Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Hillary gave a TV interview and made an appearance at the Spark Arena in Auckland.

Hillary Clinton has ruled out running in the 2020 US presidential election but says she’ll be “very active” in this year’s mid-term elections.

The former US Secretary of State, former First Lady and America’s first ever female presidential candidate spoke to Hilary Barry on TVNZ1’s Seven Sharp ahead of a speech at Auckland’s Spark Arena tonight.

Now free from the constraints of public office, Ms Clinton is touring the globe, speaking frankly about what it was like to run in the most controversial US presidential election of all time in 2016.

Asked would she run again, Ms Clinton replied: “No, No. But I am going to be very active in this upcoming election in 2018 because that will be the turning point.”

The mid-term elections in November will take place in the middle of President Donald Trump’s term. All 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.

Read more >>>>

Hillary Clinton has spoken out against what she says are the “impossibly high standards” women who aspire to leadership roles are held to.

Ms Clinton says the “minute a women (in the US) stands up and says ‘Id like to lead’ everything changes”

Speaking to an audience in Auckland tonight, Ms Clinton – who ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election quoted recent comments from former US First Lady Michelle Obama.

“A few days ago Michelle Obama pointed out the consequences of holding women to impossibly high standards,” Ms Clinton said.

“She (Ms Obama) said: ‘If we still have this crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men. If we’re not comfortable that a women could be a president then we have to have these conversations with ourselves.'”

“I think she’s so right. This is something we have to explore, understand and change.”

Read more >>>>

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

A Maori kapa haka group perform during An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton at Spark Arena on May 7, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley interviews Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton at Spark Arena on May 7, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland



Read Full Post »

Hillary’s Spring resumption of her book tour brings her to NZ and Australia.

Kersti Ward was the only person working at Parnell Baby Boutique on Sunday morning when former first lady and one-time ...

Kersti Ward was the only person working at Parnell Baby Boutique on Sunday morning when former first lady and one-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walked into the store.

Parnell Baby Boutique employee Kersti Ward was the only person on shift when she saw security staff outside the store on Sunday morning.

Ward assumed pregnant Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may have been paying them a visit, but was “shocked” when none other than Clinton walked through the door.

Read more >>>>

Hillary Clinton tucked into some of the country’s finest cuisine before taking a stroll back to her hotel at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour on Sunday evening.

The former United States first lady looked relaxed and was flanked by a group of minders after her evening meal as she made her way home.

A staffer at Soul Bar confirmed that the former secretary of state had eaten at the waterfront restaurant.

Read more >>>>



Hillary Clinton is in NZ on a speaking tour, part of a series called the “Women World Changers”.

Hillary Clinton has met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland.

The pair met at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel, where Clinton is staying, for breakfast on Monday morning. Their meeting was closed to media.

Ardern’s press secretary has shared a selfie of the pair, and confirmed they exchanged gifts, though no specifics of the breakfast, gifts or discussion were released.

Read Full Post »


Hillary Clinton announces Australia and New Zealand tour

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Australia and New Zealand to talk about her experiences during the 2016 US presidential election.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Australia and New Zealand to talk about her experiences during the 2016 US presidential election. Source: AAP

Hillary Clinton is coming to Australia to talk about her future plans after losing the 2016 US election to Donald Trump.

The former Democratic presidential candidate is expected to give a candid account of the campaign and share stories from her New York Times bestseller, What Happened.

In an election marked by rage, sexism, misogyny and Russian interference, Ms Clinton will share her personal experience as the first woman presidential candidate for a major party.

Read more >>>>

Read Full Post »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photograph with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Australian Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles at the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, August 31, 2012. [State Department photo by Ola Thorsen/ Public Domain]

Meets With Staff From Supporting Embassies


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Maniua Beach Hotel
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
August 31, 2012


Thank you so much, Ambassador, and thanks to all of you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support on this trip. This is not a typical trip where you go to Wellington and Christchurch and Auckland. This took a lot of effort by everyone, and I’ve very grateful to you.

I want to thank the Ambassador for his leadership here at the mission, and also each and every one of you, both Americans and New Zealanders alike for helping us deepen and strengthen the already important bonds between the United States and New Zealand.

I thought it was very important that I come to the Pacific Islands Forum to really demonstrate unequivocally the importance that the Obama Administration and our government placed on sustainable relationships with the Pacific Island nations. It’s been great being here, everybody has a smile, they’re all waving, they’re all enthusiastic about us being here, and I couldn’t ever imagine.

But I know how challenging it was to actually do this from long distance, and then once you got here. So a special word of thanks on behalf of myself and the entire American delegation. We brought in ambassadors from three other countries, we have the commander of the Pacific Command, commander of the Coast Guard Command based in Hawaii, so we have a full complement of American officials who are here that you are supporting, and we’re grateful to you.

And finally, people often say, “Well, you know, New Zealand, that’s got to be an easy, great place to serve.” But after earthquakes and challenges that you have faced just in that time I’ve been Secretary, I want you to know how much we know that your work is important, because it’s not only the bilateral relationships, it’s partnering with New Zealand and Australia to enable us to really have a strong, lasting presence in the Pacific. And that is what all of you are doing. I mean, there’s not much we can do to improve the health of New Zealanders or Aussies, but there’s a lot we can do working together to improve the health of the Pacific Islands. And same goes true for education, for economic development, and so much more. So I’ve already had great meetings with my counterparts from New Zealand and Australia, and we’re going to continue to build on that firm and very solid foundation.

So with that, let me just shake a few hands. Why don’t you all just come on by and introduce yourselves and say hello?

Read Full Post »

Secretary Clinton With New Zealand Prime Minister Key
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand shake hands at the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, August 31, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]


Remarks With New Zealand Prime Minister Key


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New Zealand High Commissioner’s Residence, Cook Islands
August 31, 2012

PRIME MINISTER KEY: Okay, so good afternoon. Welcome to Ngatipa, the New Zealand residence here in the Cook Islands. It’s been a pleasure for me to host Secretary Clinton and her team for lunch today. It’s always wonderful to have Secretary Clinton in this part of the world. New Zealand very warmly remembers your visit to our country back in 2010 when you signed the Wellington Declaration, which describes in celebrating the strategic partnership of our two countries here. In the almost two years since Secretary Clinton’s visit to New Zealand, the bilateral relationship has gone from strength to strength. Earlier this year, the Wellington Declaration was complemented by the Washington Declaration (inaudible) relationship.

Secretary Clinton and I discussed a number of areas of cooperation, and I’ll mention just a few. The (inaudible) and the Cook Islands are the forums and executive office is fully committed to supporting inspirations and initiatives of Pacific Island countries. As the outgoing chair of Cook Islands Forum, New Zealand welcomes the full (inaudible) historically strong engagement with the island nations of the Pacific.

We’ve been pleased to announce this week a number of joint initiatives, including the areas of (inaudible) economic development, clean energy, and maritime surveillance. We discussed Afghanistan. New Zealand has stood alongside the United States as part of an international coalition there since 9/11 joined by other countries to tackle the threats posed by al-Qaida and its allies. We’ve endured the terrible loss of life suffered by our coalition partners in Afghanistan, particularly the recent New Zealand and Australian losses and those of the United States.

Secretary Clinton and I discussed the broad range of issues in the Asia Pacific region as we look towards the APEC summit in Russia in around 10 days time. New Zealand warmly supports the United States rebalancing towards the Asia Pacific, and we welcome the opportunity to cooperate with the U.S. in the next conflicts. We discussed our ongoing (inaudible) along side a number of other countries (inaudible) partnership agreement. Secretary Clinton and I share the goal of securing a high quality, (inaudible) free trade agreement, would be a significant (inaudible) countries involved, indeed to the region as a whole.

Before passing over to Secretary Clinton, I’d like to convey publicly my personal gratitude for all that she’s done for the past relations between our two countries and our two peoples over the past four years. Secretary Clinton’s personal interest and involvement in our country is greatly appreciated by the New Zealand people. You’ve been great friends to New Zealand and you’re always welcome (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Prime Minister, thank you very much for the warm welcome that you have provided. As the first Secretary of State to make this journey, I am especially delighted and honored. I was pleased to meet with leaders of the Pacific Island Forum, member states, to attend the Pacific Island Forum, post-forum dialogue where I had a chance to reaffirm the Obama Administration’s commitment to our engagement in the Asia Pacific with an equal emphasis on the Pacific part of that phrase. The United States is very proud to be a Pacific nation, a long history in this region, and we are committed to be here for the long run.

