Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sidelines at UNGA: Hillary Clinton with Japanese FM Gemba and Korean FM Kim

Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Welcome, all of you here, and thank you for coming. As you can tell, we have a lot of people and a very, very small room. But we are with two close allies united by so many common interests and values. This is the fourth meeting that we’ve had in the past two years, including most recently this summer on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Our three nations share a strong interest in the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We will discuss today what further steps we can take toward that goal. We will also discuss how every nation in the region has a responsibility to work to resolve disputes peacefully, lower tensions, promote regional security and stability.
Our alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea are cornerstones of peace and prosperity in the region and each of these countries represent an enormous success story about what can happen when nations are focused on peace and stability and giving more opportunities to their own people and developing good relationships with their neighbors. We will maintain close cooperation between the three of us. That is a top priority for the United States, and I’m delighted to be here with my friends and colleagues. Both ministers, Minister Gemba and Minister Kim, are people with whom I work closely, and I look forward to our discussion today.
Thank you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bits and Pieces: Hillary Sparkles as POTUS-Designate at UNGA Roundly Garnering Accolades

Hillary Clinton wrapped up a marathon week at UNGA in New York City this afternoon with every bit as much grace, grit, good humor, and glamor as when she began.   Her Smart Power Doctrine did double-duty through  most  of the week as the president spent just 24 hours in town, long enough to drop by for an appearance on The View and deliver his address to the General Assembly.  His regular meetings and events for the rest of the week were covered by Her Excellency (along with her own scheduled events) as Acting Chief Executive of the U.S. at her last UNGA as Secretary of State.  She did a spectacular job and has won praise from some unlikely sources.

From Politico.

Newt talks up Hillary Clinton

9/26/12 12:59 PM EDT

Newt Gingrich offered some praise of the Secretary of State on Fox News last night:
Hillary Clinton is a serious person, Barack Obama is an ambitious person. They’re very different personalities.

Hillary Clinton actually gets up every day, thinking about public policy; Barack Obama gets up every day, thinking about Barack Obama. They’re very different approaches to life.

Mayor Mike chimed in on his radio show as the New York Post reports.

Clinton a 'class act'

  • Last Updated: 10:16 AM, September 28, 2012
  • Posted: 10:15 AM, September 28, 2012
Run, Hillary, run?

With speculation brewing about a possible Hillary Clinton run for the presidency in 2016, Mayor Bloomberg today praised her as a shining light in the Obama Administration and called himself a "big fan" of her work as Secretary of State.

"She has worked as hard as anybody can work," the mayor observed on his weekly WOR radio show.

"I'm not sure I agree with all her policies-- some yes, some no. But Hillary Clinton is a class act and has worked over and above what you could ask for somebody to represent the Obama Administration."

Read more >>>>

This  review from  RTT News sparkles almost as much as Mme. Secretary did all week!

Hillary Clinton Shines As Obama Surrogate At UN Meeting

9/28/2012 11:36 AM ET
(RTTNews) - Hillary Clinton may have lost the Democratic primary to Barack Obama back in 2008, but this week in New York, she was Secretary of State and Commander-in-Chief all rolled into one as she acted as the president's surrogate at the United Nations General Assembly.

Clinton, who arguably has closer ties with many of the world's top leaders than the president, took over many of the tasks usually left to the president during this week.

President Obama only spent 24-hours in the city, choosing to eschew formal meetings with world leaders to return to his campaign schedule. He was the first president in over 20 years not to meet with a foreign leader at the conference.

Read more >>>>
Finally, Jezebel does a great takedown of a snarky article in the Daily Mail when a photographer caught a shot of doodles on the top page of Mme. President's prepared remarks at a Security Council meeting.

Sep 28, 2012 12:45 PM 15,028 44

Hillary Clinton’s UN Doodles Clearly a Window Into Her Innermost Thoughts

Birds do it. Bees do it. Secretaries of State hearing UN pleas do it. Yesterday, a photographer caught Hillary Clinton aimlessly drawing on her speech notes during a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East peace process. The situation is grim, shooting, suffering etc., but all of that starts to run together after awhile. Let's get to the more interesting water cooler conversation-y stuff that doesn't bum everyone out: what do Hillary Clinton's doodles tell us about her personality?

As breathlessly reported by The Daily Mail (which helpfully included an unflattering picture of Hillary Clinton's face contorting mid-wink with their coverage, you know, for added clarity), Clinton appeared to space out during remarks given by other diplomats, drawing an organized series of interlocking circles and a star on a copy of her prepared speech.

Read more >>>>

**Edited to add  this** Chicago Sun-Times.  Too good to pass up from Lynn Sweet, the scorekeeper!

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama decided not to do face-to-face meetings with global leaders in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, outside of courtesy calls to UN officials. The lack of in-person meetings drew fire from Mitt Romney and other GOP critics. Obama delivered a major speech to the UN on Tuesday. While it may be just too close to the election for Obama one-on-ones, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held 25 meetings with leaders from around the world, a State Department spokesman said Friday.

Mike Hammer, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, recapping Clinton's week told reporters Friday, "since arriving last Sunday and starting her meetings then, held 25 bilateral and trilateral meetings.

"And that is in addition to events that covered every region of the world. For example, you saw the U.N. secretary-general's meeting on the Sahel. We had a trans-Atlantic dinner with EU and NATO foreign ministers. We had a Central American ministerial. We had an ASEAN foreign ministers meeting.

Read more >>>>

 Madame President, thank you, always, for your tireless and cheerful efforts.  We wish you, as my dear friend Robyn always says, a peaceful and restful weekend.  Job superlatively done!

