Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Kouchner’

Hillary harks back to her Girl Scout days and a song many of us can remember having sung in rounds: “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”

Reminding us that in the days following 9/11 NATO invoked Article V of the Washington Treaty, an attack on one is an attack on all, she launches a review of U.S.-European relations since the end of World War II, through the Cold War, and including deteriorating relations during the George W. Bush administration.

Upon assuming the post of secretary of state, she recalls, she made phone calls to European leaders letting them know we remain tight friends.  Her first opportunity to reinforce that message face-to-face came with her attendance at the April 2009 G-20 summit in London.

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 2: London


She formed an especially good working relationship with then UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, but allows that she also had a good rapport with then Shadow Foreign Minister, William Hague who now holds the post.  She dubs Hague “the David Beckham of toasting.”


Prime Minister Cameron Meets With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 3: Germany, France, Czech Republic

She also singles out former French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, as one with whom she had an especially good rapport.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R

If your eyes welled up at times when reading the previous chapter about Pakistan, Hillary evokes smiles and laughter with her description of Former French president, Nicholas Sarkozy.  Revealing that often his interpreters had trouble keeping pace with him and that he asked her why all the other diplomats were unforgivably old, gray, and male,  she revisits that simply charming “Cinderella” moment when she lost her shoe on the steps of the Élyseé Palace.  (Posts here are not necessarily deep and analytical – as you may know.)

Hillary Clinton Loses Her Shoe And Looks Adorable Doing It!


She speaks of her strong admiration for German Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom she apparently shares a “color memo” phenomenon so uncanny that on a state visit in June 2011 Angela brought her a framed German front page where readers were challenged to guess which was which sans benefit of visible heads.

Slideshow: Hillary Clinton at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s State Visit Today

Video: Secretary Clinton at the State Luncheon in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel Meets With Barack Obama

Hillary provides a pretty extensive retrospective on NATO, its post Cold War expansion in eastern Europe, and its contributions to operations in Afghanistan and in Libya.  She is very passionate on the subject of NATO calling it one the most successful military alliances in history (and the European Union one of the most successful political ones).  She contrasts 75% of the sorties over Libya striking 90% of the targets with the situation a decade before when the U.S. was responsible for hitting 90% of targets in Kosovo.   Her attestations on pages 231 and 232 are presidential (to the surprise of no one here).   A thing to behold.

Madeleine Albright was known for her brooch-diplomacy. Some of her foreign counterparts came to see her brooches as a mood-coding system.  Hillary, who is, after all, a self-described hair icon,  relates an amusing exchange when she was in Bulgaria (NATO member since 2004) in February 2012.  Prime Minister Boyko Borissov seemed edgy.  He finally confessed that he had heard that when her hair was pulled back it indicated a bad mood.  She reassured him that she was not engaging in hair diplomacy but that it “takes her a little longer” to get her look together.

Secretary Clinton with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov

Turkey has been in NATO since 1952, is strategically very important, but following the G.W. Bush administration the Turkish people took a dim view of the U.S.  Hillary’s first visit there as secretary of state was in March 2009.  She made it a point on that trip to take advantage of mass media.

Hillary Clinton’s Interviews in Turkey

On pages 234-235 she explains the term Islamist Party.  It is an important read.  She discusses [now outgoing] Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at length and states her concerns regarding his “Zero Problems with Neighbors” policy, which, on first take, can appear very positive.  Hillary cites the real and potential pitfalls of such a policy, especially when Iran is one of your neighbors. [Reports are that Erdogan will continue calling the shots, so it is unlikely that this policy will be abandoned.]

Ahmet Davutoglu came into the picture early as a close advisor to Erdogan but soon became the Turkish foreign minister with whom she collaborated over nearly her entire term.  (Ali Babacan was the foreign minister she encountered on her first trip there.)  Only three months after that trip, Davutoglu arrived at the State Department as foreign minister and a long working relationship commenced.

(As I returned to the first draft of this post to edit it, Davutoglu was named the new prime minister of Turkey.  Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister and the best of luck to you in your new post!)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sh Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ahmet Davutoglu


Hillary Clinton’s Bilaterals Today

Concerns remain.  Dissent is not easily tolerated.  Religious freedom is an issue.  Hillary  hosted Patriarch Bartholomew at a dinner in his honor early in her tenure at State.

Hillary Hosts The Patriarch

He, in turn, received her at the Patriarchy in 2011.  She has known him for a long time and has enormous respect for his opinion.   There is a beautiful slideshow at the link below.  Hillary mentions seized church property that has not been returned.  The photos provide an idea of the nature of what the government is holding.

Hillary Clinton Visits the Patriarchy in Istanbul

In chapter 9, we saw Hillary negotiate the re-opening of the supply lines from Pakistan into Afghanistan.  She never makes a big deal of that, but it was a testament to her diplomatic skills.  Without those lines open, important supplies could not get to the troops,  and they were closed for many months.

Another of her major accomplishments was one which she was never intended to handle and which she describes blow-by-blow.   She had traveled to Zurich simply to witness the signing of the Turkey-Armenia Accord.  It was to be a quick stop on the way to London.  A formality.  At the last minute  Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian balked about a speech Davutoglu was planning to make.   Hillary took it upon herself to fetch him and, using two cell phones,  negotiate an agreement for the parties to go ahead with the signing.  She operated mostly  in her SUV.  It was a very dramatic day.  She saved it, and at the event stepped aside for her Swiss counterpart,  Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who was the host, to orchestrate the formalities.  I remember her giving Micheline a little wink of encouragement.  In typical Hillary fashion, she did not care to boast or take credit for this.  She only cared that the work got done.

OK! Now it is a done deal! Hillary helped negotiate the agreement

Turkey-Armenia Accord Salvaged and Signed – Hillary Helps Make History!

Video: Signing of the Armenia Turkey Protocols

How Hillary Saved The Day


She departed for the trip to the Balkans that she speaks of on the day of her wedding anniversary 2010.

The Balkans: A Family Affair

There were several notable stops and events on this trip, but she refers specifically to this town hall.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall at National Theater Sarajevo

And then there was Kosovo where there was a huge reception in Pristina.  She stood beneath the enormous statue of Bill Clinton, and then discovered a store named for her (so Bill wouldn’t be lonely).

Hillary in Clinton Country (Kosovo, That Is!)

