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Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril

PRIME MINISTER JIBRIL: (Via interpreter) In the name of God, most compassionate, most merciful, it is with great delight that we are honored to meet the U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary Clinton, and the high-level U.S. delegation accompanying her. This is the first visit for Secretary Clinton after the fall of the previous regime. We appreciate it a lot. We appreciate what the U.S. has provided during all this time, during all the time of our blessed revolution of February 17th, where the U.S. has offered also support for advocating for (inaudible).

(Inaudible) discussions today touched on several issues. We discussed the way of forming a high committee for the U.S.-Libyan relationship on a new track that aimed at achieving the interests of both countries. This committee, I hope that it will be announced soon, will contribute to developing the political, economic, social, and cultural relationship between the two countries.

We talked about the possibility to create a common joint scientific authority to discuss the scientific research between the U.S. experts and the Libyan researchers for an alternative economic promising future for Libya.

We also spoke about the immediate help in – for the injured of the Libyans, transferring them from the front, especially from the Sirte front.

We also talked about the issue of chemical material, and we value tremendously what the U.S. has provided in support and technical assistance in this issue.

Also we discussed the issue of the security today in Libya and how we can use the U.S. expertise in this field.

I look very much forward to a closer relationship among our nations and stronger relations from mutual respect on sovereignty and from the mutual respect and mutual common interest for the two countries. I thank Secretary Clinton again, and on behalf of my colleagues, I thank her high-level delegation for this visit that can build for a stronger relationship in the future.

Thank you, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Prime Minister Jibril. I want to express my appreciation to you and to Chairman Jalil and to all of the officials with whom we met today. I appreciate greatly the leadership that has been provided over the course of this remarkable year as the Libyan people demonstrated their bravery and determination. And I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya.

And on behalf of the American people I congratulate all Libyans. It is a great privilege to see a new future for Libya being born. And indeed, the work ahead is quite challenging, but the Libyan people have demonstrated the resolve and resilience necessary to achieve their goals.

Think about what has been achieved already. In crowded squares and mountain passes, Libyans stood up against a dictator’s aggression, and claimed the rights and dignity of a free people. Libyans were called rats by their own leaders and they were confronted by every possible tactic to break your spirit. But no threats dimmed the courage of the Libyan people. The United States was proud to stand with you, and we will continue to stand with you as you continue this journey, respecting your sovereignty and honoring our friendship. This is Libya’s moment. This is Libya’s victory and the future belongs to you.

The United States knows something about revolution and liberty. That is how our nation was born more than 230 years ago. And we know that democracy takes time; it will not be easy or quick. But we are filled with admiration for what you have already accomplished and confident in your ability to move forward.

Now, we recognize that the fighting, the bloody fighting, continues. We know that Qadhafi and those close to him are still at large. But the NATO and international coalition that came together on your behalf will continue to protect Libyan civilians until the threat from Qadhafi and those who hang to the past is ended.

In our meetings today, the chairman, prime minister, and their colleagues shared with us their plans for establishing an inclusive democracy in Libya. We agreed that the Libyan people deserve a nation governed by the rule of law, not the whims of men. We believe you deserve a government that represents all Libyans from all parts of the country and all backgrounds, including women and young people. We believe you deserve a transparent and fair judicial system. We also are convinced that revenge and vigilantism have no place in the new Libya.

And we believe you deserve an economy that delivers jobs, dignity, and opportunities to all Libyans – not just to the powerful and connected. We also share your concern about caring for the wounded and the families of the fallen, about securing weapons that may have gone missing, about integrating all the various revolutionary forces into a new and unified Libyan military.

Libya is blessed with wealth and resources, most particularly the human resources of the Libyan people. And there is a pressing need, as I was told today, for international expertise and technical assistance. That is why we welcome the idea of a joint committee between Libya and the United States to look at the priorities that the Libyans themselves have.

I am pleased that we are working together to return billions of dollars of frozen assets and that we have reopened our Embassy. We will stay focused on security: I am pleased to announce that we are going to put even more money into helping Libya secure and destroy dangerous stockpiles of weapons. And the Administration, working with Congress, is going to provide $40 million to support this effort. We will also work with Libya to destroy chemical weapons stocks.

We want to expand our economic cooperation with Libya, to create new educational and cultural exchanges and deepen our engagement with civil society. First, we will launch this new partnership to provide care to your wounded. It deeply moves us that so many people dropped whatever they were doing to fight for their freedom – engineers and teachers, doctors and business leaders, students, and so many others. We plan to evacuate some of the most seriously injured to specialized medical facilities in the United States. We want to help you care for your patients here in Libya, so we will work together to establish a modern medical management system and to provide needed supplies and equipment.

We are also very focused on the young people of Libya who have the most to gain from this new freedom. And today I am pleased to announce we are resuming the Fulbright program and doubling its size to permit even more Libyan students to study and train in my country. We will also open new English language classes across Libya for young people and provide special training for Libyan veterans with disabilities because of their combat experience.

We are increasing grants and training to new civil society organizations and working with Libyan women to make sure they have the skills and opportunities to participate fully in the political and economic life of their countries.

And as with the transitions in Tunisia and Egypt, we will partner with Libya to create new economic opportunities and broader prosperity by boosting trade and investment, increasing tourism, building ties between Libyan and American businesses, and helping to integrate Libya more closely into regional and global markets.

This list is just a beginning, because we want to hear from the Libyan people, from the new government that will be established after Libya is fully liberated. But we think we share a lot of the same aspirations for our families and our countries and that we have a lot to learn from each other and give to each other.

Later, I will be meeting with students and civil and society leaders at Tripoli University, talking and listening to the young people of Libya, because it is to all of them that we dedicate our efforts on your behalf.

So again, prime minister, let me thank you for your warm welcome, and thanks to the people of Libya. And we give you our very best wishes and promise our best efforts as you undertake this journey to a new democracy. (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER JIBRIL: Thank you, your Excellency.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) The first question is for Dr. Jibril. The first question goes to Dr. Jibril.

QUESTION: A question for Dr. Jibril and Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton told you, Mr. Jibril, that there is large scale cooperation with Government of Libya. Do you think that you will be the prime minister of that government? Or in the past, you said that you will not share any other transitional government (inaudible).

A question for Secretary Clinton, who was one of the first voice (inaudible) for human rights and liberties. And you were an attorney and a successful lawyer. Today you are as successfully as Secretary of State. My question is: Do you see what is happening to the women in Saudi Arabia and in the eastern region of (inaudible)? Do you think that it is unsuitable to demand Saudi Arabia from bringing freedom just like you are asking Syria to be free, et cetera? And also Yemen – your position from Yemen is not very clear.

PRIME MINISTER JIBRIL: (Via interpreter) I will not be part of the upcoming government. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by saying that I personally and the Government of the United States supports human rights everywhere for everyone. And we advocate that not only to governments but also through civil society and work to try to support the opportunities and aspirations of every individual to live up to his or her God-given potential. So we have spoken out. We will continue to speak out.

But different circumstances demand different kinds of responses, and the opportunity now in Libya is to not only chart a new future for Libyans but to stand as a model for democracy and freedom that was won with the blood of your martyrs is an extraordinary chance that comes perhaps only once in human history. So we think that what Libya has before it, the opportunity to make good on the promise of the revolution, is of the utmost importance, and that is why we are standing ready to work closely with the new Government of Libya and with the people of Libya.

We have and will continue to speak out to our friends, who we believe should do more on behalf of women and women’s rights – and I have said that many times – and with those with whom we have very serious differences, who are preventing the full aspirations and freedom of their people to flourish. But today, I am here to talk about Libya and Libya’s future and the hope that not only the United States but the world has invested in the future that Libyans will make for themselves.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) The question is to Secretary of State Clinton.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, Mister Prime Minister, how concerned are you about the possibility of civil war here, or any lengthy ongoing conflict with pro-Qadhafi forces? And also, could you both comment on what you believe should happen to the convicted Lockerbie bomber? Should he go back to prison?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think, first of all, we are encouraged by the commitment of the Transitional National Council to taking the steps necessary to bring the country together. National unity is one of the highest priorities that Libya faces right now. And we discussed the process of forging a new democratic interim government that is transparent, inclusive, and consultative. And how that is done will, of course, depend upon the decisions that the Libyan people themselves make.

But from long experience, one factor we know must be confronted is unifying the various militias into a single military that represents the Libyan people and government. And the Transitional National Council is very focused on doing just that. They want to get all the militias under national command. They want to prevent reprisals and secure the stocks of weaponry that have come off the battlefield or have been discovered from the previous regime. And we think that the programs that the Transitional National Council have outlined to pay to the families of the fallen martyrs, to prepare programs and treatment and training for those who have served, are exactly what will be needed. Getting a national army and a police force under civilian command is essential. And the United Nations, the United States, and other partners stand ready to do that. But we are still at the point where liberation has not yet been claimed because of the ongoing conflicts that persist, and of course, the continuing freedom of action of Qadhafi and those around him.

So the Transitional National Council has to put security first. There has to be a resolution of the conflict before many of these programs can actually be put into action. And I really believe that all members of all militias must see the benefit of joining the new government, of pledging allegiance, as we say in my country, to the new government.

You know, I come from a very diverse country. We fought a civil war, and it was horrible. It was the war in which more Americans died at each other’s hands than any other, and we lived with the consequences for decades afterwards.

In today’s world, in the 21st century, that will just throw a people further behind history. So I know that the leadership understands that. They are focused on doing everything they can to end the fighting, to declare the liberation of the country, to form a new government, and to begin to pull the entire country together. So we will do everything we can to respond to that.

And we have made, of course, our strong views known about Megrahi, and I have said, many times, that we believe that he should never have been released. I raised this issue again with the leadership here. We – and we recognize the magnitude of all the issues that Libya is facing, but we also know the importance of the rule of law, and they have assured us they understand how strongly the United States feels about this and all the sensitivities around this case. We will continue to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. This is an open case in the United States Department of Justice, and we will continue to discuss it with our Libyan counterparts.

QUESTION: Does the United States –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Will you talk in the microphone so the press can hear you, sir? Thank you.

QUESTION: You hear me now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) from Libya Al Hurra TV. Will the United States consider cooperating with the Libyan Islamists on delivering political process for Libya? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: The democracy that takes root in Libya must be reflective of the aspirations of the people of Libya, not the desires or dictates of any outside group. So with respect to Libyans themselves, we will support a process of democratizing that respects the rule of law; that respects the rights of minorities and women and young people; that creates independent institutions, like a free press and an independent judiciary. Groups and individuals who really believe in democracy should be welcome into that process. But groups that want to undermine democracy or subvert it are going to have to be dealt with by the Libyans themselves.

There are people – and I’ve been working in this area for many years, even as a private citizen and as a United States senator. There are many people who say they support elections, but only if they get elected. They want one election, one time, and then if they are elected no more elections. So these are all the kinds of challenges that Libyans will face in putting together their democracy. But people must renounce violence, they must give up arms, they must be committed to a democracy that respects the rights of all. And then, of course, you have an inclusive democracy that includes people, but they must be committed to the goals of a true democracy.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I’d like to take you a bit east of here. Today, Gilad Shalit has returned home after more than five years in captivity, and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been released as well. I was wondering whether you could give us your reaction to the deal struck between Israel and Hamas and how that fits in, if at all, with your wider efforts to resume peace talks, for example, in the Middle East. And also slightly connected to this, we are hearing reports that the American Israeli citizen, Ilan Grapel, who’s been detained in Egypt on charges of spying, may be released. I was wondering whether you could confirm that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, we are pleased that a long ordeal, being held five years as a hostage, has ended for Gilad Shalit and he’s been released and finally reunited with his family. He was held for far too long in captivity. And we are also hopeful that Ilan Grapel will similarly be released. We see no basis for any legal action against him.

