This week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton returned from travel to Hong Kong, where she addressed “Principles for Prosperity in the Asia Pacific." She said, "...We face a lot of similar challenges today, and we need visionary leaders in both government and business. But those leaders need to be guided by these principles. Whether we're talking about politics or economics, openness, transparency, freedom and fairness stand the test of time."
Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook shared about her experience traveling with Secretary Clinton in Turkey to discuss coordinated international strategies to combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief. Meanwhile, Ambassador Eric Goosby offered his reflections from the International AIDS Conference in Rome, and what it means for the United States' PEPFAR programs.
Also in Rome, Ambassador Ertharin Cousin participated in an emergency meeting at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) called to address the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. The United States remains concerned by the high malnutrition rates in the Horn of Africa -- particularly in southern and central Somalia and the attendant Somali refugee population. Providing approximately $459 million this fiscal year to help those in need, the United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to the region.
On Thursday, July 28, Secretary Clinton joined USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah to deliver remarks at USAID's Saving Lives at Birth Development Exchange Awards Ceremony "77 Inventions That Could Save Moms and Babies." The Secretary highlighted major barriers to saving the lives of mothers and children at birth and addressed how ideas from the March 2011 Grand Challenge for Development aim to accomplish positive changes in this area.
U.S. Embassy Port Moresby's Brian Asmus highlighted “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies," a policy dialogue to identify effective means to improve women's lives and livelihoods, including advancing maternal health, increasing economic opportunities, and leadership training in Pacific island countries.
In Afghanistan, Ambassador Ryan Crocker presented his diplomatic credentials to Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace. In Pakistan, Ambassador Munter inaugurated a new U.S.-funded mango processing line at Lutfabad Farm while visiting Multan. The Ambassador also joined officials and residents of communities in FATA and Malakand to mark the completion of a U.S. program to improve education in Northwest Pakistan.
In other regional news, while visiting Chennai last week, Secretary Clinton announced a new initiative, Passport to India, which will promote internships for American high school and college students. Also in India, officials from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs traveled to the headquarters of India's space agency, ISRO, in Banglaore to identify new opportunities for cooperation.
For interested young Americans, Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer encourages you to learn more about the UN 2011 Young Professionals Program (YPP) Examination and to explore the possibility of working for the United Nations.
In other news, the implementation of the New START Treaty is well underway. Director of the Office of Strategic Affairs Jerry Taylor said, “The successful implementation of this treaty demonstrates one of the bright spots in the U.S.-Russian relationship and is a continuation of the businesslike approach that the U.S. and Russian delegations maintained during the negotiations.”
Finally, I want to congratulate @TravelGov, the U.S. Government's authoritative Twitter account for international travel information, on turning three last week. I'd also like to thank all of our readers for their feedback and comments, and we look forward to hearing from you in the week ahead.