|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations
May 20, 1999, Washington, D.C.
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
(As Prepared for Delivery)
"U.S. Foreign Operations Budget"
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, good morning. I am pleased to be here to seek your support for the Administration's request for funds for the foreign operations programs of the United States.
At the outset, let me thank this Subcommittee and its members for their leadership 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 goals.
For we all know America's purpose. It is freedom. We Americans are dedicated to the rights of all people. We promote government with the consent of the governed. We believe in law. We cherish peace. We seek prosperity.
Having said this, we have not said very much. For it is easy to list goals. Our task, together, you and me, America and our friends overseas, is to achieve them.
About a decade ago, we began a journey into a new era. We set out free from Cold War bonds, but soon were plagued by other perils. Along the way, we have not always put our foot right, but overall we have made great progress.
Because the signposts of the past have fallen, history demands that we be innovators and trailblazers, builders of new institutions and adapters of old.
So in virtually every part of every continent, we work with others to bring nations closer together around basic principles of democracy and law, open markets and a commitment to peace.
We do this because it is right, but also because it is essential to protect the best interests of our nation and people. In this era, our security, prosperity and freedom hinge on whether others, too, have access to these blessings. And the future depends on whether we can help shape a world in which disputes are settled, prosperity is shared, criminals are caught, aggressors are deterred and basic human rights are respected.
Mr. Chairman, we need the full measure of American influence and leadership at this critical time. The scope of our national interests and the connections between our global role and our prosperity require it. The range of threats to our security demands it. And, as recent events in the Balkans, the Gulf, Asia and Africa remind us, the world will not wait.
That is why I come before you in search of the resources and tools we need to respond to perils and seize opportunities for ensuring our security, promoting our prosperity and upholding our values.
This Subcommittee has generally supported funding for international programs and for that, I thank you. In particular, I salute your support for a supplemental to meet urgent needs in Kosovo and Southeast Europe as well as Central America and Jordan.
I was gratified to see so many Senators, including several of you, travel to Southeast Europe or Central America earlier this year. You gained firsthand knowledge of the human tragedies and foreign policy challenges we face. You returned committed to seeing that the State Department has the resources to get our part of the job of relief and reconstruction done right. And your efforts are paying off.
I hope that we can work together in that same spirit to maintaining next year, and in the years to come, the quality of diplomatic leadership that can prevent crises from ever occurring -- and respond to them quickly when they do happen.
Unfortunately, this year the budget allocations being contemplated would require drastic reductions in the funding requested by the President for foreign operations - cuts in the range of 14-29 percent. This appears the outcome of a process shut off from the realities of the world in which we live. It is arithmetic, not statecraft, and it presents us with a shared problem.
Cuts of this magnitude would gravely imperil immediate and long-term American interests. Let me explain how.
The low funding levels would be bad enough, but they are complicated by limits on spending.
Because foreign aid spends out over several years, aid commitments made in previous years account for half of the spending, our outlays, in the President's budget request. A lower FY 2000 spending ceiling means that prior year commitments will account for an even greater proportion of the total, leaving very little room for new spending. To meet our prior commitments, we might well be required to make other cuts, as much as one-half to two-thirds, in programs that are essential to American interests.
This is tantamount to the surrender of American leadership around the world.
Anyone who says we should do more to counter terror, or fight drugs, or halt proliferation, or promote American exports, or prevent the abuse of human rights should agree that it is not possible to accomplish any of these goals without resources.
This is not a partisan issue. The call for a strong U.S. foreign policy comes from leaders in both parties. I hope, Mr. Chairman, that we can answer it together -- and work to assure funding levels that provide our citizens with the diplomatic leadership they deserve.
I. AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AROUND THE WORLD
A. Europe and the New Independent States
Mr. Chairman, this year we mark the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of NATO. It is an appropriate time to rededicate ourselves to the goal of a new Europe -- undivided, democratic and at peace.
But the continent cannot be whole and free as long as its southeast corner is wracked by ethnic tensions and threatened with conflict. And throughout this decade, the primary source of rancor and violence in this region has been the ruthless incitement of ethnic hatred by authorities in Belgrade.
The current campaign of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo is an assault on universal values of respect for human rights and dignity. The resulting outflow of refugees is both horrifying and profoundly destabilizing. And Milosevic's repeated use of violence and terror poses a profound threat to the security and character of Europe.
NATO was right to respond. And, despite the difficulties we face, we will prevail. NATO, the European Union, and our G-8 partners including Russia have united around terms for an acceptable end to the crisis. Serb security forces must leave so that refugees can safely re-enter. An international security presence must be allowed, with NATO at its core. And the people of Kosovo must be given the democratic self-government they have long deserved.
We are continuing to work, through military and diplomatic means, to make Belgrade understand that these terms offer the only prospect for peace. And we continue to support the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its effort to ensure that those who commit or order atrocities in Kosovo will be held accountable.
The current crisis highlights the need to integrate the Balkans more fully into the Euro-Atlantic Community of democracies. We do not want this conflict to serve as a prelude to others.
In the weeks ahead, we will be consulting with you, and working with regional leaders, our Allies and international financial institutions to develop a strategy for bringing Europe's southeast corner into the continent's mainstream.
The President's budget proposal, as you know, was presented before Belgrade turned away from negotiations and chose the course of war and mayhem. It foresees an extensive international presence in Kosovo, but not the military force that will now be required. I hope we can work closely together, Mr. Chairman, to revise our request to take account of the situation in the region -- and to ensure that we and our European partners do our part to build a solid foundation for a new generation of peace.
