Secretary Clinton Calls for Strengthening International Development Efforts

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 23, 2009
Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks to USAID Employees

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In remarks, Secretary Clinton said:"I wanted to come here today with a very simple message: I believe in development, and I believe with all my heart that it truly is an equal partner, along with defense and diplomacy, in the furtherance of America’s national security.

I don’t think it is at all unexpected to look at the feelings that people have toward our country in sub-Saharan Africa, and to see the positive attitudes toward the United States because of the work that is being done through PEPFAR, through the Malaria Initiative; tangible results that make a difference in people’s lives, linked to the heart and the enthusiasm of the American people, has been a critical element of our being able to further our national interests and exemplify our values. As we look toward the future, it is essential that the role of USAID and our other foreign assistance programs be strengthened and be adequately funded and be coordinated in a way that makes abundantly clear that the United States understands and supports development assistance.

Now, there are many new missions that many of you have undertaken in the last several years: the reconstruction and stabilization missions, the kinds of post-conflict missions, the role working hand-in-hand with our military colleagues. And in every instance where we look at what the United States is doing abroad, we will find someone, maybe from this very room or colleagues of yours across the world, who is there. Time and again, when I speak to my friends over at the Defense Department, they will confess that they very often have to turn to you to determine how best to spend the money they’ve been given for development, reconstruction, and stabilization. Our diplomats who believe in the development mission, but whose primary goal is to serve our diplomatic function, will also make clear that they look to you to be partners in how we advance America’s role in the world.

What I’m hoping to do as your Secretary of State is to work with USAID to provide the kind of leadership and support that will give you the tools you desperately need in order to fulfill the missions we are asking you to perform. We are asking you to do more and more with less, and my goal is to make sure we match the mission and the resources. It will be very difficult for us to expect you to perform at the very high level of professionalism that we will expect, without providing you the resources to do the job we ask you to do.

As I said yesterday in the State Department, we are going to work toward robust diplomacy. And I challenged my colleagues in the State Department to think more broadly, more deeply, outside the proverbial box, to let us know the ideas you have that will make what you do more effective for us. And I offer the same challenge to all of you here at USAID. I know that for some of you, this has been not just a career, but a labor of love, and that sometimes it hasn’t been easy, but that you have stayed with this mission because of your conviction of its importance. But I am asking you now to help us help you to be more effective."Read Secretary Clinton's full remarks here.



New York, USA
January 23, 2009

Brian in New York writes:

The American brand was never stronger then after we rebuilt Europe by spending I believe 1% of our GDP after world war 2. I believe that is what we need to do again and America will once again be well respected globally.

Charles J.
Alabama, USA
January 24, 2009

Charles J. in Alabama writes:

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton; Open Up Mexican Border

That Wall is bothering me, we got to get it straight, we need Mexico so my deal is open to a 'Security and Prosperity Partnership' package deal with the state of California organizing a Monorail System powered by Wind Turbines & Solar Collectors and the new idea for a battery (Pee Battery of Japan except larger and hermetically sealed). Indeed the strength is in the mineral exploration, discovery, & claims to profit from this venture, provide Mexican's jobs and work service for the incarcerated in California Jails. Ultimately providing visitation rights to Mexican Citizens into California via the Monorail System on a quarterly basis for some & on a monthly basis for others. This plan will reapply services which had been designated for the Fence/Wall between Mexico & the USA. We need Mexican Citizens to know what The E.V.F.C.F. is and how to make it function for themselves to benefit. My Project Plan is The Electric Vehicle Free Conversion Foundation (EVFCF), here: and it does not serve all nations but it can function as a tool for their learning capability & their operations which I would like that Mexico not be robbed by the price gouging auto conversion businesses & to prosper from independence. I have mentioned in contact webpage to Office of Public Liaison & Intergovernmental Affairs (OPL-IGA) this very matter and I consider Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California as the leader for California to move forward on this and get out of their budget problem they have. I contacted President Barack Obama about this very Project and added this Mexican deal into it, I do not speak Spanish so I cannot compose what needs be done to help the Mexican's get through the matters which the Automakers have poised as a necessity to all Consumer's for Automakers to get out of their financial situation without regards or concerns to Consumer's whom have financial issues themselves they have a problem living with. My Project is the other missing portion of the Department Store Auto Sales Racket that Automakers started which was their 1st 50% and is to convert automobiles for Consumer's the missing 50% Icon in their proposals. My Project needs funding, I am unable to support this entirely by myself & by no means do I ask anyone to undertake doing so. I am a member of the Pickens Plan and have many readers whom believe as I do that the Plan needs to begin immediately. Because of our nations financial crisis brought about by Automakers stepping into the unknown in Auto Sales Activity & Production they have failed to have enough money to ask for a Tax Deduction by donating to My Project, They cannot even change directions & must play out their model fabrication scenario. Unfortunately I am not finding many people that would want to go through this ordeal, even if they have money to donate this ordeal in itself is above & beyond most business protocols, with exception to whom started the Automotive businesses as they know more about the products than anyone selling or attempting to sell documents about those same autos for price gouged subscription fees, etc. and its time this stopped.

