Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in Denmark

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 1, 2012

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On May 31, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Copenhagen, Denmark, as the first leg of her official trip to seven different countries. In Denmark, the Secretary met with H.M. Queen Margrethe II, engaged with Danish youth at a "townterview" hosted by TV2 anchor Johannes Langkilde, attended a luncheon meeting at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and held a bilateral discussion with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the Oak Room, Christianborg Palace. Concluding her official visit in Denmark, Secretary Clinton also launched the Green Partnerships for Growth, a collaborative effort between the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Dansk Industri, and AmCham Denmark.

In her remarks with Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal Secretary Clinton said, "The friendship between our two countries dates back more than two centuries and the bonds between our people have endured over that time. Our commitment to democracy, to human rights, to human dignity is core to all of us. And this morning I had the great privilege of speaking with a group of Danish young people about the kind of future that we hope awaits them."

The Secretary's discussion with Danish youths covered a broad range of topics, including Syria, Libya, nuclear proliferation, and global women's issues. Secretary Clinton encouraged the young people to "get in the game, dare to compete; be part of charting the new future." She said, "We need to recognize that youth empowerment is a concept that has arrived, if there were ever any doubt about it. Years ago in the 1960s, which I know sounds like ancient history, I can well remember our own efforts to try to change the direction of a war, to change the direction of a society. And today, what I see is that young people need a chance to be more involved in and more empowered to be involved in the decisions that affect them."

Secretary Clinton also touched on the current crisis in Europe. She said, "Obviously, it is for Europeans to determine the way forward. Whether you are in the EU and/or in the Eurozone, the European project deserves support, in our view. And I know that in hard times, people can be led to hunker down or even build walls to go back to the old divisions that so -- for so long, bedeviled Europe.

"But the values underlying the European project are still true today. The belief that a country's and a people's strength depends in part on whether your neighbors are strong and prosperous, that the best way for people to get ahead is through partnership with one another, rather than at each other's expense. Whether you are Danish or Italian, Latvian or Spanish, there should be a place for you in the European community. And the dream of a Europe in which all people from all backgrounds live and work in dignity and peace is what inspired generations that came before you to persist in the European project."

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