Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hillary Clinton on Events in Ecuador

The pictures are from Mme. Secretary's visit to Ecuador on June 8 of this year. She got along well with President Correa. Tonight, CNN reported thay he had been tear-gassed, brought to a hospital, and thought he was kidnapped because the police would not let him leave the hospital.

Events in Ecuador

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

We are closely following events in Ecuador. The United States deplores violence and lawlessness and we express our full support for President Rafael Correa, and the institutions of democratic government in that country.

We urge all Ecuadorians to come together and to work within the framework of Ecuador’s democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of order.

Video: Secretary Clinton's Remarks With Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela

Remarks With Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome the vice president and foreign minister from Panama here today. I’ve had the opportunity of already working with him. We last met in Lima during the OAS Assembly there, and I’m looking forward to having an in-depth discussion about all of the issues we face.

VICE PRESIDENT VARELA: Thank you, Secretary of State. I’m very happy to be here in Washington today in this meeting with Secretary of State Clinton. The United States is a key partner for Panama, and we can work very closely in the region to make a more secure region. I’m looking forward to – for future agreements to be ratified with Congress in the future, to strengthen our relationship, and make sure that we keep working together to make this a more secure effort for all the people that live here. So, I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to the meeting too.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Juan Carlos.

VICE PRESIDENT VARELA: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.

Secretary Clinton's Remarks With Senator John Kerry on the Hill

Remarks With Senator John Kerry on the Hill

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Senator Kerry, and thank you for your strong leadership that produced the 14-4 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I’m very grateful that Chairman Kerry and Ranking Member Lugar were at the forefront of making the case why the treaty is so much in America’s national security interests.
I also applaud the continuous resolution that included money that will be spent in order to modernize our nuclear facilities and begin the process of updating not only our technology, but training of personnel that are necessary in order to ensure that we are providing good stewardship of America’s nuclear programs.
This vote that was in the Committee demonstrates unequivocally that national security is a bipartisan commitment. As we have seen with every arms control agreement, going back to the original START 1 treaty that was passed, ratified by the Senate 18 years ago tomorrow, this is an obligation and responsibility that senators addressed without regard for the day-to-day politics. In fact, that last treaty, as John will know by doing the arithmetic, occurred in another election year, but that does not in any way undermine the bipartisan acknowledgment of the importance of continuing this critical work.
We have had excellent conversations with senators on both sides of the aisle and we will continue to answer questions and work with the Senate broadly beyond the committee in preparation for the vote that we are hoping will occur in the lame duck session, because we ran out of time here during the Senate before it went out prior to the election.
But the support for new START by our entire military leadership, our intelligence community, six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, three former national security advisors, and seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command is an extraordinary endorsement of why this treaty needs to be passed, and passed in the lame duck session.
So again, I thank the chairman for his leadership, for the great vote that we got from the committee, and I look forward to the vote in the lame duck session that will once again demonstrate the Senate joining all of its predecessors in years past to continue to support arms control treaty.
Thank you.

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for September 30, 2010

Public Schedule for September 30, 2010

Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

9:15 a.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries of the Regional Bureaus, at the Department of State.

11:00 a.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with Senator John Kerry, on Capitol Hill.

12:00 p.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with Senator Chuck Schumer, on Capitol Hill.

12:15 p.m.
Secretary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius hold refugee consultations with Members of the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill.

3:00 p.m.
Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela at the Department of State.

4:15 p.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, at the Department of State.

6:45 p.m.
Secretary Clinton attends a reception and dinner to recognize the Meridian International Center's 50th Anniversary, at the Department of State.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton's Remarks With Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes After Their Meeting

Remarks With Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is a great honor to welcome President Funes to the Department of State today. I was honored to represent President Obama and the United States at his inauguration. And I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss many matters of importance to El Salvador and the United States with the President.

The United States is committed to assisting El Salvador to deal with the challenges it faces in terms of security and economic growth. As part of that commitment, last week at the United Nations, Foreign Minister Martinez represented El Salvador as we launched the BRIDGE initiative, which stands for Building Remittance Investment for Development, Growth and Entrepreneurship.

And Mr. President, we are very pleased that our ambassador has finally arrived in El Salvador so that we can get to work on all of the issues that we have discussed today. And I look forward to deepening and broadening our partnership in the months ahead.

PRESIDENT FUNES: (Via interpreter) Thank you, friends of the media, Madam Secretary, officers of my government, we are pleased of being here in sharing the issues that are common to all of us, but also sharing the solutions to those issues. Since the beginning of my government 16 months ago, I said that the problems of my country are shared with Central America and we are going to be able to overcome them only with the support of the U.S. Government. That is why we have identified two strategies. One is to reduce the actions of organized crime and the other one is to reduce poverty.

So I am pleased that with the meeting, after listening to Madam Secretary, that we’re going to put together a task force together with all the Central American countries and start a work plan to attack these two issues.

And I’d also like to thank personally Madam Secretary and the support of Mr. Obama’s Administration for the – 18 months more of the TPS that is going to promote all the 200,000 Salvadorans that live and work in the United States. And I’ve also – I also want to thank the support with this special fund that is going to bring fresh sources for investors from money coming from the remittances that are sent to our country.

And of course, we are also pleased of the appointment of (inaudible) Mari Carmen Aponte that finally arrived to our country as an Ambassador of the United States.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.

Thank you all very much.

Video & Test: Secretary Clinton's Remarks With German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle After Their Meeting

Remarks With German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Treaty Room of the State Department. I am delighted to welcome the foreign minister back to Washington. He and I have gotten to know each other over the course of the last year since his appointment, and I very much appreciate the chance to work with him. We talked a lot over lunch about the many issues that Germany and the United States are concerned about and how we can together strengthen security and foster prosperity, not only in our own countries but throughout Europe and the world.

The partnership between Germany and the United States is very strong. It’s vital and it is essential to our respective citizens. We see that in Europe where Germany has led the effort to sustain and strengthen European integration, including the expansion of NATO and the European Union. And I congratulate the foreign minister and Chancellor Merkel and the people of Germany on the upcoming commemoration of unification.

In Afghanistan, Germany has shown a continued commitment to the international mission and the future of the Afghan people. Whether it is in the wake of an earthquake in Haiti or a devastating flood in Pakistan, Germany is there with support to assist the people who are so devastated by these natural disasters. We see so much evidence every day of Germany’s leadership and the critical role that the German-American partnership plays in the world to promote peace, defeat common threats, further economic growth, reduce poverty, and defend democracy and human rights.

Today, the foreign minister and I discussed several priorities, including the Middle East peace process, ensuring that Iran meets its international obligations, the upcoming NATO and U.S.-EU summits in Lisbon. It is always a great pleasure to work with the foreign minister.

And on Sunday, October 3rd, the world will be reminded of all that Germany has accomplished in the last two decades to heal its wounds and to reconcile its people. German unification is a remarkable story. It is testament to the vision of Germany’s leaders and the strength of the German people. I often talk about it, Minister, with others who are not yet able to overcome past differences in order to build a better shared future. But Germany has shown the world that walls can be torn down, that communities can be stitched back together, that lasting peace is possible even after long periods of division and discord, and that cooperation is the best way to achieve peace, progress, and prosperity.

So on behalf of the American people, let me extend congratulations to the people of Germany on this upcoming anniversary, thank you for your many years of friendship and partnership, and pledge that the United States will continue to look for ways to deepen and broaden the work we do together. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, Hillary, it is a great pleasure to be back in Washington. Thank you very much for your warm hospitality. We had a very good conversation, intensive dialogue, and it was very good to exchange our ideas and our perspectives, of course.

Please allow me, first of all, a few words to a very special occasion. On Sunday we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of German unity, and it is something what you mentioned, and you expressed your appreciation what the German people did in those days. But I, by myself, I would like to thank you. I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of the United States of America, but also to the people of the United States of America for their great support over so long years. You stand with us in the painful time when we have been divided as a country. You worked with us for our unification, and the German unification was also the European reunification.

And I really want to express our gratitude to the people of America. We really are very grateful about your support and we are now in a very, very close friendship like we saw in our meeting here. Once again, without your unconditional support, our freedom and our unity would not have been possible, and this is something the German people will never forget to the American people.

Thank you very much, first of all, to this. And now I would like to change for some short remarks into my native language.

(Via interpreter) I would like to repeat in my very own language too that I want to express my heartfelt and strong gratitude towards the American people for having cooperated with their government to contribute to German reunification. That is something that Germany, that the German people, and the German Government will never forget, especially as we are looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of that very date of reunification.

We are facing important foreign policy decisions this autumn. Our intention is to use the NATO summit on 19th and 20th November this year to pass a new Strategic Concept of NATO. Secretary General Rasmussen has circulated a draft that we believe provides a good basis for further discussions and that takes up many of the suggestions that we have made in the process of preparing this new Strategic Concept.

The very important topic of Afghanistan too will be a point where the Lisbon summit will provide an important milestone. Our intention is to prepare the ground to throw the switches, so to speak, to prepare the ground for a step-by-step handover of the security responsibility, the responsibility for the security into Afghan hands. We want that to begin next year.

