shifting. That poses new challenges but also new opportunities for our global leadership. Let me offer a few examples.

First, our alliances in Europe and East Asia are stronger than ever. After four years of repairing Iraq-era strains and answering questions about America’s commitment to diplomacy, our staying power, our global leadership, we are working across the board on so many important issues to all of us. At the same time, however, many of our allies are struggling with serious economic challenges and shrinking military capabilities. This will have implications for how we uphold the global order going forward.

Second, China’s peaceful rise as a global power is reaching a crossroads. Its future course will be determined by how it manages new economic challenges, differences with its neighbors, and strains in its political and economic system.

Third, in the Middle East, the Arab revolutions have scrambled regional power dynamics. And the energy revolution around the world will likely further change the region’s strategic landscape in the coming years. Indeed, America’s increasing energy independence will have far-reaching implications not only for our economic future, but for our security relationships around the world.

Fourth, economics are increasingly shaping international affairs alongside more traditional forms of national power. Emerging powers like India and Brazil are gaining clout because of their size, of course, but more the size of their economies than of their militaries, more about the potential of their markets than their projection of what we used to think of as power. Meanwhile, the global economic system – open, free, transparent, and fair – that fueled unprecedented growth is now under unprecedented pressure from trade imbalances, new forms of protectionism, the rise of state capitalism, and crippling public debt.

Finally, the traditional sources of America’s global leadership are in need of renewal, a task for all of us. Now the cottage industry of Cassandras and declinists have dramatically overstated this case. But it is true that the reservoirs of goodwill that we built up around the world during the 20th century will not, cannot last forever. New generations of young people do not remember GIs liberating their countries or American development assistance changing the face of their economies or literally saving generations from hunger and disease. They are more connected and engaged with the wider world than their parents and grandparents could have ever imagined, but they face mounting social and economic challenges and are not automatically pro-American.

So, how should we – how should America lead in this changing world? As we look ahead to the next four years and the years beyond, what should top our agenda? Well, one thing I’ve learned and that you’ve been discussing all day is that the best-laid plans are quickly turned on their heads by the rush of events. And certainly the first job of our nation’s policymakers in the years ahead will be to get the big crises right, whether that’s Iran, North Korea, or some unexpected threat. But we cannot allow the in-box to overwhelm us. There also has to be room to think out of the box. We have to deal with the urgent, the important, and the long term all at once.

Now I mentioned five significant ways in which the international landscape is shifting, so let me offer five big-ticket agenda items that we absolutely have to get right as well. This starts with following through on what is often called our pivot to the Asia Pacific, the most dynamic region in our rapidly changing world.

Much of the attention so far has been on America’s increasing military engagement. But it’s important that we also emphasize the other elements of our strategy. In a speech in Singapore last week, I laid out America’s expanding economic leadership in the region, from new trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership to stepped-up efforts on behalf of American businesses. The President’s visits to Burma and the East Asia Summit highlighted the democratic values and diplomatic engagement that power the pivot.

None of this is about containment. It’s all aimed at advancing a rules-based order in the Asia Pacific that will drive peace and prosperity for decades to come. And by the way, that’s why we need to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty as soon as possible, something that Senator Warner has been leading us on. Over the next four years, the region will be watching to see whether America will make the diplomatic, military, and economic investments to lock in this strategy. That is exactly what we need to do.

Now, when we talk about a pivot, we have to be mindful about both ends of the equation. The end of the war in Iraq and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan do create an opportunity to increase our engagement in Asia. But this does not mean we are abandoning our traditional allies in other parts of the world or taking our eye off the ball when it comes to fighting terrorism and finishing the job in Afghanistan.

Bin Ladin is dead and the core of al-Qaida’s leadership has been decimated. But the threat from its affiliates in places like Yemen and North Africa is still very real. So in the years ahead, we need to accelerate an integrated counterterrorism program that uses all our tools – civilian as well as military, multilateral as well as unilateral – to go after terrorist finances, recruitment, and safe havens; in effect, to marry up with the extraordinary work that Admiral McRaven leads on behalf of our special forces.

In Afghanistan, as we transition full responsibility for security to the Afghan Government in 2014, we also need to focus on helping the Afghans crack down on corruption, move toward economic self-sufficiency, elect their new leadership in 2014, advance a peace and reconciliation process, and pursue a regional framework, hopefully with Pakistan as a constructive partner.

And in Europe, we need to continue modernizing NATO for the demands of today’s global landscape, including unconventional threats like cyber warfare, and we need to stand by the EU as it meets its economic challenge in the Eurozone. Because as we move to seize the opportunities of the 21st century, including in the Asia Pacific, we need our traditional partners of first resort right by our side. I spoke about this earlier today at the Brookings Institution. So let me just add this: America is not pivoting from Europe to Asia; we are pivoting with Europe to Asia. We have deepened and intensified our dialogue and collaboration with Europe about how to work together in the Asia Pacific to our mutual benefit.

Now the second item on the agenda is closely related to the first. We need to successfully manage our relationships with emerging powers like China and India. Navigating the U.S.-China relationship is uniquely important but also uniquely challenging, because, as I have said on many occasions, and as I have heard Chinese leaders quote my words back to me, we are trying to write a new answer to the old question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet. No one should have any illusions that this will be smooth or easy. But there is reason to hope that over the coming years we can, in fact, chart a path that avoids conflict and builds on the areas where our interests align.

Consider what happened last May. I touched down in Beijing for the fourth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue with a jam-packed agenda that included everything from the South China Sea to intellectual property rights to North Korea provocations. But the world’s attention was focused instead on the fate of a blind human rights dissident who had sought refuge in our American Embassy. Suddenly an already delicate trip had become an outsized test of the U.S.-China relationship. This could have been, and many predicted it would become, the spark for a serious breach between two great powers unable to trust or understand each other. But this is not 1912, when friction between a declining Britain and a rising Germany set the stage for global conflict. It’s 2012, and a confident America has encouraged China to take greater responsibility in regional and global institutions. And we have built mechanisms like the Strategic and Economic Dialogue that help manage disagreements and promote trust.

In the end, the relationship we have worked so hard to build with China proved more durable and dynamic than many feared. Both countries stayed focused on our shared agenda and engaged candidly on a wide range of critical issues. And today, that dissident is safely studying law in the United States. Looking ahead, we have to build on this foundation. As I like to tell my Chinese counterparts, zero-sum thinking will only produce negative-sum results.

This also applies to our relationship with Russia. We have made some progress with Moscow on areas such as nuclear arms reduction, sanctions on Iran, and trade. And we continue to seek new issues where we can cooperate together. But the reality is we have serious and continuing differences with Russia – on Syria, missile defense, NATO enlargement, human rights, and other issues. So we have to take a smart and balanced approach going forward. We need to continue expanding our engagement with Russia, but with very clear eyes about where we draw our lines.

We also have to engage with a set of emerging democratic powers like Brazil and Mexico, India and Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, that are exercising greater influence in their regions and on the world stage. The strategic fundamentals of these relationships – shared democratic values, common economic and security priorities – are pushing our interests into closer convergence. This is reflected in the broad strategic dialogues we have launched with these emerging powers. The key going forward will be to encourage them to leave behind the outdated politics of the past and take up the responsibilities that come with global influence, including defending our shared democratic values beyond their borders.

Let me turn to the third element of our agenda, what I call economic statecraft, because this will certainly help to shape our engagement in Asia and our relations with emerging powers. The United States is moving economics to the center of our foreign policy. In response to the trends I mentioned earlier and that you have been discussing, countries that are gaining influence more because of economic prowess than military power, and market forces shaping the strategic landscapes, are clearly driving change. We can either watch it or shape it.

Last year I laid out America’s economic statecraft agenda in a series of speeches in Washington, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York. Since then, we’ve accelerated the process of updating our foreign policy priorities to take economics more into account. And that includes emphasizing the Asia Pacific region and elevating economics in relations with other regions, like in Latin America, for example, the destination for 40 percent of U.S. exports. We have ratified free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. We are welcoming more of our neighbors, including Canada and Mexico, into the Trans-Pacific Partnership process. And we think it’s imperative that we continue to build an economic relationship that covers the entire hemisphere for the future.

