DipNote: The Week in Review

Posted by Luke Forgerson
March 21, 2011
UNSC Votes on Resolution 1973

Today, President Barack Obama is in Brazil, the first of three countries he is visiting this week in Latin America. The trip coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's launch of the Alliance for Progress -- a pledge that the United States would join with Latin American leaders to address poverty and inequality.

President Obama said, "As one of the world's fastest-growing economies, Brazil has lifted tens of millions from poverty into a growing middle class. Today, the United States and Brazil are the hemisphere's two largest democracies and the two largest economies. Brazil is a regional leader promoting greater cooperation across the Americas and, increasingly, Brazil is a global leader, a world leader, going from a recipient of foreign aid to a donor nation, pointing the way to a world without nuclear weapons and being in the forefront of global efforts to confront climate change. As President, I've pursued engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. And a key part of this engagement is forging deeper cooperation with 21st century centers of influence, including Brazil."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton previewed the President's trip and outlined opportunities for engagement in the region, before departing herself for Paris, where she met with European allies and Arab partners about the enforcement of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya.

President Obama said, "...In response to a call for action by the Libyan people and the Arab League, the UN Security Council passed a strong resolution that demands an end to the violence against citizens. It authorizes the use of force with an explicit commitment to pursue all necessary measures to stop the killing, to include the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya. It also strengthens our sanctions and the enforcement of an arms embargo against the Qaddafi regime."

The President continued, "Now, once more, Moammar Qaddafi has a choice. The resolution that passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop. Qaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya. Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable."

From the Tunisian border, Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz provided his observations on the humanitarian challenges faced by those in the region due to the conflict in Libya. During a visit to Tunisia last week, Secretary Clinton went to a Red Crescent Training Center in Tunis and addressed Tunisia's humanitarian response to the crisis on its border with Libya.

Earlier in the week, Secretary Clinton traveled to France for G-8 meetings and to Egypt, where she visited Tahrir Square and met with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Foreign Minister Nabil Al-Araby. While in France, she met with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, with whom she discussed the ongoing response to the earthquake and tsunamis.

President Obama visited the Japanese Embassy in Washington to offer his condolences and delivered remarks on the situation in Japan. President Obama said, "...We will stand with the people of Japan as they contain this crisis, recover from this hardship, and rebuild their great nation."

Throughout the week, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos provided updates on the circumstances surrounding the earthquake and described U.S. humanitarian relief efforts in Japan. Conveying the sentiment of the American people, Ambassador Roos said, "Today our hearts remain with our Japanese friends." Laura Rodriguez of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) shared information on how all of us can help the Japanese people.

USAID marks its fiftieth anniversary this year, as does the Peace Corps. U.S. diplomat Christopher Lambert told us about his journey from Peace Corps volunteer to Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In nearby Haiti, Haitians went to the polls on March 20 for the second round of presidential and legislative elections.

In other news, Joanne Levine described efforts to hold Iran accountable for its human rights record. Special Envoy Hannah Rosenthal told us how young people of different backgrounds are finding mutual understanding through the 2011 Hours Against Hate Campaign.

Secretary Clinton received an update on progress in Northern Ireland from the Right Honorable Mr. Peter Robinson, M.L.A., First Minister of Northern Ireland and Mr. Martin McGuinness, M.P., M.L.A., Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. The Secretary also met with Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore, and wished everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

In Africa, the Troika -- Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States -- urged the National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to resume talks in Sudan. Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez addressed how the United States is countering piracy off the Horn of Africa by disrupting pirates' financial networks. Ambassador Eric Goosby described how U.S. PEPFAR programs support African efforts to fight global AIDS, and reflected on the progress made in advancing the health of women and girls around the world.

In the South and Central Asian region, U.S. Embassy Kabul announced a contribution to the National Museum of Afghanistan and the launch of a communications infrastructure program. In the Kyrgyz Republic, the Civilian Response Corps is supporting U.S. assistance efforts in the country's southern region, and U.S. Embassy Ashgabat is helping expand access to the Internet for women in Turkmenistan.

Under Secretary Robert Hormats underscored the importance of innovation worldwide and recognized young American scientists. Paul Cunningham described how the Arctic Council Meetings are enhancing international environmental cooperation. Under Secretary Maria Otero will be participating in an online discussion about global water issues on Monday, March 21. You can submit questions to her in advance of the conversation here. We hope you join us for this dialogue.

On a final note, State Department colleagues and counterparts around the world paused to remember former Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Secretary Clinton said, "I was deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and predecessor Warren Christopher. The longer I spend in this job, the deeper my appreciation grows for the giants who came before. Warren was a diplomat's diplomat -- talented, dedicated and exceptionally wise."

Secretary Clinton continued, "As well as anyone in his generation, he understood the subtle interplay of national interests, fundamental values and personal dynamics that drive diplomacy. Along with the late Richard Holbrooke, Warren led the effort to bring peace to the Balkans in the 1990s. Over his long career in public service, he also helped establish diplomatic relations with China, oversaw the expansion of NATO, worked tirelessly for peace in the Middle East, and championed human rights around the world. America is safer and the world is more peaceful because of his service."