Today, I’m announcing new programs and new funding to support our friends in this region in three key areas: promoting sustainable economic development and protecting biodiversity; advancing regional security; and supporting women of the Pacific as they reach for greater political, economic, and social opportunities.

To give just a few examples, the United States will work with Kiribati to protect its marine ecosystem and help coastal communities throughout the region adapt to the effects of climate change and to develop renewable energy resources.

We will expand our security partnership so U.S. ships can be of even greater help in preventing illegal and unregulated fishing, and we will take additional steps to clean up unexploded ordnance in the region, much of it still there from World War Two. We will support the Rarotonga Partnership for the Advancement of Pacific Island Women, launched just today, and I’ll be looking forward to meeting with women from the region later this afternoon.

I’m also very committed to expanding investment and trade in the region, in pursuit of sustainable economic growth. Later today, I’ll meet with local pearl vendors from here in the Cook Islands who are running their businesses while also protecting marine resources.

Obviously, I could go on because there’s a lot to do in this very important region of the world, and there is no doubt that our relationship with New Zealand provides a strong foundation for our engagement across the Pacific. I especially want to thank Prime Minister Key for his leadership in revitalizing the partnership between New Zealand and the United States. As he said, we signed the Wellington Declaration two years ago, and then in June our countries signed the Washington Declaration, which emphasized our defense cooperation.

We are working together on a number of important issues, from establishing security in Afghanistan where Kiwi soldiers have made extraordinary sacrifices. Just recently, the losses are ones that we are equally grieved by and offer our condolences to the families as well as the people of New Zealand. We also are very appreciative of New Zealand’s leadership in addressing climate change and conserving natural resources and opening the doors of opportunity.

In particular, I want to thank the Prime Minister for his government’s support of women across the region. And we’re going to create an exchange program connecting women in the Pacific with women in the Caribbean who work in agriculture so they can learn from each other and understand better how to improve the incomes and opportunities for themselves and their families.

The United States welcomes the chance to work with a broad array of partners in the region –Japan, the European Union, China – we all have an interest in advancing security, prosperity, and opportunity. And as I said this morning, the Pacific is certainly big enough for all of us. So thank you Prime Minister, the United States values our relationship. We celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. We feel a special kinship and closeness to New Zealand and your people and we continue to look, as you said, for our relationship to go from strength to strength. So thank you again for your leadership and partnership.

MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Key have kindly allowed two questions from each side. May I remind you to please (inaudible)? We’re going to start with New Zealand and (inaudible).

QUESTION: Good afternoon, Madam Secretary. How concerned is the U.S. that China’s growing influence in the region (inaudible) how it administers aid, and also its growing links with (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: So this is an area that the Prime Minister and I discussed over lunch, and I have to say that we think it is important for the Pacific Island nations to have good relationships with as many partners as possible and that includes China as well as the United States, and we believe there is more that China can do with us, with New Zealand, with Australia, with others, to further sustainable development, improve the health of the people, deal with climate change and the environment, and I look forward to discussing these issues when I am in Beijing next week.

New Zealand sets a good example for the work that we think can be done with China. New Zealand has worked with China on water issues, for example. We want to see more multinational development projects that include the participation of China. And as part of our strategic and economic dialogue with China, we have a section on development. And it’s been my observation over the last four sessions that we have now held that China is becoming more interested in learning from, understanding best practices and cooperating with other countries.

Our policy, as expressed by President Obama and myself many times, is we want a comprehensive, positive, cooperative relationship between the United States and China. We think it is good for our country, it’s good for our people, and in fact, it’s not only good for this region, it’s good for the world. We’ve invested a lot in our strategic and economic dialogue. We speak very frankly about areas where we do not agree. We both raise issues that the other side would prefer perhaps we not, or they not. But I think our dialogue has moved to have a positive arena because we are able to discuss all matters together.

Now here in the Pacific, we want to see China act in a fair and transparent way. We want to see them play a positive role in navigation and maritime security issues. We want to see them contribute to sustainable development for the people of the Pacific; to protect the precious environment, including the ocean; and to pursue economic activity that will benefit the people.

So we think that there’s a great opportunity to work with China, and we’re going to be looking for more ways to do that.

MODERATOR: Next question.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. If I could follow up first a little bit on the previous question. You mentioned that there was room for cooperation between the United States and China in development (inaudible) one introduced here in climate change. Can you tell the leaders of the Pacific Islands that the United States is doing all that it can?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, after the first question, I know Admiral Locklear is here with us and he’s certainly more than capable of speaking for himself about what PACOM is doing. But several things: We are beginning to discuss cooperation with respect to disaster prevention and response. We would like to see China play a role in that. There are a lot of disasters in this region, from earthquakes, which New Zealand knows so well, to tsunamis and cyclones and terrible flooding as we saw in the Philippines just recently. So we think that that is an area that should be explored in more depth.

We also believe, on the aid front, that there is a lot of opportunity for cooperation between us and China. It is something we are modeling after New Zealand. New Zealand has been working on water issues with China, we want to learn the lessons about what works. PACOM has a great reach in the Pacific and is involved in everything from overseeing our hospital ships to working to train local officials in protecting their environment and protecting their water.

We also know that there’s a real threat from climate change, which gets me to your second question. This is real. I will underscore that. It is one that the leaders of these nations speak about with great passion because they are all very low lying land and are worried that they’re going to be swamped in the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years. So we understand very well the feelings that the Pacific Island nations have about climate change. And we stand behind our pledges in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to prompt substantial action to help vulnerable countries adapt.

Among the programs we discussed today at the new coastal community adaptation project. It’s a five-year, $25 million project to help build the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities of the Pacific to withstand extreme weather, and not only in the short run, but rising sea levels over the longer term. USAID, which as you know we brought back to the Pacific and established a headquarters in Papua New Guinea, is contributing $3 million over three years to Germany, coping with climate change in the Pacific Islands programs. And we’re working continually to develop an international consensus on reducing green house gas emissions, and other short – and on the short list – climate pollutants initiative that I started a year ago. As you know, in part because of the economy, U.S. emissions are the lowest that they’ve been in 20 years.

But look, we know we have more to do, and we have made a commitment, we’re going to stick with our commitment. I hope that we’ll be able to go beyond those commitments in the future.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Australia and New Zealand suffered one of the greatest losses of life since the Vietnam War in Afghanistan. Do you think the sacrifice was worth it, and do you (inaudible) stand by the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, let me say to both New Zealand and Australia, we are deeply grateful for their participation in this coalition effort under ISAF. And we’re also very sorry about their losses as we are at the loss of any of our coalition partners and ourselves. But I think it’s important to stress that both New Zealand and Australia have played a crucial role in the ISAF mission. Their soldiers and civilians are highly regarded.

New Zealand’s contributions are far beyond what one would ordinarily expect of a country the size of New Zealand. Prime Minister Key and I of course discussed Afghanistan today. I also called Prime Minister Gillard to express condolences and exchange views with her. And I’m gratified that despite the challenges we’ve all had, including the losses that we have suffered at the hands of insurgents and turncoats, we are all resolved to see this mission through as the commitments we’ve made suggest.

I think it’s important to just reflect on the fact that a lot of progress has been made. Any time we lose the lives or see one of our soldiers or civilians – I mean, I lost an aid worker, I have a seriously injured foreign service officer in – at Walter Reed – every time this happens, soldiers and civilians alike. we are reminded of the incredible sacrifice that our nations are making.

But we should also remind ourselves of the progress we have made since we went into this together. Over lunch, the Prime Minister was sharing some statistics from the New Zealand PRT in (inaudible) province that are really impressive in terms of advances in health, education, and infrastructure. So we are committed to seeing this through as we all agreed to at Lisbon, as we reiterated at Chicago, because we cannot afford see Afghanistan turn back into a haven for terrorism that threatens us all. And the work we have done together to prepare the Afghan national security forces to defend themselves and take the security lead is a much greater positive than negative story.

So we offer our condolences, but we also offer our appreciation to the people of New Zealand – soldiers and civilians alike who have been part of this important global effort.

MODERATOR: One last question. Steve Myers from New York Times.