We also talked about the Mideast, and I assured my colleague once again of the very strong support that we intend to show and that we have shown for the American effort in the peace process.

(In English) I told Secretary Clinton that we wholeheartedly support the American efforts to take the Middle East peace process forward. The renewed direct talks are a historic change that must not be missed, and therefore we welcome the engagement of the American Government, of Secretary Clinton, of the President Obama. We think this is very important. The strong leadership in this process is so important and it is in our common interest that we bring this peace process to a successful and peaceful end, and therefore I also welcome the engagement of our High Representative of the European Union, of Cathy Ashton, and I think it is very, very supportable and very – we appreciate really her visit now to the region in the Middle East which she will start tomorrow.

(In German.) (Laughter.)

INTERPRETER: He was saying I don’t have – there’s no need for interpretation.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Yeah, I really waited for the translation. I’m sorry. (Laughter.)

Finally, we discussed also the relations with Turkey. The relationship clearly has a strategic dimension for both of us. Turkey is not only a NATO ally; it is also an important player in the region. We want to cooperate closely and it is in our own interest that the perspective of Turkey remains European and Western.

Thank you very much for your (inaudible) and thank you very much once again for your hospitality.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Guido. Thank you very much.

MR. TONER: We have time for just two questions. Kim.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, I have two questions for you, if I may. The first one is on Iran. You met Mrs. Ashton this morning. She has offered to meet with the Iranians. I was wondering whether you have any sense yet – whether she has any sense yet of what the Iranian response is going to be, and how are you going to take this forward?

My second question is about one of your former counterparts. The former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that he’s leaving frontline politics. You worked very closely with him when he was still in office. I was wondering if you had any reactions. And he’s going to be looking for a job. I wonder if you have any advice for him. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Cathy Ashton has consistently conveyed to Iran the readiness of the P-5+1 to meet with Iran over its nuclear program. And that is a standing invitation. Guido and I were in New York together last week. Lady Ashton held a meeting for the P-5+1 foreign ministers, and we all agreed that we wanted to see the diplomatic process begin again but the ball was in the Iranian court, that they had thus far not officially confirmed to Lady Ashton their willingness to meet in the P-5+1 or offered any dates for such a meeting. So we continue to hope that we will be able to see that meeting occur.

And I have no advice for anyone in politics. (Laughter.) I’m out of politics. I obviously wish him well and I am very intrigued by the interesting political dynamics that are occurring inside the United Kingdom. But we are very, very pleased that our relationship with the current government of Prime Minister Cameron is very strong and focused on all of the important issues that we are working on together.

QUESTION: And a few words about (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I enjoyed working with him and I wish him well.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: I agree. (Laughter.) So once again, an excellent (inaudible) for American-German friendship.


FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: No, we will miss him, of course. He was an excellent colleague and the last year I could work with him together, and we really appreciated his work, but one door was closed and other doors will get opened.

QUESTION: My name is Christian Wilp. I’m with N-TV, RTL German Television. I have a question for both Madam Secretary and (inaudible) minister. How would you describe the current terror threats in the United States and in Europe, and are you especially concerned about terrorists with a German passport?

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) Relations between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany are excellent, and I think that is also important to mention because we are standing together in combating terrorism. We exchanged views and we also exchange intelligence where available. And we do so in order to better coordinate our actions in fighting terrorism. We’ve done so in the past and our intention is to continue that practice into the future, which is to say, in other words, that the cooperation between both our countries is to the benefit of the citizens of both our countries, which is to say that we’re providing for their very own security, that we’re protecting them against terrorist threats, against the use of violence. And our intention is to continue that excellent cooperation.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I can only say I agree. (Laughter.) It’s a very important part of our cooperation. We don’t comment on any specific threats or specific intelligence, but there is a very positive level of exchange of information that goes on constantly. And we are very grateful for that strong partnership.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t comment on any specific threats or any specific question about intelligence.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: And once again, we agree. (Laughter.)

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton's Briefing With Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner

Briefing With Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

MR. TONER: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department. It’s our great pleasure to have the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury here. They’ll make brief remarks and then take a few questions.
Go ahead, Madam Secretary.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mark, and I’m delighted to have Secretary Geithner here at the State Department for this important announcement.
Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order targeting eight Iranian officials responsible for serious and sustained human rights abuses since the disputed election of June 2009. On these officials’ watch or under their command, Iranian citizens have been arbitrarily arrested, beaten, tortured, raped, blackmailed, and killed. Yet the Iranian Government has ignored repeated calls from the international community to end these abuses, to hold to account those responsible and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens. And Iran has failed to meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The steady deterioration in human rights conditions in Iran has obliged the United States to speak out time and time again. And today, we are announcing specific actions that correspond to our deep concern. The mounting evidence of repression against anyone who questions Iranian Government decisions or advocates for transparency or even attempts to defend political prisoners is very troubling.
This week, Iranian authorities banned two reformist political parties and shut down two more newspapers. This follows a series of convictions and harsh sentences for a number of political prisoners. Two internationally recognized human rights defenders were sentenced to six-year prison terms. A student leader was given an eight and a half year sentence for insulting the president. Human rights lawyers, bloggers, journalists and activists for women’s rights have all been jailed and many have fallen ill due to mistreatment in prison.
Now, these actions obviously contradict recent claims made at the United Nations that Iranians enjoy the right of free expression and that no one is imprisoned for political reasons. In signing this Executive Order, the President sends the message that the United States stands up for the universal rights of all people. And as President Obama said at the United Nations last week, we will call out those who suppress ideas. We will serve as a voice for the voiceless. And we will hold abuse of governments and individuals accountable for their actions.
This is the first time the United States has imposed sanctions against Iran based on human rights abuses. We would like to be able to tell you that it might be the last, but we fear not. We now have at our disposal a new tool that allows us to designate individual Iranians, officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights violations, and do so in a way that does not in any way impact on the well-being of the Iranian people themselves.
The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 permits us to impose financial sanctions and deny U.S. visas to specific Iranian officials where there is credible evidence against them. In doing so today, we declare our solidarity with their victims and with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights and their dignity and their freedom. By doing so, we convey our strong support for the rule of law, and we speak out for those unable to speak for themselves because they are jailed or frightened or fear retribution against themselves or their families.
Today, again, we call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran and around the world, and we call on the Iranian Government to take actions to end these abuses and respect the universal rights and freedoms of its own citizens.
Secretary Geithner.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. I want to thank you and I want to compliment my colleague, Stuart Levey, and his counterparts at the State Department for working so closely together in designing these significant financial actions.
Just a few words on how these measures work and why they are effective: Rather than relying on the traditional approach of broad-based sanctions on the entire country of Iran, we have tried to focus on specific actors, institutions, and actions that threaten our interests as a whole. And we have found that when we single out individuals and expose their conduct, banks, businesses, and governments around the world respond by cutting off their economic and financial dealings with these individuals, these institutions, these businesses.
And this strategy can be very effective. We’ve seen a growing number of companies and financial institutions in countries around the world cut or substantially curtail their financial ties with Iran. They have decided – they have looked at, they have assessed the risks of continuing to do business with these entities, and they have decided that those risks are too great. And we already have indications that Iran’s leadership is concerned about the implications about the impact of this trend.
We have made important progress, and I want to emphasize, as the Secretary of State did, that our goal is not to hurt the Iranian people; our goal is to enact strong, effective measures that will pressure the leadership of Iran to abandon their dangerous course. And we will continue to find ways to target illicit conduct in all areas that threaten our interests.