And of course, we are hopeful that there will be a return to negotiations by the Israelis and the Palestinians by the end of this month, as outlined by the Quartet statement.

So we continue to be very focused on working toward a two-state outcome that would give the Palestinian people the same rights that the Libyan people are now obtaining to chart their own destiny and make their own way in life with their own goals and aspirations being fulfilled, and that Israel would have secure borders and could contribute to the prosperity of the larger region. So we remain focused on that and we’ll continue to work toward those outcomes.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) The Libyan woman is absent from the political scene, especially at the ministries, and in the current TNC all the ministers are males. Are you going to offer support so the women can participate in the development of Libya? And also to the election, how do you see the women of Libya in the future?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Prime Minister Jibril is smiling because I have raised it every time I have seen him and every time that I have seen Chairman Jalil and all of the Libyan officials with whom I have met over the last many months.

I would make three points. First, no country can become a democracy, no economy can develop as fully as it could, if half the population is not included. And the women of Libya have the same rights as their brothers and their husbands and their fathers and their sons to help build a new Libya. So we are very committed and very outspoken about what we hope will be the full inclusion of women in a democratic future.

Secondly, women also sacrificed in this revolution. Women were in the streets. Women were supporting the fighters. Women were sending their sons and their husbands off to an uncertain future, and many will never see them again. So women have sacrificed. They may not have been on the front lines holding a weapon, but they were holding together the society and supporting those who were fighting for Libya’s independence. So they have earned the right to be part of Libya’s future.

And finally, there is an opportunity here that I hope Libya will seize. I believe because you have won your freedom – no one handed it to you, you fought for it and you won it – that you will find it in your hearts to demonstrate to the entire world that Libya is not only free, but Libya is equal, Libya believes in the rule of law, Libya will educate all of their boys and girls to take their rightful places in the world. I would hope that I could come back to a free, democratic Libya in a few years, and it would be a shining example of what is possible when free people make their own choices.

So I cannot imagine how that could come to pass if women are not given the right to serve their country, to run their businesses, to be educated to the best of their abilities. So I will certainly look to ways that the United States can support the women in Libya to be able to take their rightful places in this new democratic future.

Thank you.

MODERATOR: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.

 


Secretary Clinton at a Town Hall Meeting With Youth and Civil Society

Secretary Clinton talks with Libyan student during a town hall meeting with Youth and Civil Society at Tripoli University in Libya, Tuesday, Oct.18, 2011.

Secretary Clinton talks with Libyan student during a town hall meeting with Youth and Civil Society at Tripoli University in Libya, Tuesday, Oct.18, 2011.

SECRETARY CLINTON:I know that more than 30 years ago students from this university came to this very spot to engage in historic protests, and their voices were crushed by the Qadhafi regime. But today, because of the courage of the Libyan people, we can be here together to have a conversation about what you hope for your futures and what partnership the United States can offer. So on behalf of all of the people of my country, I congratulate all of the people of the new Libya. Libya, (in Arabic.) It is wonderful to be here. (Applause.)

The last seven months have been historic, not only for Libyans, but indeed for the world, because you have faced your challenges and conducted your revolution with courage and commitment. You demanded the rights and the dignity of a free people, and you withstood the brutal assaults from those who were only wedded to the past. And now we have a new era. There will be new stories written about Libya in the history books.

But what will that story be? That, to me, is the question of the day. If you are committed to a new Libya, then how will you make your contributions? The structures of oppression have been torn down, but new structures are only being imagined now. So what – excuse me – (coughs) – I talk way too much. (Laughter.) What we all have to determine is how you turn to reconciliation and create an inclusive Libya that guarantees human rights and dignity, that delivers jobs and opportunities, that governs itself under respect for the rule of law.

Now, every democracy reflects the unique choices and passions of its people. That is one of democracy’s great strengths. We do not expect your democracy to be exactly like our democracy. We come from different backgrounds, we have different histories, and yet there are certain fundamentals about democracy that we think are more likely to produce a better outcome.

A democracy makes a virtue of the diversity of its people. No democracy can function effectively unless every group contributes. So Libya will need the talents of all of its people, young people, women, people from every part of the country. I feel strongly that in the weeks and months ahead, as you make these decisions about how to shape your democracy, women need to be part of that decision making. Because women defied Qadhafi’s troops, women supported the revolution.

I was struck by a quote that I read of a woman who was asked by a reporter why she took such great risks to be part of this revolution, and she responded by saying, “For God, for tasting freedom, for our land, for our liberty, for the future.” Well, that is what people who fight for their freedom believe, and women must be part of the new Libya.

The same is true for young people. This rising generation here at the university has given so much, and I agree with the president that you expect so much as well. And those expectations are warranted, but it will take time, effort, and some patience to achieve the goals that you seek.

We will be here as your partner. We will continue to emphasize the importance of the rule of law, respect for human rights, trade and investment, and the importance of civil society, academic institutions, and learning. We want to provide care and treatment for Libya’s war wounded, and we want to increase our educational exchanges. We will be funding English classes for disabled war veterans. We will resume educational exchanges and institute, once again, the Fulbright Program. In fact, we will double the numbers of those who will come to the United States to study. Through our Middle East Partnership Initiative, we want to connect up young Libyans from one end of your vast country to another.

There are so many possibilities and there are so many challenges. And what I want to do for my time with you is to hear from you, hear what you would like from the United States, hear what you would like from your new government. We have members with us from the Transitional National Council, who I know are interested as well in hearing from the young people of their country.

So with your permission, I would like to turn now to soliciting your views and your questions, and I will, to the best of my ability, respond to any question that is directed at me. So how shall we proceed? Shall I call on people, and you will bring them the microphone? Is that appropriate? All right. So who would be the brave person who wants to go first?

Yes, I saw your hand right there, the young women in the second row. And if your question is in Arabic we will have it translated before I try to answer it so I know what it was.

QUESTION: Hi. (Inaudible) organization for women and children. I’d like to welcome you to Libya. I hope you enjoy it.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: My question, Libyan women went through tough times throughout this revolution. (Inaudible) – she got tortured, arrested, she lost her son, brother, and husband. What is the message you would like to send to Libyan women, and as a woman would you like to – do you hope to see a Libyan woman as a foreign minister or a president maybe of this country? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that Libyan women have the same rights as Libyan men. I would hope for a future of democracy and equality and opportunity for all. And I say that for these reasons: First, it is hard to imagine how Libya – the new, free Libya – will become a democracy and leave out half of the population. That doesn’t add up to me. That’s not what I hear or see from the Libyans who have so bravely fought for their freedom. And I don’t know any country that can succeed to the extent expected if half of the population is denied the opportunity to participate. So in this new democracy, I would hope to see the rights and responsibilities of women be given full inclusion.

Secondly, women did suffer during this revolution, as you yourself have just said. And we know that from the reports that came out of Libya, that are still coming out of places like Sirte. Women suffered because they demanded their own rights and were personally mistreated, and women suffered because they sent their sons and their husbands and saw their fathers and their brothers go off to fight for their freedom. So I think women in Libya have earned the right to be given the same opportunity to help build a new Libya.

And finally, I have had the privilege of traveling to over 90 countries as Secretary of State. I’ve been in all kinds of countries with all kinds of governments, and I have seen the very significant contributions that women can make. I just met – for example, you said foreign minister – I just met with the foreign minister of Bangladesh, who is a woman. I was in Indonesia recently and meeting with the finance minister of Indonesia, who is a woman. I’ve been in Malaysia and met with the governor of the Central Bank in Malaysia, who is a woman. Many of the countries that are Muslim majority and democratic, such as the three I just named, have recognized the importance of including women and giving women the opportunity to serve their country, to start businesses, to teach in universities, and to pursue their own God-given potential.

So I believe strongly that this will be important for women, but it will be equally important for men in a new Libya. And the United States will support organizations that are committed to ensuring that women can become active, responsible participants in Libyan society. I met two young women, as I was walking in, who are from a new organization called Voices of Libyan Women. And I thank them for taking on this important responsibility, and we will look forward to assisting you.

Yes.

QUESTION: Hi. My name is (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Here comes the microphone.

QUESTION: Thank you. My name is (inaudible). I – first of all, I would like to welcome you here, and I volunteer with the university to help rebuild this university. I would like to ask you, many people feel that the U.S. had taken the backseat in terms of helping this revolution. Would you see the U.S. taking the lead on terms of rebuilding this country and helping? And if so, what kind of resources would you be providing and the most suitable tools to help rebuild this country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I think it’s fair to say that the United States played a unique leadership role in what happened in Libya, because we wanted to be sure, number one, that there was an international coalition in support of Libya. And I’m very pleased that there was. It was quite historic that you had the UN passing strong resolutions, which the United Nations was on the lead on, and then you had NATO coming together to protect civilians, and the Arab League, which had called for action, actually having member states participate in that coalition, the no-fly zone, the maritime embargo. The United States was actively involved, but we also thought it was important that there be a broad base of support for the Libyan revolution, and indeed, there has been. So we are very pleased by that.

We also have said – and part of the reason for my trip is to emphasize our commitment to helping Libya navigate through this next period of your history. Now, unlike many countries in the world that find themselves free of a dictatorship, Libya is blessed with natural resources and human resources that you don’t often find in many other countries. Yes, you do have oil, and now maybe that oil can be used for the benefit the Libyan people, not to enrich a relatively small group of powerful people.

And you have human resources. This great university is a testament to that. You have a lot of expertise within the Libyan people themselves, and certainly the Libyan Diaspora that came back to help win your freedom. So I don’t know that it’s so much, in Libya’s case, a question of money as it is getting expertise, technical assistance, and support for what you already intend to do. And I told both Chairman Jalil and Prime Minister Jibril we intend to support you on that. So I really believe that Libya is as well positioned as any country in recent history to make this journey to democracy successfully.

Now, that’s not to say it’s going to be easy, because it will not be easy. You have to unify your country. You know what people say. People say, “Well, Libya can’t be unified. You have the east, you have the west, you have the south. You have only six million people in this huge country. You have unprotected borders. You have so many different tribal interests.” Well, I don’t believe that. I think that you have enough of a commitment to your future to bring people together and to create that national unity, and you all will have to work on it.

I think there are several dangers, and the president referred to one. Everybody wants what they want, and they want it now. I mean, if I had a magic wand, I would have brought it with me, and I would leave it here, but I do not. And that means that it is going to take longer than anybody wants it to take. But you have to start on this journey step by step, and you have to be somewhat patient with each other as you try to work out how to organize yourselves.

But I have every confidence you will be successful, and the United States will help you. We’ll help you with resources, with technical expertise, with any kind of support for elections and for economic opportunities. You name it; we are ready to be helpful to you, but want it to be your priorities, not anybody else’s.

So many hands. How about this gentleman in the third row? Right there.