Africa, which is home to seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. People are often surprised when I say that, but it’s true. And we are approaching Africa as a continent of opportunity and a place for growth, not just a site of endless conflict and crisis. All over the world, we are turning to economic solutions for strategic challenges; for example, using new financial tools to squeeze Iran’s nuclear program. And we’re stepping up commercial diplomacy, what I like to call jobs diplomacy, to boost U.S. exports, open new markets, lower the playing field – level the playing field for our businesses. And we’re building the diplomatic capacity to execute this agenda so that our diplomats are out there every single day promoting our economic agenda.

Now, our new focus on economics is also changing how we practice development around the world. Consider this: In the 1960s, official development assistance from countries like the United States represented 70 percent of the capital flows going into developing countries. Since then – even though we have actually increased our development budgets – because of surging private investment and trade, that official development assistance represents just 13 percent of those capital flows. So we are refocusing our approach to development to better harness market forces and make public sector investments that catalyze sustainable private sector growth.

Now, the fourth agenda item is very much on our minds today. What does the future of the Arab Spring hold for those who are experiencing it and for all the rest of us? One day we see the new government of Egypt stepping up to help mediate a cease-fire in Gaza, and the next it is raising concerns through new far-reaching constitutional decrees. We see territory slipping from the grips of the Assad regime, even as the opposition faces questions about its own coherence and the presence of extremists in its midst. Libya has freely elected moderate leaders, but has also become home to extremists and roving militias. Iran continues to cling to its nuclear ambitions while its economy crumbles. And just today, the Palestinian Authority, which has eschewed the violent path of Hamas and others, pursued a diplomatic move at the UN that is counter-productive to the cause of a negotiated peace.

I will have more to say about that tomorrow night at the Saban Forum here in Washington, but for today let me offer this one thought for U.S. strategy in the region going forward. We cannot view any of these challenges or changes in a vacuum. They are all connected, and our strategy needs to account for the intersections and relationships.

For example, you cannot understand what happens in Gaza without tracking the path of the rockets from Iran, or how the upheaval in Syria and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have affected Hamas, how the treaty between Egypt and Israel remains the bedrock for peace in the region, despite all the change going on around it, and how Israel’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear program shape its overall security posture. Then there are the economics of border-crossings and fishing rights, and concerns about smuggling and arms proliferation, and the list goes on.

So the United States really does need to bring an unprecedented level of strategic sophistication to these problems, rather than just chasing after the crisis of the moment. American policymakers need to play chess, not checkers. And although some would have us wall off certain challenges, that is just not realistic in today’s world.

And that leads to the fifth area, a set of cross-cutting and interconnected global challenges that defy both national borders and easy solutions: climate change, poverty, hunger, disease, nuclear proliferation, human trafficking, women’s rights, international terrorism, and more. No one nation can solve any of these problems alone. Each one calls for a global network of partners – governments, businesses, international and regional organizations, academic institutions, civil society groups, even individuals, all working in concert. Building those coalitions is one of the great tests of American leadership.

We rightly call America the indispensible nation because only the United States has the reach and resolve to rally disparate nations and peoples together to solve problems on a global scale, certainly in defense of our own interests but also as a force for shared progress. Our ability to convene and connect is unparalleled. And that, in the end, in the 21st century, is what leadership is about.

Diplomacy and development are not always glamorous. It’s like what Max Weber said about politics; it’s the long, slow drilling of hard boards. But it is the only way we’re going to be able to bring together the disparate, often conflicting interests in order to move together in this interconnected world.

Here’s one moment that captures this for me. In December 2009, the international community gathered in Copenhagen to try to negotiate a way forward on climate change. Interests collided, talks stalled, tempers frayed. And I remember well late one night being in a very small room in the convention center with a large number of leaders. We emerged after 2 a.m. following a particularly frustrating session. Everyone rushed to the doors. The cars were trying to get to everyone waiting to take all of us to our hotels. We were standing there when Nicolas Sarkozy looked up into the cold Danish sky with exasperation and declared, “After this, I want to die.” (Laughter.) I think that’s how we all felt, to some extent.

But we kept at it. And thanks in large measure to the fun that President Obama and I had in intervening in a meeting to which we were not invited, we hammered out a deal that, while far from perfect, set the stage for future progress on this critical issue, because starting in Copenhagen and continuing in Cancun, Durban, and this week in Doha, we have pushed for a global agreement that would apply to all significant emitters, developed and developing alike, because there is no way to get ahead of this crisis unless we do that.

Over the past four years, the Obama Administration has also struck a deal with car companies to nearly double fuel efficiency by 2025. We’ve doubled production of clean energy, made historic investments in breakthrough technologies, launched new international partnerships like the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to take aim at pollutants like black carbon and methane that account for more than 30 percent of current global warming. That’s grown from just six countries to more than two dozen today.

And we are committed to continue this hard, slow, boring of hard boards in order to take the practical, effective steps necessary to tackle climate change. Our focus is on results – not on today’s headline, but on the trend line. And we’re after what works. We will continue to chase down every opportunity to move forward bit by bit, if that’s what it takes. That is a model for how change happens today, from advancing peace in the Middle East to securing the rights of women to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons step by step, day by day. And there’s no substitute for that hard work, no replacement for diplomacy, and no alternative to American leadership.

So certainly, there is a lot to do in the years ahead to tackle this agenda, and we’ll need to use all the tools in our arsenal. That means institutionalizing smart power, continuing to tap 21st century technologies from social networking to clean cookstoves, building a network of partnerships with other governments to fight terrorism and AIDS, with the private sector to advance food security and financial literacy, and so on. It also means doubling down on good, old-fashioned, shoe-leather diplomacy.

I have found it highly ironic that in today’s world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever people want us to show up actually. Somebody said to me the other day, “I look at your travel schedule. Why Togo? Why the Cook Islands?” No Secretary of State had ever been to Togo before. Togo happens to be on the UN Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment, has a real strategic purpose. The same goes for all those tiny Pacific islands. When you look at the future of Asia, you look at the voting dynamics in key international institutions, you start to understand the value of paying attention to these places.

And let me add that in recent months, we’ve been reminded once again, by its very nature, American diplomacy often is and must be practiced in dangerous places. The men and women who serve our country overseas represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. They are no strangers to danger. From Tehran and Beirut to East Africa and Saudi Arabia, and now in Benghazi and so many other places in between, we have seen diplomats and development experts devoted to peace who are targeted by terrorists devoted to death.

That’s why we are taking immediate steps to bolster security and readiness at our missions across the globe. We’ve already dispatched joint teams from the Departments of State and Defense to review high-threat posts to determine whether there are improvements we need in light of the evolving security challenges we face.

And as we mourn fallen friends like Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was fearless in his dedication to diplomacy, we refuse to be intimidated. Our people cannot live in bunkers and do their jobs. So we will do what we always have done: pull together, learn the lessons we must, and improve, because America always emerges stronger and more confident when we do that.

And there should be no mistake this work does makes a difference. That’s why Chris Stevens was in Benghazi to begin with. As we look ahead and consider the future of America’s global leadership, let’s remember what’s really at stake here.

America’s unrivaled military might will always be essential, and we are so grateful for every man and woman who serves in the uniform of our armed services. And our economic strength will be critical. That’s why we have to make the tough choices right now to get our own economic house in order here at home. But America’s global leadership goes deeper than that. It truly is rooted in the values that we champion and the ideals and aspirations we represent to the rest of the world. As my husband likes to say, America’s influence flows more from the power of our example than from the example of our power.

But memories are short, and we can’t afford to rest on the laurels of the past. So it’s our job to reintroduce a post-Iraq generation of young people around the world to principled American leadership. That is part of why I’ve logged so many miles over the last four years going to something on the order of 112 countries, holding town hall meetings with young people from Tunis to Tokyo, shining a spotlight on the concerns of religious and ethnic minorities from the Copts in Egypt to the Rohingya in Burma, putting down a clear marker on internet freedom, going to the UN Human Rights Council to stand up for the rights and lives of the LGBT people around the world, advancing a new approach to development that puts human dignity and self-sufficiency at the heart of our efforts, and pushing women’s rights and opportunities to the top of the diplomatic agenda.

Mountains of evidence tell us that no nation can achieve the progress we all want and need if half the population never gets to participate. So the economic evidence is overwhelming, we cannot exclude the energy and talent that women add to our economies and societies, and we know where women are allowed to and encouraged to participate, societies are more stable, less prone to conflict and the export of terrorism.

So there’s a lot for us to do as we shape our own global leadership and then use it to help shape the world that we want for our children. The United States should be at the head of a growing column of democratic nations, always extending the frontiers of freedom and opportunity, of peace, prosperity, and progress. That’s who we are as Americans. It truly is in our DNA. And that’s what makes us such an exceptional country.

