Archive for the ‘Security Council’ Category

Hillary Clinton wrapped up a marathon week at UNGA in New York City this afternoon with every bit as much grace, grit, good humor, and glamor as when she began.   Her Smart Power Doctrine did double-duty through  most  of the week as the president spent just 24 hours in town, long enough to drop by for an appearance on The View and deliver his address to the General Assembly.  His regular meetings and events for the rest of the week were covered by Her Excellency (along with her own scheduled events) as Acting Chief Executive of the U.S. at her last UNGA as Secretary of State.  She did a spectacular job and has won praise from some unlikely sources.

From Politico.

Newt talks up Hillary Clinton


9/26/12 12:59 PM EDT
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Newt Gingrich offered some praise of the Secretary of State on Fox News last night:

Hillary Clinton is a serious person, Barack Obama is an ambitious person. They’re very different personalities.

Hillary Clinton actually gets up every day, thinking about public policy; Barack Obama gets up every day, thinking about Barack Obama. They’re very different approaches to life.

Mayor Mike chimed in on his radio show  as the New York Post reports.

Clinton a ‘class act’

  • Last Updated: 10:16 AM, September 28, 2012
  • Posted: 10:15 AM, September 28, 2012

Run, Hillary, run?

With speculation brewing about a possible Hillary Clinton run for the presidency in 2016, Mayor Bloomberg today praised her as a shining light in the Obama Administration and called himself a “big fan” of her work as Secretary of State.

“She has worked as hard as anybody can work,” the mayor observed on his weekly WOR radio show.

“I’m not sure I agree with all her policies– some yes, some no. But Hillary Clinton is a class act and has worked over and above what you could ask for somebody to represent the Obama Administration.”

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This  review from  RTT News sparkles almost as much as Mme. Secretary did all week!

Hillary Clinton Shines As Obama Surrogate At UN Meeting


9/28/2012 11:36 AM ET
(RTTNews) – Hillary Clinton may have lost the Democratic primary to Barack Obama back in 2008, but this week in New York, she was Secretary of State and Commander-in-Chief all rolled into one as she acted as the president’s surrogate at the United Nations General Assembly.

Clinton, who arguably has closer ties with many of the world’s top leaders than the president, took over many of the tasks usually left to the president during this week.

President Obama only spent 24-hours in the city, choosing to eschew formal meetings with world leaders to return to his campaign schedule. He was the first president in over 20 years not to meet with a foreign leader at the conference.

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Finally, Jezebel does a great takedown of a snarky article in the Daily Mail when a photographer caught a shot of doodles on the top page of Mme. President’s prepared remarks at a Security Council meeting.

Sep 28, 2012 12:45 PM 15,028 44

Hillary Clinton’s UN Doodles Clearly a Window Into Her Innermost Thoughts

Birds do it. Bees do it. Secretaries of State hearing UN pleas do it. Yesterday, a photographer caught Hillary Clinton aimlessly drawing on her speech notes during a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East peace process. The situation is grim, shooting, suffering etc., but all of that starts to run together after awhile. Let’s get to the more interesting water cooler conversation-y stuff that doesn’t bum everyone out: what do Hillary Clinton’s doodles tell us about her personality?

As breathlessly reported by The Daily Mail (which helpfully included an unflattering picture of Hillary Clinton’s face contorting mid-wink with their coverage, you know, for added clarity), Clinton appeared to space out during remarks given by other diplomats, drawing an organized series of interlocking circles and a star on a copy of her prepared speech.

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**Edited to add  this** Chicago Sun-Times.  Too good to pass up from Lynn Sweet, the scorekeeper!

WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama decided not to do face-to-face meetings with global leaders in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, outside of courtesy calls to UN officials. The lack of in-person meetings drew fire from Mitt Romney and other GOP critics. Obama delivered a major speech to the UN on Tuesday. While it may be just too close to the election for Obama one-on-ones, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held 25 meetings with leaders from around the world, a State Department spokesman said Friday.

Mike Hammer, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, recapping Clinton’s week told reporters Friday, “since arriving last Sunday and starting her meetings then, held 25 bilateral and trilateral meetings.

“And that is in addition to events that covered every region of the world. For example, you saw the U.N. secretary-general’s meeting on the Sahel. We had a trans-Atlantic dinner with EU and NATO foreign ministers. We had a Central American ministerial. We had an ASEAN foreign ministers meeting.