QUESTION: Hi. My name is (inaudible). I’m at the (inaudible). And thank you for every word that you said to encourage and support our revolution here. My question is: One of my goals in Libya is helping more young people to become part of the global community. What steps do you think Libyan youth should be begun with after the work to become effective partners in the global community?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that’s a very important question, because the more Libya gets integrated into the regional and global community, the stronger Libya will be. Now, I know that you have communicated with one another and with people around the world through the internet, which is one way of being connected up to the global community. I read an interesting story about a young man here, I think, at the university, who was working to contact people in other countries that had gone through similar transitions to ask for their personal advice, and I think that kind of outreach is very important. So I would encourage you to do it, and maybe even in an organized way, to create a site where people around the world who want to help Libya, who want to contribute to Libya, who believe strongly in what you’re doing, can find a way to be of assistance. So it’s a two-way street; you’re not only reaching out, but people are reaching in.

I think when it comes to economic integration, this part of the world, namely all of North Africa, in fact, most of the African continent and the Middle East, have not been as open economically as I think would benefit you. So when you think about integrating into the global economy, think about how you can tear down barriers so there can be more trade, more commerce, more activity coming and going. Because right now, there isn’t as much as there should be, and I think there could be a lot more that would benefit Libya.

One idea that I know people in Libya are exploring is: How do you make sure that the money you earn from your oil goes to benefit the Libyan people? And there are several examples. Norway, for example, has the money from the oil industry in a trust fund, which they use for certain common purposes. You talk about rebuilding this great university. Well, there needs to be some recognition that your natural resources should be used to benefit all Libyans. And that’s another way to promote national unity, to tell people in every part of Libya, “You’re not going to be forgotten. You’re not going to be cut out. You’re going to be part of Libya’s future, because we’re going to protect the oil revenues – a certain percentage of it – for benefitting all of Libya.” There are ideas out there like that, that if you reach out, you can find out more about.

So I would encourage you to look at all kinds of possibilities for better organizing and communicating from Libya to the rest of the world, and then look at ways to integrate you, particularly economic, and then look at ideas that you can transplant and bring back to Libya to benefit the Libyan people.

Yes, this young woman right there in the second row.

QUESTION: Hello, welcome to Libya. My name is Sarah Spani. I’m an honors graduate from this university, the school of engineering, and I’m a member of women organization, name is (inaudible) Women’s Association. My question is for the last four decades, Qadhafi didn’t give any chance for Libyan people, women as well as men, to participate in any type of political or civil activities, yet we have no political parties. What is the best strategy, in your point of view, and fastest strategy to encourage our people to involve more in the political life, considering that we have elections in a matter of two years or less and we have to elect our parliaments and our president. How do we do that? How to encourage our people in the fastest time? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That is an excellent and very important question, because it is, as you say, absolutely essential to create political parties, to create political agendas and platforms so people know what you stand for and what they would be getting if they vote for you. And the United States has for many years provided support to other countries that are going through this process. We don’t have any intention of picking winners or losers, but how do you do it? How do you create a political party? How do you create a political platform? How do you campaign? What are the techniques that are most useful to reaching people?

And we have several NGOs that do this all over the world and are certainly more than ready to help. So do the Europeans. They have a lot of groups that do the same. And even Latin American countries that have thrown off dictatorships in the last 20-30 years and are now democracies are ready to help.

So we can certainly, through our Embassy and our Ambassador – Gene Cretz is here with us – we can provide you with information and we can also connect you up to groups in our country and help you access groups in other places that can give you the kind of advice that you’re looking for.

I think that some of the experiences that are more recent, particularly in Latin America, maybe Central and Eastern Europe, in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia – Indonesia has been a democracy for 10 years now – could be of great benefit to you. They’re very vibrant democracies. They have political parties. Men and women run and get elected. And I think that would be one of our principal objectives, which is to help you look for and find the best ways to organize.

I want to emphasize how important it is that you organize. I mean, what often happens post-revolutions is that people are exhausted. I mean, it’s a terribly traumatic experience for a country and for people to go through. And a lot of people want to just go home, they want to get back to their jobs, back to their studies – totally understandable. And the political process they will leave to somebody else. But in a democracy, the best political process is the one that involves the most people and gets people to feel strongly about their choices and what they want from their leaders.

So I hope that you and all the young people here will get into the political system, learn how to form parties, how to make coalitions, recognize that in democracy compromise is essential. Because people do come, they get elected from different places with different ideas, and they have to then kind of work out what’s the best solution to reach. And we have a lot of experience in this and we’d be more than happy to provide some of that expertise.

Let me go way back to the gentleman sitting way back there. I don’t want to forget the people in the back seats here. This man, right here on the aisle. Yeah.

QUESTION: Hi (inaudible) graduate from dentist school. I’m trying – I’m asking is there a possibility for making a program for dentists who can train and do their internship in the USA, since here in Libya it doesn’t have the dental equipment and to make better future dentists. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I will look into that. I think that’s an excellent suggestion. I will speak with our dental association when I get back to the United States and see if we couldn’t work out some kind of exchange program that would assist you. I thank you for raising it.

And then the gentleman behind there in the first row.

QUESTION: Ask by Arabic?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. My interpreter is here.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) The United States of America supported the right of the Libyan people to self-determination and supported also the project for the Libyans to defend themselves. What are the Libyan people able to prove in a short time in order to get all that support from the United States, from everywhere, and the Palestinians were not able in over 50 years to achieve it? What is that the Palestinians need to do in order to get such a support like the one you gave to the Libyan people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We need to negotiate a state that will meet the needs of the people. There are many examples around the world where, through negotiations with both sides, we were able to set forth a pathway to full statehood. It just happened in Sudan, not far from Libya, about – starting about 10 years ago, ending in 2005. There was a negotiation and resulted in a referendum and it resulted in a new state.

There is no shortcut to that, because all of these very complex issues have to be resolved. And I take this very, very seriously, very personally. You might remember when my husband was president, they got very close but didn’t succeed. And it’s something that I am very committed to following through on and intend to do everything I can to try to bring about the negotiations, because otherwise you can’t declare it, you have to achieve it through negotiations. That’s the only way that it will actually be real.

So let’s see, this gentleman right there in the middle. Yes. Here comes the microphone.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Hello, Madam Secretary. I’m Hiba Aboreg. Welcome to Libya. I’m Hiba Aboreg. I’m a medical student in this university, and what I wanted to ask you is about freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is very important to the American way of life, and we are very new to this democracy, so what I was wondering was what steps do you think we, both as a government and as a people, can take to – sorry. I’m kind of nervous.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, you’re doing very well.

QUESTION: What do you think we can – what steps do you think we can take to root the freedom of speech into the Libyan identity? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I do believe very strongly that freedom of speech is absolutely essential to any democracy, so I think there has to be a guarantee of freedom of speech in your constitution and in your laws, which your new government will begin to pass, once you have your parliament, and that there has to be also a respect imbued in the people for freedom of speech. Because people in my country say things all the time that I disagree with and that I think are wrong, but we believe that more speech is the best answer to speech you don’t agree with. So you make your case, you publish articles, you go on the radio or the TV, now you go on the internet, and you make your position known. So we hope that freedom of speech will be respected and legally protected in the new Libya.

Oh my goodness, too many hands. I can’t – I don’t want to leave people out in the back, because I always feel bad about that. The man in the white shirt.

QUESTION: Maldrew Abdulli from Libya Times magazine. I would like to ask you, the United States has been supporting Libya since the beginning of this revolution. There are two things that the Libyan people now are in need of it. The injured fighters, which already have been now in hospitals and everywhere – would the United States be interested to cure somehow the injured fighters which are in hospitals now, or at least support them with medical equipment or medical staff? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. And we will do both, and I thank you for asking that. We have told the Transitional National Council that we will transport some of the most seriously wounded to hospitals in the United States. We will provide medical equipment and material that is needed to operate your surgeries and other equipment that is required for the care of your wounded. And we will work with other countries to make sure that their needs are met.

And it’s not only the physical wounds, but we know that there are also traumas, psychological problems that people who are in combat experience. And that’s especially true when the people who won this revolution were not professional soldiers. They came from all walks of life. They had – many of them never fired a gun before, and they are thrust into the bloodiest of conflicts, close quarter combat in places throughout the country.

So we feel very strongly that we want to support taking care of the injured, the wounded, in body and mind, and we want to work with Libya to be able to care of your own people. So that’s one of my pledges to you.

My goodness. Yes, young woman right there. Second in, yes.

QUESTION: Hello. I’m Mana Whity, student in athletics department at Tripoli University. I would like to thank you for coming here. I’m a bit nervous. I got a question for you: To my knowledge, the Qadhafi regime has been created under Libyan (inaudible) and under support of some Western countries. What measure the United States will present to us to prevent such a regime to be created again – sorry – especially in Libya?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that, certainly, the most important thing now is to make sure that Qadhafi and his regime are finally prevented from disrupting the new Libya. And as you know, we had a very hostile relationship with Qadhafi over many years because of his behavior and because of his actions, both inside of Libya and outside of Libya. We did appreciate the decision that he made a few years ago to do away with his nuclear program, because that made it possible for the world to be safer and eventually for you to be more secure in your revolution.

So we want to do everything we can to prevent him from causing trouble for the new Libya. We want to make sure he’s brought to justice, along with the people around him, his family members and others who are still supporting him. And that’s what we intend to do to try to help protect civilians from any reprisals by Qadhafi coming out of anywhere. We don’t know where he is, but we hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer, and then you have to move forward.

One of the problems you will face is how to reconcile different people, how you will bring people into a new Libya and not spend your time trying to settle scores from the past. That will be very hard. Countries that have succeeded, like Chile or South Africa, have been incredibly successful. Even Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed, has kept its eye on the future. Countries that keep looking over their shoulders toward the past and they want to find the guy who did the bad thing to their family 20 years ago and they want to do this and they want to do that find it difficult to move forward. There’s a saying in my country: “You can’t drive forward if you’re looking in the rearview mirror.” So how do you overcome all of those terrible experiences and feelings and stay focused on the future? That will be a hard task for Libya. But I know you can do it.

Oh my goodness. Let’s see, how many more questions do we have? Let me see here. I want to be sure to be fair in getting as many as possible. Let me – this man right there, yep, and then I’ll come to you next, okay?

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) (Inaudible) from the library and information section (inaudible) from the removal of (inaudible) that caused disturbance not only to Libyans, but to the entire world because I did the documentation and archivals. My question is: What can be a helpful exchange between our two countries, especially with information management and libraries, and indexation such as for instance having something like the Library of Congress is very famous in the whole world, such (inaudible) has to do with all the departments of a university. How can you help us with this kind of expertise? And thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Could you repeat the question?

INTERPRETER: Yes. The question pertains, Madam Secretary, to his field. He works in the archival and library and information management of libraries. He’s very fascinated with the Library of Congress type of proto model and was wondering how could the United States help his university, his section – he’s with the entire university – how could the United States offer such expertise to this field, which is very important in information management and libraries and index section.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I will look into that. I think it’s a very good question, and I will, again, take it back to the United States. I will speak with our archivists and our library experts. You’re right that the Library of Congress is a magnificent institution, and we’ll see if we can provide some specific support for your information systems here. So I hope that you will contact – I hope that the young dentist and I hope you, sir, will come down and introduce yourself to our ambassador so we can follow up with each of you, okay? Good.

And yes, uh-huh.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think she’ll wait, and then once you’ve asked the question, she’ll translate the whole question so we can hear it more easily.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Madam Secretary, my question that pertains to the following: We believe that there is a new political philosophy for our country, that is, what is referred to usually as a liberalcrat or something to that effect. Do you believe that such a philosophy can happen here, and how can we promote it and make it happen?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am not an expert on any particular new philosophy, so I cannot address the specific question you asked me. I can only tell you that I think there will be room for many philosophies in the new Libya, because people will present points of view and you will be able to test them and argue about them and present your case about them. And I think through that kind of exchange of views in the political process, in the media, in the university, you can come to what are the best answers for Libya.

