you very much, David, for that very warm and kind introduction. It's good to be
with so many good friends as I scan the audience, and especially with you,
David. And I do appreciate that kind introduction.
I also would like to thank the Council for making allowances for my schedule,
allowing me to come down a little earlier. It is one of these particularly busy
days in Washington that comes from time to time. I have King Abdallah of Jordan,
Prince Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Minister. Prime Minister Sharon will
also be coming today. I'll be meeting with him. And also President Museveni of
then we have a number of meetings having to do with the upcoming US-Moscow
summit that we have to attend to. We are looking forward to the summit meeting
with Russia in two weeks time, but the preparations for a summit are always
quite demanding. So it is just an average day in the life of a Secretary of
I am also going to have the privilege a little later this morning of speaking to
the Anti-Defamation League as well on the subject of tolerance. So no better way
to start the day, however, than with the Council of the Americas. I'm very
pleased to be with you, and it's a pleasure to welcome you -- David and Bill
Rhodes and Alan Stoga and the Council -- to the State Department for your 32nd
as you all know, it has become something of a tradition for the Secretary of
State to open the Washington Conference, but I'm not here today just out of a
reverence for tradition. I'm here because I want to reach out to you once again,
the business people who have hands-on experience in the Americas. I see all the
old friends in the audience that I've worked with in the past, so many who have
been committed to democracy and economic development and reform, and I know that
each of you will see many other old friends here at the podium over the next two
days, beginning after I leave with my point man for the Americas, Assistant
Secretary Otto Reich. He's well known to you. He headed the Council's Washington
Office from 1976 to '81, and now he is the Assistant Secretary of State for
Western Hemispheric Affairs. It wasn't always easy, but Otto is here, he's on
board, and I can tell you we're very, very glad to have him on the team.
be hearing from him in a few moments. You'll be hearing from the Vice President
and many of my Cabinet colleagues over the next several days, but first I'd like
to set the stage for those later presentations, if I may. And let me start, as
David noted, with September 11th of last year, the day that changed the world as
we knew it. For me, it was a remarkable day. For all of us it was a remarkable
day, but for me it was a moving day, a day of many mixed emotions, as it was
also for you.
I was in a breakfast meeting with President Toledo in Lima, Peru. We were
talking about bilateral issues, we were talking about trade, we were talking
about textile imports and exports when two notes came in from my assistant
telling me that something terrible had happened in Washington, D.C. and in New
York. And I knew that I had to return immediately.
before returning to Washington, while the plane was being prepared, I did want
to participate in the OAS Conference, because we were there to validate our
belief in the community of democracy here in the Western Hemisphere -- 34 of 35
nations all committed to democracy, not only as a political system, but as
something we believe in as a value system. And we were going to put in place the
rules of the road. If you're going to be a member of this democratic club in our
hemisphere, there are rules, there are obligations, there are consequences for
violating those rules and obligations.
so I wanted to participate in that meeting and be part of the vote, and I'll
never forget moving into the conference room, and my various colleagues from
around the hemisphere stood up and expressed their solidarity with the United
States in this time of crisis and pledged their support. And then we passed that
statement on democracy, that Charter on Democracy, and then in an unanimous vote
of acclamation, they made it clear that the OAS would be standing with the
United States in this time of trial.
hemispheric solidarity and action have continued since then. The OAS has acted
further. We are working together as a hemisphere to deny haven to terrorists and
their funds. We particularly valued Brazil's leadership in bringing together the
signatories of the Rio Treaty to invoke its collective defense provisions.
Brazil is the world's fourth largest democracy and Latin America's largest
economy. We share many common goals, such as promoting democracy and economic
reform, advancing free trade, and combating terrorism and narcotics trafficking.
And we look forward to a continuing partnership with Brazil, both in the
hemisphere and increasingly on the global level.
our challenge is to work with all of our partners in the hemisphere to weave our
cooperation against terrorism into the very fabric of our relations and into our
institutions. We must ensure that such cooperation becomes part of the normal
way that we do business here in the hemisphere. I am pleased to say that we are
well on our way to doing so.
