If Congress doesn't pass an omnibus appropriation bill, the resulting funding cuts will "seriously impede our efforts to meet unanticipated national security needs," Secretary Clinton said yesterday in a statement.
Without an omnibus bill, the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would be subject to a yearlong continuing resolution that "would sharply cut our funding and severely weaken the [State] Department and USAID's ability to execute our critical civilian missions, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq," Clinton stated.
She also said, "We need these resources now more than ever to support national security priorities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan where we are helping secure gains made by our military and preventing the spread of violent extremism."
Clinton and other government officials have repeatedly said that U.S. foreign policy rests on three pillars: defense, diplomacy, and development. Weaken the pillars of diplomacy and development, and the edifice of U.S. foreign policy collapses. Leaders such as Gen. David Petraeus have said that there is "no military solution" to Iraq (and the same can be said of Afghanistan). The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review -- released yesterday and titled "Leading Through Civilian Power," asks, "How can we do better?" It answers, "we will build up our civilian power: the combined force of civilians working together across the U.S. government to practice diplomacy, carry out development projects, and prevent and respond to crises."
Some lawmakers, such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), wish to cut the State Department and foreign-aid budgets. Guess she's not into the three-pillars thing.
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Today Secretary Clinton released the State Department's first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which as my colleague Josh Rogin over at The Cable notes, is "meant to chart a way forward for the diplomatic corps to play a greater role in U.S. foreign policy in a world of shrinking budgets and resources."
Here are a couple of Clinton quotes from Rogin's report:
"As you dig in to this report, you'll see it's driven by two overarching factors, first is president Obama's focus on fiscal responsibility and efficiency throughout the federal government," Clinton said. "Through the QDDR, we have tried to minimize costs, maximize impacts, avoid overlap and duplication and focus on delivering results."
"Across our programs we are redefining success based on results achieved rather than dollars spent," she said. "This will help us make the case that bolstering U.S. civilian power is a wise investment for American taxpayers that will pay off by averting conflicts, opening markets, and reducing threats."
The video of Clinton's speech is below. The transcript is here.
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Stopping the scourge of rape, domestic violence, acid attacks, and honor killings perpetrated against women internationally has been an important priority for Secretary Clinton, an unflagging advocate for women and girls. And the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took an important step toward advancing that priority yesterday when it approved the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).
IVAWA, drafted after consultations with more than 40 women's groups in developing countries and more than 100 experts and other organizations, will support local NGOs addressing the problem of violence against women and girls. The problem will be tackled through various means, such as services for survivors, economic-empowerment programs, girls' education, and legal and judicial training programs.
The act targets countries where violence against women and girls is rampant, but where three things are going for them, according to an op-ed by Ritu Sharma of Women Thrive Worlwide: The national government is receptive (or at least not opposed) to anti-violence efforts, local women's groups are active and ready to expand, and the United States has a positive relationship with the country.
As Clinton said last week at the TEDWomen conference, women's issues are a security issue. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, an original co-sponsor of IVAWA, referred to that rationale when hailing the bill in a statement yesterday, stating:
The Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that one of the most effective forces for defeating extremism is female safety and education. Violence against women undermines the effectiveness of existing U.S. investments in global development and stability, whether fighting HIV/AIDS, increasing basic education, or creating stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The bill was approved with an amendment that constrains the funding the act would receive if passed. A news release from the Foreign Relations Committee states: "Chairman [John] Kerry offered an amendment in response to concerns raised by Republicans and some faith-based groups. Among other things, the amendment reduces authorization levels to 'such sums' in order to focus on existing resources. While the use of new funds is possible, the focus is on transparency, accountability, inclusion, and longevity."
Sadly, too many lawmakers seem to have difficulty coughing up funds to help marginalized women in developing countries, while spending billions on pork-barrel projects. But supporting women benefits us all. As Clinton said at TEDWomen last week:
Give women equal rights, and entire nations are more stable and secure. Deny women equal rights, and the instability of nations is almost certain. The subjugation of women is, therefore, a threat to the common security of our world and to the national security of our country.
Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year.
Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
FYI: Secretary Clinton will be hosting a town-hall meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 11:15 a.m. (U.S. Eastern time) on the release of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), themed "Leading Through Civilian Power." At the start of the meeting, to be held with State Department employees, the QDDR will be made available for downloading at www.state.gov.