So you may have one philosophy and someone sitting over here may have a different philosophy, but the two of you together perhaps can come up with ways of presenting your views that will help move Libya forward. And I think that should be the goal of everyone. What will make – at the end of your efforts, are the people of Libya better off when you stopped than when you started? Is the country coming together or pulling apart? Are you creating a political and economic model that will be sustainable over the generations?

Those should be the questions I would hope you would keep in mind. Are we making lives better through what we are doing? Are we bringing people together? Are we creating systems that will truly stand the test of time? And I think every philosophy should be judged against those kinds of questions.

Yes, young woman right there? Yeah.

MODERATOR: We will have one more time for questioning.

SECRETARY CLINTON: This – okay, I’ve called on this woman, the second row, second seat here. There you go.

MODERATOR: Will you please pass the –

QUESTION: Hi, (inaudible) from the Voice of Libyan Women. I was wondering, as a woman who fought her way into politics on your own, what’s your opinion about quota?

SECRETARY CLINTON: About what?

QUESTION: Quota.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Quotas. That’s never been an issue in my country, but it has been an issue in many countries and I think that there are many systems where quotas have been absolutely necessary in order for women to get their foot in the door. So I would suggest that you and your colleagues look at all the different kinds of quota systems. There are quota systems in India, there are quota systems in many countries in Africa, in other places in Asia. So there are many countries which made the decision that in order to ensure that women were – women’s voices were at the table, there had to be seats set aside for women. And I think that makes a lot of sense in many different countries.

So I would urge you to do a study, look at what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, and where the results have made it possible for more women to participate in political life. And it very well might work here in Libya because you’re starting from a new system and nobody is an expert in it. It’s going to be brand new. And I think you want to be sure that women’s voices are not eliminated from the very beginning of your democratic process because it would be hard to catch up.

So I think I would favor some form for Libya to start with, but I don’t have an opinion about what that would look like. You would have to design it.

QUESTION: I have a question.

You know what? There are so many hands that are up and –

MODERATOR: Sorry about that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me, if I may, Mr. President. If you will do this, Ambassador Cretz, will you stand up and will people who work with you at our Embassy, will you raise your hand? Any of our people from the Embassy, if you give your question to any of these men and women who work at our Embassy, I will answer your question and they will get the answer back to you, but – and I know there are about a hundred left, so I will do that to all of you. Thank you. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Okay. We would like to thank very much, Your Excellency. Time is running out. And welcome back again to Libya. Thank you so much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I hope to come back to the new Libya. Thank you. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Okay. This is a promise. This is a promise, okay? (Applause.)

Thank you very much, President Krekshi and to all the deans and faculty and students of Tripoli University. Good afternoon. I am deeply honored to be here with you today. I appreciate greatly the president’s kind words about the support that our government provided. But the victory is yours, the future is yours, and it is a personal honor to be here in the heart of a liberated Tripoli, speaking to a brave generation of Libyans.

 


Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril

SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress) on the soil of a free Libya. And on behalf of the American people I congratulate all Libyans. It is a great privilege to see a new future for Libya being born. And indeed, the work ahead is quite challenging, but the Libyan people have demonstrated the resolve and resilience necessary to achieve their goals.

Think about what has been achieved already. In crowded squares and mountain passes, Libyans stood up against a dictator’s aggression, and claimed the rights and dignity of a free people. Libyans were called rats by their own leaders and they were confronted by every possible tactic to break your spirit. But no threats dimmed the courage of the Libyan people. The United States was proud to stand with you, and we will continue to stand with you as you continue this journey, respecting your sovereignty and honoring our friendship. This is Libya’s moment. This is Libya’s victory and the future belongs to you.

The United States knows something about revolution and liberty. That is how our nation was born more than 230 years ago. And we know that democracy takes time; it will not be easy or quick. But we are filled with admiration for what you have already accomplished and confident in your ability to move forward.

Now, we recognize that the fighting, the bloody fighting, continues. We know that Qadhafi and those close to him are still at large. But the NATO and international coalition that came together on your behalf will continue to protect Libyan civilians until the threat from Qadhafi and those who hang to the past is ended.

In our meetings today, the chairman, prime minister, and their colleagues shared with us their plans for establishing an inclusive democracy in Libya. We agreed that the Libyan people deserve a nation governed by the rule of law, not the whims of men. We believe you deserve a government that represents all Libyans from all parts of the country and all backgrounds, including women and young people. We believe you deserve a transparent and fair judicial system. We also are convinced that revenge and vigilantism have no place in the new Libya.

And we believe you deserve an economy that delivers jobs, dignity, and opportunities to all Libyans – not just to the powerful and connected. We also share your concern about caring for the wounded and the families of the fallen, about securing weapons that may have gone missing, about integrating all the various revolutionary forces into a new and unified Libyan military.

Libya is blessed with wealth and resources, most particularly the human resources of the Libyan people. And there is a pressing need, as I was told today, for international expertise and technical assistance. That is why we welcome the idea of a joint committee between Libya and the United States to look at the priorities that the Libyans themselves have.

I am pleased that we are working together to return billions of dollars of frozen assets and that we have reopened our Embassy. We will stay focused on security: I am pleased to announce that we are going to put even more money into helping Libya secure and destroy dangerous stockpiles of weapons. And the Administration, working with Congress, is going to provide $40 million to support this effort. We will also work with Libya to destroy chemical weapons stocks.

We want to expand our economic cooperation with Libya, to create new educational and cultural exchanges and deepen our engagement with civil society. First, we will launch this new partnership to provide care to your wounded. It deeply moves us that so many people dropped whatever they were doing to fight for their freedom – engineers and teachers, doctors and business leaders, students, and so many others. We plan to evacuate some of the most seriously injured to specialized medical facilities in the United States. We want to help you care for your patients here in Libya, so we will work together to establish a modern medical management system and to provide needed supplies and equipment.

We are also very focused on the young people of Libya who have the most to gain from this new freedom. And today I am pleased to announce we are resuming the Fulbright program and doubling its size to permit even more Libyan students to study and train in my country. We will also open new English language classes across Libya for young people and provide special training for Libyan veterans with disabilities because of their combat experience.

We are increasing grants and training to new civil society organizations and working with Libyan women to make sure they have the skills and opportunities to participate fully in the political and economic life of their countries.

And as with the transitions in Tunisia and Egypt, we will partner with Libya to create new economic opportunities and broader prosperity by boosting trade and investment, increasing tourism, building ties between Libyan and American businesses, and helping to integrate Libya more closely into regional and global markets.

This list is just a beginning, because we want to hear from the Libyan people, from the new government that will be established after Libya is fully liberated. But we think we share a lot of the same aspirations for our families and our countries and that we have a lot to learn from each other and give to each other.

Later, I will be meeting with students and civil and society leaders at Tripoli University, talking and listening to the young people of Libya, because it is to all of them that we dedicate our efforts on your behalf.

So again, prime minister, let me thank you for your warm welcome, and thanks to the people of Libya. And we give you our very best wishes and promise our best efforts as you undertake this journey to a new democracy. (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER JIBRIL: Thank you, your Excellency.

MODERATOR: (In Arabic.)

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by saying that I personally and the Government of the United States supports human rights everywhere for everyone. And we advocate that not only to governments but also through civil society and work to try to support the opportunities and aspirations of every individual to live up to his or her God-given potential. So we have spoken out. We will continue to speak out.

But different circumstances demand different kinds of responses, and the opportunity now in Libya is to not only chart a new future for Libyans but to stand as a model for democracy and freedom that was won with the blood of your martyrs is an extraordinary chance that comes perhaps only once in human history. So we think that what Libya has before it, the opportunity to make good on the promise of the revolution, is of the utmost importance, and that is why we are standing ready to work closely with the new Government of Libya and with the people of Libya.

We have and will continue to speak out to our friends, who we believe should do more on behalf of women and women’s rights – and I have said that many times – and with those with whom we have very serious differences, who are preventing the full aspirations and freedom of their people to flourish. But today, I am here to talk about Libya and Libya’s future and the hope that not only the United States but the world has invested in the future that Libyans will make for themselves.

MODERATOR: (In Arabic.)

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, Mister Prime Minister, how concerned are you about the possibility of civil war here, or any lengthy ongoing conflict with pro-Qadhafi forces? And also, could you both comment on what you believe should happen to the convicted Lockerbie bomber? Should he go back to prison?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think, first of all, we are encouraged by the commitment of the Transitional National Council to taking the steps necessary to bring the country together. National unity is one of the highest priorities that Libya faces right now. And we discussed the process of forging a new democratic interim government that is transparent, inclusive, and consultative. And how that is done will, of course, depend upon the decisions that the Libyan people themselves make.

But from long experience, one factor we know must be confronted is unifying the various militias into a single military that represents the Libyan people and government. And the Transitional National Council is very focused on doing just that. They want to get all the militias under national command. They want to prevent reprisals and secure the stocks of weaponry that have come off the battlefield or have been discovered from the previous regime. And we think that the programs that the Transitional National Council have outlined to pay to the families of the fallen martyrs, to prepare programs and treatment and training for those who have served, are exactly what will be needed. Getting a national army and a police force under civilian command is essential. And the United Nations, the United States, and other partners stand ready to do that. But we are still at the point where liberation has not yet been claimed because of the ongoing conflicts that persist, and of course, the continuing freedom of action of Qadhafi and those around him. So the Transitional National Council has to put security first. There has to be a resolution of the conflict before many of these programs can actually be put into action. And I really believe that all members of all militias must see the benefit of joining the new government, of pledging allegiance, as we say in my country, to the new government.

You know, I come from a very diverse country. We fought a civil war, and it was horrible. It was the war in which more Americans died at each other’s hands than any other, and we lived with the consequences for decades afterwards. In today’s world, in the 21st century, that will just throw a people further behind history. So I know that the leadership understands that. They are focused on doing everything they can to end the fighting, to declare the liberation of the country, to form a new government, and to begin to pull the entire country together. So we will do everything we can to respond to that.

And we have made, of course, our strong views known about Megrahi, and I have said, many times, that we believe that he should never have been released. I raised this issue again with the leadership here. We – and we recognize the magnitude of all the issues that Libya is facing, but we also know the importance of the rule of law, and they have assured us they understand how strongly the United States feels about this and all the sensitivities around this case. We will continue to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. This is an open case in the United States Department of Justice, and we will continue to discuss it with our Libyan counterparts.

QUESTION: Does the United States –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Will you talk in the microphone so the press can hear you, sir? Thank you.

QUESTION: You hear me now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) from Libya Al Hurra TV. Will the United States consider cooperating with the Libyan Islamists on delivering political process for Libya? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: The democracy that takes root in Libya must be reflective of the aspirations of the people of Libya, not the desires or dictates of any outside group. So with respect to Libyans themselves, we will support a process of democratizing that respects the rule of law; that respects the rights of minorities and women and young people; that creates independent institutions, like a free press and an independent judiciary. Groups and individuals who really believe in democracy should be welcome into that process. But groups that want to undermine democracy or subvert it are going to have to be dealt with by the Libyans themselves.

There are people – and I’ve been working in this area for many years, even as a private citizen and as a United States senator. There are many people who say they support elections, but only if they get elected. They want one election, one time, and then if they are elected no more elections. So these are all the kinds of challenges that Libyans will face in putting together their democracy. But people must renounce violence, they must give up arms, they must be committed to a democracy that respects the rights of all. And then, of course, you have an inclusive democracy that includes people, but they must be committed to the goals of a true democracy.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I’d like to take you a bit east of here. Today, Gilad Shalit has returned home after more than five years in captivity, and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been released as well. I was wondering whether you could give us your reaction to the deal struck between Israel and Hamas and how that fits in, if at all, with your wider efforts to resume peace talks, for example, in the Middle East. And also slightly connected to this, we are hearing reports that the American Israeli citizen, Ilan Grapel, who’s been detained in Egypt on charges of spying, may be released. I was wondering whether you could confirm that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, we are pleased that a long ordeal, being held five years as a hostage, has ended for Gilad Shalit and he’s been released and finally reunited with his family. He was held for far too long in captivity. And we are also hopeful that Ilan Grapel will similarly be released. We see no basis for any legal action against him.

And of course, we are hopeful that there will be a return to negotiations by the Israelis and the Palestinians by the end of this month, as outlined by the Quartet statement.

So we continue to be very focused on working toward a two-state outcome that would give the Palestinian people the same rights that the Libyan people are now obtaining to chart their own destiny and make their own way in life with their own goals and aspirations being fulfilled, and that Israel would have secure borders and could contribute to the prosperity of the larger region. So we remain focused on that and we’ll continue to work toward those outcomes.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Prime Minister Jibril is smiling because I have raised it every time I have seen him and every time that I have seen Chairman Jalil and all of the Libyan officials with whom I have met over the last many months.

I would make three points. First, no country can become a democracy, no economy can develop as fully as it could, if half the population is not included. And the women of Libya have the same rights as their brothers and their husbands and their fathers and their sons to help build a new Libya. So we are very committed and very outspoken about what we hope will be the full inclusion of women in a democratic future.

Secondly, women also sacrificed in this revolution. Women were in the streets. Women were supporting the fighters. Women were sending their sons and their husbands off to an uncertain future, and many will never see them again. So women have sacrificed. They may not have been on the front lines holding a weapon, but they were holding together the society and supporting those who were fighting for Libya’s independence. So they have earned the right to be part of Libya’s future.

And finally, there is an opportunity here that I hope Libya will seize. I believe because you have won your freedom – no one handed it to you, you fought for it and you won it – that you will find it in your hearts to demonstrate to the entire world that Libya is not only free, but Libya is equal, Libya believes in the rule of law, Libya will educate all of their boys and girls to take their rightful places in the world. I would hope that I could come back to a free, democratic Libya in a few years, and it would be a shining example of what is possible when free people make their own choices.

So I cannot imagine how that could come to pass if women are not given the right to serve their country, to run their businesses, to be educated to the best of their abilities. So I will certainly look to ways that the United States can support the women in Libya to be able to take their rightful places in this new democratic future.

Thank you.

MODERATOR: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.

 


Secretary Clinton’s Interview With Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s Today Show

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you so much for doing this.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is a pleasure, Savannah, and welcome to the State Department.

QUESTION: Thank you. Let’s talk about the news of the day, this plot by some members of the Quds Force to take out the Saudi ambassador at a restaurant here in Washington. I guess the question today is: How high does this go? Do we know that the top levels of the Iranian Government were aware of this plot?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me add my word of congratulations to our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, who once again have proven their extraordinary professionalism and disrupting this plot, which was a major accomplishment.

We think that this was conceived and directed from Tehran. We know that it goes to a certain level within the Quds Force, which is part of the Revolutionary Guard, which is the military wing of the Iranian Government. And we know that this was in the making and there was a lot of communication between the defendants and others in Tehran.

So we’re going to let the evidence unfold, but the important point to make is that this just is in violation of international norms. It is a state-sponsored act of terror, and the world needs to speak out strongly against it.

QUESTION: It’s very brazen, as you mentioned, which suggests the Iranians didn’t particularly fear retaliation by the U.S.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s a little hard to tell what was really going on, why this was given a seal of approval, why there was a go-ahead from Tehran, whether within their military and their government the kinds of the debates and divisions that we are now watching unfold – because it’s difficult to know who is actually making the decisions. Was this for political purposes? Was this just a crazy idea that got out of hand?

QUESTION: Do you think the ayatollah ordered it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t know. We don’t know and I’m not going to speculate. But I am going to say that the Iranian Government has to take responsibility, because it was clearly done by, directed by, elements within the Iranian Government.

QUESTION: On Pakistan, the President, you, have repeatedly said the way to win in Afghanistan is to root out terrorism in Pakistan. To the extent that diplomatic efforts have failed to do so, is it time to consider military action against the terrorists in Pakistan? Is that being considered?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Savannah, we have a very complex and challenging relationship with Pakistan, but we have interests that are very much in line with America’s national security and Pakistani security. So we have a lot of cooperation that I think does deserve to be given some attention. We do a lot of work with the Pakistanis against terrorists. Of course, we acted unilaterally to take out bin Ladin. We will always act in America’s interest.

But what we want to see is more cooperation from the Pakistanis themselves. And we’ve seen some, but not enough.

QUESTION: To the extent cooperation has failed and diplomacy has failed, at what point does the U.S. say we are going to take unilateral action in Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we don’t want to open up another military conflict, and we certainly don’t want to wage a war on top of the ones we are currently involved in and beginning to wrap up. But we do expect the Pakistanis – and this has been delivered at the highest levels and we have set forth specific requests about what we would like to see them do – and we get some cooperation, but not enough. And that’s going to be continuing as a topic of intense negotiations between us.

QUESTION: On Afghanistan, we just had the anniversary, ten years of this war, ten years since you voted to authorize military force there. If you had known ten years ago that we would still be in it, that we’d have the fragile gains we have, would you have cast the same vote?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would have, because the plot against the United States emanated from Afghanistan. The Taliban gave safe haven to al Qaida in Afghanistan. We had to retaliate. And in doing so, we brought much of the rest of the world – NATO and other countries – with us, because it was viewed as a threat to international security.

Now, in hindsight, there are decisions that I wish had been made or had been made earlier or with more commitment. I think President Obama made the right decision when he came into the White House to add to troops to essentially reverse the momentum of the Taliban, and we have done that.

And it’s easy to underestimate what has been accomplished. Life is a lot better for many Afghans, particularly for women, for young people. Infant mortality is down, economic activity is up, and lots of different kinds of criteria to demonstrate progress has been made.

And if you look at the last two and a half years under this Administration’s policy, certainly the Taliban is on the ropes. They are always going to keep fighting. Well, we’re going to keep fighting and killing them because they pose a threat to us and a threat to Afghanistan. But they’re also willing to begin some kind of process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-managed which we’re going to support.

QUESTION: The U.S. obviously continues to have deep struggles economically. I wondered if that makes your job harder. Do world leaders smell weakness in this country? Do they see an America that’s in decline?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, if they do, they’re badly mistaken, because our country is not only the leader of the world, but we are expected to be by countless nations around the globe. And yes, we have challenges here at home, but these are challenges that we can meet. I’m very confident and optimistic about what America is capable of. I’ve lived through in my life a lot of ups and downs in our country, but you can never count America out and you should never bet against America.

So we do have to get our own house in order – our economic house, our political house – but at the same time we cannot abdicate leadership around the world because when we do it does come back to bite us. So I’m very much in the frame of explaining to Americans who are struggling, who have lost a job or have been foreclosed on, all the terrible things that are happening right here in our own country, why while we fix what’s wrong here domestically we cannot give up on American leadership around the world.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about your tenure as Secretary of State. I was thinking about something that, actually, Ambassador Holbrook said to me a while back. He said it’s a big job but not a good job. (Laughter.) Is being Secretary of State a big job or a good job?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think it’s both. I know what Dick Holbrook meant, because he was such a foremost American diplomat. It’s an impossible job, because in the world we live in, it is 24/7, there is no respite. Where we used to be able to in the Cold War kind of manage relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, or when we looked at the challenges that we faced in the 20th century from start to finish, a fight against totalitarianism, there were relatively few power players. Now it’s a much more diverse set of actors on the international scene.

So I would like to say okay, I think I’ll just concentrate on the Middle East, on our relations with China, on the reset with Russia. Okay, well then what about everybody else and everything that they’re doing, and the importance of other countries, other regions, to our future? For example, Latin America is one of the most important regions to America’s future. We have more trade with our friends in Latin America than anywhere else in the world. We have democratic values in common with the vast majority of countries. So we can’t afford to say okay, well fine, we’re not going to be engaged in and working on these issues. We have to be open to being a part of making the world better everywhere. And that is a big challenge.

QUESTION: What’s the quality that you have that you didn’t know you would need as Secretary of State?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have traveled more than 600,000 miles, and you would think in the 21st century where we have instantaneous communication, where I can have a videoconference halfway around the world, that you wouldn’t be expected to travel as much. But in fact, I think people want you to show up even more. America has to show up, and I very proudly represent our country when I show up. So being on that airplane, making those visits, having those negotiations and discussions, is a very demanding part of the job, but necessary.

QUESTION: Why are you good at this job?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I hope I’m good at it. I think I understand not just the headlines – what are the crises of the moment. You asked about the Iranian plot. Obviously, that’s taken up a lot of my time, the time of my top staff. But it’s not just the headlines. It’s the trend lines. Where is the world going economically? How do we inject economic issues into diplomacy? How do we use 21st century technology so that we’re able to communicate not just with governments but with farmers in Africa, with women seeking their rights in Asia? How do we continue working on big issues like nonproliferation, even though it may not be in the headlines?

So I try to keep a kind of dual track going at all times. What are the immediate, urgent, even emergency issues that I have to deal with, but I don’t want to forget what’s going to matter to you and my daughter next year, five years, ten years? What’s going to happen to, for example, water and food? We’re having shortages; we’re having challenges for both. Climate change, despite the deniers, is real and is affecting how people interact with each other.

So I think it’s, for me, a real honor but it’s also a real challenge and one that I take to my heart because I feel so strongly that America has to lead and America’s leadership is absolutely indispensable.

QUESTION: You obviously know the policy inside and out, and you love the policy. What gets old about the job?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have to say, Savannah, just getting on and off the airplanes. I mean, that’s challenging and very tiring. But other than that, nothing gets old because no two days are the same. My inbox is filled with all kinds of reports from everywhere in the world. And maybe one day I’m thinking about what’s going to happen in the Arctic as the ice retreats and you can have greater navigation. How do we prevent spills of oil if we start drilling in the Arctic? And then I might be thinking about what do we do in Sub-Saharan Africa to try to increase how we help people with AIDS, TB, and malaria? It’s never the same, literally from hour to hour, which is why the job is so exciting for me.

QUESTION: You mentioned technology. I have to wonder, do you – how many people have your personal email address? Do you use your BlackBerry a lot? Do you like technology?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do.

QUESTION: Are you good at it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m okay. For someone of my generation, I’m okay. But no, I have a lot of security restraints on what I can and can’t do. But I do try to stay in touch as much as possible, and electronically is by far the easiest way to do that.

QUESTION: Are you a BlackBerry addict?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m an aficionado. I’m not sure about the addict part.

QUESTION: You mentioned all the travel. Not every Secretary has traveled like that. Why do you keep that pace? I mean, is someone pushing you to take all those trips?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, it’s because I think it’s important. When I first became Secretary of State, one of the reports that I took very seriously was this idea in Asia that because we’d been so focused on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan – understandably so because we had our young men and women at risk in those places – I heard that people in Asia thought we were kind of giving up on being a Pacific power. So I immediately went there, and I’ve gone back and back and back, because I think it’s important not just to go once and kind of wave and have the meetings and not return, but to build those relationships and to look for ways that we can not just have the United States present, but in a position to help manage some of the upcoming problems that we know are just over the horizon.

And that’s true everywhere in the world. So, nobody is saying, “Okay, you need to go here and you need to go there.” I’m thinking through where can I have impact; where do I need to be; does America have to have a role in this, or can we hand it off to others? And that’s a constant evaluation I’m engaged in.

QUESTION: What is the Hillary doctrine? Do you have a grand sweeping strategy or vision that you could articulate in a sentence?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I believe strongly in the United States of America. I believe in our values. I believe our values represent the greatest accomplishment in political history and the history of the world, and those values are not just American values. So I believe the United States has both an opportunity and obligation to make clear around the world that democracy and freedom, free market economies that are open, and meritocracies, providing support for people’s human rights and those fundamental badges of liberty that we know enhance your God-given potential, that’s who we are as a people.

And so through our diplomacy and our development work, are we protecting America’s security? Yes. We are full partners with our military in doing that. Are we promoting our interests and our values? Absolutely. Because it’s not only that we’re the strongest military, we are the strongest economy, but are also the strongest value statement about what human beings can achieve if we are organized appropriately.

QUESTION: You only have a certain amount of time left in this position. What’s the one thing you want to be able to point to and have people be able to say, “Hillary Clinton left it better than she found it”?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Despite very difficult circumstances when President Obama and I started our jobs, we have reasserted American leadership. We are clearly going to lead. And we are going to lead, despite budget difficulties. We are going to lead, despite other countries coming to the forefront and having an opportunity themselves to achieve a better future for their people. We are going to lead because America is destined to lead. And that was not always so, and I think even today some people are saying, “Well, you’re on your economic back heels. Your political system is not functioning.” So America’s values are enduring, and our durability as a nation that people look to, admire, and wish to exemplify is, for me, just permanent. But we need to continue working on it because leadership is not bestowed. It has to be earned, and it has to be earned by every generation and by every political administration in our country.

QUESTION: You mentioned President Obama. So many people are curious about your relationship. You went from arch political rivals to now allies in this Administration. You have to be honest, though; it was certainly awkward at first, wasn’t it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Savannah, of course, because we had had a hard-fought election. And I wanted to beat him, and he ended up beating me and then was elected president. But one of the points that I make as I travel around the world – and it’s always takes people by surprise, because where countries are transitioning to democracy – put aside the ones that don’t have democracy, they’re autocracies or somebody or some group, small group of people, decide who’s going to lead.

But in countries that are either striving for democracy or on the brink of achieving it, when I say, look, I ran against President Obama. He ran against me. He beat me. He asked me to serve our country and him in his Administration. Why? Because we both love our country. So I said yes. Because at the end of the day, we have to be bigger than politics, personal politics or partisan politics.

QUESTION: Are you –

SECRETARY CLINTON: People really gasp at that when I tell them anywhere in the world. They kind of think, “Gee, could our leaders do that?” So it’s been an incredible experience.

QUESTION: Do you think you’re in the inner circle?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think on the issues that I work on in the national security arena, absolutely.

QUESTION: Does he ever ask you for political advice?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, every so often, but I keep that to myself.

QUESTION: Are you – as a woman, I know this matters a lot to you. I’m sure you’ve heard the persistent – not really rumors, but I’m sure you’ve heard the criticism that it’s a little bit of an old boy’s club over there at the White House. You ever see that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m in such a different position being in the cabinet and having a one-on-one relationship with the President on these important issues. So I think that everywhere – in Washington, in America, and around the world – can do better when it comes to empowering women. And so I think that that certainly is the President’s view with his wife and his two daughters; he’s very committed to that.

QUESTION: If you Google yourself today – you ever Google yourself?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t. I’m a little worried about that. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Yeah. If you Googled yourself today, you would find suggestions that perhaps you would be Vice President, that you could – there would be a switcheroo, and that you might possibly be the Vice President and Biden would come over here as Secretary of State. Is there any chance you would be Vice President in a second term?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. There is not.

QUESTION: Is it in the realm of possibility?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do not think it’s even in the realm of possibility and in large measure because I think Vice President Biden has done an amazingly good job. He has taken on the burden of selling the economic plan, of traveling the country, of answering people’s questions.

QUESTION: Has anyone ever raised this possibility to you?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. I just – I think it’s maybe a subject for speculation on Google, but it’s not a serious issue in the Administration.

QUESTION: Will you run for President in 2016?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. Savannah, I’m very privileged to have had the opportunities to serve my country. And I am really old-fashioned; I feel like I’ve made my contribution, I’ve done the best I can, but now I want to try some other things. I want to get back to writing and maybe some teaching, working on women and girls around the world.

QUESTION: But Secretary Clinton, politics is in your blood. People will not believe that you are closing the door and locking it on running for office ever again.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they’ll have to just watch and wait. Because I really think it’s time for me to move on beyond high-level political and public service. I’ve been at the highest reaches of American politics and now global politics for 20 years, and I have made my contribution. I’m very grateful I’ve had a chance to serve, but I think it’s time for others to step up.

QUESTION: Are you definitely going to leave after the first term?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I have made it clear that, of course, I’ll wait until the President has a nominee who’s confirmed, because I assume and believe the President will be reelected, and the work that we are doing will continue. And that gives me a great deal of comfort, because I think we are on the right track and that there are a lot of important issues that we are pushing forward on. But then I will leave.

QUESTION: Back to the President thing for a minute. What if Democrats came to you in 2016 and said, “You are the highest-profile Democrat. You are the only person who can help us get the White House,” perhaps win the White House back at that point. Would you not, as a patriot, say, “Okay, I’ll do it for my country”? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would say I will back whoever our nominee is and I will do so strongly. And we have a lot of people waiting in the wings who I think will be terrific Democratic standard bearers.

QUESTION: One title I know you seek to have one of these days is grandmother.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. You figured that out. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: But I notice that Chelsea has been doing more events. We saw her a couple of weeks ago doing an event with you. She definitely has the Clinton touch. Do you think she has the Clinton bug for politics?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know. I don’t have any reason to believe that. I think she does have the public service bug. That seems to be in our DNA. I think she wants to help make a difference and she wants to use the experiences and opportunities she’s been given during the course of her life to figure out what her own contribution will be.

QUESTION: And what do you think life will be like when, after twenty years in politics, it will be you and the former President at home, sitting around?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I mean, obviously, we’re going to be very active. We have foundation work and Bill’s incredible invention of the Clinton Global Initiative, and I’m going to be looking at ways that I can continue to promote what I care a lot about, particularly the rights and opportunities for women and girls around the world, and other related matters. But it is something that I’m really looking forward to enjoying.
When I get to go home on the weekends, which is not often enough, it’s just great to be doing as little as possible, taking long walks, just taking a deep breath. And I think after this twenty years that will be very welcome.

QUESTION: What do you think of this vegan diet he’s got going?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It works for him. And he – I have to say, Savannah, he has rarely gotten so much reaction since he left the White House as when he talked about it because he basically said, “Look, I mean, some people are more vulnerable to heart problems than other people,” and so he reversed his diet, but he felt like he needed to go even further, and he thinks it’s working for him.

QUESTION: Last thing, because I’m getting the look over here. (Laughter.) There’s been a lot of rumblings lately, particularly among Democrats, as the President’s fortunes politically have fallen, that it should have been Hillary and that she would have done a better job. And I guess that’s got to feel good. It can’t feel bad.

SECRETARY CLINTON: You know what? It feels irrelevant to me because a decision was made. I think the President has done an excellent job under the most difficult circumstances. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for making a lot of the tough decisions that he had to make that he inherited when he came into office.

QUESTION: You don’t feel vindicated by all that talk that Hillary would have done a better job?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. Because I mean everybody comes into any office with their strengths and their weaknesses, with their areas of expertise and what they have to learn. Everybody does. Everybody comes to that. And I think the President will be reelected because I think when he’s actually running against somebody, the American people will say, “Well, wait a minute, we’re going through hard times, but his solutions, his analysis of the problem makes a lot more sense, and we’re going to give him a second term to finish the job.”

QUESTION: Well, Dick Cheney thought you would do a good job. (Laughter.) Bill Maher said, “She knows how to deal with difficult men.” (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well –

QUESTION: Do you feel vindicated?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. Look, I feel – maybe because I have been at this and do have twenty years of work behind me, I feel like this is all predictable; that we’re living in times that are hard to navigate; the politics and polices are difficult – if they were easy, everybody would be in agreement – and that we need leadership that’s willing to make hard decisions and willing to confront the American political system with the choices. And I think the President has done that.

QUESTION: And your political popularity is at its zenith. This is, I think, you’re ninth year running as Gallup’s most admired woman. You’re the most popular member of this Administration. But I’m sure you can remember back to a time when that always – wasn’t always the case. How do you explain that change?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Savannah, that’s why I think having a longer sort of historical view helps me a lot. Because I never get as inflated as the praise or the positive numbers and feelings would lead me, and I never get as deflated as the criticism might suggest, because your fortunes in public life go up and down. That is just the nature of the beast.

QUESTION: But you haven’t changed?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t think I have changed. But I think that people have maybe gotten to know me better. They’ve seen me in more settings. They’ve watched me closely. And for that I’m grateful, because I really try to get up every day and just figure out what’s the best way I can serve my country. And I go back to this idea of look, it’s – it maybe is old-fashioned, but I want to encourage young people who are watching you to think about ways of serving and to raise your voices. I am fully in favor of people being deep into the political debate. And now with the internet, there are so many ways we’ve got to do it.

But at the end of the debate, decisions have to be made, and sometimes compromise is required. So whether you’re on the right or the left, you cannot believe you have the only truth. That’s not the way a democracy works. That’s not the way our country has succeeded. You have to listen to each other, and yes, you have to find compromise. And those of us who are particularly blessed and fortunate, we do have to think of ways to give back to this extraordinary country that has helped us become who we are.

So these are real rock-bottom values that I was raised with by my small businessman father and my dear mother, and I want to keep trying to convey to not only our American audience but the worldwide audience why I believe so deeply in the American enterprise. And I’m going to do that for as long as I have a chance to in whatever setting I am in.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much.

QUESTION: It was wonderful to talk to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Wonderful to talk to you. Thank you.

 


Assistant Secretary Camuñez on Good Governance in the OSCE Region

(Remarks as prepared for delivery at the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 3: Good Governance)

The United States has viewed with keen interest the evolving discussions in recent years on what the OSCE’s priorities should be in the Economic and Environmental Dimension. As our friend and colleague Mr. Svilanovic pointed out during last year’s Vienna Review Conference, we appear to have come to an appreciation that good governance is the key linking theme across the entire second dimension. The Maastricht Strategy is very clear on this point: “Good public and corporate governance and strong institutions are essential foundations for a sound economy, which can attract investments, and thereby enable States to reduce poverty and inequality, to increase social integration and opportunities for all and to protect the environment. Good governance at all levels contributes to prosperity, stability and security.” As we consider the implementation of our second dimension commitments, we should keep in mind why it is important to implement those commitments.

The global economic downturn continues to put extreme pressure on people and governments across the OSCE region. To be sure, some countries have weathered the storm better than others. Still, no country can be forever immune to market forces, and even within those that have done well, there are always citizens left behind. This is a question we are trying to answer now in the United States: how do we get people back to work? We all know that trade and investment are critical drivers of economic growth. So the next question is, if growth is hindered by decreased trade and investment, what can be done to support these economic engines? The answer must include good governance.

Weak governance and lack of transparency constitute non-tariff barriers to trade, which we have committed ourselves to eliminating. Furthermore, the same issues that deter trade and investment also work against comprehensive security: a lack of transparency in governance leads to diminished confidence that problems and disputes will be addressed in a fair and impartial manner. Without trust and confidence in public institutions, there is little incentive for investors and companies to pursue trade deals or direct investment in those economies. The effect is stagnating economic performance, which we have seen in the past several months and years can lead to political upheaval.

The United States Government is deeply committed to fostering good governance and transparency in its political and economic institutions. President Obama has made the global fight against corruption a top priority. As he has noted, “In too many places, the culture of the bribe is a brake on development and prosperity. It discourages entrepreneurship, destroys public trust, and undermines the rule of law while stifling economic growth. With a new commitment to strengthening and enforcing rules against corruption, economic opportunity and prosperity will be more broadly shared. “For the global economy, corruption is dangerous. No matter where – or how – it happens, the corrosive result is the same: stalled development, loss of public trust, and distorted competition.

The World Bank estimates that more than one trillion dollars in bribes are paid each year out of a global economy of approximately 30 trillion dollars. That’s an incredible three percent of the world’s economy. Between 2005 and 2009, at least 305 contracts worth more than $230 million were allegedly affected by the bribery of foreign public officials. In 2009, companies lost nearly $30 billion to bribers, for deals for which the outcome is known.

Corruption is a global problem that knows no borders. And that’s why corruption demands a truly global response – one that knows no limits on collaboration. Because corruption is a significant non-tariff barrier, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration (ITA) are committed, under my leadership, to working with our trading partners to level the playing field and to promote transparent and corruption-free markets globally. Our work to promote clean and ethical business environments occurs at both the multilateral and bilateral level. At the multilateral level, the ITA is pressing its counterparts to lead by example and to implement comprehensive anti-corruption measures.

The United States has participated actively at the OECD as a member of its Working Group on Bribery, responsible for monitoring whether countries that are parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention are living up to their commitments to implement the Convention and enforce their foreign bribery laws. Many of our peers who are Parties of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention need to step up enforcement of their laws, and ensure that their companies do not bribe public officials while conducting business overseas.

This past Fall, the United States was instrumental in persuading the G20 countries to adopt a comprehensive anti-corruption action plan, which includes a commitment focused on adoption and robust enforcement of anti-bribery laws, implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, greater engagement with the private sector, and support for transparency mechanisms, to name a few. Many of these commitments require our G20 partners to enact and implement new laws and preventive measures.

ITA, in particular, took the lead on proposals relating to the private sector and also on whistleblower protection, within the G20. Corporations from G20 countries engage in a large percentage of global trade and economic activity. It is vital for us to seek the partnership of these corporations to combat corruption.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has also been committed to fostering strong private sector integrity as an integral part of promoting good governance in markets worldwide. Companies are global corporate citizens, and as such, can work collectively and with governments to foster trust, and promote transparency.

As I mentioned during my opening remarks yesterday, the United States, led by the Department of Commerce, has championed business ethics and corporate governance reform since the early 1990s, following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Our Business Ethics Manual has been translated into Chinese, Spanish and Russian and is still one of the most widely used resources on this important topic. We have partnered with business associations and chambers of commerce to develop collective action and business ethics program in many markets.

Our work on business ethics has grown. This past year, the ITA has focused on trying to heighten awareness of good governance, transparency and business ethics in sectors of vital importance to many economies – by taking a “sectoral” approach to combating corruption and promoting good business practice, the challenge of dealing with corruption becomes less daunting. The ethical issues specific to different industries vary greatly – and there is no one size fits all approach to the problem. Within the G20, for example, the United States, at the initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has taken the lead in calling for the G20 to endorse additional sectoral approaches to fighting corruption, beyond the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). We have asked G20 governments, for example, to consider supporting the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (COST) – a new multi-stakeholder initiative, developed by the World Bank. COST uses similar approaches to EITI to promote greater transparency in public infrastructure projects and government procurement. I hope that the OSCE might similarly consider COST and other multi-stakeholder approaches to promoting transparency under the Irish chairmanship.

Within APEC, the ITA has focused on developing new ethical principles for key sectors within the APEC region. I am pleased to report that under the APEC SME working group, we have coordinated a project with APEC countries and businesses to develop principles of business ethics in the construction, medical devices and biopharmaceutical sectors. These voluntary principles are meant to be used by businesses and trade associations – large and small – to guide their ethical interactions with public officials and institutions. I hope that within the OSCE framework and the EEDIM, we might also consider focusing on business ethics in specific sectors of interest to all of our economies.

I would like to note also the role that women play in ensuring good governance. Women’s political participation is a crucial indicator of women’s equality. Around the world, women are entering the field of politics and government in growing numbers, yet their gains have been uneven and their leadership often goes unrecognized. All too often, important decisions that affect women, their families, and their societies are made without their having a voice. We believe that integrating women in political structures is another way to encourage good governance.

I want to close by suggesting some activities to take the theme of good governance and transparency forward. As I noted above, I hope that we will look beyond EITI to see if there are additional sectoral initiatives that merit support from the OSCE, including the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative. The United States Government also strongly supports the Irish Chair’s goal to develop a Statement or Declaration of Transparency Principles to help guide our governments in their future activities.

I want to encourage us to consider new models of bilateral cooperation to promote good governance such as the model Mr. Murray has just discussed, leading to a public-private initiative in the Russian power generation sector.

We at the U.S. Department of Commerce are working closely with the Center for Black Sea/Caspian Studies at American University to convene a conference in May of next year that would seek to address the challenge of developing mechanisms to ensure good governance and transparency, while also balancing the goals of protecting national security and accelerating economic development faced by the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, as they seek to assert their role as a gateway between Europe and Asia. In addition, the conference will also focus on specific market access challenges to regional integration and economic development in the Caucasus and Central Asia such as transparency in Government procurement and privatization, and trade facilitation challenges, including customs and lack of regional harmonization. It is our hope that the OSCE will join us for this event – focused on critical areas such as transport and infrastructure – to work on tangible ideas for projects and collaborations in the OSCE region.

We look forward with great interest to the 20th Economic and Environmental Forum, where we will delve deeper into all the facets of good governance. We also thank the Lithuanian Chairman-in-Office for ensuring that their draft Ministerial Council decision on Energy Security incorporates transparency in the energy sector – in our view, considering the vital role that energy plays in modern economic life, there can be no confidence, and thus no security, without energy transparency. In the year ahead, we envision an even broader focus on transparency principles across the entire spectrum of economic and environmental activities, and will work with all of our colleagues in the OSCE to make that vision a reality.

Thank you, Moderator.

 


Statement by President Obama Congratulating Nobel Peace Prize Winners

On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. Today’s award honors three extraordinary individuals, and sends a powerful message that the struggle for universal rights and human dignity can only be fulfilled with the full participation of women around the globe.

President Sirleaf has inspired the world through her journey from a prisoner to the first female President of her country. She has helped Liberia emerge from years of civil war and make great strides toward reconstruction and a democracy that values the contributions of all Liberians, including its women. As a warrior for peace, Leymah Gbowee led her fellow Liberian women as they bravely stood their ground against a brutal dictator in a non-violent struggle to bring peace to their country and realize a full voice for Liberian women. In Yemen, Tawakkul Karman and her fellow women activists were among the first to take to the streets this year to demand their universal rights, and despite the threats and violence waged against peaceful protestors, she has remained a powerful voice for non-violence in a country where guns outnumber people.

Each of this year’s Nobel recipients have their own story, but their lives reveal a fundamental truth. Nations are ultimately more successful when all of their citizens can reach their full potential, including women. When women and girls have access to proper health care, families are healthier and communities are less subject to the ravages of disease and hunger. When women and girls have the opportunity to pursue their education and careers of their own choosing, economies are more likely to prosper. And when women assume their rightful place as equals– in the halls of government, at the negotiating table and across civil society– governments are more effective, peaceful resolution of disputes are more lasting, and societies are more likely to meet the aspirations of all their citizens.

I commend President Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman for showing the world that the rights and voices of half of humanity cannot and will not be denied. And I reaffirm the commitment of the United States to advance the rights and role of women everywhere, in our own country and around the world.

 


Statement by Laurie Shestack Phipps, at a Session of the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee on Advancement of Women

(Remarks as delivered)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We are pleased that the Third Committee is devoting its attention to this important agenda item on the advancement of women, and we thank Executive Director Bachelet for her informative and insightful report. We send heartfelt congratulations to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, and Liberian peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee for the prestigious honor of sharing this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. As Secretary Clinton said last week, “They are shining examples of the difference that women can make and the progress they can help achieve when given the opportunity to make decisions about the future of their societies and countries.” We also express our sadness at the recent passing of Professor Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and we celebrate her life and accomplishments.

The United States has made the empowerment of women and girls a guiding principle both at home and abroad, and we continue to incorporate women’s empowerment into all aspects of our foreign policy and international development assistance. Today I would like to focus on two areas in which women’s empowerment has become increasingly critical: the need to ensure women’s full political participation, especially during times of transition; and the issue of women’s equal right to nationality.

While we celebrate the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners and their achievements, we need to remember that across the globe, women’s voices in political decision-making are still muted. Discriminatory laws and practices persist. If women cannot be equal partners in the political process, especially in times of transformation, nothing less than the development, economic prosperity, and stability of their nations is put at risk.

Recently, in the Middle East and North Africa, women often risked their lives to lead street protests and call for an end to repression. But after pressing for democracy, some of the same women now face exclusion from key political negotiations.

In this context, we commend the UN’s work to highlight the costs of excluding women from the political process. UN Women did just this in the high-level event on “Women’s Political Participation” that it hosted on the margins of the General Assembly’s general debate last month. At that successful event, Secretary of State Clinton, alongside leaders from UN Women, UNDP, and a diverse group of countries, spoke out about the need to ensure women’s involvement in all aspects of political processes and decision-making. They also signed a Joint Statement on advancing women’s political participation, which President Obama highlighted in his address to the General Assembly last month. As President Obama said, “no country can realize its potential if half its population cannot reach theirs.” President Obama challenged all states, including our own, to announce next year the steps they are taking to break down the economic and political barriers facing women and girls.

UN Women, under Michelle Bachelet’s strong leadership, and other parts of the UN system also have a key role in helping to break down those barriers. This Committee can contribute to that effort. To that end, the United States, joined by cross-regional co-sponsors, will be tabling a resolution on women’s political participation, with emphasis on periods of democratic political transition, for this Committee’s consideration. The United States and the other co-sponsors welcome broad cross-regional co-sponsorship and support for the resolution, which builds on our previous resolution 58/142.

Another important aspect of women’s empowerment that deserves all of our attentions is the issue of women’s equal right to nationality. In particular, the consequences of nationality laws that discriminate against women are not sufficiently recognized. Such discriminatory laws have consequences that deprive women and their families of legal protections in their countries of residence, often for generations, and can ultimately lead to statelessness. In many cases, nationality laws permit only a child’s father to transmit his citizenship or discriminatorily limit the ability of the mother to do so. In some cases, nationality laws strip women of their citizenship upon marriage to a foreign spouse, or prohibit women’s foreign spouses from naturalization. Without recognition by any state, stateless persons typically lack identity documentation, and cannot register births, marriages, or deaths. Without such documentation, they often cannot work legally or travel freely. They cannot vote, open a bank account, or own property, and they often lack access to health care and other public services. Without birth registration or citizenship documents, children are often barred from attending school. For these reasons, stateless women and their families are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including gender-based violence, trafficking in persons, and arbitrary arrest and detention.

The United States is seeking to raise global awareness of this under-recognized problem for women’s rights and human rights—a problem that exists in as many as 30 countries around the world. Women’s nationality rights are a factor in determining their political, economic and social empowerment, and influence their ability to contribute to democratic governance, peace and stability, and economic development in their countries. The United States urges governments throughout the world to repeal discriminatory nationality laws, and commends civil society groups that continue to advocate for women’s equal right to nationality. We support the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ global mandate to prevent and reduce statelessness, including by providing technical assistance to eliminate discrimination against women in nationality laws. And we encourage other UN agencies, such as UN Women, UNDP, and UNICEF, to strengthen their work on this important issue.

Today I have focused on just two areas where together we can do much to empower women. Much remains to be done in other areas to advance women, including women’s health, violence against women, economic empowerment, and education for girls. The United States remains committed to working with all of you on these areas as well. Together, we can ensure that women can contribute fully to peace, security, development, and prosperity.

 


Secretary Clinton Congratulates Female Nobel Peace Laureates

I am delighted to send heartfelt congratulations to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman and Liberian peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee for the prestigious honor of sharing this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. They are shining examples of the difference that women can make and the progress they can help achieve when given the opportunity to make decisions about the future of their societies and countries.

The unflinching courage, strength and leadership of these women to build peace, advance reconciliation, and defend the rights of fellow citizens in their own countries provide inspiration for women’s rights and human progress everywhere. This recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments reflects the efforts of many other women who are promoting peace and security in their countries and communities. I want to commend the Nobel Committee for recognizing the powerful role women are playing in building peace and ending conflict around the world.

 


Ambassador Johnson on Humanitarian Issues: Trafficking in Human Beings

(As prepared for delivery at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 17: Humanitarian Issues; Trafficking in Human Beings)

The United States strongly supports the goals of our OSCE commitments to combat trafficking in persons through prosecution, protection and prevention. For our part, we are working to achieve the goals of the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, and, we are addressing recommendations from the Alliance Against Trafficking conferences coordinated by the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in drafting its recommendations. While the 2010 Astana Summit did not yield an Action Plan, it did establish the political will for updating commitments associated with labor trafficking and combating the demand for goods and services produced by trafficked persons at the upcoming Ministerial Council meetings.

In recent years, the OSCE has addressed the demand that drives modern slavery, as well as the unique vulnerabilities of domestic workers. This year, the Alliance against Trafficking considered the scope of trafficking for labor exploitation. The United States commends Special Representative Giammarinaro for her efforts to address emerging trends in trafficking and to identify new mechanisms for cooperation, particularly in the field of labor trafficking. In February of this year, the OSCE Special Representative launched a publication entitled: “Unprotected Work, Invisible Exploitation: Trafficking for the Purpose of Domestic Servitude,” (ref. 1) which included key recommendations on victim identification, and on improved regulation and monitoring of recruitment and placement agencies. Additionally, the Special Representative collaborated on the development of recommendations for “The Implementation and Enforcement of Codes of Conduct in the Private Sector to Reduce the Demand for the Services of or Goods Produced by People who have been Trafficked.” We strongly support these initiatives, which provide ample background to enhance efforts established by the 2007 Madrid Ministerial Decision on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for Labor Exploitation (ref. 2). We ask participating States to join the United States in advancing a strong Declaration decision based on these recommendations for the Vilnius Ministerial Council in December.

As we move past the first decade since the adoption of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, much still needs to be done. We are encouraged, however, that most countries have enacted either comprehensive anti-trafficking laws or separate anti-trafficking provisions in their penal code. Now our focus must shift to implementation.

Unfortunately, some OSCE States remain far from achieving the fundamental goals set by our shared OSCE commitments, as documented in the U.S. Department of State’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Azerbaijan, Russia, and Uzbekistan have demonstrated inadequate progress from previous years in combating trafficking in persons. In the Russian case, the country has remained as a source, transit, and destination country for forced labor and sex trafficking with limited government efforts to protect victims or prevent trafficking. This is all the more concerning as we approach the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which may present a risk of the use of forced labor in construction projects. Minimal progress to address domestic forced labor during the cotton harvest remains a substantial challenge in Uzbekistan, while proactive victim identification and effective investigations and prosecutions of traffickers have not been adequately prioritized in Malta or Azerbaijan. Belarus, Cyprus and Estonia lack effective programs to investigate, prosecute, and sentence traffickers, paired with weak victim-centered approaches to assistance and protection. Estonia remains the only European Union country without a law that specifically addresses human trafficking. We urge Estonia to quickly pass its draft trafficking-specific criminal statute, provide better assistance for repatriated Estonian victims, and improve awareness of victim services. Additionally, we call on Belarus to provide greater victim assistance and protection while providing more information on, and clearly delineating their anti-trafficking efforts from their efforts on trafficking related work such as illegal migration. We urge Cyprus to actively prosecute and convict traffickers, improve front-line services to victims, strengthen NGO partnerships, and provide responder training for victim identification.

We are particularly concerned by the Turkmenistan government’s unwillingness prosecute traffickers and disregard for the work of IOM and anti-trafficking organizations which seek to provide protection for victims. We urge Turkmenistan to implement its 2007 anti-trafficking law and Article 129(1) of its criminal code and develop a reliable victim identification and referral mechanism. Forced labor, including forced child labor, in Central Asia remains a challenge that must be addressed, particularly for cotton cultivation in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The citizens of the OSCE region deserve a future free from exploitation. The United States urges Uzbekistan to stop the practice of using forced labor to pick cotton, and urges Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to continue efforts to eliminate the use of forced labor in the cotton harvests.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of State’s 2011 TIP Report for the second time features a full tier-ranking and country narrative for the United States, so that our initiatives can be openly compared to other States. Government self-reporting can be a useful tool, but is only meaningful when a vigorous civil society can also independently and safely voice its views—as exemplified in the U.S. narrative. The 2011 report on the United States is a reminder of how much further our government still has to go in the fight against modern day slavery.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) has been active in promoting new avenues for our efforts to combat human trafficking throughout the OSCE region. The recent Belgrade Declaration of the OSCE PA included proposals to enhance implementation of United Nations protocols on trafficking and specific efforts to combat trafficking for labor exploitation. This resolution also unanimously called on participating States to adopt a ministerial decision or declaration on labor trafficking, demonstrating the broad political will for such an action. As we update the Madrid Ministerial Decision we must consider more specific regulation for recruitment agencies, appropriate oversight of supply chains to prevent exploitation, measures to prevent abuses of domestic workers—including by diplomatic personnel—measures to encourage corporate codes of conduct, and to promote consumer awareness. We ask participating States to consider these recommendations as we negotiate updates to our OSCE commitments in the coming weeks.

(ref. 1) – http://www.osce.org/cthb/75804

(ref. 2) – MC.DEC 8/07 http://www.osce.org/mc/29464

 


Ambassador Efird on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination

(As prepared for delivery at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 16: Tolerance and Non-Discrimination; Equality of opportunity for women and men; Implementation of the OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality; Prevention of violence against women)

OSCE commitments concerning equality of opportunity for women and men go back to the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, in which participating States agreed to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms…. for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” In 2000 and again in 2004, we adopted OSCE action plans on gender issues, addressing both the situation in participating States as well as management and staffing within the OSCE itself. Although there have been several ministerial decisions strengthening our commitments, OSCE documents are not enough. The question is whether the human rights of women in our countries are protected both in law as well as in practice, and whether women have the same opportunities as men—to get an education, to find employment, or to take part in political life. Unfortunately, these opportunities are not yet available in every participating State.

In some participating States, the legal framework to protect women from human rights abuses is still incomplete or not fully implemented. Sometimes, law enforcement authorities do not respond adequately to physical or sexual assaults against women, particularly if those are perpetrated by spouses or other family members.

Although some States prosecute domestic violence under general assault laws, more specific legislation would strengthen authorities’ ability to hold abusers accountable; these laws can be drafted to take the onus of pressing charges off of the victim. We commend Azerbaijan for passing a law on domestic violence. OSCE states that do not have specific laws against domestic violence include Andorra, Armenia, Belarus and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan drafted laws several years ago which still have not been adopted. Russia has no legal definition of domestic violence, making prosecution difficult.

Like all persons, women should make their own informed decision about how they dress, regardless of religious or cultural diktats. A March Human Rights Watch report details violent attacks on women whose clothing is considered immodest. Human Rights Watch further noted that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has condoned the documented attacks by unidentified men, some believed to be law enforcement officials. We urge Russian federal officials to address this troubling development.

Spousal rape is not specifically outlawed in several participating States. It only can be prosecuted under general rape laws. Specifically criminalizing spousal rape strengthens the response of law enforcement authorities, who often view it as simply a family matter. States in the OSCE region with no specific law against spousal rape include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, and Kosovo. (I would note that although Kosovo continues to be the only country in Europe deprived its place at the OSCE table, the United States still holds Pristina accountable for adhering to OSCE principles and commitments.)

Several participating States also lack specific laws addressing sexual harassment, including Armenia, Belarus, Kosovo, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan’s legislation deals only with physical assault, not verbal harassment such as threats and intimidation.

However, there are positive recent examples. France has passed a law on combating violence against women which strengthens protection for victims by providing a provisional “protection order” for at-risk women. It also provides for increased legal protection for foreign nationals and undocumented immigrants who are victims of abuse. Moldova has amended its criminal code to better promote the safety and well-being of victims and their children by requiring an abuser to leave housing shared with the victim regardless of who owns the property, providing for victim counseling, forbidding the aggressor from approaching the victim either at home or at a place of business, and forbidding visitation of children pending a criminal investigation.

Laws, of course, are not enough. States should do more to train law enforcement officials, judicial sector officials, social workers, healthcare providers, men and boys, religious and community leaders, and communities at large to address and prevent domestic violence, and violence against women more broadly. Victims should be able to quickly obtain information and assistance, and governments should commit resources to help them do so, as well as support similar civil society efforts. We strongly support OSCE programs in these areas, and believe the OSCE should increase its assistance to participating States, including those which do not host field missions.

Madam Moderator,

Women in all OSCE States have proven over and over that given the same opportunity as men, they will succeed. And equality of access for women to education, healthcare, political participation, and economic opportunities is key to a country’s competitiveness and prosperity.

Moreover, women need to be represented at the policy- and decision-making table, including at the senior levels of OSCE itself. Many OSCE activities focus on conflict prevention, crisis management and resolution, and post-conflict rehabilitation. It is important that women be involved in all stages of conflict- and post-conflict-related work. OSCE staff dealing with conflict management should be trained to identify and include women in these efforts.

As you said in Kyrgyzstan in July of this year, “Women play a critical role in achieving peace and security.” We applaud your joint visits to participating states with the Special Representative and Coordinator for Combatting Trafficking that highlighted gender inequality and conflict as contributors to human trafficking.

All citizens, men and women alike, are entitled to equal protection in the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. We all must work harder to ensure the rights of women and men are respected equally.

 
 

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