|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement before the House International Relations Committee
Washington, D.C., February 16, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
I. PRIORITIES FOR THE NEW YEAR
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, good morning. I am pleased to be here to testify regarding the President's proposed Fiscal Year 2001 budget request for international affairs, and to review U.S. foreign policy around the world.
In times past, my predecessors have appeared before this Committee seeking support for Americans at war, help in responding to a grave international crisis, or solidarity in the face of threats posed by a totalitarian superpower.
But now, in this first year of the new millennium, our country is at peace. We enjoy record prosperity. Our alliances are united and firm. And the ideals that underlie our own democracy have spread to every continent, so that for the first time in recorded history, more than half the world's people live under elected governments.
Some might see in this good news reason to sit back, put our feet up, and relax, thinking that we are safe now and there is no more great work to be done.
But experience warns us that the course of world events is neither predictable nor smooth. And given the pace of our era, we know that dangerous threats to our security and prosperity could arise with 21st century speed.
These include the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the missiles that can deliver them; the plague of international terror; the danger of regional tensions erupting into conflicts; the poisonous effects of drug trafficking and crime; the risk of renewed financial crisis; and the global challenges posed by poverty, disease and environmental degradation.
Three years ago, in my first appearance before this Committee as Secretary, I testified that the framework for American leadership must include measures to control the threats posed by nuclear weapons and terror; to seize opportunities for settling regional conflicts; to maintain America as the hub of an expanding global economy; and to defend cherished principles of liberty and law.
I said further that our key alliances and relationships were at the center of that framework. For these are the bonds that hold together the entire international system. When we are able to act cooperatively with other leading nations, we create a convergence of power and purpose that can solve problems and spur progress around the globe.
This framework will continue to guide us in the year 2000. Our priorities include an even stronger NATO, with ever more robust partnerships, still open to new members, developing new capabilities and preparing for new missions.
We will also strive with our partners to build peace in Kosovo and integrate all of Southeast Europe into the continent's democratic mainstream.
We will work in consultation with this Committee, our allies, and others to respond effectively to the perils of proliferation and the promise of arms control.
We will promote a healthy, open, and growing world economy whose benefits are shared more widely both among and within nations, and where American genius and productivity receive their due.
We will focus attention on our complex relationships with Russia and China, adhering to core principles, while seeking to advance common interests.
We will act resolutely to support peace in key regions such as the Middle East, Central Africa, Northern Ireland and the Aegean.
We will continue our efforts to enhance stability on the Korean Peninsula and to ease tensions in South Asia.
We will strive for even greater cooperation along our borders with Canada and Mexico.
And we will work to strengthen democratic institutions worldwide, including the four key countries of Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ukraine.
These and other tasks may seem disparate, but each relates to our vision of a secure and prosperous America within an increasingly peaceful and democratic world.
Unfortunately, it remains unclear whether we will have the resources we need to provide the kind of leadership our citizens deserve and our interests demand.
Despite President Clinton's strong backing and bipartisan support from many in Congress, our foreign policy enters the 21st Century living hand to mouth.
Today, we allocate less than one-tenth of the portion of our gross national product that we did half a century ago to support democracy and growth overseas. During the past decade alone, our investment relative to the size of our economy has declined by more than half. Throughout this period, we have been cutting foreign policy positions, closing diplomatic posts, and shutting AID and USIA missions. And we still have far to go in partnership with Congress to provide fully adequate security for our people overseas.
All this has consequences. It reduces our influence for stability and peace in potentially explosive regions. It detracts from our leadership on global economic issues. It makes it harder for us to leverage the help of others. And it often leaves us with a no-win choice between devoting resources to one emergency and using those same resources to deal with another urgent need.
Last week, the President submitted his Fiscal Year 2001 budget, including a request for about $22.8 billion for international affairs programs. I ask you to support that request in its entirety. And I do so with the clear understanding that the vast majority of the funds requested will be spent next year, under a new Administration. The President's request has nothing to do with parties or personalities; it has everything to do with our nation's ability to protect our interests and promote our values.
And I remind you that today, we devote only one penny out of every federal dollar we spend to our international affairs programs. But that single penny can make the difference between a future characterized by peace, rising prosperity and law, and a more uncertain future, in which our economy and security are always at risk, our peace of mind is always under assault, and American leadership is increasingly in doubt.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, it has been a great honor to work with you these past three years, for they have been years of progress and accomplishment for America.
Because this is an election year, some say it will be harder to gain Executive-Legislative cooperation in international affairs. But you and I both know that the world does not stand still even for American elections. We have an obligation--which I am confident we will meet--to work together responsibly on behalf of American interests. And this morning, I would like to review with you our agenda for leadership in the year ahead.
II. AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AROUND THE WORLD
A) Europe and the New Independent States
As a result, we begin the 21st Century with a NATO that has been strengthened by new members and prepared for new missions. During the Washington Summit last April, Alliance leaders adopted a revised Strategic Concept, vowed to develop the capabilities required to respond to the full spectrum of threats NATO may face, took its partnerships with Europe's other democracies to a new level, and pledged to strengthen the European pillar of the Alliance in a way that bolsters overall effectiveness and unity. The Allies also underscored their commitment to enlargement by adopting a plan to help aspiring countries prepare for possible future membership.
We have also worked to strengthen the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). At the November summit in Istanbul, OSCE members agreed on a new Charter for European Security, recognizing that security within societies is as important as security between states.
Our partnership with the European Union (EU) is another pillar of trans-Atlantic security and prosperity. As the EU develops its foreign policy capabilities, we are prepared to develop our partnership in tandem with it. That is why we used the U.S.-EU Summits this past year to improve our ability to act together in fast-breaking crises; manage our differences; and improve joint efforts to address global challenges. We also strongly support the EU's plan for enlargement, including its recognition of Turkey as a candidate for membership.
