DipNote: The Week in Review

This week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended the International Conference on Libya in London, following President Obama's address to the nation on Libya. After the conference, Secretary Clinton said: "We came to London to speak with one voice in support of a transition that leads to a brighter future for the Libyan people. I'm very pleased with the progress that we have made both today and in the days preceding it, and grateful for everyone who participated in the conference and in the broader effort in Libya. I think we are making a lot of progress together, and we could not do it unless we were representing the international community as we are."

Deputy Secretary Steinberg was on Capitol Hill this week, testifying on "Libya: Defining U.S. National Security Interests" to underline the comments by President Obama and Secretary Clinton and "to continue the valuable and important exchange between the Administration and the Congress that has been ongoing since shortly after Colonel Qadhafi's regime began to resort to violence against its own people."

Throughout the week, we continued our unwavering commitment to Japan. Assistant Secretary Campbell provided an overview of U.S. engagement in Asia saying, "Japan is the cornerstone of our strategic engagement in East Asia, and we are committed to standing side-by-side with our ally in its time of need."

Consular Officer Alan Clark on temporary duty assignment in Tokyo, Japan, wrote, “We have learned that one of the most effective tools for locating people in 2011 is social networking media. …using Google's amazing software, many families have used this tool to locate missing loved ones and put their minds at ease. …Another incredibly useful tool has been Facebook, which I personally have used to close the cases of four people who were in the most heavily damaged part of Japan. …Our Ambassador to Japan John Roos has also been using Twitter as an effective means of distributing information to Americans in Japan. One of the lessons I have taken away from this experience is the power of social networking media to keep people connected during the most trying times.”

Foreign Service Liaison Officer Tom Weinz writes about the Pacific Partnership 2011, “…there are many former participants in Pacific Partnership who are now in Japan … our annual mission remains consistent: to learn, train, and cooperate with our friends and allies in the South Pacific to minimize loss of life when tragedy strikes.”

On Wednesday, Secretary Clinton and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood co-hosted a celebration of our Open Skies initiative, commemorating a milestone of Open Skies agreements negotiated with over 100 partners.

Earlier in the week, the United States announced its intention to pursue a second term on the Human Rights Council. U.S. engagement at the Council has led to a number of new mechanisms to spotlight and address serious human rights concerns and focused international attention to some of the world's most egregious human rights abusers. Key accomplishments of the past two years include: deepening engagement in country situations, initiating concrete action to drive human rights priorities, and defending core principles.

Issues regarding women and girls continued to be at the forefront of U.S. diplomacy and development efforts around the world this week. Secretary Clinton commented on the U.S. Senate resolution calling for a focus on women's rights in the Middle East and North Africa, saying, "I thank Senator Snowe and all the women Senators for shining a spotlight on the critical role women continue to play in the dramatic events sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. I fully agree that women must be included in every aspect of political and institutional reform, because we know that no government can succeed if half its population is excluded from the process.”

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer reflected on the remarkable courage and determination of women journalists, writing, "So many women journalists have shown us how difficult and often dangerous it can be to speak up, but they also have shown us how important it is. …I thank all journalists around the globe for their commitment to making sure that women's stories--all women's stories--are heard." Ambassador Verveer also announced a partnership to promote women's entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Liz Drew wrote about celebrating women's leadership in Southern Sudan.

Continuing the focus on protecting women and children through ending modern slavery, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Ambassador Luis CdeBaca wrote, “...the responsibility to fight modern slavery is not limited to elected officials or law enforcement. …Traffickers will only retreat when we hold ourselves to the highest standards at home, in the workplace, and with our friends. We are all on the front lines in the fight against modern slavery.”

The U.S. government is focused on the protection of youth, but also in engaging with young people as it makes policy. “At the State Department, Secretary Clinton has launched an unprecedented youth policy taskforce to review our approach to youth issues and amplify programs focused on young people,” wrote Ronan Farrow, Special Advisor for Humanitarian and NGO Issues for Afghanistan and Pakistan and member of the State Department Youth Policy Taskforce.

The State Department engages with young people and fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through a range of programs, including embassy events and exchange programs. An example of this includes the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sponsoring a series of events celebrating Black History Month culminating in the Afghan Great Debaters.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock wrote about the visit this week of Russian delegation of 18 youth hockey players and their coaches in the first-ever ice hockey exchange in Washington, DC. Assistant Secretary Stock also recently met with 20 Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) and English Access Microscholarship Program participants and alumni, writing, "I just returned from an unforgettable visit to Kuwait and Iraq, where I witnessed firsthand how State Department exchange programs can change lives."

Peace Corps volunteers change lives, too, and this week Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, thanked the thousands of Peace Corps volunteers who have responded to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Ambassador Goosby also provided an update on PEPFAR in Côte d'Ivoire.

Also on Côte d'Ivoire, Assistant Secretary Carson briefed on the situation there saying, “This week has seen some of the most intense fighting in Côte d'Ivoire since the political crisis began in late November. The United States calls on all parties to exercise restraint and to make the protection of civilians their highest priority. The people of the Côte d'Ivoire have already paid a very high price for democracy. We call upon both sides to ensure that civilians do not pay an even higher price in the future.”

