6.27.2005

Promoting Freedom, Democracy Cornerstone of U.S. Foreign Policy
United States spent $1 billion to promote democracy, human rights in 2004

Promoting human rights and the spread of democracy throughout the world is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, and the United States invested over $1 billion in 2004 to promote democracy and human rights, according to State Department fact sheet released March 28.
“Across the globe, we will continue to stand insolidarity with the extraordinary men and women who take greatpersonal risks to shed light on human rights abuses, strive to havefreedom of the press and work to ensure democratic change,” according to the fact sheet.

For additional information on U.S. support for human rights, see http://usinfo.state.gov/dhr/human_rights.html

Following is a fact sheet describing U.S. efforts to promote freedom and democracy worldwide:
(begin fact sheet)
U.S. Department of StateBureau of Democracy, Human Rights and LaborMarch 28, 2005
Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: Freedom, Opportunity, Liberty

Fact Sheet

“It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

-- President George W. Bush, 2005 Inaugural Address

Promoting freedom and democracy is the cornerstone ofU.S. foreign policy
America’s experience as a democracy affirms our conviction that all people can live and prosper in peace. Even in our worst moments, we have been guided by our commitment to freedom and self-government.We are led to one conclusion: the survival of liberty in our land is dependent on liberty in other lands.

The belief in freedom, democracy and human rights are not solelyAmerican values. They are shared by people and democratic governments on every continent and by those who aspire to liberty around the world.

A world free of tyranny

The past year has seen a dramatic shift in the world’s landscape. Elections in Afghanistan, Palestinian Authority and Iraq, and the“Orange Revolution” in Ukraine have brought the dramatic firststeps of democracy to populations that have lived under tyrannyand oppression for too long.

Today, more than fifty million people who lived under brutalregimes in Afghanistan and Iraq are on the road to democracy. Iraqhas taken the first steps in becoming the first democratic nation inthe Arab Middle East.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is leading his war-torn nation forward from over 23 years of conflict and political instability.
In the Palestinian Authority, voters replaced an antiquated leadership with one that seeks peace with its neighbors.

What these dramatic events graphically illustrate is that societies offree citizens must be founded on a commitment to the dignity ofeach individual. While citizens’ desire for individual freedoms andrights can be repressed for a time by authoritarian and corruptregimes, history shows us that transition is possible and encouragesour support of the inalienable rights of freedom loving peopleeverywhere.

The tools we use

These principles guide our decisions about international cooperation,the character of our foreign assistance and the allocation ofresources, and they will guide our actions and our words in internationalbodies. The United States will stand beside any nationdetermined to build a better future by seeking the rewards of libertyfor its people.

In the last year the U.S. Government invested over one billion dollars in democracy and human rights promotion throughout the world. We also provide, or withhold, economic, financial or technical assistance that can be crucial to helping a government meet its obligations to its citizens.

Our Commitment

We have pledged support for individuals who seek to secure theirunalienable rights. Across the globe, we will continue to stand insolidarity with the extraordinary men and women who take greatpersonal risks to shed light on human rights abuses, strive to havefreedom of the press and work to ensure democratic change.

Our fight for personal liberty will continue so long as regimes infringe upon the freedom of their citizens to build strong, democratic institutions of their own design that are capable of protecting their freedoms. Although this challenge is formidable, we are committed to upholding the principal and practice of democracy.Working together as Americans and with our friends and allies in the community of democracies, we can forge a path toward freedom for all around the globe.

-- Of the fifteen countries which originally received SEED assistance, ten are now NATO members, eight have joined the EU, and three are on track for EU accession.

-- United States supported democracy projects contributed to the “Orange Revolution” and an election that reflected the will of the Ukrainian people.

-- Our Darfur Documentation project highlighted human rights abuses and drew worldwide attention to the ongoing violence/genocide.

-- A United States government supported private printing press and network of twenty independent media resource centers which helped open political space in Kyrgyzstan.

(end fact sheet)


(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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