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Remarks to Investors Luncheon

 

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Sae-A Administration Building

Caracol, Haiti

October 22, 2012

 


(In progress) the formal dedication. With me is Senator Patrick Leahy. Senator Leahy, who has been – (applause) – a stalwart champion of support for Haiti; and Secretary Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor – (applause) – which (inaudible) as well in Haiti. And I think people know our great ambassador, Pam White, and her predecessor, Ambassador Ken Merten, who’s also here. (Applause.) And I don’t know where she is, but my chief of staff and the principal driver of (inaudible) what we’ve done in the Obama Administration, Cheryl Mills, as well. (Applause.)

Mr. President and Prime Minister Lamothe, thank you both for championing (inaudible) has done, which has been so critically important. I can’t help but recognize we have three presidents. President Preval is here somewhere in the crowd as well. (Applause.) (Inaudible.) And then, of course, President Clinton (inaudible). (Applause.) He and I first came to Haiti a very long time ago together. (Laughter.)

And I hope that what all of you have seen today – the expo, the industrial park, the housing development – has made very clear something we’ve been saying to everyone: Haiti is truly open for business, and we want your help. We see this partnership between governments like our own and the private sector as absolutely essential in promoting and supporting long-term prosperity in Haiti. We know very well that long-term prosperity cannot come from just the provision of aid; there must be trade and investment like we have seen here today.

So in our work in the Administration on behalf of Haiti, we have looked for ways to promote sustainable economic growth. And we have also partnered in a serious manner with the government, because clearly, we wanted our priorities to be following Haitian priorities. That’s the only way that those will be lasting accomplishments for the people of Haiti.

Now, in the years to come, there will be demand for more infrastructure, whether it’s building roads, expanding the power grid, or improving and even building ports. There’s a lot of opportunity in crafts and artisan work, in tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing, an untapped labor market that you’ve already seen here in Sae-A, and other companies that are setting up here. And of course, Haiti has an unmatched trading partner in the United States just a few hundred miles away.

For our part, the United States is encouraging more investment in Haiti by cutting down trade barriers for textile and apparel exports, and we’re also doing it in a way that respects the country’s environment and resources, re-invests in communities, and makes it clear we’re here for the long term.

A single building was not here a year ago, and now more than a thousand Haitians are coming to work. This is something that is remarkable. In fact, four months ago, the plane I flew in on could not have landed at the new airport in Cap Haitien. And today, its expansion is going to open up even more opportunities.

So it gives me great pleasure not only to encourage you to invest in Haiti but to introduce President Martelly, who has shown us the commitment from the Haitian Government and turned a slogan – “Haiti is Open for Business” – into a reality.

Mr. President. (Applause.)

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They are teasing us!  There now is only this short clip   I love the way Bill Clinton rests his cheek on his hand when she speaks.

Remarks at the Caracol Industrial Park Opening Ceremony

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Caracol, Haiti
October 22, 2012

Good afternoon, and what an extraordinary honor and pleasure it is to be here with all of you today to celebrate Haiti’s progress with three presidents. It’s a little unusual, don’t you think? (Applause.) I want to begin by thanking President Martelly for his leadership and his vision and his passion – (applause) – about the people of his country and for your administration’s commitment to show the world Haiti is open for business. And I thank your Foreign Minister, who has been a great partner with you and with us. (Applause.)

We are also fortunate to have with us today former President Preval. It was President Preval who had the will to take this project from dream to reality. (Applause.) And it has been an honor working with you, sir, as well.

And of course, I want to thank the third president who is here. (Laughter.) As Bill told you, we came here for the first time together just after we were married and fell in love with Haiti, and have just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary at a beautiful garden wedding venues, which is exhausting to think about. (Laughter and applause.) It’s been an amazing experience from start to now – (applause) – and we have had a deep connection to and with Haiti ever since. So it gives me a special pleasure to be here with my husband, who has worked so hard on behalf of Haiti and its development, because he believes so much in the people of Haiti and the potential that exists within each and every man, woman, boy, and girl. (Applause.)

Let me thank our friend Luis Moreno, the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, and your terrific team for helping to shepherd this project, like so many others, to reality. Let me thank UTE Director General Michael De Landsheer and SONAPI Director General George Sassine and all the other partners and supporters in the Government of Haiti, in the private sector of Haiti, and in the community. Mayor, thank you for welcoming us all here today. (Applause.)

Now this has been a real whole-of-government effort on behalf of the Obama Administration. I’m particularly pleased to be joined by Senator Patrick Leahy, who I had the privilege of serving with in the United States Senate, the Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who I served with in the Congress. Representing USAID is the Deputy Director Don Steinberg and my Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, who has been, as others have already said, a real driver of our government’s support for everything that we see here today.

We have been united behind a single goal – making investments in this country’s people and your infrastructure that help put Haiti finally on the path to broad-based economic growth with a more vibrant private sector and less dependence on foreign assistance. And we believe that our work here in Haiti and here in the north is beginning to show results.

It is remarkable, as Luis said, that in January this was a construction site without a single structure. Now when we look at it, what we see is part of a broader effort by the Government of Haiti with support from international partners and the private sector. And what is happening here in Caracol is already having ripple effects that will create jobs and opportunities far beyond this industrial park.