Secretary Clinton said, "We are deeply concerned by the dangerous and deteriorating situation in Côte d'Ivoire, including recent reports of gross human rights abuses and potential massacres in the west. The United States calls on former President Laurent Gbagbo to step down immediately."

Also pertaining to Africa, Secretary Clinton introduced Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman as the new U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan at the Department of State. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton said, "Ambassador Lyman is taking over the helm of our important work as the special envoy to Sudan from another very dedicated public servant, Scott Gration. …This is a critical moment in Sudan's history. Two months ago, in a peaceful display of democratic values, the people of Southern Sudan expressed their clear unequivocal choice. They want to live in a free, independent country, and now we look forward to a peaceful separation of these two states in July. …we understand the peaceful separation of these two states will be difficult, but we believe there is a clear path to a stronger, more stable, and peaceful future. I know that Princeton is really so committed to this, ready to go. He has the confidence of both President Obama and myself, he's got a great team that will be backing him up and working with him, and we just want to thank you for taking on yet another challenge that is important not only to the people of Sudan, but to the United States as well."

On Friday, Ambassador Lyman met with President Obama and wrote about the sustained commitment of the U.S. in Sudan: "President Obama and I met to discuss the way ahead on North-South issues and also Darfur. The President made clear that we have his full support and confidence, and reaffirmed his commitment to fully implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to reaching a definitive end to conflict and human rights abuses in Darfur. I am grateful for his leadership and for the sustained commitment that he and Secretary Clinton have demonstrated throughout the course of our intensified diplomatic and development engagement in Sudan. I promised to keep him fully informed on our work in both Washington and the field."

In other news, Ambassador Grossman discussed "Bridging the Trust Deficit with Pakistan" and the significance of demonstrating a long-term commitment to our relationship with that country. Rob Lalka coordinates faith-based partnership efforts for the Secretary of State's Global Partnership Initiative and wrote about engaging faith-based communities on foreign policy objectives. Rudy Rodriguez, an adjudication manager at the Miami Passport Agency, highlighted the Bureau of Consular Affairs and their consular services in Florida. American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Alex Kahl recapped last week's World Water Day celebration.

We appreciate your feedback and comments, and we look forward to hearing you from you in the week ahead.



April 5, 2011

Jim in Taiwan writes:

On a side note, lawyers should be able to write exceptially well. Moreover, they should be able to look at all perspectives of an argument before composing their argument. Do you agree? The premises leading to the conclusion of the argument could be weak and unsuptantial in reenforcing the conclusion. Also, a conclusion can be weak even though the premises can make sense and be right. What I just explained can be applied to foreign policy.

New Mexico, USA
April 7, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Monica Perry,

I was just wondering, given all the bru-haha over the Fed. Gov. shutting down due to political dysfunctionality, whether Dipnote will continue to function normally if it does come down to it?



New Mexico, USA
April 8, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

News items;

Source; BBC live feed:

1226: Clarke Crook-Castan has served as a US diplomat in Ghana, Belgium, Spain and Mexico. He told the BBC about his fears of a shut down. "We don't get our pay cheques if we stay home," he said. "Have you tried paying a mortgage?"

1221: The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan is outside the US State Department where federal employees are protesting the shut down: Crowds have gathered, holding placards and listening to The Beatles. "Shame we didn't get more people here," says one man commenting on the crowd of under 100.


TGIF to all the Dipnote staff, and with a little luck we'll do this again next week- same time, same channel.

If not, enjoy your "Spring Break".



April 14, 2011

W.W. writes:

Sanya Declaration (BRICS Leaders Meeting, Sanya, Hainan, China, April 14, 2011)
April 14, 2011

1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Sanya, Hainan, China for the BRICS Leaders Meeting on April 14, 2011.

2. The Heads of State and Government of Brazil, Russia, India and China welcome South Africa joining the BRICS and look forward to strengthening dialogue and cooperation with South Africa within the forum.

3. It is the overarching objective and strong shared desire for peace, security, development and cooperation that brought together BRICS countries with a total population of nearly 3 billion from different continents. BRICS aims at contributing significantly to the development of humanity and establishing a more equitable and fair world.

4. The 21st century should be marked by peace, harmony, cooperation and scientific development. Under the theme Broad Vision, Shared Prosperity, we conducted candid and in-depth discussions and reached broad consensus on strengthening BRICS cooperation as well as on promoting coordination on international and regional issues of common interest.

5. We affirm that the BRICS and other emerging countries have played an important role in contributing to world peace, security and stability, boosting global economic growth, enhancing multilateralism and promoting greater democracy in international relations.

6. In the economic, financial and development fields, BRICS serves as a major platform for dialogue and cooperation. We are determined to continue strengthening the BRICS partnership for common development and advance BRICS cooperation in a gradual and pragmatic manner, reflecting the principles of openness, solidarity and mutual assistance. We reiterate that such cooperation is inclusive and non-confrontational. We are open to increasing engagement and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, in particular emerging and developing countries, and relevant international and regional organisations.