So I thank all of you. As I look around this room, I see a lot of familiar faces of people who have been on the front lines of helping to define, examine, and practice American foreign policy and national security policy for many years. And we need you to keep doing what you are doing, to keep thinking out of the box.

In the years ahead, we will need all the wisdom and perspective that we can possibly gather. But I am absolutely confident that our nation has what it takes to continue leading the world no matter what comes our way. And with your help, and the help of so many others around our country and likeminded people around the world, America will remain the greatest force for peace and progress the world has ever known. And the world will understand and work with us to move toward the kind of future that we all deserve.

Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Okay. So Secretary Clinton has graciously offered to take a little time and answer a couple of questions.


MODERATOR: We’ve got 10 minutes, so I’m going to have to forgo the Ellen impersonation; there’ll be no dancing. That should be a relief to everyone. But I’m going to use my host prerogative here and I’m going to offer the first question to my partner here, Susan, and we really only have about 10 minutes.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we can stretch it a little bit. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Excellent. Very good, because actually I was not going to waste if it was one and only question on the question that probably everybody here wants to ask, so I’m just channeling them. We heard you talking about how 50 percent of the population has been denied a chance to participate, and I actually thought for a moment that you were going to tell us all whether it’s finally time for a man to become Secretary of State. (Laughter.)

Now I didn’t want to waste my one question on that though, so you can tell us of course. We’d be happy to know. But I did want to grab out from your inbox, from the headlines as well as the trend lines, one of the stories that we’re all looking at today, and to ask us – to ask you to give us your assessment about whether you believe events in Syria are finally moving toward a tipping point. And regardless of that, there are reports that the United States is considering some moves that we have not yet taken in the course of this bloody crisis, including possibly recognizing the new Syrian opposition as the official representatives, and potentially considering even arms or something more significant to move forward.

First of all, are those reports accurate? And again, can you just give us your assessment about where things are in a civil war that is 18 months and counting? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Susan, I think that the short answer is that it appears as though the opposition in Syria is now capable of holding ground and that they are better equipped and more able to bring the fight to the government forces. And so we follow closely where the government still maintains regime control and where it’s contested and where the opposition is making significant inroads. I don’t know that you can say that for the entire country it is yet at a tipping point, but it certainly seems that the regime will be much harder pressed in the next months.

Now having said that, they still are receiving considerable assistance from Iran, from Hezbollah, and we follow what other countries are trying to do for them as well to keep the regime operating. And for a long time, the Syrian opposition was not able to present anything resembling a unified, coherent vision for what a future post-Assad Syria could look like. As you know, there was a lot of work done to help support the Syrians coming up with a new opposition. They are currently meeting in Cairo as we speak. We have been deeply involved in helping to stand them up, and we’re going to carefully consider what more we can do. I will be having much more to say about that as we move toward the Friends of the Syrian People meeting in Morocco the second week of December.

No other decisions have been made yet, but we consider them on an almost daily basis. The United States has provided more than $200 million in humanitarian assistance. Syrian people who have been displaced are facing difficult conditions, given the winter that’s upon them. This is – this remains a very difficult situation to manage because there are so many interests by all of the players, many of which are contradictory.

So Turkey, for example, is very much at the leadership level committed to seeing the end of the Syrian regime, but incredibly worried that nothing be done that empowers the Kurds, particularly the PKK affiliates. Jordan is working hard to maintain stability inside its own country. They are obviously worried about upsetting the delicate demographic balance inside. Lebanon has tried very hard to stay out of it because of their own internal conflicts and the role that Hezbollah plays and the opportunity for Sunni extremists to take up safe havens inside Lebanon, to be able to go back and forth across the border. The Golan Heights has been threatened by Syrian action.

So, I mean, if this were a straightforward challenge, I think we would all have reached a conclusion and have unified behind exactly what we are going to do and how to do it. But indeed, it is and remains extremely complex. So we are doing what we can to support the opposition, but also to try to support those inside Syria, particularly in the local councils who are committed to the kind of continuity in the Syrian governmental institutions so we don’t see a collapse and a disbandment of institutional forces that we know from our Iraq experience could be extremely dangerous, and that they can present this united front more and more to the international community, and most importantly to people inside Syria.

So, yeah. We’re constantly evaluating, we’re constantly taking action, and I’m sure we will do more in the weeks ahead.

MODERATOR: Okay, very good. Go over here first, then we’ll go to Robin.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your comments. My name is Oriana Skylar Mastro. I’m a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security in the Asia Pacific security program, so it’s not surprising I’m going to ask you a question about China.

You mentioned UNCLOS, and I agree that the ratification would give the United States more leverage. But as you know, China has a different interpretation of UNCLOS, specifically that naval passage or even civilian vessels that are engaged in activities that they find not to be peaceful would not be protected under that. I feel that a new Impeccable incident or an EP-3 now with the rising tensions between the two countries could be detrimental.

So my question is: I think this is broader view that the Chinese have that U.S. presence, economic or diplomatic, is destabilizing. In your interactions with Chinese leaders, what are you doing to convince them that that’s not the case? Do you feel like you’re being convincing? And if not, what are the main obstacles? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, you might need a psychiatrist to answer that because we certainly have made it as clear as we possibly could that the Pacific is big enough for both of us, indeed for all of us, that the United States historically, for more than 150 years, has been a Pacific power just like we are an Atlantic power. We have a lot of treaty alliances in the region that we take seriously. We have trading partners and other commercial interests. So we’re there to stay. We are present now and into the future. And being present means that we have our own views that we share with the Chinese and other countries in the region about what it means to be a responsible stakeholder, as we hope China is, with respect to all of these areas that you are referencing.

The efforts by the ASEAN nations to work toward a code of conduct with China over the South China Sea is certainly an effort we support. We are not involved in it. We’re not doing it. It is something that they are doing for themselves. But it is important because you can’t, in the 21st century, permit anyone’s claims to territory that creates instability, tensions, and potentially conflict to be unanswered if you’re going to try to maintain peace and security.

So we’ve explained this to the Chinese. Their response is: What we claim is ours. And our response is that’s why we have processes and mechanisms, and what you’re claiming is also being claimed by others. We have not just the South China Sea but the East China Sea, with the dispute between China and Japan, because for the United States being a global power, we could see the same thing happening in the Arctic, in the Mediterranean. I mean, it is not just about the South China Sea.

So, certainly the Chinese are going to assert the broadest claim they possibly can. But I think if we want a rules-based order that deals with everything from territorial disputes to intellectual property rights disputes, in order to maintain stability, peace, prosperity, then we have to stand up and speak out in support of these broad tenets. And we have made it abundantly clear we do not claim any territory, and we are not taking sides in any of the territorial claims.

So this is partly one of these long processes that we just keep working on. And I think what happened at the East Asia Summit, where the Cambodians tried to basically gavel the summit to an end and have a communiqué that made no reference to these issues, and was interrupted by the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and others, was a good sign, because those countries have every right to stand up for themselves. And that’s why we would like to see a code of conduct and a process to try to resolve these disputes.

So I think that this is a work in progress. There isn’t any shortcut to just continuing to raise it. At one point in one of my long discussions about this, one of my Chinese interlocutors said, “Well, we could claim Hawaii.” I said, “Well, go ahead, and we’ll go to arbitration and prove we own it. That’s what we want you to do.”

So I think that this is a learning process for everybody, because why are these now – these old territorial disputes coming to the forefront? Because people think there are resources, and they want to drill, and they want to find out what’s there. And they think it’s got material benefits for them. But it has to be done in a lawful way. And that’s why I’ve advocated strongly that we accede to the Convention on the Law of the Seas, because it will strengthen our hand in making these cases.

QUESTION: Robin Wright.


QUESTION: I want to ask you about Iran, and to speak with the same kind of candor you did about Syria. This morning, Dennis Ross said that he thought this year was going to be a decisive year. Apparently, one of the U.S. representatives in Vienna today said that we’re talking about a March deadline – if you could explain that a little bit further.

And tell us realistically what prospects you think there is for compromise with Iran, given the past year of efforts by the United States.

