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FEBRUARY 10, 1998
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, a year ago, I came here to
ask your help in creating a new foreign policy framework -- adapted to
the demands of a new century -- to protect our citizens and friends;
reinforce our values; and secure our future.
In the months since, we have worked together successfully as partners,
not partisans, to advance American interests and sustain American
During that time, we have helped achieve progress towards a Europe
whole and free, a Bosnia where peace is beginning to take hold, an
Asia where security cooperation is on the rise, an Africa being
transformed by new leaders and fresh thinking, and a Western
Hemisphere blessed by an ever-deepening partnership of democracies.
We have also joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, intensified the
war against international crime, taken an essential first step towards
a global agreement to combat climate change and done much to
re-establish a bipartisan consensus for U.S. leadership in world
These efforts are paying dividends both here at home and overseas. And
this Committee has been a major contributor, forging a strong record
on legislation, treaties, oversight and moving promptly and fairly on
Of course, important accomplishments lead to great expectations. And
so, this morning, I am here again to ask for your help.
As we meet, America is prosperous and at peace in a world more
democratic than ever before. But we cannot afford to rest. For
experience warns us that the course of history is neither predictable
nor smooth. And we know that, in our era, new perils may arise with
21st century speed.
Today, our citizens travel the world and we have major interests on
every continent. We work in a global marketplace in which economies
rise and recede together. We face dangers no nation can defeat alone
-- dangers as mobile as a renegade virus, as deadly as a terrorist's
bomb, as widespread as international crime and as pernicious as
violence spawned by ethnic hate.
As always, the obligation we have is to our citizens, but that
obligation comes now with the knowledge that, increasingly, what
happens anywhere will matter everywhere.
If Americans are to be secure in such a world, we must seize the
opportunity that history has presented to bring nations closer
together around basic principles of democracy, free markets, respect
for the law and a commitment to peace.
This is not an effort we undertake with a scorecard in hand. But every
time a conflict is settled or a nuclear weapon dismantled; every time
a country starts to observe global rules of trade; every time a drug
kingpin is arrested or a war criminal prosecuted; the process of
constructive integration moves forward and the ties that bind the
international system are strengthened.
America's place is at the center of this system. And our challenge is
to see that the connections around the center -- between regions and
among the most prominent nations -- are strong and dynamic, resilient
and sure.
We must also help other nations find their way into the system as
partners -- by lending a hand to those struggling to build democracy,
emerge from poverty or recover from conflict.
We must build new institutions and adapt old ones to master the
demands of the world not as it has been, but as it is and will be.
We must summon the will to deter, the support to isolate, and the
strength to defeat those who run roughshod over the rights of others.
And we must aspire not simply to maintain the status quo. Abroad, as
here, we must strive for higher standards in the marketplace and
workplace, the classroom and courtroom, so that the benefits of growth
and the protections of law are shared not only by the lucky few, but
by the hardworking many.
All this requires a lot of heavy lifting. We must -- and we will --
insist that others do their fair share. But do not doubt, if we want
to protect our people, expand our economy, improve our lives and
safeguard the freedoms we cherish, we must stamp this heretofore
unnamed era with a clear identity -- grounded in democracy, dedicated
to justice and committed to peace.
Mr. Chairman, the best way to begin this year's work is to finish last
year's. And last year, at your initiative, we developed creative plans
to restructure our foreign policy institutions and to encourage United
Nations reform while paying our long overdue U.N. bills.
Unfortunately, a small group of House Members blocked final passage of
those measures, along with needed financing for the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). Those Members did not oppose our ideas, nor make
credible arguments against them. They simply wanted to take valuable
legislation hostage. And as the price for releasing the hostages, they
insisted that the Administration agree to their unrelated position on
international population programs.
The victims of this act of legislative blackmail are your constituents
-- the American people. For without reorganization, our effort to
improve foreign policy effectiveness is slowed. And the failure to pay
our U.N. bills has already cost us.
Last December, the General Assembly voted on a plan that could have
cut our share of U.N. assessments by roughly $100 million every year.
But because of that small group of Congressmen, we lost that
opportunity -- and our taxpayers lost those savings -- and will
continue to do so every year we fail to address this obligation.
But paying our U.N. bills is about more than money. It is also about
principle -- and honor -- and our vital interests.
The United Nations is not -- as some have seemed to suggest -- an
alien presence on U.S. soil. It was Made in America. Our predecessors
brought the U.N. together, led the drafting of the U.N. Charter and
helped write the U.N.'s rules. And we have used the U.N. to tell
America's side of the story during international showdowns from the
Korean War, to the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the destruction of flight
KAL-007, to Operation Desert Storm, to Castro's shootdown of the
Brothers to the Rescue two years ago this month.
Today, we still have important business to conduct at the U.N., such
as dealing with Saddam Hussein, punishing genocide, ensuring the
safety of Americans traveling abroad and helping poor and hungry
children to survive.
Mr. Chairman, this issue is not complicated; it is simple. The best
America is a leader, not a debtor.
Let us act quickly to put our U.N. arrears behind us; restore
America's full influence within the U.N. system; move ahead with U.N.
reform; and use the U.N., as its founders intended, as an important
tool to make the world safer, more prosperous and humane.
A.  The Crossroads.
As we move to deal with old business, we must also think anew.
Normally, when I review U.S. policies around the world, I begin with
Europe and Asia. This morning, I want to break with tradition and
begin with the crossroads linking those continents -- the vast
territory that stretches from the Suez and Bosporus in the west to the
Caucasus and Caspian in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the
I do so because -- as much as any region -- the choices made here
during the remaining months of this century will determine the shape
of the next.