7. We share the view that the world is undergoing far-reaching, complex and profound changes, marked by the strengthening of multipolarity, economic globalisation and increasing interdependence. While facing the evolving global environment and a multitude of global threats and challenges, the international community should join hands to strengthen cooperation for common development. Based on universally recognised norms of international law and in a spirit of mutual respect and collective decision making, global economic governance should be strengthened, democracy in international relations should be promoted, and the voice of emerging and developing countries in international affairs should be enhanced.

8. We express our strong commitment to multilateral diplomacy with the United Nations playing the central role in dealing with global challenges and threats. In this respect, we reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more effective, efficient and representative, so that it can deal with today’s global challenges more successfully. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status of India, Brazil and South Africa in international affairs, and understand and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

9. We underscore that the concurrent presence of all five BRICS countries in the Security Council during the year of 2011 is a valuable opportunity to work closely together on issues of peace and security, to strengthen multilateral approaches and to facilitate future coordination on issues under UN Security Council consideration. We are deeply concerned with the turbulence in the Middle East , the North African and West African regions and sincerely wish that the countries affected achieve peace, stability, prosperity and progress and enjoy their due standing and dignity in the world according to legitimate aspirations of their peoples. We share the principle that the use of force should be avoided. We maintain that the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of each nation should be respected.

April 14, 2011

W.W. writes:

10. We wish to continue our cooperation in the UN Security Council on Libya. We are of the view that all the parties should resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the UN and regional organisations should as appropriate play their role. We also express support for the African Union High-Level Panel Initiative on Libya.

11. We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism. We believe that the United Nations has a central role in coordinating the international action against terrorism within the framework of the UN Charter and in accordance with principles and norms of the international law. In this context, we urge early conclusion of negotiations in the UN General Assembly of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and its adoption by all Member States. We are determined to strengthen our cooperation in countering this global threat. We express our commitment to cooperate for strengthening international information security. We will pay special attention to combat cybercrime.

12. We note that the world economy is gradually recovering from the financial crisis, but still faces uncertainties. Major economies should continue to enhance coordination of macro-economic policies and work together to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

13. We are committed to assure that the BRICS countries will continue to enjoy strong and sustained economic growth supported by our increased cooperation in economic, finance and trade matters, which will contribute to the long-term steady, sound and balanced growth of the world economy.

April 14, 2011

W.W. writes:

15. We call for a quick achievement of the targets for the reform of the International Monetary Fund agreed to at previous G20 Summits and reiterate that the governing structure of the international financial institutions should reflect the changes in the world economy, increasing the voice and representation of emerging economies and developing countries.

16. Recognising that the international financial crisis has exposed the inadequacies and deficiencies of the existing international monetary and financial system, we support the reform and improvement of the international monetary system, with a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty. We welcome the current discussion about the role of the SDR in the existing international monetary system including the composition of SDR’s basket of currencies. We call for more attention to the risks of massive cross-border capital flows now faced by the emerging economies. We call for further international financial regulatory oversight and reform, strengthening policy coordination and financial regulation and supervision cooperation, and promoting the sound development of global financial markets and banking systems.

17. Excessive volatility in commodity prices, particularly those for food and energy, poses new risks for the ongoing recovery of the world economy. We support the international community in strengthening cooperation to ensure stability and strong development of physical market by reducing distortion and further regulating financial market. The international community should work together to increase production capacity, strengthen producer-consumer dialogue to balance supply and demand, and increase support to the developing countries in terms of funding and technologies. The regulation of the derivatives market for commodities should be accordingly strengthened to prevent activities capable of destabilising markets. We also should address the problem of shortage of reliable and timely information on demand and supply at international, regional and national levels. The BRICS will carry out closer cooperation on food security.

18. We support the development and use of renewable energy resources. We recognise the important role which the renewable energy plays as a means to address climate change. We are convinced of the importance of cooperation and information exchange in the field of development of renewable energy resources.

19. Nuclear energy will continue to be an important element in future energy mix of BRICS countries. International cooperation in the development of safe nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should proceed under conditions of strict observance of relevant safety standards and requirements concerning design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants.

20. Accelerating sustainable growth of developing countries is one of the major challenges for the world. We believe that growth and development are central to addressing poverty and to achieving the MDG goals. Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger is a moral, social, political and economic imperative of humankind and one of the greatest global challenges facing the world today, particularly in Least Developed Countries in Africa and elsewhere.

April 14, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@ WW -- RE 16. It will be a mistake of epic proportions to allow Russia or China to develop any new economic system. They do have an important role to play but they should take a more supportive role. Sadly if America won’t take up the challenge, they (china and co.) will eventually go it alone and America will have no choice but to follow. The deployment of a new economic system is as important as the new system itself. Is America thinking of any new hybrid financial directions? I have seen nothing new – just same old same old.

Secretary Clinton Attends Conference on Libya
Posted by Monica Perry
April 4, 2011


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