QUESTION: Thank you. Madam Secretary, (inaudible), can you talk a little bit about the (inaudible) this designation of the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization? What is your thinking on the pros and cons of that before the deadline next week? And Prime Minister, if you would, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the prospect of a negotiated settlement with groups like the Haqqani Network or the Taliban as part of the effort to drawing down the war there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steve, I’m not going to comment on any stories about any internal discussions, of course. But I’m aware that I have an obligation to report to Congress. Of course, we will meet that commitment. And I’d like to underscore that we are putting steady pressure on the Haqqanis. That is part of what our military does every single day along with our ISAF partners. We are drawing up their resources, we are targeting their military and intelligence personnel. We are pressing the Pakistanis to step up their own efforts. So we’re already taking action and we’ll have more to say about the specific request from Congress next week.

PRIME MINISTER KEY: Well, as Secretary Clinton indicated, from New Zealand’s point of view, we think two goals in Afghanistan have been to try and train both Afghanis (inaudible) crisis response units in the Afghan police. And we’ve done that – (inaudible) we will be doing it in (inaudible) but we hope (inaudible) look after its own security.

In terms of any negotiation with the Taliban or with groups in Afghanistan, we fundamentally believe that will ultimately be a matter for the Afghan Government, but they will (inaudible) find a way through a very difficult situation and its coming to the (inaudible) I wouldn’t be surprised if some part of it attempts to deliver greater security in Afghanistan some discussion. But it’s ultimately up to President Karzai.

Read Full Post »

After all the hoopla about a whole month in East Hampton (not!), it appears that Mme. Secretary might be lucky to catch just one week at her summer rental.   Reports, unconfirmed by the State Department, are coming out of New Zealand that activities in the Cook Islands indicate that she  is expected in the islands for the 16-nation Pacific Forum to be held there starting on August 27.

Apparently the islands lack wide roads, and therefore also SUVs as large as the ones commonly used in her motorcades.  Neither can the airstrip accommodate her 757.  It seems they are seeking to borrow larger SUVs,  and U.S  Navy ships, including an aircraft carrier, are headed for the islands to assist with transportation.

The one bright spot in the possible curtailment of her tiny break is that one account has a certain handsome ex-president Birthday Boy accompanying her.  That would be a refreshing change of pace!


This article from Stuff.co.nz provides the most detail.

Rarotonga almost too small for Hillary Clinton


Tiny Rarotonga is set to host great power politics and diplomatic posturing this week with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reputedly accompanied by her husband Bill, arriving on the island to challenge growing Chinese influence in the South Pacific.


US diplomats and security advisers have been on Rarotonga and Aitutaki to the north checking venues.


The off-limits-to-all-but leaders’ retreat will be on Aitutaki with military aircraft from Australia and New Zealand used to fly them north.


Diplomatic sources say the US Navy has moved several large ships, including an aircraft carrier, toward the Cook Islands to help logistics, including transport between the two islands.


Prime Minister John Key is scheduled to attend the forum but unless he stays for the post-forum dialogue session, he will not meet the Clintons.

The US State Department has yet to confirm Clinton’s trip, and it may yet be derailed by Middle Eastern events, but locals on Rarotonga report extensive security preparations are underway.

Read more >>>>

The comment about John Key could mean that they are not expected to attend the entire forum, and perhaps will arrive after a few weeks at their summer rental,  but again, none of this is confirmed by DOS.

Here are a few other articles trumpeting her expected arrival.  This one is from Australia’s Independent.

Welcome to the Cook Islands, Hillary – now, can anyone lend us a motorcade?

Kathy Marks

Saturday 18 August 2012

Life usually dawdles in the Cook Islands, a cluster of coral atolls sprinkled across the South Pacific. But with Hillary Clinton due to visit later this month, the place is in a spin.

For one thing, the government doesn’t have enough cars for an official motorcade.


A team from the US embassy in Wellington was in the islands this week, scouting the facilities. Jaewynn McKay, a local official coordinating preparations for the forum, said the biggest challenge was finding a suitable place for Mrs Clinton to stay with her large entourage.

“I understand she usually travels with 90 [people], but they’ve had to lessen their footprint on this occasion,” Mrs McKay told Associated Press. “We had to tell them we just don’t have the space.”

Read more >>>>

This one is from nzherald.co.nz. in New Zealand.

Cook Islands prepare for Hillary Clinton visit

By Nick Perry

US Secretary of State HIllary Rodham Clinton will be attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga at the end of the month. Photo / AP

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga at the end of the month. Photo / AP

The tiny Cook Islands are proving almost too small for Hillary Clinton.

The South Pacific island chain, home to just 10,000 people, is buzzing as it prepares for the expected visit of the US secretary of state, the biggest dignitary to stop by since Queen Elizabeth II nearly four decades ago. Hosting such a high-profile guest and her entourage, however, is posing problems for a government that owns just three small SUVs and is scrambling to borrow cars from residents to create a proper motorcade.


The US Embassy in Wellington on Friday declined to confirm whether Clinton would be part of its delegation, but Cook Island officials are preparing as if she is coming.

Read more >>>>

If she is attending, it would be a nice birthday present for her hubby to be able to accompany her.  They have been apart for many weeks recently – actually for a month.  We all love to see them together!



Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks With the Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully After Their Meeting


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

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a pleasure once again to welcome New Zealand’s foreign minister, someone who I have had the great delight of working with now over the course of several years, and I also am pleased that our two ambassadors are here – Ambassador Mike Moore and our own Ambassador to Wellington, David Huebner. I think it’s indicative of the long friendship that stretches back nearly 175 years.

And with the constantly growing economic and strategic importance of the Asia Pacific, it is even more pressing that we strengthen those historic ties and deepen our cooperation to meet the challenges of the future. The Wellington Declaration, which we signed during my visit to New Zealand, ensures that our governments are in regular contact on a wide range of shared concerns, and we addressed a number of those today.

Before I begin to talk about our bilateral meeting, I’d like to say a few words about the Baghdad round of E3+3 talks which have just concluded. We set forth a detailed proposal focused on all aspects of 20 percent enrichment based on concrete step-by-step reciprocal measures. We had intensive discussions with the Iranians on our proposal. They put forth their own ideas. As Lady Ashton said, significant differences remain. We will seek to address those differences at a further round of talks which will take place in Moscow on June 18th and 19th.

As we lay the groundwork for these talks, we will keep up the pressure as part of our dual-track approach. All of our sanctions will remain in place and continue to move forward during this period. Iran now has the choice to make – will it meet its international obligations and give the world confidence about its intentions or not?

I’d also like to mention Egypt’s historic first round of presidential elections, which is just wrapping up as we speak. This is obviously an important milestone in Egypt’s transition to democratic government. And the world is watching as the Egyptian people embark on their journey toward a freer, more democratic future debating and deciding among themselves about the best way to take these first steps. And we will continue to support them.

Lastly, on the conviction of Dr. Shakil Afridi in Pakistan, as I’ve said before, the United States does not believe there is any basis for holding Dr. Afridi. We regret both the fact that he was convicted and the severity of his sentence. His help, after all, was instrumental in taking down one of the world’s most notorious murderers. That was clearly in Pakistan’s interests as well as ours and the rest of the world. This action by Dr. Afridi to help bring about the end of the reign of terror designed and executed by bin Ladin was not in any way a betrayal of Pakistan. And we have made that very well known and we will continue to press it with the Government of Pakistan.

Now the foreign minister and I covered a great deal about our bilateral relationship as well as regional and global issues. I want to thank the foreign minister and the Government of New Zealand for the excellent role they played and the contributions they made to the success of the NATO Summit over the weekend in Chicago. We saluted New Zealand’s leadership in Bamyan Province and the orderly plans it has set in place for an effective transition to Afghan leadership. New Zealand’s commitment to this critical effort has been exemplary, and we are enormously grateful for the service and sacrifice of the people of your country.

Next, on Burma, as you know, the United States is in the process of easing certain restrictions and sanctions on that country. And we believe and have encouraged our New Zealand friends as well to work with the international community to move forward the reforms, both political and economic, as well as taking actions to improve human rights, speed democratization, and foster national reconciliation.