These measures are part of a larger strategy for realizing one of the most elusive dreams of this century, which is an undivided and fully democratic Europe. This goal is also served by our support for the Good Friday peace accords in Northern Ireland; our diplomatic backing for UN-based talks on Cyprus; our efforts with regional leaders to consolidate freedom in central Europe; and our support for Nordic and Baltic nations as they move down the road to integration and cooperation.
Unfortunately, there remains a large piece missing in the puzzle we have been trying to assemble of a Europe whole and free. And that is the continent's southeast corner, where the exploitation of ethnic rivalries sparked World War I, contributed to the mayhem of World War II, and led to four conflicts this decade, including the recent crisis in Kosovo.
In partnership with the EU and others, we have entered into the Southeast European Stability Pact, a multiyear strategy for integrating the nations of that region into the continent's democratic mainstream. The Pact's goals are to foster peaceful, tolerant societies; build viable economies; and transform the region from a source of instability into a full participant and partner in the new Europe.
We are under no illusions about the difficulty of this task. It is literally to transform the patterns of history; to replace whirlpools of violence leading nowhere with a steady upward tide. This won't happen unless the international community follows through on commitments to help. And unless regional leaders make the hard choices required to create societies based on freedom and law.
Accordingly, we welcome the European Commission's intention to secure 11.2 billion Euros for these goals during the next six years. And we are encouraged by the commitment governments are making to curb corruption and create a good climate for doing business.
We are also heartened by democratic progress in the former Yugoslavia. Since Dayton, elections have been held at all levels in Bosnia. In Macedonia, there was a peaceful transfer of power last year.
In Croatia, the just-concluded election process has been a true breakthrough, representing a triumph for civil society and a major turning point away from ultra-nationalism and towards democratic values. In Montenegro, President Djukanovic is championing democracy. And increasingly in Serbia, the people are asking when they will be given the right to choose their leaders freely and without fear.
Finally, in Kosovo, our challenge is to prepare the way for democracy by bringing the same determination to the task of building peace as we did to ending conflict.
In less than eight months, much progress has been made. Large-scale violence has ended. Almost a million refugees and displaced have returned home. The Kosovo Liberation Army has effectively met its promise to demilitarize. A civilian police is being established and an Interim Administrative Council created.
Nevertheless, the situation remains tense and unpredictable. Backed by Kosovo's leaders, we have urged citizens to refrain from violence, and to cooperate with KFOR, the UN mission, and the international war crimes tribunal. And we are working with them to prepare for municipal elections later this year.
I urge your support for the President's request for funds to help the Kosovars build a democratic society. Combined with the far larger contributions received from our allies and partners, these funds will be used to help create effective civil administration, spur economic activity, create democratic institutions and train and equip the police.
In Bosnia, we remain deeply committed to full implementation of the Dayton Accords. In cooperation with our many partners, we are constantly evaluating how best to enable and encourage Bosnians to take full responsibility for building a stable, democratic society. The President's budget requests the resources we will need to help Bosnians continue moving in the right direction.
As we proceed with efforts to help Europe's new democracies, we cannot neglect the health of democracy in older ones. In Austria, we are concerned about statements made by Freedom Party head Joerg Haider. Regardless of the government's composition, we have made it clear that we expect Austria to continue to meet the commitments it has made to respect the rights of minorities, foreigners and refugees.
Further to the east, towards the Caucasus and Central Asia, democratic change remains very much a work in progress. In many countries, respect for human rights and the rule of law is unsatisfactory and economic reforms have been slowed by financial turmoil. These problems are aggravated by the lack of a democratic tradition, uncertainty about Russia's future direction, and instability generated by extremist groups.
In the year ahead, we will vigorously pursue diplomatic and programmatic efforts to help countries in the region find the right road. For example, we are pressing ahead as a co-chair of the Minsk process in search of progress on Nagorno-Karabakh. We are renewing our request for repeal of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. We will seek progress in implementing CFE commitments, and in insulating Georgia from the consequences of the Chechen War. And with Turkey and its partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia, we will take steps to build on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline agreement.
We attach high importance to our strategic partnership with Ukraine, knowing that an independent, democratic, and prosperous Ukraine is a key to building a secure and undivided Europe. The Ukrainian people showed in last year's elections that they want to get on with essential reforms. And President Kuchma has vowed to make use of this mandate for decisive change. We will do all we can to assist in strengthening democratic institutions, improving the investment climate, and bolstering the rule of law. We will also deepen our cooperation under the NATO-Ukraine Charter and strengthen our joint nonproliferation efforts.
The past year in Russia has been extraordinarily difficult. Political turmoil, corruption, terrorist bombings, the war in Chechnya and continued economic problems have created hardships for the Russian people, and at times strained relations with the West.
In the months ahead, we hope to re-establish and expand the basis for cooperation between our countries. There is new leadership in the Kremlin and a new Duma that may prove more constructive and forward-looking than the one it replaced. Our nations are working together again in the Balkans, and consulting closely on arms control and nonproliferation issues. We seek to further develop ties between Russia and NATO. And it remains very much in our interests to help Russia prevent the loss of nuclear materials and expertise, and to assist the Russian people in strengthening civil society.
The key short-term test for Russia's leaders remains the war in Chechnya.
Like many others, we have criticized the Russian military for indiscriminate shelling and bombing in that region. We understand the problems posed by terrorism, but deplore the massive violations of human rights. We are concerned about the regional impacts of the conflict, including refugee flows. And we also believe that the harsh tactics being used will not work.