As we walked through the factory and saw some of the more than 1,000 Haitians working here, many of whom are women who have never held a job in the formal economy before, I could think, as I do all over the world, what that will mean to their families and their children. Children will go to school, will be healthier, will have more of their own dreams fulfilled because their mothers had good jobs. So this is, indeed, a great day, not only for those who are already working, but for those who they are supporting.

And I too want to thank Sae-A, because Sae-A took a decision that was something of a risk, never having worked in Haiti before, after a tremendous natural disaster that was so devastating. But they brought their expertise and they brought their commitment. And Chairman Kim, we thank you for everything that you and the leadership of Sae-A is doing. (Applause.) Thank you, (inaudible).

But let me hasten to add that while jobs are critically important, that is just the beginning. In addition to effective government, Haiti needs a strong justice sector, free and fair elections, housing, energy, schools, health care – all of which will serve the people of Haiti, but also attract even more investment.

So we are working with the Government of Haiti and a wide range of public and private partners not only to build affordable homes with clean running water, flush toilets, and reliable electricity, but also built to resist hurricanes and earthquakes. And we’re partnering with CEMEX and others to make low-cost loans and supplies to help families renovate and expand their homes.

Homes that have never had electricity before are now powered by a 10 million-megawatt thermal plant. Eventually, as many as 100,000 people will benefit, and the power plant will grow to provide 25 million megawatts of energy. Now, in a country where today 12 percent of the people have regular and legal access to the grid, that is a truly game-changing accomplishment.

Plans for a new container port are also moving forward, with a team of engineers, marine biologists, and economists working together.

Now, in the United States, we pride ourselves on the promise of the American dream. And we have seen many Haitian Americans achieve that American dream. When I was a senator from New York, I had so many successful Haitian Americans whom I represented in every walk of life, every business, and every profession. And what I saw in my Haitian American friends and constituents was a drive, a drive to have a better tomorrow.

Now, Haitians here in Haiti have the very same drive. And what we want to do is create the Haitian dream for every person willing to work for it, to give them and their children a better future. (Applause.)

So this is a good day, a day that took a while to get to, a day that was filled with so many challenges, but persistence in overcoming them, a day that has already seen the first 67,000 garments shipped under preferences given by the United States to products coming from Haiti. And I think it’s fair to say that we want to make this a model not just for Haiti, but for the world about what can be done when people do work together, when they put aside their political differences and join hands on behalf of the better future that we all seek.

Now, no one should have any illusion that this is a perfect project. What development project anywhere in the world is? And there will be frustration from time to time. But for all of the inevitable challenges, today and the development here represents a new opportunity for Haiti. And I am grateful that the people and the Government of Haiti are prepared to see this.

We have made a decision in this Administration to make Haiti a foreign policy priority. When I became Secretary of State, I looked at the billions of dollars of foreign assistance that the United States spends around the world. And I asked myself why the results didn’t always create meaningful and sustainable change in the lives of the people. So we redirected our efforts to work with Haiti, not just in Haiti, to listen to the Haitians, to work with the Haitian Government – first under President Preval, now under President Martelly – to make sure that our priorities were Haiti’s priorities, and to give the Haitian people their voice, so that as we made decisions in Washington, we were doing it together.

Now it is up to the people and leaders of Haiti to sustain and build on this progress. After all, it always comes down to what people will do for themselves. But I think we’re off to a very good start together, and the United States is committed to the work we are doing here. We believe in Haiti’s promise and the dream that every Haitian should be able to feel.

And our partnership, I promise you, will extend far beyond my time as Secretary of State. And so, too, will the personal commitment that my husband and I have to Haiti. I look forward to us being good partners to the Haitian people for years to come and seeing the progress that you will make, along with your friends from around the world who believe in you.

It is now my great pleasure to introduce someone who is the chief believer and dreamer, President Martelly. (Applause.)

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Public Schedule for October 22, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
October 22, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE

MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Caracol, Haiti. Accompanying her are Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Senator Patrick Leahy. Also traveling with her are Counselor Mills, Special Representative Lewis, Special Coordinator for Haiti Tom Adams, Spokesperson Nuland, Director Sullivan, and Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Miguel Rodriguez.

11:55 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton visits the Caracol EKAM Housing Site, in Caracol, Haiti.
(POOLED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Haitian President Michel Martelly, in Caracol, Haiti.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

1:05p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Investor Lunch hosted by the IDB, in Caracol, Haiti.
(POOLED PRESS COVERAGE)

1:25 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton tours the Sae-A Factory, in Caracol, Haiti.
(POOLED PRESS COVERAGE)

1:50 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the Caracol Industrial Park Opening Ceremony, in Caracol, Haiti.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)
3:10 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton visits a Caracol Industrial Park Power Plant, in Caracol, Haiti.
(POOLED PRESS COVERAGE)

According to some sources her escort includes a certain silver-haired gent ….

Haiti to Officially Open Caracol Industrial Park, Joined by Bill and Hillary Clinton

October 21, 2012 | 10:00 pm | Print

Above: construction on the park earlier this year

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti is officially inaugurating the Caracol Industrial Park Monday, the opening of what is hoped to become a job creator in the country.

