On November 3 and 4, President Barack Obama met with leaders of the world's 20 major economies for a G-20 Summit in Cannes, France. Summarizing progress made at the summit, the President said, “…[W]e agreed to stay focused on jobs and growth with an action plan in which each nation does its part. In the United States, we recognize, as the world's largest economy, the most important thing we can do for global growth is to get our own economy growing faster.”
Earlier this week, Vice President Joseph Biden addressed the London Conference on Cyberspace, where high-level representatives of 65 nations, high tech multinationals, academics, and Internet activists came together to discuss how to preserve all the benefits of cyberspace, while managing the increasing security challenges. The Vice President said, “…The Internet itself is not inherently -- to state the obvious -- is not inherently a force for democracy or oppression, for war or for peace…It's up to us to decide whether and how we will protect it against the dangers that can occur in cyberspace while maintaining the conditions that give rise to its many benefits.”
In a speech to the World Affairs Councils of America National Conference, Deputy Secretary William Burns underscored Secretary Clinton's vision for “America's Pacific Century.” He said, "…The growing economic and political ties across the Pacific are part of a broader narrative of the politics of integration of the 21st century that stretches and challenges traditional geographic concepts and bureaucratic structures. In each of these regions, the United States is bolstering relationships with existing strategic partners, and enlisting emerging powers to address global problems and join us in crafting the 21st century rules of the road.”
The Wellington Declaration, a roadmap for deepening and expanding the bilateral relationship between the United States and New Zealand, demonstrates practical cooperation and enhanced dialogue in the Pacific region.
Deputy Secretary William Burns also led the U.S. delegation to the Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan on November 1 and 2. He said, “…I am especially encouraged to note that every country here has committed to stand behind an Afghan-led process of reconciliation. While outsiders cannot impose a solution, we should facilitate contact and provide support.”
With respect to Turkey, Secretary Clinton highlighted Turkey's growing role in the region and on the global state at the 2011 Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey relations. She said, “…[W]e are confident that as Turkey assumes the responsibilities that come with increased influence, our partnership will become even more productive in the years ahead.”
To promote Secretary Clinton's vision of “economic statecraft,” Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides joined Ambassador David Jacobson at a conference to spur economic recovery and create jobs in the United States and Canada. Similarly, Ambassador Phyllis Powers highlighted how the approval of the Panama Free Trade Agreement will benefit U.S. companies and strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Panama.
In an op-ed for the International Herald Tribune, Ambassador Ivo Daalder and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral Stavridis underscored that NATO's success in Libya was a result of the contributions of 14 NATO members and four partner countries.
Ensuring that women's issues are fully integrated in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy is a priority at the Department. This week, Ambassador Melanne Verveer spotlighted efforts to strengthen women's entrepreneurship in the Western Hemisphere via Pathways to Prosperity, and Ambassador Pamela Spratlen highlighted her experience witnessing the role of women in the recent Kyrgyzstan elections. Furthermore, Foreign Service Officer Joseph Bertini discussed the graduation of Afghan women corrections professionals, who recently completed a training course in Nebraska.
In Africa, Cape Verde's former President, Prime Minister and veteran political figure Pedro Pires received the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for his contribution to Cape Verde as a "model of democracy, stability, and increased prosperity."
In other news, Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia Daniel Rosenblum described efforts to mitigate the consequences of the Chornobyl disaster for future generations.
Marking important milestones this week, Secretary Clinton congratulated USAID on its 50th Anniversary, while Senior Population Policy Advisor Elizabeth Schlachter discussed the UN-designated “Day of 7 Billion” and addressed the opportunities and challenges that this population milestone presents.
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. In particular, I encourage all of our readers to submit questions for a discussion on recent trends in anti-Semitism on November 9.