Today, we cheered alongside Dr. Jill Biden and the U.S. delegation as Team USA played an incredible match against Japan, who won in the finals of the 20th year of the history of the Women's World Cup.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wished the team luck before the start of the match, met with Greek officials, including Greek Foreign Minister Lambrinidis, to discuss ongoing efforts in the NATO coalition operations in Libya, the situation in Syria, and shared challenges in Athens. The Secretary and her counterpart also signed an agreement to protect Greek cultural heritage at the Acropolis Museum.
On Friday and Saturday, Secretary Clinton visited Istanbul, Turkey, where she participated in the fourth meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, met with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, and co-chaired an Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Conference meeting to advance the goal of promoting religious tolerance and freedom of expression across the globe. The Secretary will be traveling to India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong in the week ahead.
In Washington, Secretary Clinton held bilateral meetings with EU High Representative Ashton and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov. The Secretary and Foreign Minister signed an agreement regarding cooperation in adoption of children.
During her joint press conference with the Russian Foreign Minister, Secretary Clinton echoed President Obama's statement concerning the attacks in Mumbai. She said, “We condemn these despicable acts of violence designed to provoke fear and division. Those who perpetrated them must know they cannot succeed. The Indian people have suffered from acts of terrorism before, and we have seen them respond with courage and resilience.”
On July 12, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) 2011 Conference. She also hosted a day-long high-level meeting to announce the Open Government Partnership. Under Secretary of State Maria Otero said, “Democracy is rooted in open government -- government that is transparent, accountable and responsive to the voices of its citizens.”
The United States welcomed the Republic of South Sudan as the newest member of the United Nations earlier this week. Ambassador Rice said, “This historic and hopeful day was reached only after great suffering and almost unimaginable loss. The independence of the world's newest country is a testament to the people of South Sudan.” Also at the UN, Assistant Secretary Shapiro joined representatives from more than 70 nations, international organizations, and maritime trade organizations to participate in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
Ambassador Goosby shared his experiences at the International AIDS Society's Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention in Rome, and provided an update on the U.S. partnership with Haiti on health. Similarly, Nicaraguan dental faculty participated in a U.S. exchange program.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Brigety shared his observations from his trip to Dolo Ado, where the United States is assisting refugees in the Horn of Africa.
In Pakistan, USAID launched the "Women in Trade Initiative" to increase the participation of Pakistani women in the international trade sector; and Embassy Port of Spain participated in the "Women Leaders as Agents of Change -- Caribbean Regional Colloquium,” which brought female political leaders, parliamentarians, and civil society representatives from around the region to address issues related to women's political participation in the region.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva organized a series of cultural programs to discuss ways in which governments can protect the rights of indigenous peoples.
Assistant Secretary Valenzeula held a conversation with Dr. Cynthia Arnson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on "Opportunities and Challenges in the Western Hemisphere."
In other news, USAID Administrator Shah spoke with American youth from the White House about the importance of getting involved in international development. One way to do that is by becoming involved in the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS), which is part of the State Department's efforts to harness technology and facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement.
Also this week, the United States joined international efforts to diminish greenhouse gas emissions by joining 34 countries in signing the Charter for the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.
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.