Thank you.
MR. TONER: Go ahead, Matt.
QUESTION: Yeah. To both secretaries, just on the efficiency and the effectiveness of these sanctions, I mean, given the fact that thus far the rather broad sanctions that have been imposed on the IRGC and others trying to bring them back to the nuclear table haven’t seemed to work, it doesn't – I’d just like to know what indications you have that those are working and why you think these, which are targeted at specific human rights abusers or alleged specific human rights abusers, will make any difference in their behavior.
And then Secretary Clinton, just separately, have you had any word back from the Omani delegation that is in Iran now talking about the possible release of the two remaining hikers? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Matt, first we do believe that the sanctions in place that were achieved through effort in the United Nations and then the additional sanctions imposed by our Congress and Administration along with the EU, Japan, and others, are having an impact. Stuart Levey gave a speech in New York – last week, Stuart?
SECRETARY CLINTON: -- outlining the evidence that we have that these sanctions are beginning to be viewed as quite serious within the Iranian political, clerical, and business communities. So from our perspective, the diplomatic effort we engaged in over the course of the last year and a half has made very clear the unity of the international community with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, and we are engaged in discussions with our colleagues in the P-5+1 about an eventual return to the diplomatic table by the Iranians.
This is a different approach, as both Tim and I have said. We are using this new tool that the Congress has just given us to basically publicize and connect to the human rights abuses that are ongoing in Iran those officials about whom we have credible evidence who are responsible for either ordering or implementing these abuses, because we’ve always said that we not only cared about the nuclear program in Iran, we cared about the people of Iran and we cared about their conditions in their country, and we became quite concerned following the disputed elections.
So this is a – both a practical announcement in that there are financial and travel restrictions that will be imposed, but it is a statement of our values. And it is not only about the people of Iran who are suffering, but it expresses solidarity with victims of these kinds of actions around the world.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: When we found that when you focus on specific institutions, individuals, entities, and you focus on specific activities they are undertaking to demonstrate, it’s easier both to get broad-based support for financial – economic consequence, and that’s the basic rationale for the strategy.
Now, how do we know it’s working? We can see and we can see every week how hard it is for the Iranian Government to evade, get around, these things. It’s become much harder for them, the cost of doing it much more difficult, and that is having a big, visible impact in awareness among the leadership of Iran that the actions they’re taking have acute, severe, significant, economic and financial consequences.
QUESTION: On the Omanis?
SECRETARY CLINTON: And I have nothing to add to (inaudible).
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I understand what you say about the fact that this new legislation gives you additional tools, but what took so long for the U.S. to name and shame these officials that were involved in the crackdown? You’ve been talking about how concerned you were about the human rights situation since the crackdown when it was at its most bloodiest right after the election. The opposition has been virtually kind of completely repressed and oppressed since then, and perhaps some kind of naming and shaming earlier might have given them a little bit more hope and encouragement. So was it more about making the legal case, about having the tools? Why did it take so long?
And also, do you think that – this week, you’ve been talking with the Iranians about getting back to the table. Do you think this move is going to cause the Iranians to pull back?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, embedded in your question is the kind of evaluation that we have been engaged in consistently since the Administration came into office. We have a number of important goals in dealing with Iran. Obviously, the nuclear program and its potential to create a nuclear weaponized Iran is something that has grave consequences for the region and the balance among the countries there as well as the rest of the world. So we’ve been very clear, consistent, and achieved the goals that we set out in terms of the international sanctions, at the same time, offering both a diplomatic engagement as well as the pressure track.
We were very clear on criticizing the Iranian Government for their crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, on opposition, on the manipulation of the election. But we also were very mindful of the messages we were getting from Iranians both inside Iran and outside Iran that we had to be careful that this indigenous opposition that we certainly had nothing to do with that was attempting to stand up for the rights of the Iranian people was not somehow seen as a U.S. enterprise, because it wasn’t.
And so walking that line and trying to be both encouraging, forthright, and strong in our support of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people, at the same time not giving any reason for the Iranians to claim that this reaction from within was somehow either motivated or directed or connected with us, required a balancing act.
So that is what we’ve been doing, but we’ve been very consistent and persistent in pointing out the human rights abuses. And we did, with the accumulation of credible evidence, find ourselves, once the tools were in place, to be able to use them, which is what we’re announcing today.
MR. TONER: Last question, Bloomberg.
QUESTION: Thank you. Can you give us a sense with respect to these new sanctions of the size or scope of the holdings these eight individuals have in the States?
SECRETARY GEITHNER: No, but I can tell you again, as I said before, you need to measure the impact by what it does to the incentives, businesses, and institutions around the world have for continuing to engage in economic commercial actions with Iran. The best way to measure the impact, as you’ve seen across a range of measures, is the direct economic financial costs to the regime of continuing on this path. And again, we have been effective, remarkably effective, in substantially raising the price of these actions, made it much harder for the government to get around them, much more costly to get around them, and we can see the impact in how they’re behaving.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I would only add, and it kind of takes the last question as well as this one and combines them, we in the United States are clearly not alone in calling attention to ongoing human rights abuses and violations inside Iran. And in doing what we’ve done today, we are moving not just from criticizing the government, but beginning to call out individuals who are decision makers within that government and who we believe we can trace decisions to abuses in a manner that makes our case very strong.
So this is an ongoing effort with our partners around the world to affect the behavior of the Iranian Government and to send a very clear message that, as those of you who have traveled with me have heard me say before, that the original intentions of the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a franchise that was respected, to have a hybrid government of the elected and the clerical leadership appears to us to be undergoing severe distortion. And it really is ultimately up to the people of Iran themselves to speak out.
But of course, they are facing tremendous repression in the face of their advocacy for a much clearer sense of their citizenship role in Iran. And we’re not naïve. We know that thus far, this government has been impervious to our pleas and the pleas of many others. But we think it’s essential that we continue to make the case and today, we are adding in very specific terms with specific names to that case. Thank you.
MR. TONER: Thank you very much.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton's Remarks With EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton After Their Meeting

Remarks With EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a very great pleasure for me to welcome Lady Ashton back to the State Department. Over the last year, we have had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time together as we’ve traveled around the world. And I very much appreciate her leadership and the ability to discuss and work on a number of common concerns.
The post-Lisbon EU is expanding its role in world affairs, and the United States values our growing partnership with the EU and we see it as a cornerstone of global peace and security. It goes to the point of being self-evident that our ties with Europe are broad and deep, rooted in our common values and our shared history. And we have to look for opportunities to make the past not just a glorious time of close transatlantic cooperation, but as the prelude to a very smart, sustained involvement globally on the new threats and opportunities that confront us.
The United States and the EU are working together already in many important arenas. We are partners in the Quartet and we share a strong interest in direct negotiations continuing between the Israelis and Palestinians. And I want to thank Lady Ashton and the EU for the strong support that has been given to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to build institutions and lay the foundation for a future state. We are working to continue these talks. Senator Mitchell is in the region today and will be meeting with Lady Ashton upon her arrival tomorrow.
We also discussed our continuing concerns about Iran’s nuclear programs and reaffirmed our commitment to seek a diplomatic solution. Of course, it requires Iran responding to the standing invitation that the High Representative has extended for the resumption of the P-5+1 discussions. And I want to also thank you for the many contributions to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is very impressive that the EU has recently committed to increase Pakistan’s access to EU markets.
We discussed at some length the Balkans, where we both remain fully engaged and committed to helping all the countries of the region realize their aspirations for full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. The United States welcomes the European Union’s efforts to help Serbia and Kosovo resolve the practical issues between them, and I will be going to the region in about ten days. And we discussed at some length how we will enhance our cooperation not only at this level but on the ground.
We are very much looking forward to the U.S.-EU summit – that’s what we call it, she calls it the EU-U.S. summit – (laughter) – in November in Lisbon, because we are stronger when we work together. And so, again, let me thank you for your leadership and partnership.
HIGH REPRESENTATIVE ASHTON: Thank you very much. It’s a great privilege to be back. And as you describe, we’ve spent a lot of time over these last months talking with each other and our teams talking, sometimes on an hourly basis, about all of the different issues that we face. For me, my focus for the rest of today and tomorrow is going to turn to the Middle East, Having been in discussion with the Secretary and with Senator Mitchell, I will travel overnight through Europe to the Middle East to have meetings with Senator Mitchell, President Abbas, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Prime Minister Fayyad to see what we can do to support the efforts to keep the talks moving.
More than anything, we would like to see, of course, the moratorium on settlement building continue, but we are very keen to see the opportunity for President Abbas to stay in the talks and for them to move forward to a successful conclusion. So we’ll be doing what we can to do our part in that, and also talking about the work we’ve been doing to support the building of the Palestinian state, which is an imperative if we’re going to see success as the outcome of the talks.
As the Secretary says, we’ve talked about a number of different issues – Iran, very important to the moment, we have sent our messages very clearly that we are ready for dialogue with the aim of seeking a resolution to this. We await Iran formally coming back to us to say they would wish to start that dialogue, and we’re ready when they say so to do that. Everyone here knows how important it is to find a resolution to that problem, and I hope that we will see some movement as quickly as possible.
And too, of course, in the Balkans, a number of issues that concern us. We want to see the movement forward with Serbia and Kosovo, the importance of what President Tadic did with the resolution and what Prime Minister Thaci did to support that is well recognized by the USA and by the EU, and that’s very significant as a way through for the future. But more than anything, an opportunity for us to carry on collaborating to think about the big challenges of the future, of which Pakistan and a comprehensive approach to its problems will be perhaps one of the big focal points for both of us in the coming weeks and months.
MR. TONER: We have time for just a couple questions. Jill.
QUESTION: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, on the Mideast, a couple of things. There is – there are some reports coming out of Israel right now that President Obama is offering new assurances on upgraded weapons systems should there be a final solution. Could you just enlighten us; is that correct?
But in a broader sense, when the President was at the United Nations, he really put a lot of political capital on the line, making a major speech and urging Benjamin Netanyahu to extend that moratorium. It didn’t happen. In fact, you could say that Mr. Netanyahu blatantly disregarded what the President wanted. Will there be consequences for that?
And then in another sense, was it the wrong strategy to try to push him into the corner? It doesn't seem to be working at this point. And with George Mitchell, now you have Mr. Netanyahu saying that there will be restraint in the settlements. What does that mean? Was that enough to keep people at the table?
And if I could, because you know we always like to add one other thing --
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m up to four or five now. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I know, I know. But this is the fifth, only the fifth.
QUESTION: Intelligence services reportedly disrupted plans for a Pakistan militants’ attack on London, France, and Germany. Are those reports credible? Are those threats credible?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first as to the multiple questions about the Middle East and the peace process, we are committed to working with the parties so that they will remain in negotiations. We think that is in the best interests not only of the Israelis and the Palestinians, but indeed of the region and beyond, including the national security interests of the United States. There is a great deal of intense discussions occurring between here and Israel and in Israel, as well as with our Palestinian and Arab partners.
I’m not going to comment on any specifics. I think that as the President eloquently said at the United Nations, the United States believes in a two-state solution, and the only way that that can be achieved is through negotiations. Therefore, we are committed to negotiations. We understand the difficulty and the obstacles that this path holds for us, but for the same reason that Lady Ashton will get on a plane and make a long journey to meet with the leadership of the Israelis and the Palestinians, the United States will continue to push forward on a return to the negotiations and, more importantly, within those negotiations, the substantive discussion and resolution of the core issues.
Now with regard to the intelligence reports of threats, we are not going to comment on specific intelligence, as doing so threatens to undermine intelligence operations that are critical in protecting the United States and our allies. As we have repeatedly said, we know that al-Qaida and its network of terrorists wishes to attack both European and U.S. targets. We continue to work very closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism, including the role that al-Qaida continues to play. And information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, strengthen our defenses against potential threats.
This is, as you might very well conclude, one of the principal objectives and certainly one of the most time-consuming efforts that any of us in this Administration are engaged in on an hourly basis. And I want Americans to know how focused we all are in the government and how committed we are not only in protecting our own country, but in protecting our friends and allies.
MR. TONER: (Off-mike.)
QUESTION: Yes, (inaudible). My question is for both of you. Have you agreed on the EU and the U.S. role in the forthcoming talks between Belgrade and Pristina? And Secretary Clinton, what’s the main agenda for your just-announced visit to the region to Belgrade and Sarajevo?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m going to let Lady Ashton start and then I will finish.
HIGH REPRESENTATIVE ASHTON: It’s incredibly important in moving forward with Belgrade and Pristina that we are working together, and that is a message that we have said to President Tadic, Prime Minister Thaci, when I met with them last week, that we need to all engage in this process and to be, as we are, constructive in our dialogue to try and find the way forward, which, as you know, I believe for both, is a European future.
SECRETARY CLINTON: We support that completely. The U.S. and the EU have worked together and we will continue to do so. I am very much looking forward to my visit to both Belgrade and Pristina and the opportunity not only to speak with leaders, but also with citizens, because it’s important that we keep the goal of that future in the minds of both Serbs and Kosovars, because there are difficult issues that they will have to resolve. The European Union and the United States stand ready to assist and facilitate, to support and cajole that the parties do reach these agreements with each other. But ultimately, it is up to the leaders and the people that will have to come to a decision about their future.
I personally am very hopeful and even excited about the possibilities that would come to the people that are out there just waiting to be realized if these obstacles can be overcome.
Thank you all.

