International Community Committed to Helping Afghanistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 31, 2009
Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at International Conference on Afghanistan

Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary

Following today's International Conference on Afghanistan, Secretary Clinton spoke with reporters about Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and women's rights. Secretary Clinton said:

"This has been an important day because of the emphasis that the world community has placed on Afghanistan. And this conference has achieved everything we hoped it could. It has rallied and united the international community against al-Qaida, it has strengthened the United Nations, and it has increased our commitment to cooperate with every country represented here as we work to address our common challenge.

We have listened to leaders from around the world. We have heard them speak with a single voice. We all recognize the need to support the people of Afghanistan as they build up their security services, strengthen their economy and institutions, and work with their neighbors to build a safer region.

For the people of Afghanistan, I hope that this conference marks a new beginning. We are extremely grateful to the Dutch Government for organizing and hosting this event, and for the people of the Netherlands for their sacrifice and commitment to this mission. The United Nations has played a critical role today, as it does every day, and we support the United Nations in assuming even more responsibility going forward.

Over the course of the day, I’ve had a series of bilateral meetings that have opened up a number of opportunities that we will pursue. I met with President Karzai, who plays a critical role in providing leadership for his country. We discussed how we will work together to implement the recommendations of the strategic review that was recently completed at the direction of President Obama.

I met with Foreign Minister Qureshi of Pakistan and General Pasha and their delegation. As I said earlier, Pakistan’s fight against violent extremism is an integral part of the challenge that we all face in Afghanistan. The work we began here in The Hague will continue at the Pakistan donors meeting in Tokyo on April 17th.

I also met with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in preparation for the meeting between our two presidents tomorrow in London. We are very pleased at the progress that we have made on a range of issues that will be discussed, including Afghanistan, between our presidents.

I also met with Foreign Minister Nakasone of Japan. Again, we discussed Afghanistan and the donors conference that Japan will host on April 17th for Pakistan. And we spent time, as you might guess, discussing our joint efforts to promote security on the Korean Peninsula.

We emerge from this conference even more committed to the common task of helping Afghanistan prevail against a ruthless enemy, and even more united in our efforts to address the broad agenda facing the international community."

Read the Secretary's press availability here.



New York, USA
March 31, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The Nephew of the Lion of Afghanistan (Wadood) controls mines near the Pakistan border. USAID should fund his mining projects to keep colored-stones from the hands of Talibans doing business with crime groups and terrorists. Support Wadood; keep money from terrorists.

California, USA
April 1, 2009

Maggie in California writes:

How does Secretary Clinton view the report in the Independent that President Karzai allowed the passage of the Shia family Law which "negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman's right to leave the home, according to UN papers seen by The Independent."

Jennifer S.
West Virginia, USA
April 1, 2009

Jennifer S. in West Virginia writes:

I am so happy to read Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks to the press following the International Conference on Afghanistan! This is why I love and admire this woman! She makes me so proud! In response to a question about how women in Afghanistan fit into our overall strategy in that country, the SOS said:

"Well, there's a continuing commitment to women and girls, to their well-being, to their education, their healthcare, to their full integration into society that I am very committed to, as is President Obama. So this is an area of absolute concern on the part of the United States. We're looking for ways that can produce even more opportunities for women and girls in Afghanistan.

I've briefly met with some of the women parliamentarians who are here at the conference. And my message is very clear: Women's rights are a central part of American foreign policy in the Obama Administration; they are not marginal; they are not an add-on or an afterthought.

I believe, as does President Obama, that the roles and rights of women in any society is a key indicator as to the stability and potential for peace, prosperity, and democracy of that society. So I would be committed to women's roles and rights because of my lifelong concern about women. But as Secretary of State, I am equally committed because it's absolutely the smart strategy for the United States and other nations to pursue.

You cannot expect a country to develop if half its population are underfed, undereducated, under cared for, oppressed, and left on the sidelines. And we believe strongly that that?s not in the interests of Afghanistan or any country, and it certainly is not part of our foreign policy or our strategic review. So we will continue to work very hard on behalf of women and girls in Afghanistan and around the world."

She makes me proud and hopeful!

New York, USA
April 7, 2009

Ronald in New York writes:

Afghan Economic Security

Wisconsin, USA
April 3, 2009

J.P. in Wisconsin writes:

Curious as to how, with the U.S. firm warning not to proceed with their missile launch, North Korea will be able to save face to maintain their "stability" inside their country?

Most likely, North Korea would outright refuse an offer from any American business to take on the launch of their commercial sattelite; however, if they're truly looking to launch a commercial sattelite, wouldn't the best way to allow that to happen and increase the success of multiple party talks be an arrangement by all involved to have China launch the satellite for them with observers from all parties? That would force them to pay up to their reason for launching the satellite and offer a chance for China to take a stronger role in stabilizing the region. Just a thought.


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