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Archive for the ‘UNGA’ Category

Mme. Secretary  began the  month on foreign travel,  most of it her typical country-a-day routine, to countries engaged in disputes over rights in the South China Sea.  It was a particularly hectic trip with a lot of bilaterals that would have been less necessary had the Law of the Sea Convention not been killed by the Tea Party members of Congress.

September is always a heavy month for a secretary of state with the U.N. General Assembly convening at the New York headquarters.  For this particular SOS it has always been even busier since her husband simultaneously runs his Clinton Global Initiative in NYC,  and she always makes an appearance.   This year was altogether heavier than in the past since it was an election year and the president stayed only a short time and left her in charge in his wake.  She acted as head-of-state through most of UNGA this year.

Punctuating all of this were demonstrations and riots at embassies in the Middle East and North Africa.  The American School in Tunis was destroyed, and of course there was the deadly attack on the consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Here are some pictures from September starting with her visit to the Cook Islands.

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On the third she was in Indonesia.

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On the fourth she left Indonesia for China following a stop at Embassy Jakarta and a visit to the ASEAN Secretariat.

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She remained in china through the fifth.

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She was in Timor-Leste on the sixth when her husband addressed the Democratic Convention in Charlotte.  Somehow they managed to find an internet connection for her to be able to watch.

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The same day she arrived in Brunei, the first top U.S. diplomat to visit all 10 ASEAN countries.

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From there she traveled to Vladivostok, Russia (birthplace of Yul Brynner) where she and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov signed a cooperation agreement.

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She attended and spoke at an APEC conference.

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She left Russia on the ninth for D.C. and although she had no public events on the 11th, we later learned from State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland that she was indeed at her office late into that night when the attack on the consulate occurred.  The next day the sad aftermath rolled out from the Rose Garden of the White House to the State Department where devastated colleagues mourned the dead.

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On the 14th, the coffins came home.  She and President Obama were at the transfer  ceremony.

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The 18th was “Ladies’ Day”  at the State Department.  She welcomed  Aung San Suu Kyi and held a signing ceremony with her Mexican counterpart Patricia Espinosa.

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As world leaders began to arrive in the U.S. for UNGA, there were events in D.C.

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And on the 23rd it was off to UNGA and CGI in New York where her September ended.

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When the General Assembly convened, it was clear how much she would be missed on the world stage.

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Here is the archive for September 2012.

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Public Schedule for October 1, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
October 1, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE

MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

10:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Forum on Small States Opening Session, at the United Nations.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY UN)

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

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Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Welcome, all of you here, and thank you for coming. As you can tell, we have a lot of people and a very, very small room. But we are with two close allies united by so many common interests and values. This is the fourth meeting that we’ve had in the past two years, including most recently this summer on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Our three nations share a strong interest in the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We will discuss today what further steps we can take toward that goal. We will also discuss how every nation in the region has a responsibility to work to resolve disputes peacefully, lower tensions, promote regional security and stability.

Our alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea are cornerstones of peace and prosperity in the region and each of these countries represent an enormous success story about what can happen when nations are focused on peace and stability and giving more opportunities to their own people and developing good relationships with their neighbors. We will maintain close cooperation between the three of us. That is a top priority for the United States, and I’m delighted to be here with my friends and colleagues. Both ministers, Minister Gemba and Minister Kim, are people with whom I work closely, and I look forward to our discussion today.

Thank you.

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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

By EMILY SCHULTHEIS|

9/26/12 12:59 PM EDT
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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’

  • By DAVID SEIFMAN
  • 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.”

Read more >>>>

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

Hillary Clinton Shines As Obama Surrogate At UN Meeting

Clinton2-092812.jpg

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.

Read more >>>>

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.

Read more >>>>

**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.

Read more >>>>

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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Remarks at G-8 Deauville Partnership With Arab Countries in Transition Foreign Ministers Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. Let me start by thanking everyone for the contributions that you have already made to this partnership, and for your support of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. In Deauville, during the G-8 meeting, the countries represented there threw their support behind the Arab people during the first phases of the transitions, knowing full well how much work lay ahead.