They will decide, for example: whether weapons of mass destruction
cease to imperil the Gulf and South Asia; whether the oil and gas
fields of the Caucasus and Central Asia become reliable sources of
energy; whether the opium harvests of death in Burma and Afghanistan
are shut down; whether the New Independent States become strong and
successful democracies; whether Israel can find peace with security
and Arabs prosperity through regional trade and integration; whether
terrorists are denied the support they need to perpetrate their
crimes; and whether the great religions of the world can work together
to foster tolerance and understanding.
As Secretary of State, developing an integrated approach to this part
of the world is a major challenge, not least because it includes
countries covered by every regional bureau in the Department except
Africa and Latin America. But despite the region's diversity, we are
able to approach it with a set of common principles.
First, we believe that the nations in and outside the region must work
together to avoid a modern version of the so-called "Great Game," in
which past struggles for resources and power led to war, repression
and misery. Here, as elsewhere, each nation's sovereignty must be
respected; and the goal of each should be stability and prosperity
that is widely shared.
Second, cooperation must extend to security. Nations must have the
wisdom and the will to oppose the agents of terrorism, proliferation
and crime.
Third, neighbors must live as neighbors. From the Middle East to
Central and South Asia, long festering disputes remain unsettled.
Those within the region must seek to protect vital interests, while
settling differences fairly and peaceably. Those outside the region
must refrain from exploiting divisions and support efforts to settle
Fourth, the international community must nurture inter-ethnic
tolerance and respect for human rights, including women's rights. This
responsibility is shared by all, for no culture or religion has a
monopoly on virtue -- nor is any fully free from extremist violence.
U.S. policy is to promote and practice these principles; to persuade
all those with a stake in the region to rise above the zero-sum
thinking of the past; and to embrace the reality that cooperation by
all will yield for all a future of greater prosperity, dignity and
That is certainly our message in the Middle East, where we continue to
seek progress towards a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement,
based on U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, including the
principle of land for peace.
The President sent me to the region to follow up on the ideas he
presented to Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu. He
presented our ideas as a way to break the stalemate, recognizing that
the parties, given the level of their distrust, might respond to us
even if they remain reluctant to respond to each other.
Frankly, the issue now is whether the leaders are prepared to make the
kind of decisions that will make it possible to put the process back
on track. Indeed, we have to ask: are they prepared to promote their
common interests as partners? Or are they determined to compete and
return to an era of zero sum relations?
The stakes are high. That's why we have been involved in such an
intense effort to protect the process from collapsing. U.S.
credibility in the region and the interests of our Arab and Israeli
friends depend upon it.
America's interest in a stable and prosperous Middle East also depends
on whether the nations there work together to reform their economies,
attract investment and create opportunities for their people.
Hopelessness is a great enemy of the region, for those with faith in
the future are far more likely to build peace than those immobilized
by despair.
Accordingly, I hope we will have the Committee's support for our
proposals to contribute to a Middle East and North Africa Development
Bank, provide desperately-needed assistance to the Palestinian people
and to development in Jordan, where King Hussein has been a consistent
and courageous supporter of peace.
Mr. Chairman, if we are to have an international system based on law,
we must have the spine to enforce the law. And that is where our
policy towards Iraq begins. Saddam Hussein is an aggressor who has
used weapons of mass destruction before and -- if allowed -- would
surely use or threaten to use them again.
At the end of the Gulf War, the U.N. Security Council established a
system to ensure that Saddam would not have this opportunity. Iraq was
required to declare its weapons of mass destruction and delivery
systems, destroy them and never build them again. The U.N. Special
Commission, or UNSCOM, was to verify the declarations and the
destruction, inspect to be sure of the truth and monitor to prevent
the rebuilding of weapons.
But from the outset, Iraq did all it could to evade UNSCOM's
requirements. Iraqi officials lied, concealed information and harassed
and bullied inspectors. UNSCOM nevertheless accomplished a great deal,
destroying more weapons of mass destruction than were demolished in
the entire Gulf War.
Then, in 1995, Saddam Hussein's brother-in-law defected and provided
new and chilling information especially about Iraq's biological
weapons program. This set in motion a high stakes game of poker
between UNSCOM and Iraq.
As UNSCOM has learned more about Iraqi methods, it has become more
creative in its inspection strategy -- and increasingly threatening to
Saddam. As UNSCOM has moved closer to discovering information that
Iraq wants desperately to hide, Baghdad has grown more belligerent,
repeatedly blocking inspection teams, challenging UNSCOM's authority,
and refusing access to dozens of suspect sites. Iraq now says it will
eject UNSCOM altogether if U.N. sanctions are not soon lifted.
Clearly, if UNSCOM is to uncover the full truth about Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction programs, it must have unrestricted access to
locations, people and documents that may be related to those programs.
But as UNSCOM's Chairman Richard Butler attests, Iraq is making it
impossible for the Commission to do its job. We, in the international
community, are left with a choice between allowing Saddam Hussein to
dictate the terms of U.N. inspections -- essentially folding our hand
-- or calling Saddam's bluff.
In recent months, we have worked hard to find a diplomatic solution.
The U.N. Security Council has insisted repeatedly and unanimously that
Iraq cooperate fully with UNSCOM. Meanwhile, the U.N. inspectors have
been kicked out, then allowed back in, then prevented from doing their
work, then threatened again with expulsion. Saddam Hussein's dream is
the world's nightmare -- to gain the lifting of U.N. sanctions,
without losing his capacity to build and use weapons of mass
destruction. In pursuing this fantasy, Saddam has thwarted efforts to
resolve the crisis diplomatically and made the use of military force
more likely.
As President Clinton has made clear, the United States will not allow
Iraq to get away with flagrantly violating its obligations. And I have
been heartened, both during my travels and in other communications, by
the support our position has received.
In virtually every part of the world, there is a determination that
Iraq comply with the U.N. Security Council resolutions, and that it
provide unfettered access to U.N. weapons inspectors. There is
agreement that responsibility for the current impasse and its
potential consequences rests with Iraq alone. And there is an
understanding that, unless Iraq's policies change, we will have no
choice but to take strong measures -- not pinpricks, but substantial
strikes -- that reduce Saddam's capacity to re-constitute his weapons
of mass destruction and diminish his ability to threaten Iraq's
neighbors and the world. Let no one miscalculate: we have the
authority to do this, the responsibility to do this, the means and the
Before leaving this subject, I want briefly to dispose of Saddam's
argument that the U.N. and the United States are to blame for the
suffering of the Iraqi people. The truth is that Saddam doesn't care a
fig about the Iraqi people, whom he has terrorized, tortured and
brutalized for years.
I am told by Arab leaders I trust that there is great concern in the
Arab world about the plight of Iraqi civilians. I am convinced that is
true for this concern is fully shared by the United States and the
American people. Saddam knows this, which is why he so bravely sends
women and children to guard his palaces in time of crisis.
The United States has strongly supported efforts through the U.N. to
see that foods and medicines are made available to the Iraqi people.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed to expand these
efforts, and we are looking hard at how best to do that. Meanwhile,
the blame for Iraqi suffering does not rest with the international
community; it rests with Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Chairman, America is never stronger than when it is together. I
have been deeply impressed and encouraged by the strong bipartisan
backing we have received on this issue. We will look to Congress for
continued support and counsel in the days ahead.
Across the border from Iraq in Iran, there are signs that popular
support is building for a more open approach to the world. We welcome
that. An Iran that accepts and adheres to global norms on terrorism,
proliferation and human rights could contribute much to regional
stability. Iran's President Khatami called recently for a dialogue
between our two peoples. There is merit in this, for we have much to
learn from each other. But the issues that divide us are not those of
respect between our two peoples, but matters of policy that must
ultimately be addressed directly through government to government
Further north, in the Caucasus, we are working hard with our Minsk
process co-chairs to settle the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan
over Nagorno-Karabakh. Although the cease-fire continues, progress
towards a definitive solution has stalled. We have substantial
interests here, but our leverage would increase if Congress lifted
legal restrictions on nonmilitary assistance to Azerbaijan, while
maintaining support for aid to Armenia -- where we will be encouraging
free and fair Presidential elections this spring.
Finally, President Clinton plans to visit South Asia later this year
to explore possibilities for closer economic ties, press concerns
about proliferation, and seek better mutual cooperation across the
board. With India, we have begun a strategic dialogue between the
world's oldest democracy and the world's largest. And with Pakistan,
we are developing a broader partnership with our long time friend.
These nations, and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with their large, diverse
populations, are laboratories of democracy. We are committed to
working with them in appropriate ways to strengthen institutions,
facilitate growth, protect human rights and enhance the rule of law.
B.  Europe.
Mr. Chairman, the strategies we are developing in places such as the
Gulf, the Caucasus and Central Asia illustrate the breadth of change
that has transformed the political map. They show, as well, that the
regional categories into which we once divided the world no longer
But however old or new the challenges we face, there is still one
relationship that more than any other will determine whether we meet
them successfully, and that is our relationship with Europe.
This is not because we and our European friends always see eye to eye.
We do not. The transatlantic partnership remains our strategic base --
the drivewheel of progress on every world-scale issue when we agree,
the brake when we do not.
Today, we have two strategic goals in Europe. The first is to work
with our European Union partners to continue carrying out our New
Transatlantic Agenda, and with all our friends on the continent to
meet global challenges.
This means supporting peace initiatives from the Middle East to
Central Africa. It means recognizing that halting the spread of
weapons of mass destruction is a shared responsibility that cannot be
balanced against competing political or commercial concerns. It means
joining forces to fight international criminals and protect the global
environment. And it means joint efforts to build a more open world
economy with reduced barriers to cross-Atlantic investment and trade.
A second goal is to build a Europe that is itself for the first time
whole, free, prosperous and at peace.
To this end, two years ago, the United States led the effort to stop
the war in Bosnia. We knew that it did not serve our interests to see
aggression undeterred and genocide unpunished in the heart of Europe,
or NATO divided on how to respond. Now, we must finish what we started
and maintain our support for implementing the Dayton Accords.
Shortly before Christmas, I went to Bosnia with the President, Senator
Dole, and members of Congress to visit our troops and talk frankly
with local leaders. We found a nation that remains deeply divided, but
where multi-ethnic institutions are once again beginning to function.
Economic growth is accelerating. Indicted war criminals are
surrendering or being arrested. Refugees are slowly beginning to
return. And a new Bosnian Serb government is acting on its pledge to
implement Dayton.
More slowly than we foresaw, but as surely as we hoped, the
infrastructure of Bosnian peace is taking shape and the psychology of
reconciliation is taking hold. Day by day, town by town, the evidence
is growing that, if we persevere, peace will be sustained.
But if we were to leave now, as some urge, the confidence we are
building would erode, the democratic institutions would be embattled,
and the purveyors of hate would be emboldened. The result could well
be a return to genocide and war.
That would surrender the progress we and our partners have helped
Bosnians achieve, and devalue the sacrifices our armed forces,
diplomats and private citizens have made. It would abandon Bosnia's
democrats, who put their faith in the United States. It would hurt
American leadership within NATO, which is vital to our national
security. And it would undermine NATO itself, by raising doubts, even
as we propose to enlarge it, about the willingness of the alliance to
tackle hard problems.
Quitting is not the American way. In Bosnia, the mission should
determine the timetable, not the other way around. And as the
President made clear in December, "that mission must be achievable and
tied to concrete benchmarks, not a deadline."
So Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I ask your support. Let us
continue to play an appropriate role in Bosnia as long as our help is
needed, our allies and friends do their share, and the Bosnian people
are striving to help themselves. That is the right thing to do. And it
is the smart thing, for it is the only way to ensure that when our
troops do leave Bosnia, they leave for good.
The effort to recover from war in Bosnia reminds us how important it
is to prevent war. And how much we owe to those who designed and built
NATO, which has been for a half century the world's most powerful
defender of freedom and deterrent to aggression.
Mr. Chairman, in two weeks, I am scheduled to be here with you again,
together with Secretary Cohen and General Shelton, to seek the
Committee's support for making America among the first to ratify the
admission of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to our alliance. I
hope you will agree when the time comes for a vote -- and I hope it
will come early -- that by welcoming these three nations, and holding
the door open to others, we will make America safer, NATO stronger,
and Europe more stable and united.
Building peace in Bosnia and beginning the enlargement of NATO are two
key elements in our effort to build a peaceful, free and undivided
Europe. But there are many others.
Last month, President Clinton joined the leaders of Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania in signing the U.S.-Baltic Charter, to show our support
for the freedom and security of these nations and for their efforts to
join western institutions. We are pursuing our Northeast Europe
Initiative to encourage integration among nations of the Nordic and
Baltic region, and to strengthen their ties with us, the EU and their
We strongly support the expansion of the EU into central and eastern
Europe, and Turkey's desire to be part of that process.
We are putting in place a new Southeast Europe strategy to help
integrate countries in that region into western institutions.
We are leading the transformation of the OSCE into an organization
that produces not just reports, but results.
President Clinton and I are backing efforts to achieve lasting
reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
We are working hard to ease tensions in the Aegean and have put
unprecedented effort into trying to achieve a Cyprus settlement.
We have cemented our strategic partnership with Ukraine, knowing that
an independent, democratic, prosperous and stable Ukraine is a key to
building a secure and undivided Europe. In 1998, we will continue to
support Ukraine's economic and political reforms, deepen our
cooperation under the NATO-Ukraine Charter and insist on its adherence
to nonproliferation norms.
We are also striving to build a relationship with Russia -- and
between Russia and NATO -- that is steady and consistent --
encouraging Russia toward greater openness at home and constructive
behavior abroad. In coming weeks, we will be working with Russia to
keep its economic reforms on track, urge START II ratification by the
Duma, and take needed steps to prevent proliferation.
C.  Asia.
The United States is a Pacific nation, just as we are an Atlantic and
a Caribbean nation. We have allies and friends in every part of the
continent. We are major buyers and sellers in Asia-Pacific markets. We
are backers of Asian democracy which -- as the recent election in the
Republic of Korea indicates -- is alive and well. And we have a vital
stake in the security of Asia, where we have fought three wars during
the past six decades.
Since becoming Secretary of State, I have traveled to East Asia three
times and to the APEC Ministerial and Summit in Vancouver. This
reflects the priority we have placed on improving ties throughout the
Our overarching objective is to continue building a new and inclusive
Pacific community based on stability, shared interests and the rule of
To this end, we have fortified our core alliances, crafted new defense
guidelines with Japan, maintained our forward deployment of troops,
embarked on Four Party talks to create a basis for lasting peace on
the Korean Peninsula, and continued to implement, with our partners,
the Agreed Framework which is dismantling North Korea's dangerous
nuclear program.
In addition, we are working with ASEAN and other regional leaders to
encourage a return to representative government in Cambodia, and a
meaningful dialogue in Burma between the authorities there and the
democratic opposition, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
We have also intensified our dialogue with China, achieving progress
on economic and security matters, while maintaining our principles on
respect for Tibetan heritage and human rights. Let me stress here, Mr.
Chairman, that engagement is not the same as endorsement. We continue
to have sharp differences with China -- but we also believe that the
best way to narrow those differences is to encourage China to become a
fully responsible participant in the international system.
Steps in the right direction include China's commitment to strictly
control nuclear exports, assurances on nuclear cooperation with Iran,
security cooperation on the Korean peninsula, signing the CTBT,
continued economic liberalization, the release of Wei Jingsheng and
the invitation to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to
But most urgently, Mr. Chairman, we have been working with the IMF and
the world community to respond to the financial crisis in East Asia.
Many of your constituents may have asked why the United States should
help Asian governments and businesses recover from their mistakes. It
is a good question to which the facts provide a persuasive answer.
The crisis resulted from bad economic habits in the countries involved
and on the part of those who did business with them. Rapid growth bred
excess short-term borrowing, which was used to finance imprudent
investments, which led to unsustainable levels of debt, which local
authorities were slow to recognize and confront. Last summer, markets
began responding to these weaknesses and a crisis of confidence grew.
Our approach is clear. To recover, a nation must reform its economy.
And if it is willing seriously to do so, it will be in our interest to
The governments of Thailand, Indonesia and Korea have developed
programs with the IMF that address the economic problems they face.
These arrangements require market-opening measures, the restructuring
of financial sectors, greater investment transparency and other
We are working with these governments, and with others such as Japan,
Singapore and China, to prevent the crisis from spreading.
And we will be asking Congress to approve our 15% share of the
additional IMF resources that are required.
We have adopted this approach for several reasons.
East Asia includes some of the best customers for U.S. products and
services; more than one-third of our exports go there. Thousands of
good jobs in Atlanta and St. Paul, Wilmington and Raleigh depend on
economic vigor in places such as Bangkok and Seoul.
Second, the reforms the IMF is supporting are designed in part to
promote better governance, by encouraging more openness and
transparency in decision making. This offers the greatest hope of
progress towards more democratic and accountable political systems
which should lead, in turn, to sounder and wiser economic management.