Hillary Clinton at the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial

Remarks at the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, and let me once again welcome all of you to New York. We are pleased to be hosting this meeting on Syria. But I must begin by acknowledging that conditions in Syria continue to deteriorate as the Assad regime relentlessly wages war on its own people. And we see more bodies filling hospitals and morgues, and more refugees leaving their homeland and flooding into neighboring countries. As President Obama told the General Assembly this week, the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop and a new dawn can begin.
Now, it is no secret that our attempts to move forward at the UN Security Council have been blocked repeatedly. On Tuesday, I met with Joint Special Representative Brahimi to discuss alternative strategies, and I look forward to hearing all of your views today. But the United States is not waiting. We are taking new steps to meet the growing humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, to support the opposition as it moves toward an inclusive, democratic transition, and to further pressure and isolate the regime.
First, today I am announcing an additional $30 million to help get food, water, blankets, and critical medical services to people suffering under the relentless assaults, based on need, regardless of political affiliation. This brings the total U.S. humanitarian aid during this crisis to more than $130 million. As the need continues to grow, so must the emergency response. The UN appeal remains woefully underfunded. All of us in the international community have to step up, and I repeat our urgent call for all parties to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in need, to uphold international law, and particularly to protect medical facilities and personnel.
Second, today I am also announcing an additional $15 million to support Syrian civilian opposition groups, bringing our total support to the unarmed opposition to almost $45 million. That translates into more than 1,100 sets of communications equipment, including satellite-linked computers, telephones, and cameras, as well as training for more than 1,000 activists, students, and independent journalists. We are working to help them strengthen their networks, avoid regime persecution, and document human rights abuses.
As more parts of Syria’s control slip from the regime to the opposition, we’re supporting civilian opposition groups as they begin providing essential services – reopening schools, rebuilding homes, and the other necessities of life. Dedicated civil servants are working to preserve the institutions of the Syrian state while freeing them from the regime’s corrupt influence. In these places, we are seeing the emergence of a free Syria, and the United States is directing our efforts to support those brave Syrians who are laying the groundwork for a democratic transition from the ground up.
Over recent weeks, we have seen how important it is for people and leaders in nations transitioning to democracy to reject extremists who incite division, conflict, and violence. In Syria, a country that is home to a variety of religious and ethnic communities, this is especially important. We know the regime will do everything it can to pit communities against each other and that extremists will be eager to exploit tensions and impose their own brutal ideology. So the opposition and civil society will have to be especially vigilant against this threat and reassure minorities they will be safe in a post-Assad Syria.
It is encouraging to see some progress toward greater opposition unity, but we all know there is more work to be done. The United States supports the efforts of the opposition follow-up committee to build consensus around the transition plan agreed to in Cairo this summer. I understand there will be a meeting in Doha to continue the work of making the opposition stronger and more cohesive. And we look forward to hearing from representatives of several of the opposition groups about how they are moving forward.
The United States is also ratcheting up pressure on the Assad regime and deepening its isolation. Two weeks ago in Morocco, the United States joined with many of you to pledge more than $3 million in new support for the Syria Justice and Accountability Center and its efforts to document human rights violations inside Syria. And let me be clear: Human rights abuses cannot be tolerated, no matter who commits them.
At the recent meeting of the sanctions working group in The Hague, we reiterated our call for governments, private financial institutions, and businesses to do more to cut off the Assad regime from assets and income that fund its war machines. Those who continue doing business with entities and individuals associated with the regime risk being connected to sanctions violations, damaging their reputations, and exposing them to other potential consequences.
Our government also continues to expand sanctions against individuals and entities who help the regime procure weapons and communications equipment used in waging its war. Our most recent measures target Hezbollah leaders, an arms company in Belarus that is supplying fuses for aerial bombs used against civilians, and senior figures in Syria’s military.
But let’s be very frank here: The regime’s most important lifeline is Iran. Last week, a senior Iranian official publicly acknowledged that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are operating inside Syria. There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus. Iran will do everything it can to evade international sanctions. For example, last year Turkish inspectors found a shipment of assault rifles, machine guns, and mortar shells labeled as “auto spare parts” aboard an Iranian airliner bound for Syria.
So we are encouraged to hear that Iraq has announced it will begin random searches of Iranian aircraft en route to Syria, and we urge all of Syria’s neighbors to take steps to prevent their territory or airspace from being used to fuel Assad’s war.
The United States is moving forward on all these fronts: providing humanitarian aid, supporting the civilian opposition, and increasing pressure on the regime. As President Obama said, “the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.” Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision. So there will be difficult days ahead, but our unity and resolve must not waver as we continue to do what we can to end the violence and bloodshed, and bring about a better day for the Syrian people.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Friends of Syrian People Ministerial as Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby (L) sits at the Waldorf Astoria in New York September 28, 2012. Iran has left no doubt that it will do whatever it takes to protect the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Tehran's staunch ally, Clinton said on Friday. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Hillary Clinton at the G-8 Deauville Partnership Meeting

Remarks at G-8 Deauville Partnership With Arab Countries in Transition Foreign Ministers Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. Let me start by thanking everyone for the contributions that you have already made to this partnership, and for your support of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. In Deauville, during the G-8 meeting, the countries represented there threw their support behind the Arab people during the first phases of the transitions, knowing full well how much work lay ahead.
This is a partnership conceived in optimism, but built to take on the hard realities of long and difficult transitions. The recent riots and protests throughout the region have brought the challenge of transition into sharp relief. Extremists are clearly determined to hijack these wars and revolutions to further their agendas and ideology, so our partnership must empower those who would see their nations emerge as true democracies.
Today, we want to send a clear message to all those in the region who are working each day in governments, in civil society, in the private sector, to build responsive institutions, to strengthen faltering economies, to deliver freedom for all people, to respect human rights: we stand with you and we will stand with you as long as it takes.
Because our partnership is taking practical steps to help more people in the region feel the benefits of democracy in their daily lives. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, people rose up against their dictators because they were fed up with governments that served the interests of a few at the expense of everyone else. But economic and social challenges did not disappear with the dictators. Too many people still can’t find jobs, and young and growing populations crave a sense of opportunity and self-determination.
On the economic front, we are zeroing in on small and medium-sized enterprises because they are the growth engines in any economy. They create the bulk of new jobs and they spread wealth more broadly through more communities. And when people have the opportunity to unleash their talents and create something of their own, they are more invested in their communities, their countries, and their new democracies.
So the OECD is helping emerging democracies find ways they can loosen regulations and make it easier to start or expand a small business. Several partners are setting up funds to help small businesses gain access to loans and financing. People of the region need to see that their governments can be fair and just. So we are stepping up our efforts to return billions of dollars that were stolen or siphoned away over decades of cronyism and corruption.
The United States has been proud to champion the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery during our presidency of the G-8. The forum met earlier this month in Doha to discuss specific steps we can take to recover ill-gotten gains. Our State Department and Justice Department are working together to appoint attorneys who will work exclusively with transition countries. They will be a direct link to our recovery asset experts in Washington and will work with our law enforcement agencies to train their counterparts in the region.
We are also working to help transitioning countries develop both the accountable, transparent institutions and the culture of democracy that underlies the hope for change. We have established a transition fund to support countries as they build court systems, ministries, and other public institutions that are responsive to the needs of all their people, putting them in the best positions to lead their own reforms and see their own transition to democracy through.
Many of our partners are also making the difficult transition from protest to politics, and they need our support as they take on the different responsibilities of leadership. Many of the leaders in the emerging transitioning democracy were themselves prisoners not so long ago, or exiles, activists, dissidents. So as we look at how we can help them make their own personal transition from protest to politics, we are setting up programs to assist in doing that.
Last week, legislators and leaders from each of the transitioning Deauville countries came to the United States to take the same training that new members of our Congress go through, then they met with members of Congress to get real life insights into what it means to stand up for your beliefs and at the same time serve your constituents in a large and diverse democracy.
I happened to know from personal experience how challenging legislating can be, how much work and compromise it takes, how thick your skin has to be, because after all, democracy invites the widest range of opinions and interests in a society to participate. Laws that abridge or punish the exercise of universal human rights, including the right to free expression, free assembly, and free association, have no place in democracies.
In the United States, as President Obama said in his address to the General Assembly, we don’t ban offensive speech, whether it’s an insult to a person’s deeply held religious beliefs or a denial of the Holocaust, because we know that such laws can too easily be used as tools of oppression.
Our democracy has grown steadily stronger over more than 235 years, guided by a Constitution that enshrines our belief that the best answer to hateful speech is more speech. None of us can insulate ourselves from insult.
In the time since I began speaking just minutes ago, more than 300 hours of video has been uploaded to YouTube. Some of it, no doubt, is vile. Some of it, no doubt, is offensive to my religion or yours. But we must not give these views power they do not deserve. No words, no matter how inflammatory or disgusting, are stronger than the faith we have, and we should protect our cherished beliefs by standing up for them in the marketplace and arena of free speech and ideas. And of course, no words should ever be met with violence.
Building these habits of democracy is difficult work. But it is also essential if people are to realize the full measure of human dignity. And dignity may resonate in multiple ways across different peoples and cultures, but it speaks to something universal in all of us. Everything we do together in this partnership to promote economic stability and equal opportunity advances freedom and dignity. We are standing up for democracies that are unlocking people’s potential and standing against extremists who exploit people’s frustrations. We are trying to help societies leave behind old enmities and look ahead to new opportunities. We are supporting civic groups who seek to strengthen their societies. We are backing reformers who build accountable institutions, and combat corruption that stifles innovation, initiative, hope, and dignity.
So I’m looking forward to our discussion today, taking stock of what we have done to date, what more needs to be done, what has worked and what, frankly, has not worked, as we work together to push an agenda of democracy and dignity forward. So as we see our press representatives leave the room, we’ll have to chance to then go directly into our discussion. But again, thank you all for being here.

Hillary Clinton Op-Ed: Saving More Lives Than Ever

Among all the events, meetings, and speeches she has attended, hosted, and held this busy week, Mme. Secretary still had time to pen an op-ed!  Can we say "Multitasker-in-Chief?"

Op-Ed: Saving More Lives Than Ever

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Global Health and Diplomacy News
Washington, DC
September 27, 2012

America and our partners have more than doubled the number of people who get AIDS drugs. We’ll soon cut maternal mortality by a quarter. How? The answer may surprise you.

Secretary Clinton With Young Women at the Labor Roundtable U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with participants of the Lower Mekong Initiative Women's event in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on July 13, 2012. [State Department photo by Paul Watzlavick/ Public Domain]When I became Secretary of State, I asked our diplomats and development experts: “How can we do better?” I could see our strengths, including tens of thousands of public servants who get up every day thinking about how to advance America’s interests and promote our values around the world. At the same time, I could also see areas where we could be stronger partners, and where we could do more to get the most out of every hour of effort and dollar of funding. I saw it in our diplomacy, in our development efforts—and in our global health work.
America had been leading the global health fight for decades. In my husband’s administration, we began to make HIV treatment drugs more affordable, stepped up the fight against AIDS in India and Africa, and expanded investments in scientific research. Under President Bush’s leadership, we made historic commitments—on AIDS and malaria in particular—that were saving millions of lives.
The American people rightly take great pride in all these investments. Even during the worst economic downturn in a generation, the Obama Administration has been committed to maintaining and expanding them. But we recognized that to sustain the impact of our work, we needed to change the way we did business.
For example, while our agencies were providing tremendous leadership in isolation, they could still do more to collaborate effectively. Teams in PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) would work with a country to develop a plan for fighting HIV/AIDS; then, our malaria team would work separately with the same country to develop a malaria plan. Often we weren’t doing enough to coordinate our efforts with other donors or our partner countries either. And we weren’t building sustainable systems to eventually allow our partner countries to manage more of their own health needs.
The result? We were unintentionally putting a ceiling on the number of lives we could save. Not only could we become more effective and efficient, we had to. And we needed to shift from global health aid to global health investments—using our funding as a catalyst to spark self-sustaining progress.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, dances with the Chairperson of the Lumbadzi Milk Bulking Group, Emmie Phiri in Lilongwe, Malawi. Clinton became the first U.S. chief diplomat to visit Malawi where she "encouraged President Banda to be a role model in Southern Africa for more democratic governance and also regional integration among the states of this region." AP ImageWe started by defining a set of seven principles for our work under the Global Health Initiative. Among them, we emphasized country ownership—the end state where a nation’s efforts are led, implemented, and eventually paid for by its government, communities, civil society and private sector. We elevated the role of women across all our programs, because the evidence shows that healthy women lead to healthy families and societies. And we emphasized strengthening health systems to build sustainability and to ensure that programs were working more efficiently together.
We retooled many of our programs to reflect these principles. Each of our country teams now assess how they fit within a comprehensive vision and program, based upon a health plan established by the country where we are operating. We also took several practical steps to lower costs, such as switching to generic AIDS drugs, which saved more than $380 million in 2010 alone.
And we made global health one of our diplomatic priorities—because fighting disease takes political leadership. Donors and partner countries have to make health a priority in their budgets. Their policies have to reflect a long-term commitment to improving access to care for everyone, not just a privileged few. They have to fight corruption. All of these are inherently political challenges. So I instructed our ambassadors around the world to elevate health in their discussions with presidents, prime ministers and leaders from outside government as well.

What does all this mean in practice?

Through our global health diplomacy, we’ve helped bring new partners to the table and keep old partners at the table; while we’ve committed $4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria since 2009, other donors have committed $7 billion.
We’re breaking down the walls that used to divide our teams and—even more importantly—integrating the health services that patients need. For example, we’re supporting a cadre of health workers in rural Malawi who travel door-to-door to provide a range of services, including HIV testing and counseling, nutrition evaluations, family planning, and tuberculosis screening.
We’re also seeing more low- and middle-income countries investing more in the health of their people. Earlier this year, USAID worked with India and Ethiopia to bring together 80 countries to agree on a roadmap for ending preventable childhood deaths. Together, we made concrete commitments on five specific strategies—from focusing our funding on the hardest-hit populations to spurring new research and innovation—that will accelerate our progress so that, one day, every child will get to celebrate her fifth birthday.
And our efforts to promote country ownership are paying off. PEPFAR, for example, is shifting out of emergency mode and starting to build sustainable health systems. It’s hard to overstate what a seismic shift this has been. Earlier this year I visited South Africa, where we agreed on a series of steps that put South Africa firmly in the lead of the fight against AIDS while committing both countries to expand prevention, care, and treatment to more people. By taking the lead, the South African government is ensuring that its national strategy will be sustainable and even more responsive to the specific needs of different communities. We want to see more of our partner countries take a similar leading role when they’re ready.
All this work is delivering real results. With our partners, we’re providing life-saving HIV treatment to 4.5 million people—an increase of more than 160 percent since 2008. In the same time period, the number of people receiving malaria-prevention measures is up to 58 million, an increase of 132 percent. The maternal mortality rate in our partner countries has dropped 15 percent in the past four years, and it’s on track to drop a total of 26 percent by next year.
Of course, putting these principles into practice hasn’t always been easy. There have been bumps along the way. We’ve seen more progress in some places than others. But our mission remains the same: to keep making gains together and spread them to more people in more places. So we will continue to work with our partners on country plans that maximize the impact of all our investments.
We are also elevating the critical role that global health diplomacy plays in making sure that these gains continue. The State Department is establishing a new Office of Global Health Diplomacy, led by an Ambassador-at-Large, that will bring the full force of U.S. diplomacy to advancing our global health goals. That means encouraging other donors to maintain or expand their contributions; engaging with partner countries as they work to meet their responsibilities; and coordinating with international health organizations, civil society, the private sector, faith-based organizations and foundations. The office will also support our ambassadors, giving them the information and tools they need to have a greater impact where the real health care work is actually happening.
Finally, in the spirit of the old maxim, “What gets measured gets done,” we are pilot-testing a scorecard that will allow us and our partners to assess our progress in building sustainable, country-owned health programs. We are setting goals and will check in regularly to see how we are doing. We want our progress to be transparent and want our partners to ask us hard questions. They can expect that we will do the same.
In short, America’s investments in global health are saving lives. They are making us more secure, and advancing our values. But it is a shared responsibility. Every nation—partner countries and donors alike—needs to invest in health. It’s one of the surest steps to build the safer, fairer world that we all want.

Photos: Hillary Clinton at UNGA Day Four

Our Turbo-Secretary-of-State has been spending this week at UNGA in New York like the Energizer Bunny covering her planned events as well as meeting on the sidelines with dignitaries with whom the president normally might have met were he not so busy on the campaign trail.  Here are some photos from the State  Department of her busy Thursday.  There have not been remarks or fact sheets released from all of these events, but sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words, e.g. notice the silver-haired gent at the far left of the table at the Haiti event, see him?  The one in a familiar posture, elbow on table, hand supporting tilted head looking at Mme. Secretary like he has simply never seen anyone quite so enchanting as she - that needs no words .
With Malawian President Banda
Feed the Future
Feed the Future
Meeting with Chinese FM Yang Jiechi
With Central American Foreign Ministers
Connecting the Americas
United Nations Security Council P5+1 Ministerial
Haiti Partners Ministerial Meeting
With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu


Public Schedule for September 28, 2012

Public Schedule
Washington, DC
September 28, 2012



9:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition Foreign Ministers Meeting, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

12:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

3:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton participates in the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Another Award for Hillary!

The Concordia Summit has honored our Hillary with their first annual award. She could not be there due to her extra-heavy schedule at UNGA doing her own events as well as the bilaterals in place of the campaigning president. But she is honored and made this video to thank them. (Time to get that library/museum ready in Seneca Falls!)

Video Message to the Concordia Summit


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 27, 2012

Hello, everyone. I am so honored to be receiving the first annual Concordia award. I’m only sorry that I can't be there with you in person in New York to accept the award, but I think you've got a pretty good substitute. I am delighted that Bill could be there for both of us.  As many of you know, advancing public-private partnerships has been a cornerstone of my agenda as Secretary of State, so this recognition is truly special.
I’m also delighted that so many of you have come together to explore the potential of public-private partnerships. I’m thrilled that the Concordia Summit has emerged as a venue for your discussions.  As leaders from around the world and across industries, you have recognized the powerful impact we can have when we harness the strengths of both the public and private sectors.  And you know we’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to the benefits we can draw from these partnerships.
In today’s world, more than ever, it is not just shaped by meetings between heads of state; it’s shaped by students starting businesses in dorm rooms, by individual citizens speaking out, by companies moving billions in trade dollars across the borders in seconds.  Each of us has a hand in molding tomorrow’s world, and we will do so much better if we work together.
So, thank you for leading the way, and you have my very best wishes for all you are doing. And I look forward to hearing the results of what comes from your consultations because you're really going to make a difference. Thank you all very much.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hillary Clinton at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

This is impressive for the litany of ASEAN efforts Hillary Clinton has fostered in her tenure at State.  It is especially heartening  to see her bring up the issue of poaching.  Hillary Clinton knows why we should protect our fellow creatures.

Remarks at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well good afternoon everyone, and welcome to New York. Thank you for joining us here. It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you to New York, and I want to offer a special greeting to my co-chair. Thank you so much, Foreign Minister. Not very long ago, it would have been impossible to imagine we would be sitting here together working so closely to advance a shared agenda, but it is a testament to the progress your country has achieved and to the promise that the future holds.
Since my first meeting with this group over three years ago, when I signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Thailand, the United States has made a sustained all-out effort to build an enduring multifaceted relationship with ASEAN. Over the summer I led a large delegation of American business executives and senior government officials to the first ever U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum, reflecting the increasingly important economic dimension of our partnership. And this year, we are expanding our cooperation on education to the U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative, and the Brunei-U.S. English Language Enrichment Project. We’ve also committed substantial new resources to the Lower Mekong Initiative, which is helping narrow ASEAN’s development gap. And we welcomed in our colleagues from Nay Pyi Taw to the meeting.
Earlier this month, I had the chance to visit the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta for the second time, and I thank the Secretary General for his warm and gracious hospitality. I’m pleased that the ASEAN committee of permanent representatives is visiting the United States this week for discussions on a wide range of issues.
Our increasing engagement with ASEAN is part of a broader effort by the United States to deepen our commitment to the Asia Pacific region. We want to work with all of you to build a stable and just regional order that will benefit every nation. And that means supporting mature and effective institutions that can mobilize common action and settle disputes peacefully. It means working toward rules and norms that help manage relations between peoples, markets, and nations and safeguard universal rights. And it means establishing security arrangements that provide stability and build trust.
Our relationship with ASEAN is at the heart of all these efforts, including our participation in the East Asia Summit. As President Obama made clear at last year’s meeting, the United States supports the East Asia Summit as the Asia Pacific’s premier institution for political and strategic issues, and we believe it is the capstone of increasingly mature and effective regional architecture.
We are pleased to see that the East Asia Summit is making progress across an expanding range of issues, from the energy ministerial in Brunei to the education ministerial in Indonesia. As we head toward the November leaders meetings, it is important we stay focused on pursuing a clear agenda and producing concrete results. We continue to support the priorities put forward in the Bali Declaration last year. And in particular, the areas that President Obama stressed should be at the top of our agenda together: disaster relief, nonproliferation, and maritime security. Now let me just say a quick work about each of those, and then a fourth we hope to elevate.
First, disaster relief. From the tsunami in Aceh in 2004 and on the islands off of Thailand and in Sri Lanka and so much else in the region, to the floods in the Philippines and Thailand again last year, to the triple disaster in Japan, to a cycle of storms and flooding, we have seen a lot of natural disasters in this region. But we also have seen a coordinated international response. The United States has been eager to work with our partners in the ASEAN Regional Forum and to participate in and help lead disaster relief exercises. We continue to believe it is imperative to develop a regional, legal framework to support the delivery and acceptance of emergency relief supplies, services, and personnel following major disasters. So we would urge all nations to endorse the Rapid Disaster Response Agreement as a first step.
The second priority is nonproliferation. Let me underscore it’s essential for all ASEAN and East Asia Summit nations to remain firm and unified in pursuit of the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We also look to all ASEAN members to universalize the additional protocol and further strengthen domestic export control laws.
And I think it’s also fair to say that our responsibilities cannot end with the immediate neighborhood. Unfortunately, yesterday the President of Iran provided another reminder of why the international community continues to have serious concerns about his country’s nuclear program. As President Obama told the General Assembly, America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy. We believe there is still time and space to do so, but that time is not unlimited and that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The best way to achieve a diplomatic solution we all see is for the international community, including ASEAN, to stay united. If we ease the pressure or waver in our resolve, Iran will have less incentive to negotiate in good faith or take the necessary steps to address the international community’s concerns.
The third priority is maritime security, and we look forward to the expanded ASEAN maritime forum next week in Manila. All 18 East Asia Summit states have been invited for in-depth discussions on how to improve safety on the region’s waterways, combat piracy, protect the environment, and we are encouraged by the recent informal dialogue between ASEAN and China as they work toward a comprehensive code of conduct for the South China Sea as a means to prevent future tension in the region.
As I have said many times, the United States does not take a position on competing territorial claim over land features, but we do have a national interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, freedom of navigation, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea. The Untied States continues to support ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles, which we believe will help reduce tensions and pave the way for a comprehensive code of conduct for addressing disputes without threats, coercion, or use of force.
Finally this year, we hope to focus our EAS partners on the challenge of wildlife trafficking and the related issues of protecting biodiversity and preventing the emergence of pandemic diseases. The illegal trade in protected and endangered species is now estimated between $7- and $10 billion dollars a year. It is increasingly intertwined with other illicit activities that undermine regional security and prosperity, including organized crime. Earlier this month, APEC economies agreed to take steps to stop poachers and the United States is eager to work with our partners in ASEAN as well, developing new initiative, building on the good work of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network.
So we have a full plate in front of us, but that’s no surprise. ASEAN is a dynamic and crucial institution in a dynamic and crucial region of the world. The United States is committed to working with you very closely as we head toward the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh in November. I thank you very much, and please let me now turn to the Foreign Minister.

Video: Hillary Clinton at UNGA - Connecting the Americas 2022

Remarks at the Connecting the Americas 2022 Ministerial


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. Thank you all very, very much. I apologize that we were running late. We were running late from a prior meeting about security, citizen security. Now we are moving toward energy security, an equally important subject that really can determine how quickly and inclusively growth can take place in the Americas.
I want to thank my friend and colleague, the Foreign Minister of Colombia, for co-hosting this event and co-chairing our discussion, also the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and all of you. I will be very brief before turning it over.
Connecting the Americas 2022 was aimed at making sure that citizens, businesses, schools, hospitals all had a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity. In some places in the Americas, that’s not an issue, but in many others it still is. It’s expensive, unreliable, and in some places still unavailable.
So what we want to do is pursue the goal endorsed by our leaders at the Summit of the Americas to get to the goal of universal access to electricity by 2022. And that strategy was based on enhancing electrical interconnections, increasing investments in the power sector, developing renewable energy sources, and increasing cooperation.
This last point, increasing cooperation, is key. It is a security issue, it’s obviously a power issue, and it’s a political issue. We need to build trust and partnerships among governments and the businesses of the Americas. We need to show leadership and resolve in doing this. I firmly believe that Connecting the Americas is good for everybody and it will increase the economic pie by bringing more people into reliable, affordable, electric resources.
It is very clear we need strong policy and regulatory frameworks. That’s the only way cross-border electricity will work. We also have to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in private investment to achieve this goal. Clear, fair, and predictable rules will attract investment and encourage investors. And we need to make our case to all constituencies that by working together we can protect our environment, we can limit the social risks that communities face by expanding connectivity.
It’s a complex undertaking. The United States stands ready to work with all of you as a partner on bringing electricity to all the people of the hemisphere. We created, four years ago, the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, ECPA. A year ago, I created an Energy Bureau in the State Department. Our ambassador who heads that, Carlos Pascual, is here. We’re providing technical assistance. We just had a conference in Guatemala last week with regulatory agency representatives and private companies to discuss how to create a strong and effective regional power market. Next month, Ambassador Pascual will represent the United States at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum. And on the margins of CREF, we will hold our annual Energy Dialogue with our partners in the Caribbean, just as we’ve done every year I have served as Secretary.
Now, I just want to echo the calls that you will hear. We need concrete targets, timelines, if we expect to stay on track to achieve the goal by 2020. I think this is a win-win. I know that there are problems between countries, between private sector partners and public sector partners. I am certainly not naive about that. I get it. But this is a time for leadership and it’s a time to seize opportunities that will make everybody richer, and I’m all for that. And so let’s make sure that we have universal access to electricity in this hemisphere. I am convinced that the Western Hemisphere, North and South America alike, are poised for incredible progress. But this is one of those obstacles that holds us back.
So with that, Maria Angela, please take the floor.

Sidelines at UNGA: Hillary Clinton's Meeting with Yang Jiechi

This morning Mme. Secretary met with her Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.  A senior State Department official provided a briefing.  This is the only still picture available from today so far.

Background Briefing: Readout of the Secretary's Meeting With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Special Briefing
Office of the Spokesperson
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So briefly, on background, Senior State, the Secretary had a very full meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang this morning. They began the meeting talking about the Chinese-Japanese tensions over the Senkakus. The Secretary, as she has been urging for a number of months, including when she was in China in the summer and when she was at APEC and had a chance to see Prime Minister Noda, again urged that cooler heads prevail, that Japan and China engage in dialogue to calm the waters, that we believe that Japan and China have the resources, have the restraint, have the ability to work on this directly and take tensions down. And that is our message to both sides.
They then talked about South China Sea issues. As you may know, this is an area where, after intense diplomatic focus by all the players, including, notably, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia who was in Washington not too long ago, we now have restarted informal meetings between senior officials of China and ASEAN. They had a meeting in Phnom Penh two weeks ago. We expect these meetings are going to continue in the lead-up to the East Asia Summit in November. This is precisely what the Secretary had been advocating, what we had been advocating – that they restart a dialogue. And so the Secretary commended China for that. I think she’ll make the same point when she sees the ASEAN foreign ministers later today.
They compared notes on the situation in the DPRK briefly. They also talked about Iran in preparation for the P-5+1 minus Iran meeting this afternoon, and about the two-track strategy of diplomacy and pressure. The Secretary, as she always does, raised human rights concerns – notably in this particular meeting, concerns about Tibet and increasing pace of immolations. They talked about bilateral economic relations and the global financial situation. The Secretary again urged that the – some of the cases of concerns, including FedEx, be dealt with on the Chinese side.
And of course, they talked about Syria. The Secretary debriefed the Foreign Minister on her meeting with Special Envoy Brahimi, and she made the same point to him, to Foreign Minister Yang, that she has made this week to Foreign Minister Lavrov and that she’s made when she was in Vladivostok to Russian leaders, that we still see value in the Geneva document that the Security Council members agreed on, and working from that, drawing on elements of it. But if we go in that direction in terms of the Security Council, there have to be real consequences for noncompliance with it, consequences for both sides. So that was the meeting with Foreign Minister Yang.

Video: Hillary Clinton at Feed the Future

Remarks at Feed the Future: Partnering with Civil Society

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to this event about Feed the Future and the work we are doing together. I am delighted to be here with someone whom I admire so much and am very enthusiastic about, and that is President Joyce Banda from Malawi. Thank you so much, my friend. (Applause.)
And I want to thank Nick Kristof, who will moderate the discussion this morning, but I’m not thanking him for that. I want to thank him for covering all of those incredibly important issues, whether it’s Feed the Future and increasing agricultural productivity – but as a former farm boy, he understands and appreciates that – or emphasizing human trafficking, as he did again in reporting on the President’s historic speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. Nick had a column about Feed the Future, and I can’t remember the exact title, but it was something like, “the most boring program you’ve never heard of that’s making a difference.” (Laughter.) So Nick, thank you for staying the course with us and being – swimming against the tide. There are headlines and there are trend lines, and sometimes we confuse the two, and oftentimes we neglect the trend lines for the headlines. And Nick hasn’t done that, and we’re very grateful to you.
I also want to thank our partners from Burkina Faso who are here, including the Foreign Minister. Thank you, sir, for being here. I also want to thank the Minister of External Affairs from Sri Lanka. Thank you for being with us. And the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources from Burkina Faso.
I want to acknowledge Dr. Raj Shah, the USAID Administrator, who has been hands-on and pushing forward on so many of the changes that we are bringing about. I want to thank my Chief of Staff and Counselor Cheryl Mills, who’s been one of the driving forces behind what the United States has done. And I want to thank the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, who is also here. Thank you.
Now, you will get to hear more from a lot of these people. And a person that you just heard that you may not have known you were listening to, who narrated the video, Matt Damon. And I want thank Matt for once again lending his talent to helping us highlight this important issue.
Now, this is the fourth time that we have gathered on the margins of the UN General Assembly to focus the world’s attention on food security. In 2009, we reaffirmed the principles reflected in the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, the international community’s $22 billion pledge to support agricultural development worldwide, including the President Obama’s pledge of $3.5 billion through what we were beginning to call our Feed the Future Initiative for global hunger and food security.
In 2010, I launched the 1,000 Days partnership with Ireland, the United Nations, and other international partners to improve nutrition from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday, which is critical for lifelong health and development.
And then last year, we focused on supporting women in agriculture, because women often do the work at every link of the agricultural chain: They grow the food, they store it, they sell it, and prepare it. So we must ensure that women get the support they need if we are serious about improving food security.
As a result of all the work of so many people over the last four years, food security is now at the top of our national and foreign policy agendas, as well as that of so many other nations in the world, because we understand it is a humanitarian and moral imperative, but it also directly relates to global security and stability. I’ve seen in my travels how increased investments in agriculture and nutrition are paying off in rising prosperity, healthier children, better markets, and stronger communities.
So we meet here today knowing that progress is possible, is taking place. But I want to say a few words about our civil society partners, because along with the private sector, which already is giving unprecedented support to agricultural development in Africa, and now through our New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, are really increasing their investment and their collaboration.
But civil society organizations are crucial to our success in both the public and the private sector. They have longstanding relationships in communities and valuable technical expertise, and they work every single day on their commitment to try to make the world a better place for all of us.
So today, I am pleased to announce a new commitment by civil society groups: InterAction, an alliance of 198 U.S.-based organizations – and Sam Worthington, its president, is here today – is pledging more than $1 billion of private, nongovernmental funds over the next three years to improve food security and nutrition worldwide. (Applause.)
Of this $1 billion, five U.S.-based organizations together have pledged to invest more than $900 million in this effort. They are World Vision, Heifer International, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children, and ChildFund International. Let’s give all five of these great organizations a round of applause. (Applause.)
And just as these organizations hold governments accountable, they have agreed to be held accountable themselves. Starting in 2013, InterAction will make annual reports here at the UN General Assembly on its commitments and disbursements worldwide. And I am so grateful to InterAction and its members for their outstanding support and generosity.
Let’s keep in mind the principles that guide us. This week at the UN General Assembly, developing and developed countries together are emphasizing what we know to be true: Country ownership is critical to successful development. When developing countries themselves are in the lead, when programs are designed for their specific strengths and needs, when we work together to build capacity at the local level that can carry progress forward independently, and when new resources are brought to the table in a transparent, collaborative manner, that is the best strategy for achieving concrete, sustainable results. These commitments by civil society reflect this approach, and we all need to rededicate ourselves to it, not only in global food security, but more broadly as we work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and look beyond those deadlines to our long-term development work. I think we are on the right track, so we just have to keep pushing forward.
Now this will be my last time chairing this meeting. A year from now I will be a private citizen again. But I want to take this opportunity to say to all of you how personally gratifying this work has been for me, as Secretary of State and as an old NGO activist myself, going back more years than I care to remember. I so believe in it and I am so grateful to all of you who have devoted your time and energy and resources to this shared mission.
Now let me recognize and introduce someone who I have a great admiration for and someone who’s been an inspirational leader to all those who work on food security worldwide. She started her own civil society organizations in Malawi, and I was so pleased to be able to visit her a short time ago and see the progress she’s making, hear more about her plans, go out and visit some women in a dairy cooperative, deliver a big bull to them, which had all kinds of double meanings – (laughter) – but nevertheless, it seemed to be the right thing to do. And I am delighted that we’re going to have a conversation with Nick, and so Nick Kristof, please kick it off.
MR. KRISTOF: Thanks very much. And let me just say that there’s also, I think, a larger significance to this than just the content of the discussion. It really is, it seems to me, kind of remarkable that during the busiest diplomatic week of the annual calendar that we should be having this conversation not about those issues in the headlines, as you said, but about the trend lines, about some of the – about how to address the needs in some of the world’s most vulnerable people. And thanks to both of you for hosting this event in that sense.
President Banda, let me ask you a question for starters: We’re focusing today in part on power of civil society. You very much emerged from the civil society; that was where your career came from. And since you became President, I’ve heard little scattered bits and pieces about your career origins and I think it had something to do at some point with going to a USAID office. In journalism we have an expression that some stories are too good check – (laughter) – and so I’m a little nervous to ask you. Maybe it will be more banal than that. But can you tell us a little bit about how you did come to emerge as a civil society player before you became President?
PRESIDENT BANDA: Thank you very much distinguished ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure to share this podium with a very good old friend and a friend of Africa. I start my story from being married early, spending ten years in an abusive marriage, and then later on going shopping again and finding a better husband. (Laughter.)
It was very clear in my mind at that point that I think what had gone wrong is that I was not prepared for marriage and I was not economically empowered. So having corrected that bit of my own life, with great risk – it almost killed my mom – I began to look back and wondered what was happening to most of those women who are locked up in abusive situations but didn’t have the courage to walk out. Because socially, as an African woman, you need to – you want to remain married, because that’s the right thing to do. You don’t walk away from an abusive relationship. It doesn’t make sense. So you stick there, but I walked out.
What was happening to the rest of the women who wished to walk out but couldn’t? As I was being bothered by these thoughts, at that point I was economically empowered myself, running one of the largest industrial garment manufacturing industries owned by a woman in that country, employing hundreds of people. I started to worry about my fellow women. And that’s when USAID came on the scene.
So I remember attending an event organized by UNDP looking at why Malawi’s private sector wasn’t growing and why wasn’t it being regarded as the engine for growth. And I remember standing up at a meeting – at that meeting, I was one of only two women – and saying, “Well, as long as women are sidelined, there’s no way this country is going to move from where it is. Women have to get to the table.” And it was during the dictatorship, so you – freedom of speech didn’t exist at that time, so I remember at break time, a tall American guy walked over to me and said, “Are you not worried about making such statements in public? Don’t you know what can happen to you?” Because those day you went to jail for nothing.
And I said, “Well, it doesn’t matter. Somebody has to say it. Somebody has to do it.” And they pulled out their card and told me that if in the future you ever want support, here is my card. I looked at the card. It said USAID project, RED Project, Rural Enterprise Development. And three women who were in business were looking for ways of coming to the U.S. for a study tour. And USAID supported me, sponsored the three of us. And we got here and were hosted by African-American Institute.
It was during that trip, while I was still worried about what is it that I can do back home, and was provided with an opportunity by USAID to interact with women’s groups in this country that it became very clear in my mind that I needed to get back home and organize a group of women and act as a pressure group to press for equal opportunities for women in business. At that moment, I thought I was just forming a club. It was going to be 100 women here and there.
