|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement before the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs, House Appropriations Committee
Washington, D.C., March 4, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
As Submitted to the Committee
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, good morning. I am pleased to be here to ask your support for the President's request for funds for the foreign operations programs of the United States.
I want to acknowledge at the outset that this Subcommittee and members on it have been leaders in supporting a principled and purposeful U.S. foreign policy. We have not always agreed on all subjects, but the disagreements have almost always been on tactics not on goals. We all agree that the United States is, and should remain, vigilant in protecting its interests, careful and reliable in its commitments and a forceful advocate for freedom, human rights, open markets and the rule of law.
Mr. Chairman, although we call the programs under the subcommittee's jurisdiction "foreign" operations, we care about them primarily because of their impact on our citizens here at home.
And although the work of some subcommittees may be easier to explain to the American people, none is more important to them.
For whether you are a storekeeper, a stockbroker, a farmer or a homemaker, you have a stake in the health and growth of the world economy.
Whether your frame of reference is the Battle of the Bulge or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Desert Storm, you know that American foreign policy can make the difference between war and peace, victory and defeat.
Whether you travel the world or hardly ever leave your neighborhood, you will care whether we stop international terrorists before they strike.
Whether you live in a city, a suburb, or a small town, you will want us to crack down even harder on the international drug kingpins who grow rich peddling poison to our kids.
There are far too many connections between our foreign policy and the lives of our people to list this morning. Because of the revolution in communications, transportation and technology, our citizens now live global lives. Our country has interests in every region and on every continent. And I would bet that if you were to ask almost any American, even those who say they don't care about foreign affairs, oppose foreign aid, have never left our country and never intend to, they will admit -- if you probe deeply enough -- that, yes, American leadership in the world does matter; it matters a lot.
And Mr. Chairman, the budget request before you seeks to ensure that we will have the foreign policy tools we need to sustain that leadership.
It includes funds for programs that help us promote peace and maintain our security; safeguard our people from the continuing threat posed by weapons of mass destruction; build prosperity for Americans at home by opening new markets overseas; promote democratic values and strengthen democratic institutions; respond to the global threats of international terrorism, crime, drugs and pollution; and care for those who are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
Let me begin my discussion here this morning with our programs for maintaining the security and safety of our people. To accomplish these goals, we must maintain a strong network of cooperation with our partners and allies as we work to build and sustain peace around the world.
I. Peace and Security
Along the crescent of land that bridges Asia and Europe, from the Suez and Bosporus in the west to the Caspian in the north and the Bay of Bengal in the southeast, promoting America's security means supporting those who take risks for peace, and standing firm against those who threaten the world with aggression and terror.
Accordingly, we are continuing our effort -- through diplomacy backed by the threat of force -- to see that Iraq complies with its obligations to the world community.
Under its recent agreement, Iraq has promised UN inspectors "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" to all sites inside the country, including those previously kept off limits. This step back by Iraq is a step forward for our policy of containing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
If Iraq lives up to its agreement, we will have achieved our goal of maintaining an effective and professional inspection and monitoring regime inside Iraq. If Iraq violates the agreement, there will be greater international understanding and diplomatic support than there would have been previously for a forceful response. Either way, the forces of law and stability are strengthened.
In the days ahead, we will be working with the Security Council and the UN Special Commission -- or UNSCOM -- to ensure that the agreement is implemented in a manner that reflects the core principles upon which we have insisted: that Security Council resolutions are obeyed; that UNSCOM's integrity is preserved; and that there be no artificial timetables or linkages that would prevent UNSCOM from doing a full and professional job.
With our support, UNSCOM will be testing Iraq's commitments thoroughly and comprehensively. Under the agreement, UNSCOM has the authority to scour Iraq for evidence of nuclear, chemical, biological and other prohibited weapons production activities.
To keep a lid on Saddam's military options, we will continue to enforce the no-fly and no-drive zones.
We will insist that UN sanctions against Iraq be maintained until there is full compliance with all relevant Security Council resolutions.
And as President Clinton has said: "Our soldiers, our ships, (and) our planes will stay there in force until we are satisfied Iraq is complying with its commitments."
In the meantime, we continue to support expanded efforts through the United Nations oil-for-food mechanism to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people. We do this not as a favor to Saddam, who has often opposed such efforts, but because it is right; and because it deprives Saddam of the argument that Iraqi hardships justify lifting UN sanctions prematurely.
Mr. Chairman, during recent visits around the country, I have heard two somewhat different but understandable desires voiced by the American people.
The first was a strong desire to see the Iraq crisis settled peacefully. Americans have always been reluctant to use force. We do not want to put the lives of innocent people at risk, and would never unnecessarily do so.
The second is a desire to see Saddam Hussein removed from power.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a peaceful outcome without opening the door to yet another round of Iraqi cheating, which we will not do. Given Saddam's history of aggression, his repeated use of poison gas and his dishonesty, we cannot safely or responsibly rule out the use of force in the future.
But if we are required to use force, why not go all the way and remove Saddam from power? The answer is that it would require a far greater commitment of military force, and a far greater risk to American lives, than is currently needed to contain the threat Saddam poses.
Some have suggested that the solution is to arm and encourage the Iraqi opposition to initiate a civil war. That option sounds -- but is not -- simple. We have worked with Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein in the past, and we are ready to work with them more effectively in the future. But the opposition is currently divided, and it would be wrong to create false or unsustainable expectations.
This leaves us with a policy that is -- quite frankly -- not fully satisfactory to anyone. It is a "real world" policy, not a "feel good" policy.
But I am convinced it is the best policy to protect our interests and those of our friends and allies in the Gulf. It embodies both our desire for peace and our determination to fight if necessary. It takes into account current realities, without -- in any way -- ruling out future options. It presents the leaders in Baghdad with a clear choice. And it reflects principles that are vital to uphold, not only in the Gulf now, but everywhere, always.
Across the border from Iraq in Iran, there are signs that popular support is building for a more open and less confrontational approach to the world. The United States would welcome that. An Iran that accepts and adheres to global norms on terrorism, proliferation and human rights could be a significant contributor to regional stability and economic growth.
Iran's President Khatami called recently for a dialogue between our two peoples. There is merit in this, for we have much to learn from each other. And the recent warm reception received by U.S. wrestlers, and the flying of the American flag in Teheran, are encouraging signs that the potential for a better relationship is there.
But the issues that have divided us these past two decades are not those of respect between our two peoples, but matters of policy that can only be addressed by governments.
Elsewhere in the region, the United States' security interests are best served when we help meet the challenge of building peace -- peace that will allow economic growth and democratic development, the two best sources of long-term stability, to take hold. This is true in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Georgia, and in Cyprus.
It is also true in the Middle East, where we continue to strive with our Israeli, Palestinian and Arab partners to make progress towards a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.
The past year was not a good one for the Middle East Peace Process. A crisis of confidence has arisen between Israelis and Palestinians that has stalled progress at the bargaining table, while darkening prospects throughout the region. As a result, historic accomplishments and future hopes are both at risk.
The U.S. has been working hard to encourage the parties to rebuild their partnership and resume progress towards peace. Our objective has been -- without compromising interim issues --to accelerate permanent status negotiations. For we believe the parties must have a better sense of what the final outcome will be, if they are to regain their sense of mutual confidence and trust.
In January, President Clinton presented ideas to Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu in an effort to break the current stalemate, recognizing that the parties, given the level of their distrust, might respond to us even if they remain reluctant to respond to each other.
The issue now is whether the leaders are prepared to make the kinds of decisions that will make it possible to put the process back on track. Indeed, we have to ask: are they prepared to promote their common interests as partners? Or are they determined to return to an era of zero-sum relations?
The stakes are high. That's why we have been working so hard to prevent the process from collapsing. We will continue that effort, in the hope that the peace process can be rescued, not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but between Israelis and Syrians and Israelis and Lebanese.
America's interest in a stable and prosperous Middle East also depends on whether the nations there work together to reform their economies, attract investment and create opportunities for their people. Hopelessness is a great enemy of the region, for those with faith in the future are far more likely to build peace than those immobilized by despair.
Accordingly, I hope we will have your support for our requests for assistance to our partners in peace, including Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the areas under Palestinian self-rule.
We have requested that aggregate assistance for the Middle East remain at the same level as in previous years. Within that total, I hope we can work together to find appropriate funding for all our concerns in the Middle East.
Over the years, the level of assistance provided to this region has been the subject of scrutiny -- appropriately so, as foreign aid budgets have shrunk and dollars are more carefully allocated than ever. We welcome the initiative of the Israeli Government in beginning discussions with the Executive Branch and Congress on a gradual reduction, and eventual phase-out, of economic support funds, coupled with a proposed increase in security assistance. I look forward to coordinating closely with you as discussions on this subject continue.
In Europe, we have two strategic goals. We work with our allies and partners across the Atlantic to meet the global challenges no nation can meet alone. And we work together to build a Europe that is itself for the first time peaceful, undivided and free.
Two years ago, to help meet this second goal, the United States led the effort to stop the war in Bosnia. We recognized that it did not serve American interests to see aggression undeterred, hatred unleashed, and genocide unchecked and unpunished in the heart of Europe. Now, we must finish what we started and continue helping the parties to implement the Dayton Accords.
Around Christmas, I went to Bosnia with the President and Senator Dole and a number of Members of Congress. We found a nation that remains deeply divided, but where multi-ethnic institutions are once again beginning to function. Economic growth is accelerating. Air and train links are being restored. More refugees are returning, and more indicted war criminals are facing trial, including three Serbs who surrendered in the month of February alone.
And -- perhaps most important -- a new Bosnian Serb government has been elected that is committed to implementing Dayton. This has happened because in last November's parliamentary elections, Bosnian Serbs fed up with the politics of hatred and self-isolation denied extremists the majority they once enjoyed. And it has happened because the international community promised to stand by those leaders who are willing to take risks for peace.
Now Prime Minister Dodik and his new government in the Republika Srpska face the difficult task of living up to the commitments they have courageously made to their people and the international community: raising living standards, rooting out corruption, permitting the return of refugees and doing what is necessary to let life in Serb areas begin, at long last, to return to normal.
And we must make good on our pledge to support Bosnian Serbs as they work toward these goals. That is why I have waived restrictions on our assistance to help rebuild infrastructure and revitalize private business -- when and where Serbs are ready to work with their neighbors throughout Bosnia, in Europe and the United States.
Our aid to Serb regions will be strictly conditioned on the new government's progress in implementing Dayton. It will support those who seek to build peace, not those who would undermine it. And for that purpose, it is essential -- and it is right.
In the Republika Srpska and throughout Bosnia, if we persevere, peace will be sustained. More slowly than we foresaw, but as surely as we hoped, the infrastructure of Bosnian peace is gaining shape and the psychology of reconciliation is taking hold.
But if we turn our backs on Bosnia now, as some urge, the confidence we are building would erode. The result could well be a return to genocide and war.
Quitting is not the American way. In Bosnia, the mission should determine the timetable, not the other way around. And as the President made clear in December, "that mission must be achievable and tied to concrete benchmarks, not a deadline."
Accordingly, we and our allies have agreed that NATO will continue to lead a multi-national force in Bosnia after SFOR's current mandate expires in June. Its mission will continue to be to deter hostilities, support the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, and contribute to establishing a secure environment in which Bosnian authorities can increasingly take charge of their country's stability themselves.
Without expanding SFOR's mandate, we will ensure that the new force has an enhanced capability to deal with the task of ensuring public security.
And we will review the size of the force periodically as part of our strategy to gradually transfer its responsibilities to domestic institutions and other international organizations.
We have already held informal briefings with Members of Congress on these consultations. As we discuss with our allies and partners the details of this new phase of operations, you can expect to hear more from us.
We should continue to play an appropriate role in Bosnia as long as our help is needed, our allies and friends do their share, and --most importantly -- the Bosnian people are striving to help themselves. That is the right thing to do. And it is the smart thing, for it is the only way to ensure that when our troops do leave Bosnia, they leave for good.
In addition, we are requesting $225 million in Fiscal Year 1999 from Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) funds for Bosnia. They will support economic reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, democratic development, and physical rebuilding, as well as U.S. police monitors and reform of Bosnian police forces. These programs are designed to continue and make irreversible the progress that Bosnian communities are already feeling: in quality of life, in quality of governance, and in hope for the future.
In this connection, let me also say that we are deeply concerned with the recent violence in Kosovo. We have made it clear that the United States supports neither the untenable status quo nor the demand for Kosovo's independence. The only way forward is for the sides to enter an unconditional dialogue. We are working to increase American support for Kosovo's humanitarian needs, and for the growth of civil society there.
We have made clear to President Milosevic that making progress on Kosovo is a pre-condition for lifting the so-called "outer wall" of sanctions against his country -- and that the use of force to resolve what is a political problem can only deepen the isolation of his regime. We also expect the Kosovo Albanian leadership to distance itself from those who use violence for political ends.
The effort to recover from war in Bosnia reminds us how important it is to prevent war. And how much we owe to those who designed and built NATO, which has been for a half century the world's most powerful defender of freedom and deterrent to aggression.
Mr. Chairman, Members of this Committee were among the earliest and most articulate advocates of enlarging our alliance to include additional qualified central and east European democracies. We hope the Senate will act favorably and soon to endorse the initial round of enlargement, and to make America among the first to ratify the admission of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to NATO. I look forward to maintaining with you a regular and productive dialogue on the role and make-up of the alliance as we strive to make America safer, NATO stronger, and Europe more stable and united.
And I trust that we will be able to mark a strong American consensus, and an ever-stronger partnership with Europe, at NATO's Washington Summit in 1999 -- for which this budget includes funding.
Building peace in Bosnia and beginning the enlargement of NATO are two key elements in our effort to build a peaceful, free and undivided Europe. But there are many others.
Last month, President Clinton joined the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to sign the U.S.-Baltic Charter, to show our support for the freedom and security of these nations and for their efforts to join western institutions. We are pursuing our Northeast Europe Initiative to encourage integration among nations of the Nordic and Baltic region, and to strengthen their ties with us, the EU and their neighbors.
We strongly support the expansion of the EU into central and eastern Europe, and Turkey's desire to be part of that process.
We are putting in place a new Southeast Europe strategy to help integrate countries in that region into western institutions.
We are backing efforts to achieve lasting reconciliation in Northern Ireland -- and the funding this subcommittee provides for peace efforts there is an important part of our support.
We are leading the transformation of the OSCE into an organization that produces not just reports, but results. The funding we have requested for the OSCE helps support human rights and elections monitoring in Bosnia and Croatia; special arms control regimes across the former Yugoslavia; and conflict resolution missions elsewhere in eastern Europe.
We strongly support the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) programs. As two more states, Hungary and Latvia, conclude their use of SEED programs this year, we are shifting our focus to the countries of southeastern Europe, whose political and economic transformations are more slow and uncertain. In addition to our efforts in Bosnia, we will be supporting economic stabilization in Albania and Romania, to help reforms begun in good faith generate positive results. And we will be promoting regional partnerships to use the region's own resources to stimulate growth.
We are also striving to build a relationship with Russia -- and between Russia and NATO -- that is steady and consistent, encouraging Russia toward greater openness at home and constructive behavior abroad.
Russia and its neighbors are making important progress, at varying and uneven speeds, toward resolving conflicts, building functional market economies and establishing democratic institutions.
In Russia, there are many signs that pluralism has taken hold; that living standards are rising; and even more important, that growing numbers of Russians believe that a democratic future holds more promise than does a return to some form of authoritarian rule.
Yet that hope is tempered by real problems. Democracy's progress is slowed by weak institutions and a lack of accountability. Economic growth is held back by slow progress on key reforms, and by the global repercussions of the Asian financial crisis. The U.S.-Russian diplomatic partnership has been an engine for progress from CWC ratification to peace in the Balkans; but we continue to have serious concerns on issues such as Russia's relationship with Iran, particularly the construction of reactors at Bushehr and its sales of sensitive materials.
In the coming year, we will be working with Russia to keep its economic reforms on track, urge START II ratification by the Duma, press for new steps to prevent proliferation, and continue our efforts to support Russian membership in the WTO.
We have cemented our strategic partnership with Ukraine, knowing that an independent, democratic, prosperous and stable Ukraine is a key to building a secure and undivided Europe. Ukraine is a natural friend and partner of the United States; the courage and determination of its citizens have earned our support. And Ukraine is becoming an important force for peace and stability in its region: forging pragmatic ties with Russia, reaching out to its neighbors on all sides, and solidifying a new partnership with NATO.
In the coming year, we will continue to support Ukraine's fragile economic and political reforms, deepen our cooperation under the NATO-Ukraine Charter and work to improve its adherence to nonproliferation norms.
Tomorrow, I will travel to Kiev, where I will bring a strong message of friendship -- but also a warning that treatment of foreign investors in general, and U.S. investment in particular, must improve.
As you know, I face a difficult decision when I return. Later this month, I must certify that Ukraine has made significant progress toward resolving complaints by U.S. investors, or see our aid cut by 50 percent. I hope that I will be able to indicate to this body that progress is being made.
Elsewhere in the region, we have seen important social and economic progress but face continuing challenges: democracy has faltered in Belarus. Peace is slow to take hold in Tajikistan. The stalemate over Nagorno-Karabakh continues. And we are deeply concerned about the recent attempt to assassinate Georgian President Shevardnadze.
Throughout the NIS, much work remains to be done to build foundations for stable democratic governments and functioning, transparent market economies. In this connection, the Administration continues strongly to support repeal of section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which undermines our ability to achieve our goals in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.
In the coming year, we will provide assistance to both Armenia and Azerbaijan to help both meet the challenge of holding free and fair elections. We will work hard for peaceful solutions to regional conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia. And we will continue to foster regional cooperation in Caspian energy development and transportation infrastructure. I know these issues are of great interest to many in Congress as well, and I welcome your support.
Our contribution to democracy-building through the Partnership for Freedom will not re-make the region overnight. But on their success or failure hangs the stability of this vast region; the security and peace of U.S. partners and friends; and, ultimately, the prospects of almost 300 million people for building better tomorrows.
For example, our support helps to foster economic development by encouraging investment in small businesses; promoting tax reform and transparent and effective regulation of industry; and helping battle the illicit deals and crime that have shadowed emerging markets.
We promote the people-to-people contacts that underlie our closest relationships in this region and all over the world; we help replace Communism's worn-out structures with institutions that are accountable and effective; and we help build the civil society that will enable the peoples of the region to enrich their communities and entrench their freedoms.
The Partnership for Freedom has already doubled the number of NIS citizens participating in exchange programs in the United States. And in Russia, our three new regional investment centers -- in Novgorod, Khabarovsk, and Samara -- are helping break down barriers to investment and building up sound business practices.
But frankly, we need to do more. This program was funded well below our request last year -- and the earmarks attached to it have meant that Russia and the Central Asian countries have missed out on the increase in exchange programs and small business support which are the core of the Partnership's work. For those reasons, I urge you to fund fully our request for $925 million -- and I thank this subcommittee, and you, Mr. Chairman, for your efforts to ensure that the funding comes with the flexibility we need to support democracy and market reform throughout the region.
In Asia, we are working to promote stability during a time of great economic uncertainty by solidifying our key alliances with Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.
We also seek to build a more constructive relationship with China through concrete steps and through our strategic dialogue. Let me stress here, Mr. Chairman, that engagement is not the same as endorsement. We continue to have sharp differences with China -- but we also believe that the best way to narrow those differences is to encourage China to become a fully responsible participant in the international system.
Steps in the right direction include China's commitment to strictly control nuclear exports, its assurances on nuclear cooperation with Iran, its security cooperation on the Korean peninsula, its continued economic liberalization, its positive role in responding to the East Asian economic crisis, the release of Wei Jingsheng, its invitation to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit, and its agreement to pursue cooperative activities with us to strengthen the rule of law.
In our own hemisphere, we have important interests dictated not only by proximity of geography, but by proximity of values. For today, with one lonely exception, every government in the hemisphere is freely-elected. Every major economy has liberalized its system for investment and trade. With war in Guatemala ended, Central America is without conflict for the first time in decades. As recent progress toward settling the Ecuador-Peru border dispute reflects, nations are determined to live in security and peace from pole to pole.
And next month, President Clinton and all the democratic leaders of the hemisphere will gather in Santiago for the second Summit of the Americas. Their purpose will be to set an agenda to take us into the 21st century, an agenda that will include education, trade, economic integration, fighting poverty, the war on drugs, judicial reform, the environment and human rights.
Despite the many areas of progress, the region still faces serious challenges. Growing populations make it harder to translate macroeconomic growth into higher standards of living. For many, the dividends of economic reform are not yet visible, while the costs of the accompanying austerity measures are. The building of democracy remains in all countries a work in progress, with stronger, more independent legal systems an urgent need in most.
In Haiti, the job of creating a democratic culture and market economy--where neither has ever existed--is especially daunting. For months, Haiti has been mired in a political standoff. Other young democracies have taken years and endured much violence to sort out such tensions. Haitians are trying to do so through dialogue and debate, not guns. This takes time, but it is important for them to find the way forward.
Meanwhile, efforts to restructure the Haitian economy have lagged. For millions of impoverished Haitians, democracy has not yet delivered on the hope of prosperity.
We cannot turn our backs at this critical stage. To do so would risk creating a Haiti of the future that mirrors its past: an undemocratic Haiti that serves as a safe haven for criminals and drug traffickers and from which thousands of would-be migrants are driven to seek refuge on our shores.
Our economic and food aid to Haiti is directed at basic human needs and at laying the foundation for sustained economic growth. It helps regions beyond the capital attract private investment and create jobs. And through voluntary peacekeeping operations, we are helping professionalize and strengthen Haitian law enforcement.
I ask your support for a substantial increase in assistance at this critical stage. Haitians' desire for change is great, but so are the challenges they face: strengthening civil society, expanding free enterprise, and developing health, education and family planning programs.
Helping democracy to put down roots in Haiti serves U.S. interests. It is the smart thing to do. It is also the right thing to do.
In Cuba, Christmas had special meaning this year because of the Pope's visit. But we will not rest until another day -- Election Day -- has meaning there, as well. The people of Cuba deserve the same right as their counterparts from Argentina to Alaska to select their own leaders and shape their own lives. The Cuban regime was right to allow the Pope's visit, and to begin releasing political prisoners. It should now continue in the spirit of free expression that His Holiness espoused. Meanwhile, the United States will continue working with friends in Europe and throughout the hemisphere to heighten the pressure -- which is building -- for democratic change.
In Africa, we have a rare opportunity to help integrate newly-democratizing partners into the world economy and gain valuable allies in the fight against terror, narcotics trafficking and other global threats.
During my recent visit, I was impressed by how rapidly Africa is departing from the shopworn stereotypes, even as it continues to grapple with chronic problems of poverty and strife. Today, many old conflicts are being settled. Countries are modernizing. Centralized economies are giving way to open markets. And civil society is beginning to blossom.
As we prepare for the President's visit later this month, we want to express our support for countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Benin where the commitment to democracy is strongest, while paying heed, as well, to the trouble spots that remain.
In the strategic, strife-torn Great Lakes region, for example, countries face long odds. Rwanda is still recovering from genocide; Burundi remains without a stable political order; and the vast, resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo must rebuild and democratize after decades of misrule.
I urge the Committee's support for the President's initiative to promote justice and development in the Great Lakes, so that we may help the people there to prevent further outbreaks of violence and to plant the seeds of democratic progress and social renewal. I urge your support for our request for funds for education and debt relief.
And I hope Congress will act quickly to approve the proposed Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. This is a Capitol Hill initiative, supported by the Administration, designed to frame a new American approach to the new Africa.
We believe that the African countries that most deserve our help are those that are doing the most to help themselves. And that the most useful help we can provide is the kind that will enable economies to stand on their own feet -- through open markets, greater investment, increased trade and the development among their peoples of 21st century skills.
PROMOTING OUR SECURITY THROUGH ARMS CONTROL
When we help end conflicts and reduce tensions in regions important to the interests of the United States, we advance the long-term interests and safety of Americans. The same is true when we support arms control and anti-terrorism efforts in other countries and regions.
Our diplomats now face a twin imperative: sustaining a global full-court press to keep biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and the missiles to deliver them, from falling into the wrong hands; and achieving further progress with Russia and others so that the American people never again face the costs and dangers of a nuclear arms race.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) -- already signed by some 150 countries and now awaiting the Senate's advice and consent -- is a major stride toward both of these objectives. For by ending testing, we can hinder both the development and the spread of new and more dangerous nuclear weapons.
This year we are requesting $28.9 million to fund the CTBT Preparatory Commission, which is laying the human and technical foundation for the Treaty's entry into force. Whether or not the test ban is in place, we need to closely monitor any explosive testing of nuclear weapons around the world. These funds will help build the international verification system that will help us deter and detect Treaty violations.
I also ask your support for our proposed $40 million voluntary contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These funds will help the Agency continue strengthening the safeguards system that enables it to verify compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in North Korea, Iraq and scores of other countries.
Our request this year includes $35 million for the Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The Agreed Framework has succeeded in freezing North Korea's dangerous nuclear program. Now it has begun to dismantle that program one step at a time -- having secured over 90 percent of the program's spent fuel, which represents several bombs' worth of weapons-grade plutonium after reprocessing.
KEDO continues to add members and attract financial support from around the world. But our role remains essential -- particularly in light of the East Asian Financial crisis -- to leverage from Asian allies support that will ultimately dwarf our own.
Our Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund lets us move quickly to destroy or remove dangerous weapons or poorly protected nuclear materials from NIS countries. And the International Science Centers we fund in Moscow and Kiev are addressing the human side of the proliferation threat, helping to prevent a perilous brain drain of scientists with WMD expertise to rogue states.
We also have a critical national interest in fighting international terror and helping others to do the same.
This year, we are requesting $21 million for our anti-terrorism programs. These programs enhance the skills of police and security officials in selected countries so that they may be more effective partners in preventing and punishing terrorist acts. The $2 million increase over last year's funding level will help fund training in terrorist interdiction, explosives detection and investigation, as well as allowing more programming in the Middle East and Asia.
This year we seek a major increase in funding -- from $20 million to $50 million -- to support the Administration's Demining 2010 initiative. The United States leads the world in humanitarian demining, and we are determined to do even more. This substantial increase in our own commitment will urge other countries to increase theirs. Our goal is to free civilians everywhere from the threat of landmines by the year 2010.
The security-related programs I have been discussing fall within the Non-Proliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs, or "NADR" Account, created by this subcommittee in the FY 1997 Foreign Operations Appropriation to consolidate in one account a number of related programs previously funded separately. This year our NADR request includes funding for the CTBT PrepCom previously funded through ACDA and the CJS Appropriation, funding for the Science Centers previously included in the NIS account, and our first request for export control assistance as a separately funded activity.
FIGHTING DRUGS AND CRIME
Mr. Chairman, international narcotics trafficking and other forms of trans-border crime also endanger Americans.
The President, and law enforcement agencies and educators at all levels are committed to fighting drugs at home. But we cannot hope to safeguard our citizens unless we also fight this menace abroad, where illicit drugs are produced and ill-gotten gains are hidden away.
Under the President's leadership, we have moved aggressively and with results. This past year, our support for eradication and interdiction helped trigger the largest decline ever in Latin American coca production. For the second year in a row, production fell in every Latin American country -- except Colombia, where traffickers moved when denied the freedom to operate elsewhere. In Peru, coca cultivation is at its lowest level in a decade.
Over the past year, Mexico has enacted legal reforms to combat drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering. It has formed specialized investigative units, sought out and punished official corruption, and passed a comprehensive chemical control law. Drug seizures, arrests and extraditions were up.
As you know, President Clinton last week granted full certification to 22 of the 30 major drug producing and transit countries on our list. Four nations were denied certification outright. These are Afghanistan, Burma, Iran and Nigeria. In Iran, however, we believe the trend is improving, although we lack the hard data necessary to certify that country's cooperation.
Four nations -- Cambodia, Colombia, Pakistan and Paraguay -- were not certified for cooperating, but were granted a national interests waiver. In the case of Colombia, the waiver decision is intended to lay the groundwork for increased future cooperation -- and to support those in Colombia who are striving to strengthen the rule of law and buttress their embattled democracy.
We ask your support for our request for $275 million to continue the fight against international narcotics and crime. In addition to other anti-crime initiatives, these funds support our source country narcotics eradication and alternative development programs -- following up on our progress in the Andes and transferring that approach to new projects elsewhere in Latin America and in Africa and Asia.
These funds support police and military counter-narcotics forces as they uncover and block new smuggling routes and methods.
They will bolster eradication and interdiction programs in Laos, Colombia, Peru and elsewhere.
They fund a comprehensive, international heroin control strategy.
And they support multilateral narcotics efforts in Afghanistan and Burma -- where success is critical but our access is limited.
Our request also includes $20 million for anti-crime programs. This training and technical assistance helps fight money laundering, trafficking in women, alien smuggling, and other crimes which, although they begin far from our shores, may affect Americans. And these funds support the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, and similar academies slated to open with broad international support in Latin America and Asia.
II. Promoting Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
Mr. Chairman, peace and security are paramount goals of our international programs, but promoting economic prosperity is another top priority.
International trade is twice as important to our domestic economy as it was twenty-five years ago. Strong trade-building policies and healthy trading partners are essential -- for increased trade is responsible for one-third of our economic growth over the last five years.
The Clinton Administration is committed to seeing that American companies, workers and farmers have a level playing field on which to compete.
That means being a global leader for trade agreements that help open markets and create jobs for Americans.
It means using the expertise and contacts of our embassies to provide all appropriate help to American firms.
It means sustaining the Export-Import Bank, the Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which help our businesspeople find new markets overseas.
And it means putting our full weight behind better enforcement of intellectual property standards, and improved observance of core labor rights, from the halls of the World Trade Organization and the International Labor Organization to our assistance programs and to my conversations with other world leaders.
But our diplomats and our businesspeople need your commitment as well, and your support for the resources that make these efforts possible.
ASIA FINANCIAL CRISIS
In a globalized economy, trade is not a zero-sum game. For our exports to continue to rise, the wealth, purchasing power and stability of others' economies must also increase. When the economies of our trading partners falter, we risk slipping as well.
Many of your constituents may have asked why the United States should help Asian governments and businesses recover from the mistakes which brought on the current financial crisis. It is a good question to which the facts provide a persuasive answer.
East Asia is home to some of the best customers for U.S. products and services. More than one-third of our nation's exports go there. As much as half of some states' exports, and thousands of good jobs, depend on economic vigor in places such as Bangkok and Seoul.
East Asia includes some of our closest allies and friends, committed to promoting peace in a difficult neighborhood, and working with us to build the kind of open global economy in which all can prosper.
A continued crisis makes other American partners vulnerable as well. Regions such as Central Europe and Latin America, where economies have made great strides in recent years, are watching the international community's response to East Asia with great concern.
Our approach is clear. To recover, a nation must reform its economy. And if it is willing seriously to do so, it will be in our interest to help.
And there is a great deal happening in the affected nations that deserves our support. South Korea's new president, Kim Dae Jung, has built his career -- and staked his life -- on the idea that democratic development and economic growth go hand in hand. He is working with the IMF to promote better governance, by encouraging more openness and transparency in decision-making.
In Thailand, leaders and people responded to the crisis with courageous steps to put their fiscal house in order -- and enact a more democratic constitution.
In the Philippines, years of an IMF program have paid off, and as the country winds down its IMF support, it can boast of one of the region's more solid economies.
In Indonesia, however, the government must do more to address the problems of its banking sector, its procedures for financial oversight, and its insolvent industries -- in a word, it must implement its IMF program. It must also attack long-standing structural problems, including corruption and a lack of democratic openness and accountability.
Mr. Chairman, we are committed to working with Indonesia's government, industry and people to help that country prosper economically, develop sustainably, and build open government. President Clinton's personal representative, Walter Mondale, is in Jakarta this week to consult with President Suharto and other Indonesian officials. We will have more to say after his return.
But as people throughout the region look for reassurance about the future, neither economic nor political reform can hope to succeed if timely and sufficient support from the international community is not forthcoming.
Even as the reforms the IMF is promoting restore financial stability, they also promote better governance, by encouraging more openness and transparency in decisionmaking. This offers the greatest hope of progress towards more democratic and accountable political systems which should lead, in turn, to sounder and wiser economic management.
And since the IMF functions as a sort of intergovernmental credit union, these so-called bailouts won't cost our taxpayers a nickel -- just as the President's bold plan to rescue the Mexican economy three years ago proved cost-free.
The IMF's programs are a hand up, not a hand-out. And they are a loan that will be repaid with interest as our trade with the Asia-Pacific recovers and grows.
To this end, I hope that we can work together to find the money to pay our full share of the IMF's quota increase -- which will support economic recovery in East Asia and help prevent similar crises elsewhere.
Our supplemental request would also extend to the IMF a line of credit for use in the event of a serious financial crisis. These requests are for budget authority only -- they involve no outlay of funds and have no effect on calculations of government spending.
The choice to support the IMF is a choice between shaping the global economy, or allowing ourselves to be buffeted by it; between sustaining America's leadership, or abdicating it.
Our support for the World Bank and the five regional development banks also works to build healthier economies and strengthen societies in countries which are already our partners in diplomacy and trade, as well as in those which are unable to participate fully in the international system but desire to do so.
Our total request for multilateral development banks includes $502 million in arrears payments, for the second year of a three-year plan to clear our debts to these institutions.
With the support of this sub-committee, we have begun to make catch-up payments this year -- and have been able to negotiate substantial reductions in our contributions to these organizations. Our campaign for transparency and accountability has helped open Bank activities, especially in East Asia, to greater public scrutiny. But our leadership in these areas cannot continue unless our funding continues as well.
Let me also emphasize the work of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which mobilizes the resources of developed and developing nations to protect the environment. Our contributions to the GEF help protect our fisheries and our climate by cutting pollution of the world's oceans. Already, GEF programs are working to reduce emissions in developing nations. Making sure that all nations do their part in slowing global warming is a critical part of our strategy; through the GEF, those efforts have already begun. And we know they work.
But it is difficult, to say the least, to obtain more cooperation from our partners on these issues as long as we are failing to fund our pledged share of the GEF's expenses, as has been the case for the past three years. I urge you to fund our $300 million request fully, both to meet these important objectives and to work toward keeping our promises and maintaining our leadership in sound and sensible environmental protection.
Similarly, I ask your support for activities under the Montreal Protocol, to help address the critical issue of ozone depletion.
When we contribute to multilateral efforts promoting sustainable development, we leverage as much as eight or ten times our national contribution to support goals we share.
This year, we have requested a modest $7 million increase in our contributions to the United Nations Development Program. The United States was traditionally a leader in this body, and we led efforts to reform and streamline it -- and make it the central coordinating and funding mechanism for UN development assistance.
The need for its work remains especially strong among African countries emerging from war and hunger with great aspirations -- and serious reform plans; and among Asia's poorer nations, trying to catch up with their neighbors. It is also playing a major role in supporting women around the world as they work to gain more equal access to the levers of political and economic power.
Like UNDP, UNICEF plays an important role in countries suffering from, or recovering from, the devastation caused by civil or international conflict. UNICEF helps protect children--a society's most vulnerable members and its hope for the future--from the Balkans to Liberia. We have maintained our request for funding for UNICEF at $100 million for FY 1999.
Mr. Chairman, one of the most inspiring ways this account helps make a difference in the lives of men and women in this country and around the world is through its support for the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps has been one of this country's most successful programs overseas, both in bringing skills and knowledge to those who desperately need them, and in earning enormous respect and admiration for America and Americans.
President Clinton's request for $270 million in funding will put us well along the path to having 10,000 volunteers serving overseas by the year 2000.
Mr. Chairman, we also ask your support for our population and health programs, which help developing nations devote more of their scarce resources to building a better future for their citizens.
Child Survival and Disease Programs, which this Subcommittee has done so much to support, prevent millions of infant and child deaths every year. They also help children grow up into healthier, more productive adults by improving nutrition, fighting infectious disease and funding basic education.
Our voluntary family planning programs serve our broader interests as well. When women and families can choose the number and timing of their children, population growth rates stabilize. Maternal and infant mortality decline -- as does the demand for abortions. Women gain status and can put their full potential to work building better lives for themselves, their children, and their societies.
Mr. Chairman, I am well aware that some members oppose this aid, or want to attach crippling conditions to it. I respect their views but do not share them.
Regrettably, the annual delays and uncertainties that result from the controversy over funding our international family planning programs -- which we take great pains to ensure are not coercive, and do not fund abortions -- cause more of the tragedies our critics say they seek to prevent.
I thank this subcommittee for its willingness to work pragmatically on this problem, and to put the interests of the United States, and those of the people we are trying to help, first. I will do all I can to continue our cooperation -- and I hope I can count on you to do the same.
III. Promoting Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law
Mr. Chairman, America's global leadership is derived not only from our economic and military power, but from the power of our ideals. And fundamental to American ideals is our commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
To millions around the world, the United States represents the potential of democracy. Wherever we are visibly involved and engaged, we give hope to people who are struggling to secure their human rights and to build democracy. By building partnerships with other freedom-loving peoples, we sustain the growth of open markets and democracy that has enhanced our own security and prosperity, and which has been the signature element of our age.
USAID's democracy and governance funds have helped nearly double women's participation in Bangladeshi elections; encourage greater accountability within the Palestinian Authority; and pass better environmental laws in Indonesia. I know you will hear separately from Brian Atwood about USAID's request, but let me take this opportunity to indicate my strong support for it, and for the work USAID is doing around the world.
We also bolster democracy through our economic support and development assistance programs in selected countries. For example, our economic support funds request will help improve judicial systems in Africa and Latin America; work to sustain peace and democracy in Guatemala; and contribute to the work of the War Crimes Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
Whether through the SEED and Partnership for Freedom programs, the President's Africa Great Lakes Initiative, or USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, when we support human rights and democracy we are supporting our natural partners -- and our natural interests.
If, however, we were to abandon or walk away from our partners in these countries, we would heighten the possibility that their societies would retreat into repression or dissolve into the disorder within which terrorists and criminals thrive.
IV. Providing Humanitarian Assistance
This year, we have requested $670 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance and for our emergency funds in this area. That is the amount we need to do our part in international relief for victims of persecution or armed conflict. The request also includes funding for new initiatives to assist and protect refugee children.
We have also requested additional funding for international disaster assistance, including programs to respond to nuclear, biological or chemical disasters abroad.
At key moments, through more than two centuries, Americans have been asked to rise to a challenge: in Washington's time to pledge their sacred honor; in Lincoln's to ensure that government of the people did not perish; in Roosevelt's to overcome fear, itself; and under JFK to bear any burden in defense of freedom.
And at those moments, Americans of every political persuasion have not just managed but excelled in working together to build the institutions and summon the resolve that have defined the fate of our nations and shaped the history of our age.
Today, our nation is not engaged in revolution, nor embroiled in civil war, nor weighed down by Depression, nor confronting a superpower rival.
And this subcommittee has worked to build a strong partnership with me and others in this Administration. Its impact shows around the world, where our leadership is resurgent and welcome, from the halls of the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague to democracy's front lines in Central America and East Africa. And it shows as we sustain our security and build our prosperity at home.
But we have a great deal yet to do.
For we know that against the tide of freedom, prosperity and peace there remain counter-currents of criminality, vitriol and ambition untempered by decency and law.
We cannot be complacent or short of breath or weak of will in meeting the responsibilities we face in our time just as our predecessors did in theirs.
Let us go forward with confidence in our strength and faith in our principles, to defend freedom, serve justice, advocate peace and help citizens everywhere to live fuller and more prosperous lives.
[End of Document]
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