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Public Schedule for June 22, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 22, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE
FRIDAY JUNE 22, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Secretary Clinton is for foreign travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”). Secretary Clinton is accompanied by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Assistant Secretary Jones, Special Representative Lewis, Special Envoy Pascual, Special Envoy Stern, Deputy Administrator of USAID Steinberg, and President and CEO of OPIC Elizabeth Littlefield.

9:30 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with the embassy staff and families of Consulate Rio de Janeiro, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

10:50 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative Launch, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

11:05 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Plenary, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
(CAMERA SPRAY AT THE TOP)

1:10 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
(CAMERA SPRAY AT THE TOP)

1:50 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
(CAMERA SPRAY AT THE TOP)

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These two fellows met in Los Cabos, Mexico today.

Our gal deplaned earlier looking like this.

She attended the bilateral looking like this.

Gameface ON!

It IS a resort, but she is not there to play.  That’s for sure! Not that I am implying that the men were either.  Vlad just likes being photographed shirtless.

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Press Availability Following the G20 Ministerial Meetings

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Los Cabos, Mexico
February 20, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon. And let me begin by thanking our hosts. It was an absolute pleasure to be here, and I want to express my appreciation to President Calderon, to Secretary Espinosa, and to the entire Mexican team for putting together what has been a quite informative and important gathering. And now that I’ve seen this beautiful place for myself, I can understand why so many whales come here to visit. It is, however, less clear to me why they ever leave, but that’s up to them I suppose.

This has been, for our team coming from the U.S., a great opportunity to discuss matters of important – importance to the bilateral relationship with Mexico, but also to catch up on the full range of regional and global issues that concern us with our – with my colleagues. And I think it’s fair to say, as I made the point in the first working session yesterday, Mexico is emerging as a leader in bringing nations together to solve problems that none of us can solve on our own. And this meeting of foreign ministers from G-20 and beyond is yet another example of that.

Now more than ever, foreign policy and economic policy are inseparable. Prosperity has to be a core foreign policy goal for all of us, and economic forces virtually impact every aspect of how our nations engage. And what’s more, we are increasingly seeing strong connections between traditional G-20 financial issues and questions about economic development, the environment, and good governance. In an age when more people in more places can participate in the global economy, we have to expand the range of partners working to take on our most pressing shared challenges and to work together to take advantage of these new opportunities.

So this has been a very excellent and all too rare chance to connect informally. It was, for me, a great opportunity to kick-off yesterday’s first session on breaking deadlocks in the multilateral system. I discussed some of the challenges to open, free, fair, transparent – transparency in the system of competition that we need if we’re going to continue to expand prosperity and include everyone in it.

Today’s sessions focused on all kinds of issues of great importance. I’ll just mention a few. The role that green growth can and should play – and again, I commend President Calderon, Secretary Espinosa, and the Mexican Government, because they have been leaders in this. The work that came out of Cancun was absolutely essential to what was then the follow-on work in Durban. The very creative idea that President Calderon put on the table back in ’09 for a green growth fund was given more specificity. So across the board, whether it was talking about how we grow our economies, how we create both energy security and a market for renewable energy, how we include more women across the world as full participants in the economy, we covered a lot of important matters.

And then finally, this morning, Secretary Salazar and I were proud to represent the United States as we signed a groundbreaking agreement with Mexico regarding oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico. For too long, uncertainty in this area about the reservoirs of oil and gas has impeded our progress and created grounds for dispute instead of cooperation.

Today, the agreement we signed will remove the uncertainty. It will make exploration and production safer, more efficient, more equitable for companies in both countries. It will advance energy security in our hemisphere and help us handle our energy resources more responsibly. And for the first time, American energy firms will be able to collaborate with PEMEX, their Mexican counterpart. That’s a welcome benefit for both Mexico and the United States in these challenging economic times.

So it’s a great pleasure to be here and to renew friendships with a lot of my Mexican contacts and counterparts. I particularly appreciate working with both the president and the secretary, but what is most important is that both of us are intent upon delivering concrete, positive results for the American and Mexican people.

So with that, I’d be happy to take your questions.