No matter where she traveled as secretary of state, Hillary always made sure to hold a meet-and-greet at the embassy or consulate that had hosted her to thank them for all of the work they had done to make her visit go smoothly.  As it happened, her final stop as secretary of state was especially significant because it was at the Consulate General of Belfast.  Peace in Northern Ireland had been a high priority of the Clinton administration and hard work on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Irish Sea had brought that troubled land closer to that goal than it ever had been before.

Video: Hillary Clinton with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

Hillary Clinton at The Ireland Funds Luncheon

Hillary Clinton with Staff and Families of Consulate General Belfast

Her remarks in the bilaterals at the link below contain references to the March 2009 attacks in Antrim and Armagh that she speaks about in this chapter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hillary Clinton’s Statement of Northern Ireland Decommissioning

She mentions, as well, her address to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 2009.

Address of Secretary Clinton to Full Session of the Northern Ireland Assembly

The passages I bolded in the background briefing [in the link below] reflect,  I think,  what is so typical of the Hillary Clinton so many of us know and love,  the Hillary who works tirelessly in the background and declines credit for the good she does.   I am very certain that her intervention was integral in attaining this latest ascension up the tall ladder of unity in Northern Ireland.  But Hillary Clinton will always deflect the praise and aim the limelight on others with whom she has labored to reach an accord.  That is simply who she is and how she operates.  It is also very much a quality of character so many of us accept and admire about her.  I,  for one, am very mindful of the role she has long been playing in this peace process.   I know the devolution will succeed,  and there will be a final and lasting peace.  When it does, I and many, will forever remember the key role she played in the process, even as she disclaims it.

Secretary Clinton on Northern Ireland

This European chapter has been somewhat active re: updates prior to publication.  In the latest news, may this peacemaker rest in peace.

Former Ireland prime minister Reynolds dies aged 81


Statement by President Clinton on the Passing of Albert Reynolds

Statement August 21, 2014

I am saddened by the passing of former Prime Minister of Ireland Albert Reynolds, who worked hard and risked much as Taoiseach to advance the Northern Ireland peace process.  His leadership alongside British Prime Minister John Major was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Good Friday Agreement, and our world owes him a profound debt of gratitude.  I will always be grateful for his encouragement, advice, and support in the peace process.  I join with his wife, Kathleen, his children, his many friends, and the people of Ireland in mourning his loss.




Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction


Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>


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Remarks at the Signing of Two Memoranda of Understanding Regarding Haiti Recovery Projects

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Cheryl Mills
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner
New York City
September 20, 2010

MS. MILLS: Well, welcome. Welcome, everyone. We appreciate you all being here this afternoon as we are celebrating on behalf of the Government of Haiti the signing of two memorandums that we will be doing today, so we ask that everybody stay through both memorandas. My name is Cheryl Mills. I am the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary Clinton, and I have the honor of serving on the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. And on behalf of the Government of Haiti, we are happy to host this event.

At the podium today – and they will all be signing the first memorandum, and the first memorandum is commemorating the partnership with the Government of Haiti to invest in an industrial park in the Port-au-Prince region. We are looking forward to the signing, and here with us today we have Prime Minister Bellerive on behalf of the Government of Haiti; we have Secretary Clinton on behalf of the United States Government; we have Luis Moreno, on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank; we have Lars Thunell, who is the executive vice president and CEO of the International Finance Corporation, which is the investment arm of the World Bank; and we also have the managing director from the World Bank here, Sri Indrawati. She is managing director and we’re grateful for her presence. She is also the former finance minister of Indonesia.

And last but not least, and indeed most importantly, we have Chairman Kim from Sae-A Trading, who has flown in just today from Korea to be a part of the signing of a partnership on behalf of an international and industrial park in the Port-au-Prince region. And we are very much looking forward to this partnership and what it will mean for jobs and economic development and growth for the people of Haiti.

If you all will now sign.

PARTICIPANT: I’ll sign. (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: The best part.


(The Memorandum of Understanding was signed.)

MS. MILLS: Thank you all very much. We are grateful for the signing and we are looking forward to the opportunity to see up to 18,000 jobs that potentially will come to the country of Haiti through the work that Sae-A is going to be doing in Haiti, as well as through other partners who will be coming to work in an industrial park. We are going to use this as an opportunity to let you all say a few words to each other, and then we are going to preset for the next signing. Thank you all. (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER BELLERIVE: So don’t worry, I will be very, very short. I just want to thank everybody that was involved – were involved in that signature. It’s a great day for Haiti today. All the public (inaudible) that we are requesting for our partners, it’s aimed at only that – creating jobs in Haiti, creating the conditions to create more jobs in Haiti. And I really want to thank first the U.S. State Department that were fantastic in helping us consolidate that signature today. I want to thank all the partners at the IDB, (inaudible) and mainly Chairman Kim that came several time in Haiti to personally see how he can create a job, how he can take advantage of the (inaudible) legislations.

And really, the Haitian people, we are very grateful from that decision that you took, and we are sure that you’re not going to regret it and that the other one that are in line, looking at what you’re going to do, are going to run in Haiti to invest also and to create job and to create wealth for them and for the Haitian people.

So, thank you, everybody, for that marvelous moment. I believe that what you are doing since we tried to coordinate all the help after the earthquake is one of the first great news that we have today, after the announcements. But we need private investment in Haiti to get out of the situation that we are today. Thank you so much.


MS. MILLS: It is my pleasure to announce the signing of the second memorandum today on behalf of the Government of Haiti, which is a memorandum that is commemorating the partnership with the Government of Haiti, the United States, and France in the rebuilding of the General Hospital at the – I mean, the General University Hospital in Port-au-Prince. And so our partners here today: representing the United States is Secretary Clinton; representing the Government of Haiti is Prime Minister Bellerive; and representing France is Foreign Minister Kouchner.

And so if you all would kindly sign, and then if you would like to say a few words, we would ask the prime minister and then the Secretary and the foreign minister too.

(The Memorandum of Understanding was signed.)

MS. MILLS: So thank you all for committing up to $50 million on behalf of this investment in Haiti and on behalf of the people of Haiti, and I’d like to invite the prime minister first to say a few remarks if he’d like.

PRIME MINISTER BELLERIVE: I’ll just say it was a great day for Haiti, creating new jobs. But it’s also a great day when we see the coordination and cooperation between the partners of Haiti are working together to support the Haitian plan. And it’s what we have done today, a cooperation towards something essential for Haiti health. And I thank really France and the United States to support so clearly the Haitian plan to support, to give more health, to the Haitians.

Thank you, again.

MS. MILLS: Why don’t I ask – Foreign Minister Kouchner?

