Today in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Secretary Clinton urged Bosnians to "reject the false promise of self-serving nationalist agendas." She made the remark while dedicating the new U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, saying that's the advice she gave to young people earlier in the day when they asked her how they can get to the goals they had for their country. Clinton said nationalist agendas "will lead only to more distrust, disunion, stagnation, and poverty. No one will create a stable and prosperous future for this country by stoking the animosities of the past."
Here's the remark in context:
I just finished an excellent event with the young people at the National Theater. Their questions were all about how to get to the goal that they believed in, a country that is part of Europe, part of NATO, but most importantly its full self, the promise being realized, the potential fulfilled. I urged them, as I urge every citizen, to reject the false promise of self-serving nationalist agendas. Those will lead only to more distrust, disunion, stagnation, and poverty. No one will create a stable and prosperous future for this country by stoking the animosities of the past.
The only way forward lies in working together toward shared aspirations -- so you can create the jobs, attract the investment, build a better life for everyone.
In the photo above, Clinton poses during the dedication of the new U.S. Embassy and the Robert C. Frasure Street in Sarajevo. Frasure was one of three Americans killed in an automobile accident near Sarajevo in 1995 while on their way to the besieged capital to attend peace talks. Next to Clinton are Frasure's wife Katharina and their daughters, Sarah and Virginia.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton flew into Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, yesterday, and today she has a many meetings in both that city and in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. In the photo below, she meets with Serbian President Boris Tadic to discuss the beginning of EU-sponsored talks between Serbia and Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in 2008. (And for a bit more on what's been happening in Serbia lately, read the recent FP article "Battle in Belgrade," about this past Sunday's anti-gay rioting in the capital.)
The overall purpose of Clinton's visit to the Balkans, according to an Oct. 8 briefing by Assistant Secretary to State Philip Gordan, is to "underscore the continued commitment of the United States to supporting all the Balkan states as they build prosperous, peaceful, and democratic societies and move to take their rightful places as full members of the European and Euro-Atlantic community."
Tomorrow, Clinton will be in Kosovo, which based on the welcome billboard above, eagerly awaits America's top diplomat. (Kosovo also loves Bill Clinton, who as U.S. president backed the NATO air campaign that drove Serbian forces out of Kosovo in 1999. When he visited the Kosovar capital, Pristina, for the unveiling of a larger-than-life statue of himself last year, he was welcomed with a giant cake. And, he's already had his own billboard in Pristina.)
In Kosovo, Secretary Clinton will meet with the acting president, the prime minister, and the foreign minister. She'll also visit Gracanica, a Serb-majority municipality, and meet with community leaders there. Once she returns to Pristina, she will meet with leaders of women's groups as well as other civil society leaders.
Finally, on Thursday the 14th, Clinton will leave the Balkans and head to Brussels, where she'll meet with various EU officials and join U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates for a NATO ministerial meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of the various NATO countries. At the meeting, the ministers will discuss progress in the war in Afghanistan. On the evening of the 14th, Clinton will fly out of Europe and head back over the Atlantic to Washington.
Photos, top to bottom: ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images, MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Applauding the selection of Liu Xiaobo as the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Secretary Clinton urged China "to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens." She also demanded "Liu Xiaobo's immediate release from prison."
Clinton's statement today is refreshing after remarks she made in February 2009 that seemed to place human rights in China as a back-burner priority. At the time she said, "[O]ur pressing on those [human rights] issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis."
Below is Clinton's complete statement, issued today:
I applaud the Nobel Committee's decision to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Throughout its history, the Peace Prize has often been used to recognize the heroism of those who have, through persistent and peaceful efforts, sought to build a world that is more fair and free.
Mr. Liu has been a consistent advocate for fundamental freedoms and human rights for his fellow citizens and for peaceful political reform. Mr. Liu's work, including his role in the drafting of Charter '08, and his receipt of this honor highlight the fact that while China has made tremendous economic progress in the last three decades, political reform has lagged behind. As I said in Krakow this summer, governments should recognize the constructive role that citizens such as Liu Xiaobo play. We urge China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens. We reiterate our call for Liu Xiaobo's immediate release from prison.
MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images
Declaring that "The world cannot make progress if women are denied the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential," Secretary Clinton hailed a resolution adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday that creates a new mechanism to eliminate laws that discriminate against women.
In the resolution, the Human Rights Council calls on countries to repeal all laws that discriminate on the basis of sex. The council is also establishing a three-year working group of five independent experts to provide technical assistance and advisory services on eliminating discrimination against women both in law and in practice.
The United Nations is often criticized for lofty language but little concrete action, but the symbolism is still powerful. In too many countries, women's equality is not seen as a norm to be strived for, and the international community must stigmatize antiquated views of women. That said, it would be even more symbolic if the United States ratified the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, removing itself from the tiny minority of countries, including Iran and Sudan, that haven't.
Here's the full text of Clinton's statement, issued Oct. 1:
Today, the United States joined with the international community to send a clear message: discrimination against women is a violation of human rights. I applaud the UN Human Rights Council for adopting an historic resolution to create a new mechanism that will promote the elimination of laws that discriminate against women. Establishing this mechanism by consensus at the UN Human Rights Council reinforces once again that women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights.
Equality for women is not only a matter of justice -- it is a political, economic, and strategic imperative. The world cannot make progress if women are denied the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential. The United States will continue its commitment to advance the human rights of women and girls around the world.
(In the March 8, 2009, file photo above, Lebanese feminists in Beirut participate in a demonstration to mark International Women's Day.)
RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP/Getty Images
Brazil's Dilma Rousseff is on course to become the first female president of Brazil. In yesterday's election, she won the most votes -- 46.6 percent, with 98 percent of ballots counted -- and on Oct. 31 will face No. 2 Jose Serra in a runoff vote, which she is expected to win.
Secretary Clinton, whose presidential hopes were dashed in 2008, must be so happy for Rousseff. To learn more about Rousseff, a Marxist guerrilla turned economist, grandmother, and cancer survivor, check out the recent FP article, "Becoming Lula."
Also, for a photo essay on the world's female presidents and prime ministers, check out FP's "Women in Control."
JEFFERSON BERNARDES/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued an apology on Friday to the Guatemalas who were victims of unethical medical experiments by the United States from 1946 to 1948. During the studies, prisoners, soldiers, and mentally ill patients were infected with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases.
In a joint statement, Clinton and Sebelius said:
Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices. The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala.
To reiterate that the United States today is committed to ensuring that medical studies on humans are carried out under "exacting" ethical and legal requirements, the two secretaries stated:
[W]e are launching a thorough investigation into the specifics of this case from 1946. In addition, through the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues we are also convening a body of international experts to review and report on the most effective methods to ensure that all human medical research conducted around the globe today meets rigorous ethical standards.
Normally, the United States doesn't like to apologize for anything, but based on what's known about this case, a genuine apology to the individual victims and their families is deserved.
To everybody in Germany, happy 20 years of reunification! Secretary Clinton congratulates the people of Germany and says, "Today, Germany is a global champion for human liberty and economic freedom -- values that form the foundation for the enduring friendship between our nations."
She made the remark in a statement issued Oct. 1, two days before today's Oct. 3 anniversary:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Germany as you celebrate the 20th anniversary of German unification.
A year ago, I travelled to Berlin to commemorate the moment in 1989 when history pierced concrete and concertina wire, and Germans tore down the Berlin Wall. It was an hour when the hopes and prayers and sacrifices of millions came together in an unwavering exclamation of freedom. On October 3, 1990, the German people embraced that freedom again. They proclaimed their desire to live as one nation. And they began building a new Germany that would become an anchor of democracy, stability, and prosperity. The progress of the last two decades was not inevitable, and it stands as a monument to the all those who worked for generations to realize the goal of a Germany whole and free.
Today, Germany is a global champion for human liberty and economic freedom - values that form the foundation for the enduring friendship between our nations. The United States joins Germany in honoring this day of national unity. And I look forward to our continuing cooperation to advance the values we celebrate on this anniversary.
In the photo above from Berlin, the Reichstag, the meeting place of Germany's parliament, is illuminated in the colors of the German flag on Oct. 3 as part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of reunification.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Today, Sept. 30, is the 44th anniversary of Botswana's independence from Britain in 1966. The country's spokesman said yesterday, "At 44, we have come out of an economic downturn, our economy is back up and so we are very much on track and feeling good."
Secretary Clinton praised the country, stating, "Botswana is a model of stability in Southern Africa." Her complete statement, issused on Sept. 28, is below:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Botswana on your National Day this September 30. The United States and Botswana have a vibrant partnership rooted in our common values and interests, and our shared history. On this occasion, we celebrate the enduring friendship between our two countries.
Botswana is a model of stability in Southern Africa and continues to provide leadership on vital regional issues. Our strong and growing partnership to build economic prosperity, promote democratic governance, combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and conserve the environment is evidence of what we can achieve with close cooperation and mutual respect. The United States values our relationship with Botswana and your commitment to addressing regional and global challenges through international collaboration. We look forward to expanding our partnership to new areas in the future.
I wish the Batswana people happiness and continued success as you celebrate your national day.
(In the photo above, giraffes tower over Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve on July 27.)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
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