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton's Remarks at Historical Conference on the American Experience in Southeast Asia

Historical Conference on the American Experience in Southeast Asia

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
East Auditorium, George C. Marshall Conference Center
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

Thank you very much, Ambassador, and it’s a great pleasure and privilege for me to welcome all of you to the Department of State. I know we have in this audience scholars and historians, diplomats, and those who have great personal knowledge of and experience with the important issue that will be discussed throughout the day. A lot of history has been made in the State Department and continues to be made every day. And some of the people who are working here and who have worked here previously know that very well.

I want, personally, to welcome Secretary Henry Kissinger back to the State Department, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, and all of my colleagues who are engaged in the art of diplomacy in the 21st century. I also want to offer a special word of welcome to our guests from the Republic of Vietnam: Ambassador Tran Van Tung and Dr. Nguyen Manh Ha. Thank you all for being here and thank you for participating in this important dialogue. I see former Deputy Secretary John Negroponte. Thank you for being here as well.

I want to acknowledge all of the hard work of the historians here at the State Department who have completed an exhaustive record of United States policy regarding Southeast Asia from 1946 until 1975. They have compiled more than 24,000 pages of official documents, many thousands of messages, memoranda, intelligence reports, military assessments, and transcripts of meetings and telephone conversations among key policymakers. They did not, at least, have to sort through millions of emails. (Laughter.) I’m afraid we’re going to have to quadruple the size of the Historian’s Office for future assessments. (Laughter.) This collection will be a resource for students and scholars, for families and citizens in both of our countries who remain keenly interested in this chapter of our shared history.

For Americans of my generation, the war in Vietnam shaped the way we view the world and our country. Like everyone in those days, I had friends who enlisted – male friends who enlisted – were drafted, resisted, or became conscientious objectors; many long, painful, anguished conversations. And yet, the lessons of that era continue to inform the decisions we make. And for Vietnamese of the same generation who saw their country torn apart by war and who shared also the anguish, the loss of loved ones, friends, and family members as so many Americans did, the memories are also vivid and, for many, still painful.

People do not easily shake off the weight of history. All over the world, we see the bitter legacy of old conflicts and enmities. It is a source of many of our most persistent challenges. I see it every day as I work with governments on very intractable conflicts that are difficult to even imagine resolving because of the accumulated history of mistrust, of violence that has joined peoples together over time. But how remarkable it is that the American and Vietnamese people have decided to leave behind a history they could not change and embrace a future that we can shape together.

I was recently in Hanoi. I will be returning to Hanoi at the end of next month. My first visit when I went with my husband when he was President, 10 years ago, was extraordinarily moving. We met our counterparts at that time in the Government of Vietnam. We walked the streets of the cities. There are many stores in Hanoi with our picture where we helped the economy dramatically. (Laughter.)

But the most moving experience was our visit to a site where Vietnamese and American archeologists, along with American and Vietnamese soldiers, were searching together for the remains of a missing United States pilot who had crashed 33 years before, Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Evert. Bill and I stood there watching this work with Lieutenant Colonel Evert’s children, now grown beside us. We watched the workers carefully sift through the mud. Knee deep, they painstakingly excavated the fragments of Colonel Evert’s F-105 fighter plane and the tatters of his uniform. It was a sacred site and both sides were joined in that work. The Vietnamese Government had sent engineers to help, villagers had come forward with artifacts and information, and eventually the Everts were able to take their father home.

On this last trip to Hanoi, I stood on the tarmac of the airport while a military process that accompanies the return of the remains of every American lost in Vietnam occurred, and I again was struck by the solemnity and the sacredness of the work. Thanks to the unprecedented cooperation between our governments and our peoples, as well as the tireless efforts of leaders such as Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerry, and former Ambassador Pete Peterson, many families like the Everts in both countries have been able to find some measure of peace.

The image of that dig 10 years ago has stayed with me. Americans and Vietnamese covered in mud, searching together for traces of a shared and painful past, not because they sought to relive it nor to open old wounds, but because together we recognized we have to face our past if we’re going to make peace with it.

And that is what history, your work, this conference, and the many volumes that have been published, is all about. Historians are excavating, sifting, and straining, helping us know our history more fully so that we can put the past behind us and move forward together.

The progress between Vietnam and the United States has been breathtaking. When I was in Hanoi to help commemorate the 15th anniversary of the normalization of relations, I addressed a large group of American and Vietnamese businesses that are working together. Our trade agreement has created jobs and spurred growth on both sides of the Pacific. Our friendship has become an anchor of security and stability in the region. An entire generation of young people has grown up knowing only peace between Vietnam and America, and the relationships that they are forming through educational and cultural exchanges, through new businesses and social networks are drawing us even closer together.

Vietnam is home to an ancient and proud civilization. This year, Hanoi will celebrate its 1,000th birthday. But it is also a dynamic and growing nation with a young and vibrant population. I met so many young people working at the conference center, young Vietnamese, who came up and asked me if there could be more educational exchanges, more scholarships, more cooperation between the young people of both our countries. I think there is an enormous amount that still lies ahead of what we can do together as we deepen and broaden our relationship. And I am confident that the next 15 years will bring the United States and Vietnam closer together.

I also hope that our commitment to a shared future, despite our shared history, can serve as an inspiration and even a model to others, because there are so many countries who are being held back because they cannot overcome their past, who refuse to search for common ground because the ground behind them is littered with the bodies and the blood of previous generations. In today’s world, it is more imperative than ever that we seek to end conflict and to look for ways that we can connect based on our common humanity. We will not agree on everything. We will have different political systems. But we have to look for a way to find that common ground and to work toward common aspirations that fulfill the potential for peace, progress, and prosperity.

So I thank you for being here for this conference. I am looking forward to hearing reports of the day’s events. I have looked at the program. It is quite international. We have experts not just from Vietnam and the United States, but from universities around the world. And we appreciate greatly the efforts that everyone has made led by our historians here in the State Department, not only to put on this conference, but to help us come to terms with our own history.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for September 29, 2010

Public Schedule for September 29, 2010

Washington, DC
September 29, 2010


9:45 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers welcoming remarks to the Historical Conference on the American Experience on Southeast Asia, at the Department of State.

10:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton, at the Department of State.

1:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, at the Department of State.

2:30 p.m.
Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, at the Department of State.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hillary Clinton at U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: The Video! *updated with text*

For your viewing and listening enjoyment, here is your awesome Secretary of State along with co-star and admirer, Robert Gates.


Remarks in a Roundtable Discussion on the Administration's New Global Development Policy at the Annual U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Conference

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes
Grand Hyatt Washington
Washington, DC
September 28, 2010

MR. GLICKMAN: Thank you. Thank you and good afternoon, everybody. As I look around the room today and this amazing crowd, it’s hard to believe how many people are here, and I know there are thousands of others joining by the internet, to witness the first of this kind of roundtable conversation.
In fact, as I thought about today, I was reminded what John Kennedy said when he was hosting a dinner for Nobel Laureates in 1962. Many of you remember this. He said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge that has ever gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” (Laughter.) Thomas Jefferson may still have a slight edge on the room right now, folks, but I have yet to introduce our distinguished panel.
As many of you know, Candidate Obama made some ambitious commitments during the campaign about a smart power foreign policy, calling for doubling foreign assistance and elevating and strengthening development and diplomacy. As President, he has followed his predecessor in asking for strong increases for the International Affairs Budget. He has launched two groundbreaking development initiatives that promise to be game-changers – the Feed The Future and Global Health Initiatives. And with the announcement of the new Global Development Policy, this Administration is committed to making development a core pillar of America’s foreign policy.
Given the complexity of today’s world, these are important and welcome steps forward. To bring greater clarity to this policy, we have an amazing, all-star cast for our afternoon plenary. So without further ado, please welcome U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Raj Shah, president and CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Daniel Yohannes, and today’s moderator, Emmy Award-winning journalist and director, and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Frank Sesno.
So please join me in welcoming this amazing audience. (Applause.)
MR. SESNO: Well, thank you all very much. In my former business, the TV business, you would say this is not a bad booking. (Laughter.) This is quite a gathering indeed, and so thanks to all of you for your time. And what we’re going to do here today for the next hour is talk about and try to dive into this newly announced Global Development Policy, what it means. The President has called it a pillar of American power. It is ambitious in its scope. It seeks to encourage nothing less than broad-based economic growth, democratic governance. It seeks to facilitate the stabilization of countries that are emerging from crisis or conflict, to alleviate poverty, to advance the basic welfare and dignity of all humankind. Those are the pillars of the pillar.
So, Secretary Clinton, let me start with you. The presence of the five of you here today would seem to suggest that there is something significant and new. Let me start by asking you to address that. Briefly, what is the newest, most distinctive element of this new policy, or is it just packaging?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Frank, first of all, let me thank you, but let me also thank Dan Glickman, a longtime friend and great public servant, and Liz Schrayer, the entire USGLC team, and tell you what a great pleasure it is, I think for all of us, to be here, because this organization cares about development – a lot of organizations do that – but then you bring an integrated approach, including business, the development community, and the military together.
So that is a precursor to the answer to Frank’s question, because what we are doing in this Presidential Policy Directive is making very clear that development is an integral part of America’s national security policy and it is part of an integrated approach that includes development, diplomacy, and defense. And I think that what we’ve tried to do with this global policy is to make very clear that we’re not only a core pillar of our national security mission – and by the way, this is the first time since Kennedy that any president has articulated a global development policy – but that we truly are elevating development to the highest levels of the United States Government. And let me just make a few brief points before my colleagues jump in.
First, and I give Secretary Gates great credit for this, it became abundantly clear to everyone who follows these matters, starting in Iraq then Afghanistan, that we could not be successful by militarizing our policy toward countries to the exclusion of working on their own priorities and the efforts to try to improve development, including governance, rule of law, and the like. So really since the beginning of the Administration, that’s what we’ve been trying to do. We’ve actually been implementing the principles of this policy even though the policy itself has just been rolled out by the President last week at the United Nations.
And very simply, we are looking for results and we’re looking for results that are nonpartisan, not just bipartisan. We want to establish development firmly so that no matter what the political winds may blow, they will not blow over the fundamental concept that development is a key element now and forever of our foreign policy objectives. So number one, we highlight strongly the need for economic development. Tim will talk about that. But this is a key, core principle, the difference between aid and investment and why we want to make investments on a basis of partnership, not patronage. We want to make sure that we look to country-led and country-owned strategies so that we are not just chasing the idea of development without seeing it become sustainable. We’re working to integrate this. It’s a lot harder than I think any of us ever knew when we started, but we’ve got a real commitment to it. We are working to reinvigorate AID. We need to improve the coordination among our own government agencies so that we are speaking with as much as possible a single voice out of Washington. In country, we need to build up the capacity of our ambassadors to be true chief of missions and responsible for implementing this policy. And we want to find ways to increase our nation’s investment in innovation in the area of development. And then of course, you would expect me to say we want to emphasize women and girls. (Laugher.) And I want to --
MR. SESNO: Which you’re going to do. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, which I’m going to do. (Applause.) And I want to end, Frank, by just reading something: “For no objective supporter of foreign aid can be satisfied with the existing program, actually a multiplicity of programs bureaucratically fragmented, awkward and slow. Its administration is diffused over a haphazard and irrational structure covering at least four departments and several other agencies. The program is based on a series of legislative measures and administrative procedures conceived at different times and for different purposes, many of them now obsolete, inconsistent, and unduly rigid, and thus unsuited for our present needs and purposes. Its weaknesses have begun to undermine confidence in our effort both here and abroad.”
That was from President Kennedy’s policy on development back in 1961. We made a lot of progress into the ‘70s. Those were AID’s glory years, if you will. The Green Revolution is one of the hallmarks. And then we lost our way again. And we are determined in this Administration to put development on a firm footing and leave it there.
MR. SESNO: So let me ask you this before moving on to the others. How does this policy take these tenets, which are logical and have been the underpinnings, at least in principle, of America’s development policy in the past, and make it real? I mean, if somebody came up to you and said, “In a sentence, tell me what’s different about this new policy,” what would you say?
SECRETARY CLINTON: That we are taking the principles and finally forcing our government to act on those principles in practical ways that have real results for people, and improve and further the national security objectives of the United States.
MR. SESNO: Secretary Gates, we’ve talked about this before. In fact, we’ve talked about it with the two of you last year at GW when you were there. But you led the way with this conversation, largely starting with your – well, starting before then, but with your Landon lecture at Kansas State in December of 2007. And you said, “Military success is not sufficient to win,” and you went on to talk about these other things. The National Security Strategy says, “The burden of global threats cannot fall on our soldiers alone.”
So how does this new strategy take the burden or help to relieve the burden off of America’s men and women who are in uniform and in the civilian side of the military?
SECRETARY GATES: Well, I think that there’s a short-term piece and a long-term piece. The short-term piece is that without development, we will not be successful in either Iraq or Afghanistan. And so in the fights that we’re in, the civilian component is absolutely critical to success. And what we’ve discovered as we went along and we sort of came to it, I think, way late, was that the civilian side of the government in the arena of development was significantly under-resourced. I mean, and I guess what caught my attention and helped prompt the Landon lecture was when I discovered that when I had retired the first time – (laughter) – in 1993, AID had 15- or 16,000 people. They were deployable. They were expert. They expected to live in harsh conditions, often fragile security. But they were out there. And when I came back to government, AID had about 3,000 people and it was basically a contracting agency. And so it would seem to me we needed the inherent capability inside the government with committed professionals to carry out this work to be successful in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But there’s a longer-term piece to it that I think this strategy addresses, and that is in military planning, what we call phase zero, is how do you prevent conflict, how do you create the conditions so we don’t have to send soldiers? And the way you do that is by – is through development. Development contributes to stability. It contributes to better governance. And if you are able to do those things and you’re able to do them in a focused and sustainable way, then it may be unnecessary for us to send soldiers. Now, in some cases, it will be necessary for us to provide security for those doing the development work, but development and security are inextricably linked. You can’t have development without security, and you can’t have security without development.
So from our standpoint and my standpoint, the three things that I think are important about this strategy is, first of all, it focuses on sustainability, it focuses on focus in making choices, and acknowledging we can’t do everything everywhere. And then I think the third piece is that it explicitly addresses the importance of partnering with nongovernmental organizations in a way that I don’t think the government has done formally before.
MR. SESNO: And what is it in here that you think will most quickly relieve the burden? I mean, we’ve talked and we’ve seen so many times the degree to which our men and women in the military are part of these larger efforts. What and when does that burden get – how and when does that burden get lifted?
SECRETARY GATES: Well, I think that burden already has been alleviated. In the last year, the civilian representation in Afghanistan, for example, has been tripled. And so the need – the development – we can contribute and we do do some development work, but let’s just say it’s not our core competency. And the truth is, you talk to a colonel who’s a brigade commander in Afghanistan and ask him about the contribution a single civilian professional brings leading a PRT, and he will tell you they are a gigantic force multiplier. So having civilians who understand this, who know what they’re doing, and for whom it is a calling and a profession, makes all the difference.
MR. SESNO: Secretary Geithner, Secretary Gates talked about focus and choices, and part of this policy emphasizes the fact that global development reinforces and is something to assist not just our national security, but our economic security. In fact, the economic security of the planet ideally, right? And that some of these choices will be made with a premium on sustainable economic growth.
So explain how that works and how some of these choices will be made to contribute to economic growth both abroad and at home, because it’s also meant to be in America’s economic interests?
SECRETARY GEITHNER: Why does growth matter? It’s self-evident. Without growth, no country will have the resources to educate their children, make sure they have access to healthcare. Growth is necessary for almost everything you try to achieve in these areas. But of course, it’s not just enough to be for growth. Unless you’re making sure countries are investing their resources, scarce resources, in educating women, girls, in basic health care, you’re not going to have sustainable economic growth. Those two basic judgments are at the heart of this strategy, and, I think, at the heart of any reasonable reading of the history of development policies.
The question is, of course, how to bring that about and I’ll just give you a few examples.
MR. SESNO: Please.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: If you can make it more likely that a woman – a farmer in Bolivia or in Mali or in India can get title to her land and is able to borrow to go out and buy better seeds and fertilizer, she’ll be more likely to be able to educate her children, grow a business, and create a market for the exports of our country. It’s a simple, basic proposition. If you can help create that basic framework for property rights, for the capacity to borrow, if you can make it less likely that she has to pay an exorbitant bribe to get the ability to bring a product to market, if you can make infrastructure better so it takes two hours not two days to take her product to market, you can make transformative differences in poverty reduction around the world.
The most powerful way to reduce poverty is not just – I’ll put it in a different way – what matters most? First is, are you at peace? Are you in conflict? Second is, are you growing as a country? So you have to recognize that for assistance to be effective, it has to come with conditions, and the conditions have to make sure it’s less likely that these resources get lost to corruption or get devoted to things that aren’t going to have a high return, and again, basically improving income growth in these countries.
MR. SESNO: So does this new policy tighten those conditions?
SECRETARY GEITHNER: Absolutely. And again –
MR. SESNO: It forces those choices?
SECRETARY GEITHNER: It seems like a simple thing, but it is a very important thing to say you’re going to put basic economic growth with a focus on results at the heart of our decisions in how we allocate scarce resources. And again, a lot of people in this room are here because of the basic moral imperative for development.
But we’re living in a time where we have 10 percent unemployment, one in eight Americans are on food stamps. We face a deeply unsustainable long-term fiscal position. We have no credible strategy for making the case this is a reasonably effective use of scarce resources unless we can explain that they’re going to be going to things to make a difference for this basic cause more effectively and that they’re going to translate into not just better strategic outcomes for our country, but better growth things.
Our exports to developing countries over the last decade grew six times the rate of growth of our exports to the major economies. Growth for this country in the future is going to be overwhelmingly dependent on our ability to see faster income growth in the most populous parts of the world and to, of course, benefit from access to those markets.
So what this does is give us a better framework for making choices and improving the odds that we’re going to use these scarce resources more effectively in getting better outcomes, development outcomes. And the economic case for that is, I think, overwhelming.
MR. SESNO: So, say, a pay – there should be a payoff here at home for the payout overseas?
SECRETARY GEITHNER: Absolutely. There absolutely will be. And again, if you are worried about how we’re going to grow as a country, you have to worry about what we’re going to be able to do to make sure that we’re playing an increasing role in the most populous parts of the world. And we want them to grow more rapidly. We have a big stake in that and that makes an enormous difference in what’s going to happen in the United States.
SECRETARY GATES: Frank, further to Tim’s point, there’s another piece of this in terms of our domestic economy, and that’s cost avoidance. Development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.
SECRETARY CLINTON: And we just have to make that case. (Applause.)
MR. SESNO: Administrator Shah, USAID was referenced earlier in terms of the rapid precipitous decline in the population there over years. I know you’re trying to rebuild that. You’ve been at the helm there for, what, about nine months now – is that right – after a notable absence that was discussed in some circles. How does this new policy translate into the rebuilding of USAID and the role that your agency is going to have in this development discussion, implementation?
ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Well, thank you. The letter that Secretary Clinton was reading from was, of course, President Kennedy’s development policy and it lead directly to establishing USAID. And so I am very excited and enthusiastic that this next version of a comprehensive development policy is actually a very clear roadmap for how to rebuild and reconstitute a premier development agency. And I think you’ve heard from all of our secretaries here about the value of that kind of agency.
But at the end of the day, development is a discipline. It’s a profession. And there’s a way to do it in a way that is smart, is results-oriented, is focused on knowing how to spend resources and cooperate and design policies and build governance in environments where you get real results. And we have a huge experience base around the world, not just USAID, but MCC and so many other partners, and we know a lot about what works, what doesn’t work.
We – this policy is a license to take that knowledge and use that evidence and make some real shifts in how we actually allocate resources, design programs. And we’re starting to see it. We haven’t been standing around for a year waiting for this. We’ve been implementing many of these principles in the two signature initiatives in Global Health and Feed the Future.
MR. SESNO: For those in the public who may be watching this on television or listening to it on radio or having it streamed or whatever, they’ve heard of USAID presumably, but they may not know what you do. And I guess the question I would have is, as a result of this new articulated policy, what will you do? What will your role be in this all-government approach that is meant to be the sort of spear of this initiative?
ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Well, USAID will continue to be the primary development agency for the federal government. We will do a far better job of coordinating efforts across and resources across the federal government and applying them in specific areas of excellence and application. And we’re constantly – we’re in another review right now, the QDDR, which is a review we’re doing under Secretary Clinton’s leadership to identify those specific areas of focus, but is basically food and agriculture, global health, sustainable economic growth, and democratic governance.
MR. SESNO: And are you working with these guys at the Pentagon as well?
ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: We absolutely are. In fact, we have a tremendous amount of shared relationships. And in fact, we’re working specifically most recently with DARPA, the Applied Research Products Agency, in order to create our own version of a development hub for science, technology, and innovation. Because many of the biggest wins in global development that the Secretary referred to, whether it’s the Green Revolution or saving, literally, millions of kids from diarrheal illness in Asia and in Sub-Saharan Africa in the ‘70s and ‘80s, came from big technological breakthroughs that our agency and our government helped support, and we want to rebuild that focus on science, technology, and innovation as really a core part of our development strategy going forward.
MR. SESNO: Mr. Yohannes, to you. Again, thinking of the larger audience, many may not know what the Millennium Challenge Corporation is. So in a sentence it is –
MR. YOHANNES: It’s a government agency with a specific mission to reduce poverty for long-term economic growth working with poor countries, but those that are well governed.
MR. SESNO: And those that are well government gets to the issue of accountability which we see throughout this policy, and that’s what I want to ask you about. Swedish development economist, Fredrik Segerfeldt, has analyzed the failure of development over 50 years and what he estimates at nearly $2 trillion spent in the effort. And he argues that corruption is a big problem, as we know, but cannot be resolved with development and foreign aid. So how does this policy get at the root of corruption?
MR. YOHANNES: Good. A couple of things, number one, many of the principles that MCC has applied in the last couple of years are core principles of the new initiative.
I just got back from Honduras. Honduras was the first country that completed the first five-year program.
MR. SESNO: Five-year program?
MR. YOHANNES: Five-year program, all right. And despite three presidential transitions and a major political crisis, the projects were done on time, on budget, with good results, because they were not owned by any particular person – they were owned by the Hondurans themselves.
When they were given the opportunity, they set the stage, they set the priorities, they designed the program to link farmers to markets. They wanted to build roads so those farmers have access to markets. They came to us with their proposals. We did a thorough analysis to make sure that the proposed projects would help the poor, would help both men and women, and then would also return good returns. And it was done by the Hondurans themselves from the beginning to the end, okay? We only had two people on the ground.
And also, the government created the incentives, if you will, the opportunities for sustainability. They passed major laws in the financial sector to make sure that businessmen and women have the opportunity to get loans, where previously they had to use land but now they could use other collaterals. They passed laws so that they doubled the road maintenance fund so that funds are available to create sustainability. They’ve done all – I mean, they done the best jobs.
I saw the results what happened on the ground myself. I spoke to the farmers that were trained by MCC. Many of those farmers are now double the income in just the last five years. Of course, we’re waiting to get the confirmation from independent sources. Because why? Because it’s owned by the Hondurans themselves.
MR. SESNO: Secretary Clinton, you have to make the case to the Congress --
MR. SESNO: -- and it’s one of the highlights of your job, I’m sure – (laughter) – and to the American public that these dollars are wisely spent, that they’re making a difference. And the issue of accountability comes up again and again, right?
MR. SESNO: As we’ve just heard, a core of this and building off of some of the lessons learned through the Corporation there. So what do you say is the key to accountability of the future and these investment decisions, which is how you’re trying to frame them more, that are going to be made going forward?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Frank, we really think we have to have mutual accountability because we have to be more accountable within our own government.
MR. SESNO: So accountability starts at home?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Accountability starts at home. I mean, we have a less-than-perfect track record in actually delivering as big a percentage of the dollar spent on aid as is needed. We spend a lot of money doing things that are not rooted in evidence, and we want to have an evidence-based development policy. We are ramping up monitoring and evaluation – that’s one of the things that Raj and I are working on – to make sure that we can be very clear in telling the Congress and the American taxpayers, to echo Tim’s point, that these investments are in America’s interests.
I gave a speech early this year in January at the Center for Global Development outlining a lot of the development approach that we were taking. And most of that is in this policy directive because we were on the ground evaluating it as we went. We weren’t just sitting around the Situation Room abstractly discussing it. We were doing the hard work of trying to hold ourselves and others accountable. I ordered a complete scrub of all of our aid programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And it wasn’t a pretty sight, and that’s not because people weren’t well-meaning and it’s not because they were corrupt; it’s because they were kind of 45 degrees off of what would actually work within the culture to produce the results that we and Pakistanis or Afghans were seeking.
So we have been, since the beginning of this Administration, been very hard on ourselves. Some would argue maybe too hard, but we don’t know any other way to do it because here is what we’re looking at down the road. We do have the Quadrennial Diplomacy Development Review. I was on the Armed Services Committee. I saw how effective a tool the QDR, the Quadrennial Defense Review, was for the Defense Department. So I ordered that we do our own QDDR, and it’s been an incredibly revealing process, because we’re really trying to look deeply into how we do diplomacy and development and ask ourselves, “How do we do better?” That’s number one.
Number two, we have a stovepipe budget system starting in our own government and then becoming exacerbated in the Congress because of jurisdiction and the like. So we often feel like we’re running around, trying to integrate something that is constantly being pulled apart, so our efforts to say, look, we have to be ultimately accountable to the American taxpayer at any time, but particularly now, given our own economic challenges, and we stand in our own way all the time.
One of the things that Bob and I have talked about is a national security budget. Because I’ll just say the obvious – it is really easy for him to get his budget – (laughter) – and it’s really hard for me to get our budget. In fact, we had that experience on the supplemental. Bob waltzed in and said, “Oh, here’s what we need,” and – (laughter) --
SECRETARY GATES: Waltzing doesn’t work for you? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Dancing With The Stars – I’m on the sideline here. (Laughter.)