That is what we are doing -- with NATO, the EU, Russia and others -- in Bosnia. Completing the implementation of the Dayton Accords would remove a major threat to European security and establish a model for inter-ethnic cooperation that is needed throughout the Balkans and around the world.
Since the Accords were signed three years ago, enormous progress has been made. And as peace has returned, we have steadily reduced our troop presence, and worked to return decision-making to Bosnian hands.
But the nation's bitter divisions are only partially healed. If the promise of Dayton is to be fulfilled, we must stand firm in our support for Bosnia. I ask your support for our request of $175 million to help refugees return home, buttress democracy and human rights, foster foreign investment and a free-market economy, professionalize Bosnia's police and reinforce regional stability. And to serve our interests throughout this corner of Europe, I ask your support for the President's SEED request encompassing all of Southeast Europe, which totals $393 million.
Beyond the Balkans, Mr. Chairman, we are working with our friends, allies and partners to create new institutions and adapt old ones to meet the challenges of the new era. And with every step forward, we draw closer to our vision of a Europe whole and free.
With the President's personal leadership, and crucial help from former Senator George Mitchell, we have supported the people of Ireland in their desire to end terror and live in peace through implementation of the historic "Good Friday" agreement.
I want to thank this Subcommittee once more for its support for the annual U.S. contribution to the International Fund for Ireland. This is a valuable expression of our support for peace in Northern Ireland.
With Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, we have signed the U.S.-Baltic Charter, to show support for the freedom and security of those nations and for their efforts to join western institutions. And we are pursuing our Northeast Europe Initiative to build bridges among the nations of the Nordic and Baltic region.
Under the New Transatlantic Agenda, we are working with the European Union to meet the challenges we both face around the world, such as humanitarian disasters, proliferation threats, international crime, and differences over trade. We strongly support the expansion of the European Union (EU) into central and eastern Europe, and Turkey's desire to be part of that process. We are working hard to ease tensions in the Aegean and continue to explore every opportunity for progress towards a settlement on Cyprus.
We are among those striving to help the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meet its potential as a catalyst for democratic change, tolerance and respect for human rights.
With our allies, we last month set the course for NATO's second fifty years. At the Washington Summit, we welcomed NATO's three new members, with strong Congressional support. We recognized collective defense as the core mission of the Alliance, but resolved to prepare to respond to the full range of threats the Alliance may face. And we resolved to further develop our partnerships with other European democracies.
Further to the east, democratic change remains very much a work in progress. In many countries, respect for human rights and the rule of law is weak and economic reforms have been slowed by financial turmoil.
We will continue to help countries in the region find the right road. We do this for reasons of principle, but also because this part of the world is critical to our own long-term security and prosperity.
We are determined to maintain our pragmatic partnership with Russia in the many areas where our interests coincide. The fact is, on a variety of security, financial, and global matters, Russia has continued to do serious business with the United States and with western institutions, notwithstanding our differences over Kosovo. We have moved forward on important issues such as the HEU agreement, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and the Civil Aviation agreement.
We have made noteworthy progress toward the goal of completing CFE negotiations by the time of the OSCE summit later this year.
And we have maintained frequent contacts, from President Yeltsin on down, in an effort to bring Russia on board over Kosovo. I will also mention that we have not seen that cooperation change since the departure of Prime Minister Primakov last week.
Obviously, it remains to be seen how Russian politics will evolve. But one thing is constant -- America's interest in encouraging a peaceful and democratic Russia to tackle its economic problems and play a constructive international role. It should not be surprising that the Russian transition from Communism to a more open system is proving difficult. Our own democracy took many decades to mature and remains unfinished. We have an enormous stake in Russian success and will continue to help as long as Russia is committed to the path of reform.
We are sustaining our strategic partnership with Ukraine -- knowing that an independent, democratic, prosperous and stable Ukraine remains a key to building a secure and undivided Europe. This year we will continue to support Ukraine's economic and political reforms, press for a free and fair Presidential election, enhance cooperation under the NATO-Ukraine Charter and strengthen joint nonproliferation efforts. As Ukraine prepares for elections this year, it is essential that President Kuchma demonstrate the leadership, and the Rada the wisdom, to press ahead with overdue reforms.
In February, after the most searching consideration, I was able to certify that the requirements of U.S. law with respect to Ukraine's business climate were met -- albeit just barely. But I would urge Congress to reconsider the wisdom of the certification requirement, as it has become an impediment to our credibility and steady engagement in Ukraine. I look forward to working with Congress and the U.S. business community to ensure a level playing field for American economic interests in Ukraine.
Throughout the NIS, a great deal of work remains to be done to build stable democratic governments and functioning, transparent market economies. And the United States has a continuing interest in fostering regional cooperation in Caspian energy development and transportation infrastructure. I welcome the great Congressional interest and support for these issues.
In the coming year, we hope to see progress on resolving the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia, and are engaged with all parties toward that end.
We renew our request this year for legislation to repeal Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. This provision hinders our ability to advance America's national interests in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. Eliminating it would restore balance to our policy toward Azerbaijan and Armenia, and reinforce our role as an honest broker in the peace process.
We are monitoring with concern the rise of repression in Belarus, and supporting NGOs and media outlets to help opposition views reach the public. And we are preparing to facilitate withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova, by requesting funding under the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative for disposal of munitions and force relocation.
