Posts Tagged ‘OECD’

Dressed in sunny yellow ruffles, Hillary Clinton took Paris by storm today. She delivered two major addresses, one at OECD on development and gender, and another at UNESCO of education for women and girls. Both are posted here along with the press conference she held with OECD Secretary General Gurría and her meet-and-greet with the staff and families of the Tri-Missions (scroll down on the home page to see them). To cap off her day, she gave the TV interview below.

Generally, her embassy visits come at the end of her trips, and there is speculation as to where she is headed next. I read today’s press briefing and that question was not raised nor was any information on that topic volunteered. So, foreign press reports notwithstanding, there has been no public statement. Until there is official word, those reports remain simply speculation.

Meanwhile, here is our sunny SOS in Paris followed by her interview. Enjoy!

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Interview With Laurence Ferrari of TF1’s 


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador’s Residence
Paris, France
May 26, 2011

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QUESTION: Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State is our guest tonight. Good evening, Secretary Clinton.


QUESTION: France and U.S. are involved side by side in two conflicts, Afghanistan and Libya. In the Libyan conflict, France and Great Britain have decided to send some helicopters to help the anti-Qadhafi rebellion. Do you support this decision?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me express how greatly we appreciate France’s participation and also leadership for this mission. And we are working closely together. We support the effort that France has undertaken. I can’t comment specifically on any type of aircraft, but we are very grateful for everything that France is doing.

QUESTION: Does that mean that we are now close to fighting on the ground? And will America commit any troops if France and Great Britain commit to ground fightings?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We will not commit any troops, but I don’t believe that either France or Great Britain are committing troops by adding, if they do, these attack helicopters. They’re clearly meant to support what is happening to protect civilians on the ground and the opposition fighters to protect their positions. But we’ve made clear from the beginning we want to follow the words of the Security Council resolution, and it’s very clear that there is no authority for ground troops, and we respect that.

QUESTION: President Obama said yesterday it will be a long-term process. Is the diplomatic question an option for you?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, it is. And again, we have worked closely with our French colleagues as well as other members of the NATO alliance and those who are outside of NATO to search for a political diplomatic solution. There’s a lot of activity going on from the Arab League, from the African Union, from NATO, from the EU. And I know that the United Nations, with the secretary general’s appointment of a special envoy, is taking the lead. So I think that we will see some progress.

But what’s been most encouraging is the way that the opposition has become better organized – organized civilian efforts, but also better organized militarily. And the ability to withstand the pounding they took from Qadhafi’s forces in Misrata was a real turning point, and we believe that with the increased military tempo that has been going on – and the United States still flies 25 percent of every day’s sorties, so we are deeply involved in supporting the mission – that we’re going to see some changes in the weeks ahead.

QUESTION: On Afghanistan, French people have not been supportive of the Afghan war. We have lost 58 soldiers since 2001. It’s been 10 years. Of course, bin Ladin was killed, but the major part of the country is now in Taliban hands. So what is the exit scenario? What is the next move? More troops, more ally involvement?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say that the NATO international forces agreed on a timetable in the Lisbon summit last year. So we’ve all agreed that we’re moving – starting in the summer ahead, in July – to withdraw our troops, and we will be finished with our efforts in 2014. But I think there’s more encouraging news than is sometimes relayed. Actually, most of the country is now not in the Taliban’s hands, that is in the hands of either local officials or the central government. But of course, the Taliban still tries to stage these very destructive attacks using suicide bombers and going after unarmed people, undefended facilities, as well as military outposts.
But what we have seen is a shift in the momentum against the Taliban. And we’re very grateful for the sacrifice of the French military and the support of the French people and particularly the French Government. But starting in July, we will begin a conditions-based transition to Afghan security. And in fact, there are large parts of Afghanistan that we have no military presence in, and there will soon be more of those.

QUESTION: About Usama bin Ladin, can I show you this picture – and you know it – it’s in the Situation Room.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I remember. I saw that – I didn’t know it was being taken at the time, but I saw it later.

QUESTION: So you are holding your hand in front of your mouth.


QUESTION: What did you think at that moment? Were you frightened? What did you see?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know how to describe it other than it was a very intense period. The operation went on for 38 minutes, and we all, as you can look at the expressions on everyone’s face, had been working on this with a very small group of top officials for months, and then it was out of our hands. The very well-trained Special Forces — Navy SEALs were going to carry out the mission. And it was a breath-holding moment for all of us until we got the final word that their mission had been accomplished and they were safely away.

So I don’t know at what moment that was taken, but I said the other day I don’t know whether it was when something was happening that we were aware of or when I was coughing, as I just did over at UNESCO in the middle of my speech, but there’s no doubt that this was some of the most intense, focused minutes of my entire life.