This is a partnership conceived in optimism, but built to take on the hard realities of long and difficult transitions. The recent riots and protests throughout the region have brought the challenge of transition into sharp relief. Extremists are clearly determined to hijack these wars and revolutions to further their agendas and ideology, so our partnership must empower those who would see their nations emerge as true democracies.

Today, we want to send a clear message to all those in the region who are working each day in governments, in civil society, in the private sector, to build responsive institutions, to strengthen faltering economies, to deliver freedom for all people, to respect human rights: we stand with you and we will stand with you as long as it takes.

Because our partnership is taking practical steps to help more people in the region feel the benefits of democracy in their daily lives. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, people rose up against their dictators because they were fed up with governments that served the interests of a few at the expense of everyone else. But economic and social challenges did not disappear with the dictators. Too many people still can’t find jobs, and young and growing populations crave a sense of opportunity and self-determination.

On the economic front, we are zeroing in on small and medium-sized enterprises because they are the growth engines in any economy. They create the bulk of new jobs and they spread wealth more broadly through more communities. And when people have the opportunity to unleash their talents and create something of their own, they are more invested in their communities, their countries, and their new democracies.

So the OECD is helping emerging democracies find ways they can loosen regulations and make it easier to start or expand a small business. Several partners are setting up funds to help small businesses gain access to loans and financing. People of the region need to see that their governments can be fair and just. So we are stepping up our efforts to return billions of dollars that were stolen or siphoned away over decades of cronyism and corruption.

The United States has been proud to champion the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery during our presidency of the G-8. The forum met earlier this month in Doha to discuss specific steps we can take to recover ill-gotten gains. Our State Department and Justice Department are working together to appoint attorneys who will work exclusively with transition countries. They will be a direct link to our recovery asset experts in Washington and will work with our law enforcement agencies to train their counterparts in the region.

We are also working to help transitioning countries develop both the accountable, transparent institutions and the culture of democracy that underlies the hope for change. We have established a transition fund to support countries as they build court systems, ministries, and other public institutions that are responsive to the needs of all their people, putting them in the best positions to lead their own reforms and see their own transition to democracy through.

Many of our partners are also making the difficult transition from protest to politics, and they need our support as they take on the different responsibilities of leadership. Many of the leaders in the emerging transitioning democracy were themselves prisoners not so long ago, or exiles, activists, dissidents. So as we look at how we can help them make their own personal transition from protest to politics, we are setting up programs to assist in doing that.

Last week, legislators and leaders from each of the transitioning Deauville countries came to the United States to take the same training that new members of our Congress go through, then they met with members of Congress to get real life insights into what it means to stand up for your beliefs and at the same time serve your constituents in a large and diverse democracy.

I happened to know from personal experience how challenging legislating can be, how much work and compromise it takes, how thick your skin has to be, because after all, democracy invites the widest range of opinions and interests in a society to participate. Laws that abridge or punish the exercise of universal human rights, including the right to free expression, free assembly, and free association, have no place in democracies.

In the United States, as President Obama said in his address to the General Assembly, we don’t ban offensive speech, whether it’s an insult to a person’s deeply held religious beliefs or a denial of the Holocaust, because we know that such laws can too easily be used as tools of oppression.

Our democracy has grown steadily stronger over more than 235 years, guided by a Constitution that enshrines our belief that the best answer to hateful speech is more speech. None of us can insulate ourselves from insult.

In the time since I began speaking just minutes ago, more than 300 hours of video has been uploaded to YouTube. Some of it, no doubt, is vile. Some of it, no doubt, is offensive to my religion or yours. But we must not give these views power they do not deserve. No words, no matter how inflammatory or disgusting, are stronger than the faith we have, and we should protect our cherished beliefs by standing up for them in the marketplace and arena of free speech and ideas. And of course, no words should ever be met with violence.