I also expressed our appreciation to New Zealand for their strong support of the people of Syria, and by the actions that they have taken to help support Kofi Annan’s mission. By supplying personnel, New Zealand has helped the UN’s supervision mission ramp up operations quickly, and we also are grateful for New Zealand’s generous support for the UN refugee program for Syrians fleeing into Turkey. Together, we must increase our pressure on the Assad regime, and we must continue to work toward the day when there will be a political transition that will give the Syrian people the chance to chart their own future.

And finally, I thanked the foreign minister for New Zealand’s leadership as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum this year. New Zealand’s efforts have brought a needed focus on development coordination and curbing climate change. The United States will continue to work with the Pacific Island nations, especially when it comes to responding to disasters, as we saw with flooding and landslides in Papua New Guinea and Fiji earlier this year.

So once again, Murray, it’s always a pleasure for me to have a chance to sit down across the table from you, and to continue this important dialogue between our countries.

FOREIGN MINISTER MCCULLY: Thank you, Hillary. Ladies and gentlemen, today we’ve had the opportunity for excellent talks, and I thank the Secretary of State for her time and for those excellent discussions. They’re part of a pattern of regular engagement that we now have following the signing of the Wellington Declaration about 18 months ago.

Reflecting on the relationship and its development, I was very pleased to be able to tell Secretary Clinton that we are in two weeks time going to receive a delegation of Marines, 50 in number, plus a 50-person Marine band that will be involved in a series of events in New Zealand over about three weeks to commemorate the landing in New Zealand 70 years ago of U.S. forces which provided security and protection for the New Zealand people at a time when we were not in a position to afford that security and protection to ourselves. So this will be a chance for that deed of honor to be recognized. Also there’ll be a chance for New Zealanders to see the Marines exercising with some of our own people, and so this is going to be a symbolic time looking backwards but also looking at the contemporary relationship. Those exercises are part of a pattern of regular exercises that now take place between military personnel from both of our countries. We now have a process of cooperation and exercising that is normal and which we strongly welcome.

The talks we’ve had today have been an opportunity to update ourselves on a range of areas, as Secretary Clinton has said: Afghanistan, where we’ve both just come back from the meeting in Chicago; the Asia Pacific region, where New Zealand strongly welcomes the rebalancing of U.S. resourcing which has seen the Asia Pacific region become a stronger area for focus on your part. We welcome in particular the engagement with the East Asia Summit and the suite of meetings that give us both a chance to work cooperatively promoting the joint interest in security and stability in the region.

We had a chance to review developments in the Middle East briefly, Syria, and of course, as Secretary Clinton has mentioned, Burma. I’ve had the opportunity to visit quite recently, and we’re looking to reinforce the work that is being done under U.S. leadership and some of the work that has been done by the EU in Burma to promote improvements in that country.

Turning briefly to the Pacific, I updated Secretary Clinton on the work we’re leading as forum chair. Our hopes for continuing improvement in the situation in Fiji as we move closer to elections that have been scheduled for 2014. We discussed briefly the challenging situation that’s emerged in Papua New Guinea in recent months. We in New Zealand and Australia are closely engaged, and I thank Secretary Clinton in particular for the USAID engagement in the region, where we now have a USAID office in Port Moresby and our first joint project on Tarawa is underway.

So while we’ve still got plenty of work ahead of us, it’s probably appropriate for me to look back over the last three years or so in this relationship as a time of quite remarkable progress. And I want to acknowledge the positive and effective leadership that Secretary Clinton has brought to that process, and I also want to acknowledge the deep goodwill and friendship that she has brought to New Zealand as well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible) today. We will start with Reuters, Arshad Mohammed.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, on the Baghdad talks, it’s hardly surprising that differences would remain after only two rounds. Would you say that you made any substantive progress whatsoever in today’s talks?

And on the case of Dr. Afridi, beyond expressing regret and restating your view that there was no basis for his incarceration and sentencing, are you actively seeking to negotiate some kind of a solution that might reduce his sentence or free him inside Pakistan or get him out of the country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, on the first question regarding the talks in Baghdad, as you know, the talks just concluded and I haven’t had time to get a full debrief from our team yet. But I will say that they were serious. They were an opportunity for the E3+3 to engage on substantive matters with the Iranians. But there are clearly gaps in what each side sees as possible, and we think that the choice is now Iran’s to work to close the gaps. We anticipate there will be ongoing work between now and the next meeting in Moscow. But it’s very clear that there’s a lot of work still to do. Yet at the same time, I have to say this is the second of two serious meetings after a gap of at least 15 months where there was no contact and no discussion about any of these matters. So we will continue to engage seriously with our partners.

And the final point I would make is that the entire E3+3 group is united. And I think if you had asked three and a half years ago, certainly when I started this job, could we have unity around some very difficult issues with Iran and have everybody onboard speaking literally off the same page with the same voice, there would have been a certain level of skepticism. So I will leave it at that. But Cathy Ashton summarized for the press where she saw matters, and we will be consulting deeply with my own team and then with the other countries involved.

With respect to Dr. Afridi, we are in the midst of a series of discussions with the Pakistani Government on a range of issues that are important to the United States and the international community. We certainly consider the treatment of Dr. Afridi to be among those important issues. We are raising it and we will continue to do so because we think that his treatment is unjust and unwarranted.

MS. NULAND: Last question from Daniel Ranchez* (inaudible).

QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for taking the question. I’d like to ask the foreign minister first if he made a pitch for membership of the UN Security Council – a seat on it. And if he did, what are the main points? And Secretary Clinton, will you endorse New Zealand having a seat on the Security Council? (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER MCCULLY: Can I answer, I think for the Secretary as well, by saying that New Zealand well understands that, as a permanent member of the Security Council, the United States doesn’t make commitments on those matters in advance, and we deeply respect that. But I did take the opportunity of burnishing New Zealand’s credentials briefly – (laughter) – in the course of our discussion.

As part of our ongoing campaign, we are engaged in a touch fight to become a member of the Security Council in 2015 and 16. We think it is very important that smaller countries are able to achieve the opportunity to be represented on the council, and we’re very proud of the way in which we’ve conducted ourselves as a member of the Security Council in the past – probably about 20 years ago – and most recently when we’ve, I believe, dealt with difficult issues well. And I hope that our credentials there will stand any scrutiny.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would only add that we certainly welcome New Zealand’s candidacy for a nonpermanent seat and are quite admiring of the campaign that is being run. (Laughter.) Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks at New Zealand Earthquake Anniversary

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Christchurch, New Zealand
February 22, 2012

It’s been a year since a terrible earthquake struck New Zealand, but memories are still fresh. I had visited Christchurch just a few months earlier, and I was shocked to learn of the scope of the damage. So many lives were lost. So many homes and businesses were destroyed. Together, and with the leadership of our embassy staff on the ground, we began to work out how the United States could help. That’s what friends do.In the aftermath of the earthquake, the United States, along with many other countries, sent an Urban Search and Rescue team to provide assistance. When their mission ended, they gave their advanced rescue equipment to their Kiwi partners so the work could continue. When a terrible earthquake struck Japan just weeks later, New Zealand quickly deployed its own teams… along with that same equipment. In America, we call that “paying it forward.” It was international relations at its very best.

Even those of us who were far away on that terrible day share in your grief. We know it has been a struggle, but through that struggle we have seen the strength and perseverance of the people of Christchurch. So, Christchurch, yes, we grieve with you. And we remember with you. But most of all, as we celebrate 70 years of a strategic partnership with New Zealand, know that we will continue to support you and we look forward to a long future of cooperation as we work to solve our common problems.

Read Full Post »

America’s Pacific Century


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Foreign Policy Magazine
October 11, 2011


The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.

As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Asia-Pacific has become a key driver of global politics. Stretching from the Indian subcontinent to the western shores of the Americas, the region spans two oceans — the Pacific and the Indian — that are increasingly linked by shipping and strategy. It boasts almost half the world’s population. It includes many of the key engines of the global economy, as well as the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. It is home to several of our key allies and important emerging powers like China, India, and Indonesia.

At a time when the region is building a more mature security and economic architecture to promote stability and prosperity, U.S. commitment there is essential. It will help build that architecture and pay dividends for continued American leadership well into this century, just as our post-World War II commitment to building a comprehensive and lasting transatlantic network of institutions and relationships has paid off many times over — and continues to do so. The time has come for the United States to make similar investments as a Pacific power, a strategic course set by President Barack Obama from the outset of his administration and one that is already yielding benefits.