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: (Inaudible.) Thank you for speaking English. (Laughter.) This is a place where they are all speaking French but one. (Laughter.) Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

(Via interpreter) Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to say how happy I am to be able to sign this document between Madam Clinton and the prime minister. I would like to say two things. First of all, after this terrible catastrophe in Haiti, a lot of effort has been done, and a lot of effort called action plan that must be coordinated. Without coordination we’ll be very disappointed with the results, so it is an excellent idea to have this cooperation among the three of us for the University Hospital. It’s a training and teaching hospital as well.

The second thing I wanted to mention here is that you – some of you say that the building of this hospital is very slow going on in Haiti and how come with so much money poured into Haiti there’s no visible progress? Those who do not know the extent of the disaster, the size of the disaster, and the need to exchange lots of ideas, to think, to talk about city planning, to talk about renewing everything, to adopt a new model of development – not the old one. New structures are being proposed. That’s what the minister has been doing and that’s what President Preval does too. And also, all that takes time. Yes, a lot of effort has been made, a lot of money poured into Haiti, but this cannot – the results cannot be visible immediately.

And I also wanted to say something about public health, but public health is not a vague notion; it’s a very clear idea. It’s an idea – a general idea, and then a political idea – public health. And this will allow either to prevent or treat disease for every and each Haitian through this University Hospital, and I’m very happy to be able to work with Mrs. Clinton on this. But there will be something lacking in this hospital, although we have decided that the structure and the materials necessary and the functioning of the hospital would be taken care of by others.

What we need is a public health plan and health insurance, because what makes a hospital work well is that the poor have access to the hospital. That’s the important thing. And if not – if all Haitians do not have access to this hospital, the hospital will not be working well. So we need to work, and the prime minister knows it. We may work about access to care; in other words, creating health insurance. And I’m very happy that we have started working together here, and that this wonderful hospital that we’re going to build will tend to every Haitian in the country – the big ones and the small ones too.

Thank you very much.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s always a pleasure to be here with my colleagues, Dr. Kouchner and Prime Minister Bellerive. And in a few minutes, there will be a special session of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission that will be meeting to take the measure of the progress that has been made in Haiti since the earthquake and to renew our own commitment to the hard work that lies ahead that Minister Kouchner just referred to.

In the wake of the terrible quake, many spoke about the need, not only to rebuild what was lost, but to fundamentally re-imagine the Haitian landscape by building a stronger economy, better infrastructure, and a sturdier social system, not just in Port-au-Prince but nationwide.

And the two MOUs that have been signed today will support that effort. They will encourage progress in two areas that are key to Haiti’s long-term recovery: creating jobs and providing a foundation for rebuilding the country’s health system.

The first Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Haiti, the United States Government, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and Sae-A Trading Company, is designed to establish an industrial park and a garment manufacturing operation in Haiti with the potential to create more than 10,000 permanent jobs. And these are not just any jobs; these are good jobs with fair pay that adhere to international labor standards. And the impact on Haiti’s economy has enormous potential for being significant and sending a message that Haiti is open for business again.

And we look forward to working with our partners in the private sector to leverage capital and create these jobs, and with them, the better lives that Haitians are seeking for themselves and their families.

The second Memorandum of Understanding, which the prime minister, the foreign minister, and I just signed on behalf of the U.S., French, and Haitian Governments, commits us each to help rebuild the University Hospital of Haiti. This hospital is the central public hospital for Port-au-Prince and it is the country’s main teaching hospital.

Since January 12th, it has been serving thousands of people, even though it is crippled by physical damage, limited equipment, limited electrical and other critical services. The United States and France will each invest $25 million to rebuild this hospital, to create a facility that meets the needs of the Haitian people, and the Haitian Government will contribute $3.2 million in funding.

This work is important and there is no time to waste. As we saw on the front page of the New York Times today, people are suffering. They need jobs, they need health care, they need us – their own government and the international community – to follow through on our promises and translate our good intentions to real concrete progress on the ground.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming session of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. It is very important to keep in mind what both the prime minister and the foreign minister said, that the extent of the devastation was enormous, and those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard. But to expect less than concerted effort every day that produces results would be a great tragedy.

So we will work hard with all of you, and we especially thank our private sector partners and the financing teams that have put together the first memorandum. And we look forward to seeing the progress that can come with the second memorandum in a tangible demonstration of our commitment to the Haitian people.

So thank you very much, Prime Minister, and thank you my friend, and to all of you who helped make this day possible.

Thank you.


MS. MILLS: Thank you all very much. The meeting of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission will start shortly. We appreciate everyone being here.

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There does not appear to be a video available. If I do find one, I’ll add it.

Remarks With French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Paris, France
January 29, 2010


Welcome, Hillary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, and it is a personal pleasure for me to be here in Paris and to have the opportunity to meet with Bernard, who has become not just a valuable partner but a trusted friend. We have worked closely together during this past year. In fact, I think the foreign minister was one of the very first visitors that I had at the State Department. I always know that I can pick up the phone; we can consult as frequently as we need to, and it’s often because of the array of issues that we’re confronting.

In addition to what the foreign minister said, we also discussed the results of the London meetings on Yemen and Afghanistan. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We appreciate greatly the support that France has given in developing a European police force mission to support NATO in its effort to train police. There was an enormous amount of concern, as you might guess, about the way forward on the issues that Bernard has mentioned, but we have tried to work carefully and seriously toward the kind of approach of working agendas that make a difference.

The work on Iran is (inaudible) greater intensity and France’s leadership is especially important. The international community is united in its resolve regarding Iran’s nuclear program and in its condemnation of the serious escalating assault on human rights. The recent executions that have taken place in Iran of demonstrators, the creation of new crimes to try to imprison and execute protestors and opposition leaders is deplorable.

With respect to Haiti, we so appreciate the work that France is doing, and both President Obama and I particularly appreciated President Sarkozy’s kind words about the United States’ efforts in Haiti. And like so much of the rest of the world and certainly among my colleagues, we look to Foreign Minister Kouchner because of his experience as a humanitarian. He’s now a diplomat with a doctor’s compassion and a humanitarian with a statesman’s vision. And so we ask him often, well, what would you do and how would it work? And he brings not only a passionate commitment, but a practical understanding of the difficulties that we’re facing as we attempt to try to help the people of Haiti.

We will be consulting even more closely. Our work in Africa is particularly important. I applaud France for resuming diplomatic relations with Rwanda, and I also appreciate greatly the work that Bernard and the government here is doing in Guinea and in other African countries.

