On May 5, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Bangladesh to meet with senior Government of Bangladesh officials and civil society representatives to review robust U.S.-Bangladesh cooperation across the full range of political, economic, and security matters. In a joint press conference with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Secretary Clinton said, "Today, we are working together to help solve some of Bangladesh's most pressing challenges, from disaster response to healthcare, from food security to climate change. Bangladesh represents one of the largest development assistance commitments that the Obama Administration has made."
To deepen the U.S.-Bangladesh partnership, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Moni signed a memorandum to create the U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue. In a joint statement, Secretary Clinton and her counterpart, Foreign Minister Moni, said:
"We believe that a strong partnership between Bangladesh and the United States, working together to further mutual peace, security and development, is in the interests of the people of Bangladesh, the United States and the world. As we look to the challenges of the 21st century, our shared interests and values, including respect for human rights and the rule of law, should guide our collective engagement on addressing the challenges of our time.
"Leveraging the values of tolerance, respect for human rights, inclusion and resilience of Bangladesh society, including a robust civil society, we intend our broader collaboration to be anchored in a strong bilateral development partnership focused on joint development priorities, including food security, maternal and child health, family planning, climate change, strengthening democracy, youth and women's empowerment, among others."
On May 6, Secretary Clinton held a townterview with Bangladeshi youth, hosted by ATN and moderated by Ms. Mooni Saha and Mr. Ejaj Ahmed. Secretary Clinton said, "The United States is investing significant sums of money in Bangladesh. And one of the reporters said, well, why are you doing that? We're investing in helping in helping you improve agricultural production through our Feed the Future program. We're investing in helping you build health systems through our Global Health Initiative. We're investing in technology and other approaches to mitigating climate change. We're working with various groups within Bangladesh on economic projects and other things.
"So why do we do that? Well, we do believe that spreading democracy is good for the world. We believe that. Now sometimes the decisions democracies make are not ones that you or I would make, but we think, over the long run, having people empowered, given their rights, is the best form of government that has been invented. It certainly beats all the others. And so we think a strong democracy here that is able to realize the aspirations of your people is not only good for you, but it's good for the kind of world we would like to see. And that's our hope."