Haiti resident Michel Martelly is leading the inauguration of the park, which is in Haiti’s northeastern region, along with Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Commerce Minister Wilson Laleau.

Headlining the ceremony will be US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, along with Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno.

Read more >>>>

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Secretary Clinton to Travel to Haiti

 

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 19, 2012

 


 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to northern Haiti on October 22. This marks the Secretary’s first trip to the North of Haiti. She will highlight leveraging of diplomacy by the Department in support of innovative USAID development models, which focus on partnering with the Government of Haiti, international partners, the private sector and non-governmental organizations to catalyze economic development.

The Secretary will deliver remarks on “A New Day in Haiti” at the formal opening of Caracol Industrial Park, showcasing the region’s achievements in agri-business, energy, light manufacturing, tourism and artisan crafts. She will also visit a nearby housing site that is under construction, as well as a recently-completed power plant that will supply electricity to the industrial park and nearby areas. While in Haiti, the Secretary will meet with President Michel Martelly, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, local and national elected officials, investors, and community members. Secretary Clinton will be accompanied by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

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Remarks With Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe After Their Meeting


Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
July 24, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Well, good morning. It’s a great personal pleasure for me to have this opportunity to welcome the Prime Minister of Haiti. Prime Minister Lamothe is someone who comes to this job on behalf of his country with a lot of private sector experience, a lot of commitment. And we are delighted to be working with you.As some of you know, when I came into office as Secretary, I made Haiti a foreign policy priority and committed to working to change the way that we partnered with Haiti, moving from working in Haiti to working with Haiti. And in the 30 months – actually, more than that, because we started before the earthquake. And then once the earthquake happened, we scrambled to make sure we were being a good partner in helping Haiti recover from such devastation, but at the same time, working with them to help build a firm foundation for more prosperity and stability.

So today, the Prime Minister and I had a chance to take stock of what we have accomplished together, along with Haiti’s other international supporters, and to discuss the way forward. Haiti is working very hard to overcome extreme poverty, very, very high unemployment, the devastating natural disaster, and so much more. Some of these challenges existed before the earthquake, but they were exacerbated by the disaster. And while we want to highlight the progress we’ve made together, we cannot ignore what more lies ahead in terms of the challenges facing Haiti and its leaders. We have focused our work in four critical areas: agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure, and the rule of law.

Through our Feed the Future Initiative, we’ve helped nearly 10,000 farmers access improved seeds, fertilizer, and introduce new techniques for better productivity. And for those farmers, production has already increased. Rice yields have more than doubled; corn yields have more than quadrupled. Our goal is to help 100,000 farmers over the next few years.

Working with Haiti and its partners in the health sector, we have had to work hard and have succeeded in greatly reducing the fatality rate of the cholera epidemic from 9 percent to just over 1 percent. But we know that the only way to stop cholera long term is through improved water and sanitation. So we’re working with the Inter-American Development Bank and other donors on water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. And we’re working to upgrade health clinics in Haiti and to renovate the general hospital in Port-au-Prince in partnership with France.

In the infrastructure sector, we’ve removed more than two million cubic meters of rubble. We’ve worked with the Haitian Government to help return more than one million internally displaced persons to temporary shelters and safer homes. We’re also working hard with our Haitian partners to build up Haiti’s economy, building infrastructure that will expand and diversify the economic base.

In northern Haiti, the new Caracol Industrial Park is a landmark project that captures an integrated, sustainable approach to economic development. The park is drawing companies and will create more than 20,000 new jobs for Haitians. The first factory in the park has already begun operations; a second tenant has just signed up. Construction is underway on a new settlement in the area with more than 1,200 homes designed to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes, each with electricity, potable water, and flush sanitation.

And finally, in the rule of law sector the international community has provided critical support during Haiti’s elections for president and parliament – and we have the president of the senate here with us today – to ensure that the votes of the people of Haiti are counted. President Martelly and the Prime Minister and the parliament are demonstrating real leadership in making these reforms. The government has successfully stood up the superior judiciary council, making this government the first with all three branches functioning since 1987.

And today, the Prime Minister and I discussed the importance of the upcoming elections for local officials and the senate. And we talked about the continued need for police reform, border security, judicial reform, and the other important elements of stability that Haiti is committed to. Haitians have been in the lead at each step. This is something I believe in very strongly, that in the 21st century, country ownership, country priorities, country agenda setting, is absolutely essential. The United States can be helpful, but what’s really important is building the capacity of the Haitian Government and the Haitian society so they can have the means and the experience and the expertise to solve their own problems.

As I said to the Prime Minister, as I’ve said many times, Haitians are among the most creative, most vital, most hardworking people in the world. We have benefited so greatly from Haitian Americans in our country as many other countries have as well. Haiti has also, unfortunately, been the leading country in the world for brain drain. More Haitian college graduates have left Haiti, per capita, than any other country in the world. When you think of the talent that Haiti has produced that benefits us and others, what we want to do is make it possible for any bright, young, ambitious Haitian to stay home and to build his or her country. And we are excited by the progress we’re making. We are clear-eyed about the challenges we face, but we look forward to a future where every single Haitian has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential in the country they are from and love.

So Prime Minister, personally, I want to thank you for what you are doing with your leadership to bring that day closer.