Third, East Asia includes some of our closest allies and friends.
South Korea faces a large, hostile and well-armed military force
across the DMZ. Democratic Thailand has taken courageous steps to put
its fiscal house in order. Indonesia is the world's fourth most
populous country and one of its most diverse; its stability, and the
efforts of its people to build a more open society, are central to the
region's future.
Finally, since the IMF functions as a sort of intergovernmental credit
union, these so-called bailouts won't cost our taxpayers a nickel --
just as the President's bold plan to rescue the Mexican economy three
years ago proved cost-free.
Still, there are some who say we should disavow the IMF, abandon our
friends and stand aside, letting the chips -- or dominos -- fall where
they may.
It is possible that, if we were to take this course, the economies of
East Asia might miraculously right themselves and we would not
experience a sharp drop in exports or see our own markets even more
inundated with cut-rate foreign goods.
It is possible that we would not see instability and civil violence
create new security threats in this region where 100,000 American
troops are deployed.
It is possible that the effects of a financial freefall in East Asia
would not spread around the world, and that our decision to walk away
would not be misunderstood, and a wave of anti-American sentiment not
be unleashed, and potential progress towards the higher labor and
environmental standards we advocate not be washed away.
All this is possible, but I would not want to bet American security or
prosperity on that proposition. Nor would I want to risk the jobs of
your constituents. For it would be a very, very bad bet.
The truth is that, even with full backing for the IMF, and diligent
reforms in East Asia, the risks are substantial. Recovery will take
time. And further tremors are possible.
The best way to minimize the depth and duration of the crisis is to
back the reforms now being implemented and do all we can to keep the
virus from spreading.
But we must also take strong steps to prevent this kind of crisis from
To this end, we are continuing efforts to improve the international
financial community's ability to anticipate and respond to problems.
Reforms achieved since the G-7 Halifax Summit in 1995, such as the
IMF's Emergency Funding Mechanism, have helped us respond to the Asian
crisis. In all of the Asian programs, we have pressed hard to increase
transparency, and have succeeded in getting the specifics of the IMF
programs published.
More needs to be done. At the President's initiative, Secretary Rubin
will convene a meeting later this spring with finance ministers and
central bank governors from around the world to build a consensus on
ways to strengthen the global financial system. They will focus on
four objectives: improving transparency and disclosure; strengthening
the role of the international financial institutions; improving
regulation of financial institutions; and developing the role of the
private sector in bearing an appropriate share of the burden in time
of crisis.
D.  The Americas.
Mr. Chairman, closer to home, we meet today at a time of heightened
emphasis in our policy towards the Americas. In recent months,
President Clinton has visited Canada and Mexico, with whom we enjoy
relationships of extraordinary warmth despite occasional
disagreements. He also traveled to Central and South America and the
Caribbean. In April, he will go to Chile for the second hemispheric
This attention is warranted not only by proximity of geography, but by
proximity of values. For today, with one lonely exception, every
government in the hemisphere is freely-elected. Every major economy
has liberalized its system for investment and trade. With war in
Guatemala ended, Central America is without conflict for the first
time in decades. And, as recent progress toward settling the
Ecuador-Peru border dispute reflects, nations are determined to live
in security and peace from pole to pole.
Despite this, the region still faces serious challenges. Growing
populations make it harder to translate macroeconomic growth into
higher standards of living. For many, the dividends of economic reform
are not yet visible, while the costs of the accompanying austerity
measures are. The building of democracy remains in all countries a
work in progress, with stronger, more independent legal systems an
urgent need in most.
In Haiti, the challenge of creating a democratic culture and market
economy -- where neither has ever existed -- is especially daunting.
For the past nine months, Haiti has been mired in what is both a
political standoff and a separation of powers dispute. Other young
democracies have taken years and endured much violence to sort out
such issues. Haitians are trying to resolve their differences through
dialogue and debate, not guns. But it will take time to find the way
Meanwhile, the pace of restructuring an economy still badly damaged by
decades of dictatorial rule has lagged. For millions of impoverished
Haitians, democracy has not yet delivered on the hope of prosperity.
We cannot turn our backs at this critical stage. To do so would risk
Haiti's mirroring its past: an undemocratic Haiti that serves as a
safe haven for criminals and drug traffickers and from which thousands
of would-be migrants are driven to seek refuge on our shores.
Our economic and food aid to Haiti is directed at basic human needs
and at laying the foundation for sustained economic growth. I ask your
support for continuing and increasing this assistance to strengthen
civil society and help expand microenterprise, health, education and
family planning efforts. It will also be used to assist secondary
cities to attract private investment and create jobs.
In Cuba, Christmas had special meaning this year because of the Pope's
visit. But we will not rest until another day -- Election Day -- has
meaning there, as well. The people of Cuba deserve the same right as
their counterparts from Argentina to Alaska to select their own
leaders and shape their own lives. The Cuban regime was right to allow
the Pope's visit. It should act now in the spirit of free expression
that His Holiness espoused. Meanwhile, the United States will continue
working with friends in Europe and throughout the hemisphere to
heighten the pressure -- which is building -- for democratic change.
This spring, the hemisphere's democratic leaders will gather in
Santiago for the second Summit of the Americas. Their purpose will be
to set an agenda to take us into the 21st century, an agenda that will
include education, trade, economic integration, fighting poverty,
strengthening the rule of law, judicial reform, the environment and
human rights.
The United States is looking forward to participating in the summit,
and to achieving an outcome notable not only for its goals, but also
for concrete plans to achieve them.
E.  Africa.
In the past, U.S. relations with Africa have been distorted by the
prisms of east-west and north-south divisions. We have a rare chance
now to establish more mature relationships, characterized by
cooperation and dedicated to solving problems.