MS. NULAND: We’ll take two today. First one from Indira Lakshmanan of Bloomberg.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. We wanted to ask, if the Arab League or others were determined that they had to arm the Syrian opposition to stop the government violence being inflicted upon the people, would the U.S. accept that?

And in Egypt, American NGO workers have been charged and a trial date has been set. Are you confident the situation can be resolved before a trial and avoid a cutoff of U.S. aid to Egypt?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Indira, first with respect to Syria, I had the opportunity over the last two days to discuss Syria with a number of my colleagues. And we are all working toward the planned Friends of Syria meeting at the end of this week, which we think will give us a chance to come together and chart a way forward.

I think, like the UN General Assembly resolution that passed overwhelmingly last week, the upcoming meeting will demonstrate that Assad’s regime is increasingly isolated and that the brave Syrian people need our support and solidarity. Their suffering has to be addressed, so we have to focus on humanitarian issues and think of the best ways to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid. We have to work toward an inclusive, democratic process to lead a transition. Every group of Syrians needs to feel that they are represented, that their interests will be respected. We have to prepare for the likelihood that the Syrian regime is going to be under increasing pressure, which will create perhaps more space for all of us to push hard on a transition. And we will intensify our diplomatic outreach to those countries that are still supporting the Assad regime.

This is a challenging process, but mostly for the people of Syria, who every day are living with the results of this brutal crackdown that they are suffering under. So I don’t want to get ahead of the meeting that will be a very large gathering that will demonstrate, once again, the international unity in the face of the Assad regime. We’ll send a clear message to Russia, China, and others, who are still unsure about how to handle the increasing violence, but are, up until now, unfortunately, making the wrong choices. And I think we’ll have more to say as we go through this week and after the meeting.

With respect to Egypt and the NGO situation, I’m not going to speculate on the next steps based on press reports. I want you to understand clearly that we are not only deeply concerned about the situation as it affects not only Americans who are working in NGOs in Egypt, but other nationalities and even Egyptians who have been charged in this case. We’ve had a senior team in Cairo in recent days trying to work through the issues so that they can be resolved as soon as possible. And I think it’s probably better just to continue the hard work of our engagement and hope that we’ll see a resolution soon.

MS. NULAND: Last question, Silva Garduno of Reforma.

QUESTION: Hello.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hi.

QUESTION: Good afternoon. My questions are related to organized crime. How do you think a forum like this, like G-20, should address transnational organized crime? In this sense, well, last week President Calderon sent a very graphic message about stopping the traffic of arms from the U.S. The sign actually read, “No more weapons in the border.” What is your answer to that message?

And finally, and very briefly, what do you think about organized crime infiltrating the highest levels of government in Mexico? And by this, I mean Mexican former governors of border states with the U.S. currently being investigated. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, those are very important questions. And I want to begin by underscoring our support for the courage that President Calderon, the Mexican Government, law enforcement officials, and others have shown in their struggle against these criminal cartels. This is an important struggle, and we are doing all we can to support the Mexican Government as they, slowly but surely, gain ground against transnational crime.

We also believe strongly that transnational crime is a global threat. It’s not just a threat in Mexico or – name any other country. These gangs certainly operate across national boundaries. They pose a serious danger to law-abiding people and governments everywhere. So we are determined to assist the Mexican Government in their very courageous struggle against the cartels. And that means helping to stop the flow of illegal drugs and weapons to and from the cartels that fuel the violence here and elsewhere.

We’ve certainly increased our cooperation, and I would argue we’ve improved our assistance to be responsive to what Mexican Government officials tell us is needed. We are in much more close contact and really following the lead of our Mexican counterparts. We have an aggressive pursuit of illegal gunrunners who operate in the United States. Our goal is to end all illegal movement of guns across our border.

And in fact, President Obama has placed and increased emphasis on stemming the outbound flows of weapons and the flow of criminal proceeds from both weapons and, more significantly, the drug trade. Specials Customs – special Customs and Border Protection teams at the U.S. border are screening outbound rail and vehicle traffic for weapons and bulk currency. We are using cutting-edge technology to screen 100 percent of rail traffic headed into Mexico, and we’ve placed Border Enforcement Security teams along the border to investigate the organizations that are involved in cross-border smuggling.