PRIME MINISTER LAMOTHE: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. And I want to thank you for your leadership, the leadership that you’ve shown into promoting Haiti, and not only for the leadership, but for the love also that you’ve shown toward the Haitian people, the compassion that the United States is showing toward Haiti, and the support that the U.S. is giving to Haiti is greatly appreciated.

My office, my – the Prime Minister’s office, the President is deeply touched also by the appreciation. The respect that you give to Haitians is very important to us. The respect that we get from you, from your government, will go a long way and has. Of course, we’re celebrating 150 years of relationship when President Abraham Lincoln recognized the independence of Haiti and Haitians, and we just celebrated on the 12th of July, and we’re very happy about that and very proud of that.

The U.S. is doing a lot of good things in Haiti. The Northern Industrial Park is a development model that we want to replicate and that we want to support. The unemployment rate, as you well said, Madam Secretary, is at 52 percent. Fifty-two percent of the Haitian people are looking for jobs and are not finding the opportunities for the job, and when Haitians are given the opportunities, they succeed. The Northern Industrial Park will give, as you said, 20,000 jobs, direct jobs. But out of the direct jobs in Haiti, you get a (inaudible) of 10 to 20 percent. That means over 1 to 200,000 people will benefit from that park. That’s why it’s important to not only promote the park, but seek additional tenants and improve the capacity of that park to make it a big success. And once it’s inaugurated in October – and we’re looking forward to your visit – we assure that the rest of the world will see what us Haitians see, which is a success story.

We have – we’ve committed – the Haitian Government – the new Haitian Government is committed to improving the fight against corruption, which we’ve made as our number one priority – education, fight against extreme poverty. Too many Haitians are living in difficult circumstances with less than a dollar a day. We’re thinking about them, and we’re coming up with programs – social protection programs to assist them in the plight of a better life.

So I want to take this opportunity and the platform to thank also President Clinton for all the dedication and hard work and visits, and tripping in helicopters into the different parts to showcase what Haiti has that’s good, and to show that Haiti can be in the headlines for good things, not only bad things. And President Clinton has been a champion for that, and you, Madam Secretary, have also been on the forefront of promoting Haiti, and we thank you for that.

MS. NULAND: We’ll take three today. We’ll start with CBS, Cami McCormick.

QUESTION: Good morning, Madam Secretary. I wanted to ask you about the violence today in Aleppo in Syria. It’s been described as combat, fierce fighting. This no longer seems to be just a case of the regime oppressing civilians. It seems to be all-out war. What realistically can be done at this moment to stop the fighting and bring about a political solution? Is that even possible right now considering the conditions there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we are well aware that the pace of events is accelerating inside Syria. Over the weekend, one of the opposition’s military leaders announced that they would be engaged in all out – an all-out effort to take over Aleppo, which, as you know, is the second largest city in Syria.

So what we are trying to do with our likeminded friends is to continue pressuring the regime, continue pushing for humanitarian relief, because the flow of refugees is increasing. We obviously would have preferred doing all of this under a UN umbrella. Unfortunately, those who are still supporting Assad undermined Security Council action. Russia and China exercised their third double veto. And so we are working outside of the UN Security Council to send a clear message of support for the opposition. We are, as I’ve announced before, providing nonlethal assistance. We have every reason to believe this will be important in terms of communication, principally, but also medical support. We are also sending a very clear message about the international community’s rejection of any effort by the Assad regime to use chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

And we have to work closely with the opposition because more and more territory is being taken, and it will eventually result in a safe haven inside Syria, which will then provide a base for further actions by the opposition. And so the opposition has to be prepared. They have to start working on interim governing entities. They have to commit to protecting the rights of all Syrians – every group of Syrians. They have to set up humanitarian response efforts that we can also support. They’ve got to safeguard the chemical and biological weapons that we know the Syrian regime has.

And there’s a lot to be done, so we’re working across many of these important pillars of a transition that is inevitable. It would be better if it happened sooner – both because fewer people would die or be injured, but also because it would perhaps prevent sectarian retribution and other kinds of breakdown in stability.

So I think it’s important to look at these day-after issues, and that’s what we are trying to do. And we want to see a democratic, peaceful, pluralistic Syria and have that country demonstrate a commitment to that kind of future, but we know we have some hard times ahead of us.

MS. NULAND: Next question from the Haitian side. Flory Anne Isaac, TNH.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Good morning, Madam Secretary, Mr. Prime Minister. My question is mainly directed to my fellow citizens. My question is regarding a very important issue for them, namely the temporary protection status – TPS. I was wondering if you have any good news to announce in that regard. Do you have any good news to announce to my fellow citizens on this measure taken by the Obama Administration?

And secondly, Madam Secretary, I have question for you. You have visited more than 100 countries in the course of your time as Secretary of State. Does that make you a new person, and what lessons have you drawn from all that travel?

PRIME MINISTER LAMOTHE: In that – the TP —

SECRETARY CLINTON: The TPS. Yeah, yeah.

PRIME MINISTER LAMOTHE: The TPS.