And also, if you believe that Israel is fully on board in letting the United States take the lead and not going off on its own path.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as to the last question, I’m not going to speak to any country’s security decisions other than our own. Obviously, that’s up to Israel to decide. However, I will say that we continue to believe that there is still a window of opportunity to reach some kind of resolution over Iran’s nuclear program. Now, I’m not a wild-eyed optimist about it, but I think it’s imperative that we do everything we can – unilaterally, bilaterally, multilaterally – to test that proposition.

I think what was meant about the March reference was either about the IAEA and its continuing work or the fact that we finished our election and now would be a good time to test the proposition that there can be some good-faith serious negotiations before the Iranians get into their elections, which are going to heat up probably around the March period, heading toward a June election.

I think that it’s a difficult matter to predict, because it really depends upon how serious the Iranians are about making a decision that removes the possibility of their being able to acquire a nuclear weapon or the components of one that can be in effect on a shelf somewhere and still serve as a basis for intimidation.

We get differing reports, as I’m sure you have seen, as to how serious the Supreme Leader is about that, but we want to test the proposition. This President came into office saying he was prepared to engage with Iran, reached out to Iran, without much reciprocity. We put together this unprecedented coalition to impose these very tough sanctions on Iran. We know they’re having an effect internally. But I think that we’ll see in the next few months whether there’s a chance for any kind of a serious negotiation. And right now, I’m not sure that it can happen, but I certainly hope it does.

MODERATOR: Okay, we have time for one more question. And I know this will address a part of the world we haven’t addressed much of today. Let me turn to Muni Figueres.

QUESTION: Thank you. Madam Secretary, I’m Ambassador of Costa Rica. I’m sitting next to the Ambassador of Honduras and the Ambassador of Dominican Republic. So my question to you is about the war on drugs and the violence that it has inflicted. Do you – since we’re all, I think, sort of agreeing that we need to reconfigure it, or it’s being reconfigured even as we speak, are you hopeful about eventually winning it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that one has to look at a couple of examples, because certainly Colombia is a lot more secure and a lot safer than they were 10 years ago. I remember very well when then-President Uribe couldn’t even be inaugurated without the drug traffickers, in alliance with the FARC, basically firing artillery rounds into the square where the inauguration was to be held.

So I think you can, with a comprehensive strategy, succeed in certainly pushing back the tide of violence and corruption that drug trafficking brings. I think Mexico has made progress. They would be the first to say that it’s a very difficult path, but they have succeeded in certainly diminishing the power of some of the main cartels. I think Central America, with both you and the Ambassador from Honduras know how you are squeezed between Colombia and Mexico, and often without the resources that larger countries have to deal with the threats from the drug traffickers, which is one of the reasons why we are trying to work with all of your countries in Central America. Certainly the Ambassador from the Dominican Republic knows how vulnerable the small Caribbean nations are. They don’t have adequate coast guard or any other capacity to protect themselves. We are trying to do more on that front.

So I think that there are several problems that you have to address simultaneously, and certainly working to improve the institutions of government are good no matter what, but also very helpful in the fight against drug trafficking and criminal cartels. You improve your policing, you improve your prosecution, you improve your judiciary. That’s good for the country, but it also is a necessary part of the effort against this criminality. You have to have transparency as much as possible in government. There can be no impunity. And so I think we’ve seen ways that work, but ultimately it’s about providing greater opportunity, greater education, greater economic jobs and growth to populations so that they can have a real stake in their society and can be partners with their governments.

Now, I assume part of your question is aimed at the whole legalization issue. And I think this is an ongoing debate. And we are formulating our own response to the votes of two of our states, as you know, and what that means for the federal system, the federal laws, and law enforcement. So I respect those in the region who believe strongly that that would end the problem. I am not convinced of that, just speaking personally. I think when you’ve got ruthless, vicious people who have made money one way, if it’s somehow blocked, they’ll figure out another way. They’ll do kidnapping, they’ll do extortion. They will suborn officials and basically take over swathes of territory that they will govern and terrorize people in.

So I don’t think that’s the answer. Whether there is some movement that can be discussed, I think will have to be a topic for the future for us.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Madam Secretary, you asked us to think outside the box. So I’m going to take this out of the box. (Laughter.) We’ve tried, with the exhortation of Jake and his team, to do something here that was a bit of an un-conference, a conference unlike others. And even though conferences typically end with awards, I’d like to present an award that’s a little unlike others in two respects.

In one respect, there’s no hyperbole on this award. Awards are usually covered with extravagant phrases and overflowing with adjectives. This one simply says, “For extraordinary contributions to diplomacy.” I, as Tom Donilon indicated to many of you, am something of a historian of national security and foreign policy. I spend lots of time studying the foreign policy make of the U.S., for the past 75 years particularly. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that as we look back on this period, it will be viewed as extraordinary. I think it will stand out as one of the best examples of leadership in the State Department that we have had. And I would add that for those of you who are weighing this in your mind, it represents a big step forward in that regard because when the State Department can focus on enfranchising the disenfranchised and get as much credit for it as in the past it may have gotten for invading another country, that’s progress for us. (Laughter.) And I think that’s why we consider this an extraordinary achievement.

The other thing on here which is not hyperbole, although it’s extraordinary, is that it says here you’ve been one of our leading global thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. We don’t like the idea of your leaving office, but it’s nice for you to give somebody else a chance.


MODERATOR: Having said that, the other thing that makes this award quite different from others is that typically when awards are given out, they’re going away presents. We hope that’s not the case with you. Thank you. (Applause.)

(The award was given.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, David. Thank you. That’s really, really too kind to say. It means a lot to me. Thank you very much.

Can you open the – maybe out of the box? (Laughter.)

MODERATOR: Yes, I can open the box, and close the box.

SECRTARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all. I’d love to say hello to some of my friends who I see out there that I don’t get to see enough, but hopefully will in the future. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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U.S. and Europe: A Revitalized Global Partnership


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Brookings Institute
Washington, DC
November 29, 2012

Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. It’s wonderful to be back at Brookings. It’s always a joy to be introduced by such a longtime friend and colleague as Strobe Talbott and to have this opportunity to discuss with you how we have, over the last four years, revitalized our transatlantic alliance. I also want to recognize and thank members of the diplomatic corps who are here.

There is no better venue for my remarks than here at Brookings. Through the Center on the United States and Europe and initiatives like the Daimler Forum on Global Issues, Brookings provides an essential forum for examining how the United States and Europe can work together to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. After all, in the democracies of Europe, we find countries with shared strategic and economic interests and with whom we share a long history, deep cultural ties, and cherished values. That makes us natural partners in advancing our interests, both within Europe and throughout the world.

But I must begin by being very frank. When President Obama and I came into office, this relationship was frayed. There were skeptics and doubters on both sides of the Atlantic. Europeans were asking hard questions about what the transatlantic partnership could deliver for them and whether it was even still relevant in the 21st century. And many Americans were asking the same questions.

At the same time, at the start of the Administration, we faced some rather daunting global challenges, among the most difficult in decades: a global economic downturn, an aggressive regime with nuclear ambitions in Iran, two unfinished wars, uncertainty about America’s global leadership and staying power. From day one, President Obama and I made clear that if we were going to make progress, we had to do the hard work of renewing and reinvigorating our partnerships around the world, and that began with Europe.

We knew it couldn’t happen overnight. As then-Senator Obama said in Berlin in 2008, “True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require the burdens of development and diplomacy, of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other, and, most of all, trust each other.” Four years later, we are showing that this partnership can deliver results for all our people.

Next week, I will make my 38th visit to Europe as Secretary. Visits to other parts of the world often get more attention, because I think it’s kind of taken for granted in a way that we’re going to be going back and forth across the Atlantic. But indeed, 38 visits to Europe is something that I have been delighted to do because of the importance we place on these relationships.

In Prague, I will see senior officials to discuss our efforts to promote Czech energy independence and to advance human rights and democracy. In Brussels, I’ll meet with NATO allies to talk about the broad range of security challenges we face. I’ll meet with EU counterparts to discuss the future of energy security. In Dublin, I’ll join my colleagues from the OSCE to renew and review our progress in advancing security, democracy, and human rights across Europe and Eurasia. And in Belfast, I’ll meet leaders and citizens to reiterate America’s commitment to a peaceful, prosperous Northern Ireland. It is a full schedule, but it demonstrates the commitment we’ve brought to our transatlantic partnership.

Today, I’d like to discuss briefly how these efforts have helped the United States and Europe meet a number of key security challenges: the war in Afghanistan, the crisis in Libya, Iran’s nuclear program, and strengthening our strategic defenses. At the same time, our transatlantic partnership has arrived at a critical moment. Decisions we’ll soon face about our shared economic interests will determine how well we can thrive together in the years to come. So I want to describe the work that lies ahead of us as well.

