About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote's Managing Editor.
Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to the Balkans and Brussels, where she met with European Union officials and participated with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a joint NATO ministerial.
U.S. Ambassador to the EU William Kennard provided a behind the scenes look at the Secretary's EU meetings, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tom Countryman reflected on seeing progress made by the Balkans over the last 10 years.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Secretary Clinton held a town hall meeting at the National Theater, where she encouraged the next generation to forge a future together. The Secretary also dedicated the new U.S. Embassy Sarajevo compound, which features the work of Bosnian photographer Ziyah Gafic. The Secretary honored the memories of Robert Frasure, Joe Kruzel and Nelson Drew, American diplomats who lost their lives en route Sarajevo to participate in the 1995 peace talks. Secretary Clinton said, "We re-dedicate ourselves to the cause for which they died, the cause of peace, stability, prosperity in Europe."
Secretary Clinton paid her first-ever visit to Serbia, where she met with President Tadic and civil society leaders in Belgrade. In Kosovo, Secretary Clinton met with Prime Minister Thaci and participated in a townterview for young Europeans.
The next generation was also a focus of Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith's outreach in Guyana. In Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan officials provided young people kites inscribed with justice-themed messages to increase public knowledge of rule of law issues. And Under Secretary Maria Otero shared a personal experience from her own youth to underscore the significance of addressing water issues and informed us that 4,500 children die each day from water related diseases.
In Sudan, Ambassador Susan Rice met with young refugees at the Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced people and led a UN Security Council visit to Southern Sudan. USAID officials announced a food voucher program to assist Sudanese families.
Ambassador Ertharin Cousin and her team in Rome commemorated World Food Day. As part of the U.S. response to ending global hunger and advancing sustainable agriculture, Ambassador Cousin and colleagues also participated in the 36th Committee on World Food Security. Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez traveled to Iowa to help honor the 2010 World Food Prize winners and participated in the Borlaug Dialogues to address cutting-edge issues in food security and nutrition.
In California, Secretary Clinton addressed innovation and American leadership and underscored U.S. commitment to work with scientists, researchers and others to improve peoples' standard of living. For example, Alec Ross described how U.S. and Mexican officials are working with Mexican mobile providers to create a secure tipline that will be available to residents of Juarez and are partnering with civil society groups to develop an online platform through which they can then review trends in crimes reported and responses by authorities in Juarez.
Partnerships continued to play an important role in how American diplomats are addressing global issues elsewhere. In Atlanta, Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall led a delegation of nearly 50 foreign ambassadors, representing over 500 million people from around the world, to encourage business partnerships and to share with them American culture. Meanwhile, in Ottawa, U.S. diplomats embraced local traditions and joined their colleagues in celebrating the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca described the launch of the Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and Daniel Rosenblum addressed how U.S. assistance to the Crimea is building goodwill towards the United States and establishing long-term partnerships between Americans and Ukrainians.
The United States continued to contribute to flood relief and recovery efforts in Pakistan, and U.S. assistance to the country also provided a new dormitory for midwifery students. U.S. Embassy Islamabad colleagues and Pakistani musicians honored the life and legacy of Daniel Pearl to connect our two countries through music and spread a message of hope and unity in the face of violence. In the week ahead, U.S. and Pakistani officials will hold the third high-level meeting of the Strategic Dialogue in Washington. In advance of this event, the DipNote team invited our readers to consider: "Why is it important to strengthen ties between the United States and Pakistan?" We look forward to reading your responses to this question, as well as your comments on all of our postings this week.
On a final note, all of us here were inspired by the rescue of the Chilean miners last week. We join the world in celebrating the miners' safe return to the surface and applauding this remarkable feat.