Today, Secretary Clinton announced the launch of Partners for a New Beginning, which will engage the private sector in outreach to Muslim communities around the world. This new initiative will be chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Its vice chairs will be Walter Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute, and Muhtar Kent, the chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company. Secretary Clinton said:
"Nearly one year ago at Cairo University, President Obama called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world -- a new beginning based on mutual interests and mutual respect, shared values, and shared responsibility. And since then, we have worked to put that vision into practice through our policies and our partnerships -- not only with governments, but with the private sector, civil society, citizens worldwide.
"This is a high priority for both the President and myself. We really believe that person-to-person diplomacy in today's world is as important as what we do in official meetings in national capitals across the globe. It can't be achieved, though, just by our government asserting it. It can only be achieved by the kind of public-private partnerships that the United States is uniquely known for and which we are unveiling today: people and groups working across sectors, industries; working together with persistence and creativity to fulfill that promise of a new beginning and translate it into positive benefits.
"So with that in mind, it is my pleasure to announce a new partnership between the State Department and the fittingly named Partners for a New Beginning, a group of eminent Americans who have answered the President's call to join our outreach to Muslim communities around the world, by helping to engage the considerable resources, capabilities, and expertise of the U.S. private sector. This is a key element of our national strategy, and I am very grateful to the leadership of this effort and all who will participate in it.
"Partners for a New Beginning will tap into the dynamism and innovation of U.S. industry in a number of ways -- for example, by encouraging companies to contribute equipment or technology to the Centers of Scientific Excellence we are developing overseas, or by facilitating partnerships between universities here and those abroad to share knowledge and improve business education. They will also encourage investors and mentors in the United States to recognize the tremendous potential that resides in Muslim-majority communities, where many entrepreneurs are working against significant obstacles to turn their dreams into reality. More than 250 entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries are here in Washington for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship; they represent just a tiny fraction of all those around the world who could, if given the chance, become partners for American entrepreneurs.
"This group is led by an extraordinary team. Madeleine Albright will bring her considerable experience and stature, and it's wonderful once again to be working with her. Walter Isaacson, as the president of the Aspen Institute, will serve as vice-chai -- and we can't imagine a better partner than the Aspen Institute, which will also serve as the Secretariat for Partners for a New Beginning. And Muhtar Kent, the chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, who couldn't join us today, will be the other vice-chair. But we're very grateful that Barclay is here, the vice president for government relations, and we're especially pleased to have the commitment of this iconic American company with unparalleled global reach. I remember very well working on HIV/AIDS in Africa and having the a-ha moment when Coca-Cola said, well, we go all over Africa, so we'll take -- we can transport drugs because we have the facility to do so.
"So this partnership is a high priority for us and it's one that I will be personally committed to as I announce it later this afternoon at the Entrepreneurship Summit. We really are committed to unleashing the potential, the individual and collective potential, of people around the world and particularly in Muslim-majority countries. You can look at the statistics and you can compare countries particularly but not exclusively in the Middle East and see that they are not growing at the rate that they should, given the extraordinary talent of the people. So we want to unleash that, and that's true in much of what we're trying to do, but certainly in this particular project."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here.