With Iraq and Afghanistan still in transition and serious economic challenges in our own country, there are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition, but to come home. They seek a downsizing of our foreign engagement in favor of our pressing domestic priorities. These impulses are understandable, but they are misguided. Those who say that we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward — we cannot afford not to. From opening new markets for American businesses to curbing nuclear proliferation to keeping the sea lanes free for commerce and navigation, our work abroad holds the key to our prosperity and security at home. For more than six decades, the United States has resisted the gravitational pull of these “come home” debates and the implicit zero-sum logic of these arguments. We must do so again.

Beyond our borders, people are also wondering about America’s intentions — our willingness to remain engaged and to lead. In Asia, they ask whether we are really there to stay, whether we are likely to be distracted again by events elsewhere, whether we can make — and keep — credible economic and strategic commitments, and whether we can back those commitments with action. The answer is: We can, and we will.

Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology. Our economic recovery at home will depend on exports and the ability of American firms to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia. Strategically, maintaining peace and security across the Asia-Pacific is increasingly crucial to global progress, whether through defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, countering the proliferation efforts of North Korea, or ensuring transparency in the military activities of the region’s key players.

Just as Asia is critical to America’s future, an engaged America is vital to Asia’s future. The region is eager for our leadership and our business — perhaps more so than at any time in modern history. We are the only power with a network of strong alliances in the region, no territorial ambitions, and a long record of providing for the common good. Along with our allies, we have underwritten regional security for decades — patrolling Asia’s sea lanes and preserving stability — and that in turn has helped create the conditions for growth. We have helped integrate billions of people across the region into the global economy by spurring economic productivity, social empowerment, and greater people-to-people links. We are a major trade and investment partner, a source of innovation that benefits workers and businesses on both sides of the Pacific, a host to 350,000 Asian students every year, a champion of open markets, and an advocate for universal human rights.

President Obama has led a multifaceted and persistent effort to embrace fully our irreplaceable role in the Pacific, spanning the entire U.S. Government. It has often been a quiet effort. A lot of our work has not been on the front pages, both because of its nature — long-term investment is less exciting than immediate crises — and because of competing headlines in other parts of the world.

As Secretary of State, I broke with tradition and embarked on my first official overseas trip to Asia. In my seven trips since, I have had the privilege to see firsthand the rapid transformations taking place in the region, underscoring how much the future of the United States is intimately intertwined with the future of the Asia-Pacific. A strategic turn to the region fits logically into our overall global effort to secure and sustain America’s global leadership. The success of this turn requires maintaining and advancing a bipartisan consensus on the importance of the Asia-Pacific to our national interests; we seek to build upon a strong tradition of engagement by presidents and secretaries of state of both parties across many decades. It also requires smart execution of a coherent regional strategy that accounts for the global implications of our choices.

What does that regional strategy look like? For starters, it calls for a sustained commitment to what I have called “forward-deployed” diplomacy. That means continuing to dispatch the full range of our diplomatic assets — including our highest-ranking officials, our development experts, our interagency teams, and our permanent assets — to every country and corner of the Asia-Pacific region. Our strategy will have to keep accounting for and adapting to the rapid and dramatic shifts playing out across Asia. With this in mind, our work will proceed along six key lines of action: strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationships with emerging powers, including with China; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and human rights.

By virtue of our unique geography, the United States is both an Atlantic and a Pacific power. We are proud of our European partnerships and all that they deliver. Our challenge now is to build a web of partnerships and institutions across the Pacific that is as durable and as consistent with American interests and values as the web we have built across the Atlantic. That is the touchstone of our efforts in all these areas.

Our treaty alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand are the fulcrum for our strategic turn to the Asia-Pacific. They have underwritten regional peace and security for more than half a century, shaping the environment for the region’s remarkable economic ascent. They leverage our regional presence and enhance our regional leadership at a time of evolving security challenges.

As successful as these alliances have been, we can’t afford simply to sustain them — we need to update them for a changing world. In this effort, the Obama Administration is guided by three core principles. First, we have to maintain political consensus on the core objectives of our alliances. Second, we have to ensure that our alliances are nimble and adaptive so that they can successfully address new challenges and seize new opportunities. Third, we have to guarantee that the defense capabilities and communications infrastructure of our alliances are operationally and materially capable of deterring provocation from the full spectrum of state and nonstate actors.

The alliance with Japan, the cornerstone of peace and stability in the region, demonstrates how the Obama Administration is giving these principles life. We share a common vision of a stable regional order with clear rules of the road — from freedom of navigation to open markets and fair competition. We have agreed to a new arrangement, including a contribution from the Japanese Government of more than $5 billion, to ensure the continued enduring presence of American forces in Japan, while expanding joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities to deter and react quickly to regional security challenges, as well as information sharing to address cyberthreats. We have concluded an Open Skies Agreement that will enhance access for businesses and people-to-people ties, launched a strategic dialogue on the Asia-Pacific, and been working hand in hand as the two largest donor countries in Afghanistan.

Similarly, our alliance with South Korea has become stronger and more operationally integrated, and we continue to develop our combined capabilities to deter and respond to North Korean provocations. We have agreed on a plan to ensure successful transition of operational control during wartime and anticipate successful passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. And our alliance has gone global, through our work together in the G-20 and the Nuclear Security Summit and through our common efforts in Haiti and Afghanistan.

We are also expanding our alliance with Australia from a Pacific partnership to an Indo-Pacific one, and indeed a global partnership. From cybersecurity to Afghanistan to the Arab Awakening to strengthening regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific, Australia’s counsel and commitment have been indispensable. And in Southeast Asia, we are renewing and strengthening our alliances with the Philippines and Thailand, increasing, for example, the number of ship visits to the Philippines and working to ensure the successful training of Filipino counterterrorism forces through our Joint Special Operations Task Force in Mindanao. In Thailand — our oldest treaty partner in Asia — we are working to establish a hub of regional humanitarian and disaster relief efforts in the region.

As we update our alliances for new demands, we are also building new partnerships to help solve shared problems. Our outreach to China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Pacific Island countries is all part of a broader effort to ensure a more comprehensive approach to American strategy and engagement in the region. We are asking these emerging partners to join us in shaping and participating in a rules-based regional and global order.

One of the most prominent of these emerging partners is, of course, China. Like so many other countries before it, China has prospered as part of the open and rules-based system that the United States helped to build and works to sustain. And today, China represents one of the most challenging and consequential bilateral relationships the United States has ever had to manage. This calls for careful, steady, dynamic stewardship, an approach to China on our part that is grounded in reality, focused on results, and true to our principles and interests.

We all know that fears and misperceptions linger on both sides of the Pacific. Some in our country see China’s progress as a threat to the United States; some in China worry that America seeks to constrain China’s growth. We reject both those views. The fact is that a thriving America is good for China and a thriving China is good for America. We both have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict. But you cannot build a relationship on aspirations alone. It is up to both of us to more consistently translate positive words into effective cooperation — and, crucially, to meet our respective global responsibilities and obligations. These are the things that will determine whether our relationship delivers on its potential in the years to come. We also have to be honest about our differences. We will address them firmly and decisively as we pursue the urgent work we have to do together. And we have to avoid unrealistic expectations.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, one of my top priorities has been to identify and expand areas of common interest, to work with China to build mutual trust, and to encourage China’s active efforts in global problem-solving. This is why Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I launched the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the most intensive and expansive talks ever between our governments, bringing together dozens of agencies from both sides to discuss our most pressing bilateral issues, from security to energy to human rights.

We are also working to increase transparency and reduce the risk of miscalculation or miscues between our militaries. The United States and the international community have watched China’s efforts to modernize and expand its military, and we have sought clarity as to its intentions. Both sides would benefit from sustained and substantive military-to-military engagement that increases transparency. So we look to Beijing to overcome its reluctance at times and join us in forging a durable military-to-military dialogue. And we need to work together to strengthen the Strategic Security Dialogue, which brings together military and civilian leaders to discuss sensitive issues like maritime security and cybersecurity.

As we build trust together, we are committed to working with China to address critical regional and global security issues. This is why I have met so frequently — often in informal settings — with my Chinese counterparts, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, for candid discussions about important challenges like North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and developments in the South China Sea.