But first, let me review what I think we’ve accomplished in the past few years because I think it speaks volumes of the value and importance we’ve placed on the relationship. We began by working to improve the lines of communication that had become strained. See how diplomatic I’ve become? (Laughter.) American and European diplomats have come together thousands of times in the past four years to discuss issues both familiar and new, from security to trade to clean energy. It may not be glamorous work, but it is the hard daily work, the necessary work, of rebuilding the mutual trust and confidence on which our partnership depends.

Ultimately, our goal was to face, head on, the issues that had driven a wedge between us and get back on the path of cooperation. Consider Afghanistan. For close to a decade, tens of thousands of European troops have served alongside American service members in the largest and longest overseas deployment NATO has ever undertaken. At the same time, many thousands of European diplomats and development experts served with ours as well. But four years ago, support for this effort was fading. Strained budgets were making some governments look twice at the cost of the commitment. Many in America worried that the United States would be left to bear the burden on its own and doubted that our alliance would stay the course.

Instead, we came together with our allies and charted a common path forward. It started in Brussels in 2009, when we agreed that getting the job done would take a stronger military presence on the ground. The next year, in the summit in Lisbon, we agreed on a timetable for transitioning security responsibilities to the Afghans by the end of 2014. Earlier this year at the summit in Chicago, we reaffirmed the core principle of “in together, out together,” and made commitments on financing, supporting, and training Afghan security forces beyond 2014. In Tokyo last summer, we pledged ongoing economic and civilian support for the Afghan people following the transition.

And together, we are helping the Afghans take back their country and secure their future. Al-Qaida’s core leadership has been decimated there. Three-quarters of the population now live in areas where Afghan forces have taken over lead responsibility for security, and conflict has moved farther away from population centers.

Now, believe me, we know there is an enormous amount of hard work ahead, and success, however one defines it, is far from guaranteed. But we worked past our differences; we kept our eyes on the most important goal, helping the Afghan people lay the foundation for their own progress and better futures for themselves.

Even as we shored up support for a decade-long conflict in Afghanistan, we also showed that the Alliance can answer the challenges of today. When the Libyan people demanded their freedom and Qadhafi threatened to hunt down the people of Benghazi like rats, we responded. And we all shared the burden. Early on, the United States knocked out Libya’s integrated air defenses, and later we provided other crucial assets. Our European and Canadian allies policed the skies, carried out the bulk of air strikes, provided logistical support, and enforced the arms embargo at sea.

Think for a moment about the NATO action in Kosovo in the 1990s. In that mission, the United States dropped nearly 90 percent of the precision guided munitions, compared to our allies’ 10 percent; in Libya, it was the other way around.

Now, Libya was not a flawless operation. European air forces were severely stressed, and we are concerned about further defense cuts by our allies that could impede our ability to undertake necessary defense and such operations in the future. But Operation Unified Protector showed that NATO still has a critical role to play in advancing our common security interests. And we’re taking advantage of the lessons we learned to make the Alliance more effective.

Beyond NATO, there may be no better example of our cooperation than the way we are holding the Iranian Government accountable for its illicit nuclear program. Few would argue that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are anything less than a grave threat to its neighbors and the world. But four years ago, during a serious economic slowdown, the conventional wisdom said that the EU had no appetite for deploying the most powerful diplomatic tool we had to put pressure on the regime, a total embargo of Iranian oil.

Well, we set out to prove the conventional wisdom wrong. We built a strong coalition of nations, persuaded other oil suppliers to step up production, and created the space that the EU needed to put a boycott in place. We coupled that action with unprecedented global sanctions and some creative solutions that are making it harder for companies to do business with Iran: going after Iran’s central bank; working with insurers, shippers and oil companies to keep Iran’s oil resources bottled up inside their own borders. As a result, Iran’s oil production is down a million barrels a day. That costs the Iranian government $3 billion every month.

The United States, as President Obama has said repeatedly, is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I think we have also shown that diplomacy is our preferred approach. But the window for Iran to negotiate seriously is not open indefinitely. Through the E3+3 process and multilateral fora like the IAEA, the United States and European leaders are pushing Tehran to live up to its international obligations and abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

We’re also modernizing our defensive capabilities across Europe to guard against 21st century threats. We’re maintaining our largest permanent military presence outside the United States there, while at the same time updating our ballistic missile defense to protect against threats from outside the continent. These new technologies are helping protect potential targets in both Europe and America. We’ve already deployed a critical radar in Turkey, and agreed to home-port Aegis missile defense cruisers in Spain. And in the coming years, new interceptor systems and their American operators will be deployed in Romania and Poland, enhancing our defensive capabilities for years to come.

So on a wide range of global security issues we are more closely aligned with our European partners than we’ve ever been.

Now, of course, Europe and the United States are never going to agree on every issue, just as Europeans will not always agree among themselves. Just today, in fact, a number of EU member states are likely to take a different position from us on a measure at the UN General Assembly granting observer-state status to the Palestinian Authority. The United States opposes the resolution, which we believe will do nothing to advance the peace and the two-state solution we all want to see. At the same time, however, we and our European partners agree on the most fundamental issues and share a common objective: two states living side by side in peace and security.

We can all also agree that we are better off working together on this issue, just as on the others that I have mentioned. Imagine what the world would look like if we did not. A Libyan dictator, left to his own devices, slaughtering his own people. A safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan. Iran leveraging its oil supply to underwrite a nuclear weapons program. That is not a world in which Americans or Europeans or anyone else would be better off.

So what we have achieved in the last four years is a record we must keep building on, because there are even more consequential and in many ways more difficult challenges that lie ahead.

For example, we look to our longtime European allies to help improve security and build new economic relationships in Asia. And let me be clear: Our pivot to Asia is not a pivot away from Europe. On the contrary, we want Europe to engage more in Asia, along with us to see the region not only as a market, but as a focus of common strategic engagement.

Another ongoing challenge we need to deal with together is Russia. We’ve made progress with Moscow on areas such as nuclear arms reduction, sanctions on Iran, and trade, and we seek to expand our areas of cooperation. But the reality is that we have serious and continuing differences on Syria, missile defense, NATO enlargement, human rights, and other issues. It will be up to us and our European partners to continue looking for opportunities to engage with Russia and to make progress on the issues that matter to us.

There are so many other areas that are ripe for cooperation, from supporting the transitions in North Africa and the Middle East, to responding to climate change, to relieving famine in the Horn of Africa, to managing relationships with emerging powers. But if the United States and Europe are not strong, stable, and prosperous in the long-term, our ability to tackle these and other issues will be put at risk. If we can’t make the necessary investments in defense, diplomacy, and development, our partnership might not bear the weight of these 21st century challenges.

So while we build on our recent successes, we also need to remain focused on areas where our partnership still has work to do. Perhaps the most important question in the years ahead will be whether we invest as much energy into our economic relationship as we have put into our security relationship. At a time when countries are measuring their influence as much by the size of their economies as by the might of their militaries, we have to realize the untapped potential of the transatlantic market. This is as much a strategic imperative as an economic one.

After all, so many of the things we do around the world depend on our economic strength – from providing defense, to investing in emerging markets, to aiding development, to responding to crises. And there may be no greater threat to our security and our transatlantic partnership than a weak economic future on one or both sides of the Atlantic. If we’re serious about strengthening our economic ties, we each need to build stronger foundations at home. For the United States, this means making tough political choices. It means investing in our own competitiveness to set the platform for stronger economic growth. And it means addressing our domestic fiscal challenges.

As you know, Washington is gearing up for another round of budget negotiations. And I am again hearing concerns about the global implications of America’s economic choices. And although I am now out of politics, let me assure you that for all the differences between our political parties here, we are united in our commitment to protect American leadership and bolster our national security. Reaching a meaningful budget deal is critical to both. This is a moment, once again, to prove the resilience of our economic system and reaffirm American leadership in the world.

And we are counting on Europe to do the same. First and foremost, that means resolving the Eurozone crisis. And we’ve seen some good progress recently. Over the summer, the European Central Bank announced that it would stand behind governments that are implementing critical reforms, which has effectively reduced borrowing costs for these countries. And a few weeks ago, Greece took an important step by passing a budget and reform package that makes tough trade-offs. And just this week, European governments and the IMF agreed on measures to reduce Greece’s debt burden.