MR. SESNO: So can I turn to the waltzer-in-chief for a minute here? Then given this discussion about dollars, if this is such an imperative and if it’s going to make a difference and be a multiplier, how about some of those dollars coming from DOD and going to – (Laughter.)
SECRETARY GATES: Well, we actually -- first, I’ll be clear. At the Landon lecture, I said I wasn’t volunteering my budget. (Laughter.) I just wanted to work harder for the Secretary of State to have more.
But the truth is – I mean, one of the realities, as Hillary was saying, and Raj as well, we’ve actually been working on these problems well before this document came out. And one of the things that we have done is, taking into account that we are able to get money easier than State and AID. We have come up with some pretty creative approaches in terms of how to fund partnership capacity-building. We have a couple of sections in law in the Defense Authorization Act, Sections 1206 and 1207, that are basically – the money is in our budget, but it’s basically dual-key -- the Secretary of State and I both have to approve these things – these projects.
And the agenda in 1207, the ideas come mainly from the State Department in terms of where we want to put that money in – for institution-building and capabilities for partners. 1206, it comes from both buildings. And that has worked very well. We have a counterinsurgency fund for Pakistan. We have several of these funds that the Congress has worked with us on to meet specific needs in the short term. They are – I would say, though, they are inadequate to the need. They are stopgap measures.
But what has happened is that I think, in a way, perhaps unprecedented, you have seen the State Department and the Defense Department working cooperatively to identify these projects, and most of which are actually implemented, in many cases, by the State Department and AID.
MR. SESNO: You face a gargantuan task, though, because you’re going to be going back to the Congress, hard as it is to get the dollars up till now with a $1.4 trillion deficit, with a political environment that likely is going to make it even more difficult regardless of what happens in a few weeks --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me give you a couple of examples, Frank, because you are preaching to the choir. Obviously, I’m out of politics, but I am observing this election. (Laughter.) And I do know that we face some very difficult challenges ahead of us. If you look at our transition in Iraq, the transition is from a primarily defense-military mission to a diplomatic development mission. But it’s never been done to the extent it needs to be done before.
We have intensely planned for it, but there’s always a gap between the plan and the execution. And we are really working as hard as we know to have as smooth a transition as possible. But it’s very difficult to do diplomacy and development without adequate security. So as our troops go out of Iraq, which is the plan, then we have to figure out how do we provide enough of a security envelope for our diplomats and our development experts to do the work that we’re now asking them to do.
Similarly, in Pakistan after the flood, AID did a terrific job in being the first to respond, could not have done it without the military and the helicopters getting our aid workers and our material into Pakistan. But we have to fight to get the U.S. Government’s label on our material because a lot of our aid workers and our NGO partners are afraid to have association with the U.S. Government, whereas China, Japan, everybody else, emblazoned across all that they do, “Gift from the people of China,” that – “From the generosity of the people of Japan,” or you name it. So the American taxpayer is looking at this and saying, “We want to help those people. That’s a terrible disaster. But they don’t even want to admit that it’s coming from us?”
So we have so many challenges in doing what we have set out to do, as very briefly envisioned by the President’s directive. That’s why we’ve got to get into the granularity, which is what we’re doing in the very specific plans that Raj is implementing, that Bob and I work on together, and don’t forget the multilateral financial institutions which we partner with – that Tim is working with and MCC.
MR. SESNO: We don’t have a lot of time, so I want to --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me pile on the – yeah, let him pile on, Frank. Let me pile on. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY GATES: On the Iraq – on the transition in Iraq, because it really captures the nature of the challenge that we’re facing, you can argue about the war all day long, but the fact is we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this war. We’re now in the end game. We are leaving. We are making a transition to a civilian-dominated process of development, of helping build institutions and so on.
But the Congress took a huge whack at the budget the State Department submitted for this process of transition. And it is one of these cases where having invested an enormous amount of money, we are now arguing about a tiny amount of money in terms of bringing this to a successful conclusion. And I will tell you it reminds me for all the world of the last scene in Charlie Wilson’s War, where having forced the Soviets out of Afghanistan and having spent billions to do it, Charlie Wilson can’t get a million dollars for schools.
MR. SESNO: How do you do it? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY GEITHNER: You know it’s --
SECRETARY GATES: He prints it. (Laughter, applause.)
SECRETARY GEITHNER: If only, I would say. But Frank, I think we all recognize that development is a graveyard of pieces of paper, lofty rhetoric not matched by action. But it starts with what you have before you today, and it requires the commitment of people running these agencies, understanding what’s necessary and being willing to spend some time on fixing it. And you have to start with that. If you don’t have that, nothing’s possible.
But we have a lot we can point to that can demonstrate why this is a good return on scarce resources. I mean, I’ll just give you an example. When we give the World Bank one dollar, they can lend $25 to a country to do things that help support our basic humanitarian, security, economic interests in those countries. That is enormous leverage, a better return than many things we can say we do as a country with scarce taxpayers’ resources.
So – and we’re at a time – and this is important to say – we’re at a time with incredibly promising innovation by foundations, by the private sector, by governments around the world.
MR. SESNO: How does this new policy work differently with the private sector?
MR. GEITHNER: I think, again, if you don’t recognize that how countries grow depends fundamentally on how good they are at creating the foundations for a market economy for a business to work, then nothing is possible. And that’s why, again, the emphasis on growth is so important.
ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: Frank, let me give you a concrete example, because I think it brings a lot of these strands together and it speaks to Secretary Gates’s point about phase zero in terms of the application of development.
In Ghana, despite effective governance and despite a reasonably robust growth environment, they have not made the kind of progress against food insecurity that you would want to see. And in 2008, when food prices went up, and in many of these countries more than doubled, people who spend 70, 80, 90 percent of disposal income securing food go hungry. You saw food riots throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and many parts of Asia.
So we have our Feed the Future initiative. In doing this initiative, we’ve worked with the Government of Ghana that has developed a very robust and brave proposal to use the northern Ghana infrastructure and agriculture belt as their future breadbasket. MCC is building the road infrastructure there. USAID is supporting the agricultural research and extension activities that will reach farmers. We’re working in partnership with the World Bank and, in this case, with a few other, DFID and CIDA from other countries, to concentrate their efforts in the north as well. And we’re making these investments, but against an effort where we’re collecting baseline data on crop yields and on farm incomes. So every year, we’re going to get a very clean understanding of what are we getting as real results and outcomes against an alternative baseline.
That’s going to allow us, over time, hopefully, to help Ghana pull itself out of poverty, pull itself out of food insecurity, and hopefully become a model for other countries that are willing to take that leadership step and do that work. And I just think it brings together so many of the aspects of technology, working together, coordination, and most importantly, accountability against real results. And it’s becoming a hallmark of how we want to do this work in Bangladesh, in Haiti, in Rwanda, and so many other parts of that initiative and across USAID’s programs.
MR. SESNO: You’ve spoken about accountability, you’ve spoken about focus – and you can lead this one off – but you’ve spoken about the focus and the choices. The policy calls for an increased focus in support of – and I’m quoting here – “select countries and sub-regions where conditions are right to sustain progress.” Now, that means choices. So who gets more focus and who gets less focus under that rubric?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Let Daniel respond.
MR. YOHANNES: Yeah. I think, again, what we’ve done and what we continue to do is select countries that will be responsible for their own growth. And let’s talk about Ghana. I mean, Ghana is a very successful story, but we trained a lot of farmers over there, where now they are, in fact, selling, Raj, their food production to the United Nations, which has been distributed in the region. And we’re also linking Ghanaian farmers with other outside buyers, for example, Dole, and they are sourcing Ghanaian pineapples overseas, all right?
So many of these countries have taken their own responsibilities. We work with countries that are transitioning themself from aid dependency to self-sufficiency. I think that’s the key. And in order for that to happen, you have to have a government that’s committed to create the environment for sustainability and also to replace our aid dollars with private sector investment. And you cannot work in those circumstances with every government. You have to be very selective and work with those government that are committed for the same principles.
SECRETARY CLINTON: And Frank, too, on the two major initiatives – Raj mentioned one, Feed the Future; the other, the Global Health Initiative – we’re basically bargaining with countries. Countries have to be willing to make their own investments. Some will be much less than others. But there has to be buy-in and there has to be a commitment to sustainability because the unfortunate fact is that in health, particularly, oftentimes when donors came in, both governmental donors and nongovernmental, to do something in health, the government withdrew its money from health because they figured, okay, the United States, PEPFAR, DFID, Norway, you name it, the Global Fund, they’re going to take care of this, so we don’t have to be invested.
And we exacerbated the problem by cutting the government out in many instances, so that we would contract with NGOs who would come into a country and create parallel structures. So oftentimes, at the end of maybe even a successful period of PEPFAR investment or USAID investment, we would have seen numbers change on treatment for HIV/AIDS or maybe immunization, but there was no infrastructure. So if we pulled out tomorrow because we have our own budget problems, we would have done some wonderful humanitarian work, but we would not have created a sustainable development foundation. So we’re very clear in what we expect.
And there’s a lot that goes with this. On taxes, for example – it’s one of my pet peeves – countries that will not tax their elite, who expect us to come in and help them serve their people, are just not going to get the kind of help from us that historically they may have.
MR. SESNO: So what, you’re going to go to countries that are getting that now and say we’re going to stop? (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: There’s got to be some reciprocity here. Because one of the things that is now happening in Pakistan, and I said this when I was there last year, you cannot have a tax rate of 9 percent of GDP when big landholders and all the other elites do not pay anything or pay so little it’s laughable, and you’ve got such a rate of poverty and everybody is looking to the United States and other donors to come in and help.
MR. SESNO: But do you mean to say that what you’re going to do, you’re prepared to go to a country now, to a government, and say you’ve got all these people in poverty; we’re going to quit working with them or we’re going to pull back if you don’t tax your elite, which is, by the way, your political – base of your own political support?
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s just one of several messages that we are beginning to deliver.
MR. SESNO: Can you change that behavior like that?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the finance minister in Pakistan is now presenting a package of economic and tax reforms.
MR. SESNO: Is that part of the message you take to them?
MR. SESNO: And you do that –
MR. YOHANNES: We’ve been practicing for the last couple years.

MR. SESNO: Is it working?

MR. YOHANNES: It’s working extremely well. They have taken accountability. We’re using our grant dollars to make some major policy reforms to make those countries attractive for the private sector to --
MR. SESNO: Do they ever say to you, “Well, when you fix the tax thing in the United States, come back, we’ll do it here too?” (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I hope we don’t end up at 9 percent of GDP. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY GEITHNER: I want to add --
MR. SESNO: Sure.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: If I can just say that, I, like many people, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I have never heard a discussion like this where you have a Secretary of State saying what Secretary Clinton just said, which is recognizing that unless we are tougher on how we provide assistance, unless we look at those basic simple things, like are they running their country in a way that gives us confidence that our resources will be used well, we should not be financing them at this level. That is an enormously consequential thing. Of course, you want to see how we do over time. But that is incredibly important.
MR. SESNO: Yes, it is. It’s also difficult because it may be in conflict with some of the other things that you’re trying to do. It’s a bit like the CIA, where sometimes you have to do business with bad people because that’s the reality of the world.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: All these objectives are going to be in conflict at some point or another. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not right to start with the basic recognition that without a tougher, more selective, more conditional, more focused approach, we’re not going to be able to justify financing these endeavors at the scale we think is necessary.
MR. SESNO: Let me come at it slightly different. I had a very interesting conversation with a colleague before I came over here, Steve Livingston, who works with me and I think is here today, and he was talking about Amartya Sen, in his words, Nobel Laureate, who has traced the role of a free media and free press in the economic – not just the economic development, but the actual appearance of famine in some countries. What does this policy do to encourage a more open media, a more open society, before you – we start handing over Americans’ dollars? How does that effect it, or does it?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, it does. I mean, it’s one of our core values and it’s something that we promote through both our diplomatic and development exchanges with countries. And we believe strongly, obviously, that democracy with not just part of our democratic tradition, like just elections, but the whole panoply of protecting minority rights and independent judiciary, a free press, and the like, is the best path, the most sustainable path to development and prosperity, peace and stability. So we are totally supportive of that, but the problem that we encounter is exactly as Tim said; there’s a lot of conflict. Countries make progress on indicators that we think are in their own interests and important to us at different paces, and we have some great partnerships with some countries that are not particularly respectful of a free press but on other indicators have made enormous progress. So we keep pushing and pulling, but we want to see effort and we want to see a level of commitment in order to be able to continue on a development relationship.
MR. SESNO: We’re going to have to wrap up this conversation because – and I’ll leave you guessing – at least one of you has an appointment with a very important person soon. (Laughter.) So what I’d like to just do is I’d like to ask you to take this plan and project into the future five years from now, ten years from now, when, unless Secretary Gates continues his fine tradition, none of us will be sitting here. (Laughter.) What will we see? What will have happened? What will have changed if what has been laid out as goals here has been achieved, at least largely achieved? Give us two or three things to scorecard or to watch for.
ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: I think if you asked that question 15 years ago, nobody would have sat here and told you that mobile phones would have actually been the most transformative force in the developing world. And that’s, in fact, exactly what’s happened. And so I would say if you were to look forward over that frame period of time, you would want to see a series of tremendously disruptive technologies, business models, and innovations that serve low-income countries and low-income communities and effectively address the things we’re talking about. And I actually think in that time frame we can actually wipe out food insecurity on the planet.
MR. YOHANNES: If you do everything that have been discussed today will transition many countries from a dependency to self-sufficiency, where investment would flow from the private sector instead of from various development agencies around the world.
MR. SESNO: Secretary Geithner.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: Well, I’ll end with the multilateral case. It’s not going to be just about what we do bilaterally. It’s going to be about what we do to make the multilateral institutions stronger, because they give us great leverage for scarce resources, in some ways they’re a more effective provider of conditions than we can do unilaterally on our own, and we need to make sure that we’re working alongside them making them stronger as we try to get better at this as a country.
MR. SESNO: Secretary Gates.
SECRETARY GATES: Well, I would say in my particular area, it’s what you don’t see that will be the success, and that is less conflict, less requirement for American soldiers to be sent around the world, and more stability and peaceful development. And again, I go back to the cost avoidance point. You end up almost having to prove the negative: How many wars did you prevent?
MR. SESNO: Scorecard?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we, number one, want to see significant, lasting changes in the way the United States Government does business when it comes to development. And sometime in the next 30 to 60 days, we’ll be rolling out the QDDR, and in it will be very specific answers to all of these questions, everything from how we change our procurement and contracting policies, to how we better train ambassadors to be chief executives of all the different missions that they’re responsible for, ultimately, in partner countries, to the personnel policies to be able to open up the State Department and USAID so that we can get the people with the expertise that is needed in the jobs that we’re doing.
Secondly, we will have developed a strong, lasting political constituency here at home that understands the role that development plays and the necessity that it provides in achieving our national security objectives as one of the three pillars of American foreign policy, that there will be a recognition that it does cost money but it costs a lot less. As the military pulls out of Iraq, the military saves $15 billion dollars, we ask for about one-tenth of that and that’s considered too much, even though there are savings accruing to our transitioning to the civilian side; that there will be a political constituency in these countries that recognizes what they must also do, which is one of the reasons why we are using technology, what we’ve called 21st century statecraft, to communicate these ideas.
I sent a technology mission to Syria and some people made fun of it, which is fine, but we now have seen young people in Syria recording abuses by teachers on their mobile devices which were then uploaded onto YouTube which caused the government to be so embarrassed that they had to fire teachers and change the way they were doing business. Think of the implications of that for holding accountable not just our aid flows but the actions of governments in these countries so that we can make better partners out of them.
So we are at a ripe moment of opportunity and we hope that through the President’s directives, through the QDDR, through our cooperation, we’ll be able to make the case to the Congress and the American public why this is in our vital interest and why it must not continue just for this Administration but be sustained for years to come.
MR. SESNO: Well, if this is going to be a pillar of American power, this case does need to be made. The explanations need to be made. The QDDR needs to be published and then connected to the Congress, obviously, and the American people. And this has, I think, been a tremendous conversation, a great down payment on a very important investment. So, thanks to you all. (Applause.)