On the economic front, the United States and China need to work together to ensure strong, sustained, and balanced future global growth. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the United States and China worked effectively through the G-20 to help pull the global economy back from the brink. We have to build on that cooperation. U.S. firms want fair opportunities to export to China’s growing markets, which can be important sources of jobs here in the United States, as well as assurances that the $50 billion of American capital invested in China will create a strong foundation for new market and investment opportunities that will support global competitiveness. At the same time, Chinese firms want to be able to buy more high-tech products from the United States, make more investments here, and be accorded the same terms of access that market economies enjoy. We can work together on these objectives, but China still needs to take important steps toward reform. In particular, we are working with China to end unfair discrimination against U.S. and other foreign companies or against their innovative technologies, remove preferences for domestic firms, and end measures that disadvantage or appropriate foreign intellectual property. And we look to China to take steps to allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly, both against the dollar and against the currencies of its other major trading partners. Such reforms, we believe, would not only benefit both our countries (indeed, they would support the goals of China’s own five-year plan, which calls for more domestic-led growth), but also contribute to global economic balance, predictability, and broader prosperity.

Of course, we have made very clear, publicly and privately, our serious concerns about human rights. And when we see reports of public-interest lawyers, writers, artists, and others who are detained or disappeared, the United States speaks up, both publicly and privately, with our concerns about human rights. We make the case to our Chinese colleagues that a deep respect for international law and a more open political system would provide China with a foundation for far greater stability and growth — and increase the confidence of China’s partners. Without them, China is placing unnecessary limitations on its own development.

At the end of the day, there is no handbook for the evolving U.S.-China relationship. But the stakes are much too high for us to fail. As we proceed, we will continue to embed our relationship with China in a broader regional framework of security alliances, economic networks, and social connections.

Among key emerging powers with which we will work closely are India and Indonesia, two of the most dynamic and significant democratic powers of Asia, and both countries with which the Obama administration has pursued broader, deeper, and more purposeful relationships. The stretch of sea from the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Malacca to the Pacific contains the world’s most vibrant trade and energy routes. Together, India and Indonesia already account for almost a quarter of the world’s population. They are key drivers of the global economy, important partners for the United States, and increasingly central contributors to peace and security in the region. And their importance is likely to grow in the years ahead.

President Obama told the Indian parliament last year that the relationship between India and America will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, rooted in common values and interests. There are still obstacles to overcome and questions to answer on both sides, but the United States is making a strategic bet on India’s future — that India’s greater role on the world stage will enhance peace and security, that opening India’s markets to the world will pave the way to greater regional and global prosperity, that Indian advances in science and technology will improve lives and advance human knowledge everywhere, and that India’s vibrant, pluralistic democracy will produce measurable results and improvements for its citizens and inspire others to follow a similar path of openness and tolerance. So the Obama administration has expanded our bilateral partnership; actively supported India’s Look East efforts, including through a new trilateral dialogue with India and Japan; and outlined a new vision for a more economically integrated and politically stable South and Central Asia, with India as a linchpin.

We are also forging a new partnership with Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, and a member of the G-20. We have resumed joint training of Indonesian special forces units and signed a number of agreements on health, educational exchanges, science and technology, and defense. And this year, at the invitation of the Indonesian government, President Obama will inaugurate American participation in the East Asia Summit. But there is still some distance to travel — we have to work together to overcome bureaucratic impediments, lingering historical suspicions, and some gaps in understanding each other’s perspectives and interests.

Even as we strengthen these bilateral relationships, we have emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation, for we believe that addressing complex transnational challenges of the sort now faced by Asia requires a set of institutions capable of mustering collective action. And a more robust and coherent regional architecture in Asia would reinforce the system of rules and responsibilities, from protecting intellectual property to ensuring freedom of navigation, that form the basis of an effective international order. In multilateral settings, responsible behavior is rewarded with legitimacy and respect, and we can work together to hold accountable those who undermine peace, stability, and prosperity.

So the United States has moved to fully engage the region’s multilateral institutions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, mindful that our work with regional institutions supplements and does not supplant our bilateral ties. There is a demand from the region that America play an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions — and it is in our interests as well that they be effective and responsive.

That is why President Obama will participate in the East Asia Summit for the first time in November. To pave the way, the United States has opened a new U.S. Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta and signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with ASEAN. Our focus on developing a more results-oriented agenda has been instrumental in efforts to address disputes in the South China Sea. In 2010, at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi, the United States helped shape a regionwide effort to protect unfettered access to and passage through the South China Sea, and to uphold the key international rules for defining territorial claims in the South China Sea’s waters. Given that half the world’s merchant tonnage flows through this body of water, this was a consequential undertaking. And over the past year, we have made strides in protecting our vital interests in stability and freedom of navigation and have paved the way for sustained multilateral diplomacy among the many parties with claims in the South China Sea, seeking to ensure disputes are settled peacefully and in accordance with established principles of international law.

We have also worked to strengthen APEC as a serious leaders-level institution focused on advancing economic integration and trade linkages across the Pacific. After last year’s bold call by the group for a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific, President Obama will host the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Hawaii this November. We are committed to cementing APEC as the Asia-Pacific’s premier regional economic institution, setting the economic agenda in a way that brings together advanced and emerging economies to promote open trade and investment, as well as to build capacity and enhance regulatory regimes. APEC and its work help expand U.S. exports and create and support high-quality jobs in the United States, while fostering growth throughout the region. APEC also provides a key vehicle to drive a broad agenda to unlock the economic growth potential that women represent. In this regard, the United States is committed to working with our partners on ambitious steps to accelerate the arrival of the Participation Age, where every individual, regardless of gender or other characteristics, is a contributing and valued member of the global marketplace.

In addition to our commitment to these broader multilateral institutions, we have worked hard to create and launch a number of “minilateral” meetings, small groupings of interested states to tackle specific challenges, such as the Lower Mekong Initiative we launched to support education, health, and environmental programs in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands Forum, where we are working to support its members as they confront challenges from climate change to overfishing to freedom of navigation. We are also starting to pursue new trilateral opportunities with countries as diverse as Mongolia, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, and South Korea. And we are setting our sights as well on enhancing coordination and engagement among the three giants of the Asia-Pacific: China, India, and the United States.

In all these different ways, we are seeking to shape and participate in a responsive, flexible, and effective regional architecture — and ensure it connects to a broader global architecture that not only protects international stability and commerce but also advances our values.

Our emphasis on the economic work of APEC is in keeping with our broader commitment to elevate economic statecraft as a pillar of American foreign policy. Increasingly, economic progress depends on strong diplomatic ties, and diplomatic progress depends on strong economic ties. And naturally, a focus on promoting American prosperity means a greater focus on trade and economic openness in the Asia-Pacific. The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia. Last year, American exports to the Pacific Rim totaled $320 billion, supporting 850,000 American jobs. So there is much that favors us as we think through this repositioning.

When I talk to my Asian counterparts, one theme consistently stands out: They still want America to be an engaged and creative partner in the region’s flourishing trade and financial interactions. And as I talk with business leaders across our own nation, I hear how important it is for the United States to expand our exports and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.

Last March in APEC meetings in Washington, and again in Hong Kong in July, I laid out four attributes that I believe characterize healthy economic competition: open, free, transparent, and fair. Through our engagement in the Asia-Pacific, we are helping to give shape to these principles and showing the world their value.

We are pursuing new cutting-edge trade deals that raise the standards for fair competition even as they open new markets. For instance, the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement will eliminate tariffs on 95 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports within five years and support an estimated 70,000 American jobs. Its tariff reductions alone could increase exports of American goods by more than $10 billion and help South Korea’s economy grow by 6 percent. It will level the playing field for U.S. auto companies and workers. So, whether you are an American manufacturer of machinery or a South Korean chemicals exporter, this deal lowers the barriers that keep you from reaching new customers.

We are also making progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will bring together economies from across the Pacific — developed and developing alike — into a single trading community. Our goal is to create not just more growth, but better growth. We believe trade agreements need to include strong protections for workers, the environment, intellectual property, and innovation. They should also promote the free flow of information technology and the spread of green technology, as well as the coherence of our regulatory system and the efficiency of supply chains. Ultimately, our progress will be measured by the quality of people’s lives — whether men and women can work in dignity, earn a decent wage, raise healthy families, educate their children, and take hold of the opportunities to improve their own and the next generation’s fortunes. Our hope is that a TPP agreement with high standards can serve as a benchmark for future agreements — and grow to serve as a platform for broader regional interaction and eventually a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific.

