Well, thank you very much, Mr. President, for the warm welcome. I’m delighted to be back here in Lima.
I have been looking forward to tomorrow’s conference as we discuss ways to tap the potential of women and further social inclusion and economic progress here in Peru. I think it is very fitting that you are hosting this conference during Social Inclusion Week, because there is no doubt that providing more opportunities for people who historically have been left out of progress in our hemisphere will benefit all of us.
We applaud your government establishing the new Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, and we want to work with you to give every child – every young boy and every young girl – the chance to fulfill his or her God-given potential. As you said, Mr. President, the United States and Peru work together on many shared challenges and priorities. We are working together to promote citizen security and to work against the drug traffickers. We are working to support you in your ongoing efforts against the terrorists who have for too long brought violence to too many people throughout Peru. We are working to protect Peru’s magnificent environment and cultural treasures. And we are working to support your efforts to spur broad-based development that is as important in the cities as it is in the rural areas.
To give one example, Peru and the United States are committed to preserving the Amazon Basin. So we are jointly developing a new regional initiative to maintain strong economic growth while also preventing deforestation and reducing carbon emissions. We believe it’s important to preserve our resources for future generations and to help more people move from poverty to self-sufficiency; to help families feel safe in their communities and children have the chance to get a good education; to improve all services, such as health care, and to benefit everyone from strong, inclusive democratic institutions that respect human rights and freedom of expression.
Because of Peru’s strong economic growth and your commitment to social inclusion, more people around the world are paying attention to what is happening right here in your country. And I want you to know, Mr. President, that the United States will be committed to building our partnership and friendship not only between our governments, but between our people.
So thank you again. I am sorry that my visit is so short, but I could not miss coming for this week of activities, and particularly for the conference tomorrow. But I will have to get back in time to see the second debate in our presidential election, Mr. President.