Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at the African Union

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 13, 2011

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks today before the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Secretary Clinton said:

"...During the past few days, I have traveled to Zambia, Tanzania, and now Ethiopia, meeting with leaders and citizens who are rising to meet challenges of all kinds with creativity, courage, and skill. And I am pleased to come to the African Union today as the first United States Secretary of State to address you, because I believe that in the 21st century, solving our greatest challenges cannot be the work only of individuals or individual nations. These challenges require communities of nations and peoples working together in alliances, partnerships, and institutions like the African Union.

"Consider what it takes to solve global challenges, like climate change or terrorism, or regional ones, like the African Union's work in Sudan and Somalia. Your efforts to end the brutal campaign of the Lord's Resistance Army, your push to create a green revolution for Africa that drives down hunger and poverty, the challenge of helping refugees displaced by conflict, the fight against transnational crimes like piracy and trafficking: These are diplomatic and development challenges of enormous complexity. But institutions like this make it easier for us to address them, by helping nations turn common interests into common actions, by encouraging coalition building and effective compromising, by integrating emerging nations into a global community with clear obligations and expectations.

"That is why, as Secretary of State, I have emphasized the work of regional institutions throughout the world, in Latin America, in Asia, in Europe, and in Africa. Now, regional institutions, of course, may differ, but increasingly they are called upon to be problem solvers and to deliver concrete results that produce positive change in people's lives.

"To solve the problems confronting Africa and the world, we need the African Union. We also need Africa's sub-regional institutions, all of whom must help lead the way. Because the results you will achieve will shape the future, first and foremost, of course, for the people of Africa, but also for the people of my country, and indeed for people everywhere because what happens in Africa has global impact. Economic growth here spurs economic growth elsewhere. Breakthroughs in health research here can save and improve lives in other lands. And peace established here makes the world more secure.

"So the United States seeks new and dynamic partnerships with African peoples, nations, and institutions. We want to help you accelerate the advances that are underway in many places and collaborate with you to reverse the dangerous trends and encourage political, economic, and social progress.

"Today, I'd like briefly to discuss three areas, which are areas of emphasis for you and for us and where I think we can make particular progress through regional institutions like the AU. They are democracy, economic growth, and peace and security. These are, of course, the core areas of focus for the African Union, and that's for a reason. All three are critical for a thriving region. All three must be the work both of individual nations and communities of nations. And all three present challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities we must address together."

You can read the Secretary's full remarks here.



Arizona, USA
June 14, 2011

Janet in Arizona writes:

Organizational Leadership: we can tell that Secretary Clinton has lead an organization before her present position in the state department. She seems to understand the human factors that affect an organization. She seems to understand that these factors affect organizational change and climate. In my opinion ;overall, she has lead the state department better than her predessesor. I hope she keeps up the good work. Her family should be very proud of her.

Wisconsin, USA
June 14, 2011

James in Wisconsin writes:

I read one article where we had the support of the AU to oust Kaddafi or call for a ceasefire, but their is another article today from CNN which states that this is not the case. If we do not have support from the AU in the region, then our goals could be derailed or limited. The AU could do more in the Libya situation to atleast try to get a ceasefire to happen. If this all they are going to do, the international comunity including some arab states will lose confidence in the AU (credibility). As a result, this could possibly make it harder for it to garner international support in the future.

Montana, USA
June 15, 2011

Mitch in Montana writes:

It looks like the AU is nonreceptive to the UN goal of at least a ceasefire. If this is the case, the UN (Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon) needs to send a rep (if he has not already done so) to the AU to at least get support for a ceasefire(not only words but actions). On a side note, Secretary of State Clinton is looking more like a "Head of State" of the State Department than a Secretary of State. The last statement is considered a complement.

Iowa, USA
June 22, 2011

Calandra in Iowa writes:

I just look at the Constitutive Act and African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance of the AU. Based on the principles and guidelines from those two documents, the AU should be doing more concerning the Libyan conflict.


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