As I said recently in Moscow, "These tactics will not set the stage for peace. Only a political resolution of the conflict will do that. As long as the fighting continues, it will serve as a magnet for extremism that could one day risk the stability of the entire region."
It should not be surprising that the Russian transition is proving difficult. After all, Communism was a seven-decade forced march to a dead end, and no nation went further down that road than Russia. But there is also no question that a peaceful and democratic Russia that is tackling its economic problems and playing a constructive international role can make an enormous contribution to the 21st Century. We have an enormous stake in Russian success and will continue to work with Russian leaders whenever possible to advance common interests.
B) The Middle East
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Shara journeyed to West Virginia, for intensive talks. Chairman Arafat later met with President Clinton in Washington. And in Moscow, I co-chaired with Foreign Minister Ivanov a very successful ministerial meeting of the Multilateral Steering Group.
All this activity reflects that progress is now possible on all tracks of the peace process. But reaching agreement on any of the bilateral tracks remains a formidable task. President Clinton and I will continue working with the parties to help them narrow differences and identify compromises that satisfy core needs.
At this critical moment, it is essential that the United States remain steady in its support for peace. I thank Congress for providing funds late last year to implement the Wye River and Sharm-el-Sheikh interim accords. I hope we will have your continued backing now, as we seek to ensure the security and promote the prosperity of our friends in the region.
As we strive to bring peace closer between Arabs and Israel, we must also explore opportunities for constructive change elsewhere--for example, in Iran.
Over the last two years, there have been unmistakable signs of public support in Iran for a more open approach to the world. We have welcomed President Khatemi's calls for people-to-people dialogue, his verbal condemnation of terrorism, and his regret over the 1979 hostage episode. The upcoming parliamentary elections could provide evidence that the trend towards openness is gathering speed.
At the same time, Iran continues to pursue some policies that we strongly oppose. The United States recognizes that there are conflicting forces at work in Iran, as there are in many nations. Our hope is that the Iranian people will want and be able to choose approaches that lead to better relations.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, we remain focused on containing the threat posed by the Iraqi regime's aggression and WMD capabilities.
Last December, the UN Security Council approved a Resolution establishing the means and mandate for resuming on-site weapons inspections in Iraq, including a clear roadmap for assessing compliance. The United States will work with Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Director of the new Commission, towards fulfilling the Council's resolutions.
We will also continue to make the point that lifting sanctions in the absence of compliance by Baghdad with its WMD obligations is not an option. The Iraqi Government has shown no evidence that it has learned the lessons of the past nine years. That is why we are working for the day when the aspirations of the Iraqi people are realized, and a new government makes it possible for their country to rejoin the family of nations as a responsible and law-abiding member. To this end, we have increased our financial and other assistance to the Iraqi National Congress, and made clear that a change in Baghdad would lead to a change in U.S. policy.
At the same time, we remain committed to alleviating the hardships faced by the Iraqi people. Since 1996, the "oil for food", which we strongly support and helped conceive, has substantially improved nutrition. In Northern Iraq, where assistance is distributed by the UN rather than the Iraqi Government, child mortality rates are lower than they were prior to the Persian Gulf War.
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, move in the direction of democracy and create opportunities for their citizens. During the year 2000, we will be active in promoting these principles in our discussions with the region's leaders and peoples.
C) The Asia Pacific
The United States is deeply committed to meeting our obligations to treaty allies (Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, and Thailand), while striving to promote economic and security cooperation with all countries. To this end, we are working with friends and partners to strengthen existing regional institutions, such as APEC, ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum, and to enhance dialogues between and among nations.
Our most important bilateral relationship in the Asia Pacific is with Japan, with whom we work closely on a full range of security, economic and global issues. In recent years, we have modernized our defense cooperation, negotiated steps to liberalize trade, and developed a common agenda for action on matters such as global climate change, international crime, and development in Africa.
Another ally, the Republic of Korea, has become a source of regional stability under the able leadership of President Kim Dae-jung. Over the past two years, the ROK implemented painful economic reforms that have enabled it to emerge from the Asian financial crisis. Even as it struggled with these difficult domestic issues, it demonstrated regional leadership by contributing to the peace operation in East Timor.
We fully support President Kim's policy of engagement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). This policy seeks to reduce the DPRK's isolation, address humanitarian needs and prevent destabilizing military incidents.
Over the past year, former Defense Secretary William Perry and the State Department's Counselor, Ambassador Wendy Sherman led a comprehensive review of our own policy toward the DPRK, in close coordination with the ROK and Japan. As a result, we have expressed our willingness to improve relations with the DPRK as it addresses our concerns about its missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Last September, we reached an understanding with the North that it will refrain from any long-range missile flight tests as long as negotiations to improve relations are underway. We will continue such discussions at the end of this month, and anticipate additional talks at a higher level about one month later.
The DPRK's nuclear weapons-associated activities are another area of deep concern. By freezing the North's nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and Taechon, which pose a serious proliferation risk, the Agreed Framework is making a vital contribution to stability. We need Congressional support for meeting our obligations under the Framework, just as we expect the DPRK to meet its own.
Our policy towards the DPRK reflects our desire for permanent reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. The question of ultimate reunification is one for Koreans to decide through peaceful means, and we strongly encourage North-South dialogue. We also support the Four Party Talks, which include China, the United States and both Koreas. We and our allies want to engage the DPRK in a comprehensive manner so that all sides may address issues of concern. But we are under no illusions. Further progress depends on the DPRK's further willingness to engage seriously with us.
