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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Issue 6 - April 19, 2010


Office of Public Liaison
Bureau of Public Affairs
   
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In this issue:

  • Elections in Sudan
  • Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas
  • U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue
  • U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy & Secretary Clinton Remarks on START
  • Restoring Democracy in Kyrgyzstan
  • The United States and Russia in a New Era
  • Design Excellence Program For National Architecture Week
  • Deputy Secretary Travels to India and Bangladesh
  • Special Press Briefing: Deputy Secretary of State and USAID Administrator Travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Under Secretary María Otero to Discuss Water and Other Global Issues During Visit to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel
  • Israel Independence Day
  • U.S. Belief in Zimbabwe's Promise
  • Middle East Peace

Feature:

Elections in Sudan
Sudan Troika Joint Statement on the Sudanese ElectionsDate: 04/16/2010 Location: Sudan Description: Women voting in election. © AP Image

Following is the text of a joint statement by the Sudan Troika (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) on the recent elections in Sudan:

“We acknowledge the conclusion on 15 April of Sudan's first multi-party elections in twenty-four years. We commend the people of Sudan for their engagement in a complex and lengthy polling process, and their increased civic participation over recent months. Last month we collectively reiterated our call for peaceful, credible elections, and expressed our deep concern regarding reports of administrative and logistical challenges, as well as restrictions on political freedoms.

We note initial assessments of the electoral process from independent observers, including the judgment that the elections failed to meet international standards. We are reassured that voting passed reasonably peacefully, reportedly with significant participation, but share their serious concerns about weak logistical and technical preparations and reported irregularities in many parts of Sudan. We note the limited access of observer missions in Darfur. We regret that the National Elections Commission (NEC) did not do more to prevent and address such problems prior to voting. We strongly encourage the NEC to address in good faith any legitimate disputes effectively and impartially.” Read More


International

Conversations with America
Discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan
Date: 04/19/2010 Description: Conversations with America: A Discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Live Broadcast April 19, 2010.  - State Dept Image

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 19 – The State Department's Bureau of Public Affairs launched a new video series called Conversations with America. Chairman of the World Affairs Councils of America Marc Grossman interviewed Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the Obama Administration's work in was moderated by  Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. The conversation was streamed live on the Departments official blog, DipNote. During the interview, Ambassador Holbrooke answered questions received from members of the public through DipNote, in advance.

This event is the first in a new video series launched by the Bureau of Public Affairs in which the State Department's senior leadership will be interviewed by the leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations from the international affairs field. Discussion topics will include foreign policy and global issues entitled Conversations with America. These forums will provide a view of how leaders from the foreign affairs community engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues and how both the U.S. government and civil society are working across the globe on issues that concern Americans most. The conversations will be streamed live and solicit questions from the public.


Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew and USAID Administrator Raj Shah Speak About Their Respective Trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 16 -- Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew and USAID Administrator Raj Shah briefed members of the press on their recent respective trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Deputy Secretary Lew met with a range of Pakistani and Afghan officials to discuss economic development, security, and rule of law issues, among other matters. He also spent significant time meeting with Embassy leadership to discuss resource needs and progress in implementing critical U.S. assistance programs.

This was Dr. Shah's first trip to the region as USAID Administrator. In Afghanistan, he visited agriculture and vocational training projects, met with President Karzai, and signed a significant agreement with the Afghan Government to work on development and governance in key districts. In Pakistan, he looked at USAID education projects, spoke with civil society leaders, met with President Zardari, participated in follow-up discussions on the recent U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and met with government officials and civil society leaders to underscore the U.S. commitment to a longer-term development relationship. Read More


US Nuclear Weapons Policy
“The New START Treaty will improve U.S. and international security by reducing and limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces; promoting strategic stability by ensuring transparency and predictability regarding U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces over the life of the Treaty; and advancing our nuclear nonproliferation efforts. The Treaty sets meaningful, lower limits on deployed strategic warheads and their delivery vehicles and launchers – limits that the Department of Defense validated through rigorous analysis in the early months of the Nuclear Posture Review. Its verification regime will provide each side confidence that the other is upholding its obligations. The new Treaty gives our military the flexibility to structure, deploy and maintain our forces in ways that best meet U.S. national security interests.”

