While in India, Secretary Clinton held a town hall meeting at the University of Delhi, where she spoke to an audience of 700 students, faculty and guests. Secretary Clinton said:
"Last week, in a speech in Washington, I talked about the need for a new mindset among officials in world affairs, one that reflects the realities we see today. Now, that means not only that we want to broaden and deepen our strategic understanding, but its also that we want to use all the tools of diplomacy that are available, and we want to use the opportunity of development to actually produce concrete results for people, and to seek common ground for not only our two countries, but other nations as well, because there are so many threats – pandemic diseases that know no borders, the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the crisis of climate change, the illiteracy, hunger, grinding poverty that know no borders.
Not long ago, the measure of a nation’s greatness was the size of its military or its economic strength or its capacity to dominate friends and adversaries. But in this interconnected and interdependent world in which we live, greatness will be more and more defined by the power of a nation’s examples, the persuasive appeal of its values, and its ability to galvanize others to work in concert to find solutions to problems.
In this new century, there is a premium on the traditions and values that the United States and India share. Democracy and diversity, pluralism and public service; these remain great assets. However imperfect our nations may be, our core ideals guide us as we seek not only to broaden our partnership, but to set examples and bring others along with us.
So these times demand that we find new ways of working together. And when we talk about what we must do, it is important to particularly enlist the energy and the hope of the young people who, in our country and yours, have such an opportunity now to influence world events.
Look at what was happening during the aftermath of the elections in Iran -- young people were using technology to communicate to the outside world Or a recent example from Colombia, which has been fighting the narco-traffickers and the criminal cartel, where two young men used the internet to organize a massive demonstration on behalf of peace.
So the good news is that regardless of how daunting these global challenges are, there are answers to every single one of them already in operation somewhere in the world, and many right here in India.
I have seen some of the future just in the last several days. I visited fields where scientists and researchers are developing new seeds and irrigation techniques to help rural farmers grow their crops in harsh climates, which will help alleviate hunger and raise standards of living in India and across South Asia. I toured the ITC Green Center not far from here, which is truly what I called a monument to the future, a cutting-edge green building that uses energy conservation and recycling to reduce greenhouse gas emission, save water, and save costs. This building offers compelling evidence that addressing climate change and promoting economic growth can go hand-in-hand.
I discussed education with volunteers from Teach India and Teach for India, whose passion for service lit up their faces as they talked about the importance of giving every Indian child the chance for an excellent education. The underpinning of global progress is education across the entire spectrum, from early schooling to the advanced research and post-graduate work that occurs on this campus. And the United States and India enjoy a long tradition of educational exchanges, and we’re very eager to expand those. And I’d like to welcome the Fulbright-Nehru scholars, and all the members of the educational exchange programs who are here today.
At a roundtable discussion with some of India’s biggest business leaders in Mumbai, I heard about how these companies are using technology to make mobile banking and financial services more accessible in rural areas, working to develop micronutrients that can be put into foods to enhance nutrition for infants and pregnant women, and even digging into the ice in Antarctic to discover new microbes that might hold answers to some of the most intractable diseases.
I visited a small shop in Mumbai where rural women sell handmade crafts that are extremely sophisticated through the Self-Employed Women’s Association, with which I’ve worked now for many years. SEWA has defied the skeptics by proving that even societies most marginalized women, if given the opportunity to develop skills and work, can create livelihoods and generate local and sustainable economic growth.
Investing in opportunities for women is not only the smart thing to do; it’s the right thing to do. And I applaud your government’s commitment to increasing literacy among India’s women and providing more training and opportunities for them, because it’s not just my observation. It is a very well researched fact that women are key to economic progress and social stability. It’s even truer today as women disproportionally are affected by the global economic turmoil.
With us today are members of the Vital Voices Global Partnership. It’s an organization that I helped to start in the Clinton Administration, and it does exactly what its name suggests. It makes sure that the vital voices of women are heard across societies. And I’m very happy to announce that Vital Voices, in partnership with the United States Government and leading companies, will hold a regional summit in New Delhi next year, bringing together women from across Asia to learn from each other and devise strategies for enhancing women’s empowerment and rights.
Here in India, countless men and women every day are shaping the new future that awaits. And its important that we look for better understanding and opportunity for cooperation. And I know all well that we have difference of history and tradition, of perspective and experience. But what has occurred in the last 15 years between our two countries in a bipartisan way, starting with my husband, continuing with President Bush and now with President Obama, is a very exciting new approach to our relationship and to the futures we wish to build."
Read the Secretary's full remarks at the University of Delhi.