We believe the new century can generate new momentum and mutual benefits in our relations with China. As the President said in his State of the Union Address, "Congress should support the agreement we negotiated to bring China into the WTO, by passing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR)." If we do not grant permanent NTR, we will risk losing the market access benefits of the agreement, and the right to enforce them through the WTO. The result is that our competitors in Asia and Europe would reap those benefits while American farmers and businesses would be left behind.
The economic benefits we will gain by approving Permanent NTR for China do not conflict with our other interests. Once in the WTO, China will be required to follow international trading rules, open its regulations to public scrutiny and reduce the role of state-owned enterprises. This will encourage growth in the rule of law, and hasten the development of a more open society.
During the year 2000, we will be consulting closely with China on global and regional security issues, including nonproliferation, South Asian security, and Korean stability. We will seek to prevent tensions from increasing across the Taiwan Strait, and promote cooperation in the South China Sea. We support the protection of Tibet's heritage and will continue to urge Beijing to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama. And as we purse engagement with the PRC, we will continue our commitment to faithful implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act.
Although the Chinese people enjoy greater freedom of choice in economic and many personal matters than in the past, progress in the area of political and other civil rights is lacking. Examples in 1999 include the harsh prison sentences received by leaders of the China Democracy Party, an intensified reeducation campaign to control Tibetan monasteries, continued pressure on underground churches, and efforts to repress the Falun Gong spiritual movement. As a result, we will work for a Resolution expressing concern about human rights in China at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva next month.
Last year was a time of historic change in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest nation. The Indonesian people deserve great credit for conducting free, fair and peaceful elections. The new government, led by President Abdurrahman Wahid, merits broad support as it strives to stabilize the economy, curb corruption, establish the rule of law, cope with regional crises, and address past abuses of human rights.
These goals are simple to identify, but difficult to achieve. The new President is widely respected for his humanity and wisdom. But to succeed, he must make tough decisions and explain them in terms his people will understand and accept. President Clinton is requesting $144 million this year to aid Indonesia's quest for a stronger, stabler democracy.
Elsewhere in the region, we will continue to work with the UN, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, and others to bring lasting peace and democratic rule to East Timor. And we will press for a meaningful dialogue in Burma between the government and the democratic opposition, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD). Burmese authorities must understand that the path to acceptance and progress lies in movement towards a popularly supported government in Rangoon. In Cambodia, we continue to work with the government and UN to bring senior Khmer Rouge leaders before a tribunal that meets international standards.
D) South Asia
In nearby Pakistan, we are encouraging the military authorities to make good on their pledge to return the country to elected rule in a timely manner.
As for relations between India and Pakistan, longstanding tensions have heightened as a result of the recent Indian Airlines hijacking and the aftermath of last year's Kargil crisis. Our policy is to encourage dialogue aimed at narrowing differences and preventing violence, and we intend to remain actively engaged with both countries toward this end.
In Afghanistan, we have joined with neighboring countries in seeking an end to the civil conflict, the closing of terrorist camps, and increased respect for human rights, which include women's rights.
E) The Western Hemisphere
At the heart of this consensus is a commitment to free trade and economic integration. In recent years, every major economy in the region has liberalized its system for investment and trade; and we are making progress toward achieving a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by 2005.
But the fruits of recent economic growth have not been evenly distributed. While much of the region's population enjoys improved living standards, many others have not seen any appreciable benefit. About a third of Latin America's people live on $2 a day or less, and income inequality is greater here than in any other region.
There is a real risk that support for democracy and free markets will erode if these economic disparities are not addressed. Last month's events in Ecuador serve as a warning of what can happen when significant portions of a population feel left behind.
That is why the 1998 Santiago Summit of the Americas put special emphasis on improving the quality and accessibility of education, especially to the urban and rural poor, and to indigenous populations. We are also working through the Summit process to promote judicial reform, good governance and other steps to broaden access to the benefits of economic growth.
I believe that history will regard this period as a turning point in our relations with Mexico. Issues such as migration, counter-narcotics and cross-border law enforcement will never be easy. But in recent years, we have developed effective mechanisms, such as the Binational Commission and the High Level Contact Group, to address such challenges, while also exploring ways to spur mutual economic growth.
One of our most important priorities this year will be to support Colombian President Andres Pastrana's comprehensive plan to fight drug-trafficking, restore fiscal responsibility, and secure peace in his country. As you know, President Clinton has asked that Congress provide an additional $1.27 billion over the next two years for this purpose. We are asking others in the international community to join in this effort. The IMF has already approved a new $2.7 billion program, and we are endorsing Bogota's request for nearly $3 billion in loans from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
As I made clear to President Pastrana when I visited Cartagena last month, our support for Plan Colombia rests on the Colombian government's commitment to continue to take appropriate action against human rights violators -- whether those violators are military, paramilitary, guerrilla or just plain criminals. Under President Pastrana's leadership, there has already been solid progress on this issue, but more remains to be done.
Neither criminals nor conflict respect national borders. Accordingly, we must also step up our support for counternarcotics and alternative development programs for Colombia's neighbors. It is not enough to drive drug criminals out of Colombia. Our goal must be to drive them out of business--once and for all.
In Haiti, we are helping authorities and civil society prepare for legislative and local elections to be held this spring. And we will be doing our share to assist the new UN Mission in Support of Haiti, which will be providing technical assistance on law enforcement and human rights.
In Cuba, Fidel Castro continues to justify his pariah status by jailing dissidents and refusing to hold free and fair elections. Last year, the international outcry against his dictatorship grew even stronger. In April, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a Czech-Polish resolution expressing concern "at the continued violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba." And in November, at the Ibero-American Summit in Havana, many world leaders met for the first time with Cuban dissidents and called on the Cuban government to show greater respect for human rights and democracy.