11th was also about our hemisphere's commitment to freedom and democracy, as I
mentioned, a commitment made even more important by our fight against terrorism.
At last year's Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, our leaders chartered the
vision of a hemisphere free, prosperous and secure; free for all peoples to live
their lives under responsive and representative governments; prosperous for
everyone, not just the privileged few; and secure, not only from the scourge of
terrorism, but also from the plagues of narcotics trafficking and criminality.
have made progress. The Democratic Charter we approved on September 11th
announced to the world that democracy is the norm in this hemisphere and that we
will not tolerate backsliding, backsliding into the bad old days of unelected
authoritarian regimes. President Bush's Compact for Development, which he
unveiled in his March 14th speech to the Inter-American Development Bank, marked
a further stage in the linkage between democracy, good governance, and
development. And at the International Conference on Financing for Development,
which met shortly after that in Monterrey, Mexico, leaders from around the world
committed their countries to sound policies, good governance at all levels, and
rule of law.
have also advanced the trade agenda at the heart of the Quebec City declaration
of last year. We have launched the Doha development round of World Trade
Organization negotiations. With our partner Brazil, we will co-chair
negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas this fall. We are nearing a
free trade agreement with Chile and preparing to negotiate one with all of
Central America. And President Bush and his administration are working to gain
congressional reauthorization of the Andean Trade Preference Act and approval of
the trade promotion authority that we desperately need to bring our very
ambitious trade agenda to a successful conclusion.
recent history of our region shows why we believe so strongly that freedom,
prosperity and security are mutually reinforcing. We all now know how a country
such as Mexico, Chile and El Salvador have made great strides in combing
institutional reform, responsive government, and economic opening to create
better lives for all their people. Uruguay, too, has parlayed good governance
and economic reform into an island of stability in a sea of political and
economic uncertainty. Uruguayans enjoy the most equitable income distribution in
Latin America. They have confidence in their political institutions. In Uruguay,
corruption is a crime, not an accepted part of doing business. With this
foundation of good government and democracy, Uruguay has so far been able to
withstand powerful economic shocks that would have crippled more fragile
countries and societies.
as the problems besetting us appear, and we see a hemisphere that is more
troubled than it was when we met a year ago, we see a hemisphere that has
difficulties in many, many different ways -- difficulty with their democratic
institutions, difficulty with their economies. Our close friend and ally,
Argentina, is in the midst of a profound economic and political crisis. We want
to help Argentina work its way out of its problems. Working through the IMF and
other international financial institutions, we remain committed to supporting
additional financial assistance to help stabilize the Argentine economy and put
it on the long road to sustained growth.
economic reform alone will not bring Argentina out of crisis. Argentina must
also address the underlying political and institutional flaws that encourage
excess public sector borrowing, corruption, politicized judicial systems, and a
lack of transparency in government activities.
democratically elected government of Colombia faces multiple threats to its
survival, to its very existence, and we will help Colombia to defend its
democracy against the threats of drugs and terrorists. We will help promote a
peaceful, prosperous society that respects human rights and respects the rule of
are prepared to assist Colombia in asserting state authority and effective
security throughout the country. While there is clearly no military solution to
all of Colombia's problems, there must be a more robust military and security
component to US policy. We are prepared to expand the scope and nature of our
assistance, but Colombia must also fully commit itself to the tough steps that
will be needed to achieve success. We will support the efforts of the Colombian
people, but we can not and will not supplant them.
democracy, as we all know, is undergoing a severe test. If the people of
Venezuela are to succeed in building better lives for themselves and more
hopeful futures for their children, their political leaders must resolve their
problems in a constitutional and democratic manner.
is the era in our hemisphere of democracies, not dictators; of constitutions,
not coups. Coups must be recognized for what they are: fading echoes of a
discredited past, not the road to a democratic future. President Chavez must
follow with deeds his new pledges of national reconciliation and respect for
democratic principles. We urge him to work with the OAS. We look forward to
working with him in the context of the OAS's Democratic Charter in order to
facilitate genuine strengthening of Venezuela's democratic institutions on
behalf of all Venezuelans.
people of Haiti have suffered for almost two centuries under bad leadership that
has failed to respond to their needs. Breaking that cycle is Haiti's greatest
challenge. I might say it is a source of personal disappointment to me that
nearly eight years after my mission with President Carter and Senator Nunn to
help restore Haiti's elected government, Haiti has made so little progress. It
is still far from supporting a democratically competitive political environment,
in which human and civil rights are respected and economic growth is made
then we have to of course not lose sight of the situation in Cuba. Cuba cannot
remain forever the sole holdout from the hemisphere's march of democracy and
free markets. The Castro regime makes a mockery of freedom. It impoverishes the
Cuban people. As President Bush has said on many occasions, our goal is to
promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba. The people of Cuba
deserve no less.
addition to the specific problems besetting these and other countries, there is
a broader, deeper discontent in the region. Peoples throughout much of the
Americas are increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of democracy and
frustrated with the results of economic reform. If we got rid of the dictators,
if we got rid of the generals, if we got rid of all of the authoritarian
regimes, things are supposed to get better; there's supposed to be food on the
table, a roof over our heads, education for our children, health care. There is
a disenchantment with the institutions of elective government. In too many
countries, people are losing faith in their political systems and leaders.
Things were supposed to be better; things were supposed to be better rapidly.
recent region-wide survey found a decline in support for democracy. There's a
decline in support for democracy stated as preferable to any other kind of
government. In 16 of the 17 Latin countries that were polled, that was the
result: a decline in support for democracy. What good is democracy if your life
is not better?
too many people are making too many economic sacrifices in the name of freedom,
without seeing their lives improve. For them, it is still a daily struggle to
put that food on the table, educate their children, and do all the other things
that we want to do for our families. Too many governments have failed to
undertake the so-called second generation reforms that are necessary to
consolidate the gains and attract the investment that economies need to grow.
don't need to tell you that without reforms to tax laws, pensions, regulatory
systems and the judiciary, investors will find other places to send their money.
Capital, as I say all the time, is a coward. It flees from corruption and bad
policies, conflict and unpredictability. It goes where it is welcomed, where
investors can be confident of a return on the resources that they have put at
risk, the resources that they in turn get from shareholders, get from average
citizens looking for a decent return on their investment, on their savings.
Capital flows to countries with clarity of law; and accountability of government
is what we must all strive for.
forward, our challenge is to work with our neighbors to help them complete and
consolidate their political, institutional and economic reforms. The only answer
to the problems of insufficient democracy and incomplete economic reform is more
democracy and more economic reform. The past year has been a difficult one,
where our beliefs have been tested. But it has also been a time when our
convictions have been confirmed, and that is what makes me optimistic moving
forward. We have come very far since the lost decade of the 1980s. In the 2000s,
our ability to weather the storms will provide the strength of the hemisphere we
year I challenged you to do even more of the wonderful work that you have done
to free and empower the people of our hemisphere. This year I have two
challenges for you, for all of us really, and for the governments of the
hemisphere. And the first of these challenges is to the governments of the
hemisphere. I challenge them to finish the job. I challenge them to improve the
quality of their democracies. I challenge them to see political, institutional
and economic reforms through to completion. I challenge them to join us in
making the Free Trade Area of the Americas a reality.
United States will be there to help them. We fully support what we did in Quebec
City last year. We are fully committed to the initiative that President Bush
launched just before Monterrey, and we discussed at some length in Monterrey, of
a Millennium Challenge Fund: $5 billion a year when it comes into effect in
about three years from now, 5 billion additional aid dollars a year to those
countries that are committed to democracy, to those countries that are committed
to the rule of law, to those countries that are committed to transparency, to
help them, to help them jumpstart their economies so that they can cross over
this gap that exists between the initial promise of democracy and the reality of
a better life for people.
you the business people in this room, I issue the second challenge: to help the
governments, institutions and people of the hemisphere achieve the vision that
we all have, the vision I have just described; support free trade and open
economies; insist on good governance and economic reform; demonstrate your
convictions in your business practices. You have a critical role to play if we
are to make the vision of Quebec City and Monterrey a reality.
hard work from all of us, with your help and with a little bit of luck, we will
succeed. Thank you very much.
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