And, as every country in the region holds elections this year or next, I ask your support for our efforts to ensure that they be free and fair.
Our support for democratic and market reform will not re-make the region overnight. But it can help those in the region who are helping themselves to move in the right direction.
For example, our support fosters economic development by encouraging investment in small businesses; helps to build accountable democratic institutions; and fights the crime and corruption that have shadowed emerging markets. It helps sustain and expand our nonproliferation programs, which I will discuss shortly. Our assistance is focused on exchanges, civil society and the private sector; and it is increasingly directed toward the regions, not concentrated in capitals.
We fund these NIS programs neither as a favor to governments in the region nor as a stamp of approval of all their policies, but because they serve American interests. And frankly, we need to do more. So I urge you to back our full request of $1.032 billion this year. And I ask that you ensure that we have the flexibility we need to support democratic and market reforms in accordance with America's interests.
B. The Western Hemisphere
Here in our own hemisphere, we have important interests dictated not only by proximity of geography, but by proximity of values.
The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean have made great progress over the past two decades, but serious problems remain. These include poverty, inequality and corruption; there are still recurring crises, including natural disasters, political turmoil, and financial instability. But there is now a broad and deepening consensus across the region on how to deal with these challenges, and a willingness to work cooperatively on them. I ask you to ensure that we have the resources we need to help make the most of this historic opportunity.
Five years ago, at the Summit in Miami, President Clinton and the other 33 democratic leaders of our hemisphere affirmed a commitment to democracy and market economics, and developed an action plan to help make a difference in people's daily lives.
At the heart of the Summit process is a commitment to free and fair trade and economic integration. In recent years, every major economy in the region has liberalized its system for investment and trade; and we have begun negotiations to achieve a Free Trade Area of the Americas by 2005.
As a result of its continuing market-based reforms, Latin America has been relatively successful in weathering the global financial crisis; our exports to this region have continued to rise steadily even during the recent periods of turbulence. To complete this transformation, we must follow through on our free trade agenda and give the President the same authority to negotiate trade agreements as his recent predecessors have had.
As they pursue a shared trade agenda, the leaders of our hemisphere are also working together to ensure that the promise of economic reform translates into steadily improved standards of living for ordinary citizens. At last year's Summit in Santiago, they approved initiatives to promote small business development, increase investments in education, and address wide and increasing inequalities between the rich and poor.
The focus on broad-based economic development is central to our strategy for helping our neighbors in the Caribbean and Central America recover from Hurricane Georges and Hurricane Mitch -- among the worst natural disasters ever to strike the Western Hemisphere.
I welcome your support for our supplemental request in this area. The hurricane season is upon Central America and the Caribbean again, and we will be able to put this money to immediate use in repairing last year's damage and helping prepare against the ravages of future storms. It is particularly timely, as the international donor community will hold a consultative group meeting in Stockholm May 24-28 to discuss Central American reconstruction.
Approving the supplemental was a vital step in aiding the recovery of Central America, but sustained recovery also requires expanding trade and creating jobs. Ultimately, job creation and economic development in Central America and the Caribbean are the keys to long-term stability and to stemming the flow of illegal immigration. These are the goals of the Caribbean Basin Trade Enhancement legislation which the Administration submitted in March. I urge Congress to adopt this legislation promptly.
As the recent disasters so starkly demonstrate, economic development is often a series of two steps forward, one step back. What is required is long-term commitment.
Support for democracy requires the same kind of determination and steadiness. Every democracy, including our own, remains a work in progress. We should not let the occasional discouraging headline distract us from the remarkable gains made over the past two decades, as nation after nation in our hemisphere has embraced the principles of representative and constitutional government.
Consider, for example, some of the crises of the last few months: serious political conflicts over economic policy in Ecuador; an assassination in Paraguay that triggered a presidential resignation; and a political stalemate in Haiti which may be lessening but is still unresolved. In each of these countries, democracy is not yet deeply-rooted. Ten years ago, how would we have expected these crises to be resolved?
None of these stories is yet complete. But despite the turmoil, the leaders and citizens of these countries have NOT pushed aside democracy and the rule of law; the militaries have NOT stepped in as alleged national saviors; political differences have NOT degenerated into widespread violence, even when there were thousands marching in the streets. Instead, from Asuncion to Quito to Port-au-Prince, we have seen negotiations within a constitutional framework, and efforts to forge broad-based, multi-party coalitions.
Let me also say a few words about Colombia, a country that is a major priority of our current democracy efforts.
Colombia is not a new democracy; but its political institutions are under terrible strain, as the government tries to cope with a bloody civil conflict, massive drug trafficking, and economic stagnation. The January 25th earthquake was also a huge blow.
Since taking office last summer, President Pastrana has worked hard to reestablish the rule of law, restore fiscal responsibility, and secure peace. He offers the best chance in years to put Colombia back on the right course and deserves our support.
President Pastrana and other elected leaders around the hemisphere are valuable partners in the effort to strengthen democratic institutions and improve standards of living. Unfortunately, Fidel Castro continues to justify his pariah status by throwing dissidents and human rights advocates in prison, and refusing to hold free and fair elections. Our response is guided by one simple principle: the Cuban people deserve the same rights and liberties as their counterparts from Argentina to Alaska.
