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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks for the 2013 Partners for a New Beginning Summit in Istanbul


Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 25, 2013

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Good morning. I wish I could be with you today. With the crisp breeze coming off the Bosporus and the chestnut carts on every corner, there’s no better time of year to be in Istanbul. There’s also no better setting for this summit – because just as Istanbul has long been a place where East meets West and where tradition meets modernity, Partners for a New Beginning can ensure these connections take root in so many different places all over the world.

The effort you take part in today was launched in response to President Obama’s historic call from Cairo. In his speech to the Muslim world, President Obama said that there must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground.

Through the efforts of your global network of leaders, you have the power to put those principles into action. You have the power to tear down barriers to exchange and build bridges to opportunity for young people in your societies and across the world.

I am sure you see in your work what I see in my travels as Secretary of State: The motivations that are changing the world are not particular to one region or one religion; they are universal. Whether it was those who gathered in Tahrir Square, the fruit vendor in Tunisia, or the young people taking leadership roles across our global society – it is the yearning for dignity, respect, and opportunity that unites young people all over the world.

Meeting their demands makes demands upon us all – and that is what Partners for a New Beginning is all about. We need to reach beyond governments to grow links between peoples – to include business, civil society organizations, and entrepreneurs. We need to foster greater exchange to promote entrepreneurship, science, and technology.

With your work, you can create environments where people can easily form personal relationships and broad networks with people from every background and every expertise. You can help provide better training and support so that they can turn their ideas into businesses, and then to bring them to scale.

My friends, the promise of our future depends upon the power of our partnerships. Through your efforts today and in the days to come, we can be the Partners for a New Beginning our world so desperately needs. We can build a foundation for shared prosperity that unites us all. Thank you, and good luck with your work ahead.



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