SECRETARY CLINTON: As you know, we granted TPS; we are watching this very closely. It is a matter that the Obama Administration takes very seriously. There’s no new news to report, but there is a very vigorous effort that we are engaged in to ensure that the Haitian people are not put at a disadvantage going forward. But that is still in the process of being worked through. As you know, I don’t get the final decision on this. That’s elsewhere in our government. But we are well-aware of the burdens that any other decision at this time would pose.

With respect to your question, which is really an intriguing one that I haven’t been able to think enough about, I have been very honored to represent the United States now in so many places around the world. And what I see and what I hope to convey is how in many ways there is an opportunity for progress for people that has not been readily available before. We know so much more about what works, and we have learned many lessons.

I was telling the Prime Minister that there are countries that have been through terrible experiences – Rwanda, for example – that are now making good domestic decisions to help their people. And the fight against corruption is a universal fight. The fight for greater employment and economic opportunity is a universal fight. The fight to improve government and services and to have the revenues obtained in an honest way is a universal challenge.

So much of what Haiti is doing now I know can work, because I have seen that. And as the Prime Minister kindly said, my husband and I have a very big place in our hearts for Haiti and we want to see Haiti succeed. But what it comes down to is good leadership and responsible citizenship. First, you have to have good leaders who are leading in the right way, who represent the will of their people, who are prepared to make difficult decisions. But then you also have to have responsible citizens who understand change is hard – it does not happen overnight – and who are prepared to do their part.

So I’ve seen successes and failures, and I am very optimistic that Haiti is in the success category.

Do you want to add anything, Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER LAMOTHE: We are committed to doing the right thing. Haiti’s government in the past have made a lot of bad decisions as well about governance that created a situation where Haiti depends on international assistance for just about everything. Today, we’re making decisions away from that. We are building our capacity to collect our own revenues, increase the tax revenues, increase the custom duty revenue, decrease spending on energy subsidies to increase, again, government revenues. So we are focusing on the revenue side, and the government is putting together a comprehensive energy policy that will give electricity throughout the island and distribution of the electricity to everybody, just like what happened in the phone system, where 20 years ago it was very difficult to get a telephone line. Today, over 5 million Haitians have a phone. Businesses have increased, and doing business has been easier because of that. Today is the same case for the energy. We are dedicated and we are committed to providing electricity all over the country and prepaid meters so that everybody has access to the electricity.

And of course, we are thinking of the voiceless, those that don’t have the opportunity to ever speak, the most vulnerable ones, in a very aggressive anti-poverty strategy that currently we have a program that’s called Dear Little Mother that affects 100,000 – that positively impacts 100,000 moms in Haiti in a conditional cash transfer, so they get a cash transfer every month so long as their child is and remains in school. And after six months, the child graduates but the child has to be vaccinated to stay in the program. So it (inaudible) good behavior and child attendance in school.

We are also working on social protection programs like school canteens. We are trying to increase working with AID to increase the number of children that are getting a meal every day. So basic policies but that go a long way into assisting those who need it the most.

MS. NULAND: Last one today. Arshad Mohammed from Reuters.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, another question on Syria. In your remarks at the Holocaust Museum this morning, you said that the Administration is now doing more to assist the opposition. You mentioned just now communications and medical assistance. What exactly additionally are you doing? Does it include the provision of intelligence? Does it include helping them mount attacks or defend themselves?

Secondly, you said that it would be unfortunate if Assad and his circle were to conclude that this is an existential struggle. From the outside, it certainly does look like a life-and-death struggle. What exactly did you mean by that? I suppose one possibility might be that you want to send a signal to the Sunni majority that if they prevail, they should not engage in sectarian violence afterwards; there shouldn’t be score settling. I suppose another possibility is you’re trying to signal to Assad and his inner circle there’s still a way out of this for them. But what exactly were you thinking of with that remark?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, those are two good options, Arshad. I would associate myself with your comments. I think that we do believe that it is not too late for the Assad regime to commence with planning for a transition, to find a way that ends the violence by beginning the kind of serious discussions that have not occurred to date. We think it’s very important that the opposition fighters, as they get better organized and expand their presence more broadly, send a message that this is for the benefit of all Syrians, not for any group, not engage in any reprisals and retribution that could lead to even greater violence than currently is taking place.

We think it’s important to better coordinate the work that is going on in the region, especially with the increasing refugee flows, and we are intently focused on that, working with Jordan and Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq; making it clear to all of those who are helping to see an end to this conflict that everybody needs to express the same views about what we want to see next; that no one should be seeking advantage to the detriment of anyone else inside of Syria.

So when I say that – we obviously spent a good amount of time working to find a way that Russia and China could move forward with us in the Security Council. That is on the far backburner right now. So when I say we are doing more, we have moved our efforts into other arenas and with other partners. We still would like to see the Security Council act because we think it would be to the – certainly, to the benefit of the people of Syria, but also to the credit of the Security Council. But if that’s not in the cards for the foreseeable future, then we will intensify our efforts with the Arab League, with the neighbors, with the Friends of Syria, with the justice and accountability unit we’re starting, with the UN Commission of Inquiry, with the Sanctions Working Group, with all the other elements that are not affected by the failure to act in the Security Council, and that’s what we’re doing.

QUESTION: Does that include intelligence or military assistance of any sort, even if nonlethal?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are certainly providing communications that we know is going to people within Syria so that they can be better organized to protect themselves against the continuing assault of their own government.

