Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Departs for Geneva

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 27, 2011
Secretary Clinton Waves From Airplane in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

More:Trip Page | Press Statement -- Holding the Qadhafi Government Accountable

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton travels to Geneva, Switzerland on February 27 to 28. While in Geneva, she will hold consultations with her counterparts on the situation in Libya, and events and trends in the broader Middle East. She will also address the high-level segment of the 16th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Before departing for Geneva, Secretary Clinton spoke with members of the press. The Secretary said, "Let me start by saying as strongly as I can that the United States and the American people support the aspirations and rights of the Libyan people. They are clearly sending as strong a message as they are capable of doing that it is time for Qadhafi to go. We think he must go as soon as possible without further bloodshed and violence.

"We are also very conscious of the actions that have been taken against the Libyan people by the Qadhafi regime. And the Security Council resolution passed unanimously yesterday makes clear there will be accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes and other atrocities that are being perpetrated against the Libyan people, including a referral to the International Criminal Court. And I want to underscore this unanimous message from the Security Council to those who are around Qadhafi that you will be held accountable for the actions that are being taken and have been taken against your own people.

"The Security Council resolution yesterday was part of a concerted effort that the United States has been lining up and implementing over the last days, both for unilateral and multilateral action. And we will continue to pursue steps aggressively that we believe will make a difference. Obviously, the Security Council resolution, which was passed in record time and included countries that are often reluctant to empower the international community to take such actions, sends a strong, unmistakable signal. The specifics that go to targeted sanctions and arms embargo and other measures are exactly what we have been looking toward and wanting to achieve in this period.

"It also opens the door for humanitarian relief, which is going to be essential -- the numbers of people fleeing across the borders, particularly into Tunisia and Egypt, where those two countries are facing huge humanitarian demands, plus internally displaced people.

"There's also a strong message in the Security Council resolution to countries in the region: You must stop mercenaries, you must stop those who may be going to Libya either at the behest or opportunistically to engage in violence or other criminal acts. And we will be working closely with those neighboring countries to ensure that they do so.

"This change that is sweeping across the region is coming from inside societies. It is not coming from the outside. But each country is different, and each country must deal with the demands of their own people and pursue paths that will lead toward change.

"The United States supports those who are pursuing the path of reform. In particular, His Majesty King Hamad of Bahrain and His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan are engaged in meaningful outreach and efforts to try to bring about the change that will be in line with the needs of the people of their countries. So this is a period of great historical challenge and opportunity, and the United States will be pursuing actions and policies that we believe are in the best interests of the United States and also in the best interests of the region and the world."

Read the full transcript of the Secretary's briefing here, and follow her trip to Geneva here.



Joseph M.
Oregon, USA
February 28, 2011

Joseph M. in Oregon writes:

Madam Secretary,

I am extremely proud of the position and initiative that the U.S. Department of State has taken in addressing the recent uprisings in the Middle-East. As in the recent revolts occurring in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya is a teachable moment for U.S. Foreign Policy in the region. I completely agree, it would rather naive and misinformed in categorizing each country in the same way, the tribal and structural dynamics for each Arab nation, is very different and must be analyzed individually. That said, "Good luck in Geneva Madam Secretary" Very pleased in hearing Ambassador Rice and the UN speaking with one voice today in condemning the regime devised "crimes against humanity" and ongoing violence occurring in Libya. Unfortunately, the UN and U.S. concerted sanctions, will not prevent further violence and mass killings occurring by the hour in Tripoli and in Western Libya. The international community needs to react in a more force-able manner. We reacted after the horrific mass killings in Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Darfur, Sudan and let's not repeat a slow response which historically resulted in thousands more being killed and large scale crimes against humanity and inhumane atrocities occurring during the 1990's. The U.S., EU and UN needs to act immediately, with respect to intervening in Libya, the level of violence is horrifying. I wholeheartedly agree with pursuing indictments by the ICC in the Hague and moving forward with prosecuting the culprits for these "Crimes Against Humanity". Western nations should be very concerned in supporting the democratic movements that have taken hold in Northern Africa and in the Arab nations recently impacting multiple nations. The United States has a strategic interest and a moral obligation to react in a proactive manner. We have a unfettered commitment in supporting democratic reforms as these circumstances unfold and not stand by idling as the people's movements in each country develops, regardless if those populations decide and vote for a parliamentary government that may include Islamic representation. We want to be on the right side of democracy and freedom, as revolutionary changes are occurring throughout the region.