During my recent visit, I was impressed by how rapidly Africa is
departing from the shopworn stereotypes, even as it continues to
grapple with chronic problems of poverty and strife. Today, many old
conflicts are being settled. Countries are modernizing. Centralized
economies are giving way to open markets. And civil society is
beginning to blossom.
As a result, the opportunity is there to help integrate Africa into
the world economy; build democracy; and gain valuable allies in the
fight against terror, narcotics trafficking and other global threats.
As we prepare for the President's upcoming visit, we want to express
our support for countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Benin
where the commitment to democracy is strongest, while paying heed, as
well, to the trouble spots that remain.
In the strategic, strife-torn Great Lakes region, for example,
countries face long odds. Rwanda is still recovering from genocide;
Burundi remains without a stable political order; and the vast,
resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo must rebuild and
democratize after decades of misrule.
I urge the Committee's support for the President's initiative to
promote justice and development in the Great Lakes, so that we may
help the people there to prevent further outbreaks of violence and to
plant the seeds of democratic progress and social renewal. I urge your
support for our request for funds for education, debt relief and
development. And I hope Congress will act quickly to approve the
proposed Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. This is a Capitol Hill
initiative, supported by the Administration, designed to frame a new
American approach to the new Africa.
We believe that the African countries that most deserve our help are
those that are doing the most to help themselves. And that the most
useful help we can provide is the kind that will enable economies to
stand on their own feet -- through open markets, greater investment,
increased trade and the development among their peoples of 21st
century skills.
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.  Reducing the Threat Posed by Deadly Arms.
For example, it is a core purpose of American foreign policy to halt
the spread and possible use of weapons of mass destruction, which
remain -- years after the Cold War's end -- the most serious threat to
the security of our people.
The new world map has created for our diplomats a twin imperative:
achieving further progress in our difficult nuclear build-down with
Russia; and maintaining a global full-court press to keep biological,
chemical and nuclear weapons, and the missiles that deliver them, from
falling into the wrong hands.
These demands require a wide of range of approaches old and new, from
traditional negotiations, to international law-enforcement and
counter-terrorism efforts, to cooperative threat reduction programs,
such as those pioneered by the Nunn-Lugar legislation.
And with President Clinton's leadership, we have made real progress.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is now permanent; its safeguards
are stronger; and only five countries remain outside its framework.
Some 150 nations, including the nuclear powers, have signed the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Russia has followed us in
joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, and China is undertaking
important new nonproliferation commitments.
This year, Mr. Chairman, I hope we can work together to build on the
record we have forged, for we have a unique opportunity to ensure that
the American people never again face the costs and dangers of a
nuclear arms race.
Much depends on whether the Russian Duma ratifies START II. This
treaty will slice apart Russia's heavy MIRVed SS-18 missiles -- the
deadliest weapons ever pointed our way. And it would set the stage for
START III, and cuts in strategic arsenals to 80 percent below Cold War
This past September, we completed the ABM Treaty Demarcation and
Succession agreements. Mr. Chairman, we agree that the Senate deserves
every opportunity to examine them closely, and I look forward to
testifying before you at the appropriate time.
But to encourage the Russians to act on START II, we have told them
firmly that we will neither begin negotiating START III, nor submit
the ABM agreements and the START II Extension Protocol to this
Committee until the Duma acts. We should not retreat from that stand.
Meanwhile, the Demarcation agreements allow us to continue developing
robust theater defenses. And we know that for Russian reductions to
continue, the ABM Treaty must remain viable.
An essential part of our strategy to reduce the nuclear danger is the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty now pending before the Senate. By ending
testing, we can hinder both the development and spread of new and more
dangerous weapons.
The CTBT has been a goal of U.S. Presidents since Dwight Eisenhower
and John Kennedy. It has the support of 70 percent of the American
people. It has been endorsed by four former chairmen of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff: Generals John Shalikashvili, Colin Powell and David
Jones, and Admiral William Crowe. And it holds the promise of a world
forever free of nuclear explosions.
But if we are to fulfill this promise, America must lead the way this
year in ratifying the Treaty, just as we did in negotiating and
signing it. Mr. Chairman, I respectfully seek an early opportunity to
testify before this Committee on a treaty that our citizens want and
our interests demand.
Last year, thanks to the Senate's bipartisan support, the United
States joined the Chemical Weapons Convention as an original party.
This year, we will continue working with Congress to enact domestic
implementing legislation, to make it harder for terrorists to concoct,
conceal, or conspire to use poison gas in our own country.
Our experience with Saddam Hussein in Iraq underscores how tempting
biological weapons remain to the very worst regimes. This year, with
the President's leadership, we are determined to strengthen the
Biological Weapons Convention through an international inspection
system to help detect and deter cheating.
Finally, the United States is determined to contribute mightily to the
worldwide effort to protect civilians from anti-personnel landmines.
We lead the world in humanitarian demining. And we are substantially
increasing our own commitment, while asking other countries to
increase theirs. Our goal is to free civilians everywhere from the
threat of landmines by the year 2010.
Meanwhile, we have embarked on an aggressive search for alternatives
to anti-personnel landmines, with the hope that we can fulfill the
President's goal of ridding the world of these terrible weapons.
B.  Promoting 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.
Through bipartisan efforts, we have put our fiscal house in order and
our economy is stronger than it has been in decades. I am pleased that
American diplomacy has contributed much to this record.
Since President Clinton took office, we have negotiated more than 240
trade agreements, including the Uruguay Round and agreements on
information technology, basic telecommunications services and -- most
recently -- financial services. These agreements remove barriers to
U.S. products and services, thereby creating good American jobs. To
help level the playing field for American business, we concluded an
OECD Convention last year that commits more than 30 other nations to
join us in criminalizing foreign commercial bribery.
