DipNote: The Week in Review

Posted by Sarah G. Thomas
November 8, 2010
Secretary Clinton Gestures During a Town Hall in Melbourne

About the Author: Sarah Goldfarb serves as DipNote's Associate Editor.

As Secretary Clinton traveled throughout Asia and the Pacific, she emphasized the Administration's commitment to engagement. The Secretary participated in lively town hall-style exchanges in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia.

In Phnom Pneh, the Secretary praised Cambodia's commitment to demining. In Kuala Lumpur on November 2, the Secretary welcomed Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman's call for a global movement of moderates, and said the United States was eager to support him and other leaders in efforts to promote interfaith dialogue.

Boosting economic prosperity and improving economic ties were focal points of the Secretary's trip. The Secretary participated in a trade event in Malaysia, where she said, “I'm very proud of the business leaders and the workers of the United States of America, and I'm pleased that finally we are seeing very clearly the important business relationship between the United States and ASEAN countries.” In Papua New Guinea, Secretary Clinton expressed her hope that PNG would use revenue from its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project for the development of the country. In New Zealand, where the Secretary received a Maori welcome, she signed the Wellington Declaration and delivered remarks further promoting the Trans Pacific Partnership at the Christchurch Trade Reception hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce.

Over the weekend, Secretary Clinton left New Zealand and traveled to Australia. The Secretary met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and delivered remarks on education, clean energy research, and the importance of combating climate change. She also joined U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith in Melbourne for the 25th anniversary of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN). Also, with the Secretary's visit, ART in Embassies brought us Tanami Desert Radiance, which presents the colors and patterns of the semi-arid landscapes of Western Australia.

Continuing the theme of international engagement back at home, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela held a digital town hall, where audiences from across the hemisphere participated via livestreams in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In case you missed it and are interested in U.S. foreign policy in the Americas, you can still ask the Assistant Secretary questions. Also, Tech@State held its fourth event, emphasizing the importance of civil society and increasing its impact on the 21st century.

On human rights, the United States underscored its commitment by participating in its first Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in New York. Also in New York, Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, announced an additional $10 million contribution to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Over the week, several of our contributors shared stories of progress. In Sudan, Special Envoy Gration announced the arrival of referendum materials, in preparation for the vote on January 9, 2011. The New START Treaty is now under consideration by the Senate. In Rio de Janeiro, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs co-sponsored an initiative with the Government of Brazil that focuses on sustainable development for the urban poor across the Americas. In Afghanistan, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to ensure new measures to combat water-related diseases and improve access to potable water, and Ambassador Eikenberry joined Afghan ministers in the re-opening of the Women's Garden in Kabul. In Washington, Humphrey Fellows gained a perspective on how the Office of Global Women's Issues works with partners around the world to strengthen women's rights.

We also learned about ongoing U.S. assistance projects. In Pakistan, Ambassador Munter and his wife, Marilyn Wyatt, traveled to the flood-affected areas of Pakistan, reinforcing the United States' commitment to support Pakistan in its recovery efforts, and in Washington, Mark Ward, Acting Director of USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, briefed the press on U.S. assistance to Haiti related to Hurricane Tomas and the cholera outbreak. You can email inquiries about travel or U.S. citizens in Haiti to TSTomasAmCitInquiry@state.gov, or call 888-407-4747 (from within the United States) or 202-501-4444 (from abroad).

President Obama began his 10-day trip with a visit to India, where the celebration of Diwali started this week. While there, he met with business groups and reinforced his commitment to the U.S.-India partnership. The U.S.-India People to People Conference at the State Department demonstrated the scope of this relationship. He will then travel to Indonesia, South Korea (for the G20 Summit in Seoul), and Japan (for the APEC Summit in Yokohama). A press briefing about his travel is available here.

In case you missed it, if you are interested in opportunities available at the UN and other international organizations, you can visit the Bureau of International Organizational Affairs' new website. For those interested in foreign relations history, the Office of the Historian recently released the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volumes series.

November is National Adoption Month so don't forget to give your take on the Question of the Week: How Can the International Community Continue to Advance Safeguards in Intercountry Adoption? For more information on international adoption-related issues, click here. We look forward to hearing from you.



Virginia, USA
November 7, 2010

Jen in Virginia writes:

Applause to Secretary Clinton and the work of the State Department! It's great to see our government reaching out to so many countries and friends around the world.

District Of Columbia, USA
November 7, 2010

Bill in Washington, DC writes:

The MoU is a fantastic step in the right direction. Clean water for everyone.

Pamela G.
West Virginia, USA
November 7, 2010

Pamela G. in West Virginia writes:


You did a fabulous job of condensing this busy week of diplomacy around the world. I like seeing the highlights so I can see which articles I want to read in more depth.


Rich T.
Indiana, USA
November 7, 2010

Rich T. in Indiana writes:


I always enjoy your timely articles. It is another way that I can keep up with what is happening. You're articles are clear and concise. The interfaith work in Malaysia is extremely important. Thanks for including me on your list.


New Mexico, USA
November 8, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I just had one of those late night insights and I wonder if anyone lately has stopped and reflected on the way one might do a comparitive analysis of Sec. Clinton and President Obama's tag-team diplomacy in Asia/Pacifica and "Ama-limp-dinnerejacket wanna-be-the confrontationalist"'s promoting Iran's agenda in Lebanon in a rock throwing contest?

And here back at the salt mines of political whimsy the media is wondering whether that red fox on the whitehouse lawn was goin' for a lame duck... missed his chance and was chasin' squirrels instead?

Mmm, well depends on what game is in season...could be nuclear chess.

Now Mr Gates is looking to put a Pacific Partnership on steroids looks like... from all he's been suggesting, and welcomes China to get a grip along with...

And while all this ...runnin' amok in my head...must make mention that maybe folks are gettin' "creative" on an old Cambodian debt.

That absurd little man in the limp dinnerjacket must be wondering "How do I put on that kind of charm offensive?"

Well, for starters he might wanna try a real deoderant instead of rose water.

Meanwhile... back on the peninsula....the only North Korean to ever visit the Pentagon dropped dead of boredom and it's really no "great loss" since 'lil Kim hasn't been flapping his yap lately about nukin' US Imperialists.

In fact the silence has been rather deafening of late.

How could that be one wonders politely?


SHHHHHH! don't jinx it dude!"..."ok man...but this is wierd...""Yeah, where's that Buddhist cabro'n when you need him?... Hey look!""I got it man!!!""I Know... I know!!!!""Givit to me!@hole'frijole!""SHHHHHHH! EEEeeNo bro, you're going to get us so busted!""Dude.... it's all here in the file.""Hey, who's that bearded tall dude in the picture...NO! I though he was vaporized man!""SHHHHH! You wouldn't know a bearded ayattolla from a bin ladin vato, Vamos! We got what we came for...let's split before the guards wake up from the magic brownies we fed them.""Hard to tell all frozen, dude."

(chuckle) "CIA be trippin' till hell freezes over this.""Homie was right right man, he learned the meaning of life on the way down the mountain.""He saw it all, man."

(a partially obtained Wiki-leaked script for the next Dipnote Blockbuster Movie, based on the book;

Comming soon to theater near you.

And that's my week in review for ya!

Happy Monday folks!

New York, USA
November 8, 2010

Ole in New York writes:

Dear Madame Secretary! There's been a vicious attack on an opposition journalist in Russia, who was also viciously badgered by pro-government youth movements there. as a result of it, a Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has called on suspension of the McPhaul-Surkov commission, as Mr Surkov is directly responsible for creating and running those organizations, and creating the atmosphere of fear and hatred in Russia. i totally second that appeal! if President Medvedev wants to be taken seriously on his pledges of modernization and liberalization of his country, he's gotta start proving it by, in particular, firing Surkov

West Virginia, USA
November 8, 2010

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

Go Hillary.

Kathy L.
Virginia, USA
November 9, 2010

Kathy L. in Virginia writes:

Thanks, for the update on our Government at work...Your summaries are always informative and quite detailed.

New Mexico, USA
November 11, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(followup on some random wanderings of wonderings for the weeks ahead)

"Meanwhile... back on the peninsula....the only North Korean to ever visit the Pentagon dropped dead of boredom and it's really no "great loss" since 'lil Kim hasn't been flapping his yap lately about nukin' US Imperialists.

In fact the silence has been rather deafening of late.

How could that be one wonders politely?"

(from prior post)

Mmmm, seems open source reseach offers some interesting insight...into possibilities that some young-un in North Korea just got a grip and will perhaps soon be in a position to say, "Yes, we have no nuclear bannana today."

Ah so... the scientific method of deduction deduction goes on to be raising more question than one answer poses the logic to properly evaluate.

Time will tell where this will go...;)

News Item:

"North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir says the impoverished country needs food more than bullets. "In the past, it was all right to have bullets and no food, but now we must have food even though we don't have bullets," Kim junior, who was recently promoted to vice chairman of the Workers Party's powerful Central Military Commission, was quoted by sources on Monday as saying.

Quoting a source familiar with North Korea-China relations, the Yomiuri Shimbun said Kim Jong-un made the remarks during a visit to Kimchaek city in North Hamgyong Province in late September, when the Workers Party congress took place. The Japanese daily said the comments are confirmed in documents recently disseminated to party officials.

It is unclear whether Kim made them before or after the party congress that elevated him to his new post on Sept. 28."


"englishnews@chosun.com" / Oct. 26, 2010 09:55 KST

Virginia, USA
November 17, 2010

Elizabeth in Virginia writes:

Wow! Gillard and Hillary - exciting duo! Didn't know she was there, I'll have to read up on it.


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