On a personal note, it was very meaningful in the immediate aftermath of the Haitian earthquake to see French and American search-and-rescue teams working furiously to find survivors at the Hotel Montana. So many were lost there, including a number of young Americans who were on a university mission trip to Haiti. On the second night after the quake, French rescuers freed seven American citizens from the rubble. And as the evening wore on, an American team from Virginia found another survivor, who happened to be French, who was scared but thankfully alive.

The father of an American student who died at the Montana called these international search-and-rescue workers “angels on earth” after coming down to see for himself where his daughter died on her birthday.

We’ve seen wonderful work because the international community came together. As the Haitian people persevere through this calamity, they are demonstrating resilience, ingenuity, and resolve. And we need to match that. So Bernard and I are very committed personally as well as on behalf of our presidents and our governments. This will not be, by any means, a perfect endeavor. The challenges are enormous. But I think we will pledge our best efforts to cut through the bureaucracy to create the circumstances that will enable Haiti to have a better chance for the future. And I look forward once again to working with you.




QUESTION: Tom Junod with Esquire magazine in the States. Mr. Foreign Minister, in her speech today, Secretary Clinton spoke of the need for better coordination on relief efforts in the face of natural disasters. As co-founder of MSF, how do you think that the relief efforts in the case of Haiti could have been better coordinated? And has there been any discussion of a coordinated response to relieve some of the misery of the Haitian refugee camps by admitting some of the refugees to either France or the United States? And if not, why not?

Madam Secretary, the second part of the question: All week long, I’ve seen you try to muster an international response to the question of Iran sanctions. Last night, the Senate passed an Iran sanctions bill that gives you, the Administration, power to start proceeding unilaterally in some ways. Can you comment on that?

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: Well, yes, of course, we are always dreaming to a better access to the victims, to a sort of faster intervention. But it is always, unfortunately, the case in natural disaster this is impossible because it has not been prepared because, of course, it was not able to prepare. We are coordinating as much as possible, I mean, in the European terms, altogether the 27 nation. We are and we were facing such kind of drama. But believe me, it was the, let’s say, most tragic natural disaster I ever met in terms of victims and destruction. Port-au-Prince has been completely devastated.

So was it possible? Yes, it was possible. But unfortunately, we are always looking to the criticism and not to this huge international efforts – very efficient certainly, but not in the good moment, because to be efficient in an earthquake it should have been possible, but not impossible, but were impossible to imagine to be at this good moment, that is to say in the first hour, impossible. So we sent teams altogether the first day, Wednesday, then Tuesday. But after some two, three, four days, yesterday – another time, after 15 days – was rescued one little girl of 16. But this is a miracle.

So yes, I do regret that we were unable to coordinate, but it was impossible to coordinate. First, it is impossible to coordinate the NGOs. Impossible. We have to give them the opportunity of being complementary together.

Second, is it possible to coordinate at the level of nations, all the nations – South American, North American, the Americas? My dear, sorry, but we did our best, honestly. And I don’t want to tell you that next catastrophe we’ll be better prepared, but this is unfortunately always the case, always the case. This is – I’m so sorry for the victims because the number of the victims, this is a mountain of victims we had – we are supposed to rescue. We did our best. We were efficient. The Americans – and I really thank our American friends because they were close. So by thousand of them they came. And you know there is always some misunderstanding, always; the minimum was there too, as in misunderstanding. But the efficiency and the devotion to the people, I mean, we did our best. Sorry.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I agree. And I think that as we move forward in our work in Haiti, we will have the time to better think through how to deal with the devastation that the earthquake caused, which is something that Bernard and I are committed to doing. And perhaps we can also, as I said in my speech, think through how to divide some responsibilities internationally.

It is important to try to mitigate disasters. One of the things I hope we’re able to do in Haiti is to help them build back in a stronger way. The American Embassy was not harmed because it was built to withstand earthquakes. It’s like what we learned after the San Francisco earthquake in the early ‘90s. A lot of buildings fell that were rebuilt stronger, so next time we hope they don’t fall. But in Haiti, it was that cement concrete construction and it just collapsed. So there are lessons to be learned, and we will learn and try to do better as we go forward.

On Iran, the Congress is very concerned about Iranian behavior, both with respect to its nuclear program and its abuse and repression of its own people. We are working with the Congress because we understand their deep concern and we are going to do what we can to try to direct their legislation in a way that supplements our efforts internationally.

But I have said all along that we’re going to work as hard as we can to get the strongest possible resolution out of the Security Council. Then countries that feel strongly, like France and the United States feel, may wish to do more. So this is not in any way contradictory to our international efforts. If anything, it may well be complementary.

QUESTION: Is there any chance of the door opening to any Haitian refugees in either country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, certainly speaking for the United States, we have opened the doors to children awaiting adoption who did not have the papers to get in yet. We have opened the door to people needing medical treatment. And we have provided protection for Haitians who are in the United States without legal papers.

We will continue to look at this. I know that a number of commentators have said that countries that can should try to relieve the burden on the Haitian people by trying to reunite families and take some other steps. We will look at all of that. But obviously, we have not made any decisions.

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: The same thing for us. We opened the door to the orphans and receive their legal documents, but of course (inaudible) would be also welcome to step up (inaudible).

QUESTION: Hello, Mrs. Secretary. I’m – my name is Natalie Nougayrede. I work for Le Monde. France is the only big European country that in the run-up the London conference on Afghanistan did not announce an increase in its level of military – its military figures on the ground. Are you slightly disappointed with that, and does that reflect a possible discrepancy in the way France sees the pertinence or the need for a surge in Afghanistan at this point?

(In French.)

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: First (inaudible), it’s up to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: First let me start by saying how much we appreciate the French contribution in Afghanistan. French soldiers have been courageous. They have partnered with the United States and others on the battlefield. I don’t need to remind a French audience that some have paid the ultimate price and lost their lives or have been grievously injured. So I start by expressing the deep appreciation that the United States feels for the service of our French counterparts on the battlefield and commend the young men and women who serve your country.

Secondly, we are very grateful for the civilian support that France has provided to Afghanistan. There are many examples of it; one will suffice. The hospital that France built in Kabul has become a remarkable center not only for treating patients but training Afghan doctors and nurses. And France does so much else. We are very confident that the work that France has done and the commitment that France has made is extremely valuable and supportive of our overall international efforts.