Freedom to choose and assemble peacefully, engaging in political change are fundamental democratic principles. Whether in Egypt, Libya or in Yemen, our role is to support the raise of democratic change and to support the people's wishes for each country individually. It is not the business of the U.S. or of the international community to decide in each individual country, what a future government may look like or is likely to emerge--the will of the people should be represented and respected by achieving democratic reforms. I personally am very pleased in witnessing the historical significance of the collapsing of decades of authoritarian and autocratic ruling, experienced by many Arab nations oppressing their people during my lifetime.

That said, as we well know, the reports and circumstances coming from Libya are extremely alarming to the entire international community. Reports out of Eastern Libya are becoming even more disturbing, the level of violence, shootings and large-scale human rights violations are escalating greatly, especially in and around Tripoli.

The sign held by one demonstrator from Tripoli reads: "Benghazi We Are With You", Where is the joint effort needed by the UN and international community in the form of crisis intervention?---"Game Over Qaddafi!"

The U.S. and the EU needs to address this monumental humanitarian disaster occurring in Libya, immediately at the scheduled conference in Geneva. Qaddafi and his regime's brutal mercenary thugs responsible for the mass killings need to be held accountable, indicted by the International War Tribunal (ICC), in stating the least.

South Korea
February 28, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

I agrees all kind of travel`s aim...

Equipped to think that everything is ready. However, corruption in government, not simply a matter of the Libyan interior, would have been associated closely with Western countries, would go a long report? Short report, only the thought of oil should I do? Little by little, to make concessions, while -

At a minimum, the Italian and European governments to show their good side so I think that will be hard. But, to win the U.S. lead is fully persuaded that he would like Islam to the people. Importantly, Libya continues to produce oil, to satisfy New York's stock market, to stabilize the economy, providing many opportunities to think.

I hate the dictatorship. Vested interests and large corporations in Korea right now and they associated with Pariakapitalismus by the dictatorship by those who think that many are experiencing the side effects. Political, economic and social system they want to own, away from the real situation on the border, forcing the type of law they want, while trying to create the world continues to rage, and you do not want this effort to a few people, even though a small number of people, certain forces are reduced to a means of expressing desire to go because the state,,,,

In the northern African country had a strong influence, and ability to perform such a role will the country think. Match it to perform the role, while giving pride to the people of the policy is feasible. Small case, to prevent desertification of northern Africa to implement policies and how solar power, etc. The test bed .... But now the government has information that everyone knows is needed.

I think that will prevent massive bloodshed. In the past, criticism and punishment is thought to be committed to the people of Libya. To punish or to forgive, although I think they must carry the past go. And the problem is, most of them tolerated .....

Everyone knows the story was long.

PS: I want to go to Geneva ...

If you want to kill Gaddafi, is thought to kill him. Leaders of the past was used in the traditional way, through the media in the right picture?

and, "Russia's government about the terrorist attacks committed in the Moscow airport on an adequate and accurate investigation certainly know how to think."

Did not win the lottery, the U.S. is going to be hard I think. I think you should stop trying to make money. South Korea's political forces to meet me in the media behaviors and actions that are quite different. In the past, trying to guard me, I used to cellula phones in the National Assembly, LG telecom and call themselves the indulgence President, through the media, I believe that is. And chinhasipnikka SK? SK also seen here, unlike in the media, when I tried around us, ignoring heard ....?

A shameful story, but the top 17 conglomerates in Korea, but their approach, the results still, am ashamed. Some local governments prevent access itself went,,,,

BUT, Read the reading?

Maureen V.
Massachusetts, USA
March 1, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

Justin Vaiss at the Brookings Institution could perhaps share particular insight (a French perspective) into this crisis involving the middle east.


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