Building these habits of democracy is difficult work. But it is also essential if people are to realize the full measure of human dignity. And dignity may resonate in multiple ways across different peoples and cultures, but it speaks to something universal in all of us. Everything we do together in this partnership to promote economic stability and equal opportunity advances freedom and dignity. We are standing up for democracies that are unlocking people’s potential and standing against extremists who exploit people’s frustrations. We are trying to help societies leave behind old enmities and look ahead to new opportunities. We are supporting civic groups who seek to strengthen their societies. We are backing reformers who build accountable institutions, and combat corruption that stifles innovation, initiative, hope, and dignity.

So I’m looking forward to our discussion today, taking stock of what we have done to date, what more needs to be done, what has worked and what, frankly, has not worked, as we work together to push an agenda of democracy and dignity forward. So as we see our press representatives leave the room, we’ll have to chance to then go directly into our discussion. But again, thank you all for being here.

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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

ASEAN

With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

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Public Schedule for September 28, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
September 28, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

9:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition Foreign Ministers Meeting, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
(OPEN PRESS FOR REMARKS AT TOP)

11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
(OPEN PRESS FOR REMARKS AT TOP)

12:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
(OPEN PRESS FOR REMARKS AT TOP)

3:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton participates in the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

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This is impressive for the litany of ASEAN efforts Hillary Clinton has fostered in her tenure at State.  It is especially heartening  to see her bring up the issue of poaching.  Hillary Clinton knows why we should protect our fellow creatures.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well good afternoon everyone, and welcome to New York. Thank you for joining us here. It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you to New York, and I want to offer a special greeting to my co-chair. Thank you so much, Foreign Minister. Not very long ago, it would have been impossible to imagine we would be sitting here together working so closely to advance a shared agenda, but it is a testament to the progress your country has achieved and to the promise that the future holds.

Since my first meeting with this group over three years ago, when I signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Thailand, the United States has made a sustained all-out effort to build an enduring multifaceted relationship with ASEAN. Over the summer I led a large delegation of American business executives and senior government officials to the first ever U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum, reflecting the increasingly important economic dimension of our partnership. And this year, we are expanding our cooperation on education to the U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative, and the Brunei-U.S. English Language Enrichment Project. We’ve also committed substantial new resources to the Lower Mekong Initiative, which is helping narrow ASEAN’s development gap. And we welcomed in our colleagues from Nay Pyi Taw to the meeting.

Earlier this month, I had the chance to visit the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta for the second time, and I thank the Secretary General for his warm and gracious hospitality. I’m pleased that the ASEAN committee of permanent representatives is visiting the United States this week for discussions on a wide range of issues.

Our increasing engagement with ASEAN is part of a broader effort by the United States to deepen our commitment to the Asia Pacific region. We want to work with all of you to build a stable and just regional order that will benefit every nation. And that means supporting mature and effective institutions that can mobilize common action and settle disputes peacefully. It means working toward rules and norms that help manage relations between peoples, markets, and nations and safeguard universal rights. And it means establishing security arrangements that provide stability and build trust.

Our relationship with ASEAN is at the heart of all these efforts, including our participation in the East Asia Summit. As President Obama made clear at last year’s meeting, the United States supports the East Asia Summit as the Asia Pacific’s premier institution for political and strategic issues, and we believe it is the capstone of increasingly mature and effective regional architecture.

We are pleased to see that the East Asia Summit is making progress across an expanding range of issues, from the energy ministerial in Brunei to the education ministerial in Indonesia. As we head toward the November leaders meetings, it is important we stay focused on pursuing a clear agenda and producing concrete results. We continue to support the priorities put forward in the Bali Declaration last year. And in particular, the areas that President Obama stressed should be at the top of our agenda together: disaster relief, nonproliferation, and maritime security. Now let me just say a quick work about each of those, and then a fourth we hope to elevate.

First, disaster relief. From the tsunami in Aceh in 2004 and on the islands off of Thailand and in Sri Lanka and so much else in the region, to the floods in the Philippines and Thailand again last year, to the triple disaster in Japan, to a cycle of storms and flooding, we have seen a lot of natural disasters in this region. But we also have seen a coordinated international response. The United States has been eager to work with our partners in the ASEAN Regional Forum and to participate in and help lead disaster relief exercises. We continue to believe it is imperative to develop a regional, legal framework to support the delivery and acceptance of emergency relief supplies, services, and personnel following major disasters. So we would urge all nations to endorse the Rapid Disaster Response Agreement as a first step.

The second priority is nonproliferation. Let me underscore it’s essential for all ASEAN and East Asia Summit nations to remain firm and unified in pursuit of the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We also look to all ASEAN members to universalize the additional protocol and further strengthen domestic export control laws.

And I think it’s also fair to say that our responsibilities cannot end with the immediate neighborhood. Unfortunately, yesterday the President of Iran provided another reminder of why the international community continues to have serious concerns about his country’s nuclear program. As President Obama told the General Assembly, America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy. We believe there is still time and space to do so, but that time is not unlimited and that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The best way to achieve a diplomatic solution we all see is for the international community, including ASEAN, to stay united. If we ease the pressure or waver in our resolve, Iran will have less incentive to negotiate in good faith or take the necessary steps to address the international community’s concerns.

The third priority is maritime security, and we look forward to the expanded ASEAN maritime forum next week in Manila. All 18 East Asia Summit states have been invited for in-depth discussions on how to improve safety on the region’s waterways, combat piracy, protect the environment, and we are encouraged by the recent informal dialogue between ASEAN and China as they work toward a comprehensive code of conduct for the South China Sea as a means to prevent future tension in the region.

As I have said many times, the United States does not take a position on competing territorial claim over land features, but we do have a national interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, freedom of navigation, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea. The Untied States continues to support ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles, which we believe will help reduce tensions and pave the way for a comprehensive code of conduct for addressing disputes without threats, coercion, or use of force.

Finally this year, we hope to focus our EAS partners on the challenge of wildlife trafficking and the related issues of protecting biodiversity and preventing the emergence of pandemic diseases. The illegal trade in protected and endangered species is now estimated between $7- and $10 billion dollars a year. It is increasingly intertwined with other illicit activities that undermine regional security and prosperity, including organized crime. Earlier this month, APEC economies agreed to take steps to stop poachers and the United States is eager to work with our partners in ASEAN as well, developing new initiative, building on the good work of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network.

So we have a full plate in front of us, but that’s no surprise. ASEAN is a dynamic and crucial institution in a dynamic and crucial region of the world. The United States is committed to working with you very closely as we head toward the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh in November. I thank you very much, and please let me now turn to the Foreign Minister.

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Remarks at the Connecting the Americas 2022 Ministerial

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. Thank you all very, very much. I apologize that we were running late. We were running late from a prior meeting about security, citizen security. Now we are moving toward energy security, an equally important subject that really can determine how quickly and inclusively growth can take place in the Americas.

I want to thank my friend and colleague, the Foreign Minister of Colombia, for co-hosting this event and co-chairing our discussion, also the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and all of you. I will be very brief before turning it over.

Connecting the Americas 2022 was aimed at making sure that citizens, businesses, schools, hospitals all had a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity. In some places in the Americas, that’s not an issue, but in many others it still is. It’s expensive, unreliable, and in some places still unavailable.

So what we want to do is pursue the goal endorsed by our leaders at the Summit of the Americas to get to the goal of universal access to electricity by 2022. And that strategy was based on enhancing electrical interconnections, increasing investments in the power sector, developing renewable energy sources, and increasing cooperation.

This last point, increasing cooperation, is key. It is a security issue, it’s obviously a power issue, and it’s a political issue. We need to build trust and partnerships among governments and the businesses of the Americas. We need to show leadership and resolve in doing this. I firmly believe that Connecting the Americas is good for everybody and it will increase the economic pie by bringing more people into reliable, affordable, electric resources.