We have also been striving to ensure that agreements made are
agreements kept. Our diplomats know that one of their principal jobs
is to see that American companies and workers get a fair shake. To
that end, our trade negotiators are making full use of every available
enforcement tool, including a strengthened WTO.
All this matters to Americans because trade is responsible for
one-third of the sustained economic growth we have enjoyed these past
five years. Today, some twelve million U.S. jobs are supported by
exports and these are good jobs, paying -- on average -- 15% more than
non-trade related positions.
To stay on this upward road, we are using our diplomatic tools to
forge an increasingly open system of global investment and trade that
is fair to investors, businesspeople, farmers and workers alike.
At last November's APEC summit, Pacific governments agreed to begin
negotiation on a sectoral liberalization package covering more than
$700 million in trade. We are continuing to explore new opportunities
for expanded commerce with the EU. We have an opportunity in the OECD
to conclude a major treaty on the rules of international investment.
In April, at the hemispheric summit in Santiago, we will seek to
launch negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. And
this summer, at the International Labor Conference in Geneva, we will
be striving for a strong declaration on core labor standards.
We will be working with Congress this year to ensure that the
President has the fast-track trade negotiating authority he needs to
reach agreements that benefit our economy and advance our overall
trade liberalization, environmental and worker rights objectives.
We will also be asking you to support our economic and humanitarian
assistance programs and the Peace Corps. Many of our fastest-growing
markets are in developing countries where the transition to an open
economic system is incomplete. By helping these countries overcome
problems, we contribute to our own prosperity while strengthening the
international system, in which we have the largest stake.
For example, our programs assist developing nations in stabilizing
population growth rates, thereby allowing them to devote more of their
scarce resources to meet the basic needs of their citizens. Moreover,
the family planning programs we support are voluntary. They do not
fund abortions; on the contrary, they contribute to our goal of
reducing the incidence of abortions.
An open, growing world economy is vital to our prosperity -- and a
foreign policy imperative. For when we make progress on the
international economic front, we make progress on all fronts. A world
that is busy growing will be less prone to conflict. Nations that have
embraced economic reform are more likely to embrace political reform.
And as history informs us, prosperity is a parent to peace.
C.  Fighting International Crime and Narcotics.
Mr. Chairman, a third global objective of our foreign policy is to
fight and win the struggle against international crime. In our era,
the drug trade, arms smuggling, money laundering, corruption and
trafficking in human beings have become overlapping and reinforcing
threats. They undermine our effort to build a more stable, prosperous
and democratic international system. And they threaten us whether we
are traveling abroad or walking down the very streets on which we
Here at home, we have found that community policing and a strong
judicial system can cut crime. Our parallel strategy overseas is
reducing crime before it reaches our shores. The Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is leading an
aggressive effort to strengthen foreign judicial systems, break up
international criminal cartels, eliminate offshore havens for hot
money, increase extraditions, and block the illicit smuggling of
narcotics, guns, stolen cars and illegal aliens.
All this requires more than increasing police on our borders or Coast
Guard ships at sea. It involves virtually every aspect of our
diplomacy, from building viable judicial and law enforcement
institutions; to eradicating coca and opium poppies; to forging
bilateral law enforcement agreements; to speaking frankly with foreign
leaders about the need to close ranks.
There is no silver bullet in the fight against international crime,
but -- as our increased budget request for this year reflects -- we
are pushing ahead hard. Our purpose, ultimately, is to create a kind
of global "Neighborhood Watch", with governments and law abiding
citizens everywhere coming together to plug the legal and law
enforcement gaps that give criminals the space they need to operate
and without which they could not survive.
D.  Environment.
The United States also has a major foreign policy interest in ensuring
for future generations a healthy and abundant global environment and
in working to prevent environmental problems that could lead to
conflict or contribute to humanitarian disasters.
The wise stewardship of natural resources is about far more than
esthetics -- about whether one responds more warmly to butterflies
than bulldozers. Misuse of resources can produce shortages that breed
famine, fear, flight and fighting. And as societies grow and
industrialize, the absorptive capacities of the Earth will be severely
We can respond to this reality with complacency, assuring ourselves
that the full costs of our neglect will not come due until after we
have passed from the scene. Or we can meet our responsibility to
future generations by striving to identify meaningful, cost-effective
ways to anticipate and mitigate environmental and resource-related
We are choosing the latter course.
That is why we have incorporated environmental goals into the
mainstream of our foreign policy, and why we have established and are
pursuing specific environmental objectives in every part of the world.
It is why we are seeking an international agreement to regulate the
production and use of persistent chemical toxins that have global
It is why we will be focusing new attention on what may be one of the
most explosive international issues of the 21st century -- access to
secure supplies of fresh water.
And it is why we will be asking Congress to work with us as we seek to
ensure that the promise of the Kyoto Protocol is realized. In Kyoto,
the world's leading industrialized nations committed themselves for
the first time to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
and adopted, in key respects, the U.S. market-based approach to
achieving those reductions. Kyoto also made a significant downpayment
on securing the meaningful participation of developing countries in
the needed global response, but clearly more must be done to meet our
E.  Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law.
Finally, U.S. policy is to promote democracy, the rule of law,
religious tolerance and human rights. These goals reflect a single
premise: the health of the community depends on the freedom of the
A half century ago, the nations of the world affirmed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights that "the foundation of freedom, justice
and peace" resides in the "inherent dignity and...equal...rights of
all members of the human family."
Today, there are those who argue that the Declaration reflects western
values alone. But that is nonsense.
Consider, for example, the first Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference held
in Indonesia more than four decades ago. There, the representatives of
29 nations from China to Libya and from Sudan to Iraq cited the
Universal Declaration as "a common standard of achievement for all
peoples and all nations."