Now, only France can make a decision as to what is appropriate in terms of the contribution. There are certainly discussions about police training, the kinds of things that France is particularly good at which are ongoing. But I expressed the same appreciation to President Sarkozy. I think that we are grateful for the decision that France made last year to rejoin the integrated command in NATO. So they are fully involved in what we are attempting to do in Afghanistan and we are appreciative of those commitments.


MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, one question if I may, please. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for taking this question. I know that you’ve had a really long day and I’m sure you want to hit the sack probably.

In your speech today, you mentioned Iran, you mentioned Afghanistan, you mentioned terrorism. Do you think that all of these problems would be much, much easier to deal with if a permanent solution could be found for the crisis in the Middle East? That’s the easy one.

And the more difficult one is: Do you think that Israel is now so powerfully politically, so well funded, that it can actually afford to ignore you, President Obama, President Sarkozy, Foreign Minister Kouchner, and completely go its own way? And if that is the case, at what point do you think sanctions should be raised against Israel?

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me start by saying that we had a very thorough discussion of the Middle East. We are committed to a two-state solution, Israel having the security it deserves to have as a democracy in the Middle East and the Palestinians have the state they deserve that will provide opportunity and peace and prosperity for them. That is the commitment that we are working toward and it is a commitment that has been endorsed by not just the Palestinians but the Israelis as well. These are difficult issues to resolve. Obviously, everyone knows that. But we are going to not only redouble our efforts in working with the parties, but try to make it clear to everyone that that is the answer that we all have to be committed to.

So I don’t think it is useful to talk about any other actions because our goal now is to re-launch negotiation and reach settlement on the issues that are outstanding between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We are committed to it. Unfortunately, there are other voices that are not committed that are often quite loud and even provocative, but the fact is that patient diplomacy is what is called for. And so that is what we are pursuing and we are, as President Obama has said, committed to following through every day after, frankly, a period where the United States was not as engaged as we would have liked. We have changed that policy.


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I know that some people think,  because I have a picture of Hillary with the word “Perfect” inscribed on it in the sidebar, that I think she is perfect.  I know Hillary is human, can and does make mistakes, and does not do everything perfectly.  Her humanity is actually what I find so endearing about her.  If she were only brilliant and beautiful, well, there have been some deadly dames in history who fit that description, and I might not find her so attractive in that instance.  Hillary has a strong, soft, warm heart that reaches out to people.  And, as she proved today, like many of us who have had training in dance, can be a little klutzy, even onstage.  I have to smile at this for two reasons.

1. Where I work, there are days when I am up and down the stairs often, and I have been known to walk out of my shoe occasionally exactly the way Hillary did here.  I have no idea why that happens.

2. The pictures show something else, and I will say this right out.   There have been remarks made by comedians and others about Hillary’s physical attributes.  I think these pictures show quite well that Hillary is in beautiful shape.  She has a dancer’s body, looks lovely from every angle, and even while losing her shoe, has some graceful, athletic, fetching recovery positions and moves.  How many of the people who have criticized her appearance would look that adorable in this situation from those angles?

If you are going to lose your shoe, try to look this totally hot doing it. It might also be a good idea to laugh at yourself afterwards, as Hillary did.

That is my shallow post. Or IS it so shallow?

For those obsessed with the news aspect, this occurred at the Elysée Palace in Paris where she met with President Nicholas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.   Sarkozy partners her well!  Bravo, Nick!

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The Secretary of State, as we saw in the previous post, delivered a speech at the London Conference on Afghanistan, but that was not all. She held several bilaterals (no press releases yet on those). She also, with David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner, and Catherine Ashton, issued this joint statement on the violence in Nigeria.

Joint Statement on Nigeria

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton
London, United Kingdom
January 28, 2010

We express our deep regret at the recent violence and tragic loss of lives in Jos, and extend our sympathies to the bereaved and injured. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria. We call on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice and to support interethnic and interfaith dialogue.

Nigeria is one of the most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a member of the UN Security Council, a global oil producer, a leader in ECOWAS, a major peacekeeping contributing country, and a stabilizing force in West Africa. Nigeria’s stability and democracy carry great significance beyond its immediate borders.

We therefore extend our support to the people of Nigeria during the current period of uncertainty, caused by President Yar’Adua’s illness. We extend our best wishes to the President and his family, and join the Nigerian people in wishing him a full recovery.

Nigeria has expressed its resolve to adhere to constitutional processes during this difficult time. We commend that determination to address the current situation through appropriate democratic institutions. Nigeria’s continued commitment and adherence to its democratic norms and values are key to addressing the many challenges it faces, including electoral reform, post-amnesty programs in the Niger Delta, economic development, inter-faith discord and transparency. The gubernatorial elections in Anambra on 6 February will be a milestone in the journey towards electoral reform and a signal of Nigeria’s commitment to the principles of democracy.

We are committed to continue working with Nigeria on the internal issues it faces while working together as partners on the global stage.

In addition, she sat for an interview with Jill Dougherty of CNN.

Interview With Jill Dougherty of CNN

London, United Kingdom
January 28, 2010
QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for spending some time with us. I want to start with this idea of reintegration and reconciliation in Afghanistan. President Karzai today, in fact, said that he believes that the insurgents will definitely be invited to the peace talks. What do you think about that idea?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, in general, Jill, you don’t make peace with your friends; you make peace with your enemies. And I think what President Karzai is trying to do is to send some very clear messages. Number one, if you are one of the many, many Taliban members who is there because it’s a living, you actually are making money by being in this fight, or you were, in effect, drafted through intimidation of some sort, come off the battlefield and reintegrate into society. If you are a mid-level leader of the Taliban, not ideologically committed to their world view, then you too can rejoin society. However, there are very clear conditions: You must renounce violence, you must lay down your arms, you must renounce al-Qaida, and you must be willing to live by the laws and the constitution of Afghanistan.

So I think that this is the way peace usually gets made. You send out feelers. You see who’s willing to lay down their arms and abide by the conditions. You see how far up that will go. I do not expect Mullah Omar and those people to be at all interested in this. In fact, they’ve made it very clear that they’re not. But I think there are many members of the Taliban who will see this chance to reenter society under these very stringent conditions to be attractive enough to test.

I also think it’s clear that our commanders on the field, General McChrystal and his team, who are in the fight and reversing the momentum of the Taliban, they know, as we learned in Iraq, there is an opportunity to try to convince the insurgents to quit the fight and come back. And that’s part of this peace effort.