It is very clear we need strong policy and regulatory frameworks. That’s the only way cross-border electricity will work. We also have to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in private investment to achieve this goal. Clear, fair, and predictable rules will attract investment and encourage investors. And we need to make our case to all constituencies that by working together we can protect our environment, we can limit the social risks that communities face by expanding connectivity.

It’s a complex undertaking. The United States stands ready to work with all of you as a partner on bringing electricity to all the people of the hemisphere. We created, four years ago, the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, ECPA. A year ago, I created an Energy Bureau in the State Department. Our ambassador who heads that, Carlos Pascual, is here. We’re providing technical assistance. We just had a conference in Guatemala last week with regulatory agency representatives and private companies to discuss how to create a strong and effective regional power market. Next month, Ambassador Pascual will represent the United States at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum. And on the margins of CREF, we will hold our annual Energy Dialogue with our partners in the Caribbean, just as we’ve done every year I have served as Secretary.

Now, I just want to echo the calls that you will hear. We need concrete targets, timelines, if we expect to stay on track to achieve the goal by 2020. I think this is a win-win. I know that there are problems between countries, between private sector partners and public sector partners. I am certainly not naive about that. I get it. But this is a time for leadership and it’s a time to seize opportunities that will make everybody richer, and I’m all for that. And so let’s make sure that we have universal access to electricity in this hemisphere. I am convinced that the Western Hemisphere, North and South America alike, are poised for incredible progress. But this is one of those obstacles that holds us back.

So with that, Maria Angela, please take the floor.

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This morning Mme. Secretary met with her Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.  A senior State Department official provided a briefing.  This is the only still picture available from today so far.

Background Briefing: Readout of the Secretary’s Meeting With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Special Briefing

Office of the Spokesperson
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So briefly, on background, Senior State, the Secretary had a very full meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang this morning. They began the meeting talking about the Chinese-Japanese tensions over the Senkakus. The Secretary, as she has been urging for a number of months, including when she was in China in the summer and when she was at APEC and had a chance to see Prime Minister Noda, again urged that cooler heads prevail, that Japan and China engage in dialogue to calm the waters, that we believe that Japan and China have the resources, have the restraint, have the ability to work on this directly and take tensions down. And that is our message to both sides.

They then talked about South China Sea issues. As you may know, this is an area where, after intense diplomatic focus by all the players, including, notably, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia who was in Washington not too long ago, we now have restarted informal meetings between senior officials of China and ASEAN. They had a meeting in Phnom Penh two weeks ago. We expect these meetings are going to continue in the lead-up to the East Asia Summit in November. This is precisely what the Secretary had been advocating, what we had been advocating – that they restart a dialogue. And so the Secretary commended China for that. I think she’ll make the same point when she sees the ASEAN foreign ministers later today.

They compared notes on the situation in the DPRK briefly. They also talked about Iran in preparation for the P-5+1 minus Iran meeting this afternoon, and about the two-track strategy of diplomacy and pressure. The Secretary, as she always does, raised human rights concerns – notably in this particular meeting, concerns about Tibet and increasing pace of immolations. They talked about bilateral economic relations and the global financial situation. The Secretary again urged that the – some of the cases of concerns, including FedEx, be dealt with on the Chinese side.

And of course, they talked about Syria. The Secretary debriefed the Foreign Minister on her meeting with Special Envoy Brahimi, and she made the same point to him, to Foreign Minister Yang, that she has made this week to Foreign Minister Lavrov and that she’s made when she was in Vladivostok to Russian leaders, that we still see value in the Geneva document that the Security Council members agreed on, and working from that, drawing on elements of it. But if we go in that direction in terms of the Security Council, there have to be real consequences for noncompliance with it, consequences for both sides. So that was the meeting with Foreign Minister Yang.

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