Here's an amusing anecdote that Secretary Clinton told during her speech last week at the TEDWomen conference. It illustrates how education and economic empowerment can slowly, but surely advance the well-being of women and girls:
I love this story about a teenage girl and a cow, which drives home the challenge but also the opportunity that we face today. This teenage girl's father expected to force her into an early marriage, but she had been to school and she received a cow, perhaps through the Heifer Project, designed to encourage her to stay in school. When her father demanded that she drop out of school and get married, she said no. When he insisted, she insisted right back. And finally, she pulled out her trump card -- "If I leave and get married, I'm taking my cow." (Laughter.) "That cow belongs to me." So, guess what? She stayed in school. She was spared an early marriage all because her father couldn't bear to part with the cow. (Laughter.)
But the lesson goes beyond the human nature of the story. Even a small intervention can change a girl's life.
Clinton didn't say what country the girl was in, but the give-a-girl-a-cow program appears to at least exist in Bangladesh. The information provided with the 2008 Getty photo above of a teenage girl in rural Bangladesh says that she acquired her cows through a program that provides financial investment for adolescent girls and is funded by the Bangladeshi NGO BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) and the Nike Foundation.
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In a videoconference with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad yesterday, Secretary Clinton announced the transfer of $150 million in U.S. direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority to help it build a viable Palestinian state as part of the two-state solution. Clinton said the latest infusion of money brings the United States' total direct budget assistance to $225 million for 2010 and overall U.S. support and investment to almost $600 million for 2010.
"This figure underscores the strong determination of the American people and this administration to stand with our Palestinian friends even during difficult economic times," the secretary of state said in announcing the transfer of funds.
The money -- whose use will be carefully monitored by the United States, the World Bank, and the IMF -- will go toward the important task of building a well-functioning Palestinian state. Clinton explained, "This new funding will help the Palestinian Authority pay down its debt, continue to deliver services and security to its people, and keep the progress going. It will support our work together to expand Palestinians' access to schools, clinics, and clean drinking water in both the West Bank and Gaza. And it will allow Prime Minister Fayyad's government to build and modernize courthouses and police stations, train judges and prosecutors, and launch new economic development initiatives."
This emphasis on building a viable Palestinian state accords with some of Elliott Abram's advice for President Obama, as detailed in his recent FP piece, "Build Up the West Bank." Abrams writes that instead of focusing on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, Obama should instead spend the rest of his term helping build a Palestinian state in the West Bank. He writes:
If you build it, they will sign. The only way to reassure Palestinians that a state is possible is to make one, and the only way to reassure Israelis that their security will be enhanced rather than diminished is for them to see it with their own eyes. That won't happen for either side at Camp David or Oslo or Annapolis -- only right there on the ground in the West Bank.
Here is a video of Clinton's and Fayyad's remarks:
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Secretary Clinton presided today over the signing of $275 million in U.S. aid to Jordan for three water and wasterwater projects in the water-poor Middle Eastern country. The assistance, made through the U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation, will help Jordan upgrade its water-supply network, improve wastewater collection, and expand an important wastewater treatment plant, thereby giving nearly 2 million people better access to clean water, Clinton said in her remarks.
Clinton also acknowledged that the $275 million in aid comes at a time when many Americans are struggling with finances, but explained that Americans are "committed to Jordan's future" because a thriving Jordan benefits the entire world:
I want to say a few words directly to the people of Jordan. In a time when many families here in the United States are tightening their own belts and making difficult sacrifices, we are making this investment in your country because we believe in Jordan's promise and we are committed to Jordan's future. Americans understand that a strong and prosperous Jordan is good for the region and good for the world. We want to work with you to realize our shared aspirations and shape the future together.
Clinton also thanked Jordan for its support in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying, "The Jordanian Government … [has] worked with us literally side by side and telephone by telephone to support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the goal of two states for two peoples and a comprehensive peace in the region. We could not do this without Jordan's leadership."
In the photo above, Clinton and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh stand as U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes (seated at right) and Mohammad Najjar, Jordan's minister of water and irrigation, sign the compact today in Washington. Below is a video of the remarks from the signing ceremony:
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Normally, U.S. officials and politicians want American companies to create jobs in the United States and keep jobs at home, but today, Secretary Clinton encouraged U.S. business executives to create jobs across the ocean in Northern Ireland. Doing so might sound counterintuitive to many Americans, but creating jobs in Northern Ireland serves a good cause -- peace.
At a U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference she hosted in Washington today, Clinton praised the 1,000 new jobs that American companies have created recently in Northern Ireland and explained, "[A] stronger economy in Northern Ireland will help secure a lasting peace. And peace in Northern Ireland is a bedrock foreign-policy priority for the United States."
In her remarks, she went on to add:
[E]conomic opportunities are what we are focusing on today because we know that to survive, peace must be visible beyond the halls of government or even the meeting places where former adversaries come together to work out their differences. It must be seen in daily improvements in people's lives, not just in the absence of violence, but the presence of good jobs, business starts, skills learned, communities recovered from decline.