Ireland and Portugal have implemented sweeping reforms that should improve their competitiveness. Spain and Italy are also on the path to reform and eventual recovery. This has not, of course, been easy, but after two years of vigorous debate and a dozen elections, the 17 governments of the Euro area remain united in their will to maintain Europe’s monetary union. Time and again, skeptical governments and crisis-weary voters have chosen to keep the Eurozone intact and to keep trying to resolve the crisis.

Now, we recognize that this is fundamentally a European problem that requires European solutions. America can’t and shouldn’t try to dictate any answer or approach. But even as the risks of financial crisis recede, I want to urge European leaders to keep working to address the challenge of economic growth and jobs. The Eurozone economy is slipping back into recession as austerity policies take effect. France and Germany, which have largely weathered the economic storm so far, are also beginning to show some signs of slowdown.

So it’s vital to the entire global economy that European leaders move toward policies that promote credible and sustainable growth and create jobs. But even as we’re making these tough choices on our own, there’s a great deal more on the economic front we can and must be doing together. Like tackling global imbalances, which are creating a drag on the recoveries in both America and Europe, and perhaps more importantly, working to strengthen our transatlantic trade relationship.

Now of course, Europe is already America’s largest trade and investment partner. And we have made some progress building on that. We have revitalized the Transatlantic Economic Council and set up the U.S.-EU Energy Council. We’ve broken down regulatory barriers and are working to establish standards, common standards, for manufacturing, and our collaboration with the private sector is starting to show results in developing smart grids and other new energy technologies.

But despite that progress, the United States remains one of only a handful of WTO members not to move beyond Most-Favored-Nation status with the EU. We need to do better. In the face of rising challenges to our shared economic model, and the growth of barriers to trade that have emerged not at borders but behind them, we need to continue to promote a rules-based order of open, free, transparent, and fair competition in the global marketplace.

That’s why we are discussing possible negotiations with the European Union for a comprehensive agreement that would increase trade and spur growth on both sides of the Atlantic. We have more work to do, including addressing longstanding barriers to trade and market access. But if we work at it and if we get this right, an agreement that opens markets and liberalizes trade would shore up our global competitiveness for the next century, creating jobs and generating hundreds of billions of dollars for our economies. So I hope we will continue working to find a way forward, and make stronger trade and investment ties a major strategic goal of our transatlantic alliance.

Now, the path ahead for Europe and for our partnership will not be an easy one, but I’m confident that we will, once again, do what is necessary because we have done it so many times before. We united to rebuild a continent devastated by war. We built NATO to protect a continent threatened by Soviet domination. And we’re continuing to work together on the unfinished work inside Europe, like European enlargement and integration, which the United States has championed for decades.

We are looking forward to Croatia’s accession to the EU next year. Last month, as Strobe said, I traveled to the Western Balkans with High Representative Ashton, where we expressed our support for the aspirations of the people there to be integrated into Europe and the Euro-Atlantic Alliance. We support the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia that is taking place under the good offices of the EU. And we hope to see movement toward normalizing relations.

And let me add what a pleasure it has been working with Cathy Ashton. Not only is she a great diplomat and a personal friend, but it is exciting to see the EU becoming a more cohesive voice in world affairs.

We also must continue advancing the work of democracy and human rights in those parts of Europe and Eurasia that are not yet where they need to be. Ukraine’s October elections were a step backwards for democracy, and we remain deeply concerned about the selective prosecution of opposition leaders. In Belarus, the government continues to systematically repress human rights, so we must continue to push for the release of political prisoners and support those brave activists standing up for the rights of the people of Belarus. We welcomed Georgia’s elections and the first peaceful transition in that country’s history, and we continue to call on Georgia’s new government to demonstrate its commitment to democracy, transparency, due process, and the rule of law. From Eastern Europe to the Balkans to the Caucasus, the United States and the EU must continue to assist civil society, support democratic reforms, and promote tolerance throughout and within societies.

In short, we are advancing the values and principles that have underpinned our partnership for so long. And even in the moments when the United States and Europe could agree on little else, that foundation remained steadfast. In this sense, the last four years represent not a new direction, but a return to form, and a reminder of what the United States and Europe stand for: That commitment to freedom and democracy, that dedication to human rights and opportunity for all, the conviction that progress depends on our willingness to see past our differences.

There’s an old saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And over the past four years – and for decades before that – the United States and Europe have come far, together. Now we’re called to take on two tasks at once: to continue the work of advancing our shared interests and values around the world, even as we shore up the sources of our strengths at home.

If we work together, I’m confident that the United States and Europe are up to the challenge, that our partnership will not only endure but it will thrive and grow stronger, and that we will carry forward the work of every generation of Europeans and Americans alike – to build a more just, more prosperous, more peaceful, free world. That is an extraordinary mission, and it’s a privilege to be part of trying to move it forward.

Thank you all very much.

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Secretary Clinton to Travel to the Czech Republic, Belgium, Ireland, and Northern Ireland

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 29, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Prague, the Czech Republic; Brussels, Belgium; Dublin, Ireland; and Belfast, Northern Ireland December 3-7.

Secretary Clinton will travel to Prague, the Czech Republic, December 3 to meet with Czech officials on strengthening Czech energy independence, as well as advancing human rights and supporting democratic transitions around the world.

Secretary Clinton will visit Brussels, Belgium, December 4-5 to participate in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The Secretary and her counterparts will discuss current security challenges in the Western Balkans and NATO’s global partnerships. The Secretary will participate in a foreign ministers’ meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on December 4 and of the NATO-Georgia Commission on December 5. NATO foreign ministers will also meet with their non-NATO partners in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and representatives of the Government of Afghanistan to review the status of the joint Afghan/ISAF transition plan, as well as discuss NATO’s post-2014 mission in Afghanistan. While in Brussels, the Secretary will also co-chair the fourth meeting of the U.S.-European Union (EU) Energy Council to deepen cooperation on energy security and conservation.

The Secretary will travel December 6-7 to Dublin, Ireland, where she will participate in the ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). During the ministerial, she and her counterparts will discuss proposals to strengthen the OSCE’s capacity to promote comprehensive security in Eurasia, as well as meet with civil society representatives from across the OSCE region The Secretary will also meet with Irish officials to discuss areas of cooperation in promoting peace, human rights, and economic growth and will deliver a major speech on U.S. achievements in support of human rights globally.

Secretary Clinton will travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland, December 7, where she will meet with Northern Ireland officials and discuss the peace process, the trilateral US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership and economic opportunities for Northern Ireland. She will attend an event hosted by The Ireland Funds – – a global fundraising network supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education, and community development in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Mme. Secretary will be meeting with more than Northern Irish officials in Belfast.

Bill and Hillary Clinton to visit Northern Ireland

By Liam Clarke
Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bill and Hillary Clinton are to visit Northern Ireland on Friday, December 7, according to senior political sources in Dublin.


The plan is that she will attend the session on the 6th and travel North on the 7th, where she will meet her husband Bill, the former US President.
The trip may be one of Mrs Clinton’s last foreign engagements as Secretary of State, the equivalent of America’s Foreign Minister.
If the trip runs to plan, it will be a nostalgic occasion for Mrs Clinton and her husband. The couple visited the province three times

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Remarks in Recognition of World AIDS Day


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
November 29, 2012

Thank you all very much. Oh my goodness. Thank you. I think we could just end the program right now. (Laughter.) Florence, thank you. Thank you for continuing to be a smiling advocate on behalf of an AIDS-free generation. And congratulations on those two sons of yours, who are the strongest evidence of what we can achieve. I’m very grateful to you for sharing your energy, your story, and your passion with us today.I am so pleased to have this opportunity to unveil, formally, the blueprint for an AIDS-free generation. And this could not have happened without Dr. Eric Goosby. I’ve known Eric a long time. When I decided to accept the President’s offer to become Secretary of State, I knew there was only one person that I would hope to recruit to become our Global AIDS Ambassador. Because Eric has both the firsthand experience, going back to the very beginning of his medical training and practice in San Francisco, to the vision he has as to continue to push us to do even more than we think we possibly can, and the drive to actually deliver that. He’s a unique human being, and we are so grateful for his service. And I want to return the favor, my friend, and thank you publicly for everything you have done. (Applause.)

Also sitting in the front row is the man who has been leading the government’s research efforts from the very early days of the epidemic, Dr. Tony Fauci. Thank you for being here and thank you for everything you have done. (Applause.)