In January, President Clinton announced a series of steps, building on measures the Administration took the previous March, which expand our efforts to reach out to the Cuban people and help prepare for a peaceful transition to democracy. In particular, we have made it easier for Cubans to be in touch with family and friends in the United States, and easier for the Cuban-American community to help those on the island. As the President made clear, our goal is to strengthen people-to-people ties and encourage the development in Cuba of peaceful activities independent of the government.
C. The Asia-Pacific
In the Asia Pacific, we are working with allies and partners to improve security cooperation, restore economic momentum and build democracy.
As President Clinton and Prime Minister Obuchi reaffirmed in their summit earlier this month, the U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone of regional security, and we are reinvigorating that alliance through the implementation of new guidelines for defense cooperation. With the world's second largest economy, Japan is also an economic key. We are encouraging Tokyo to continue and expand its program of deregulation, market-opening and other measures to restore growth.
There is no greater threat to peace and stability in the Asia Pacific than the situation on the Korean Peninsula. With our Korean and Japanese allies, and China, we are seeking ways to reduce tensions with North Korea and make progress towards a permanent settlement.
To this end, we have vigorously pressed our concerns about North Korea's development, deployment, testing and export of long range missiles. We have reached an agreement that will allow U.S. inspection of underground construction at Kumchang-ni, thereby assuring -- at a minimum -- the suspension of any destabilizing activities that may have been occurring at that site. And we continue to insist that North Korea meet its obligation under the Agreed Framework to freeze and dismantle its ability to produce fissile material which can be used in nuclear weapons.
As members of the Subcommittee know, former Defense Secretary Perry is currently conducting a comprehensive review of U.S. policy towards North Korea. He has sought extensive Congressional input and consulted closely with the South Korean and Japanese governments. We expect Dr. Perry to present his findings and recommendations to the President very soon.
Also in East Asia, we have continued our principled and purposeful engagement with China. The tragic and mistaken bombing by NATO of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, for which President Clinton and other Alliance leaders have apologized, should not alter the fundamental relationship between our two countries.
Cooperation between the United States and China is vital to regional security, prosperity and peace. Neither country can benefit from a policy of confrontation or isolation.
Since the U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue began a half decade ago, we have seen China move from being part of the nuclear proliferation problem to becoming part of the solution. It has endorsed extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); become party to the Chemical Weapons Convention; promised not to assist unsafeguarded nuclear facilities; supported peace talks on Korea; and played a responsible role during the Asian financial crisis.
We need to recognize these gains, even as we press for further progress.
On economic issues, we are continuing our effort to negotiate an agreement that would enable China to join the World Trade Organization on commercially viable terms.
On proliferation, we are urging China to take the necessary steps to become party to the Missile Technology Control Regime.
And on human rights, we are pressing Beijing to live up to the standards of the UN covenants it has signed, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We have also urged China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama.
As I have said before, in our relations with China, engagement is not endorsement. We continue to have disagreements with Beijing. But we also believe that the way to narrow those differences, and to take advantage of the many areas where U.S. and Chinese interests coincide, is through regular contacts and dialogue.
Elsewhere in the region, we are strongly supporting those committed to political and economic reform.
While visiting Indonesia this spring, I spoke both publicly and privately about the importance of holding free, fair and credible elections on June 7, and about the need for the Indonesian military to do more to stop violence without abusing human rights. I also discussed with Indonesian leaders the ongoing effort to reach a just and peaceful resolution of the status of East Timor. My emphasis was on the need to disarm paramilitary forces, promote stability, and respect the will of East Timor's people as the transition to a new status takes place.
In Cambodia, we are continuing to work with ASEAN, Japan, Australia and others to strengthen democracy. We are encouraged by the progress that has been made towards political reconciliation, and are urging authorities to bring senior Khmer Rouge leaders from the 1975-1979 period to justice under credible, internationally-sanctioned procedures.
In Burma, we continue to advocate a meaningful dialogue between the authorities there and the democratic opposition, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD). We are deeply concerned by the attempts made throughout the past year to harass and intimidate NLD leaders. Officials in Rangoon must understand that the path to international acceptance and economic progress lies in movement towards a legitimate and popularly supported government.
D. South Asia
Mr. Chairman, South Asia receives a relatively small amount of American assistance -- but the region has a significant impact on our national interests.
Last year's nuclear tests by India and Pakistan posed a threat to international security and dealt a blow to the nuclear nonproliferation regime. In our diplomacy, we strive to move both governments toward the mainstream of international proliferation policy. We are encouraging the parties to resolve the long-standing tensions between them; and we work in the process to broaden and revitalize our relations with both countries.
We have made some important headway. Both India and Pakistan have made qualified commitments to adhere to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by September; and they have pledged to join negotiations for a fissile material production cutoff, and to tighten export controls.
Indian voters will not choose a new parliament until this fall, but we are determined to maintain our arms control dialogue during the interim period.
More broadly, throughout the region we will be working hard to advance our core foreign policy objectives of enhancing economic ties, countering terrorism, extending the rule of law and promoting respect for human rights -- including religious freedom, worker rights and women's rights.
E. The Middle East
American policy in the Middle East is designed to strengthen the forces of peace, encourage regional economic integration and growth, spur democratic progress, marginalize extremists and defeat terror.
To these ends, we maintain our unshakable commitment to the security of our ally, Israel. And we continue to work with regional leaders in support of a just, lasting and comprehensive Middle East peace. This year, as we mark the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, we remember how far we have come -- and how far we have yet to travel.