The United States and Mexico share responsibility for our common border. Most of the times, it’s a border that a billion dollars a day in trade passes across, literally millions of contacts between people, and we want to keep it a vibrant, dynamic border while we work continuously to eliminate the threats that pass back and forth into both of our countries.

So I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but we have a long way to go, because these are violent, vicious gangs. It’s heartbreaking what they are willing to do to fellow human beings. There has been a lot of progress because of the Mexican Government’s leadership in bringing down a lot of the leadership of these gangs.

But we have no illusions about the necessity for the United States to be a strong partner with Mexico. And that includes, certainly on our side of the border, seeking out and arresting corrupt officials and supporting Mexican officials to do the same. Because it is just totally unacceptable that any officials would be profiting from this kind of violence and the terrible results that it has had for so many people in Mexico.

But I just want to end by saying that I think – I have a lot of confidence in the Mexican people and I have no reason to doubt that, as we’ve seen in other countries, Mexico will be successful.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

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Remarks at the Signing of the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Los Cabos, Mexico
February 20, 2012

Good morning. It’s a great pleasure to be here for the signing of this groundbreaking agreement. And I am honored that President Calderon is here with us. Thank you, sir, for being here. It is under your leadership and the leadership of President Obama that we pursue this important agreement. And I want to thank my friend and colleague, Secretary Espinosa, with whom I have worked very closely over the last years, for all of her important participation. And thanks, too, to Secretary Herrera and Secretary Salazar and all of our teams who worked tirelessly to achieve this.

I often say that foreign policy must deliver concrete results for the people of our countries, and today we are doing just that – following through on the commitment that Presidents Calderon and Obama made in 2010 to improve energy security for both countries and to ensure a safe, efficient, responsible exploration of the oil and gas reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico.

At a time when we are working hard to both secure energy supplies and shift to more environmentally appropriate means of extracting fossil fuels, but also adding immeasurably to our search for renewable energy, this agreement is a win-win. These reservoirs could hold considerable reserves that would benefit the United States and Mexico alike.

But they don’t necessarily stop neatly at either of our maritime boundaries, which could lead to disputes that would then interfere with our countries and companies doing the hard work of discovering what is available to us. If a reservoir straddles the boundary, then there would be disputes over who should do the extraction and how much they should extract. The agreement we sign today helps prevent such disputes. It also helps promote the safe, efficient, and equitable exploration and production of cross-boundary reservoirs. Each country maintains its own right to develop its own resources.

But this agreement creates new opportunities. And for the first time, American companies will be able to collaborate with PEMEX, their Mexican counterpart. In tough times like these, we need to make the most of every opportunity to create jobs, to foster economic growth and energy security, while managing our resources and our environment responsibly for future generations.

Our actions today are further proof of how Mexico and the United States come together to solve shared challenges. From our earliest days, the Gulf of Mexico has been a source of unity for our peoples and our countries. And the steps we are taking today will help make sure it remains that way for decades to come.

Again, thank you very much to all who helped make this agreement a reality. (Applause.)

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UPDATE:  I was a day off when I wrote this.  Secretary Clinton is remaining in Los Cabos through the third session on MONDAY!  Then she will return for this event which begins on Tuesday.  Forgive me for being a little disoriented datewise.  I am dealing with a great many deadlines right now and tend to push things ahead a little mentally so that I think I have less time than I really do!  Sorry for the mix-up.

******************************************************************************************************

We were prepared, via Friday’s press briefing, for no statements to be issued from the ministerial G-20 in Los Cabos, but there are not even any photos so far.  Just guessing, but Mme. Secretary is probably on her way back to D.C. since she had to leave before the final session in order to prepare for tomorrow when she is hosting this.

Secretary Clinton to Host Global Business Conference

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 17, 2012

On February 21-22, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the first-ever State Department Global Business Conference. The Conference will bring together senior officials from U.S. business support organizations from over 100 countries; U.S. private sector executives focused on international business; and senior U.S. government leaders from the White House, the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury and Energy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Building on the President’s agenda to accelerate America’s economic renewal, the Conference will highlight how the U.S. government can promote U.S. businesses abroad, increase U.S. exports, attract new investment to the United States, and create American jobs.