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Madame President, thank you, always, for your tireless and cheerful efforts. We wish you, as my dear friend Robyn always says, a peaceful and restful weekend. Job superlatively done!

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Our Turbo-Secretary-of-State has been spending this week at UNGA in New York like the Energizer Bunny covering her planned events as well as meeting on the sidelines with dignitaries with whom the president normally might have met were he not so busy on the campaign trail.  Here are some photos from the State  Department of her busy Thursday.  There have not been remarks or fact sheets released from all of these events, but sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words, e.g. notice the silver-haired gent at the far left of the table at the Haiti event, see him?  The one in a familiar posture, elbow on table, hand supporting tilted head looking at Mme. Secretary like he has simply never seen anyone quite so enchanting as she – that needs no words .

With Malawian President Banda

Feed the Future

Feed the Future

Meeting with Chinese FM Yang Jiechi

With Central American Foreign Ministers

Connecting the Americas

United Nations Security Council P5+1 Ministerial

Haiti Partners Ministerial Meeting


With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

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As acting head-of-state at UNGA today, Hillary Clinton delivered remarks to the Security Council at a session on the Middle East peace and security.

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Remarks at the United Nations Security Council Session On Peace And Security in the Middle East


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

United Nations

New York City

September 26, 2012

Thank you very much, Minister Westerwelle, for calling us together at this critical moment to discuss peace and security in the Middle East on the heels of two tumultuous weeks during which violent protests rocked countries across the region. And although anger was directed against my country, the protests exposed deep rifts within new democracies and volatility that extremists were quick to instigate and exploit.

As President Obama made clear yesterday in his address to the General Assembly, the United States rejects the false choice between democracy and stability. Democracies make the strongest, most capable partners. And we know that it takes a lot of hard work and oftentimes struggle.

But the fact of new, emerging democracies here in the 21st century should be a cause for great satisfaction and hope. But these emerging democracies need champions, not fair-weather friends. And during this past week, as I met with leaders from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, I expressed to each of them America’s unwavering support for their country’s continued journey along the democratic path.

But making good on the promise of these transitions will take many hands working on many fronts. And of course, there are political and economic dimensions to the work that must be done, but today I’d like to focus on the security concerns, because that has to be the starting line on the road to true democracy.

Of course, the Arab revolutions come from within, and the greatest responsibility for their success or failure lies with the people living them each day. But the nations gathered in this room also have a powerful stake in seeing that these democracies succeed, and it is our shared responsibility to help countries in transition find the right path forward.

International support is critical. Consider what happened when the Arab League and the Security Council came together to protect civilians in Libya. That show of solidarity helped produce a strong Security Council resolution that saved Benghazi from destruction at the hands of a tyrant. And thanks to the support of this broad coalition, the people of Libya now have the chance to write their own future.

We saw earlier this year, Libyans turning out in droves to cast their ballots – most for the first time in their lives. Then last Friday, we saw thousands of Libyans pour into the streets to condemn the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. They made it clear that those who would promote violence and division do not speak for the new Libya, and that armed bands who would sever Libya’s ties with the world are not welcome. And the new Government of Libya is working closely with us to find the murderers and bring them to justice.

Now each country in transition has its own security challenges, and therefore each need our support in different ways. In Tunisia, where the Arab Awakening began, extremists seek to hijack its progress. But Tunisians are working steadily to dismantle a long legacy of dictatorship and lay the foundation for sustainable democracy.

The riots underscored the challenges of building security forces focused on protecting people, not regimes. These nations are not the first to struggle with the challenge of policing a new democracy. And the international community has stumbled in the past, failing to offer needed support or offering the wrong kind of support.

So we should heed the lessons we have learned from our success and our failure, including this most basic understanding: Training, funding, and equipment will only go so far. It takes the political will to make hard choices and tough changes that will build strong institutions and lasting security. So I’m pleased Tunisia has agreed to host a new international training center that will help security and criminal justice officials pursue policies grounded in the rule of law and human rights.

Now Egyptians chose their leadership for the first time in history, and we are committed to helping that transition succeed. The Egyptian people, proud of the freedoms they have claimed, must decide what kind of a country they want to build. And the choices of the largest Arab nation will echo far beyond its borders. And like all nations, Egypt knows it too has responsibilities not only to its own citizens but to its neighbors and the international community, responsibilities to honor international commitments, to share power broadly, to keep faith with all the Egyptian people, men and women, Muslim and Christian. And we want to help Egypt and all new democracies live up to these vital responsibilities.

In Yemen, we are working through the GCC-led transition process, but providing basic security for the Yemeni people is a great challenge that is heightened by Yemen’s unique needs. Yemen has a fast-growing population of young people and not enough jobs – a familiar story not only through the region but the world. But in addition, Yemen is facing the depletion of their oil and water supplies. And al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula remains a serious threat. The urgency of these threats must be matched by the urgency of our response. In the Friends of Yemen meeting later this week, countries are coming together to address Yemen’s challenges, both in the immediate and the long term.

Unfortunately, in Syria, Bashar al-Assad clings to power, and his campaign of brutality has sparked a humanitarian crisis. The United States has committed more than $100 million to help the Syrian people. And we continue to insist that the violence must end and a political transition without Assad must move forward.

The Arab League suspended Syria from its activities and has strongly condemned the Assad regime’s brutal violence against its own people. And the Arab League created a plan for peaceful political transition that was endorsed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly resolution that launched Arab League-UN mediation efforts, led first by Kofi Annan and now by Lakhdar Brahimi.

Yet the atrocities mount while the Security Council remains paralyzed. And I would urge that we try, once again, to find a path forward that can bring the Security Council together on the urgent business of both ending the violence in Syria and preventing the consequences that all of us around this table fear.

And although this forum was not primarily intended to discuss the peace process, I certainly would like to reiterate the President’s message from yesterday. The future of Israel and Palestine must belong to those who embrace the hard work of peace – not those who thrive on conflict or reject the right of Israel to exist. And the United States stands ready and prepared to work toward a just agreement to finally accomplish our clear goal – a secure, Jewish state of Israel, an independent, secure, prosperous Palestine, fulfilling the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

No discussion of the Middle East would be complete without a mention of Iran and the profound threat its activities pose to the region and beyond. Despite numerous demands by this Council, Iran still has not taken the necessary steps to cooperate fully with the IAEA and to resolve doubts about its nuclear program. In addition, Iran continues to sponsor terrorist groups and smuggle weapons for the Assad regime’s use against the Syrian people. Meanwhile, the Iranian people themselves suffer gross violation of their rights at the hand of their own government.

Serious challenges like these call for leadership and partnership. Yesterday, I was privileged to sign an agreement with the Arab League through its Secretary General and I was delighted that Secretary General Elaraby and I could build on the unprecedented cooperation of the last two years. We support Germany’s call to make Security Council-Arab League cooperation more systematic and sustainable. The United States is also one of 28 countries and international organizations working through the Deauville Partnership to support democratic transitions in the Middle East and North Africa.

When violence came to our doorstep at embassies around the globe, this body joined the Arab League, the OIC, the AU, and the EU to give voice to the world’s condemnation of the attacks and call for restraint. You stood with us, and now we must stand together in support of the common aspirations of the people, of all people, for security and safety for our families, the freedom to live lives according to our own conscience, the dignity that comes only through self-determination. And as President Obama said yesterday, the United States will never shrink from defending these values. And we will not walk away from these new democracies.

We are not alone in this commitment. This is the work of all responsible nations. And we look forward to working closely with anyone who speaks out on behalf of our shared values. Thank you.

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What a shame.  He tried so hard, but the Security Council tied his hands.  Thank you for your service Mr. Secretary.  We appreciate your efforts. ( I just watched the world news and heard zero about this!)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan walk to the podium before their meeting at the State Department in Washington June 8, 2012 . REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Resignation of Kofi Annan as Joint Special Envoy for Syria

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 2, 2012

Earlier today, I spoke with Kofi Annan and thanked him on behalf of the United States for his service as the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria. Five months ago, he took on the heavy task of trying to bring an end to the killing of civilians in Syria and to forge a path toward a peaceful political transition and an inclusive, representative post-Assad Syria. He worked tirelessly to try to build consensus in the international community, end the bloodshed, and usher in a government that would meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. Unfortunately, the Security Council was blocked from giving him key tools to advance his efforts.

I wish Kofi Annan well in his future endeavors. To the Syrian people: the United States continues to stand with you and we remain committed to an effective and swift political transition as envisioned under the Annan framework.

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Something about this picture breaks my heart a little for some reason.  God bless her for all she does.  Where would we be without her?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton boards her plane following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Friday, June 29, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, Pool)

There was a brief background briefing with a senior official that sheds some light on the progress of her meeting with Lavrov today. Since it is short, I will share the whole thing here along with some photos of their day.

Background Briefing on Syria

Special Briefing

Senior Department Official
Senior Official
St. Petersburg, Russia
June 29, 2012

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So before we sat down to dinner, the two ministers spent almost an hour one-on-one talking about Syria. They were talking, first and foremost, about preparing the meeting in Geneva tomorrow.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: They talked through all of the remaining areas of difficulty and difference. There are still areas of difficulty and difference. But out of respect to Kofi, they agreed that we should all go to Geneva tomorrow to try to produce a result. We may get there tomorrow. We may not.

In addition to talking about this political transition roadmap and the importance of that, they also talked more broadly about Syria. And the question was: Why do we need to care about Syria? And it’s not simply about the suffering of the Syrian people and the danger that the country itself will unravel, but the Secretary made the point that there are real dangers for the wider region. We’ve seen the tensions between Syria and Turkey just this week. We’ve seen the impact on Lebanon. You could have a seriously destabilizing impact on Jordan. You could have an impact on Israel. So it’s really incumbent upon the Security Council members and regional states to exercise leadership and do what we can to help end the violence and get to a political transition.

The rest of the dinner – when we sat down to dinner, the rest of the dinner was a whole host of other issues which we can go through later – Middle East peace, all of the bilateral issues, strengthening – following up on the President’s meeting with President Putin, et cetera. We’ll go over those later.

QUESTION: Thank you.

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Syrian Shoot-Down of Turkish Aircraft


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 24, 2012

I spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu yesterday to convey our grave concern about the downing of a Turkish F-4 fighter jet by Syrian forces on June 22. I also told him that our thoughts and prayers are with the missing pilots and their loved ones. The Foreign Minister briefed me on the specifics of the incident, including that the Syrian military shot its plane down without warning. The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities’ callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security.

The United States reaffirms its strong support for the Turkish Government and its solidarity with the Turkish people in the wake of this incident. We will maintain close contact with Turkish officials as they continue to investigate the incident and determine Turkey’s response, including in the Security Council. We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable.

Turkey has been a leader in the international community’s effort to address the Syrian regime’s violence against its own people. We will continue our close cooperation with Turkey as part of our broader efforts to promote a democratic transition in Syria. This work is urgent, and we will be consulting in New York with the Security Council, in Brussels with NATO and the EU, and in Geneva with Special Envoy Kofi Annan on next steps.

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Presser at U.N., posted with vodpod

Press Availability at the United Nations

Press Availability

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United Nations Headquarters
New York City
March 12, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good afternoon, everyone. Before I begin, let me say that like many Americans, I was shocked and saddened by the killings of innocent Afghan villagers this weekend. We send our condolences to families who have lost their loved ones and to the people of Afghanistan. This is not who we are, and the United States is committed to seeing that those responsible are held accountable.I’ve had a series of productive discussions today with my counterparts focused largely on challenges and opportunities facing a fast-changing Middle East and North Africa. First, in private and public meetings, we continued our international efforts to stop the horrific campaign of violence that continues unabated in Syria.

Five weeks ago, we were blocked at the Security Council from even condemning the violence and endorsing a peaceful plan developed by Syria’s own neighbors. But we have refused to let that stand in the way of our support for the Syrian people.

The United States believes in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member-states, but we do not believe that sovereignty offers a grant of immunity when governments massacre their own people, threatening in the process the peace and stability we are collectively committed to protect. How cynical it is that even as Assad was receiving former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Syrian army was conducting a fresh assault on Idlib and continuing its aggression in Hama, Homs, and Rastan.

I had a constructive conversation today with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. We discussed his meetings this past weekend with the Arab League in Cairo, where he agreed on the necessity of an end to violence; full, unimpeded humanitarian access; and a political process led by former Secretary General Kofi Annan; and based on the terms of the Arab League and UN General Assembly resolutions.

Now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the Arab League. We should say with one voice as an international community that the killing of innocent Syrians must stop, and a political transition begin.

Second, I was pleased to be here today when we renewed and updated the UN support mission in Libya. Last year, the Security Council, the Arab League, and countries around the world acted to help Libya in its moment of need. Today’s renewal reflects our continued commitment to Libya and our recognition that our work to help the Libyan people achieve the future they aspire toward is not yet finished.

Finally, today, we held an informal consultation of the Quartet. We remain committed to the overall objectives the Quartet outlined last September and we agreed to meet in April. We reiterated our support for Jordanian peacemaking efforts and our call to both parties to remain engaged and to refrain from provocative actions.

I also, on behalf of the United States, condemned in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, which continued over the weekend. We call on those responsible to take immediate action to end these attacks, and we call on both sides to make every effort to restore calm.

Now, it is no secret that the pursuit of Mideast peace is difficult work, but the Palestinian people – just like their Arab neighbors, Israelis, and all people – deserve dignity, liberty, and the right to decide their own future. They deserve a viable, independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. But we know, from decades in the diplomatic trenches, that the only way to get there is through a negotiated peace, a peace that cannot be dictated from outside by the United States, the United Nations, or anyone else, and one we will continue to pursue through every productive avenue.

With that, I will take your questions.

MS. NULAND: We’ll take three today. We’ll start with Lachlan Carmichael from AFP.

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. This morning with Mr. Lavrov, did you secure any commitments or progress towards getting the elements you need for a ceasefire and getting humanitarian aid into Syria? And two, did you discuss the Russian arms shipments to Syria? Did you ask them to stop that? And what did he say?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I did appreciate the opportunity I had today to discuss with Foreign Minister Lavrov, a week after the Russian elections and after his meetings with the Arab League, the way forward. I think he has heard clearly how strong the feelings are in the region and on the Security Council, and that we expect all nations, including Russia and China, to join us now in pressing the Assad regime to silence its guns, to allow humanitarian aid to enter, and to make way for a real political transition that protects the rights of all Syrians.

I pointed out my very strong view that the alternative to our unity on these points will be bloody internal conflict with dangerous consequences for the whole region. So our message is clear: It is past time for action to save lives, to protect the dignity and rights of a proud people, and to meet our obligations as Security Council members to protect peace and security.

Now, Foreign Minister Lavrov will take what he heard here back to Moscow, and we are all waiting to hear from former Secretary General Kofi Annan as to his advice about the best way forward. In the meantime, we will be continuing our efforts with the other 70-plus members of the Friends of the Syrian People to get humanitarian aid where it is so desperately needed, to tighten sanctions on Assad and his regime, and to strengthen the transition planning of the opposition.

We want to support the efforts of Kofi Annan and the Arab League to end the violence, but we believe that we must act soon. So we are hoping that after the consultations today, after the meetings in Cairo, after Kofi Annan’s visit to Damascus and his follow-on consultations, that we will be prepared in the Security Council to chart a path forward. That is what we are committed to and that is what we are hoping and expecting the Russians and others to support us in doing.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much. On Afghanistan, I was wondering how do unfortunate events like this and the Qu’ran burning affect your diplomacy there, and how might that affect the negotiations with Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, this was a terrible, awful – I can’t even imagine the impact on the families who were subject to this attack and the loss of children in this terrible incident. I join, of course, with President Obama, Secretary Panetta, and other representatives of our government and the American people in expressing our deepest regret and condolences. A full investigation is underway, a suspect is in custody, and we will hold anyone found responsible fully accountable.

Now, we’ve had a difficult and complex few weeks in Afghanistan. That is obvious to everyone. This terrible incident does not change our steadfast dedication to protecting the Afghan people and to doing everything we can to help build a strong and stable Afghanistan. So we remain committed to the goals that we and our partners have set forth. We remain committed to solid cooperation with the government and people of Afghanistan as they strengthen their own security and improve their democratic institutions. But, we recognize that an incident like this is inexplicable and will certainly cause many questions to be asked.

But, I hope that everyone understands in Afghanistan and around the world that the United States is committed to seeing Afghanistan continue its move toward a stable, secure, prosperous, democratic state. The people of Afghanistan deserve that, and that’s where we will continue to focus our efforts.

And yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Kindly can you spell out your understanding of the five points agreed to between Mr. Lavrov and – in Cairo with the Arab ministers? As Mr. Juppe had said, he sensed ambiguity in the interpretation of the Russians of that. What are the terms of reference as far as you see them, particularly related to the political process and references for Mr. Kofi Annan’s mission?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we think that the five points that were discussed in Cairo are not ambiguous. They are clear in the direction that we wish to head. But it is certainly, as Foreign Minister Juppe and others have said, going to require a lot of work to put them into operation.

First and foremost, the Assad government has to end the violence against its own people. There is nothing ambiguous about that. And as I said to Foreign Minister Lavrov today, there is no equivalence to that either. The monopoly on deadly violence belongs to the Syrian regime, and there needs to be an end to the violence and the bloodshed in order to move into a political process. Now, of course, once the Syrian Government has acted, then we would expect others as well to cease the violence. But there cannot be an expectation for defenseless citizens in the face of artillery assaults to end their capacity to defend themselves before there’s a commitment by the Assad regime to do so.

So I think that there’s no questioning that these five points all must move forward, and certainly the reports we’re getting from former Secretary General Kofi Annan is that he is meeting with parties, starting with the Arab League and with the Assad regime, to try to hammer out a way forward using those five points as a framework.

But the United States, for one, is very clear. There must be a cessation of violence by the Syrian regime first and foremost. Then we can move toward asking others, who will no longer need to defend themselves because we will be in a political process, to end their own counter-violence.

So we want to give Kofi Annan the space and time to develop his recommendations. We have the highest respect for him. He has a proven track record of bringing parties to resolution. So our goal is to listen to him. And if he comes back with a slightly different formulation that we think will work, we’re going to be very respectful of that.
Thank you very much.

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Remarks at the United Nations Security Council


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United Nations
New York City, DC
March 12, 2012

Thank you very much Foreign Secretary Hague for calling us together. Secretary General, thank you very much for your leadership.Today, we gather to discuss the wave of change that has swept the Middle East and North Africa. While each country’s experience has been unique, all of these democratic movements have sprung from a common desire for rights, freedom, economic hope, and human dignity. These universal aspirations are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the UN Charter, and they are fundamental to my country’s identity and history and to those of many countries. These principles – and the people who struggle to realize them in their own societies – deserve and demand our collective support. We are inspired by the courage of the people of the region, as they have shown their determination to move forward, and we believe that their efforts should be supported.

Now I approach these conversations with a healthy dose of humility, because we know that these revolutions are not ours. They are not by us, for us, or against us. But we also know that, as an international community, we do have the resources and capabilities to support those who seek peaceful, meaningful, democratic change. We must also have the will.

Now of course, change is unfolding in different ways in different places, and in each unique case, our tools have to be matched with the circumstances. Here at the UN Security Council, three cases in particular demand our attention today.

Let me start with Libya and the encouraging vote this morning to renew and update the UN Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL. Last year, this council – backed by the Arab League and countries around the world – acted to support the Libyan people at the hour of their greatest need. Today’s vote reflects our continued commitment to Libya and its transitional government, which has made tremendous strides. And it also reflects the recognition that our work is not yet done.

We will continue to aid UNSMIL’s efforts to support the Libyan Government as it reintegrates those who took up arms in the name of change into a professional national army and a peaceful society. We will continue helping Libya secure its borders against proliferation, trafficking, and extremism, while treating refugees and migrants humanely. And after so much courage and sacrifice from the Libyan people, we are proud to help Libya build a new foundation for the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Just last week, Prime Minister al-Keeb was here in the Security Council, where he forcefully and eloquently defended this Security Council’s assistance on behalf of the aspirations of the Libyan people to chart their own futures. I don’t think there’s any additional comment any of us need to add to the record as to the appropriate measures taken by the Security Council in furtherance of the resolutions so authorizing action. We also met with Prime Minister al-Keeb in Washington, where we discussed Libya’s progress in paving the way for fair and free elections, as well as our work together on security, student exchanges, civil society, and medical care for Libya’s war-wounded. Ultimately, the measure of success for Libya will not be the death of a dictator but the birth of a successful, stable, and free nation.

The second case is Yemen. As Yemen unraveled into violence last year, this Security Council stood behind the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Yemeni stakeholders to find a peaceful solution. In the face of setbacks, we held firm. Now many challenges lie ahead. But last month’s successful presidential election and inauguration were promising steps on the path toward a new, democratic chapter in Yemen’s history. As Yemen continues its multiyear transition, reforms its constitution, convenes a national dialogue, and continues to grapple with its security and humanitarian challenges, we must remain engaged and supportive.

The third case is Syria. Five weeks ago, this council was unable to stand united against the horrific campaign of violence that has shocked the conscience of the world, one that continues unabated as we meet. We were blocked from even condemning the violence and endorsing a peaceful plan developed by Syria’s own neighbors.

Now the United States believes firmly in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member-states, but we do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people, threatening regional peace and security in the process. And we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense. How cynical that even as Assad was receiving former Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Syrian army was conducting a fresh assault on Idlib and continuing its aggression in Hama, Homs, and Rastan.

We took note of the fact that this past weekend in Cairo the Arab League and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov agreed on the necessity of an end to violence, full, unimpeded humanitarian access, and a political process led by Kofi Annan and based on the terms of the Arab League and the United Nations General Assembly resolutions. We believe that now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the Arab League. The international community should say with one voice – without hesitation or caveat – that the killings of innocent Syrians must stop and a political transition must begin.

The Syrian people deserve the same opportunity to shape their future that the Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans, and Yemenis now enjoy. And our work here at the Security Council is just one part of what the international community must do to assist democratic transitions all across the Middle East and North Africa. We must support calls from within the region to strengthen each of the building blocks of stable, thriving societies: a responsive, accountable government; an energetic, effective economy; and a vibrant civil society.

Politically, many countries —including a number at this table –have unique, firsthand expertise in how to build durable democracies. And I appreciate the comments of the foreign minister of Guatemala. These are lessons we can and should share. Where countries are making gradual reforms, we should offer our support and everywhere we must safeguard, in word and action, the basic principles of democracy and universal human rights.

Now, I know that today there are those who question whether Islamist politics can really be compatible with these democratic and universal principles and rights. The people of the Arab Spring have a chance to answer that question.

Our policy is to focus less on what parties call themselves than on what they choose to do. All political parties – religious and secular alike – have a responsibility to their people to abide by the basic tenets upon which this body is founded: to reject violence; to uphold the rule of law; to respect the freedoms of speech, association, and assembly; to safeguard religious freedom and tolerance; to protect the rights of women and minorities; to establish independent judiciaries; to promote a free press; to give up power if defeated at the polls; and to avoid inciting conflicts that pull societies apart. These are standards against which we should all be measured, and we need to commit to uphold them together.

Our experience elsewhere in the world has taught us that successful political transitions are those that quickly deliver economic results—job opportunities and the hope for a better future. To succeed, the Arab political awakening must also be an economic awakening.

Governments across the region who share these priorities will need to keep making the sometimes difficult policy choices required to build a foundation for inclusive, private sector-led growth. As this year’s G-8 president, America is continuing the work of the Deauville Partnership started by France to promote regional integration, economic participation, job creation, and stabilization. The last of these is especially pressing: the international community must provide strong support for the IMF to quickly conclude an economic reform and stabilization program with Egypt. And we call on Egypt’s friends in the region and around the world to be prepared to use bilateral assistance to reinforce an IMF program with Egypt.

And of course, these efforts, economic and political, must include women. And I thank the Secretary General for making that one of the five points he recited. No transition can succeed with half the population left behind.

And durable democracy depends on civil society, and we are proud to support individuals and organizations seeking to improve their own societies. Now, I know again there are those who say the whole concept of civil society is a Western imposition. But after 2011, how can anyone honestly say that civil society is not indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa – and I would add everywhere?

We know that lasting change comes from within. Societies must be the authors of their own futures. But the international community can provide tools that help societies reach those goals. As new, elected legislatures abolish old laws intended to control civil liberties, we should continue our collective support for measures that will protect and nurture civil society, consistent with international human rights norms of free association, assembly, and expression.

No one in the region is exempt from the demands for change we have seen. When a country like Iran claims to champion these principles in the region—and then brutally suppresses its own people and supports suppression in Syria and other places—their hypocrisy is clear to all.

And President Obama and I have been consistent in our belief that the Palestinian people—like their Arab neighbors, Israelis, and all people—deserve dignity, liberty, and the right to decide their own futures. They deserve a viable, independent Palestine, alongside a secure Israel. And we know from decades in the diplomatic trenches that the only way to get there is through a negotiated peace—one that cannot be dictated from outside and one we will continue to pursue through every productive avenue, including a Quartet consultation this morning.

And let me also condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel which continued over the weekend. We call on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these attacks. We call on both sides – all sides – to make every effort to restore calm.

Finally, and crucially, we have to recognize that the most consequential choices are the ones that will be faced in the months ahead. It is up to the people and leaders of the region to resist the calls of demagogues, to compromise and build coalitions, to keep faith in their system even when they lose at the polls, and to protect the principles and institutions that ultimately will protect them. Every democracy has to guard against those who would hijack its freedoms for their own ignoble ends.

Building prosperous, democratic societies is not the job of a day, a week, or even a year. It is a continuous commitment, and one we share. We, as a community of nations, must help the people of the Middle East and North Africa make the most of the rights and freedoms for which they have risked so much.

Thank you.

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Public Schedule for March 12, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
March 12, 2012



8:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton participates in Quartet Consultations, at the United Nations in New York City.

9:40 a.m. Secretary Clinton participates in a United Nations Security Council session chaired by the UK, at the United Nations in New York City

12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the P+3 representatives, at the United Nations in New York City.

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, at the United Nations in New York City.

TBD PM Secretary Clinton appears before the press at the United Nations in New York City.

1:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends a lunch hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, in New York City.

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It was at the Wednesday press briefing last week that Victoria Nuland announced Secretary Clinton’s participation in a special U.N. Security Council session.

“… on March 12, on Monday. I just wanted to advise you she is going to attend a session of the UN Security Council at the ministerial level that has been called by British Foreign Minister Hague to talk about the broader impact and ramifications of the Arab Spring. Foreign Secretary Hague will host the meeting. The Brits are in the chair of the president of the Security Council this month. And the Security Council foreign ministers will also be joined by the foreign minister of Tunisia, of Libya, and of Egypt. The Secretary will also take the opportunity to have a bilateral meeting, as she said, with Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia when she’s up in New York.”

The Jerusalem Post, notes that also on Monday, there will be a Quartet meeting while some principals are in New York.  Others will participate via conference call.

Mideast Quartet to meet amid stalled peace talks

03/10/2012 02:40

UN secretary-general, Clinton, Russian FM to meet at UN headquarters; Ashton, Blair to participate via video link.

Quartet members gather for a meeting in Washington

By Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

UNITED NATIONS – The Quartet of Middle East negotiators – the United States, Russia, the United Nations and European Union – will meet on Monday to discuss the long-stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, the United Nations said Friday.

The UN press office said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would meet at UN headquarters ahead of a special UN Security Council session on the Arab Spring uprisings.

Read more >>>>

Then, as if that is not enough history for one woman to deal with in a single day, she zooms back to Washington to host a reception for her second annual conference of heads of missions. Last year at this time, she called all heads of missions home for the inaugural conference, the first secretary of state ever to do so. Here is the schedule for the conference.

Secretary Clinton Convenes the 2nd Global Chiefs of Mission Conference in Washington D.C.

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 9, 2012

On March 12, Secretary Clinton will convene the 2nd Global Chiefs of Mission Conference. The Conference, which runs through March 13, presents an opportunity to mobilize and coordinate the work of America’s Ambassadors around the world.

Monday, March 12

5:00 p.m. Welcome reception for the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference, at the Department of State.
Tuesday, March 13

8:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the opening session of the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference. Deputy Secretaries Bill Burns and Tom Nides, and Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, will also deliver remarks. In the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the Department of State.
12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference luncheon with guest speaker Senator John Kerry, in the Ben Franklin Room at the Department of State.

4:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a town hall for participants in the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference, in the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the Department of State.

What a busy lady! Through it all she still manages to look like this, and yes, as Meryl Streep pointed out yesterday, we do watch and notice.   Women know what it takes, and she pulls herself together so beautifully, makes us so proud, and, as my subheader says, makes femininity presidential.

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