We welcome the election of Ehud Barak as the next Prime Minister of Israel. Once he has formed a government and taken office, we hope to move forward vigorously on all aspects of the Middle East Peace Process. We hope for rapid implementation of all outstanding Wye obligations by both sides, and the start of permanent status negotiations with the goal of completing them within one year. We will also be prepared to undertake a new effort to make progress on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks.
We were extremely pleased this week to receive in Washington His Majesty, King Abdullah of Jordan, who has pledged to maintain Jordan's constructive role in the peace process. With the passing of Jordan's King Hussein, the region lost a courageous and eloquent champion of peace. We have expressed our full support and friendship to the new King and -- with the support of Congress, for which I thank you -- will help him work to strengthen the Jordanian economy.
Mr. Chairman, as we pursue our diplomacy, I hope we can count on the Subcommittee's support to fund those programs that help support the peace process. These include our requests for Economic Support Funds and Foreign Military Financing that benefit our partners in peace --Israelis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Palestinians -- as well as regional programs that bring those parties together.
In the Gulf, we will continue to work with our allies and friends, and within the United Nations Security Council, to confront the threats posed by the Iraqi regime.
Last December, we joined our British allies in a military operation that degraded Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capacity and its ability to threaten its neighbors. We have since continued to enforce the southern and northern No-Fly Zones and have repeatedly acted against Iraqi military assets in the zones that threaten our pilots and aircraft.
At the United Nations, we are working within the Security Council to develop a basis for resuming inspection and monitoring of Iraq's remaining WMD capabilities. We will insist that sanctions against the regime continue until Iraq meets its obligations, although we support easing the burdens on the Iraqi people through an enhanced oil-for-food program.
Our policy towards Iraq is to counter the threat Saddam Hussein poses to his people, his neighbors, our allies, and our interests in the region until there is a change in regime in Baghdad. We must and will persist in thwarting Iraq's potential for aggression. And we will support the Iraqi people's desire to reintegrate themselves into the international community and free themselves from a leader they do not want, do not deserve, and never chose.
Across the border from Iraq in Iran, parliamentary elections have reinforced clear signs of popular support for a society based on the rule of law and a more open approach to the world. We welcome that, though we are concerned that Iran continues to pursue policies--on proliferation, terrorism, and human rights--that violate international norms.
Iran's President Khatami has called for a dialogue between our two peoples. Last summer, I endorsed that call and expressed a willingness to work with authorities in Tehran, when the time is right, to develop a roadmap for more normal relations. The official Iranian response thus far has not been encouraging, but we stand ready for a dialogue in which both sides would be free to discuss all issues of concern.
Last month, two Libyans accused in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 were delivered into the custody of Scottish authorities for trial in the Netherlands by a Scottish Court under Scottish law. This development is a milestone in the decade-long effort to hold accountable those responsible for the murders of 270 people, including 189 Americans. The United States looks forward to the legal resolution of this case, and to the partial alleviation of anguish that may bring to those whose loved ones were lost on Pan Am 103.
In Africa, our challenge is to address pressing security and humanitarian concerns, while maintaining our focus on helping to realize the continent's great human and economic potential.
From the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, African states are embroiled in civil and regional wars that are taking a horrifying toll on innocent civilians. It would be difficult to overestimate the destructiveness of these conflicts; and we are engaged in intensive efforts to resolve each of them.
Just two days ago, with strong U.S. support, Sierra Leone's President Kabbah and rebel leader Sankoh signed a cease-fire agreement, a step toward ending the brutal fighting there.
But at the same time, we are mindful of the fact that conflict is not the only force shaping the future of the 700 million people in the region.
An increasing number of Africa's leaders now understand that the continent's future prosperity depends on trade and foreign investment. They are working to create a better environment for doing business, by privatizing state-run enterprises, revamping commercial codes, and adopting sound fiscal policies. As a result, overall economic growth in Africa has averaged nearly 4 percent over the past four years, and our exports to the region have risen by an average of more than 11 percent per year over the same period.
The United States has a direct stake in seeing this economic progress continue. It means better business opportunities for American companies. And it means that African nations could be stronger allies, and less dependent on international assistance, in the decades to come.
So, once again, I urge Congress to pass the African Growth and Opportunity Act. This trade measure would provide essential support for the process of economic reform across the continent, and expand our trade with one of the largest untapped markets in the world.
Mr. Chairman, I want to draw your attention to our efforts in Sudan, a country that remains one of our diplomatic and humanitarian priorities. With your support, the United States provided more than $150 million to Sudanese relief last year, and has already committed over $130 million for Fiscal Year 1999. Operation Lifeline Sudan is now the largest food delivery program in history, having surpassed the Berlin Airlift. Thanks to this remarkable effort, the immediate crisis which endangered the lives of over two million people in the southern part of that country has largely abated.
But long-term food security in Sudan depends on ending that country's civil war. The international donor community, with our active participation and support, is working to revitalize the negotiating process. Kenya has appointed a special envoy to focus full-time on the process. And with American assistance, a secretariat will be set up for the talks in Nairobi, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
In Africa, as elsewhere, we can have the greatest impact where we have partners. For that reason, it is essential for us to continue our strong support for the positive developments in Africa's two anchor states, South Africa and Nigeria.
Five years ago, Nelson Mandela was elected as the first president of a free South Africa. Next month, he will step down; the voters will select a new parliament; and that parliament will choose Mandela's successor. Mandela's wisdom will of course be missed; there are few leaders in world history as beloved; but the fact that this transfer of power is taking place so smoothly marks yet another step forward in South Africa's transition to normal democratic governance.
