About the Author: Sarah Goldfarb serves as DipNote's Associate Editor.
As Secretary Clinton traveled throughout Asia and the Pacific, she emphasized the Administration's commitment to engagement. The Secretary participated in lively town hall-style exchanges in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia.
In Phnom Pneh, the Secretary praised Cambodia's commitment to demining. In Kuala Lumpur on November 2, the Secretary welcomed Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman's call for a global movement of moderates, and said the United States was eager to support him and other leaders in efforts to promote interfaith dialogue.
Boosting economic prosperity and improving economic ties were focal points of the Secretary's trip. The Secretary participated in a trade event in Malaysia, where she said, “I'm very proud of the business leaders and the workers of the United States of America, and I'm pleased that finally we are seeing very clearly the important business relationship between the United States and ASEAN countries.” In Papua New Guinea, Secretary Clinton expressed her hope that PNG would use revenue from its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project for the development of the country. In New Zealand, where the Secretary received a Maori welcome, she signed the Wellington Declaration and delivered remarks further promoting the Trans Pacific Partnership at the Christchurch Trade Reception hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce.
Over the weekend, Secretary Clinton left New Zealand and traveled to Australia. The Secretary met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and delivered remarks on education, clean energy research, and the importance of combating climate change. She also joined U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith in Melbourne for the 25th anniversary of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN). Also, with the Secretary's visit, ART in Embassies brought us Tanami Desert Radiance, which presents the colors and patterns of the semi-arid landscapes of Western Australia.
Continuing the theme of international engagement back at home, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela held a digital town hall, where audiences from across the hemisphere participated via livestreams in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In case you missed it and are interested in U.S. foreign policy in the Americas, you can still ask the Assistant Secretary questions. Also, Tech@State held its fourth event, emphasizing the importance of civil society and increasing its impact on the 21st century.
On human rights, the United States underscored its commitment by participating in its first Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in New York. Also in New York, Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, announced an additional $10 million contribution to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Over the week, several of our contributors shared stories of progress. In Sudan, Special Envoy Gration announced the arrival of referendum materials, in preparation for the vote on January 9, 2011. The New START Treaty is now under consideration by the Senate. In Rio de Janeiro, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs co-sponsored an initiative with the Government of Brazil that focuses on sustainable development for the urban poor across the Americas. In Afghanistan, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to ensure new measures to combat water-related diseases and improve access to potable water, and Ambassador Eikenberry joined Afghan ministers in the re-opening of the Women's Garden in Kabul. In Washington, Humphrey Fellows gained a perspective on how the Office of Global Women's Issues works with partners around the world to strengthen women's rights.
We also learned about ongoing U.S. assistance projects. In Pakistan, Ambassador Munter and his wife, Marilyn Wyatt, traveled to the flood-affected areas of Pakistan, reinforcing the United States' commitment to support Pakistan in its recovery efforts, and in Washington, Mark Ward, Acting Director of USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, briefed the press on U.S. assistance to Haiti related to Hurricane Tomas and the cholera outbreak. You can email inquiries about travel or U.S. citizens in Haiti to TSTomasAmCitInquiry@state.gov, or call 888-407-4747 (from within the United States) or 202-501-4444 (from abroad).
President Obama began his 10-day trip with a visit to India, where the celebration of Diwali started this week. While there, he met with business groups and reinforced his commitment to the U.S.-India partnership. The U.S.-India People to People Conference at the State Department demonstrated the scope of this relationship. He will then travel to Indonesia, South Korea (for the G20 Summit in Seoul), and Japan (for the APEC Summit in Yokohama). A press briefing about his travel is available here.
In case you missed it, if you are interested in opportunities available at the UN and other international organizations, you can visit the Bureau of International Organizational Affairs' new website. For those interested in foreign relations history, the Office of the Historian recently released the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volumes series.
November is National Adoption Month so don't forget to give your take on the Question of the Week: How Can the International Community Continue to Advance Safeguards in Intercountry Adoption? For more information on international adoption-related issues, click here. We look forward to hearing from you.