Connecticut, USA
January 24, 2009

Terron in Connecticut writes:

As a long time admirer of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton i think she will do wonders for our country and the world as secretary of state. She will make President Obama and the the country proud.

New York, USA
January 24, 2009

Carmine in New York writes:

I am confident that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will work hard for a peaceful world. She is a good listener and she is not a quitter. More importantly she is respectful in her communications with people. Friend or foe receives the same respect. I lost a great Senator, but the world gained a great advocate. Thanks Secretary Hillary Clinton. I will never forget how much you inspired me during your presidential campaign. I'm still hoping to see you in the White House. For now, I salute you Madam Secretary of State.

Tennessee, USA
January 24, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

In reference of how to spend the money I must say, we must first create a realistic valuation for our currency...

Letter from Zimbabwe
Submitted by Shanta on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 13:16.
I received this missive from a friend:

December 11, 2008
Harare 1.00am

It is just after midnight in Harare. I have just returned from a midnight tour of the ATMs in Harare with a cousin. There are queues of people still waiting to get their weekly cash withdrawal limit of $100,000,000,000 (US$2.50). I saw the queues this morning when I went for my first meeting at 7.45am. I did not know then that I would be seeing them throughout the day. Most of the ATMs had run out of money. Rather than go home, people saved their precious place in the lines by lying down where they stood and taking a nap. Covering themselves with sacks, newspapers and whatever warming clothing they had.

America needs to fix itself for every ones sake, the entire worlds humanity is in jeopardy. We need set an example and keep politics out of the decision making right now so we can continue to provide hope.

The reality of the overall economic situation has even caused the Great Chavez (he thinks so) to stop provisional aid in oil relief to America and elsewhere.

At least now the world does realize how much America influences, both directly and indirectly, in the standards of life as they exist, as well as advancement of democracy and human rights for all.

Its about People...

California, USA
January 25, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Both of SoS Hillary's speeches were so compelling & concise. Both SoS Hillary & Prez O are practical visionaries. Fruition is the name of their game. They are always about the future and always about making it better for folks with less.

I'm excited to learn more about the World as Prez Obama, Hillary, & we grapple joyously with the kinder, smarter future.

I am utterly impressed that Prez O has so large and un-egoed a vision that he sees that SoS Hillary's star power will instantly say to VuravuraJeegoo(the Rest of the World that doesn't call the Planet, Earth) that constructive collaborative visionary practical America is back. She will be a mighty and tireless advocate with Prez O for us. Go State.

United Kingdom
January 25, 2009

Jiesheng in the United Kingdom writes:

If great she wants to reform the USAID, but there are just too many U.S. aid activities. Group them all under one roof and turn aid efforts away from geopolitical goals.

Joey V.
Texas, USA
January 25, 2009

Joey V. in Texas writes:

I am so gald to see Mrs. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton to serve as our nations Sec. of Sate she is my Idol. Im so Proud.

January 25, 2009

Ed writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton, I was and still am a supporter and admirer of you. I feel that you would have made an excellent U.S. President and I know that you will be outstanding as our Secretary of State
The international community seems to have already changed its attitude toward the United States. I look forward to you being able to bring an international stability and world understanding that if we "the world's people" work together, we will solve or at least bring understanding and a more open acceptance of differences. My wife and I have confidence that your tenure will be filled with spectacular accomplishments. We wish you all the Best.

Ed & Barbara

Massachusetts, USA
January 25, 2009

Hilary in Massachusetts writes:

I'm glad secretqry clinton is trying to reach out to USAID in order to getwork accomplished with USAID and to help improve the connect between the state, defense department, and USAID. I think her receptivity to the groups suggestions is a really great way to learn about problems they currently have and how to fix them. I hope this turns out well.

United States
January 26, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

For a brief moment in time, there was hope that the national paranoia over "security" would recede and sanity would return to government but that disease seems determined to run its course through our government.

Development money won't buy security, so put away the federal check book and start viewing our foreign neighbors as people who can work out their own problems with advice instead of cash payments from us.

Nobody gave the Palestinian government more money than America and they still hate us. Can't we stop trying to buy friends? Why not lead by example instead of with bribes?

Maybe we can show a bit of courage and stop reacting to every terrorist threat by throwing money at their host countries?

New York, USA
January 26, 2009

Lucio in New York writes:

Congratulations Secretary Clinton,

Please make it a priority to remove State Department restrictions on HIV-positive people traveling to the U.S. Also, please include civil society organizations in the decision of picking a new leader for the Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator. We need somebody in this position who stands up for human rights and who has the requisite leadership experience.

Furthermore, I hope your staff begin planning for the roll-out of Health Infrastructure 2020, which President Obama previously described as "a global effort to improve global health care and to train health care professionals to serve in the developing world" to be launched at the G8. Again, please ensure organizations that stand up for the "right to health" are included in said panel (e.g. Physicians for Human Rights, which has been lobbying on this issue of training health care workers for several years, and HIV/AIDS treatment activists).

Thank you and good luck in the work ahead.

Tennessee, USA
January 26, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I wanted to come here today with a very simple message: I believe in development, and I believe with all my heart that it truly is an equal partner, along with defense and diplomacy, in the furtherance of America's national security..END QUOTE.

We have to destroy sometimes to rebuild...but loyalty today has not been proven by full stomachs. Beirut was a perfect example of what we forget....the most advanced and fiscally developed city before the war...: How do you deal with people who would rather have a bullet for their weapons than feed their children or have them educated? 1975 should have been a wakeup call for our development of social operations or psych ops used for social application. If we cannot alter the way people think, we will only be feeding enemies. We face this even now.

While in South America I recall one thing said by some local: "A hungry stomach cares not where its food comes from. The loyalty to the hand that provides is only for that day."

We need more social and psychologically skilled personal to work in conjunction with aid and have democratic laws which permeate and are adopted by the governments we provide help to -- otherwise, it simply is beautiful rhetoric.

January 31, 2009

Osman in Mozambique writes:

How USAID is going to continue his support to poor contries in the global crisis environment?

How deep is this Admnistration commitment in Devolopment, if USA are facing a unprecedent economical crisis?

What hope for African Sub Saharian (as Mozambique) countries to achieve they goals and to cover their National Budget defcit, which is depending on donors, donors who are surrounded by huge economical crisis?

Latest Stories

September 9, 2008

Primer on Ramadan

Last night, Secretary Rice hosted the annual State Department Iftaar dinner . Iftaars are meals held to break the fast… more
September 7, 2008

Four Cities on a Saturday

About the Author: Sean McCormack serves as Department Spokesman and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. We just landed… more