Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’

Some miscellaneous videos from Wednesday’s visit to the Dominican Republic are beginning to appear.  Here are a few.

 

Remarks at Pathways to Prosperity

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Pathways to Prosperity, posted with vodpod

 

*** Remarks on Action in UNESCO ***

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Action in UNESCO, posted with vodpod

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Action in UNESCO, posted with vodpod

 

***Remarks on Syria ***

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks on Syria, posted with vodpod

Here are some remarks from the Pathways high-level panel discussion. 

 

Remarks at the Pathways High-Level Panel Discussion

 

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

October 5, 2011

 


Speakers:

United Nations ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena

Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza

International Development Bank Vice President Steven Puig

 

Moderator: Juan Carlos Lopez, CNN

 

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Good afternoon, my name is Juan Carlos Lopez from CNN en Espanol and it is an honor to join you in this meeting of Pathways to Prosperity. For this conversation, very distinguished guests to discuss the significance of this meeting and what we should expect from the future. I would like to begin by introducing our panel members. We are fine tuning the audio assistance, but if you could be seated, please, we will begin with our conversation.

They do not necessarily need to be introduced, but I’ll do it anyway. I have in my left the Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State – thank you very much, Madam Clinton, for joining us – and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Mr. Insulza, as well as Ms. Alicia Barcena, Executive Director for the Economic Mission for Latin America, and the Caribbean, and the Vice-President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Steven Puig. And he is the only Dominican who is a member of our panel.

Good afternoon. We are discussing about Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas. And the question is: What does this mean, and how does this translate to those who are seeking a better standard of living? I want to give each of you the opportunity to explain so that the people out there can understand the significance. We will have this 30-minute discussion. I will be asking questions in both Spanish and English. Our distinguished guests will respond. Our distinguished guest, Secretary Clinton, will respond in English. All the other speakers will respond in Spanish. And this will be a 30-minute conversation.

I’d like to begin by giving you the opportunity to discuss something that we’ve already mentioned: social inclusion. What does this mean? It has a very nice ring to it, but a lot of people will ask: What does this mean, especially to me? Honorable Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Juan Carlos, what it means, for those of us gathered here for the Pathways to Prosperity is that we want to create more economic opportunity that is pervasive throughout every society, so that more people have a chance to start businesses, to enter the formal economy, to grow businesses, to have a chance to improve their incomes and their futures for themselves and their families. And as I said earlier, it’s exciting how much Latin America has grown in the last decade. That is the first and most important achievement. But the second, equally important achievement is to make sure as growth continues that it is broadly available to everyone willing to work for it.

MR. LOPEZ: Secretario.

MR. INSULZA: (Via interpreter) We still face issues. We are still not growing at the rate at – that we wish. But nothing that has to do with inclusion or any other thing will grow – will work without economic growth. You’ve experienced a very good, successful economic growth, very good development in terms of political development, but our becoming part of the global economy – and particularly, we have to overcome inequalities.

There are also other issues that deal with crime, very high crime rate. However, these inequities that go beyond the mere fact that some people make more money than others. Latin America has rates of inequalities that translate into all the areas of life – oil distribution, access to services, quality of education, and also the quality of their education and the discrimination of minorities such as indigenous minorities and others.

So the whole issue of inclusion boils down to overcoming this and overcoming inequalities, and the Honorable Secretary has very clearly stated it – create opportunities. It means the creation of opportunities, which is essential to our people. And that is why the issues addressed by Pathways to Prosperity are essential. In terms of education, issues pertaining to education, the whole issue of the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises – micro, small, and medium-sized. So enhancing that implies enhancing people, low-income people, providing much more jobs, much more permanent jobs, not necessarily a lot of small – which does not boil down exclusively to creation, because a lot of small enterprises are created and then disappear. We have to provide them access to markets, to education, training, and finances.

MR. LOPEZ: Secretario.

MS. BARCENA: (Via interpreter) Well, I think that our continent, our region, is not the poorest in the world, but it’s the most unequal region in the world. There are still 180 million Latin Americans and Caribbeans who are poor, and that hurts. Therefore, what we set forth is that the key to social inclusion is employment – employment with social protections, formal employment, decent employment. And that will be achieved only if there is productivity and prosperity.

Our continent, our region, has made great headway in the last decade – even before, in the ’90s and the recent decade. Why? Because we turned into a region with macroeconomic discipline and progressive policies. What did the governments do? Well, they did a great deal to create social assistance programs at the beginning, and then with conditioned cash transfers to poor families. And these have had a significant impact. Through these programs, a number of Latin Americans came out of poverty.

I will share a datum with you. When the last decade came to a good close in the ’80s in Latin America, 50 percent of the people were poor. Now, 30 percent are poor, at least 180 million. So how do we achieve a hundred – social inclusion? Therein lies the rub, so to speak. So how do we articulate to those that make more with those that make less, those that have a higher income with those that have a lower income? That is the issue at the heart of inclusion. It’s not just fighting against extreme poverty, but we need to link large companies with small and medium-sized enterprises. We can’t have those divergences, those inequalities that divide us that so conflicted between us. Everyday citizens need to see that this society promises social mobility, that the fact that they do create a small and medium enterprise can link them to large enterprises, with exports, with modernity.

And I think that message needs to be conveyed to young people. Nowadays, I believe that the greatest problem in Latin America lies with the young population. Unemployment in Latin America is at 7.3 percent. It’s not that bad. It’s better even than before the crisis. But youth unemployment is double that, 15 percent. And we have those – the young people that don’t study, don’t work – there are 19 million youths that do not work or study. And they should be our target for greater social inclusion.

MR. PUIG: (Via interpreter) Yes, Juan Carlos. When we think about inclusion, we have in our minds 70 percent of Latin American population that makes less than 10 U.S. dollars per day. Not only them, but we also think about women and other minorities that must be included in our social processes and our economic processes. When we talk about inclusion per se, we talk about issues that are similar to the ones raised by the Secretary – access to knowledge, funding, and essential services. And when they translate those issues to the very concrete level of – it boils down to access to health, education, water, power, electrical power, sanitation.

And we’re also thinking about the issues raised by Alicia, this linkage, this articulation between the large corporations, the large business people and the smaller entrepreneurs. In our case, we’ve developed a team that works exclusively with these groups. And this team has focused on identifying platforms, which is what we call them, with inclusion to third parties. It may be business or government activities.

And if you allow me to give you a short example, because I believe that with examples we understand everything much better, one of the first projects that we implemented was in the north of Mexico, where we found a number of municipalities that had no paved streets, and these neighborhoods that had developed very informally. So the municipality had no resources to build their roads. So we partnered with a private company – in this case, it was CEMEX — to build those roads. And finally, what we did was we set up some 36,000 micro-credits for people living on the fringes of these streets to enjoy these new streets. And for a very pleasant surprise, the experience of the repayment, the collection of that microcredit, fortunately it was in very good – even within the standards that we had foreseen, and that has a – that also is involved in the reduction of weeds that induces ailments – respiratory ailments abound among the people living in those areas – enhance access to services and the education of their people.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Secretary – I was going to ask the question in English, but she is receiving the interpretation. This meeting is – the whole idea is not only to share experiences and repeat stories, but also to take great measures. You talked about the 5 million U.S. dollars that have already been invested, and you also talked about the 17.5 million that will be invested in the future. How do you see the desire, the appetite, in the U.S. Congress to support these initiatives when today, for example, President Obama passed a law to fund a government until the 18th of November, and you are talking about cuts, budgetary cuts? Do you see that within Congress there is an interest to support these measures in the future?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think there is because we are bound so closely with Latin America. We are bound by ties of history and culture and family and commerce. And it matters greatly to the United States what happens here, and vice versa. So what we are doing is making the case that our investments in Pathways to Prosperity projects are going to pay off.

In this wonderful book that Alicia has helped to bring to publication, from the UN, the IDB, and the OAS, and each of the organizations up here, there are best practices. We know what can work. So we’re not just going to the Congress and saying we would like to invest in a better economy for Latin America, so just give us the money. We’re going and saying we know what works. We want to partner with the OAS, with the UN, with the IDB and others in order to translate that into tangible progress. So I think there’s a great deal of interest and commitment from our Congress to support that kind of investment.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Secretary, you represent the OAS, the members of which are all in this hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba. In this meeting, we have half of the region. Are there initiatives that are moving forward consistently?

MR. INSULZA: (Via interpreter) Well, I think that one of the initiatives that is being discussed here, I’m not going to say that it’s being implemented in all, but in most of the countries of the region. For example, the Secretary has just mentioned micro-funding. Micro-credit as something that has disseminated consistently. I would like to see more targeted policy to better include the private banking sector into micro-credit, micro-financing, which is still focused on the public sector. But let me tell you that the countries that I’m familiar with all throughout, micro-credit has grown 10, 20 fold.

Conditional transfers also – it’s another example in Mexico, we have a program supported by – that was – it was replicated in Brazil and Chile. Today the whole issue of these conditional transfers we see all throughout the region because, as the Secretary has indicated, when there are good practices, these good practices are disseminated. And when there are ways to leave poverty behind, well, people follow them, and take them beyond many ideas and many proposals, other different proposals. So I do believe that we can do much more. Our network for social inclusion would have to be further expanded and further strengthened. But we have made great headway, and particularly in this learning process among each other.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) This started in 2008. The United States has played an important role, as other members have. Is Latin America clear on what it represents to the U.S. economy? And is the U.S. clear on what the Latin American economy represents to the economy of the U.S.?

MS. BARCENA: (Via interpreter.) That’s an excellent question. I just gave Secretary Clinton a document that we prepared when President Obama came to Chile, where he delivered a very important speech, and we presented a series data that are very significant on the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America. A datum: 19 percent of imports to Latin America and the Caribbean are coming from the United States. We are a purchaser of goods and services from the United States more important than China. Therefore the United States must take us more into consideration.

And it’s a very powerful argument to present before the Congress so that they are aware of the fact that we are valuable partners to the United States because we are a stable region, a region that’s growing, a region that is democratic and that has a deep, abiding commitment to democracy. And I want to say that for us, the United States, in particular for the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, is fundamentally our first trade partner. The U.S. is the first trade partner of Latin America. The second is Europe, but Europe is being replaced by China.

Now, I want to connect the dots. I want to connect three dots in particular in this – on this issue of Pathways to Prosperity. Why is this initiative invaluable? Well, because we’re talking about trade. That’s fair and well. You have interregional commerce. We know that the interregional trade of most significance throughout the entire hemisphere takes place in Central America. And who trades with Central America? SMEs. Those are the enterprises that are getting involved in trade with greater added value – textile companies, manufacturing companies, chemical companies. That is what’s most important.

Truth be told, each country by itself won’t be able to pull ahead, and Central America and Mexico have a very important trade partner in the United States. The Caribbean does as well. And here in this document, we are portraying 60 successful experiences, one of which is called STEP Caribbean. This is a tourism initiative that was undertaken by all Caribbean countries whereby they have partnered in engineering training for hotel entrepreneurs so that visitors don’t go to a single country, so that they go to the entire region as a whole. Now this STEP Caribbean has been transferred to Central America and it’s going to be replicated in South America.

There are a number of experiences. Many are reflected here in this document. Many are not. But there has been work that has taken place over the course of the last 10 years, and even more, that what’s important is the ability to replicate these experiences. This STEP Caribbean is important because it can be replicated. There are others that are interesting.

Somebody mentioned a center in Texas. There is a center called SDC, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Center, and this is a center that congregates 1,100 smaller centers. El Salvador has a similar initiative in Mexico that’s created a number of centers for its small and medium-sized entrepreneurs following this model.

So first, trade. And I believe that Pathways to Prosperity creates links between open countries that are willing to trade more in goods and services, but not just to benefit large companies. Seventy-one percent of trade is taking place between those large enterprises. What we want to do, in fact, is replicate the Central American model and to see how we can include SMEs into this vitality of the 16 countries that are part of Pathways. We are champions of this initiative because we are true believers in the fact that only through this type of trade, through the opening of pathways, that we can achieve this inclusion and the articulation – linkage with companies.

And let give you another example. This example truly pains me. It is 40 times more expensive to access broadband in Bolivia than in France, a hundred times more expensive in Bolivia than in Korea. That is unconscionable. Pathways’ goal is to link broadband everywhere so everybody has access, so all companies have access to cheap broadband, and that is also here. And that has been achieved through the support of the European Union as well. And we have other partners that are interested in the region that want to create better linkages in trade, SMEs, large enterprises, and employment. And I emphasize this: Employment is the key to equality.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) How do we do away with the suspicious that generate in too many countries in which people say, well, the assistance from the large multilateral organizations is for others, not for me?

MR. PUIG: (Via interpreter) Communication is very important. What I did when I came here to the Dominican Republic today – the first thing I did is that I couldn’t stay here in the capital city but go to Santiago to explain what we are doing in multilateral terms to benefit the SMEs and other companies working in the country, and I believe other multilaterals are also doing so. We have a task before us, which is to communicate better what we truly do, to organize meetings such as this, and present summaries about we do.

Recently at the World Bank meeting two weeks ago, we presented a paper among 31 multilateral and bilateral organizations in which we summarized similar cases as presented in this publication. So I think that what we’re missing is communication about what it is that we do.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Secretary, we’re talking about Pathways to Prosperity. The U.S. economy is undergoing a difficult stage. The Latin American economy has fared better during this crisis. The Pathways to Prosperity in the United States is in Latin America, and would that enable the region to harness this possibility to make the most of it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is certainly one of our hopes because, as we just heard, Latin America is our biggest trading partner. The hemisphere trades more with each other than we do with anybody around the world, and I think that’s to our benefit because of our other connections. So we want to deepen and broaden that cooperation that can come through trade, through investment, open up the doors and knock down the barriers that still exist.

But it is also true that we believe strongly in making sure that we benefit the most people. The days of just having, as the Secretary General Insulza said, just having the benefits from trade and business and investment go to a small group of people so that you just perpetuate inequality have to end, because you cannot grow stable prosperity unless you broaden the base of prosperity. So our mission and what we are trying to do through Pathways is to open as many pathways as possible. There’s not just one superhighway pathway between Latin America and the United States which is only populated by the biggest companies, the multinationals, and only benefiting the very tops of our economic elites. We want many pathways to prosperity. And that’s why it’s plural, because we’re looking for all the good ideas and the best practices. And we’ve seen so many changes in Latin America in the last decade, and we want to build on those changes.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) We’re running out of time and I’d like to ask a question to the four of you. You’re – we’re talking about an investment in microenterprises, SMEs, and the large ones. And in the report, I found some data from APLEX saying that micro-SMEs generate 60 percent of jobs in four countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico – but only 28 percent of the GDP, and only 8 percent of exports, while larger corporations generate 40 percent of jobs, 71 percent of the GDP, and 92 percent of exports.

Here’s my question: What you are proposing, to give greater room for micro – small and middle-sized enterprises, if this pathway, this model, if it creates more jobs, will it be quality jobs or should we work on the basis of a new formula in which we enhance the share of these enterprises at the economic level?

MR. INSULZA: (Via interpreter.) Well, that’s the whole idea. Indeed, the figures that you mention are accurate, because as we said repeatedly, new opportunities are created. But still, the small and medium-sized enterprises have not had enough access to technology, funds, markets. As you clearly stated, only 8 percent of exports are produced by them, and – but at the same time, they are perhaps if one also focuses on the issue of value added, we would have to consider that many of the large corporations that export from Latin America are exporting commodities.

In this growth process, there is a problem in Latin America that we have not discussed but which are of concern, which is that the export of commodities have grown much faster than the export of manufactured goods. In this extraordinary growth, the export of manufactured goods have not grown at all. And where do we find this? We’re not going to find it among the large copper or steel corporations or oil corporations. Most probably, we’ll find it throughout a large network of SMEs to the extent that they are people that are better prepared, better skilled, with the ability to compete, that they can access credit, and as well, access technology, and that ultimately, they will have markets where – to place their goods.

So this transformation is essential not only to enhance the living conditions of many of these people, but also to improve the basis of opportunity – substantially improve this basis of opportunities.

MR. PUIG: (Via interpreter) I think that large companies don’t necessarily come about as large companies. They actually are born as small companies, medium companies. And I think we need to follow up with the small and medium enterprises to make sure that they do become large enterprises. And what we’ve done on our side, if we’re looking at SMEs through the Inter-American Investment Corporation, is provided technical assistance. SMEs that export, we’ve looked at the export figures that have been discussed for SMEs.

