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Diplomacy in Action

Secretary Kerry's Remarks


At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Kerry said, "Global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries. It amplifies our voice and extends our reach. It’s the key to jobs, the fulcrum of our influence, and it matters – it really matters to the daily lives of Americans. It matters that we get this moment right for America and it matters that we get it right for the world."

Speaking at the University of Virginia, Secretary Kerry said, "In today’s global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward; they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreign policy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives...."

During remarks on a 21st century Pacific partnership, Secretary Kerry articulated four principles that link economic policy to foreign policy: “…strong growth, fair growth, smart growth, and just growth.” In remarks at the APEC CEO Summit, the Secretary said, “the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is about generating growth for our economies and jobs for our people by unleashing a wave of investment and entrepreneurship all across the Asia-Pacific. And at a time when we, all of us, seek strong and sustainable growth, TPP is creating a race to the top not to the bottom. …that is good for businesses, it’s good for workers, it’s good for economics, it’s good for stability, it’s good for relationships between countries.”

In January 2015 remarks at the Vibrant Gujarat opening ceremony he said, “If we work together…I am convinced that the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy can help to forge a new era of shared possibility and security for hundreds of millions of people in India, but indeed, across Asia, and across the world.” And in an op-ed in the Miami Herald, Secretary Kerry noted thatthe story of modern-day Mexico and many other countries proves that democracy and economic stability are partners.”

Working to address global climate change and stewardship of the oceans are among the Secretary’s priorities. In welcoming remarks at the Our Ocean conference, Secretary Kerry said, “Stewardship of our ocean is not a one-person event; it’s a nation event, it’s a country event, it’s a universal requirement all across this planet.” And in remarks at a joint session on clean energy and climate change in Beijing, the Secretary noted the significance of U.S.-China cooperation in solving the question of clean energy: “because we have very robust economies, because we have been economic powerhouses…the significance of our coming together like this really can't be understated. …Working hard to find a solution together…can have an impact on the rest of the world.”

In remarks following a meeting of APEC economies, the Secretary announced progress in meeting the challenges of climate change: “We committed to doubling the share of renewables in the region’s energy banks by the year 2030. And we reaffirmed our commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies…. We at last have an opportunity to put ourselves on the path to a clean energy future, and that is a path that is more essential than ever because of the urgent threat of global climate change. The solution to climate change is good energy policy. And we believe today, we helped…to move APEC economies to a commitment in that direction.”

In remarks at the Civil Society Forum Global Townhall during the Africa Summit, Secretary Kerry said “This is a moment of amazing opportunity for Africa…. That’s why we’ve brought together leaders from 50 countries across Africa for this historic summit. It’s also why we’re determined to deepen our partnerships and to deliver on remarkable opportunities for peace, for security, for economic growth, and perhaps most importantly of all in the context of what brings us here today, the empowerment of people through their government, through their civil society.” In remarks at the AGOA Ministerial, Secretary Kerry noted “President Obama’s number-one priority has been creating strong middle class jobs here at home, but the President has always understood that the best way to do that is to strengthen our international economic ties and foster broad growth globally.” And in remarks at the U.S.-Africa business forum, he said, “we have to come together…with a unified vision and a purpose so that we can present this growing number of young people in Africa and across the world with a viable alternative: quality education with skills for the modern world and with jobs that allow them to build a life and have a family and have confidence in their countries.”

Addressing the scourge of terrorism, Secretary Kerry wrote an op-ed in the New York Times: “In a polarized region and a complicated world, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria presents a unifying threat to a broad array of countries, including the United States. What’s needed to confront its nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a global coalition using political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force.” In budget testimony, the Secretary articulated the importance of funding the work of diplomacy: “Everything from our counterterrorism to nonproliferation initiatives, to helping businesspeople and travelers be able to open doors, get their visas, move through rapidly, do business in various countries, all of which creates jobs here at home, may I add – all of that amounts to less than 1 percent of the federal budget.”

See all of the Secretary's Remarks»

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