And less than five years ago, countries on every continent reaffirmed
their commitment to the Declaration at the Vienna Conference on Human
Unfortunately, as our recent human rights report indicated, the face
of the world remains scarred by widespread abuses, many the byproduct
of ethnic and religious intolerance, others perpetrated willfully by
authoritarian regimes. These violations are an offense to humanity and
an anchor retarding human progress. For only when people are free to
express their identities, publish their thoughts and pursue their
dreams can a society fulfill its potential.
In recent months, some have criticized America for, in their words,
trying to "impose" democracy overseas. They suggest it is hopeless and
sometimes damaging to encourage elections in countries that are not
yet developed. They appear to assume that our efforts are limited to
the promotion of elections, and that we are indifferent to the
history, culture, politics and personalities of the countries
In truth, we understand well that democracy, by definition, cannot be
imposed. It must emerge from the desire of individuals to participate
in the decisions that shape their lives. But this desire is present in
all countries. America's aim is to assist democratic forces, where and
when we can, to assemble the nuts and bolts of a free society. That
requires far more than elections. Depending on the country and the
situation, we employ a wide variety of means from vigorous diplomacy
to training judges to providing technical advice on everything from
drafting a commercial code to the rules of Parliamentary procedure.
To term our support for democracy an imposition is to get the logic
upside down. For democracy is the only form of government that allows
people to choose their own path. There could be no better way for us
to show respect for the uniqueness and autonomy of others than to
support their right to shape their own destinies and select their own
So let us be clear. American policy proceeds from this truth: in any
language, on any continent, for any culture, dictatorship is an
imposition; democracy is a choice.
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
war crimes tribunals.
As the President pledged in his State of the Union Address, we will
send legislation forward to address the intolerable practice of
abusive child labor.
We will renew our request that the Committee approve -- at long last
-- the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against
And because of our commitment to the rule of law, and to the economic,
security and scientific interests of the United States, we are pleased
to join the Department of Defense in urging your support for the
revised International Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The efforts we make to advance our security, prosperity and values are
both right and smart for America and for our future. But we cannot
lead without tools.
It costs money to track the development of weapons of mass destruction
around the world; to dismantle and dispose of nuclear materials safely
from the former Soviet Union; to protect American jobs by representing
American interests in Tokyo and Brussels, Ottawa and Buenos Aires; and
to help our partners build societies based on peace, democracy and
But these costs do not begin to compare to the costs we would incur if
we did not act; if we stood aside while conflicts raged, terrorists
struck, newfound freedoms were lost and chemical, nuclear and
biological weapons spread willy-nilly around the globe.
American leadership is built on American ideals, supported by our
economic and military might, and tested every day in the arena of
international diplomacy. To thrive in the new century, America will
need first-class factories and farms; first-class students and
scientists; and first-class soldiers and sailors. We will also need
world-class diplomacy.
World-class diplomacy depends on having the right number of people, in
the right places, with the right level of skills, modern
communications systems and buildings that are secure.
Unfortunately, despite strong support from many in both parties in
Congress, we have lost ground during this decade. In real terms,
funding has declined sharply. Since 1993, we have closed 32 embassies
and consulates. We've been forced to cut back on the life's blood of
any organization, which is training. We face critical infrastructure
needs in key capitals such as Berlin and Beijing. We must modernize
our information systems or we will enter the 21st century with
computers that do not work. And we have seen the percentage of our
nation's wealth that is used to support democracy and prosperity
around the globe shrink steadily, so that among industrialized nations
we are now dead last.
So I urge the Committee to support the President's budget request,
remembering as you do so, that although international affairs amounts
to only about one percent of the Federal budget, it may well account
for fifty percent of the history that is written about our era, and it
affects the lives of one hundred percent of the American people.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, as Secretary of State, I can tell you that you
can be proud of the people -- foreign service officers, civil service
and foreign service nationals -- who work every day, often under very
difficult conditions, to protect our interests around the world. I
have never been associated with a more talented, professional or
dedicated group of people. And I hope I can work with the Committee
this year to see that our personnel receive the support and respect
they deserve; and to maintain the highest standards of diplomatic
representation for America.
As always, Mr. Chairman, I come before you with my mind focused on the
present and future, but conscious, also, of past events that have
shaped our lives and that of our nation.
A half century ago, this month, a Communist coup in my native
Czechoslovakia altered forever the course of my life and prompted, as
well, an urgent reappraisal by the west of what would be required to
defend freedom in Europe.
In that testing year, a Democratic President and a Republican Congress
approved the Marshall Plan, laid the groundwork for NATO, helped
create the Organization of American States, established the Voice of
America, recognized the infant state of Israel, airlifted
life-sustaining aid to a blockaded Berlin and helped an embattled
Turkey and Greece remain on freedom's side of the Iron Curtain.
Secretary of State George Marshall called this record "a brilliant
demonstration of the ability of the American people to meet the great
responsibilities of their new world position."
There are those who say that Americans have changed and that we are
now too inward-looking and complacent to shoulder comparable
responsibilities. In 1998, we have the opportunity to prove the cynics
wrong. And Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I believe we
From the streets of Sarajevo to the Arabian and Korean peninsulas to
classrooms in Africa, boardrooms in Asia and courtrooms at The Hague,
the influence of American leadership is as beneficial and as deeply
felt in the world today as it has ever been.
That is not the result of some foreign policy theory. It is a
reflection of American character.
We Americans have an enormous advantage over many other countries
because 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
Let us, then, do honor to that faith. In this year of decision, let us
reject the temptation of complacency and 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 together fulfill
the promise of our future -- and enter the new century free and
respected, prosperous and at peace.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you very much. And now,
I would be pleased to respond to your questions.
(end text)

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias