On June 27, Secretary Clinton traveled to Helsinki, Finland where she met with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. They signed the U.S.-Finland General Security of Information Agreement and discussed a number of shared foreign policy priorities, including the European economy, Syria, Iran and climate change.
Secretary Clinton said, "Finland and the United States continue to work together closely to pressure the Assad regime to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian civilians bearing the brunt of the regime's brutal assault and to support the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to prepare for a democratic transition that leads to a post-Assad Syria. And it is very much along those lines that I thanked the Minister for Finland's cooperation in the Friends of Syria working group on sanctions as well as in support of EU sanctions."
While in Finland, Secretary Clinton also delivered remarks at the Climate Clean Air Coalition and Green Embassy event. Secretary Clinton said, "This is an important announcement because, I think, as you heard, we have to continue to be creative as to how we move toward a sustainable environment and a sustainable economy. And I could not agree more with the ministers that they go hand in hand, and that's really the message that the Ambassador has also been delivering. We're looking for real solutions to real problems. And it's absolutely true that we have to continue to work within the international community, the UN framework, because we have to bring the entire world with us. But it's also true that on a national basis, and increasingly, on a regional and multilateral basis, we have to help lead the way for the world as well.
"And that's why it gives me great pleasure to officially welcome Finland as the newest partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. This partnership was launched in February to reduce those short-lived climate pollutants, including the methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons that are responsible for more than 30 percent of current global warming and have a disproportionate impact on the Arctic for a variety of reasons, but in particular because of the hastening of the melting of the ice."
Secretary Clinton concluded, "So I'm excited to welcome you into this coalition, looking forward to working closely with you, and I think it's fair to say that we see clean energy, clean tech as the future not only for Finland and for the United States, but really the future for the kind of world we're trying to create."
You can follow the Secretary's travel on www.state.gov.