Oregon, USA
March 21, 2011

Cynthia in Oregon writes:

U.S. may be making a wise choice to engage Brazil. Brazil has the ingredients, strong military and rapidly developing economy, to be a potential effective regional partner.

New Mexico, USA
March 21, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Blame it on the super moon, March madness, The ides of March, Mother nature, Murphy's law, ethical infants and/or the mindset of the rich and brain-dead, This has been one hell of a week-10 days for the world.

One in which the citizens of the world have been witness to the best and worst of us as humanity.

The road to Bengazi is looking like a "Mad Max" movie, and the only thing lacking in Japan to complete their disaster movie is Godzilla rising up from the seas.

I don't mean to make light of these things, but reality is sometimes stranger than fiction, or at least sometimes resembles it.

Well my government has done me proud in how they've been dealing with it, I'll say that much. A maximun effort, and they deserve the thanks of the people for it.

I will offer one thought though that folks may wish to entertain, given the statements by this government's senior officials on the prospects of seeing Ghaddafi removed from power.

While it be preferable that the people of Lybia do that themselves, there are two UN resolutions. One inditing him and refering him and his minions to the ICC for prosection of crimes against humanity, and another calling for "all neccessary measures" to protect the population of Lybia.

And while the US and NATO are eliminating his capacity to make war, he's not officially a target according to my governmment. Though with a caveat that "we can't garrantee his safety."

Most Americans I know found that rather amusing, but troubling.

Can we along with NATO countries and the Arab league states garrantee the Lybian people peace without doing what it takes to remove him if the people cannot without a long and protracted struggle? Given the fact that the shorter the duration of international measures ongoing, the faster the mandate will be realized and lives saved?

This is probably the single most pressing question to be answered this week if indeed the mandate of these resolutions is to be honored and fulfilled. Lest the peace you'all seek slip through a loop hole of legal definition and uncertainty in what actions can be taken to effect peace expiditiously in its favor.

The press dogs are chomping on the bone of "regime change" and the only way to safely take a bone away from away from a dog is to give him another to chew on.

And inevitably the press will keep using the phrase if there isn't a new one offered up to them to grab hold of.

This is going to become increasingly problematic because folks just arn't quite getting the message out, in fact the message that is being put out is confusing a whole lot of folks as to what the "end game" looks like and how folks in the coalition intend to go about achieving that.

"A fluid situation." yes, but if you folks need a separate UN resolution to authorize specificly Ghaddafi's remanding to custody for justice of the ICC (and naturally thereby his removal from power), then I think folks better go get one.

And let's make this vote unanimous in favor.

I would caution that if folks allow for the possibility that Ghaddafi would somehow remain in power, that in no way could the international community secure the peace for the Lybian people, nor for themselves.

All political "sensitivities" aside, this..if not now, when will "regime replacement therapy" become undeniably self evidently the better option to one and all concerned?

Bein' that the therapy starts as the people rejoice in the peace restored to them.

Let the press chew on this bone for awhile, it's got more meat on it.


dss l.
United Kingdom
March 22, 2011

D.S. in the United Kingdom writes:

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South Korea
March 22, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

India is also support...

As the strike against Libya, and many, mediocre, I think I saved the lives of Libyans.

In Libya, the lack of cancer among people who experienced soldiers and mercenaries, hirelings, if we attack the city, not soldiers - the difference between hunters and poachers, who have a distinct purpose in the blind and indiscriminate killing - by anyone, instinctively to protect his own body on the defensive, but the instincts of murder, the killer instinct of the faithful to kill Sarah think.

Landing ground troops wont, have a lot of pressure I think. Media attention and the mother's tears, I do not think politicians will survive.

Libya, a lot of attention focused on the French to think that, La Legion Etrange a commitment, so that the Libyan militia, why do not help to achieve that role? La Legion Etrange to think lightly of the soldiers' life is not. They're the ones with your precious life, and avoid the difficult situation of trying to have French citizenship to think that people will have jobs.

Libya to unite the militia, there is no clear leaders, even those in combat tend to think indisputable.

She cares for human life, while the stability of oil prices and stock markets look to alleviate investors' concerns that Committed by people with specialized job, so that you think should lead to a quick resolution. Or, La Legion Etrange voluntary participation is thought to be good. Of course, weapons and water, food, medical equipment, enough to think it should be supported.

French presidential election, appointment and I was wondering what the results are reliable. And

Super Puma will know if you are still a good flight. Which is rather faulty, the fault is thought to be maintenance. By a mechanic, and be protected ....

PS: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Queen's active gesture, thank you ...

March 23, 2011

Granger in Sweden writes:

NATO is capable of handling/managing a World War(many assets from many nations toward many focused objectives). Odyssey Dawn is a peice of cake for this organization. Hopefully, the U.S. and its partners will let NATO handle the bulk of the mission which would allow them to focus the rest of their resources toward other pressing matters (Japan, etcetera).


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DipNote: The Week in Review

Writing for the U.S. Department of State DipNote blog, DipNote Managing Editor Luke Forgerson highlights blog postings from the week,… more