Thank you all.

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Remarks at the Special Operations Command Gala Dinner

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Tampa, Florida
May 23, 2012

ADM MCRAVEN: Thank you, Steve. Well, good evening, everyone, and welcome to tonight’s gala dinner. Before I begin, please join me in a round of applause for the staff of the Tampa Convention Center and the action officers from USSOCOM who worked so very hard to make this event a great success. (Applause.)

To our international guests, our local, state, and national leaders, our guests from industry, and the National Defense Industrial Association, thank you for making this event a priority in your busy schedule, and for your continued support to Special Operations.

Now I have the great privilege of introducing our guest speaker, a woman who has spent virtually her entire life in the service of our country and in the service of the greater international community. She was the first lady of the state of Arkansas, the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator from the great state of New York, and since 2009, she has held the position as the U.S. Secretary of State.

In a Time Magazine article last month, she was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. In that Time article, the former Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, said of her, and I quote, “In a world that is ever more complex, turbulent, and dangerous, Secretary Clinton has made a singular contribution to strengthening this country’s relationships with allies, partners, and friends, rallying other countries to join us in dealing with challenges to the global order from Libya to Iran to the South China Sea, and reaching out to the people in scores continue – in scores of countries to demonstrate that America cares about them.”

No Secretary in recent memory has had to deal with more international challenges than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Arab Spring, to the always difficult and challenging North Korea and Iran. In spite of these challenges, she has made incredible strides in safeguarding democratic reforms in Burma, advancing women’s rights around the globe, and reshaping the State Department to align the incredible power of our diplomats, the civilian power, with our already strong military power.

Secretary Clinton is beloved by the men and women in the U.S. military. She is our type of lady – a woman of uncompromising integrity who won’t back down from a good fight, particularly when it comes to matters of principle, a leader who is passionate about the welfare of the world’s less privileged, the disenfranchised, and the downtrodden, and a Secretary who deeply cares for her people and who is an incredibly strong supporter of our men and women in uniform.

Over the last few years, I have had several opportunities to work with Secretary Clinton on some of the United States’s most sensitive military missions. In each case, she listened intently to my advice. In each case, she was instrumental in the final decisions. And in each and every case, she never, ever wavered from her commitment to the American people. She is, without a doubt, one of the finest public servants ever to serve this great nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the United States Secretary of State, The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good evening. Good evening. It is a great honor for me to be here with you this evening. I want to thank Admiral McRaven for that introduction, but far more than that, for his remarkable service to our country, from leading an underwater demolition SEAL platoon to heading the Joint Special Operations Command. He’s doing a terrific job as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command. (Applause.) Many of you know, as Admiral McRaven knows, that it takes real guts to run a mission deep into hostile territory, full of potential dangers. And of course, I’m talking about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (Laughter.)

I am pleased to be here with so many representatives to this conference from 90 countries around the world. Your participation is a testament to the important partnerships, and I am grateful that you are here. Because we face common challenges, we face common threats, and they cannot be contained by borders and boundaries.

You know that extremist networks squeezed in one country migrate to others. Terrorist propaganda from a cell in Yemen can incite attacks as far away as Detroit or Delhi. A flu in Macao can become an epidemic in Miami. Technology and globalization have made our countries and our communities interdependent and interconnected. And today’s threats have become so complex, fast-moving, and cross-cutting that no one nation could ever hope to solve them alone.

From the first days of this Administration, we have worked to craft a new approach to our national security that reflects this changing landscape, starting with better integrating the three Ds of our foreign policy and national security: diplomacy, development, and defense. And we call it smart power.

And I have been privileged to work with two secretaries of Defense, Bob Gates and Leon Panetta, and two chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen and Marty Dempsey, who understood and valued the role of diplomacy and development, who saw that we need to work to try to prevent conflict, help rebuild shattered societies, and lighten the load on our military.

For my part, first as a senator serving on the Armed Services Committee and now as Secretary of State, I have seen and admired the extraordinary service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. So we have made it a priority to have our soldiers, diplomats, and development experts work hand-in-hand across the globe. And we are getting better at coordinating budgets and bureaucracies in Washington as well.

To my mind, Special Operations Forces exemplify the ethic of smart power – fast and flexible, constantly adapting, learning new languages and cultures, dedicated to forming partnerships where we can work together. And we believe that we should work together wherever we can, and go it alone when we must. This model is delivering results.

Admiral McRaven talks about two mutually reinforcing strategies for Special Operations: the direct and the indirect. Well, we all know about the direct approach. Just ask the al-Qaida leaders who have been removed from the battlefield.

But not enough attention is paid to the quiet, persistent work Special Operations Forces are doing every single day along with many of you to build our joint capacity. You are forging relationships in key communities, and not just with other militaries, but also with civil society. You are responding to natural disasters and alleviating humanitarian suffering.

Now, some might ask what does all this have to do with your core mission of war fighting? Well, we’ve learned – and it’s been a hard lesson in the last decade – we’ve learned that to defeat a terror network, we need to attack its finances, recruitment, and safe havens. We also need to take on its ideology and diminish its appeal, particularly to young people. And we need effective international partners in both government and civil society who can extend this effort to all the places where terrorists hide and plot their attacks.

This is part of the smart power approach to our long fight against terrorism. And so we need Special Operations Forces who are as comfortable drinking tea with tribal leaders as raiding a terrorist compound. We also need diplomats and development experts who understand modern warfare and are up to the job of being your partners.

One of our senior Foreign Service officers, Karen Williams, is serving here in Tampa on Admiral McRaven’s staff. And under an agreement finalized this year, we are nearly doubling the number of military and Foreign Service officers who will be exchanged between the Departments of State and Defense. (Applause.) We know we need to better understand each other, and we know that through that better understanding there is even more we can do together.

When I served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was impressed by the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Reviews, called the QDR, which guided plans and priorities every four years. So when I became Secretary of State, I launched the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, and we call it the QDDR. Through it, we are overhauling the State Department and USAID to become more operational, more strategic in our use of resources and personnel, more expeditionary, and more focused on transnational threats.

Let me highlight a few examples. As part of the QDDR, we created a new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations that is working to put into practice lessons learned over the past decade and institutionalize a civilian surge capacity to deal with crises and hotspots.

Experts from this new bureau are working closely with Special Operations Forces around the world. I’ll give you, though, just this one example from Central Africa, where we are working together to help our African partners pursue Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. In fact, they were on the ground a few months before our troops arrived, building relationships in local communities. And because of their work, village chiefs and other leaders are actively encouraging defections from the Lord’s Resistance Army. Just a few weeks ago, our civilians and troops together helped one community set up its own radio station that is now broadcasting “come home” messages to the fighters. Our diplomats also saw that the UN staff in the region could be useful partners. So they worked through our team in Washington and New York to obtain new authorities for the UN officials on the ground and then link them up directly with our Special Operations Forces to share expertise and improve coordination. Now, this mission isn’t finished yet, but you can begin to see the potential when soldiers and diplomats live in the same camps and eat the same MREs. That is smart power in action.

Here’s another example. We know we need to do a better job contesting the online space, media websites and forums where al-Qaida and its affiliates spread their propaganda and recruit followers. So at the State Department, we’ve launched a new interagency Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. It’s housed at the State Department, but it draws on experts from the intelligence community and the Defense Department, including Special Operations Forces.

The nerve center in Washington is linking up to military and civilian teams around the world and serving as a force multiplier for our embassies’ communications efforts. Together, we are working to pre-empt, discredit, and outmaneuver extremist propagandists. A digital outreach team of tech savvy specialists – fluent in Urdu, Arabic, Somali – is already patrolling the web and using social media and other tools to expose the inherent contradictions in al-Qaida’s propaganda and also bring to light the abuses committed by al-Qaida, particularly the continuing brutal attacks on Muslim civilians.

For example, a couple of weeks ago, al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen began an advertising campaign on key tribal web sites bragging about killing Americans and trying to recruit new supporters. Within 48 hours, our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll al-Qaida attacks have taken on the Yemeni people. And we can tell that our efforts are starting to have an impact, because we monitor the extremists venting their frustration and asking their supporters not to believe everything they read on the Internet. (Applause.)

Now, this kind of ideological battle is slow and incremental, but I think it’s critical to our efforts, because what sustains al-Qaida and its terrorist affiliates is the steady flow of new recruits. They replace the terrorists you kill or capture so that they can plan new attacks. This is not about winning a popularity contest, but it is a simple fact that achieving our objectives is easier with more friends and fewer enemies. And I believe passionately that the truth is our friend. Exposing the lies and evil that rests at the heart of the terrorist narrative is absolutely to our advantage.

Now, we’ve also changed the way we do business on the civilian side to be better partners to you in the military. As part of our reorganization, we’ve created a full Counterterrorism Bureau at the State Department that is spearheading a diplomatic campaign around the world to increase local capacity of governments and to deny terrorists the space and financing they need to plan and carry out attacks.

This fits right in with the purpose of this conference: deepening international cooperation against terrorism and other shared challenges. As the threat from al-Qaida becomes more diffuse and distributed, shifting from the core to the affiliates, it is even more important to forge close ties with the governments and communities on the front lines and to help build up their counterterrorism capacity. After all, they often are better positioned than we are to provide services to their people, disrupt plots, and prosecute extremists, and they certainly often bear the brunt of terrorist attacks. So we need to build an international counterterrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries’. Admiral McRaven helped establish the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre, so I know he understands how important this is.

Each year, the State Department trains nearly 7,000 police, prosecutors, and counterterrorism officials from more than 60 countries, including frontline states like Yemen and Pakistan. We’re expanding our work with civil society organizations in specific terrorist hotspots – particular villages, prisons, and schools – to try to disrupt the process of radicalization by creating jobs, promoting religious tolerance, amplifying the voices of the victims of terrorism.

This whole effort goes hand-in-glove with the work of Special Operations Forces to train elite troops in places like the Philippines, Colombia, and Afghanistan under the Army Special Forces motto: By, with, and through. You’re doing this in one form or another in more than 100 countries around the world. And this work gives you a chance to develop a deeper understanding of local culture and customs, to learn the human domain as well as the physical terrain.

I’m impressed by the work of your Cultural Support Teams, highly-trained female Special Operations Forces who engage with local populations in sensitive areas like Afghanistan. This is part of our National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security that was developed jointly by the Departments of State, Defense, and others to capitalize on the contributions women everywhere can make to resolving conflicts and improving security. Around the world today, women are refusing to sit on the sidelines while extremism undermines their communities, steals their sons, kills their husbands, and destroys family after family. (Applause.) They’re joining police forces in Afghanistan. They’re writing newspaper articles in Yemen. They’re forming organizations such as Sisters Against Violent Extremism that has now spread to 17 countries. And we are committed to working with these women and doing everything we can to support their efforts as well.

We have to keep our international cooperation going and growing at every level. Next week I’ll be heading to Europe, and I’ll end up in Istanbul for the second meeting of the new Global Counterterrorism Forum, which we helped launch last year. Turkey and the United States serve as the founding co-chairs, and we’ve been joined by nearly 30 other nations. Together, we’re working to identify threats and weaknesses like porous borders, unchecked propaganda, and then devise solutions and mobilize resources. For example, the UAE has agreed to host a new center to develop best practices for countering extremism and radicalization.

Now, some of you in this room have come great distances to be here because you understand that we need a global effort to defeat a global terrorist network. And I thank you for that recognition and for your commitment.

I want to say just a final word about American Special Forces and to thank the admiral and every member of the United States Special Operations Forces who are here today – Army Rangers and Special Forces soldiers, Navy SEALs and Marine special operators, Air Force commandos, every one of you. So much of what you do, both the tremendous successes and the terrible sacrifices, will never be known by the citizens we serve. But I know what you do, and so do others who marvel and appreciate what it means for you to serve.

We’ve just passed the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed Usama bin Ladin. (Applause.) And I well remember those many hours in the Situation Room, the small group that was part of the planning and decision-making process with Admiral McRaven sitting there at the table with us. And I certainly remember that day. We were following every twist and turn of that mission. It was a day of stress and emotion, concern and commitment. I couldn’t help but think of all the people that I represented as a senator from New York serving on 9/11 and how much they and all of us deserved justice for our friends and our loved ones. I was thinking about America and how important it was to protect our country from another attack. But mostly, I was thinking of the men in the helicopters, praying for their safety as they risked their lives on that moonless Pakistani night.

And one thing that I am always proud of and that I hope is conveyed to our visitors and partners around the world: When you meet our special operators or when you meet members of our military or our diplomats and development experts, you will see every shade of skin color, every texture of hair, every color of eye. And if you spend a little time talking and getting to know that man or woman, you will find different parentage, different ethnicity, different religions, because we are Americans. And as Americans, we have a special opportunity and obligation in this interdependent, interconnected world to stand up for the universal rights and dignity of every person; to protect every man, woman, and child from the kind of senseless violence that terrorism inflicts; and also, frankly, to model.

In many places where we go, I as a Secretary of State or our special forces as members of our military, we see ancient disputes between tribes, ethnicities, religions, sex of the same religion, men and women. Just about every possible category is used all too often to separate people instead of finding common ground. If we have learned nothing in the last decade, we should certainly have learned that the terrorists are equal opportunity killers. They want to inflict terror on everyone who does not see the world from their particular narrow, outdated, dead-end worldview.

When you are pursuing a mission in partnership or on behalf of your own country, let us remember that we are on the right side of history. We are on the side of right. Your service is making the world safer for people to be who they are, to live their lives in peace and harmony. That is going to be the challenge of the 21st century. Will we once and for all recognize our common humanity and stand together against the forces of darkness or not? I’m betting we will. And I think it’s a pretty good bet, knowing that our Special Operations Forces and their partners are at the point of that spear.

Thank you for all that you do, not only to keep us safe and protect our ways of life but to demonstrate unequivocally that the world will not tolerate being undermined by those who refuse to recognize that we are truly one world of humanity that deserves the opportunity to pursue our rights and opportunities for a better life. I am very proud to be here to thank you. Thank you for keeping our nation safe and strong. Thank you for working to keep other nations safe and strong. Thank you for helping us build the world that our children deserve.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the commander will now present our guest of honor with a token of our appreciation.

ADM MCRAVEN: Madam Secretary, a small token of our appreciation for joining us here tonight. This is, as you quickly noted, our version of Excalibur, the sword and the stone. And of course, as legend has it, only the wisest and the bravest can pull the sword from the stone. My guess is it will come out easily in your hand. So thank you very much, ma’am, for joining us here tonight. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Admiral. (Applause.)

There are no photos available at the moment, and the video of the speech has not been published, but we do have a little news footage of Hillary in Tampa.  Clearly they were excited to have her visit there.

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Remarks Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
February 8, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a tremendous pleasure and honor for me to welcome Haiti’s prime minister. Prime Minister Conille is working very hard alongside President Martelly and other leaders in Haiti to give Haitians the future that they deserve, and we are proud to be your partner and your friend in this very important undertaking.And I look forward to continuing our conversations, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER CONILLE: Thank you very much for meeting with us. Thank you for (inaudible). I’m very, very happy to be here. And we’re very thankful for your government’s support to Haiti, not only after the earthquake, but for years and years. And we’re grateful for the opportunity to have these discussions.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.

PRIME MINISTER CONILLE: Thank you Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: My pleasure. Thank you all.

 

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