And here in the DR yesterday, we were launching a program with the export promoting authority in the DR, and this has the aim of helping small producers to understand the labeling that’s required for exports, the type of imports that they can avail themselves of to gain better access to markets and to be able to negotiate better prices in the destination market for their products. All these things require technical assistance, not just for exporting but we also want to focus on their own governance, we want enterprises that are incorporated, and that they understand how to have association plans or incorporation plans. Oftentimes, these SMEs don’t have that wherewithal. And we also want them to harness efficiencies at other levels, including energy efficiency, in order to make the most of those products.

MS. BARCENA: (Via interpreter) This is something that will not occur overnight. I’m convinced that policies are required, state policy is required, as well as deliberate interventions, Because the market by itself has already shown that it will not do it, so a state is required that is capable of designing, of developing very clear industrial policy where they clearly say which sectors are the ones that one could, to a certain extent, lead to enhance productivity, because this is a very structural issue, Latin America. The structural heterogeneity of the large companies that are very successful and the SMEs, 90 percent of these corporations that are generating 60 percent of jobs, but as 60 percent of jobs that are very limited because they are very, very small corporations that don’t have social security scheme, and it really costs them a lot to formalize their workers. So we bring here an example from the Colombian social security system where both the business sector and the state join efforts in order to be able to register them within the formal social security system.

But that requires the countries to develop very clear policy in terms of innovation, industrial policy, credit instruments, because credit is essential for SMEs, but frequently, they simply have no access because they have assets. For example, access to IT innovative mechanisms; we include here a beautiful example on how we can bring together clusters and networks and set them off through shared services that will not cost that much money to the SMEs. So, deliberate policies have to exist as well as much more investment. For example, in science and technology, our company invests very little, less than 1 percent in research and development. We will not even make it through the quarter with that.

In the large corporations, what we have to do in that case is to regulate in such a way that the large corporations will make a commitment. A beautiful example that I can give you of an exporting Paraguayan company – it exports finished goods – they used to export raw fruit and now they export a well-prepared product. We have to sit around the same table with large foundations, large companies, different stakeholders, private sector, public sector – we all sit around the table and we say, “Okay. If this good is being produced in our region, why are we going to buy it from abroad? Why don’t we benefit other communities? Why don’t we bring them on board?” And there are clear examples, but for this, we require instruments, policies, investment.

And that is why I believe that this initiative of the United States and all the countries, that each will contribute. And it’s happening. There are very interesting examples on how we are seeing this industrial policy; industrial in the American sense, in the English sense. I’m not talking about opening up plants everywhere, but to articulate, these productive networks based on our own wealth, our own natural resources, our region produces 45 percent of the copper in the world. Thirty percent of renewable energy in the world is produced in Latin America and the Caribbean, so we have one-third of the farming surface in the world, one-third of the water. With this wealth, why are we not able to come up with innovative ideas? Hence, why did we, the three agencies, do this?

I heard a conversation earlier in the quarter with someone who was saying, “No, there are mere empty proposals, no concrete things,” but then there are concrete things. There are people who are making great efforts to do things to create companies, to create a better, different world for which we need policies. And that is why our agencies must make themselves available to the communities, to serve the communities that are trying to move forward, having to pay very, very, very high prices for energy or for food. And they don’t really necessarily want to migrate to the U.S. They want to stay in their countries, but we have to identify these opportunities. And I do believe that by our – it will not happen itself. Policy is required.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) We’re running out of time, I have a last question for Secretary Clinton. How difficult has it been or how easy has it been to convince your partners in this ministerial meeting? You’ve underscored this fourth meeting, how difficult has been to convince them of U.S. intentions? Everybody says the United States always acts in its self interest. It’s true with every other country, but it’s something that is thrown out a lot, and how will you continue to work in the region, through these efforts, so that you are all partners on equal footing and that the region is convinced of this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we’ve certainly have demonstrated our commitment and our persistence in following through on this kind of a model because we know that it can work. And I will follow-up on what Alicia said. There are some countries in the region that are taking advantage of what works. They are looking at the evidence, they are talking to their neighbors, they are reaching out around the world, and they are implementing all of these best practices. And there are some countries that just are not interested, or their politics don’t permit it, or their ideology doesn’t permit it.