Achieving balance in our trade relationships requires a two-way commitment. That’s the nature of balance — it can’t be unilaterally imposed. So we are working through APEC, the G-20, and our bilateral relationships to advocate for more open markets, fewer restrictions on exports, more transparency, and an overall commitment to fairness. American businesses and workers need to have confidence that they are operating on a level playing field, with predictable rules on everything from intellectual property to indigenous innovation.

Asia’s remarkable economic growth over the past decade and its potential for continued growth in the future depend on the security and stability that has long been guaranteed by the U.S. military, including more than 50,000 American servicemen and servicewomen serving in Japan and South Korea. The challenges of today’s rapidly changing region — from territorial and maritime disputes to new threats to freedom of navigation to the heightened impact of natural disasters — require that the United States pursue a more geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable force posture.

We are modernizing our basing arrangements with traditional allies in Northeast Asia — and our commitment on this is rock solid — while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. For example, the United States will be deploying littoral combat ships to Singapore, and we are examining other ways to increase opportunities for our two militaries to train and operate together. And the United States and Australia agreed this year to explore a greater American military presence in Australia to enhance opportunities for more joint training and exercises. We are also looking at how we can increase our operational access in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean region and deepen our contacts with allies and partners.

How we translate the growing connection between the Indian and Pacific oceans into an operational concept is a question that we need to answer if we are to adapt to new challenges in the region. Against this backdrop, a more broadly distributed military presence across the region will provide vital advantages. The United States will be better positioned to support humanitarian missions; equally important, working with more allies and partners will provide a more robust bulwark against threats or efforts to undermine regional peace and stability.

But even more than our military might or the size of our economy, our most potent asset as a nation is the power of our values — in particular, our steadfast support for democracy and human rights. This speaks to our deepest national character and is at the heart of our foreign policy, including our strategic turn to the Asia-Pacific region.

As we deepen our engagement with partners with whom we disagree on these issues, we will continue to urge them to embrace reforms that would improve governance, protect human rights, and advance political freedoms. We have made it clear, for example, to Vietnam that our ambition to develop a strategic partnership requires that it take steps to further protect human rights and advance political freedoms. Or consider Burma, where we are determined to seek accountability for human rights violations. We are closely following developments in Nay Pyi Taw and the increasing interactions between Aung San Suu Kyi and the government leadership. We have underscored to the government that it must release political prisoners, advance political freedoms and human rights, and break from the policies of the past. As for North Korea, the regime in Pyongyang has shown persistent disregard for the rights of its people, and we continue to speak out forcefully against the threats it poses to the region and beyond.

We cannot and do not aspire to impose our system on other countries, but we do believe that certain values are universal — that people in every nation in the world, including in Asia, cherish them — and that they are intrinsic to stable, peaceful, and prosperous countries. Ultimately, it is up to the people of Asia to pursue their own rights and aspirations, just as we have seen people do all over the world.

In the last decade, our foreign policy has transitioned from dealing with the post-Cold War peace dividend to demanding commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan. As those wars wind down, we will need to accelerate efforts to pivot to new global realities.

We know that these new realities require us to innovate, to compete, and to lead in new ways. Rather than pull back from the world, we need to press forward and renew our leadership. In a time of scarce resources, there’s no question that we need to invest them wisely where they will yield the biggest returns, which is why the Asia-Pacific represents such a real 21st-century opportunity for us.

Other regions remain vitally important, of course. Europe, home to most of our traditional allies, is still a partner of first resort, working alongside the United States on nearly every urgent global challenge, and we are investing in updating the structures of our alliance. The people of the Middle East and North Africa are charting a new path that is already having profound global consequences, and the United States is committed to active and sustained partnerships as the region transforms. Africa holds enormous untapped potential for economic and political development in the years ahead. And our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere are not just our biggest export partners; they are also playing a growing role in global political and economic affairs. Each of these regions demands American engagement and leadership.

And we are prepared to lead. Now, I’m well aware that there are those who question our staying power around the world. We’ve heard this talk before. At the end of the Vietnam War, there was a thriving industry of global commentators promoting the idea that America was in retreat, and it is a theme that repeats itself every few decades. But whenever the United States has experienced setbacks, we’ve overcome them through reinvention and innovation. Our capacity to come back stronger is unmatched in modern history. It flows from our model of free democracy and free enterprise, a model that remains the most powerful source of prosperity and progress known to humankind. I hear everywhere I go that the world still looks to the United States for leadership. Our military is by far the strongest, and our economy is by far the largest in the world. Our workers are the most productive. Our universities are renowned the world over. So there should be no doubt that America has the capacity to secure and sustain our global leadership in this century as we did in the last.

As we move forward to set the stage for engagement in the Asia-Pacific over the next 60 years, we are mindful of the bipartisan legacy that has shaped our engagement for the past 60. And we are focused on the steps we have to take at home — increasing our savings, reforming our financial systems, relying less on borrowing, overcoming partisan division — to secure and sustain our leadership abroad.

This kind of pivot is not easy, but we have paved the way for it over the past two-and-a-half years, and we are committed to seeing it through as among the most important diplomatic efforts of our time.


Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks With New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray Stuart McCully


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 17, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a real pleasure for me to welcome Foreign Minister McCully to the State Department and to return, in some small measure, the wonderful hospitality that I and my team enjoyed when we visited New Zealand late last year. And I know that President Obama is looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Key to the Oval Office later this summer.

Today our two nations are united by shared history, common values, and strong bonds of mutual interest and respect. We’ve made remarkable progress in a short period of time in strengthening our relationship, one that I think it’s fair to say was frozen for about 25 years – (laughter) – and we’ve moved beyond the old challenges and are looking to work together on the many issues that unite us. So I always look forward to meeting with Murray to go over where we are and where we are headed together.

There are so many important areas where we are cooperating. We’re both deeply committed to building a more peaceful and prosperous future for the Asia Pacific. We covered a wide range of matters today in the spirit of cooperation and of the Wellington Declaration that we signed. And I just glanced over there, and I think we are signing it there.

We reviewed where we are in Afghanistan. New Zealand has done an exemplary job in leading the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan and has also contributed so much elsewhere in Afghanistan. And we greatly appreciate the service and sacrifice of our Kiwi friends. This is going to be especially important since Bamiyan will be one of the first provinces to undergo transition. And we’re going to look to New Zealand to give us a lot of insight as to how that is proceeding.

We discussed developments in the Middle East. The courage of people in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere to stand up for their universal rights has inspired Americans and Kiwis alike. And we’re working together to support these emerging democracies. And I welcome New Zealand’s decision to contribute to the International Federation of the Red Cross to respond to the humanitarian needs of the Libyan people.

We looked ahead to the East Asia summit where President Obama will participate for the first time, and the United States will send our largest, most senior delegation ever to the Pacific Island Forum in New Zealand later this year. We talked about developments in Fiji, and both New Zealand and the United States agree that the military junta must take steps to return Fiji to democracy. And we agree on the importance of pursuing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will provide a free trade agreement for nine countries across the region, including both of ours. We’re making steady progress on this. We hope to be able to have the negotiations complete by the time we all meet in Hawaii for APEC toward the end of this year.

So on these and so many other fronts, from curbing climate change to combating nuclear proliferation, we are really joined in common goals and their pursuit. We feel a deep kinship and a very strong friendship.

And that is why we responded in solidarity when New Zealand faced the devastation of the Christchurch earthquake this last February. I saw firsthand the beauty of Christchurch when I was there in November during my visit, and it was heartbreaking to see the pictures of destruction. We also had a team there led by Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and distinguished Americans who were in the middle of a meeting to really deepen and broaden our cooperation with our friends. The United States sent a search and rescue team. They worked side by side. I think there is a photo up there with their Kiwi counterparts in very difficult conditions. And the American public has responded very generously.