Essentially, Clinton understands that for there to be long-lasting peace, people must have jobs and some sense of economic security. She acknowledged that when many Americans, particularly American business executives, have heard the words "Northern Ireland," they haven't exactly thought "investment opportunities." But Clinton said that mentality has been changing recently, and more people are associating Northern Ireland with "reconciliation, hope, and opportunity."
Of the 1,000 new jobs created by American companies in Northern Ireland, Clinton mentioned 100 positions established by GE Energy and over 300 in the New York Stock Exchange's Belfast office. She also hailed Dow Chemical's announcement that it was starting a supply-chain consulting service in Belfast.
The video of her complete remarks is below:
U.S. State Dept., video screen shot
Secretary Clinton is hosting a U.S.-Northern Ireland economic conference today in Washington that brings together American business leaders currently or potentially invested in Northern Ireland with political leaders from that area. "This conference will allow us to sell the Northern Ireland product directly to some of America's most successful and best-known companies," Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said, as reported in the Irish Times.
It's all part of Clinton's effort to support the Northern Ireland peace process through promotion of economic development, something she touched upon when visiting Northern Ireland last October, as seen in the photo above with Robinson (left) and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness outside Belfast's Stormont Castle.
PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton said yesterday that one of her pet peeves is poor countries that don't tax their elite and then expect the United States to come in and save their people.
Clinton made the remark in a round-table discussion on the U.S. administration's new global development policy. Her complete remark was:
It's one of my pet peeves: Countries that will not tax their elite, who expect us to come in and help them serve their people, are just not going to get the kind of help from us that historically they may have.
Moderator Frank Sesno of George Washington University followed up by asking, "You're going to go to countries that are getting [aid] now and say we're going to stop?" Clinton responded by singling out Pakistan:
There's got to be some reciprocity here. Because one of the things that is now happening in Pakistan, and I said this when I was there last year, you cannot have a tax rate of 9 percent of GDP when big landholders and all the other elites do not pay anything or pay so little it's laughable, and you've got such a rate of poverty and everybody is looking to the United States and other donors to come in and help.
Sesno pushed further, asking whether Clinton was truly prepared to tell governments of countries filled with poor people that the U.S. government would withdraw or scale back aid if they didn't tax their elite, who are often the base of political support for those countries' leaders. Clinton said that was one of the messages that the United States was starting to deliver and mentioned that Pakistan's finance minister has already introduced a set of tax and economic reforms.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, another of the participants in the round-table discussion, backed Clinton up, saying:
I've been doing this for a long time. I have never heard a discussion like this where you have a secretary of state saying what Secretary Clinton just said, which is recognizing that unless we are tougher on how we provide assistance, unless we look at those basic simple things, like are they running their country in a way that gives us confidence that our resources will be used well, we should not be financing them at this level. That is an enormously consequential thing.
Something tells me that if Barack Obama's administration is having such a difficult time increasing taxes on the richest Americans, then it's going to have an even harder time getting another country's government to do the same. And in the case of Pakistan, is that country really going to do the United States' bidding? In the interest of national security, the United States will continue pouring billions of dollars into Pakistan; with so many Islamist extremist groups on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the United States isn't going to scale back development efforts just because the Pakistani government won't reform its tax code and crack down on tax evasion.
(For more on this topic, check out my colleague Josh Rogin's report, "Clinton presses Pakistan to raise taxes on wealthy" over at FP's The Cable.)
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Secretary Clinton yesterday announced an international alliance to improve infant and maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The five-year effort joins the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the development agencies of the U.S., Australian, and British governments in an effort to "increase access to family planning and reduce maternal and neonatal deaths," as Clinton put it.
Our effort will contribute [to] increasing access to family planning by 2015 for 100 million women who now lack it. It will also boost the number of skilled birth attendants, babies delivered in clinics or hospitals, and women and newborns who receive quality medical care.
Infant and maternal health is an issue that people both agree on and disagree on so strongly. Everyone agrees on promoting infant and maternal health. How can anyone be against healthy babies and healthy moms? But then there are the divisive issues of contraception and abortion.
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa and global health, wrote an op-ed in Sept. 19's Washington Post warning that abortion-rights activists could sidetrack this week's meetings on the Millennial Development Goals. He singled out Clinton, pointing out that she "has said publicly that she believes access to abortion is part of maternal and reproductive health." (And indeed, her remarks on the topic irked many Canadians when she visited Canada in March.) Smith cautioned that "Including abortion in the U.N. Outcome Document or in its implementation will undermine the Millennium Development Goals."
Curiously, Smith's op-ed never mentioned the term "contraceptive" or anything that could be interpreted as its synonym. Maybe it was outside the scope of his op-ed, but if you want to reduce abortions, one of the obvious things to do is to improve access to contraceptives for women who want them. Without a conception, you can't have an abortion.
For the sake of women and infants worldwide, let's hope activists on both sides of the abortion debate don't let their disagreements get in the way of important mutally-agreed-upon measures that save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people on Earth.
DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton today launched an initiative that could save millions of lives around the world -- the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership to which the U.S. government is committing $51 million over the next five years.
Sounds a bit wacky, but this effort will improve health, empower women and girls, and mitigate climate change. For real. As Clinton explained in a speech today in New York at the Clinton Global Initiative, where she was escorted to the podium by her husband, Bill Clinton:
The World Health Organization considers smoke from dirty stoves to be one of the five most serious health risks that face people in poor, developing countries. Nearly 2 million people die from its effects each year, more than twice the number from malaria. And because the smoke contains greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, as well as black carbon, it contributes to climate change.
There are other consequences as well. In conflict zones like the Congo, the journeys that women must take to find scarce fuel [such as firewood] put them at increased risk of violent and sexual assault. Even in safer areas, every hour spent collecting fuel is an hour not spent in school or tending crops or running a business.
People have cooked over open fires and dirty stoves for all of human history, but the simple fact is they are slowly killing millions of people and polluting the environment.
The solution? Clean, efficient, afforable cookstoves that cost as little as $25. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves aims for 100 million households getting clean cookstoves by 2020. The initiative will involve research and development for improved designs and lower costs, an effort to create a market for the stoves (which will include lowering trade barriers and fostering public awareness), and weaving clean stoves into international development programs, including women-owned microfinance networks.
At the end of her speech, Clinton asked us to do the following:
The next time you sit down with your own family to eat, please take a moment to imagine the smell of smoke, feel it in your lungs, see the soot building up on the walls, and then come find us at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Hearths, whatever they look like, and wherever we gather around them, where we tell our stories and pass down our values, bind families together. And the benefits from this initiative will be cleaner and safer homes, and that will, in turn, ripple out for healthier families, stronger communities, and more stable societies.
And, check out the video:
Mario Tama/Getty Images
I only have a quick few minutes to blog today -- I'm up to my neck working on the next print edition of Foreign Policy -- so I just thought I'd point out that all members of the Clinton family are in New York this week. Saving the world is a family affair! Secretary Clinton has been there since the weekend, and yesterday, as seen in the photo above with Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, made remarks at the signing of two memoranda of understanding on recovery efforts in Haiti.
Husband Bill Clinton and newlywed daughter Chelsea Clinton are also in New York for the Clinton Global Initiative. See photos below.*
*Earlier I hadn't been able to upload the Bill and Chelsea photos, but now the uploader is working!
Photos, top to bottom: Mario Tama/Getty Images, Ariel Hermoni/ Israeli Defense Ministry via Getty Images, Mario Tama/Getty Images
At the President's Forum with Young African Leaders this afternoon, Secretary Clinton told a group of successful young African entrepreneurs and civil society leaders that, ultimately, progress in Africa is is "up to you."
After saying, "I see Africa as a continent brimming with potential, a place that has so much just waiting to be grasped," she went on to say:
Across Africa, more citizens believe they now have the power and the duty to shape their own lives, to help their communities, to hold their governments accountable.… I want to focus on these gains because it is through this positive progress that we can motivate and incentivize even more to take place. And ultimately, it is up to you. The president and I very much believe in Africa's promise, and we can do what's possible from afar to assist and to be front-row cheerleaders, if you will. But ultimately, it is up to you, and to citizens like you, to make sure that we sustain and deepen the progress.
Clinton noted President Obama's remark last year in Ghana: "Africa's future is up to Africans." And she added that the United States "stand[s] ready to be your partners," working "in a spirit of mutual respect and accountability."
The impression is that the United States doesn't want to be paternalistic. Even if it tried calling the shots in Africa, it wouldn't work. Rather, development must come from within, with every child growing up to be able to use his or her "God-given talents and potential" to make the continent thrive. At most, the United States can be a "cheerleader" or a partner, an actor with solely an auxiliary role.
Ultimately, only the citizens within a country can build it and make it successful. Now, if only only there were more of this going on in Afghanistan.…
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
In Islamabad today, Secretary Clinton announced a whole slew of development projects for Pakistan: hydroelectric dams, refurbishment of municipal water-supply systems, hospital renovations, agricultural projects, etc. In the photo above, she points to a map marking the location of many projects, while Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi looks on.
The projects are being funded through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation passed in the United States last year that provides $7.5 billion over five years to fix Pakistan's infrastructure and promote its economic develpment. The U.S. government is trying to dispel the distrust that many Pakistanis have toward the United States, and Clinton was trying to make it clear that the development aid is for helping Pakistan itself and is not just for advancing U.S. security interests. At the news conference with Qureshi, as seen in the photo above, Clinton said:
"There's a legacy of suspicion that we inherited.… It's not going to be eliminated overnight. But it's our goal to slowly but surely demonstrate that the U.S. is concerned about Pakistan for the long term, and that the partnership goes far beyond security against our common enemies."
"We are committed to building a partnership with Pakistan that of course strengthens security and protects the people of Pakistan, but goes far beyond security."
It seems pretty naive to think this aid package isn't primarily about security. Regardless of intent, however, will it win Pakistani hearts and minds? Methinks not. As of last October, when President Obama signed the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation, only 15 percent of Pakistanis surveyed supported it. Many think the aid money comes with too many strings attached and compromises Pakistan's sovereignty.
I wish Clinton good luck, though. With her star power, you never know.
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton delivered a speech, as seen above, today at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In discussing development as one of the three pillars of U.S. foreign policy -- defense, diplomacy, and development -- she said:
[D]evelopment was once the province of humanitarians, charities, and governments looking to gain allies in global struggles. Today it is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative -- as central to advancing American interests and solving global problems as diplomacy and defense."
She was wise is stressing that throwing dollars at the problem isn't enough. There must be accountability:
[W]e must evaluate our progress and have the courage to rethink our strategies if we fall short. We must not simply tally the dollars we spend or the number of programs we run, but measure the lasting changes that these dollars and programs help achieve."
Meanwhile, this speech isn't the only one Clinton will be giving this week. Friday, she is giving a speech to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development. I'll attend, if I can get away from the office.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday, Secretary Clinton's husband, Bill, officially assumed his new job, U.N. envoy to Haiti, a position that pays $1 per year. He will lead a $350 million project to help the Caribbean country get back on its feet after being devastated by storms last year.
Secretary Clinton and the former U.S. president have a special place in their hearts for Haiti, having made a visit there as newlyweds. Regarding U.S. support for the country, Bill Clinton said in jest at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, "The secretary of state has been going to Haiti about as long as I have. … I assume I won't have to say much." (As for any conflict of interest arising from Bill's envoy position, the White House and State Department gave their OK to it.)
(The photo above shows Bill Clinton with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the news conference yesterday.)
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton has no public appointments on her official schedule today, but that doesn't mean she isn't busy.
It appears that Clinton will be making a trip to Haiti on Thursday en route to this weekend's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, she'll be leading the U.S. delegation tomorrow at a donors conference on Haiti, to be held in Washington. The Miami Herald reports that the U.S. government is expected to announce $50 million in aid to Haiti, which was ravaged by storms last year.
Haitian President René Préval was the first head of state who Clinton met with after she became secretary of state. (In the photo above, the two of them meet Feb. 5 at the State Department.) And just last month, husband Bill visited Haiti with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, where they attended a food distribution event. In fact, Bill Clinton, whose Clinton Global Initiative has been involved with aid projects in Haiti, is expected to attend tomorrow's donors conference. (Will we see photos of Hillary and Bill together?)
Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
Once again, Secretary Clinton is headed abroad. This time to The Hague, in the Netherlands, to attend a conference about Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Her official schedule:
ON FOREIGN TRAVEL
Meanwhile, husband Bill was in Colombia this weekend, attending the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (and apparently enjoying watermelon and bananas while he was at it).
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton poses with traditional Colombian fruit vendors in the framework of the 50th Inter-American Development Bank annual meeting on March 28 in Medellín, Colombia. The March 28 assembly was on the international economic crisis and its impact in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images
In a video address to the Madrid meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington was "committed" to working with other nations to meet the goal of halving the number of people worldwide living in poverty and hunger by 2015. "Governments and nations are more likely to become unstable when their populations are hungry and underfed," she said. "We are committed to building a new partnership among donor states, developing nations, UN agencies, NGOs, the private sector and others to better coordinate policies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals," she added.Are you starting to sense a theme (and a growing distance with Bush administration policies)? The Obama administration is convinced that trying to make the world a better place will make it also a safer place, whereas the Bush administration was concerned with making us (and sometimes us alone) safer and thus better off. It should be interesting to see who is more right -- though I have some ideas.
Madam Secretary is an obsessive blog about all things Hillary Clinton. From her policies to her pantsuits, Madam Secretary delivers up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and gossip about America's top diplomat.