|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on Departure of Under Secretary Timothy E. Wirth
Washington, DC, November 25, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
I wish to express my deep gratitude to Under Secretary of State Tim Wirth for his great service to our country. Tim will leave the State Department at the end of this year to become President of the United Nations Foundation. His departure is a great loss to the State Department, but a major coup for the international community.
Tim has done a tremendous job creating the State Department's Global Affairs office and making it an effective component of our foreign affairs capability. We will greatly miss the great energy, creativity and tenacity that has always characterized Tim's work on these difficult challenges.
Over the past five years, Under Secretary Wirth has helped strengthen the State Department's capacity to take on long-term, cross-cutting global challenges facing the United States and the international community at large. On worldwide issues ranging from population growth, food security, human rights, refugees and women's issues, to climate change and infectious diseases, Tim Wirth has successfully integrated critical global issues into the foreign policy mainstream.
Under Secretary Wirth has helped to forge a domestic and international consensus on population, with particular emphasis on the empowerment of women and girls, and on women's reproductive health. These efforts culminated in the highly successful 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development. Through the process leading up to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Tim engaged thousands of American women -- establishing as a priority the empowerment of women in political, economic and social spheres. He also rebuilt a constituency within the U.S. government and around the world on the importance of food security. The 1996 World Food Summit committed the United States and other nations to specific actions to cut in half the world's hungry population by the year 2010.
Finally, Tim refocused the State Department's efforts on the international environmental agenda. On a broad array of environmental issues -- climate change, biological diversity, infectious diseases, coral reefs, water and air quality -- he successfully spearheaded the implementation of environmental diplomacy in the Department.
Under Secretary Wirth has given the State Department exceptional leadership and energy during his term. We will miss him greatly, but I am very pleased that he will be staying on through the end of the year.
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