From USAID, we have Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, who has also been, along with everyone at USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies, one of those public servants who has dedicated his or her life to this work.

So I am grateful to everyone in our government who has done what has made all the difference. We could not be making this announcement had it not been for the countless hours in laboratories, at bedsides, in the field, everything that people have contributed.

And also let me thank Michel Sidibe, who has also been on the frontlines, and from UNAIDS, an absolutely essentially organization in playing the irreplaceable role in this fight. Thank you so much, Michel. (Applause.)

And Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, the first woman to chair the African Union Commission, a longtime public servant, government official, activist in South Africa. The AU is a critical partner in our work against HIV/AIDS, and I don’t think there’s anyone who is better positioned to lead the AU at this time. And the fact she’s the first women to lead the AU in its 50-year history is an additional benefit. Thank you so much, my friend. (Applause.)

And to Senator Enzi and Congresswoman Lee and Congressman Bass, who truly have been leaders, but also represent members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. This is a program that really has had bipartisan support – the leadership of President Bush in creating PEPFAR, the commitment and leadership of President Obama. This is something that I think has really made a difference for Americans and for America. It represents our very best values in practice.

So to all the members of Congress, the advocates and activists, the scientists, people living with HIV, thank you for joining us as we take this next step in the journey we began years ago, but which we formally announced a year ago, to change the course of this pandemic and usher in an AIDS-free generation.

Now, make no mistake about it: HIV may well be with us into the future. But the disease that it causes need not be. We can reach a point where virtually no children are born with the virus, and as these children become teenagers and adults, they are at a far lower risk of becoming infected than they are today. And if they do acquire HIV, they have access to treatment that helps prevent them from not only from developing AIDS, but from and passing the virus on to others.

Now earlier this year, at the International AIDS Conference here in Washington, I described some of the steps we have taken to achieve an AIDS-free generation. And today, I want to step back and make two broad points about this goal.

First, let’s remember why, after so many years of discouraging news, this goal is now possible. By applying evidence-based strategies in the most effective combinations, we have cut the number of new infections dramatically. Just last week, UNAIDS announced that, over the past decade, the rate of new HIV infections has dropped by more than half in 25 low-and-middle-income countries, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. Just listen to these numbers: In Zimbabwe, a 50 percent reduction; in Namibia, a 68 percent reduction; and in Malawi, a 73 percent reduction in the rate of new infections.

So as we continue to drive down the number of new infections and drive up the number of people on treatment, eventually we will be able to treat more people than become infected every year. That will be the tipping point. We will then get ahead of the pandemic, and an AIDS-free generation will be in our sight. Now, we don’t know how long it will take to do this everywhere, but we know that we can do it.

And that brings me to the second point: We’ve set the goal. We know it’s possible. Now we have to deliver. That may sound obvious, but it isn’t, because the history of global health and development is littered with grand plans that never panned out. And that matters, because if we make commitments and then fail to keep them, not only will our credibility be diminished, but people will lose heart. They will conclude, wrongly, that progress just isn’t possible, and everyone will lose faith in each other. That will cost lives. And in the fight against HIV/AIDS, failing to live up to our commitments isn’t just disappointing, it is deadly.

That’s why I am so relentlessly focused on delivering results. In July, I asked Eric Goosby and his team to produce a plan to show precisely how America will help achieve an AIDS-free generation. As I said then, I want the next Congress, the next Secretary of State, and our partners everywhere to know how we will contribute to achieving this goal. And the result is the blueprint we are releasing today. It lays out five goals and many specific steps we will take to accomplish those goals.

First, we are committing to rapidly scaling up the most effective prevention and treatment interventions. And today, I can announce some new numbers that show how far we’ve already come. This year, through PEPFAR, we directly supported nearly 5.1 million people on antiretroviral treatment. (Applause.) That is a 200 percent increase since 2008.

Now, think for a moment what this means. What did Florence say was the only hope she could give her fellow women living with HIV? She said it was the ARVs. And this year, the American people gave that hope to more than 5 million of their fellow citizens on this earth. And through them, we gave hope to their families and communities, and I think that should make every American profoundly proud.

Now, our second goal is that the blueprint says we have to go where the virus is, targeting the populations at the greatest risk of contracting HIV, including people who inject drugs, sex workers, and those trafficked into prostitution, and men who have sex with men. (Applause.)

When discrimination, stigma, and other factors drive these groups into the shadows, the epidemic becomes that much harder to fight. That’s why we are supporting country-led plans to expand services for key populations, and bolstering the efforts of civil society groups to reach out to them. And we are investing in research to identify the interventions that are most effective for each key population.

As part of our effort to go where the virus is, we are focusing even more intently on women and girls, because they are still at higher risk then men of acquiring HIV because of gender inequity and violence. So we are working to ensure that HIV/AIDS programs recognize the particular needs of women and girls, for example, by integrating these efforts with family planning and reproductive health services. (Applause.) We are also working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, invest in girls’ education, address gender inequality, and take other steps that have been proven to lower their risk of contracting the virus.

Third, we will promote sustainability, efficiency, and effectiveness. We’ve already saved hundreds of millions of dollars by switching to generic drugs in our treatment regimen. And we will continue to ensure that we get the most out of every dollar spent.

Fourth, we will promote a global effort to achieve an AIDS-free generation, because this must be a shared responsibility. That means our partner countries must step up to the responsibilities of country ownership. And we look to our partner countries to define the services their people need the most, set priorities, and convene funding partners to coordinate. Donors must meet their funding commitments while also doing more to support country ownership.

To drive all these efforts, the United States will continue to support the Global Fund, we will invest in global health diplomacy, and use our diplomatic leverage to support our goals and bring others to the table.

And I have to say I was so impressed when I was in South Africa this summer. I went to Cape Town. We – Eric and I went together, Ambassador was there, along with the South African Minister of Health, who has been an exemplary leader. Let’s give the Minister of Health of South Africa a round of applause. (Applause.)

He has worked so hard with a great team and with President Zuma’s full support to really take on the responsibility of country ownership and management. And when we were in the clinic in Cape Town, we saw some really impressive developments, including a more efficient way to dispense the drugs that are needed. And it was a great tribute to what the South African Government has been able to do in the last four years.

Now finally – and this is really a call for the entire global health community – science and evidence must continue to guide our work. For our part, the United States will support research on innovative technologies for prevention and treatment, such as microbicides and approaches that stave off opportunistic infections like TB. We will set clear, measurable benchmarks and monitor our progress toward them so we can focus our funding on what works. It is science that has brought us to this point; it is science that will allow us to finish this job.

So with this blueprint, I firmly believe we have laid out a plan that every American president and secretary and Congress will want to build on. And I urge other countries to develop their own blueprints, because to reach and AIDS-free generation, we have to keep moving forward.

So if we have any doubt about the importance of this work, just think of the joy and that big smile on Florence’s face when she told us about giving birth to her two healthy HIV-negative sons. And think of that same sense of joy rippling out across an entire generation, tens of millions of mothers and fathers whose children will be born free of this disease, who will not know the horror of AIDS. That is the world we are working for, and nothing could be more exciting, more inspiring, more deserving of our dedication than that.

So I thank everyone across our government, because I know this was a whole-of-government effort. I thank you all for everything you have done, are doing, and will do to deliver on this important goal.

And now it’s my great pleasure to welcome my friend and partner in the effort to the stage, the leader of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe. (Applause.)

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Remarks With Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
November 29, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the new Georgian Foreign Minister here to Washington. This is the 20th anniversary of our diplomatic relations and we are very much looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Georgian Government and the Georgian people. The parliamentary election in October was a successful and important step on the further development of democracy in Georgia, and the move toward fulfilling the Euro-Atlantic aspirations that Georgia has.We are very much supportive of the peaceful transition to power that occurred as a result of this election by the new government, and we do hope that everything that is done with respect to prosecuting any potential wrongdoers is done transparently in accord with due process and the rule of law as is befitting of the Georgia dream and the aspirations and sensitivities of the Georgian people.

So we’re very much looking forward to this meeting today and the meetings to come as we work to not only support Georgia at home but also the many areas that we’re already working with Georgia, in Afghanistan, in the NATO-Georgia Commission, and so much else. So Foreign Minister, welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER PANJIKIDZE: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. It’s a big honor for me to be here, and thank you very much to invite me so soon after the elections in Georgia. I will never forget your phone call, which was very pleasant. And I’m very happy to be here today, and I’m sure we can discuss the issues of our cooperation with the United States. We are very proud that the United States are our strategic partner. And we will talk about the domestic and foreign challenges Georgia is facing today and I hope you will understand our issues and we will count on your help and support in the future.

So I’m very happy to be here and to have such interesting meetings. But first of all, thank you very much for inviting me to Washington.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you, Minister. Thank you all very much.

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Public Schedule for November 29, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
November 29, 2012



9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the regional bureau secretaries, at the Department of State.

10:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani, at the Department of State.

10:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks in recognition of World AIDS Day, at the Department of State. Please click here for more information.

11:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister of Georgia Maia Panjikidze, at the Department of State.

1:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks on The U.S. and Europe: A Revitalized Global Partnership, at the Brookings Institution. Please click here for more information.
Secretary Clinton’s remarks will be streamed live on state.gov and viewers may follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SecClinton

4:50 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, at the Department of State.

5:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Policy Planning Staff – Foreign Policy Group’s “Transformational Trends 2013” Forum, at the Newseum, in Washington, DC. Please click here for more information.

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Remarks With African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
November 28, 2012



SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. It is such a personal pleasure for me to welcome the Chairperson here for our high-level meetings. This is our third high-level meeting, and we highly value the relationship and the increasing cooperation that we are enjoying with the African Union. And of course, I want to congratulate the Chairperson for becoming the first woman chair of the African Union.

I want to start by saying a few words about the ongoing situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The humanitarian impact of this conflict in the eastern part of the country is devastating. More than 285,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since this rebellion began back in April. They are in critical need of assistance. Health workers in Goma have been killed and abducted. Members of civil society, human rights activists, judicial authorities throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo have received death threats. The United States strongly condemns these tactics of fear and intimidation. And those who abuse human rights must be held accountable.

Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson has been in the region holding discussions with leadership from the DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda to try to help bring about a ceasefire. We strongly support continued cooperation among the leaders of these countries and throughout the region and commend the African Union for its recent decision to send a special envoy to the Great Lakes.

With regard to the M23 rebel group, there is only one way forward: They must meet their commitments under the Kampala Accords to cease their attacks, withdraw from Goma, and pull back to the July lines. Under the Kampala Accords, President Kabila’s government has agreed to hear and address the grievances of the M23 leaders, and we call on leaders and governments from throughout the region to halt and prevent any support to the M23 from their territory.

Now this is just one issue that illustrates the importance of enhanced, strong cooperation between the African Union and the United States. First, on peace and security, we strongly support the AU missions in Somalia and Darfur as well as the AU’s facilitation efforts in Sudan and South Sudan. And we are working to support the AU’s leadership with respect to the crises in Mali, and as I said, eastern DRC.

The AU is the partner who is best able to empower and mobilize the resources and the will throughout the continent to address crises, and we are very pleased to see this strong role getting even stronger. Secondly, we want to work together to promote credible elections and foster good governance, strong transparent institutions, and democracy. Third, we want to enhance trade and investment between the United States and Africa. As I never tire of saying, seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are located in Africa. And we want to do more to really see greater prosperity across the continent.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. This high-level meeting builds on President Obama’s presidential policy directive on Sub-Saharan Africa, and we are going to do all that we can to promote peace and prosperity. So it’s a great pleasure to have this meeting, which is a two-day set of meetings here in the State Department and in agencies across our government, and to work together on a framework for implementation with timelines and accountability, something that both the Chairperson and I believe strongly in doing, so that everyone knows what we are trying to achieve together.

So, thank you so much.

CHAIRPERSON DLAMINI-ZUMA: Well, thank you very much. We are very happy to be here, and our approach to this meeting is that we have to have a balance between dealing with crises and peace and security matters with development, because we feel that these are two sides of the same coin. If we delay development, there’ll be more crises and more instability. But at the same time, if we don’t deal with the security situation, we can’t develop. So that balance for us is very important. And going forward, we are working as the AU towards a prosperous Africa which is at peace with itself and the world. And so all our efforts are geared towards those – towards that vision. And we have had very fruitful discussions. And obviously, discussions are as good as the follow-up, and we are going to make sure that we follow up on all the decisions that – and discussions that we’ve had. Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Good. We’ll take two this evening. We’ll start with CNN, Jill Doughterty.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you. I wanted to ask you about tomorrow. The Palestinians go to the United Nations, asking for non-observer status. We know that the U.S. objects, and we know many of the reasons. But why are you adamant about it at this point when Mahmoud Abbas could use some shoring up at home – he’s losing support – and even as Hamas is gaining support?

And then if I could ask you one question on Benghazi: Some are saying since the State Department is responsible for embassies, why wasn’t it you who was on the talk shows on Sunday, as opposed to Ambassador Rice?

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first with regard to the Palestinian question, I have said many times that the path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York. We have made very clear to the Palestinian leadership – you know I met with President Abbas just last week – that we oppose Palestinian efforts to upgrade their status at the UN outside of the framework of negotiations to achieve a two-state solution, because no matter what happens at the United Nations, it will not produce the outcome that this government, this President, and certainly I strongly support. And the only way to get a lasting solution is to commence direct negotiations, and we need an environment conducive to that. And we’ve urged both parties to refrain from actions that might in any way make a return to meaningful negotiations that focus on getting to a resolution more difficult. So I may have more to say about that later, but certainly that’s our overall view.

Let me just say, first of all, that Susan Rice has done a great job as our Ambassador to the United Nations. And of course, this decision about my successor is up to the President, but I’m very happy he has the opportunity with a second term to make a decision. And I’m not going to answer any hypothetical questions about what could’ve happened but didn’t happen. I’m looking forward to being able to discuss all of the issues pertaining to this after the conclusion of the Accountability Review Board. My responsibility was to appoint such a board, which I did immediately. They have been hard at work. We are hoping that they will be finished with their work very soon, and we intend to make the results of their investigation publicly, and at that time I will be able to address all of these issues.

MS. NULAND: Last one this evening, (inaudible).

QUESTION: Madam Chairperson, Madam Secretary, can Rwanda be part of the solution in Kivu if it continues to deny that it’s part of the problem, specifically its support for M23? And do you think President Kagame has any personal responsibility to bear on what’s going on there now?

CHAIRPERSON DLAMINI-ZUMA: Well, our approach to this matter is that it doesn’t help us in fingerprinting – finger-pointing. We just need a solution. And we met in Kampala on Saturday, the summit took decisions that the M23 must be out, that there must be a special force, a neutral force to deal with that area, and that President Kabila should listen and evaluate the concerns of the M23. And so for us, what is important is to get that resolution of that problem, and the rest will be taken care of because Rwanda is part of the Great Lakes. They have taken a decision that there must be a neutral force there. And Rwanda was there. It supported that decision that M23 must move out of Goma. Rwanda was there. It supported that decision. So for us, that’s what is important.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I would fully support the Chairperson’s comments. We have consistently called on all parties, including Rwanda, to play a positive role in helping to bring about a peaceful resolution of this conflict. And that includes ending any and all support for the M23. Any military assistance from anyone to the M23 is in violation of the UN arms embargo. And we were very heartened by the results of the Kampala summit. And as the Chairperson said, now we want to see it implemented. There was an agreement. There’s a path forward. But it is up to the parties now to hold themselves accountable, and each other, for acting on those agreements.

Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Thank you all very much.

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It’s time to vote again – for Time’s Person of the Year.  Click the link at the bottom of  the article to vote.

The Candidates

Hillary Clinton

By Jay Newton-SmallMonday, Nov. 26, 2012
Larry French / Getty Images

Poll Results

Hillary Clinton’s failed run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination left her public image dented. Four years later, she looks stronger than ever. The Secretary of State, 65, enjoys sky-high approval ratings and even has a new cool factor, thanks to the Tumblr blog “Texts from Hillary” (which was based on TIME photographer Diana Walker’s famous shot of a sunglasses-wearing Clinton reading her BlackBerry on a military plane). Not that Clinton’s final year as America’s top diplomat has been frivolous. An attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya took the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, the first ambassador killed in action in 24 years. That put Clinton in the hot seat over diplomatic security, which she has made a priority during her final months in office. (Clinton says she’ll stick around until her replacement is confirmed.) Meanwhile, she has been juggling other crises in the restive Middle East, from working to unite the fractious Syrian opposition to plunging into the November conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.


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