The American Friends of Christchurch, some of whom are here today, organized a relief effort to assist with earthquake recovery. We have representatives from the United States business community, the foreign policy community, as well as many private citizens. This is chaired by Dr. Peter Watson and Senator Evan Bayh, along with Assistant Secretary Campbell and our ambassador to New Zealand, David Huebner. We have many people across our country who love New Zealand, who have personal experience with your country, Minister, and want to stand side by side in solidarity with you as you do what is necessary to recover that beautiful city and make sure that the people there know that they are not alone. So thank you very much for being here and being such a wonderful colleague in our work together.

FOREIGN MINISTER MCCULLY: Well, Secretary Clinton, can I say thank you, first of all, for your warm welcome and for the very positive talks that we have had this afternoon. First, can I say that our thoughts go out to the families that have suffered loss recently in Alabama in the tornado and with those who currently confront the prospect of being flooded to save that situation happening to others. New Zealanders have been watching this on their television screens, and their hearts go out to them.

I take this opportunity to pass on record our grateful thanks – thanks of the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand people for the outpouring of sympathy, solidarity, and generosity from the American people in the wake of the tragic earthquake in Christchurch. In particular, I want to thank Secretary Clinton and Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell for their leadership for the American Friends of Christchurch Initiative, which has been by far the most substantial international donor to the fundraising effort that has been taking place to support those who are in serious need in Christchurch today. I also want to place on record our great appreciation of the urban search and rescue team and the other expert advice that was so freely given at a time when we desperately needed it.

In the course of Secretary Clinton’s highly successful visit to New Zealand last November, we signed the Wellington Declaration, which provides a framework for the sort of cooperative relationship we want our two countries to have going forward. The fact that our societies are based on common values – the rule of law, democracy, respect for human rights – means that we bring similar perspectives to many of the world’s problems.

Today, Secretary Clinton has updated me on U.S. perspectives on recent events and current challenges in the Middle East and North Africa. New Zealand has been a vocal supporter of the work that’s being done to achieve the United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya and to foster regional leadership through both the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League in dealing with the evolving situation in that part of the world. We both share some frustration. I think that the inseparable challenges of the Middle East peace process and the issues around Iran continue to resist resolution.

I’ve taken the opportunity today to update Secretary Clinton on our perspective on Afghanistan, where as she said, Bamiyan Province, in which we lead the provincial reconstruction team, is one of the areas about to commence formal transition in July. We’re very conscious that as the – one of the first provinces to undergo this transition, progress in Bamiyan is going to be watched very closely, indeed. I was there myself a few weeks ago and took the opportunity to brief Secretary Clinton on our plans for transition involving major development initiatives in relation to agriculture, electricity supply and transport, and I want to thank her for the excellent cooperation which I saw between our people on the ground in that province.

I also took the opportunity to pass – brief in passing the Secretary on my meetings with President Karzai, General Petraeus, Transition Leader Ashraf Ghani, and other senior players in Kabul. We are obviously closely interested in their work and keen to work off the same page as the U.S. Administration approaching this important phase in Afghanistan.

The second part of the Wellington Declaration was about enhancing the already strong partnership we have in relation to the Asia Pacific region. We have strongly supported the U.S. decision to join the East Asia Summit. We see this body as a natural forum in which we can deal with political, security, and economic issues within the region, and over the coming months, we’re going to be working together to give good shape to U.S. participation in this body. So it’s been very helpful for us today to be updated on U.S. perspectives on the U.S. engagement in the EAS process.

I told Secretary Clinton that we are very much looking forward to our participation in the APEC meeting which will take place in Honolulu later this year. Of course, this is the target date by which we are hoping our officials will have been able to agree on fundamental elements for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the agreement that we see as being critical to economic integration within our region. These discussions will obviously have significant implications for all of those countries currently at the table and, of course, some that are not currently there.

I previously welcomed the decision of the U.S. Administration to commit more attention to the Pacific, a large expanse of ocean containing many smaller states with more than their share of challenges. Our country, of course, is deeply immersed in the affairs of the Pacific region. We’ve had the opportunity today to bring Secretary Clinton and her colleagues up to do date with our current thinking and outlined some of the current challenges we confront. In September of this year, we’ll be hosting the annual meeting of the Pacific Islands Heads of Government. This will be the 40th anniversary of the forum. And while it will be possible to look back on a significant contribution to regional unity and purpose over 40 years, I hope we will also squarely face up to the fact that there are still very substantial challenges within the region, particularly in relation to economic and environmental sustainability.

So we look forward to welcoming the U.S. delegation to New Zealand and we welcome the strong sense of partnership that’s emerging between our two countries in a region that is our immediate neighborhood. Thank you very much.

MR. TONER: We have time for just two questions. First goes to Kirit Radia of ABC News.

QUESTION: Hi, Madam Secretary and Mr. Minister. Madam Secretary, I’d like to get your assessment on the state of relations with Pakistan, especially following Senator Kerry’s trip. He spoke about a reset in relations with Islamabad. Have we turned the corner in that relationship since the bin Ladin raid? Senator Kerry spoke about a number of steps that he said that Pakistan has pledged to make before you make a trip there. Can you enlighten us into what those are? Just today we’ve seen good and bad steps taken. They’ve pledged to return the helicopter tail, they’ve arrested this al-Qaida leader in Karachi, but at the same time there was this exchange of gunfire on the border. To what extent are those events indicative of the state of relations, and what can you tell us about them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I’ve been in close touch with Senator Kerry before his trip, during his trip, throughout the entire period, and I appreciate very much his delivering to the Pakistanis, in his capacity as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, a clear perspective on the concerns of the United States Congress. We are working very hard to have an understanding with our counterparts in Pakistan about the best way forward. Just in the past few days, I have spoken to senior Pakistani leaders, including President Zardari, Prime Minister Gillani, Army Chief of Staff General Kayani. Special Representative Marc Grossman will be in Pakistan later to continue more detailed consultations. And obviously, there are important concerns and many questions that have to be addressed and worked through.

But I would just remind us all that in recent years our cooperation between our governments, our militaries, our law enforcement agencies, has increased pressure on al-Qaida and the Taliban, and we want that progress to continue. Going forward, the United States is committed to supporting the people and the Government of Pakistan as they defend their own democracy from the constant attacks by violent extremists.

I’m not going to comment on any specific issue that Senator Kerry referred to in any of his public remarks, but we’re going to be working very hard in the days and weeks ahead to ensure that we have a path forward that continues the progress and answers a lot of the concerns that both sides have at this point.

MR. TONER: Second question goes to Tim Wilson of TV New Zealand.

QUESTION: Moving to the South Pacific, the – and this is for both of you – the tension between Fiji and Tonga — how concerned are you and what do you make of the possibility that New Zealand may admit the disputed fugitive?

FOREIGN MINISTER MCCULLY: Well – (laughter) – can I say that the developments in the last week have been significant from a number of points of view. To see what was effectively the number three man for the Commodore desert and go to Tonga under those circumstances shows that there are forces at work inside Fiji that we need to understand. Certainly, it’s a sign that the grip on power of the Commodore has weakened somewhat. Colonel Mara is after all the brother-in-law of the president, the son of the first prime minister, and has other connections that are significant. The fact that Tonga has engaged in the way that it has also creates the opportunity for some tension to occur within the region.

We are not getting involved in that process at the moment. We regard this as a bilateral dispute. We are heartened by the fact that there are legal processes currently in play rather than anything less constructive. The fact that there’s an arrest warrant for extradition proceedings and a legal process underway I think has this dispute in this most constructive space that we could expect at the moment. We’ll keep a close watching brief. I was in Tonga myself a few days ago. We’re keeping very close to developments. But it’s just another sign that there are real tensions in play within the regions, real tensions in play inside Fiji.

As to the last part of your question, I think our prime minister yesterday simply signaled that in relation to Colonel Mara, we had not made any decisions about any possibility that he might be given access to New Zealand. We simply think that with a dynamic situation of this sort to rule in or out any options at this stage would be unwise, but it doesn’t indicate that there’s anything in particular on the table.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I couldn’t say it better myself. (Laughter.) And I would only underscore the point that we both made in our discussions: We want to see Fiji return to democracy. There’s been so much progress in the Pacific, and New Zealand’s played a major role in that. New Zealand has provided all kinds of support and assistance over the last years, and we really applaud that. And in fact, we want to work even more closely with New Zealand in order to demonstrate our shared commitment to the kind of opportunities we think should be available to Pacific Islanders.

Thank you all very much.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: