Foreign Policy Newsletter of June 15, 2012
What is a Foreign Policy Newsletter?Our Foreign Policy Newsletter is a digest of this week major statements by U.S. public officials on the Foreign Policy issues of the moment.
Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade. AP Photo
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched Global Economic Statecraft Day June 14 with the aim of ensuring that the United States works with foreign partners to put economics at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy and promote travel and tourism.
“We’re sending the message to people in every region that the United States is open for business and tourism,” Clinton said in a recorded message. “We have to position ourselves to lead in a world where security and prosperity are shaped in boardrooms and on trading floors as well as battlefields or diplomatic negotiations.”
The goal is to create new jobs and expand trade and investment in the United States and abroad, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides said in a June 13 briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center. State Dept. Fact Sheet on Global Economic Statecraft Day (14-06-2012) | Video Remarks for Global Economic Statecraft Day (08-06-2012) | Global Economic Statecraft page | Nonproliferation and Economic Statecraft (14-06-2012) | U.S. Officials on Launch of Global Economic Statecraft (14-06-2012)
Secretary Clinton at AGOA Forum "We in the United States like to talk about ourselves as the country that is the land of opportunity. It’s a point of national pride. ... in the 21st century, Africa is the continent that is the land of opportunity." (June 14, 2012)
One is the focus of this year’s forum: infrastructure development. This is something I hear about frequently from my counterparts in the region, as well as from business people looking to invest in Africa: It is still much harder to do business than it should be because the right infrastructure is still not in place. I mean both physical infrastructure, like roads, ports, modern power grids, and regulatory infrastructure, like how easy it is to register a new business or get a construction permit. We’ve heard some numbers today about how burdensome it can be just to ship goods from one country to the country next door.
[...] The third kind of infrastructure is what we could call the human infrastructure, how to give people the chance to contribute.
[...] Twelve years after AGOA went into effect, we have a good record of results. AGOA has helped to increase trade and investment and opened new doors of opportunity for millions of people. But we can and must do better by deepening our cooperation and improving our performance.
This is a priority for the United States. As you heard from Deputy National Security Adviser Michael Froman, earlier today President Obama signed a new Presidential Policy Directive on Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a continuation of a conversation President Obama began nearly three years ago in Ghana, about how our countries can work in partnership to reach shared goals, to solve challenges. President Obama believes so passionately that the future is here, and we can make a commitment knowing that it’s not only about economic growth, but also democratic progress, improved security, development gains. Because all taken together, we will strengthen the security, the prosperity, and the democracies across Africa, and by doing so help to fulfill that dream of a future of peace, freedom, prosperity, and dignity for all Africans. White House Fact Sheet on New Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa (14-06-2012) | Fact Sheet on Obama Administration Efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa (14-06-2012) | 2012 to Be Record Year for U.S.-Africa Trade (14-06-2012) | New Malaria Task Force Will Address Top Africa Killer (14-06-2012) | Clinton at Innovation Summit with Young African Leaders (13-06-2012)
The Obama administration is reviewing the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court’s June 14 ruling that the country’s parliament should be dissolved, and says the Egyptian people deserve a parliament and a president that represent "the will of the people."
Under the strong leadership of the Afghan government, and with the support of the United Nations, Turkey, and other partners, the “Heart of Asia” has a new framework to better coordinate among the countries of the region, with regional organizations and the international community.
It will be through deeper regional cooperation that Afghanistan can achieve increasing stability, security, and prosperity. And so, along with many of our allies and partners, the United States is here today to support the success of this process. State’s Burns at U.S. Consulate Opening in Herat, Afghanistan (13-06-2012)
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reflects on the “historic” U.S.-Turkey alliance and pledges further support for shared security goals in remarks at the 31st annual conference of the American Turkish Council in Washington on June 11. (June 11, 2012)
As part of a shared vision for security and stability in the Middle East, the United States strongly supports Turkey’s growing and vital leadership role as a prosperous, democratic nation that is an anchor of security and an engine of growth for the region’s economy.
Together, Turkey and the United States are working closely to support the historic wave of democratic change that is sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.
Today we discussed how our partnership has advanced in the three years since our two presidents set forth their joint vision for the alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States. We are combating piracy together in the Indian Ocean, investing in sustainable development in Africa, promoting democracy and the rule of law and human rights around the world. It would be difficult to list all the ways we are working together.
[...] On the security side of our dialogue, we reaffirmed our commitment to the strategic alliance between our countries. Secretary Panetta will speak to our military cooperation, but I want to emphasize that the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea, and we will meet all of our security commitments. As part of this, we discussed further enhancements of our missile defense and ways to improve the interoperability of our systems. U.S.–South Korean Joint Statement After Ministers' Meeting (14-06-2012)
Secretary Clinton at Child Survival Forum: And so we are all here today with one vision: To make sure every child everywhere lives to see his or her fifth birthday, to eliminate preventable child death in a generation (June 14, 2012)
And the gap between rich and poor is just as shocking. A child born in sub-Saharan Africa is seven times more likely to die before the age of five than one born here in the United States. Child mortality rates are coming down, but too slowly. On the current trajectory, they will be the same in rich and poor countries in a century. That’s too long to wait. We can’t wait a hundred years for a child from Pakistan or Nigeria to have the same chance at life as a child in the United States or Europe. Think about the millions of lives we will lose. Think of the parents who will grieve the loss of maybe not just one child, but perhaps two or even three. None of us want to live in a world where a child’s life comes down to the luck of the draw.
President Obama spoke separately today to European Council President Van Rompuy and Mexican President Felipe Calderon to discuss the economic situation in Europe as well as preparations for the June 18-19 G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. This continues the President’s close consultations with fellow Leaders about the global economy. President Van Rompuy agreed on the importance of steps to strengthen the resilience of the Eurozone and growth in Europe and globally. President Calderon discussed the agenda of the Mexican Presidency of the G-20. In both calls, Leaders agreed to work closely together toward a successful Los Cabos Summit.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Israeli President Shimon Peres talk about Syria, the Middle East peace process, Iran and other regional issues in a discussion hosted by the Brookings Institution in Washington (June 12, 2012)
Certainly what happens to Syria matters greatly to the United States, but it matters drastically to Israel. And how we work through the many difficulties that are posed by this unrelenting, brutal crackdown carried out by the Assad regime and their military loyalists will have far-reaching consequences for the region and beyond.
We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria. They have, from time to time, said that we shouldn’t worry; everything they’re shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That’s patently untrue. And we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically. Obama, Israeli President Peres at Medal of Freedom Event (14-06-2012)
Clinton at 2012 World Food Prize Ceremony: In many regions of the world that so many of you are from or you work in, you know that water is either too scarce or too unpredictable to sustain what we think of as regular agriculture. (June 12, 2012)
For 40 years, Dr. Hillel has worked to solve this problem by bringing his micro-irrigation techniques to the driest and least hospitable growing climates on earth, from Israel to Pakistan to Sudan. Today, farmers using micro-irrigation produce high-yield, nutritious crops on more than 6 million hectares worldwide. Dr. Hillel’s work will become even more important as we grapple with how to feed the world’s growing population. We know the facts: Nearly a billion people already go to bed hungry every night. By the year 2050, the global population is estimated to reach 9 billion. And according to the latest FAO estimates, the world will need to produce 60 percent more food than we do today to feed everyone. In that same time, the demand for water to grow food will rise by almost 20 percent. But our water supply is finite. So if we’re going to strengthen food security, we have to get more out of each drop.
Around the world, we are hoping to help correct the gender imbalances in public service, not just by working at the top, shattering those glass ceilings, but also at the grassroots level by training and supporting women like those who are here, who have the talent, who have the will, but sometimes not the opportunity to become effective leaders in their nations. Clinton Opens First Global Women in Public Service Institute (11-06-2012)
In order to dismantle this dangerous legacy, we have to change the way we think about these weapons. And we have to be ready to challenge our notions of how they might be eliminated.
We are entering unknown terrain. As we steadily reduce nuclear weapons toward zero, the more cheating matters. Consider, if you will: if a country can stash away just a few nuclear weapons while others continue to eliminate them, that country can spring a significant and dangerous surprise on the world community. To counter this possibility, we will need innovative approaches. Finally to achieve zero, we will need a truly global effort involving thousands and thousands of people. I am guessing you are asking yourself, “How on Earth can an ordinary person such as I help with a problem like this?”