Supporting 21st Century Partnerships in the Western Hemisphere

May 13, 2011
Secretary Clinton Gestures While Delivering Remarks at 41st Conference of the Americas

The Council of the Americas (COA) 41st Washington Conference, held at the Department of State on Wednesday, was a remarkable showcase of support for the partnership that is integrating the Americas and laying the basis for the region's global competitiveness in the 21st century.

One of the most important messages I took away was the strength of commitment to that process that came from bipartisan U.S. political leaders present, heads of state, and ministers of state from South America, Central America, and North America, as well as business leaders from all over the Americas.

Secretary Clinton launched the conference by outlining the wide range of our critical strategic interests in the Americas, and the burgeoning U.S. partnerships throughout the region. Noting that countries of the Western Hemisphere “will rise or fall together in the 21st century,” she talked about the many ways President Obama's recent trip to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador advanced our cooperation on security, energy, and economic growth -- and stressed the need for us to learn from each other about “what works,” particularly as we all cooperate to promote equality. She also praised the leadership of countries like Mexico and Colombia, as well as Canada and major European partners, in advancing citizen security throughout the region. U.S. Senator John McCain reiterated the strategic importance of the Americas. He praised the administration for moving forward to secure approval of the pending Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The evening before, the COA honored Senators Robert Menendez and Richard Lugar for their long commitment to strong hemispheric ties.

President Calderon of Mexico and President Funes of El Salvador, as well Colombia and Canada's Finance Ministers, also spoke eloquently about the partnership and integration that are transforming the Americas. The Alianza del Pacifico, recently created by Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, is a case in point -- a big step toward creating the largest sub-regional economic bloc in South America, and strengthening ties to the most dynamic economies of East Asia.

The COA conference was a great example of how decisively the countries of the Americas have turned the page on old ideologies and divisions and, almost without exception, are working together in myriad pragmatic ways to address common problems and create opportunity for our peoples. It is a process to which the United States and our policies are wholeheartedly committed, and it was great to spend the day with so many partners in that quest.

Related Content: Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at the 41st Conference on the Americas



May 13, 2011

L. writes:

Task: connecting Western Hemisphere

Open Skies

Open Ground

The route 666 new york - Mexico City - The longest river on planet

May 13, 2011

Lauren writes:

I believe this advancement of 21st Century Partnerships really displays a "globalized maturity" the Obama administration hopes to convey to the rest of world. As new interconnected global issues arise, along with new governmental "powers," I find it crucial to work and involve many countries in global discourse. We no longer live in a world where one can expect a single country to dominate.

Wisconsin, USA
May 13, 2011

Tori in Wisconsin writes:

21st century partnerships between the US and other nations will become increasingly more important. As the BRICs gain more power and as nations in the Western Hemisphere continue to grow and develop, it is crucial that the US realize it cannot rely on size and force to accomplish its goals. Diplomacy is required and partnerships are a critical component. A good example of a 21st century partnership can be found in the Merida Initiative. It is true that US consumers fuel the demand for Mexican drugs and hopefully continued collaboration between our two governments on issues of security, crime, and drugs will make the world a safer place for citizens. Since funding technically ending in FY2010 it will be interesting to see what our two countries come up with in the future.

Florida, USA
May 26, 2011

Sam in Florida writes:

It seems to be the wise decision to focus on the Western Hemisphere and not some much what is going on in the East.

Instead of sending troops to fight wars over there we can send engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and counselors to South America to fight vulnerabilities there... that effect us all.


Latest Stories

October 25, 2010

DipNote: The Week in Review

Writing for the U.S. Department of State DipNote blog, DipNote Editor Ruth Bennett summarizes the blog content from the previous… more