 

REMARKS ON NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

Secretary Clinton (Apr. 9): "Now, for generations, Republican and Democratic Administrations have recognized the magnitude of this challenge. And they have worked together in partnership with the Congress to reduce the danger posed by nuclear weapons and to maintain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent to protect the United States and our allies across the world."  Read More

 

 

 





 

Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
Washington, DC, April 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 15 -- Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security discussed the Administration's agenda to reduce the role and numbers of nuclear weapons to make the United States more secure and the world more stable before the House Armed Services Committee. Under Secretary Tauscher discussed the Nuclear Security Summit, the Administrations release of it's year-long Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), and the new START treaty that the United States recently signed with Russia. Read More


Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas

“This is not only an opportunity; this is a responsibility, and not just to ourselves and to each other, but to future generations. A year ago, President Obama proposed this partnership as a forum for sharing ideas and devising solutions. And through consultation with many of the countries here today, we identified five critical areas of engagement: energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, energy poverty, and infrastructure.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC, April 15, 2010

Date: 04/15/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton delivers keynote remarks at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial at the Inter-American Development Bank. © State Dept photo by Michael GrossWASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 15 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the keynote address at the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas , hosted by the US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at the Inter America Development Bank. Before an audience of government delegations led by energy ministers, inter-American institutions, private companies, and civil society, Secretary Clinton discussed the goals of the Climate Ministerial of the Americas. She said, “So the goal of this partnership is not to impose requirements or regulations but to create a forum and framework to share best practices, cultivate new collaborations, promote indigenous solutions, deepen regional ties, and foster local and national leadership. This is a mission not only for governments but for the private sector and civil society as well.”

Secretary Clinton also announced new initiatives at the ministerial, to incorporate technical expertise from across the US government, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Peace Corps, and others to address energy poverty challenges throughout the Americas. She said, “And today, I propose we add two new areas to help advance the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and to be prepared for the next conference in Cancun. Those are: sustainable forestry and land use, and adaptation to assist developing countries that have been and are being hardest hit by climate change.” Full Text | Video | Photo Gallery | Fact Sheet | Preview of Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas


Deputy Secretary James B. Steinberg Travels to India and Bangladesh
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 15 – Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg will travel to India and Bangladesh April 20 until April 22, 2010. This will be his first visit to India and Bangladesh as Deputy Secretary.

Deputy Secretary Steinberg will meet with government officials and other political figures, and business, civil society, and opinion leaders in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Dhaka. He will discuss a range of bilateral and multilateral issues that advance our bilateral relationships with both India and Bangladesh. Read More


Water and Other Global Issues In Egypt, Jordan, and Israel

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 15 – Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero is traveling to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank April 15 through 21, 2010. Following-up on Secretary Clinton’s March 22nd remarks on World Water Day, Under Secretary Otero’s trip will underscore the need to elevate our diplomatic efforts surrounding water; harness the power of science and technology; leverage the full range of relationships; and build capacity at local, national and regional levels.

The Under Secretary will meet with government officials and non-governmental organizations about a wide range of science, technology, and policy-based solutions that address water challenges confronting the region. Under Secretary Otero will also discuss global affairs issues, such as democracy, human rights, refugees, trafficking in persons, health and the environment, with government officials, youth leaders, and other civil society representatives in each country. Read More


Restoring Democracy in Kyrgyzstan
“In short, I believe the provisional government is making important progress, but still faces many challenges. I am confident that the United States will be able to support the provisional government's plans to restore democracy and human rights in Kyrgyzstan.”

 

Robert O. Blake Jr, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, April 15, 2010

BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN, Apr. 15 -- Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs discussed his two-day visit to Kyrgyzstan to hear directly from the members of the provisional government and offer the support of the U.S. for the steps that Kyrgyzstan is taking both to restore law and order and to organize a return to democracy in their country. Following his remarks, he answered questions from members of the press. Read More


Inside the Beltway

Middle East Peace
Remarks at the Dedication of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace

"The goal of a comprehensive peace and all the benefits that we believe that would bring hangs in the balance. Because peace and progress must be driven from both above and below."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC, April 15, 2010 

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 17 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the dedication of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. Secretary Clinton said, “The lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians threatens that future, holds back the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, and destabilizes the region and beyond.” Read More


Israel Independence Day

"This is an opportunity to celebrate all that Israel has accomplished and to reaffirm the bonds that unite our two nations -- our strategic partnership, our shared values, and our common aspirations."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC, April 18, 2010

 WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 18 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulated Israel on 62 years of independence and reiterated that pursuing peace and recognized borders for Israel is one of our top priorities. Read More | Video


US Belief in Zimbabwe's Promise
Zimbabwe National Day

"We support your aspirations to build an open and participatory democracy with respect for rule of law and fundamental freedoms."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC, April 17, 2010 

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 17 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulated the people of Zimbabwe on 30 years of Independence. Secretary Clinton also urged Zimbabwe's leaders to continue to move toward democratic reform and to open political space. Read More


US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue Date: 04/14/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton and South African Foreign Minister Nkoana-Mashabane at a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding establishing the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, at the Department of State. © State Dept photo by Michael Gross

“South Africa's leadership is critical to the prosperity and security of the South African people and to Africa and the world. Its sound fiscal policies and commitment to sustainable economic development provide a model for the region. And South Africa's willingness to embrace political reconciliation and adopt a modern and progressive constitution, to diversify its economy, to empower women as citizens and entrepreneurs, and to work with its neighbors to advance regional stability, have all contributed to expanded trade, rising investment, new jobs, a dynamic economy, and a more equitable society.”

 
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC, April 14, 2010

 

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 14 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a US-South Africa Dialogue. Secretary Clinton discussed the steps that the United States and South Africa have taken toward launching a strategic dialogue to expand bilateral cooperation, since her August 2009 trip to Africa. Secretary Clinton said, “It [the memorandum of understanding) establishes the framework, guidelines, and priorities for a strategic dialogue that will focus on the full range of our common concerns, including but not limited to health, education, food security, trade and investment, nonproliferation, and disarmament. This is the culmination of a very productive year”. Read More | Photo Gallery


The United States and Russia in a New Era: One Year After "Reset"

Date: 05/14/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs discussed U.S.-Russia Relations at the Center for American Progress. - State Dept ImageWASHINGTON, DC Apr. 14 -- William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs discussed U.S.-Russia Relations at the Center for American Progress. Under Secretary Burns discussed the history of the United States relationship with Russia and outlined the status of the current relationship between the two countries, highlighting the new START agreement signed by President Obama and President Medvedev in Prague on April 8. He said, “At the beginning of 2010, we are in a significantly better place with Russia than we were at the beginning of 2009. Many challenges and difficulties remain, and we have a great deal of work to do together to widen and strengthen the base of cooperation, but we've made a promising start.” Finally he discussed the road ahead in the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship, underscoring the importance of economic cooperation and collaboration on several other issues as in paving the way for a new start.  Read More


Global Issues Affecting the Nation

Civilian Response Corps

WASHIGNTON, DC, Apr. 19 -- The Civilian Response Corps reached 100 Active component members just 18 months after the Corps' Congressional authorization in October 2008.

Led by the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, the Civilian Response Corps embodies the true ideal of Secretary Clinton's concept of smart power through a whole-of-government partnership, a cadre of innovative skill sets, and a new expeditionary capacity. The Corps brings together specially trained civilian federal employees who are equipped to rapidly deploy to fragile states in order to prevent conflict or assist in the stabilization of countries either in or emerging from crisis. The Corps' innovative partnership leverages a wide range of expertise and experience from eight federal departments and agencies: Department of State; U.S. Agency for International Development; and Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, and Treasury. Read More


Earth Day 2010Date: 04/22/2010 Description: Earth Day 2010 - State Dept Image

"As we continue to tackle our environmental challenges, it's clear that change won't come from Washington alone. It will come from Americans across the country who take steps in their own homes and their own communities to make that change happen." -President Barack Obama

President Obama released a video message challenging Americans to take action in their homes, communities, schools, or businesses to improve the environment in honor of the upcoming 40 th Anniversary of Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010.  In conjunction with the video message, the White House unveiled WhiteHouse.gov/EarthDay as a resource for those interested in learning how they can help make a difference in their community.


State Department Launches Design Excellence Program During National Architecture Week

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 14 – The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announced its intention to launch a Design Excellence program at its semi-annual Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) meeting today. The goal of this program is to produce diplomatic facilities that are outstanding in all respects including security, architecture, construction, sustainability, operations and maintenance. OBO released the document “Guiding Principles of Design Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities” at the IAP. The document will serve as a foundation for this effort that will include the implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan, scheduled for implementation in 2011.

Over the coming months, OBO project teams will go through a comprehensive process to determine the best methods and technologies for constructing diplomatic facilities. OBO's ultimate goal is to design the next generation of diplomatic facilities for the United States as our world enters the second decade of the 21 st century. Read More



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