So I went back home. But so many things happened, and I would spend the whole day explaining, but when I – I remember going back home and phoning Carol Peasley, who was the country director of USAID, and said, “Well, you started it. You sponsored me to go the U.S. and I’m back. Now I want to organize women and how can you support me?” And she said, “Well, what is the matter with women? What’s going on?” And then three sentences into my presentation, she folded her pad and put her pen away, and I knew that I had succeeded in making a total fool of myself. (Laughter.)
And so I had to start all over again. So I went back to her and I realized that I didn’t have my figures right, I didn’t done the proper checking, no data had been collected, needs assessment (inaudible). So that whole process I went back to Carol and that is what USAID did for us. I formed the National Association of Businesswomen, and of course there was some times that I was confronted with near arrest, and I remember once or twice running back to USAID to hide in the USAID quarters.
So last time when I came, I said, “Well, I’m a product of USAID,” and somebody said, “How come?” But there’s so much that we can talk about, and I thought that I’d start by expressing that gratitude, that all along the way, the first office that we opened in Malawi, the first group of women that were mobilized, the first cars that we had, institutional development grant, everything was provided by USAID.
MR. KRISTOF: Wow. Raj, you’ve got to find that person and give her a raise. (Applause.)
Secretary Clinton, now the traditional approach of foreign assistance largely involved writing big checks from a distance. And now we’re evolving to something that’s much more based on public-private partnerships, on working with civil society, on bringing a larger community together. Why that change?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we just heard a description of why that change. Empowering local people by giving them the tools to start their own organizations, find their own voices, run their own programs – which is what the President has done – is a much more effective, sustainable kind of development assistance. Moving from aid to trade so that we really help people develop businesses, which then in turn can employ local people and open markets, is a much more effective form of development assistance. Putting the country and the community in charge of setting the priorities, so it’s not our priorities sitting in Washington or New York or anywhere else, other than on-the-ground, in the places that are going to make the decisions, whether or not what is being provided has staying power.
And I think, Nick, that it – the United States has been, both through our government and particularly through philanthropy, NGOs, our faith communities, has been extraordinarily generous, and has helped so many people over so many years with immediate humanitarian crises that had to be addressed in the here and now. But over the last several years, and as someone who’s been doing this for a very long time, it became clearer and clearer that what we really wanted to do was work ourselves out of the business of development, but for those crises that overwhelmed any country – the earthquake in Haiti – something that was just impossible for any country to respond to.
And so we have consciously, in this Administration and certainly working in collaboration with AID and with the private and not-for-profit sectors, we’ve been very focused on that. I went to Busan, South Korea and made a speech about how we had to put country ownership in the lead. It was and remains controversial in some areas, because it really calls upon those of us who are writing the checks and doling out the support to be a little more humble and a little more receptive to hearing, not just talking, about what we’re trying to accomplish together.
So Feed the Future, of course, is backed with enormous amounts of investment from governments, private sectors, and not-for-profit, and then with this excellent announcement today about interaction in our five organizations. We are still very much in the lead in providing funding. But everything we’re trying to do now is to build capacity.
So the final thing I would say is one of the great programs the United States ran was PEPFAR, something that has made such a difference in providing AIDS drugs and treatment. But we realized in this Administration we had to also help build health systems, because if all we were was a drug dispensary, then when the drugs stopped, maybe the countries would not be able to continue providing what their patient populations needed. So we’re working with countries like South Africa others to help them make the transition, and we’re going to do more to help them have systematic foundational support.
So I think it’s something that’s very exciting in development, especially for some of us who have been doing this for a while to see leaders like the President step forward and say, “Look, I was in civil society. I’m now in government. I think we know what our priorities should be, so align what you’re giving us with what our priorities are for the long term.”
MR. KRISTOF: But Secretary Clinton, I’m sure there’s NGOs out there and they’re thinking about their field offices, where the photocopier doesn’t work and the car is leaking oil. And they’re thinking you represent this incredible government with these astounding resources that seems to do anything, and what extra benefit do those NGOs or does civil society bring you? Why – in a sense, why do you need them, given their photocopiers don’t work and their cars don’t work and everything else?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, because we believe in collaboration. And the kind of partnership that we want with governments and NGOs and others is indispensible to our overall goals. There are civil society groups and organizations, some of them just very small on the ground without the photocopier working, and then there are multimillion dollar enterprises with very new cars and lots of photocopiers. And at all levels, what we’re looking for is what’s the value added.
And as Joyce was just talking about, an AID representative in Malawi could be providing all kinds of ideas for her as she began searching for a way to organize. And then maybe there’s an NGO, an American or international NGO, that has done this work. And so they’re down the road and they can provide some additional value. But if all of us have the mindset shift that we are now going to be guided by what the Joyce Bandas of the world want, not the Hillary Clintons or the Raj Shahs, we then will facilitate, catalyze, leverage, support people like Joyce and governments like hers in achieving the progress that they’re seeking.
So there’s a – this is a big playing field. There’s room for so many different individuals and groups. But what we’re trying to do is knit together an overall shift in attitude among the aid givers to be very respectful of those who are on the receiving end so that they are feeling empowered to build on the progress that is being made.
PRESIDENT BANDA: In addition, I would like to add to what Secretary Clinton just said, that at the point when I started the National Association of Businesswomen, USAID had established in Malawi what they called the shared project. And through the shared project, the civil society could go and seek support, financial support, institutional capacity support, program support, and I think we went from maybe 10 NGOs to 400 NGOs because of that opportunity. The National Association of Businesswomen in a period of seven months – I mean, seven years reached out 50,000 women. Now all the organizations that I have founded, it is now a total of 1.1 million beneficiaries. Now, when you look back, if it hadn’t been for the intervention or the support provided by USAID in the first place some of us would not have done as much as we have been able to do.
MR. KRISTOF: And President Banda, I think one of the lessons learned from the past 50 years, one of the mistakes that we in the West have made, is that we often have a bunch of really smart Americans sitting around a conference room and come up with great ideas but haven’t listened enough to civil society like that. And I think there’s often a frustration from those groups about that fact. So you have the microphone. What do we Americans need to learn from African civil society? What message do we need to get better?
PRESIDENT BANDA: Listen. (Laughter and applause.) I’ve always said that we know exactly what we want to do. We know how to move from Point A to Point B. I knew from a very young age, as I’ve said, what I needed to do to empower fellow women. What we’re looking for is partnership and that is what we are finding. Just this week we signed a MOU with the Clinton Development Initiative. Why? Because I’m satisfied it’s going to be a partnership. The organizations that come into Africa and recognize that there’s leadership in Africa, and respect us and know that we want to achieve what we’re going to achieve with dignity, so they don’t come and impose themselves upon us.
It really does break my heart when large NGOs, civil society organizations, come to Africa, believe that they can do it alone. Then they waste so much money. Twenty years later, they leave and they say you know, Africans – we’ve been trying, they can’t be assisted. But it’s because they did it wrong; they didn’t listen to us. There are so many Joyce Bandas where I come from.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Nick, could I just add on to what Joyce has said? Because this is really the heart of what we’ve tried to do over the last four years, and it comes from our own recognition that we’ve done a lot of very good things, but I think the impact and the lasting sustainability of a lot of what we’ve done could certainly have been enhanced if what we were doing had been embedded more in civil society, more in government ministries. And yes, that’s a risk. Not doing it is a risk. And I’d rather take the risk on that side.
I remember being in a refugee camp, and I was wandering around as you do when you make these visits, and was talking to some of the people. And some of the women were telling me that they were still afraid to go out and collect firewood. Some of their babies had diarrhea. And this was in a camp run by a very good consortium of international NGOs and government-funded development agencies. And one woman said to me, “Who can I get to listen to me about what we need?” And it’s just – when you’re focused on what you think of as the emergency, you get really busy, and it’s easy to shut your ears because you just don’t have time to stop and listen. And yet what I was being told in a short visit, because people were coming to me almost out of desperation, was something that wasn’t new, but it just hadn’t been heard.
So – and I think that’s a really important point of Joyce’s. Those of us who are – who do this work, in whatever capacity, you’ve got – you always have to be asking yourself, “Is this really serving the way that I wish to serve to help people or not?” And listen, listen, listen. If nothing else is taken away from this morning, I think President Banda’s admonition is really important.
MR. KRISTOF: Well, we’re going to adhere to that admonition, okay, because in a moment we’re going to have another panel precisely listening to civil society. But we’re out of time for this panel, so please join me in thanking President Banda and Secretary Clinton for their participation and for hosting this event. (Applause.)