DipNote: The Week in Review

May 15, 2011
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner

On May 9-10, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Joseph Biden, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner were joined by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo for the third joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton described the U.S.-China S&ED as the premier forum in our bilateral relationship.

The U.S.-China S&ED addressed a range of issues, including climate change and energy security, education, and the advancement of women. Secretary Clinton said, "The Strategic and Economic Dialogue continues to grow broader and deeper. It reflects the complexity and the importance of our bilateral relationship."

Secretary Clinton highlighted the EcoPartnership program, which brings together U.S. and Chinese organizations to address some of our most profound environmental challenges. The Secretary also spotlighted the 100,000 Strong Initiative, a national effort designed to increase dramatically the number of American students studying in China. Likewise, Ambassador Verveer highlighted how the U.S.-China Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD) program will provide women with a platform to build partnerships across multiple sectors, from agriculture programs in rural China to the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley.

In other regional news, Special Representative Lorraine Hariton announced the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy Summit (WES), which will be held in San Francisco during September. The United States is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in 2011, bringing together the 21 APEC member economies to discuss how to expand economic cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, and WES will involve more than 500 representatives from the APEC economies. Our dedicated Foreign Service Liaison Officer Tom Weinz shared how Pacific Partnership 2011 celebrated the United States' longstanding relationship with Vanuatu.

On May 11, Secretary Clinton highlighted U.S. partnerships throughout the Western Hemisphere at the 41st Washington Conference on the Americas. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela said the conference was "a great example of how decisively the countries of the Americas have turned the page on old ideologies and divisions and, almost without exception, are working together in myriad pragmatic ways to address common problems and create opportunity for our peoples." Secretary Clinton said, "…Changes like what we have seen in terms of economic opportunity and democratic reform do not happen by accident, they're not a part of natural evolution. They happen when people decide that they want those opportunities and changes for themselves, and leaders are prepared to lead."

Secretary Clinton congratulated Paraguay on 200 years of independence in a video message, and Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela will represent the United States at the Paraguayan bicentennial celebrations. Also this week, Under Secretary William Burns joined Colombian Foreign Minister Angela Holguin in signing the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez said, "this agreement not only demonstrates the excellent state of our bilateral relations, but also holds the promise of an even closer partnership between our two countries."

During the week, Secretary Clinton became the first U.S. Secretary of State to lead a U.S. delegation to an Arctic Council meeting, during which she joined representatives from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden in signing a landmark Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement.

Meanwhile, Under Secretary of State Judith McHale traveled to South Africa and Senegal, where she highlighted the role young people are playing in shaping the future of Africa and the world and spotlighted ways to work with governments and citizens to partner with this generation to create positive change.

Engaging youth is a U.S. priority, and Anne Lee Seshadri described how the American Center in New Delhi works tirelessly to find creative ways to engage Indian students. Our photo of the week illustrated how the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kygyrzstan, is supporting the rehabilitation of the Krasnaya Recka orphanage.

As a friendly reminder for U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 24, today is your final day to apply to represent the United States at the UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris during October 2011.

I'd like to thank all of our readers for their feedback and comments from this last week, and we look forward to hearing from you in the week ahead.

Comments

Comments

saw68
May 16, 2011

W.W. writes:

week in review:

Never got why the world fall asleep On sundays and mondays...

plans36
May 16, 2011

W.W. writes:

'Global governance and security council reform'

U.N. security does not work according to last event in Israel Palestine libya Sirya Violent Islam terrorism

After Big economic effort from europe in mid east and north africa China russia and Brics member are not worthed their privilege ...

For this reason a reform is needed unless they won't join Nato in engaging Violet Islam and terrorism.

Pam
|
West Virginia, USA
May 16, 2011

Pam in West Virginia writes:

Talks with China are imperative to our economic recovery. We must keep Asian-Pacific relations strong. The problems in the middle- east cannot overshadow our other needs.

DrG
|
West Virginia, USA
May 17, 2011

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

As always the WiR offers us a concise tally of all the constant activities DoS offers us that's not on the evening news.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 17, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Dr. G,

cc: Dipnote bloggers

Unless the State Dept. wants to do a full length feature "home movie" as an opportunity to showcase its work in the world, along with USAID, then this blog is a pretty good outlet as an alternative, and I agree with you.

There are a few things that I believe should have made it into the pages of this blog this week, and one of those would be Mr. Steinburg's testimony before the Sen. Foreign Relations Committee on Lybia and related matters.

As well, There are huge changes afoot in terms of this nation's helping a whole lot of folks in a number of nations seize their moment in the sun, and encoraging them to excercise some logic in their choices.

Even if they be "topic-A" in the news, I find it a bit strange that the opportunity to clarify the record and make policy understandable to the public has not been put forth here, at least on background.

But I would guess since the President is going to lay things out this Thursday publicly on a real fundemental foreign policy and national security basis, the staff may be excused for having not posted on these topics in quite some time.

(Perhaps an inside look at the goings on between State and Congress when senators and rep.'s are diplomats - Sen. John Kerry's recent trip to Pakistan being such a case)

I watch the daily briefings and the press flat asks poor Mark Toner question they know he can't answer (ie Intel matters, to name just one subject), and I watch this almost combative reparte' going on to the utter waste of my time as he's forced to become like a wind -up toy repeating the same thing ten different times to satisfy them that he can't give them the answer they want, or any answer at all.

Aye, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

Mine too, as a citizen...because I just remembered that every State Dept spokes-person since its inception has had listed a personal blog posting here by the head of Public Affairs. This is Mark's blog now handed down from one spokesperson to the next to him, and I guess I gotta remind folks that there's tradition to maintain around here, if staff want's this blog to be the stuff of historical legend on record a hundred years hense (don't underestimate the potential folks. Ask your official dept. historian, maybe he'll post a thought here too)

So to me having contributed here for some years, there's some things I think would help cover all the bases, to present the Dept. in full spectrum in all its initiatives, programs and policies and their implementation.

So not too be too bold, but I'd like to invite Mr. Toner to post his thoughts in the near future and entertain the notion of "taking" a few questions from the public.

I think he'll have a good time with it.

All we have to do Dr. G is ask good questions...to hold up our end of the bargain.

Best,

EJ

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