One of the great accomplishments of the Mandela administration has been to reduce the government's role in the economy and promote private sector investment and competition. But in many ways the job of building South Africa's democratic institutions is just beginning. And while political violence has receded, violent crime of a more prosaic nature, including organized crime, has become a major problem.
The task of building true democracy in Nigeria is even more daunting, but that country's political situation has improved dramatically over the past year. In February, Nigeria chose its first elected president in over fifteen years. The elections were far from perfect -- but the people's choice was clear.
President Clinton, Treasury Secretary Rubin and I met with President-elect Obasanjo on March 30th, and assured him that we will provide strong support for Nigeria's transition to democracy.
For the future of the continent, the stakes could not be higher. Nigeria has the largest population in sub-Saharan Africa and is a dominant cultural, economic, and military power. A successful democracy, coupled with a revived economy, could be an engine for positive change throughout the region.
Nigeria, South Africa and most other African nations have long and difficult journeys ahead. They will need to persevere in spite of the setbacks and discouragements that are bound to come along the way. The United States needs to stay the course as well. We should continue to provide essential assistance to those who are working to open markets, and strengthen civil society, representative democracy, and the rule of law. This is the strategic approach that drives our policy and for which I ask the support of this Subcommittee and the Congress.
II. GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
Mr. Chairman, to protect the security and prosperity of our citizens, we are engaged in every region on every continent. Many of our initiatives and concerns are directed, as I have discussed, at particular countries or parts of the world. Others are more encompassing and can best be considered in global terms.
A. Protecting American Security
The first of these is our strategy for ensuring the fundamental security of our citizens and territory -- a challenge that differs substantially from the past.
The risks of East-West confrontation have been sharply reduced, and for that we remain grateful. But we face a variety of other dangers, some fueled by technology's advance; some by regional rivalry; some by naked ambition; and some by envy, resentment or outright hate.
During the past year alone, we have witnessed terrorist attacks against two of our embassies in Africa, the testing of longer-range missiles by North Korea and Iran, periodic threats from Saddam Hussein, and nuclear explosions in South Asia that fueled regional tensions and challenged the global nonproliferation regime.
The future promises scant relief from such perils. In response, President Clinton has outlined plans for strengthening our military, revitalizing our alliances, and preparing American communities for possible terrorist strikes.
Defending America requires both the capacity and the will to use force when necessary. But we must also use diplomacy vigorously, to bolster the forces of law and prevent weapons of mass destruction and the missiles that deliver them from falling into the wrong hands.
The economic crisis in Russia and elsewhere in the New Independent States (NIS) adds urgency to the need for effective action. Thousands of scientists with WMD expertise are facing increased temptations to sell their know-how to terrorists or rogue states. And the risks of illicit weapons trafficking are likewise on the rise.
To address these growing proliferation risks, the President is seeking a total of $250 million in foreign operations funds this year for the State Department programs under the multi-agency Expanded Threat Reduction (ETR) Initiative. Building upon the far-sighted Nunn-Lugar program, we seek to engage weapons scientists to prevent proliferation, halt smuggling, and enhance export controls.
These programs are carefully targeted at the highest areas of proliferation risk in a time of unprecedented transition and continued uncertainty. The State Department administers them with the highest possible standards of care and oversight. We do this with direct input and participation from a broad range of agencies to ensure that relevant policy, technical and intelligence assessments are all taken into consideration.
We ask your support in order to sustain these high standards -- for we must do everything we can to keep Russian nuclear, chemical, and biological expertise out of the wrong hands.
This year we are requesting $20 million to fund the CTBT Preparatory Commission, which will continue to lay the human and technical foundation for the Treaty's entry into force. Even before the test ban is in place, these funds will help build up the international verification system that will help us deter, detect and closely monitor nuclear explosive testing around the globe.
We should not lag behind in realizing the benefits of a Treaty we led in negotiating and signing. I strongly urge the Senate to approve the CTBT this summer, so that we can participate fully in the first meeting of Treaty parties that will take place this fall.
I also ask your support for our proposed $43 million voluntary contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These funds will help the Agency continue enhancing the safeguards that permit it to verify compliance, worldwide, with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Our request this year includes $55 million for the Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO). This increase of $20 million will significantly reduce KEDO's standing debt and allow us to meet a critical national security obligation.
The Agreed Framework succeeded in freezing North Korea's dangerous plutonium production and separation facilities at Yongbyon. Thanks to the Framework, those facilities are now under rigorous IAEA monitoring, and their spent fuel -- which could contain several bombs' worth of weapons-grade plutonium -- is now in safe storage. If the Framework is fulfilled, those nuclear facilities will eventually be dismantled and this nuclear fuel shipped out of North Korea.
Meanwhile, as long as North Korea is abiding by the terms of the Framework, our support for KEDO remains a vital investment in our national security. I appeal to the members of this Subcommittee not to let a lack of funding cause the Framework's demise.
All told, we are requesting $231 million for our Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs Account (NADR) in FY 2000. These funds support our global export control assistance efforts; and in the New Independent States, $10 million in NADR funds supports nonproliferation activities under the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative.
The NADR Account includes $40 million -- a proposed increase of $5 million -- for America's commitment to global humanitarian demining. Especially in light of our inability, at present, to join the Ottawa Convention, maintaining U.S. leadership through the Demining 2010 initiative is a practical, political and moral imperative.
NADR funding also enables us to work with friendly countries in a multi-year, multi-faceted global campaign to deter and defend against terrorist attacks; and to pursue, prosecute and punish the criminals who commit them. This is a paramount national interest for which we are requesting $43 million to fund specific programs.
Our programs against terrorism protect Americans working and traveling abroad. Our Anti-terrorism Assistance (ATA) program enhances the skills of security officials in selected countries so that they may be more effective partners in preventing and punishing terrorist acts. We have launched new training initiatives to counter terrorist fund-raising and the potential use of weapons of mass destruction.
The increased funds we are seeking this year will also help fund new initiatives to interdict terrorists and detect explosives at the borders of developing countries. And our request will help expand the ATA training beyond the traditional areas of the Middle East and Latin America into Africa and the New Independent States.
Mr. Chairman, our diplomacy and our programs play a key role in the unrelenting campaign to combat terrorism. I am convinced that this effort saves American lives. And I know that it merits the full support of this Subcommittee.
Finally, I also urge this Subcommittee to approve the President's Budget Request of $3.43 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF). This program enables key friends and allies to meet their defense needs by financing acquisition of U.S. military articles, services and training. FMF also promotes our interests by binding our coalitions, cementing our military relationships and enhancing interoperability with U.S. forces.
B. Sustaining American Prosperity
A second overarching goal of our foreign policy is to promote a healthy world economy in which American genius and productivity receive their due.
The American economy is strong today because of the energy, innovation, and skills of the American people. We have the most competitive economy on Earth. Our foreign policy cannot take credit for that; but we can and do support it.
Since President Clinton took office, we have negotiated more than 240 trade agreements, including the Uruguay Round and agreements on information technology, basic telecommunications and financial services. This matters because trade has been a significant contributor to the sustained economic growth we have enjoyed these past six years. Currently, more than twelve million U.S. jobs are supported by exports, and these are good jobs, paying -- on the average -- 13-16 percent more than non-trade related positions.
This Subcommittee can help us to build on this record by supporting the President's funding request for agencies such as the Export-Import Bank, the Trade Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which help our businesspeople find new markets abroad.
During the past decade, the trend towards more open rules of investment and trade has helped to spur record economic expansion and raise living standards in much of the world. Over the past two years, however, the financial crisis applied the brakes to many national economies and plunged a number, particularly in East Asia, into reverse. Although the U.S. economy has remained healthy, important sectors such as agriculture, aircraft and steel have been adversely affected by shrinking export markets and increased pressure from low-priced imports.
We have responded on two levels. We have rigorously enforced our laws against unfair trade.
And more broadly, President Clinton has come forward with proposals designed to restore world economic growth, reform international financial institutions, ensure fair treatment for U.S. workers and firms, and assist our trading partners in improving the management of their financial sectors.
For example, we have encouraged Japan to implement reforms that would help make that country once again an engine of economic expansion. We have joined forces with the World Bank and the IMF to prevent the financial contagion from spreading further and to meet urgent humanitarian needs. And we have made it clear, in promoting trade and supporting the role of international financial institutions, that serious consideration must be given to environmental and worker standards.
Unfortunately, there are no quick or simple solutions to the problems many countries now face. Success in the global economy requires sound fiscal and monetary policies, transparent financial systems, good governance and the rule of law. It is no accident that nations with these attributes have fared best during the crisis.
Nations with deeper problems must take the tough steps required to develop broad-based and accountable democratic institutions that will earn investor confidence and engender public support. It is in our interest to help nations that are prepared to undertake these reforms and we ask your support in doing so.
Accordingly, I urge you to approve the President's request for $1.395 billion in FY 2000 for Multilateral Development Banks, which include the World Bank and five regional development banks. And I ask you to endorse our request for $143 million for the U.S. annual contribution and arrears payment to the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
The multilateral banks lend and invest in developing economies where risks are too high for private financing alone and where leverage is needed to spur such financing. Bank policies reflect U.S. priorities by stressing the need for borrowing countries to implement financial sector reforms, fight corruption, observe sound environmental and labor standards, and create a favorable climate for investment.
In recent years, trade and private sector development have played increasing roles in efforts to foster development and raise living standards around the world. But this does not diminish the critical role played by professional development organizations such as USAID.
The heart of our bilateral development assistance is contained in three USAID accounts, for which we are requesting a total of $1.848 billion, up slightly from last year's appropriation.
The Development Assistance account supports basic economic growth, agricultural progress, environmental stewardship, family planning, democracy and good governance.
USAID's Child Survival and Disease Programs Fund is designed to save and enrich people's lives through improved maternal and child health and nutrition, lower HIV transmission, wider access to health services and basic educational opportunities.
Finally, the Development Fund for Africa covers a broad range of urgently-needed services, and includes this year an expanded Africa Food Security Initiative and a $30 million request for the Africa Education for Development and Democracy Initiative.
When we contribute to multilateral efforts to promote sustainable development, we leverage as much as eight or ten times our national contribution to support goals we share.
This year, we have requested $80 million in contributions to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). For years, UNDP has been at the forefront of helping developing countries establish democratic institutions, market economies and basic human rights.
The need for UNDP's work remains especially strong among African countries struggling against the plagues of conflict, poverty and disease; and among Asia's poorer nations. It also plays a major role in supporting women worldwide as they strive to gain more equal access to the levers of political and economic power.
Like UNDP, UNICEF plays an important role in countries suffering or recovering from the devastation caused by civil or international conflict. Around the world, UNICEF helps protect children -- a society's most vulnerable members and its hope for the future. We are requesting $101 million for UNICEF for FY 2000.
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 gaining goodwill for our country. President Clinton's request for $270 million in funding will put us well along the path to our goal of having 10,000 volunteers serving overseas early in the next century.
C. Fighting International Crime and Narcotics
A third global objective of our foreign policy is to fight and win the struggle against the hydra-headed evil of international crime.
Drug cartels and other international crime gangs threaten us every day, whether we are pursuing business opportunities overseas or going about our daily business here at home. Crime and corruption also pose major threats to democracy and economic reform in Latin America, Africa, and the former Soviet Union.
President Clinton spoke to these dangers last year when he unveiled a comprehensive strategy to integrate all facets of the federal response to international crime. Led by our Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the State Department is a key partner in this effort, which is designed to extend the first line of defense against crime far beyond U.S. borders.
To this end, we are working with other nations around the globe to train police, prosecutors and judges, seize drug assets, help farmers find alternatives to illicit crops, expose and close front companies, halt money laundering, track criminals and bring smugglers of contraband to justice.
In our own hemisphere, these comprehensive efforts have paid clear dividends. In 1998, coca cultivation in South America declined to its lowest level in a decade. Peru has cut cultivation by more than 55 percent in three years, and Bolivia has made impressive progress as well. Colombia remains a major challenge, but we are working to step up our efforts there.
In Africa, Nigeria is the key, and for the first time in years, the prospects are encouraging. It is essential, however, that we have the flexibility in administering our anti-narcotics and crime programs to devote sufficient resources to the continent. A significant portion of the heroin interdicted in the U.S. is traceable to African smuggling organizations.
In Asia, we are handicapped by the repressive nature of the authorities in Burma and Afghanistan -- the world's two leading producers of heroin. We are doing our best to address the problem by working through neighboring states, regional organizations and the United Nations.
In Russia, Ukraine, and the other New Independent States, we continue to focus our efforts on helping legislators to draft fundamental anti-crime and corruption laws, and on law enforcement training. We are also negotiating agreements that will allow our own law enforcement officers to cooperate more effectively with their counterparts in these countries.
There are no final victories in the fight against international crime, but -- as our increased budget request of $295 million for this year reflects -- we are pushing ahead hard. Our purpose, ultimately, is to create a tightly woven web of agreements, laws, inspectors, police and judicial power that will deny drug kingpins and other criminals the space they need to operate.
D. Promoting Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law
American policy is to promote democracy, the rule of law, religious tolerance and human rights.
We believe, and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights affirms, that "the will of the people...expressed in periodic elections" should be the basis of government everywhere. We are working actively to promote the observation of this principle around the world.
Earlier in this statement, I mentioned some of the specific programs we use to aid democratic transitions, support free and fair elections and help democratic forces build civil society. These include our Freedom Support Act and SEED programs and the assistance provided by USAID's Democracy and Governance Center.
These programs reflect our ideals and serve our interests.
When we support democratic forces, we are aiding our natural partners and helping to forge an ever-expanding community of democratic nations that can work together to strengthen democracy where it exists and lend support to those who seek it where it does not.
We know from experience that democratic governments tend to be more successful at preventing conflicts and coping with the turbulence of the global market than regimes that do not answer to the people.
Our support for the right to democracy is part of our broader effort to elevate global standards of human rights and respect for the rule of law. Our goal is to enter the 21st Century moving ahead in these areas, not just settling for the status quo.
Accordingly, the United States will continue to support democratic ideals and institutions however and wherever we can effectively do so.
We will continue to advocate increased respect for human rights, vigorously promote religious freedom and firmly back the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia.
We will support efforts to help women gain fair access to the levers of economic and political power, work with others to end the pernicious trafficking in women and girls, and renew our request for Senate approval of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
And as the President has pledged, we will continue working through the International Labor Organization to raise core labor standards, and to conclude a treaty that would ban abusive child labor.
IV. PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
This year, we have requested $660 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance and $30 million to replenish the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund. The total is a $20 million increase from FY 1999 appropriated levels. We have also requested $220 million for international disaster assistance.
Fifty years ago, only a short distance from where we are now, President Harry Truman delivered his first and only inaugural address.
In what came to be known as the Four Point speech, he challenged Democrats and Republicans alike to lend a hand to those struggling for freedom and human rights; to continue programs for world economic recovery; to strengthen international organizations; and to draw on our country's vast expertise to help people help themselves in the fight against ignorance, illness and despair.
Today, we are summoned to meet similar responsibilities in a far different time -- and to honor principles that will endure for all time.
In so doing, we must heed the central lesson of this century, which is that problems abroad, if left unattended, will all too often come home to America.
We Americans draw immense strength from the fact that we know who we are and what we believe. We have a purpose. And like the farmer's faith that seeds and rain will cause crops to grow, it is our faith that if we are true to our principles, we will succeed.
Let us, then, do honor to that faith. In this final year of this turbulent century, let us assume, not with complaint, but welcome, the leader's role established by our forebears.
And by living up to the heritage of our past, let us fulfill the promise of our future--and enter the new century free and united, prosperous and at peace.
To that mission, I pledge my own best efforts, and respectfully solicit both your wise counsel and support.
Thank you very much. And now I would be pleased to respond to your questions.
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