Over the past two years, President Clinton has taken a series of steps to reach out to the Cuban people and help prepare for a peaceful transition to democracy. Our goal is to strengthen people-to-people ties and encourage the development in Cuba of peaceful activities independent of the government.
An increasing number of Africa's leaders 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, annual economic growth has averaged nearly 4 percent over the past five years.
The United States has a direct stake in seeing Africa's economic progress continue. It means better opportunities for our workers and companies. And it means that African nations could be stronger partners and less dependent on outside aid. So I urge Congress to complete its good work to date and grant final approval to the African Growth and Opportunity Act. This measure would provide essential support for economic reform, and expand our trade with one of the world's largest under-developed markets.
In Africa, as elsewhere, we can have the most impact where we have strong regional allies. And in Africa, the two most influential nations are Nigeria and South Africa.
Nine months ago, President Obasanjo became Nigeria's first elected leader since 1983. Since then, he has waged a vigorous campaign to stamp out corruption and revive his country's economy. But he faces daunting obstacles.
After years of military rule, Nigeria must rebuild its democratic institutions, reinvigorate its Parliament, reform its legal system, and reinvent its military under civilian control. It must also cope with complex regional issues, including ethnic strife. Around the world, few democratic transitions are as fragile or as important. Depending on its course, Nigeria can be a powerful factor for instability or stability within the region. I ask your support in providing the resources required to help Nigeria's democracy put down roots and grow.
The United States greatly values its friendship with South Africa. Under Presidents Mandela and Mbeki, South Africa has moved well along the democratic path, but still faces urgent challenges. President Mbeki has been working energetically to sell off state-run enterprises, attract private sector investment, improve education and reduce crime. In the year ahead, we will do all we can to assist and broaden our partnership with South Africa's leaders and people.
South Africa and Nigeria are the two anchor nations of Africa. Increasingly, epidemic disease is the continent's albatross. Statistics are not adequate to describe the human destruction being caused especially by HIV/AIDS. Over the next decade, tens of millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa will be orphaned by the disease, infant and child mortality may double and, in many countries, average life expectancy will decline sharply.
In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton proposed a new tax credit to speed the development of vaccines for diseases like malaria, TB, and AIDS that disproportionately afflict developing nations. And he is requesting an increase of $150 million in our worldwide fight against AIDS and other killer diseases. I urge your support for these requests.
This past month at the United Nations Security Council in New York, we made Africa our special focus. In addition to discussing the AIDS crisis, we also led sessions on the conflicts in Angola, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Because of its location and size, and because of the number of countries involved, the conflict in Congo could be described as Africa's first world war. The continent cannot hope to meet the aspirations of its people until this war is history.
The Lusaka agreement, signed last summer, offers a solid framework for ending the Congo war. And the international community--including the United States--has a responsibility to support this process. The Lusaka signatories have agreed to provide access, security and cooperation to international peacekeepers. So I am asking Congress to support a United Nations peace mission for Congo, consisting of 500 observers and roughly 5,000 troops for logistics and protection, with most of the soldiers coming from African countries.
We have learned much over the past decade about the "do's and don'ts" of UN missions. We must apply these lessons firmly and realistically in this case. But we must also be resolute in our determination to help Congo move from war to peace.
In addition, I hope you will support the United Nations peacekeeping force for Sierra Leone. I visited that nation last fall and met with victims of its terrible civil war. The parties have agreed on a plan for healing wounds and building peace. We should help them do so.
Finally, I hope the Senate will ratify the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, which would enable the United States to be a better partner with Africa in preserving agricultural land and making more efficient use of natural resources.
III. GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
America is a global power with worldwide interests. Many of the actions and initiatives we undertake are directed, as I have discussed, at particular countries or parts of the world. Other policies are more encompassing and can best be considered in global terms.
A) Protecting American Security
Accordingly, our armed forces must remain the finest in the world. But we also need first-class diplomacy. Because on many occasions, we will rely on diplomacy as our first line of defense--to cement alliances, build coalitions, and find ways to protect our interests without putting our fighting men and women at risk.
At the same time, our diplomacy is stronger because we have the threat of force behind it. It is by combining force and diplomacy, for example, that we protect Americans from the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
Here, the military deterrent provided by our armed forces and the technological edge they enjoy are indispensable. But we will all sleep better if our deterrent never has to be used. The diplomatic challenge is to create a political environment in which serious military threats to our country are less likely to arise.
To this end, the United States has led in establishing an international legal framework, centered on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, IAEA safeguards, and the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions, designed to prevent WMD from spreading or falling into the wrong hands.
Moreover, our Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative (ETRI) (building on the 1992 Nunn-Lugar legislation) has done much to protect the American people, destroying almost 5000 nuclear warheads in the former Soviet Union; eliminating nuclear weapons from three former Soviet Republics; and engaging 30,000 former Soviet weapons scientists in peaceful ventures. The President is requesting $974 million for ETRI in Fiscal Year 2001, including $141 million for programs administered by the Department of State.
We are also taking steps to protect ourselves from the new threats posed by ballistic missiles.
Our policy includes diplomatic efforts to restrain missile development, an option that a number of countries have voluntarily foregone. Thirty-two nations are cooperating to limit technology transfers through the Missile Technology Control Regime. And we are doing all we can to prevent known proliferators from gaining access to advanced missile technology.
We understand, however, that nonproliferation efforts may not be enough. To protect our forces and allies abroad, we are working to develop Theater Missile Defense Systems.
To protect ourselves at home, we are developing and testing a limited National Missile Defense system, with a decision on deployment possible as early as this summer. This decision will take into account threat, technological feasibility, affordability, and the overall strategic environment including our arms control objectives.
But for NMD deployment to occur under the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, certain changes in that agreement would be necessary. We have been discussing these with other nations, including Russia.
As I told Acting Prime Minister Putin in Moscow during my recent visit, the United States believes that the ABM Treaty contributes much to strategic stability. It reassures leaders in both capitals about one another's capabilities and intentions. And it has given us the confidence needed to pursue mutual reductions in nuclear arsenals.
On the other hand, the strategic environment has changed greatly in the 28 years since the Treaty was signed. The Gulf War showed the dangers of theater-range missiles in hostile hands. And tests of longer-range missiles by other nations raise concerns that must be addressed.
To date, Russian leaders have opposed any modifications in the ABM Treaty, and questioned severely the potential impact of such changes on the entire system of international arms control.
We have made clear that the limited changes we are contemplating would not undermine Russian security. In fact, because Russia and the United States are vulnerable to the same threats, we are prepared to cooperate with Moscow on missile defense. It is in our mutual interests to consider arrangements that would preserve the essential aims of the ABM Treaty, while protecting us from the new dangers we both face.
Unfortunately, our consideration of NMD has aroused concerns not only in Russia, but also in Western Europe and elsewhere. I have had to address fears expressed by my counterparts that America is intent on going it alone, disregarding the interests of former adversaries and current allies alike.
These fears were highlighted by the Senate's vote last fall on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The Administration made no secret of its disappointment with that vote. We believe that the CTBT is very much in America's national security interests. It would outlaw nuclear tests by others, while locking in a technological status quo that is highly favorable to the United States.
In considering the arguments for and against a nuclear test ban, Americans must resist the temptation to think that the strength of our armed forces means we no longer need help from others. It is simply impossible to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction unless countries work together.
International cooperation is also essential to safeguard our citizens from other threats. As we saw several times during the past decade, when America's military is called upon to act, we will often do so as part of a coalition. Accordingly, I ask your support for our security assistance programs, which contribute to the health of America's defense industrial base, take advantage of opportunities to promote democratic practices, and help friends and allies to develop armed forces that are more capable and better able to operate with our own.
Another area where international cooperation is required to protect our interests is in responding to the threat posed by international terror. Because of our military strength, potential enemies may try to attack us by unconventional means, including terrorist strikes and the possible use of chemical or biological weapons. In recent years, the number of terrorist strikes has declined, but their severity has risen.
In countering these threats, we must be prepared at home and overseas. That is why we are taking strong security measures and--at President Clinton's direction--improving our planning for emergency response.
Through our diplomacy and training programs, we help friendly governments to improve border security and share information about those suspected of being affiliated with terrorist networks. We offer rewards for terrorist suspects, and gather information to advise and warn Americans. We strive to forge international agreements and cooperation that will leave terrorists with no place to run, hide, operate or stash their assets. We do all we can to bring suspected terrorists to the bar of justice, as we have in several major cases, including the sabotage of Pan Am 103, and the tragic 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
And this year, we are proposing in the President's budget the creation of a dedicated Center for Antiterrorism and Security Training. This Center will help us to improve the skills of foreign security personnel who are the front line of defense at airports, diplomatic missions and other facilities frequented by our citizens while overseas.
B) Sustaining American Prosperity
The State Department values highly its partnerships with America's private sector. We consult regularly with business, agriculture and labor leaders. We work hard, both in Washington and in our diplomatic missions, to help our citizens take advantage of business opportunities, to enforce the protection of contractual and property rights, to promote responsible labor and environmental standards, and to combat corruption which harms foreign societies while discriminating against U.S. firms.
In addition, since President Clinton took office, the Administration has negotiated more than 300 trade agreements, including the Uruguay Round and agreements on information technology, financial services and basic telecommunications. These agreements have helped us to find new markets, raise living standards and fight inflation. Today, more than eleven million U.S. jobs are supported by exports, and these are good jobs, paying--on the average--significantly more than non-trade related positions.
This morning, I urge your support for the Administration's initiatives to restore the momentum for liberalizing global trade. As President Clinton made clear in his recent speech to the World Economic Forum, "open markets and rule-based trade are the best engine we know of to lift living standards, reduce environmental destruction and build shared prosperity."
The inability of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to agree on the terms of a new trade round during its December meeting in Seattle reflects the complexity of the issues involved. Our priorities include broadening market-access liberalization, strengthening and extending WTO rules, and addressing the concerns of both developing countries and civil society.
The WTO must also proceed with internal reforms so that it is more open in its methods and meetings, and therefore seen clearly to be a public interest, not a special interest, organization.
There is no question that changes to the global economy have created new challenges for the trading system. We want to work with our partners to enhance market access for the least developed countries through our respective preferential programs. We want to engage the WTO and the International Labor Organization (ILO) in a constructive dialogue, including consideration of the relationship between core labor standards, trade policy and social development. And we will continue to work to ensure that trade rules support, not undermine, the ability of governments to protect the environment.
In addition, I urge members of this Committee to help us support American prosperity by backing agencies such as the Export-Import Bank, the Trade and Development Agency, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which help our businesspeople take advantage of new markets abroad.
In this era, American prosperity depends on the prosperity of others. So I ask your support for the full range of our efforts to promote development around the world.
Last year, the Earth's population surpassed six billion human beings. More than one billion of them live on less than a dollar a day. More than half have never made a telephone call. The new millennium has dawned on a world divided as much as ever before between those who have much, and those who have not.
It is in America's interest to help those who most need help to pull themselves up. For we have learned from experience that desperation can breed conflict, generate uncontrolled refugee flows, provide fertile ground for criminals and terrorists, and contribute to global problems such as environmental degradation and epidemic disease.
We also know that sustained efforts to promote development can produce sustained progress. Between 1960 and 1990, the average life expectancy in the developing world rose by 17 years, infant mortality was cut in half, the rate of child immunization more than doubled, and the percentage of children in school increased from less than half to more than three quarters.
Obviously, the challenge of development today is different than in the past. The world is multi-polar, technology-driven, energized by more open markets and awash in enterprise, ideas and information.
Those who are succeeding are first adapting. To be effective, external assistance must be matched by internal energy and reform. Democracy must be practiced, markets must be opened, investment encouraged and corruption stopped. Marginalized sectors of the population must be given access to the knowledge and skills they will need to compete in the 21st Century. And governments must lead in educating their populations about wise environmental and health practices, including awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Neither the United States, nor any other country or institution, can bring sustainable development to a nation whose government is incompetent or corrupt. But we can, and should, do all we can to help those trying to help themselves gain the capacity to do so successfully.
Accordingly, I ask your vote for legislation to promote investment and trade, including the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, the Southeast Europe Trade Preferences Act, and further extension of the Generalized System of Preferences.
I ask your support for President Clinton's initiative, in partnership with the G-8, to provide debt relief for the most heavily indebted poor countries, and to use a portion of that relief to address social problems and conserve the environment.
I ask your approval of our request for funds to support all of the varied and vital work of USAID, the world's finest and most versatile development organization.
And I seek your backing for other vital economic, technical and humanitarian assistance programs such as those administered by the Multilateral Development Banks, the Inter-American and African Development Foundations, our Peace Corps volunteers, UNICEF, the UN Development Program, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
C) Safeguarding the Environment
As societies grow and industrialize, the absorptive capacities of the Earth will be severely tested. Misuse of resources can produce shortages that breed conflict, famine, refugee flows and further acts of environmental destruction.
That is why we have incorporated environmental goals into the mainstream of our foreign policy, and why we are pursuing specific objectives in areas such as forestry management, coral reef protection and the conservation of marine resources in every part of the world.
Priorities for the year 2000 include 1) helping to shape an effective global response to the challenge of climate change; 2) working to promote and gain world acceptance for a science-based standard for biosafety; 3) gaining international agreement to phaseout the production of twelve persistent chemical toxins; 4) developing multinational strategies for responding to the costly problem of invasive species, protecting coral reefs, and managing transboundary water resources; and 5) defeating efforts to weaken protections for whales.
D) International Family Planning
Contrary to what some believe, the United States does not provide any funds to perform or promote abortions overseas. Instead, our assistance is used for family planning services that reduce abortions, promote maternal and child health, and save lives.
Pregnancy-related complications kill an estimated 600,000 women every year. They are the leading cause of mortality among women of reproductive age in developing countries. And experts believe that perhaps one in every four of these deaths could be prevented through access to family planning.
Family planning also saves the lives of children. Eleven million boys and girls die each year before reaching the age of five. Many could be saved if births were spaced further apart, and mothers bore a higher proportion of their children during their healthiest reproductive years.
Accordingly, President Clinton is asking Congress this year to return U.S. support for international family planning to 1995 levels. Moreover, we believe that private groups overseas should be able to exercise their right of free speech and publicize their views for or against reproductive rights without fearing loss of U.S. funding. The restrictions imposed upon such groups this year should not be carried over into next.
E) Fighting International Crime and Narcotics
Drug cartels and crime syndicates have expanded their operations since the end of the Cold War, in part by capitalizing on the same technological advances that have aided legitimate international commerce.
Recognizing the seriousness of this threat, President Clinton has launched a comprehensive effort to integrate all facets of the federal response to international crime. The State Department is a key partner in this initiative.
We are working with other nations around the globe to strengthen legal codes; fight corruption; train police, prosecutors and judges; close criminal front companies; halt illegal smuggling and money laundering; negotiate extradition treaties; and bring criminals to justice.
In regard to illegal narcotics, we have pursued a comprehensive strategy that includes support for eradication, interdiction, alternative development, the seizure of drug assets and the extradition to the United States of drug kingpins.
These efforts are paying good dividends in our own hemisphere. Peru has cut coca cultivation by more than 66% over the past four years, and Bolivia by 55% since 1997. And as I have discussed earlier, we have greatly stepped up our efforts to assist authorities in Colombia in their battle against drugs and crime.
In the New Independent States, we continue to focus our efforts on law enforcement training and helping legislators to draft anti-crime and corruption laws. We are also negotiating agreements that will allow our own law enforcement officers to cooperate more effectively with their counterparts in these countries.
In Africa, Nigeria is the key. A significant portion of the heroin interdicted in the U.S. is traceable to Nigerian smuggling organizations. Because of the new government in that country, the prospects for improvement are encouraging. It is essential, however, that we have the flexibility in administering our programs to devote sufficient resources to this continent.
F) Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law
In 1900, no country in the world had a government elected on the principle of universal suffrage in multiparty, competitive elections. Today, according to Freedom House, 120 nations representing 58% of the world's population, fit this definition. Our goal, in partnership with others, is to preserve and strengthen democracy where it exists and to lend appropriate support to democratic aspirations where it does not.
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 programs reflect our ideals and serve our interests.
We know from experience that democratic governments tend to be more successful at preventing conflicts, maintaining stability, spurring social progress, and building prosperous economies than regimes that fear their own people.
I personally look forward to attending in Warsaw in June a conference convened by democracies from Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Its purpose will be to affirm the value of democratic principles and draw attention to the many facets of true democracy. These go far beyond holding elections to include a free press, independent political parties and labor organizations, and a legal system that protects the civil, political and economic rights of the people.
We also support democratic principles by striving to elevate global standards of human rights and respect for the rule of law. Our goal is to make the 21st Century an era of steady progress in each of these areas, not a time of consolidation or 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, urge accountability for crimes against humanity wherever they occur, 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.
We will push for global ratification of a Convention to ban the worst forms of child labor, and expand partnerships with the private sector to eliminate abusive working conditions in factories abroad, especially those producing for the U.S. market.
And we will remain leaders in the international effort to prevent harm to civilians from anti-personnel landmines. Through the President's "Demining 2010" Initiative, we are working with official and nongovernmental organizations everywhere to detect, map, mark and destroy mines; increase mine awareness; improve mine detection technology; and care for the victims of mines.
IV. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
Last October 1, the State Department and United States Information Agency (USIA) merged. This was a key step in the reorganization of our foreign policy institutions called for by the Administration and Congress.
The merger enabled us to make public diplomacy a core element in our approach to foreign affairs by bringing new expertise and perspectives into our policymaking team.
Public diplomacy advances U.S. interests by helping others to understand our society, culture and values, and builds long-term mutual ties through the Fulbright scholar and student programs. It can also be a very practical tool for influencing events. During the conflict in Kosovo, for example, our Internet Assistance Initiative helped us to manage data generated by the massive humanitarian effort, while also aiding refugees in locating loved ones who had become separated. More recently, we used public diplomacy to warn against a breakdown of the constitutional order in Ecuador.
In addition, the State Department's International Visitors Program has been remarkably successful at identifying world leaders early in their careers. Past participants include no less than three dozen current Presidents and Prime Ministers.
I congratulate Members of the Committee for your support during the reorganization process, and urge your backing for the full range of public diplomacy programs in the year to come.
V. MANAGING FOR SECURITY AND SUCCESS
Mr. Chairman, one of my key goals has been to ensure that I leave behind a State Department that is more modern, better-managed, more diverse, and more effectively organized than when I took office. With bipartisan Congressional backing, we have made significant progress.
The Department's integration with ACDA and USIA has been successful. We have greatly improved passport and consular services. We have modernized communications, gone on-line, and upgraded training. Guided by the Report of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, we are striving to "rightsize" our diplomatic posts, and achieve better inter-agency teamwork under our chiefs of mission abroad and the President and Secretary of State here at home.
Above all, we are concentrating on improved security for our personnel, our posts and the information we handle.
Since August 1998, the Africa Embassy bombings have served as a searing reminder that the protection of our diplomatic missions demands unrelenting vigilance and a fresh influx of resources.
Since that tragedy, with help from Congress, we have made a significant downpayment towards our unmet construction needs, while increasing training and hiring additional security personnel. The President's budget request includes $500 million in FY 2001 funds for facility replacement, $200 million for enhanced perimeter security, $16 million for new security professionals, and $328 million for recurring costs associated with security upgrades. It also seeks advance appropriations of more than $3 billion between FY 2002 and FY 2005 to continue replacing our highest-risk embassies and consulates.
Within the Department, David Carpenter, the first law enforcement professional to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, has taken a number of steps to tighten security. These include enhanced perimeter protection, a tougher escort policy, and a new surveillance detection program now operational at most of our posts.
I have personally placed a strong emphasis on ensuring the protection of classified information and the security of our facilities. My message is clear that security is everybody's business, every day.
In the days immediately prior to Millennium Eve, I was in almost constant contact with Assistant Secretary Carpenter and our Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Michael Sheehan, as we worked with other U.S. and foreign agencies--amidst a plethora of threats--to deter, detect and prevent terrorist acts.
During the year ahead, I will have no higher priority than to see that security in every aspect of Department operations, both internally and in responding to external threats, is first rate both in effort expended and results achieved.
Mr. Chairman, the dawn of the millennium has only intensified our awareness of the passage of time. We conduct much of our daily communications and business through technologies that didn't exist or were in their infancy only a decade ago. The patterns of international relations we lived with for so long have been scrambled beyond recognition; the new patterns shift like a kaleidoscope with every turn of the calendar's page.
We live in a world transformed that will not stop changing. No country is more comfortable in such an environment than America, but we would be lost except for what has not changed, and that is America's purpose.
Some decades ago, when Cold War tensions were at their highest, Walter Lippman wrote about the realities of his time in words that serve as a warning to ours:
With all the danger and worry it causes...the Soviet challenge may yet prove...a blessing. For...if our influence...were undisputed, we would, I feel sure, slowly deteriorate. Having lost our great energies [and] daring because everything was...so comfortable. We would...enter into the decline which has marked...so many societies...when they have come to think there is no great work to be done...and that the purpose of life is to hold on and stay put. For then the night has come and they doze off and they begin to die.
Our challenge is to prove Lippman wrong; to employ our energy, retain our daring, and understand that our responsibilities are similar in magnitude, if not so obviously in drama, as those fulfilled by our predecessors.
It is true we face no Hitler or Stalin. But it is as great a mission to create the conditions under which such evil does not again threaten us, as it would be to oppose such evil if and when it did.
There are no final frontiers for America. We are not and have never been a status quo country. We have always believed that the future can be made better than the past. We are doers.
In the year ahead, we have the chance to add another proud chapter in the history of American leadership, in search of peace, in defense of freedom, on behalf of prosperity, and in service to our collective boss--the American people. I have no doubt that if we are united in that quest, we will succeed.
Thank you very much.
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