QUESTION: Ms. Clinton, in Serbia, the president announced today that Ratko Mladic has been arrested. Mladic is charged with war crimes. Can you comment on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I would like to commend President Tadic and the Serbian Government and the Serbian people for bringing Mladic to justice. The apprehension of him after all of these years is a great day for justice in the international system, an end to impunity, a time for accountability. And I know that it’s something I’ve personally discussed with President Tadic in the past, that this was a high priority for him and his government to close that chapter so that Serbia can move on, Serbia can work hard to gain admission into the European Union to be a full member of the European community. And this is a very important day.

QUESTION: So let’s talk about a French woman. Yesterday, Christine Lagarde said she was a candidate for the managing of the IMF. Do you know her and do you think she has the necessary experience for that job? And she said she would be a good candidate because she is a woman. What do you think?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Laurence, I actually know her. I admire her. I saw her last night at a dinner that I hosted for all of the ministers attending the OECD 50th anniversary. And I told her privately and I said publicly at a press conference earlier today that the United States has not taken an official position. Obviously, other candidates may come forth. But speaking unofficially and personally, I am a strong supporter of qualified women, of which she is certainly one, being given the opportunities to lead international organizations. So I wished her well last night, and I will be watching closely as this unfolds.

QUESTION: With the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, we have seen some anti-French sentiment in the American media. How serious do you think these feelings are?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do not place much seriousness on them. This is an ongoing criminal investigation. I cannot comment on any proceeding. But it’s about one person, and it’s not about France and the United States. And I have great confidence in our system of justice and it will proceed.

But I do want to underscore how the IMF is continuing its important work. The highly qualified professional staff that is there is going on, doing what needs to be done. There’s such a big agenda. There is the continuing work in Europe, in now North Africa and the Middle East and beyond. So I have great confidence in the IMF’s professionalism.

QUESTION: And is the same thing between France and America, nothing broken?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think – you are our oldest ally. You were there for us back in the Revolutionary War, and those wonderful reports from the French Court by Benjamin Franklin, and then our revolutions were within years of each other, our commitments to human rights and human freedom, our aspirations are so common. No two people agree on everything, and certainly no two great nations can agree on everything. But the relationship between France and the United States is deep, broad, enduring, and one that I highly value.

QUESTION: One last question: Can I ask you about the future – your future – because you have announced that you will not be Secretary of State if President Obama is reelected, so what will you be doing? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Probably catching up on my sleep. I – obviously, I serve at the pleasure of the President, and it’s a great honor to work with him and to promote the values and the interests that the United States has in the world, and which we share with France. But I’ve been doing very high-level politics and public service for a long time —

QUESTION: So you need to rest.

SECRETARY CLINTON: — and – I mean, here I am in Paris it’s a beautiful day, yesterday was even more beautiful, and I have no time to do anything other than my official work. And I would like to get a few more years where I can just wander aimlessly through the beauties of a city like Paris and meet with my friends and just have a life filled with the joys of everyday living. So I’m looking forward to it, but I have no plans.

QUESTION: And you have always been a strong advocate for women and women’s rights.


QUESTION: You will be maybe a world ambassador for women’s right?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am committed to human rights and women’s rights. And I spoke about both of those at two of the meetings yesterday and today, for the OECD and UNESCO, because I want our world to keep moving toward those ideals of both the American and the French Revolutions. And I want everyone to share in a more prosperous, peaceful world where security and opportunity go hand in hand. And so for me, I will continue to advocate as I always have, even before I was in any official position. So I’m sure whatever the future holds, it will hold work like that, and I look forward to it.

QUESTION: Thank you so much, Secretary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Laurence.

QUESTION: Thank you.

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Meeting With Staff and Families of the Tri-Missions


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador’s Residence
Paris, France
May 26, 2011

MS. TOLSON: Bonjour a tous. It’s my great honor and pleasure and privilege to introduce one of the finest and hardest working Secretaries of State in America’s history. Welcome back to Paris, Madam Secretary.

In addition to serving as Secretary of State at one of the most pivotal moments in world history, you also managed to find the time to champion women’s issues around the globe. And for me and millions of others around the world, you are a constant inspiration and a real role model. We’re honored and thrilled that you’re able to take time out of your tight, tight schedule here in Paris to be with us here this afternoon. It means a great deal to every member of the Tri-Mission community.

So ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my husband, Ambassador Rivkin, please join me and Ambassador Killion and Ambassador Kornbluh in giving a very warm welcome to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so very much, Susan, and thanks for welcoming all of us here to this magnificent residence. And welcome to all the members of the three missions that are housed in Paris. One of my great pleasures is working with each and every one of those missions. I know that Ambassador Rivkin couldn’t be here because he is in Deauville with the President for the G-8. But I would like to thank him for everything he’s done to make this visit successful.

I also want to thank Ambassador Kornbluh for her hard work at OECD and all of you who work with her. And I just left Ambassador Killion and his team at UNESCO. I came here to chair the 50th anniversary ministerial – (sneezes) – spring allergy conference – (laughter) – and we had a great celebration at the OECD. Excuse me. And I’m grateful to Karen, DCM Bill Monroe, and the whole OECD team for the hard work they’ve done, particularly supporting women and girls and the new gender initiative, along with the new paradigm for development. I appreciate, too, the wonderful dinner that was held at the historic Talleyrand building last night. And with respect to UNESCO and U.S.-UNESCO’s work, we just announced the new Global Partnership on Women’s and Girls’ Education, and I know how hard this mission has worked on the full range of issues that come up before UNESCO.

Now, there is nothing like an official visit to get everybody overworked even more than usual, but I am delighted to have this chance to tell you how much I appreciate your service and sacrifices. I also very much am impressed by what Mission France is doing with outreach to young minorities, such as the Youth Ambassadors Program, and your Rennes APP, using local contacts to help U.S. exporters secure over $11 million in new exports, leading the way in technology and social media. And I have to tell you, you have, by far, the largest Facebook audience of any post in Europe. So yes, give that a round of applause. (Applause.) And I know that we’ve been, because of the OECD, hosting a number of our technology companies and executives here in Paris as well.

But let me also thank our local staff who work so hard for our Tri-Mission family – our guards, our coordinators, our domestic policy advisors. I know that a number of you have performed wonderful work for so many years. As secretaries come and go and ambassadors come and go, and Foreign Service officers and American civil servants come and go, the locally engaged staff stays. And you are truly the repository of information and experience that we all rely on so much.

So on behalf of the United States and a grateful nation, thank you. Thank you for what each and every one of you do in furtherance of our relationships here in France and around the world on so many important issues. It’s a great honor working with you. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Remarks With OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
OECD Conference Center
Paris, France
May 26, 2011

Vodpod videos no longer available.

remarks with OECD SG Gurria, posted with vodpod

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very, very much, Secretary General, for your leadership of the OECD. It’s making a real difference and I am especially appreciative of everything you did to make this 50th anniversary celebration such a success. The United States has been proud to serve as chair, and we are pleased by the progress that is being achieved. And also, let me express my gratitude to Germany for serving as vice chair and to France for hosting all of us here.

We did cover a great deal of ground in our ministerial meetings, and let me briefly touch on a few highlights. First, members endorsed a new OECD vision statement that will help ensure the organization’s next 50 years are as successful as the first 50 years. The vision statement lays out a path for the OECD to become an even more effective and inclusive global policy network, bringing high standards, best practices, and rigorous peer review to a wider range of economic and social challenges around the world. And it will keep us focused on promoting sustainable economic growth, creating jobs, and spurring innovation.

Second, we agreed on a new approach to development that will better prepare developing countries to move from aid to sustainable and inclusive growth. The OECD will work more closely with developing countries to share best practices, reduce poverty, and widen the circle of prosperity. In our discussions, I stressed the importance of helping developed countries – with developing countries – make reforms in three interconnected areas – on taxes, transparency, and corruption. This will enable developing countries to fund more of their own growth.

Third, we highlighted the crucial role that women and girls can play in driving economic progress, and we strongly backed the OECD’s important new gender initiative, and thank you for including gender in the new better life indicators.

Finally, we took several steps to keep the OECD at the forefront of good governance and corporate responsibility. We agreed to new guidelines for multinational companies that include important new provisions on human rights, conflict minerals, and internet freedom. And we also welcomed Russia to the OECD Working Group on Bribery, a significant step in its own right and a milestone in Russia’s path toward full OECD membership.

On all of these and other fronts as well, we’re making encouraging progress, which is so sorely needed. The United States is committed to the OECD, its mission, and its future, because we see its values, standards, and hard-won knowledge as increasingly important in a rapidly changing world. And being on the site where George C. Marshall’s vision for the Marshall Plan came to fruition reminds us that people acting in good faith, holding themselves to high standards, driving toward consensus, can make a real difference. As the OECD increases its own global reach, it stands to play an even more vital role.

So let me thank you again, Secretary General, for your partnership.

STAFF: Okay. We’re a little bit pressed for time, so I think we have about – time for about four questions. Let me start with Agence France-Presse.

QUESTION: This is a question for Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, is officially candidate to become the head of the IMF. So far, the U.S. didn’t take a clear position on the matter, saying that she and the Mexican candidate were both reliable. But the European – your European partners expect more support from you. Are you prepared to deliver this support?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say that the United States has not taken a position on any candidacy as yet. As you know, the timeframe for candidates to be put forward has a few more weeks to run. So officially, the United States will be assessing and then eventually announcing its preferred candidate.

Unofficially, let me say that we welcome women who are well-qualified and experienced to head major organizations such as the IMF.

STAFF: Okay. Maybe a second answer, I think.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)


QUESTION: Another question for Mrs. Clinton: The OECD has started his work on the so-called global standards for the financial markets. Do you think that that could be an useful tool to prevent the coming of another crisis?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The United States welcomes the OECD’s work on financial markets. As you know, the OECD’s analysis of economic statistics is really viewed around the world as highly credible; in fact, probably the gold standard. And therefore, the OECD’s concerns and follow-through regarding what we have learned from the recent terrible economic crisis that the world has experienced will not only guide the OECD’s work, but I’m sure be viewed as a resource for governments as well.

STAFF: The next question is from Arshad Mohammed of Reuters.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, there were gunfights through the night in Yemen in which dozens of people are reported to have been killed. One, is Yemen sliding toward civil war? Two, what, if anything, can the United States do to try to influence President Saleh to step down beyond simply words, all of which he has thus far ignored?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, we are very troubled by the ongoing clashes between various factions inside of Yemen. As you know, we have expended an extraordinary amount of effort, along with our colleagues from the Gulf and Europe and elsewhere in trying to mediate the conflict in Yemen. And we call on all sides, all sides immediately, to cease the violence. It has been a hallmark of our policy ever since the events of this year in the Middle East and North Africa to call for peaceful protests and for nonviolent responses.

The situation is very volatile. We are monitoring it closely. You’re aware that just a few days ago, our Ambassador and other ambassadors were effectively detained by large crowds outside the residence of the ambassador from the United Arab Emirates. We have ordered the departure of American personnel. And we are working with all of our colleagues to do everything we can to end the fighting. We continue to support a unified and stable Yemen, and we continue to support the departure of President Saleh, who has consistently agreed that he would be stepping down from power and then consistently reneged on those agreements, turning his back on the commitments that he made and disregarding the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people.

So we now urge him once again to immediately follow through on his repeated commitments to peacefully and orderly transfer power, and ensure that the legitimate will of the people of Yemen for political and economic reform can be addressed. And of course, it is a very, very challenging situation currently in Yemen, but the United States is working with a broad cross-section of countries and representatives within Yemen to try to end the fighting and move the process forward.

STAFF: And a final question from Anne Gearan of the Associated Press.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, on Pakistan, the prime minister has said that he will call – he will use all available means to go after militant sanctuaries. What does that mean to you? Is that any different than promises that Pakistan has made going back a couple of years now? And more generally, are you disappointed in the reaction of Pakistan’s leadership since the killing of bin Ladin, the expulsion of U.S. military trainers and sort of generally whipping up anti-American sentiment?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Anne, I think we need to put your question and my answer into a broader context. Since 9/11, Pakistan has been a strong partner in our counterterrorism efforts. Now, there have been times when we have had disagreements, there have been times when we wanted to push harder, and for various reasons, they have not. Those differences are real. They will continue.

But the fact of the matter is that the international community has been able to kill more terrorists on Pakistani soil than anyplace else in the world. We could not have done that without Pakistani cooperation. I believe strongly it is in our national security interests to have a comprehensive, long-term partnership with the government and people of Pakistan. As you know, we’ve been building that partnership through a series of ongoing high-level engagements. We will be working through these near-term challenges. But we will also keep our eye on what is in our strategic interests – that is, our first and highest responsibility.

And going forward, we are ready and willing to support the people and Government of Pakistan as they defend their own democracy from violent extremism. They have lost thousands of Pakistanis, civilian and military. They have seen not only their military facilities, but mosques and marketplaces, universities and schools attacked ruthlessly with extraordinary damage. And so for me, we’re going to continue our consultations. We do have a set of expectations that we are looking for the Pakistani Government to meet.

But I want to underscore, in conclusion, that it is not as though they have been on the sidelines. They have been actively engaged in their own bitter fight with these terrorist extremists who target indiscriminately people from all walks of life, all ages, and we’re going to look to put our partnership on as strong a foundation going forward as possible.

QUESTION: Are those expectations on counterterrorism, Madam Secretary?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Across the board.

QUESTION: Across the —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Across the board.

STAFF: Thanks for coming.

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Remarks at the OECD Session on Development and Gender


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
OECD Conference Center
Paris, France
May 26, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning, and let me tell you what a pleasure it is for me to be with all of you today as we chart a new way forward in our efforts to expand prosperity and opportunity around the world. I want to thank the secretary general for his leadership at the OECD and I look forward to hearing his opening comments.

But today is a day for us to really focus on the meeting of the OECD vision statement adopted yesterday, which reflects an important consensus about development that while aid is essential, aid alone is not enough; that to help people reach their full potential, we must also promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and that we need to continue to remake the relationship between donors and development countries. And that requires working in partnership, not patronage. So developing nations will define their needs and chart their futures while becoming less dependent on aid and ultimately ending their need for aid altogether.

This consensus is reflected in the work that we have done in the Obama Administration over the last two-plus years. Guided by the President’s Directive on Global Development, we are placing a new emphasis on accountability, country ownership, and sustainable, broad-based growth. I commissioned the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review in our government, which we released last fall. It lays out a plan for putting these principles into action. And it is a joint effort between the State Department and USAID, whose administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah, is here today and will discuss the important role that USAID is playing in this new policy on development.

But I have to say that for all of us, making this shift requires hard work. And there are many urgent issues we could discuss today, but I want to focus on two. First, partnering with developing countries on reforms in three interconnected areas – taxes, transparency, and corruption – because focusing on these three will give us the tools needed to enable more countries to fund more of their own development. And second, doing more to support women as drivers of sustainable economic growth.

Let me begin with the reforms. This is a very high priority for me. I have been working in development for now many years – (laughter) – and I look around this table and I see familiar faces, including Brian Atwood, with whom I worked back in the ‘90s. And I’ve spoken about the importance of countries and international organizations like the OECD working together on taxes, transparency, and corruption many times in many places, from Pakistan to Ecuador.

Why? Because corruption, lack of transparency, and poorly functioning tax systems are major barriers to long-term growth in many developing countries. Corruption stifles entrepreneurship and it siphons funding away from critical services, hurting the people who rely on those services. Poor transparency makes it difficult if not impossible to determine how governments raise and spend their funds, and therefore, how to hold governments accountable. And weak tax systems rob states and citizens of the resources needed. Why? Either because the taxes are not levied at all, or because it’s very easy for people to avoid paying them. Nobody likes paying taxes, but the countries around this table represented know that in the absence of funding public services, it’s very difficult to achieve the kind of outcomes for prosperity, growth, opportunity that we seek.

And let’s be very clear – many wealthy people in low-income countries avoid taxes by hiding their money offshore, an outflow that by some estimates comes to more than $1 trillion a year. Now, to some degree, it is logical that low-income countries would raise less revenue internally than others. After all, some of the most common sources of income in developing countries are very difficult to tax, and building strong public institutions is a challenge for any nation. But we also have to acknowledge that wealthy countries share responsibility, so that is why, for instance, the United States is making it easy for other governments to know when their citizens are keeping money in American accounts.

We all have an interest in solving these problems together, to empower governments to collect precious revenues they use to build roads and power lines, to open schools and train teachers, to provide healthcare and invest in all the other drivers in economic activity. Corruption, lack of transparency, and poorly functioning tax systems not only deprive government of revenues; they inflict a quieter and in some ways an even more dangerous cost as well, because they corrode citizens’ trust in each other and in their government. And when those bonds of trust crumble, it becomes much more difficult for communities and countries to make progress.

And finally, corruption in poorly functioning tax systems put a strain on our partnerships with developing countries. All of us here are supporting development. We’re committed to doing so. And the United States will continue to lead the world in providing assistance. But let me say very openly it is difficult to ask American taxpayers to spend money abroad when the elites in the countries themselves turn their backs on their own people, especially at a time of difficult budgetary decisions. It is not hard to imagine that an unemployed worker or a struggling business somewhere in my country would wonder why we would offer our hard-earned tax dollars to help those who will not reach the social consensus to help themselves.

As donor countries make our assistance more effective, recipient countries must do their part as well. When a country makes reforms in taxation, transparency, and fighting corruption, it ignites a virtuous cycle. Taxpayers see what they’re getting for their money and they can no longer rely on the old excuses for not paying their share. Higher revenues means that the government can provide better services and pay decent wages to public employees. And so these reforms, in turn, create a more attractive climate for foreign investors and they strengthen the case we can make to our own citizens for continuing to support development programs. So if we partner with developing countries to break the vicious cycle and instead catalyze the virtuous cycle, we can not only help them provide more for their own people, but actually get on the path to self-sufficiency.

Now, there are many examples of countries that have made commendable progress; I will just mention three. El Salvador has now broadened its tax base and made its system more equitable. South Africa has fought corruption and made its budget more transparent. Tanzania has introduced new systems to track taxpayers and payments and modernized its customs department. And each of these nations has seen its tax revenues climb significantly as a percentage of GDP.

The United States has made this a priority for a wide range of initiatives. The State Department, USAID, and our Treasury Department have supported many countries in their efforts to broaden their tax base, strengthen enforcement, simplify the payment of taxes, and improve the management of public funds. For example, with assistance from USAID, the Afghan Government is expanding its work to pay police officers by cell phone. This helps cut down on fraudulent payments and prevents corrupt officials from skimming from their workers’ salaries.

And I want to commend the OECD for the crucial role you play in supporting reform. The Anti-Bribery Convention commits countries to tackle the bribery of foreign officials, and the new Global Forum on Transparency is working to reduce tax evasion. The United States is proud to support the recently launched tax and development program and the OECD-NEPAD Africa Investment Initiative, two excellent programs for sharing best practices that have already benefitted the South Sudan, Tanzania, and others.

Other institutions including the G-20, the IMF, the World Bank, and civil society organizations like Oxfam and Transparency International have lent their expertise as well. And all of these efforts are critical and they should continue, but in the end, success will depend on more than funding and sharing expert technical solutions. It will depend on building the political will to implement them. Any kind of change will take hard work, but these reforms will also take courage. Elected leaders will have to look their most powerful supporters right in the eye and tell them, “You need to pay your fair share for the good of your country.” Budget officials will have to make their decisions public, even if it subjects them to tough criticism. And tax collectors will have to speak out against bribery and corruption. In short, behind every success story, there will be a committed group of people who refuse to accept the status quo, who stand up to entrenched interests and take on tough reforms. Without this essential leadership, technical solutions will remain necessary but unfortunately insufficient.

Building that political will is the goal of an effort we’re calling domestic finance for development. We aim to raise these issues from the technical realm to the political realm, not just how to implement the reforms but how to spark leadership and action. And in the coming weeks, I will issue policy guidance instructing every diplomat and every development officer at the State Department and USAID to elevate corruption as a focus of their work with other countries. We are also establishing an innovation fund to create incentives and boost political support for anticorruption efforts and tax reform. And we will launch a pilot project to support a small number of countries in their efforts to make comprehensive, integrated reform in all three areas. Working with countries that have a demonstrated commitment to change, we will help them identify areas for improvement, design solutions, and measure their progress in delivering results. Ultimately, our goal is to reinforce these countries and to create models of success.

And finally, in July, the United States will host a meeting of the Open Government Partnership, which will bring together partners from many countries and sectors to support governments’ efforts to become more transparent, accountable, and participatory. The meeting will pave the way for heads of state to participate in a summit on the sidelines of this year’s United Nations General Assembly.

And I thank the OECD for the important contributions it continues to make. With the framework for a strategy for development, the OECD marries its two core strengths – world class policy research and cooperation on development work. In the past, these two capabilities have been largely separate. The policy research benefitted mainly member countries. Now with this framework, the OECD as a whole will expand its policy expertise for the benefit of the developing countries as well. The framework also provides a new opportunity for developed countries to learn from developing ones. And as OECD expands your efforts, I hope you will put a particular focus on taxation, transparency, and corruption, because these issues are a perfect match for the expertise you already have.

We are taking an important step today by endorsing the framework, but I think we can do more. We can galvanize action. I want to urge the OECD to develop the strategy for executing the framework in time to present it at the OECD Council Meeting in January. This will be an opportunity for the OECD to take action and help deliver results for millions of people, and we should make the most of it. And the upcoming High Level Forum in Busan, South Korea will greatly benefit from the OECD’s contributions.

And this brings me to the second area I wish to discuss. The role of girls and women in creating sustained economic development has been a cause of a lifetime, and again, I see around this table, like Ambassador Melanne Verveer and others, those who have committed so much of themselves to this. The logic is compelling. Women and girls are a powerful engine for creating jobs and spurring economic growth. There are more than 200 million entrepreneurs who happen to be women worldwide today. And when a woman prospers, the benefits don’t stop with her. We have reams of research which shows that women actually invest what they earn back into their families, and then the benefits multiply throughout her community and across generations.

But even after all the progress we have made together, there are still many barriers that stand in the way of economic progress for women. Too few women can get a good education, find a job, own property, or open their own businesses in too many countries around the world. To study these barriers and identify solutions, the United States supported the launch of the OECD’s Gender Initiative early this year. The initiative will create indicators for measuring women’s economic empowerment and create a toolbox of policy options for countries to unleash the potential of millions of women through education, employment, and entrepreneurship. And the OECD is piloting this approach with its Women’s Business Network for the Middle East and North Africa, which is co-chaired by the United States and Jordan.

Today marks the first milestone in the initiative. We are receiving its interim report. And I ask the ministers here to welcome the report, to affirm its statement that women’s economic empowerment is critical to stronger, fairer economic growth, and to call on the secretary general to take the measures necessary to complete this project in time for the ministerial meeting next year.

There is one other step we should take. As I will discuss later today at UNESCO, if we’re going to improve outcomes for girls and women and make the best case for more investment, we’ll need better data and we need to coordinate our efforts to make sure we get it. So I call on organizations focused on these issues to work together on a plan to make all the data that’s collected on women more comparable and useful, and to identify a list of common indicators for future data collection. And I’m pleased to announce that the OECD, the World Bank, and UN Women have already agreed to collaborate on this project in time for the High Level Forum in Busan. I hope others will join them.

With this, I would like to now ask the secretary general to make his opening remarks.

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Public Schedule for May 26, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
May 26, 2011

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Paris, France to participate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting and delivers remarks at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Click here for more information.

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The stunningly attractive Hillary Clinton arrived in Paris from London today to deliver the keynote speech at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting and 50th Anniversary Commemoration. The video and transcript of the speech itself was posted earlier, so you can access it by scrolling down on the main page.

If you missed the equally enchanting slideshow of her morning in London with William Hague, it is posted in today’s public schedule as the images were available very early.

I love this outfit! It is nice to see her in some frills. She was back in Discourse’s favorite jacket for her speech at the dinner (also posted earlier) hosted by the U.S. Embassy.

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U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton makes a speech as part of a dinner held by U.S embassy in Paris, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Amid turmoil over whether a candidate from the developing world should supplant Europe as the head of the International Monetary Fund, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged rich nations on Wednesday to cooperate beyond their traditional financial circles.(AP Photo/Thibault Camus, pool)


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Paris, France
May 25, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am delighted to welcome you to this OECD dinner commemorating the 50th anniversary. There are so many distinguished diplomats and government officials from across the world, and I am honored to see each and every one of you. I especially want to thank the secretary general for his leadership, and the Government of France and Foreign Minister Juppé for hosting the OECD here in Paris. We’re grateful to you both. (Applause.)

I’m also delighted to welcome you to this beautiful building, because it has seen so much history. It was here that Talleyrand and his colleagues negotiated to deliver Europe from years of war. And it was here more than a century later that the United States, under the leadership of President Truman and Secretary of State George Marshall, put together unprecedented resources in order to help Europe rebuild from the war. It is a place conceived by French genius and given new life by American generosity, and it well represents our partnership.

So it is fitting that we would be here to celebrate, because the OECD grew out of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, and from the beginning it was George Marshall’s vision that the transatlantic partnership would be directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. And that vision continues to guide us, and of course, it’s gone global. First came Japan and Australia, then New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. And after the fall of the Berlin Wall, new democracies in Eastern Europe joined together to seek a transition to open economies and vibrant political systems. And last year, we were very pleased to welcome four new members: Chile, Estonia, Israel, and Slovenia. And Russia is well on its way to accession, and I just can imagine what General Marshall would say about all of that.

So in a world that is changing but whose values remain eternal, the OECD has emerged as a vital institution and a growing force for progress and prosperity. The United States is proud to chair this celebration, and we are very committed to the OECD’s future.

Now we are in the former home of one of history’s great gourmets. I cannot promise that we will have a meal commensurate with the Talleyrand’s expectations – (laughter) – but I do invite you to exchange views and relax in this very welcoming setting. And as we think about the past all around us, we can turn our thoughts to an even brighter future. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Remarks at the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the OECD


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Paris, France
May 25, 2011

Vodpod videos no longer available.

OECD Ministerial Council, posted with vodpod

Thank you very much, Secretary General. And indeed, it is a great honor for me to be here on behalf of the United States, along with my colleagues, Ambassador Ron Kirk, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Dr. Goolsbee and, of course, Ambassador Karen Kornbluh.

This is such an auspicious occasion as we mark the 50th anniversary of the important work that the OECD has done. But before the OECD, there was General George C. Marshall. He realized that a peaceful, stable Europe would need more than rebuilt town squares, railroad tracks, and factories. He knew that Europe needed a community of shared economic values. And therefore he, along with President Truman, decided to convene such a community. And what we saw was this remarkable commitment to the rebuilding of former adversaries at the end of a devastating world war because there was a recognition that we needed, as the slogan goes, better policies for better lives, and that through those better policies that would create better lives, there would be a greater chance for peaceful cooperation and real human security.

When President Kennedy ratified the OECD convention 50 years ago, he, too, hoped to help widen the circle of economic cooperation. What followed for the OECD, and indeed for the world, surpassed even his ambitious vision. Because we did not seek economic growth just for ourselves, but we understood that we would all benefit from growing the pie, and we welcomed partners into a system designed to help all nations begin to create better lives for their own people. And as a result, together we helped usher in the greatest era of growth the world has seen.

A group of European nations, along with the United States, became a transatlantic community and then the global network that we celebrate today with 34 countries, a secretary general from Mexico, a prime minister from France, a prime minister from Japan, and the president of the European Commission, and partners from all over the world. But for all of its changes, the OECD remains as it was in those earliest days, a community of shared values, open and effective markets, human rights, freedoms, and the rule of law, accountable governments and leaders, free, fair and transparent competition, President Kennedy’s belief that a rising tide can and must lift all boats.

So for five decades this has been a laboratory and a launching pad for smart economic policies to bring those values to life. Member states have improved labor conditions, exposed tax havens, worked in ways large and small to hold ourselves and others to even higher standards. Now, I’m aware that these efforts rarely win a great deal of publicity. This is the hard, sometimes frustrating, difficult work of forging consensus and creating new and hopefully more effective ways of reaching toward our common goals. Because this is a place where leaders and technocrats, business, labor, and civil society can find common ground and produce tangible benefits for our fellow citizens.
But let me quickly add that success was never a foregone conclusion. That’s why these 50 years are especially worth celebrating today. And yet even as we stop and mark this anniversary, we recognize that the work now being done is occurring during a time of dramatic economic changes. Many nations in this room, including my own, are still recovering from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Rising economic powers are gaining a larger share of the world’s wealth and influence. And one of the underlying convictions of the OECD is that when one gains in wealth and influence, one also must accept greater responsibilities.

Two decades ago, when the Berlin Wall came down, the nations of Eastern Europe turned to the OECD for help not only to build democracies, but also market economies. And today, we need to work with a new generation of emerging economies and emerging democracies as they chart their own futures. The values, standards, and hard-won knowledge of the OECD are as essential as ever. And it falls to us to promote them in this tumultuous time. I applaud the OECD for its bold vision statement which we are unveiling today for endorsement by this ministerial. I believe if this vision statement is followed and implemented through specific, concrete actions, it will help the OECD to have its next 50 years be as successful as its past.

I want briefly to touch on three of the most important ideas. To start, many of our nations are seeking a stronger economic recovery. All of us want more opportunities and more jobs for our own citizens. So the OECD must continue to deliver forward-leaning policies that help unlock the potential for inclusive, sustainable economic growth. Sometimes that means raising standards for how our companies operate and compete. Other times, it means making markets more effective and lowering economic barriers.

For example, we must continue to use this venue to stimulate new jobs from sources like clean energy and more energy efficiency. We need to be serious about eliminating barriers to trade, investment, and fair competition both at our borders and behind them. Through its work on such complex challenges such as export subsidies, the OECD is critical. And if we want to unleash the full potential of entire societies, we must do more to support women and girls who want to learn, work, and start their own businesses, which is why I’m very proud to support the OECD’s Gender Initiative.

In a few minutes, we will also endorse the OECD’s updated guidelines for multinational enterprises. These guidelines, developed in close consultation with both business and labor, set a new higher standard for how our companies should operate, including an important new chapter on human rights. Second, development was at the heart of the OECD’s founding mission – in fact, the “D” at the end of the title. And it belongs at the center of our agenda today and in years to come.

Each year, the chair chooses a theme to highlight. And since the United States has sought to elevate development within our own foreign policy, we wanted to focus on what the OECD can do to foster more effective development practices. We start by recognizing that aid, while it remains essential, is not enough to deliver sustainable growth. Countries must be the authors of their own development. And we need to make it a priority to help nations mobilize their own resources to create those greater opportunities.

But what do we expect of such countries? Well, we expect that they need to fight corruption. They need to be transparent about budgets and revenues. And they need to collect taxes in an equitable manner, especially from their own elites. They need to put in place regulations designed to attract and protect investment. And the OECD is here to help when they ask for it. This is, after all, a body of knowledge that the OECD has been uniquely building for decades. And today, a new set of nations is looking to learn these same lessons. From Latin America, to Africa, to Southeast Asia, and now to the Middle East and North Africa, this is the moment to leverage the strengths of this organization to deliver transformative growth. And the OECD’s new framework for development marks an important step in that direction. I will return to these issues at greater length tomorrow, but I wanted to use this 50th anniversary celebration to emphasize their importance.

And third, we cannot simply raise our own standards or level the economic playing field among OECD nations. A global economy depends on a global network, and therefore, the OECD must continue to build varied, flexible partnerships in service of the standards we have worked to achieve. We have already seen how deeper engagement helps all of us to share lessons and best practices.

Chile formed an environmental protection agency as part of its accession talks. Russia is about to join the working group on bribery, and we hope that Russia will soon exceed to the Anti-Bribery Convention. And we look forward to working closely with all working group members on robust enforcement of the convention.

The OECD is also deepening engagement with Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. And we welcome Brazil’s contributions at the Export Credit Working Group, and South Africa’s leadership on African public debt. We should continue and, in fact, we should deepen our outreach to emerging powers in the spirit of these shared lessons and mutually beneficial cooperation. We have the flexibility, both to reach out and raise standards at the same time.

As the OECD enhances its engagement with emerging economies, it must also continue its groundbreaking work to develop multidisciplinary guidelines for the treatment of state-owned and state-controlled enterprises.

Now, we recognize that countries will make different choices about how much of their economies to keep in the hands of government. Still, whether they are owned by shareholders or states, all companies should operate on a level playing field consistent with the principles of competitive neutrality. And these companies should be solely commercial, not political actors. Now, I’m well aware that this will not happen overnight. But the great lessons that we have learned from 50 years of incremental progress is that we can raise the standards of fair competition. And when we raise those standards, we help maintain them everywhere.

Half a century ago there was no guarantee that the world’s great economies would coalescence around a common vision, but that is exactly what happened. And there were no guarantees that nations from Mexico to Chile to South Korea would grow into dynamic developed partners, but they have. The same values and vision needs to continue to guide us, and that’s why the new vision for the future is so critical.

It is now my great pleasure to turn the floor over to the French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon. (Applause.)

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Secretary Clinton to Travel to London and Paris

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Acting Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 18, 2011

Secretary of State Clinton will accompany President Obama to London on May 24 for the first part of his state visit to the United Kingdom. This trip is a sign of the strength of the special relationship between our two countries, and of the United States’ enduring commitment to our allies and partners in Europe. Secretary Clinton will also meet with Foreign Secretary Hague while in London.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Paris, France, to preside over the 50th Anniversary of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting, May 25-26. Events will include the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration, at which the Secretary will deliver the opening address in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan; several signing and adoption ceremonies; and a plenary session on “A New Paradigm for Development.” The Commemoration will be live-streamed at www.oecd.org/oecdweek.

Secretary Clinton will also deliver keynote remarks in support of the launch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Global Partnership will bring together companies, non-governmental organizations, and governments to develop innovative programs to deliver education to women and girls. The event will be live-streamed on Thursday, May 26 at 8:00 am (EST) at www.unesco.org.

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