QUESTION: You mentioned Iraq. And in fact, the Sunni Awakening was what happened in Iraq. The United States was very actively involved in Iraq in that movement. In Afghanistan, what would be the role of the U.S., briefly? And especially when we get into the financial side of it, there’s going to be a fund, an international fund. Can the U.S. actually contribute money to that? Because after all, there are Treasury regulations that seem to preclude that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, just as we did in Iraq, the United States military will have funds available for these battlefield decisions. And all of the rules and regulations will be abided by, of course. But what our commanders tell us is that it is extremely useful when somebody shows up and says to a young lieutenant or captain, “I’d like to quit, I want to go home, I want to plant in my fields,” that happens a lot. And so to be able to say okay, and here’s what you’ll get if you meet our conditions and you go forward as a member of society – so we want to equip our military.

Now, on the civilian side, a number of countries today made commitments to what is being called the reintegration fund. And that will be a means also to make sure that the people who are now making more money as a Taliban fighter than they made as a farmer or doing something else within Afghan society will be able to support their families and contribute. I mean, that’s the way this works. We’ve learned a lot and we know much more today than we did five or six years ago in Iraq. And I have the greatest confidence in General McChrystal and his team to know how to pull this off.

QUESTION: But can the U.S. actually contribute to that fund without getting some type of a waiver?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, yeah. All the rules have to be abided by, yes.

QUESTION: Okay. Now, when you get into reconciliation, that would deal with the leadership, more important members. Five former leaders, in fact, have been delisted – as they say, taken off the UN list of suspected terrorists. Could they be part of the government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, one of the people who was on the list has already renounced the Taliban and has actually joined the government. So we’re kind of playing catch-up here, that the list has names of people who are irreconcilable – that is clear. The list also has at least one name we’re aware of, of someone who has already died. But there are people on that list who everyone believes, including the gentleman who has already met the conditions, who should be taken off the list and given a chance to be reintegrated.

QUESTION: But the irreconcilables – what if the government, the Afghan Government, actually did want to deal ultimately with Mullah Omar, thinking that perhaps he could bring them Osama bin Laden or something like that? What could the U.S. do in that case?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the U.S. is a partner with the Afghan Government. So we are going to be closely consulting on the structure of the fund, the standards for the fund. I had a long meeting with President Karzai last night and we went over many of these matters that are going to have to be addressed. It is the kind of situation that, by the very nature of it, is going to be somewhat fluid because we don’t know what’s going to happen, who will come forward.

But based on our experience in many areas of Afghanistan today, the Taliban is extremely unpopular. There was a recent poll that has a lot of credibility, pointing out that most people in Afghanistan now believe that they can have a better future, they do not want the Taliban back. But they’re scared and they are looking for some support. And one of the ways, as we saw in an article in The New York Times, I think it was today, is that the military is going in and not just talking to individuals, but talking to tribes, talking to villages. This is classic counterinsurgency, and everyone knows that, as General McChrystal has said, you’re never going to kill or capture everybody calling themself a Taliban. But you can change the political environment so that those who continue to call themselves Taliban become more and more isolated, and that’s what we’re seeking.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about women, because in – this is a subject that’s very dear to your heart, it’s very important.


QUESTION: We know the traditional approach that the Taliban have taken to women. So if you bring these people in, isn’t it ultimately a deal with the devil?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, not if they abide by the conditions, which they have to in order to be eligible. They have to abide by the constitution and the laws of Afghanistan. That means girls are entitled to go to school, girls and women are entitled to get healthcare. Girls are given the same rights that they should have to be trained. Women have the right to participate in the government. In fact, the new Karzai government has some very prominent women nominated for ministers.

So I think that that’s a concern that some people have raised, but I don’t think that it, in and of itself, is what will impact women’s future. We have to change mindsets. There are very serious continuing problems for many women in Afghanistan that still need to be addressed. And women are just like the men of Afghanistan; they don’t want to see the Taliban come back, obviously, but they still have to be given the opportunities to participate in society.

But a lot of progress has been made. I just was meeting with one of the Afghan women who was presenting at the conference, and she said we want to protect women’s rights, we want to continue to get what we deserve to have, we don’t want anything done in the name of peace to interfere with that. And I said neither do I. And I made that very clear in what I said publicly and privately at this conference.

QUESTION: Now, on Iran, to change the subject here, Iran did not send a representative to this conference on Afghanistan. What do you read into that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not sure yet, because the foreign secretary here in London had told me that he expected Iran to send a representative. There was a name plate for Iran. It may, Jill, be another example of the uncertainty, confusion, division within the existing Iranian leadership. On many issues, it appears that they aren’t quite sure the way forward because the leadership is being challenged and there are lots of forces at work within the society. But I don’t know any more than that.

QUESTION: So we understand that you have at least an outline of sanctions that you want to impose or – on – we understand that you have at least an outline of sanctions that you want to impose on Iran. How quickly will we see those?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I was meeting all day today not only about Afghanistan, but also about Iran, with many countries. I brought with me two of the experts who are working on the design of the sanctions and the enforcement of the sanctions, and we are beginning to share ideas. It is premature to talk about those because I don’t want to preempt the consideration that other countries will be given to this, but it is very much our agenda to move forward.

We want as much support as we can possibly muster, and we want to be sure that we are aiming at the mindset of the Iranians so that they understand that the international community will not be turning a blind eye to their continuing violations of Security Council obligations of International Atomic Energy Agency regulations. But it is premature to talk in specifics.

QUESTION: You have said that the sanctions are basically aimed at the Revolutionary Guard. The Revolutionary Guard, of course, control key elements of the Iranian economy. So in hitting them, how do you avoid hurting the Iranian people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they have a lot of business interests, as we have discovered. And our assessment is that the sanctions will be tough and clearly aimed at the Iranian economy, but that the international community does not have a choice, that this is, unfortunately, a situation in which the behavior of the Iranian Government, not just in this instance but what they’re doing to protestors and demonstrators. I mean, one of the foreign ministers from a Muslim country told me with just total bewilderment, he said, “How can they have a death penalty to demonstrate?” I mean, that’s basically what they’ve come to.

So their society is under a lot of stress. We think it’s imperative to change the calculus of the leadership, and we think this is an appropriate way to proceed, so we are pursuing it.

QUESTION: But could that be a way – if you make it difficult for the people, could the aim ultimately be to get the people angry at their own government and, hence, have some type of regime change?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is not meant to punish Iran; it’s meant to change their behavior, and it’s not meant as a target at any one person. It’s meant to change the calculation of the leadership, where – whether that leadership is in the supreme leader’s office or in the Revolutionary Guard or the president or anyone else. And I think that it’s hard to sit here and predict exactly how Iran will respond, because we still are open to the diplomatic track, but we haven’t seen much to really prove that they’re willing to engage with us.

And I think the time has come for the international community to say, no, we cannot permit your continued pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is destabilizing, it is dangerous, and we’re going to take a stand against you.

QUESTION: But you seem to be changing – the United States seems to be changing the focus, at least broadening it. Originally, of course, it’s about the nuclear program; however, there seems to be now a desire to punish the people who are responsible for repression.


QUESTION: Isn’t that a broadening of —

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. I mean, if – for example, if the leadership had accepted the offer that we made on the Tehran research reactor to ship out their low-enriched uranium, we would not be sitting here talking about sanctions. It was their choice. They chose not to. And I think that the Iranian people are at a crossroads. They have the opportunity to demand more from their own leadership, which has, obviously, from the outside, appeared to have failed the Iranian people and failed the very principles that they claim to govern by. So the voices of protest, the voices of opposition, are going to continue to challenge this regime in Iran.

But the outside world is not involved in that. This is an internal societal matter for Iranians to decide. What the outside world is concerned about is their nuclear program. Absent a nuclear program, we would still be expressing our regrets and our condemnation of their behavior toward their citizens, but we would not be looking for sanctions. We are looking for sanctions because their nuclear ambitions threaten the rest of the world.

QUESTION: Well, Madam Secretary, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, good to talk to you.

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Things were touch and go, for awhile today as the previous post attests. This historic accord almost did not happen. During the background briefing prior to the trip, we heard the press corps asking if it was possible that something might go south with this agreement, and that almost happened.

The problem appears to have been a concern on the part of the Armenian delegation with a portion of the statement to be made by the Turkish Foreign Minister subsequent to the signing. Hillary stepped in, spoke privately with both parties, and help wordsmith the remarks to something acceptable to the parties involved.

We are VERY PROUD of you, Madame Secretary! Great work!

Pictured in the gallery:

European Union foreign affairs chief, Javier Solana, French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, Swiss foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Armenian foreign minister, Edouard Nalbandian, Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and Slovenian foreign minister, Samuel Zbogar.

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After what we all hope was a restful weekend at home (we know she worked Saturday in NY at a Pakistan Diaspora event), and a Happy Mothers Day spent with her own Mom, Bill, and Chelsea, Hillary was back to work and pretty in pink again this morning. Hillary’s people caught sight of a few twitters last night implying that she may have hurt her foot or ankle and might have been limping on the plane last night. But she walked normally this morning. We did notice she was wearing flats. Be careful on that skateboard you take through your busy days, Hillary!

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves after speaking at the Annual Global Classrooms DC Model United Nations Conference, Monday, May 11, 2009, at the State Department in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) greets Foreign Minister of Finland Cai-Goran Alexander Stubb during a bilateral meeting at the State Department in Washington May 11, 2009.

Remarks With Finnish Foreign Minister Cai-Goran Alexander Stubb Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 11, 2009

Date: 05/11/2009 Description: Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Finnish Foreign Minister Cai-Goran Alexander Stubb before their meeting. © State Dept Photo by Michael Gross

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the foreign minister from Finland. He and I have gotten to know each other over the last several months, and I’ve enjoyed both his company on a personal level and equally the great work that he’s doing on behalf of an important ally and friend to the United States. So welcome, we’re glad you’re here.
FOREIGN MINISTER STUBB: Thank you very much. Thanks, Hillary, and thanks for the invitation. I’m really happy to be here. I’m just back from Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey – probably some of the issues that we’ll be discussing today. We’ll probably also talk about Russia. The U.S. has always been very close to my heart, not least because I’ve studied here for many years, and a very close ally, as Hillary said. And if the negotiations get tough, I’ll put on my southern drawl and we’ll get everything through, no problem. (Laughter.)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner speak to the press before talks at the State Department in Washington on May 11, 2009.

Remarks With French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 11, 2009

Date: 05/11/2009 Description: Remarks by Secretary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner before their meeting. © State Dept Photo by Michael GrossSECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a delight to welcome back a friend and fellow foreign minister to discuss a range of issues that are important not only to France and the United States but to the entire world. And I am delighted to see Minister Kouchner here. He was just up in New York at the United Nations. And it has been a great pleasure and privilege for me to work with you over these past months.

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER:Thank you. It’s my (inaudible) to be with Secretary Clinton. And yes, serious subject we’re talking, if I may, several subject, but Afghanistan, of course, but we were just talking about Sri Lanka, and the Secretary (inaudible), and if time enough, to say some words on Somalia and also Sudan.Thank you for receiving me.

SECRETARY CLINTON:Oh, it’s a pleasure. A long agenda, my friend. Thank you all


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Remarks at the Annual Global Classrooms DC Model United Nations Conference


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
May 11, 2009

Good morning. (Applause.) Well, I want to thank Ambassador Tom Miller, and I’m delighted to see all of you so enthusiastic and excited about the day ahead. I also want to thank Ed Elmendorf for his leadership of this wonderful United Nations association and, of course, the Model UN.
There’s someone in the audience that I wanted to just recognize as well: Bill Luers, who is retiring today as president of the United Nations Association here in the United States. He founded Global Classroom 11 years ago. It’s now in 24 cities around the world, and it’s a great model and we really thank Bill for his vision, his passion, and his service in helping young people really become global citizens as well. Thank you so much, Bill. (Applause.)
Now, I have to say coming here this morning brought back a lot of memories. My daughter Chelsea attended Model UN here in Washington back when she was in high school, and it is great to see middle school students involved, as well as high school students. This is an opportunity for you to debate some of the great issues of the day, to meet new people from around the area, because this new century that we’re in demands the best from everyone. And I thank you for caring enough to participate.
Your experience here at the Model UN, both today and in hopefully days and years to come, are a great way to exhibit your concerns. And how many of you are concerned about nuclear terrorism? I think everybody should raise their hand for that. (Laughter.) How many of you are concerned about global warming? How about migration issues? How about children in armed conflict? That’s a very personal one. I’ve done some work in that area over the years and have met a lot of very courageous young people who had to build a life after having been kidnapped and subjected to all kinds of abuse and forced to be child soldiers.
Some people criticize the United Nations for good reasons. I mean, it’s a big organization and it’s a difficult one to really get your arms around. There’s so many different countries, and people have different points of view, but that’s the point of it. If we didn’t have the United Nations, we would have to invent one. On issues like piracy or the H1N1 flu virus, we have to work together. And we do so through organizations that are either formed by, run by, or associated with the United Nations. And that’s why it was important, when the United Nations was created back in 1945 here in the United States, that people admitted that we can’t solve all the problems on our own. No nation, even one as powerful as ours, is able to do that.
Just look at what’s happening as we meet today. More than a hundred thousand UN peacekeepers are stationed around the world. I was recently in Haiti and there’s been a great degree of security and stability achieved because of the blue helmets. In particular, that UN force is led by a Brazilian general. We know the difficulties of trying to deal with failed and failing states where conflict and violence is just an every-minute occurrence.
And the United Nations brings relief, they bring humanitarian aid. We’re looking at what can be done to help the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the Swat region of Pakistan because of the Taliban and the Pakistani army’s offensive. We worry about displaced people in Darfur, the Sudan. We just have so many concerns, and the United States cares deeply about the entire world, but we could not be a presence working on all of these issues were it not for the United Nations.
The best scientific evidence about the pace and severity of global warming comes from the intergovernmental panel that the United Nations established and runs. There are so many issues that you know about in your studies leading up to being part of the Model UN. And the United States supports the United Nations because we think it’s an investment in our own security, and we think it’s a necessary venue for us to discuss differences and try to hammer out compromises with other countries.
About a month or so ago when North Korea sent the missile up and it was in contravention, we believed, of a Security Council resolution that prohibited the North Koreans from doing that, we worked with the Japanese and the South Koreans and the Chinese and the Russians to come up with a much stronger statement than anyone expected. And it wasn’t easy because people had different perspectives, but it was finally achieved.
So this is part of the education process that I’m so pleased you are participating in. And I want to put in a plug for the State Department and USAID, for the Peace Corps and PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. We need and are looking to recruit a new generation of young diplomats, young aid workers and others who can carry American foreign policy into the world.
When I appeared before the committee in the Senate for my confirmation, I said that I thought that we had three pillars for our foreign relations, and to do what we had to do to protect our security and further our interests and exemplify our values, we needed defense diplomacy and the important work of development. I believe that even more strongly today. And the young people who are coming into the State Department are very impressive, and I would urge you to think about that as a possible career choice in the future.
We’re building the State Department. We are getting money for more diplomats and more development specialists. We are partnering with the military and hoping to really make clear that our partnership means that the civilian side of our efforts have to be run by the State Department and USAID. So there’s a lot of excitement that we are feeling here in the State Department today, which is good, because there’s a lot of problems. We face a lot of challenges, but we also see a lot of opportunities that we want to be able to seize and do the most with. So I really wanted to come by to tell you how pleased I am that you’re doing this and how important it is to debate the issues that you’ll be considering in a respectful, well-prepared manner.
I’ll just add a word about that. Sometimes, you can feel so strongly about an issue that you think everybody should agree with you. Anybody ever feel that way? (Laughter.) But you still have to marshal your arguments and you still have to make your case, and you still have to use evidence. So as you’re going forward with the Model UN process, help yourself become a better, more effective persuader. Listen to the other side, even if you think in the beginning they have nothing that you will agree with. And try to hear what their point of view is, put yourself into their shoes, and make a more effective argument going forward.
We need your commitment to what we call smart power. It’s not just our military strength and it’s not just our diplomatic outreach; we’re trying to do things differently. And smart power needs smart people. So I hope you have a great time at the Model UN, and I hope that I’ll see some of you here in this building in a few years. Thank you all.
# # #

Remarks at Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) Dinner


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
May 11, 2009

Well, I welcome you all to the Benjamin Franklin Room here on the eighth floor of the State Department. And it’s a real pleasure to host this event. As Jo Carole so generously said, I have been involved with FAPE for a long time and am delighted by the results of the dedication and generosity that all of you have evidenced over those years. Jo Carole has done a marvelous job with FAPE, just as she has with the Museum of Modern Art and so much else that she has nurtured herself.
I really appreciate all of you who have contributed to FAPE. And it is a special pleasure to welcome back to the State Department Colin Powell, who is being immortalized in this 40-foot mural in Jamaica. There’s another story about the stars that someone was born under and three wise men and all of that. (Laughter.) But I think we have the closest to the modern equivalent here. (Applause.)
I have to say that my interest in FAPE during the ‘90s as First Lady was sparked by the dedication of a number of you who made a convincing case that we really needed to step it up and get American artists and their work exhibited as a real symbol of American culture and the arts. It was also quite wonderful for me because in the White House, you could not accept any gift from a living artist. So the fact that we could accept all these gifts for FAPE from all of the artists who are here tonight was a special treat. And I do well remember the day in Ottawa when we were able to dedicate Joel Shapiro’s wonderful sculpture. And I’ve seen the results of your work and your contributions throughout the world.
And actually, the work of FAPE became even more important after 9/11, and here’s what I mean by that. Not only as a sign of our outreach and willingness to engage the rest of the world, but because of security, so many of our embassies began looking like bunkers, and that was the price we paid. Beautiful buildings that had once housed our ambassadors and all of our consulates and missions were now being replaced by very forbidding, often unwelcoming buildings. We’ve gotten better over the last several years in trying to combine our security needs with a more inviting edifice. But were it not for the arts and the work that you have done, it would have been difficult.
I recently visited our new embassy in Beijing. It’s a masterpiece, an absolute masterpiece, and made so in large measure because of the strategic location of the work of the artists who are here and many others. And I want to extend my congratulations to Justice Breyer. Justice Breyer and Joanna are such great citizens of Washington. They have not stayed in the Ivory Tower of the Supreme Court, but in fact have been involved in the life of this city. And I really appreciate especially Justice Breyer’s commitment to making our federal buildings more aesthetically pleasing, and you will hear more about that in a minute.
There are so many wonderful ways that FAPE has worked to expand America’s reach and to recognize American arts and culture. And I hope that you really appreciate the importance of the role that you’re playing. The State Department, working in conjunction with President Obama and the White House and the rest of our government, is reaching out around the world at a breakneck pace to try to make it clear that we will protect America’s security while advancing our interests and exemplifying our values.
And we have a number of ambassadors here who have joined us, and we welcome all of you as part of this celebration tonight. And I’m grateful beyond words, Jo Carole, to you and everyone involved with FAPE for really helping us exercise smart and artistic power around the world. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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