The first day of the event will feature sessions on export promotion, increasing foreign investment in the United States, creating public-private partnerships, facilitating business and leisure travel to the United States, and key policy topics of interest to businesses abroad. The second day will include breakout sessions, hosted by the State Department’s regional Assistant Secretaries, to discuss regional strategies to advance shared economic interests.

Keynote remarks by Secretary Clinton and Boeing Company Chairman, President, and CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. (12:45 p.m.) – Benjamin Franklin Room

The Secretary’s remarks will be livestreamed on state.gov.

Well, even though I have no pictures from the G-20,  I liked this one from Friday.  Lovely!  How does anybody look this beautiful without having weekends off and flying all over the globe?

Thank you for all of your hard work, Mme. Secretary.  Have a safe trip home!

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Just a  few pictures so far, but pretty enough to share!  Love this coat!

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton steps off her plane as she arrives in Los Cabos, Mexico, for the G20 foreign ministers summit, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by U.S. Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne and his wife Pamela as she arrives in Los Cabos, Mexico, for the G20 foreign ministers summit, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks with U.S. Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne, left, and Mexico's Chief of Protocol Jorge Castro-Valle Huene as she arrives in Los Cabos, Mexico, for the G20 foreign ministers summit, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

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Organized by Mexico’s Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, the inaugural meeting of foreign ministers of G-20 nations and other selected invitees  will not bear the heft and influence of  traditional G-20s,  but will follow a less formal protocol.  No major policy decisions will be made,  no seminal communiques will be issued, and the focus will be on broad non-financial global issues. As outlined by a senior State Department official today,

“This is going to focus on broad non-financial global issues, some of which have been discussed by G-20 leaders in the past, but some of which are new to the G-20 process or at least have not been emphasized to any great degree, including some broad economic governance issues, some environmental issues, development policy, and green growth….”

Secretary Clinton is expected to address a number of themes about which she has spoken in depth over that past year including include protections, regulations, subsidies to either state-owned or state-supported companies, and intellectual property piracy.

The official went on to state:

“… this, really, is designed to say look, in the 21st century, a lot of the barriers to trade, a lot of the distortions to trade, are not the ones that we’re focused on largely in the 20thcentury, which were at the border. Many of these are behind the border measures that tend to distort trade, tend to distort investment, work to the disadvantage not only of American companies but of other private sector companies around the world. So we’re not saying we’re forcing you or encouraging you to play by rules that we come up with, that we dictate. What we’re simply saying is that there are global rules. These global rules and norms have been established for years, and it’s very important for players in the global system to play by global rules and adhere to global norms. So this is one of the major themes that she’s going to talk about in terms of economic governance and will focus on in her initial comments.

Then, there are going to be other sessions in which she’s going to highlight the following subjects. One, the fight against climate change, specifically the initiative on short-term pollutants that she launched yesterday, and she’ll emphasize the importance of a positive outcome to the Rio+20 summit, which all of you know is something we’ve been working very hard on here in the Department and other agencies of government also. She’ll also address the need to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime security to promote a well-functioning global economy. And she’ll also address some governance issues like fight against corruption and bribery.”

He went on to note that Mme. Secretary will be leaving the conference prior to the final session because she must get back to Washington because

“… the next day she has the first-ever Global Business Conference that she is going to be hosting, where we have representatives, business leaders, business facilitators from over a hundred countries coming to Washington to discuss global business issues, trade, investment, and the global rules for improving the global system to enhance business opportunities for American companies, and indeed, the global system as a whole. So, that’s another event.”

Yes, it is, and it is another week without a weekend to rest. (Just sayin’.) HRC’s diligence is simply amazing. I did see an unsubstantiated report from a foreign source that she will be traveling next weekend as well to attend a conference on Syria. She works so hard. The senior spokesperson did make this point in his remarks.

“… the reason the Mexicans called this is to have the opportunity for these ministers to reflect on important challenges facing the global community. And as you see, the kinds of things she’ll be discussing are challenges that face the global community, and her leadership in this process is very important at this meeting and it will strengthen our voice in various fora going forward on these types of issues.”

I simply cannot see who is going to fill those little kitten heels when she leaves!

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