So we want to focus on working with those countries who understand that in today’s competitive world, if you stand still, you fall backwards. And that’s true with the United States, just like it is true in every country represented here. But what’s so exciting about this time is we now have a body of evidence about what works. We’re not making it up. We’re not just throwing it out there. We can say, “Those cash transfer programs have worked in Mexico, Brazil, and Chile; why don’t you try them?” Then it’s up to the countries. It’s up the leadership, the citizenship.

So what we want to do is just to make sure that the people who are committed to inclusive growth, to broad-based prosperity, are all at the table. And that we’re going to support those who are really out there trying to make a difference in the lives of their people, and I think that’s the best way for us to be judged.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Thank you. Thank you very much, Secretary of State of the U.S. Thank you Mr. Insulza, Secretary General of the OAS. Thank you to Ms. Barcena and to Mr. Puig, the Vice-President of the IDB. Thank you for joining us, and we thank you the audience for being so patient. Now I ask you to kindly remain seated while our distinguished guests leave the room. I’m Juan Carolos Lopez from CNN en Espanol and it has been an honor and a pleasure to be here and to continue to be in the Dominican Republic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Interview With Laurence Ferrari of TF1’s 

Interview

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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

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

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good evening.

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.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, yes.

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.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

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.

Read Full Post »

Meeting With Staff and Families of the Tri-Missions

Remarks

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.)

Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks at UNESCO Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Paris, France

May 26, 2011


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Director General, for that introduction, but more than that, for your leadership of this very important international institution. You are here in a large auditorium with so many people who believe in the mission of UNESCO, which has long been a vital force for the advancement of human progress. And you, Director General Bokova, are giving it new life and purpose, and we are very grateful to you. (Applause.)

I also want to recognize Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his commitment to UNESCO’s work and success and for his leadership on so many issues from promoting peace to advancing maternal and child health. And Secretary General, thank you for sharing that personal story. (Applause.) It is important to be reminded that we all come from somewhere, and we are all on the same journey, and the sacrifices made by so many to enable us to be up here on this stage, and those of you – prime ministers, ministers, ambassadors, excellencies – to be working here at UNESCO is part of the reason we believe in what we are doing. We believe that for every woman and girl and man and woman – man and boy in the world, we can build a better future.

And so I wish to thank all of you for your hard work to preserve culture, improve education, increase scientific collaboration, and bring people together. I’ve just walked through the Africa Week exhibit. And I had a chance to meet the ambassadors from Africa, and I congratulate them for working to make this week a special one. Every week should be because every week is about what we can do together.

The director general and I had a chance to discuss the projects that UNESCO is pursuing around the world. And I told her that cultural preservation is a life-long passion for me. In the late 1990s, I was honored to start an initiative in my own country called Save America’s Treasures and to work with partners around the world to protect historic sites and cultural landmarks. Forty years ago, the United States was the first nation in the world to ratify the World Heritage Convention. And today, we remain committed to working with UNESCO and others to preserve humanity’s cultural legacy.

The United States firmly supports UNESCO’s work from the Pacific tsunami warning system that helped alert people across the region after Japan’s devastating earthquake, to new partnerships on water and resources that are so important, and recently the critical conference on press freedom that the United States was very happy to host. (Applause.) And I was delighted to learn that UNESCO will be supporting a new world center for women artists in Jordan. (Applause.)

And there were so many good announcements of new public/private partnerships with companies such as Microsoft and Proctor & Gamble and institutions such as the Packard Foundation and so many others who are reaching in as you are reaching out to tap the energy and expertise of those who can come to the table with not just money – as important as that is – but new perspectives and experience.

We’re doing the same at the State Department where I believe that diplomacy whether it’s on behalf of a country or on behalf of educational or social or cultural diplomacy on behalf of the United Nations needs to be a much broader effort, and there are so many opportunities for us to work together. It is because of our deep commitment to UNESCO and all of these efforts that the United States is running for reelection to the executive board. We are eager to keep working with you to ensure that UNESCO’s future is strong and secure.

And I want particularly to underscore our support for the director general’s new focus on women and girls’ education. I have been kept apprised by our ambassador, Ambassador Killion and all the work that you are doing to support this initiative. And I am confident that by working with other UN agencies, institutions, and private sector partners, UNESCO can help make a much needed difference for women and girls and their educational opportunities around the world.

You’ve already heard from the director general and the secretary general that we know opening the doors of education to women and girls is not just the right thing to do; it is also the smart thing as well. The evidence shows conclusively that even one extra year of schooling leads to significantly higher wages for women and girls, which allows them to lift up themselves, their families, and contribute to their communities and countries. We have seen that when women and girls have the opportunity to pursue education, GDP grows for entire societies.

And the benefits are not just economic. More education leads to more choices, opportunities, and useful information in how to live one’s life. Birth rates, HIV infections, incidents of domestic violence, female cutting all decline when education rises. Fully one half of the drop in child mortality achieved between 1970 and 1990 can be attributed to increased education for women and girls.

Yet women still represent about two-thirds of the nearly 800 million illiterate adults around the world. In our poorest communities, girls who are out of school today are still more likely than boys never even to start school, and this is a recipe for economic and social stagnation. No society can achieve its full potential when half the population is denied the opportunity to achieve theirs. UNESCO is already doing such important work. You’re documenting and beginning to reverse these trends.

(Coughing.) Let me get some water. This is what comes from talking too much. (Laughter.) We already know that talking too much leads to all kinds of problems. (Laughter.) (Applause.) However, as we are reminded every day, talking is far better than the alternatives. (Laughter.) (Applause.)

This organization continues to be a global leader on literacy, thanks in part to the efforts of one of my predecessors, former First Lady Laura Bush, who visited UNESCO, I believe, three times and has worked very hard to promote literacy. UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report provides valuable information on the education of women and girls and the analysis of best practices.

So as we celebrate the launch of UNESCO’s new Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, it’s time to build on the strong foundation that has already been created, but to take additional steps. The United States is proud to join with UNESCO to launch what we hope will be an important new study on education for women and girls around the world. And before you say, “Another report,” which is often the reaction, let me quickly add that this report will draw on UNESCO’s unique expertise in data collection and analysis to provide new insights into the causes of gender disparities and education and what we can do about them. It will focus in particular on two critical areas: adult literacy and secondary education. We are making progress in many parts of the world on primary education, but something happens at the end of primary school. And we also do not have enough opportunities around the world who adults who missed schooling to be able to return to acquire skills.

Now, one might think, “Well, don’t we already know all there is about the value of educating women and girls?” Well, to a certain extent we do. But the research alone is not what we’re aiming at, because that cannot solve the problem. Only concerted action that builds on what we know can do that. But more comprehensive data and analysis will help policy makers target our investments where they can have the greatest impact. This is especially true for girls, because too often the available data we have on education is not broken down by gender. It’s just not disaggregated, so we don’t have a precise picture of whether schools are serving girls as well as they should, whether they are learning to read, write, do arithmetic at the levels they need to succeed and what the obstacles are.

I remember sitting in a village in Pakistan some years ago, and the women of the village were with me under a tree talking about the importance of education. And one woman proudly told me she had 10 children, five boys and five girls. And she was determined that every child would get an education. But then she said, “But you see our school,” and she pointed to a quite substantial cinderblock building that had become the village school. “You see our school. When our boys finish there they can go off to the secondary school, but we cannot let our girls leave the village. It would not be safe.”

We hope this study will give us a deeper understanding of all the obstacles that must be overcome so that women and girls can pursue their full God-given potential. And it will help us make the case that advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls is not a marginal concern, but a central challenge of international development. Early today, I spoke at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development about the role women and girls play in sustainable development. And we agreed on the value of good data and sound analysis, and in particular, we discussed the importance of data that is widely comparable and applicable so that nations, institutions, and NGOs can make the full maximum use of all the findings. There is so much exciting work being done and so much more we can accomplish if we do work together effectively and efficiently, and particularly if international organizations such as UNESCO make it their mission to ensure that all data is comparable, no matter who collects it, that we have some standard measures and systems of analysis. So this new UNESCO study will not just be an important step forward to get information, but the test will be how we use this information, whether we can pioneer innovative partnerships to create new opportunities for women and girls to learn and prosper.

For example, the United States has partnered with the NGO Room to Read to support girls from South Asia who are at risk of dropping out of school. This is a small project. We invested only $145,000 in things like school uniforms, shoes, educational supplies, and medical checkups. And we also put in place support for mentoring programs, tutoring and community organizing. Not a single one of the more than 1,000 participating girls dropped out of school. Why? Because somebody was trying to figure out what was the reason. Now, I know most girls worry about how they look – it doesn’t matter what culture they’re in. So if they don’t have the right school uniform, or they don’t feel that they’re looking acceptable to their peers, that alone can be enough to cause them to drop out.

So trying to get information that we then can add up so it’s not just helping one individual girl but helping thousands, millions of girls is what we hope this global partnership will achieve. It will yield long-term benefits, and that will far outstrip our investments. Now the Room – the program that I just talked about is just one of many. There are so many other examples, and UNESCO has successful efforts to use mobile phone technology to promote literacy. These initiatives suggest that the possibilities are endless about what we can do it give the rights and opportunities that girls and women deserve and make them a true global priority. We’re committed to this cause, and I know many of you are as well.

I am proud to the be the first Secretary of State from the United States ever to come to UNESCO, and I come because – (applause) – I believe strongly in your mission, but I also know that in every organization in the world today, in my government, in the State Department and USAID, for which I’m responsible, and everywhere else, we’re all having to ask ourselves how can we work smarter, how can we be more efficient, how do we clear away any obstacle or bureaucratic barrier that is standing in the way of us meeting the very lofty goals we have set?

So I come today, yes, to express appreciation for the work you have done, but also to urge that you take a hard look at how UNESCO can be even better: What can be done more efficiently? What doesn’t need to be done anymore? How do we find new avenues for cooperation among international institutions, with countries, with NGOs, with the private sector?

So let me thank all of you. Let me thank the director general, because she has the leadership and the vision that UNESCO deserves in the 21st century. And let me thank you for your commitment and dedication. And finally, let me say how pleased I am that you’re focusing with such intensity on education for women and girls, because I know that will pay great benefits for all of the people who will be waiting to see whether those of us who are working on their behalf can actually make a difference to help them have that better life they so richly deserve. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Remarks With United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director General Irina Bokova Before Their Meeting

Washington, DC
January 22, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m just so delighted to have this meeting and to have a chance to talk with the new director general about the upcoming agenda for UNESCO. We are so pleased to have her here in the United States and at the State Department, and I look forward to a very substantive discussion today and a lot of work ahead.

DIRECTOR GENERAL BOKOVA: Thank you. Thank you very much. I am very pleased to have my first official visit in the United States. I hope this is a new, fresh start of our cooperation. I’m very excited. We have an agenda. It’s education, it’s science, it’s climate change, it’s education of girls —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Mm-hmm.

DIRECTOR GENERAL BOKOVA: — of women, literacy. I am very much looking forward to talking to you about all these issues.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so much.

DIRECTOR GENERAL BOKOVA: Thank you. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.

Read Full Post »

Daily Appointments Schedule for January 22, 2010

Washington, DC
January 22, 2010

SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON

12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Bilateral Meeting with His Excellency Vladimir Filat, the Prime Minister of Moldova, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing Ceremony with the Government of Moldova, at the Department of State.

1:00 p.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with the Haiti Task Force Team, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers Remarks to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Chiefs of Mission Conference, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2:30 p.m.
Secretary Clinton hosts a Bilateral Meeting with His Excellency Lawrence Cannon, Foreign Secretary of Canada, at the Department of State.*


4:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova, at the Department of State.

*Cancelled flight scrubs Cannon, Clinton meeting

Last Updated: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 2:26 PM ET

The Canadian Press

Plane trouble has forced Canada’s foreign affairs minister to cancel a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence Cannon was scheduled to sit down with Clinton Friday to discuss the international relief effort in Haiti, among other things. Yemen, Afghanistan and Arctic co-operation were also on the agenda.

Instead, officials with the Department of Foreign Affairs said Cannon will speak with Clinton by phone and hold a news conference in Ottawa.

They said “technical problems” forced the cancellation of Cannon’s scheduled commercial flight.

Clinton is scheduled to attend a foreign ministers meeting that Cannon will host in Montreal Monday to discuss reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: