1.29.2006

U.S. Democracy Promotion, a Round-up

Here are the recent U.S. initiatives and attitudes concerning democracy promotion, especially in the Middle East.

(Source: International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)

New Challenges Call for New Diplomatic Strategies, Rice Says

Transformational diplomacy promotes democracy through partnerships

By Rebecca Ford Mitchell
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington – A more integrated world with global threats -- terrorism, weapons proliferation, diseases, and trafficking in persons and drugs -- requires new diplomatic strategies, says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington January 18, Rice said the United States is now engaged in transformational diplomacy, which means working with foreign citizens to help them “build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.”

“Let me be clear,” she added. “Transformational diplomacy is rooted in partnership, not in paternalism; in doing things with people, not for them.”

Rice said today’s diplomatic challenges, such as encouraging democracy to the Middle East, are difficult, but that America has met formidable challenges in the past.

“In 1946 and 1947, Germans were still starving in Europe. In 1946, Communists won big minorities in Italy and in France. In 1947, there was civil war in Greece; there was civil conflict in Turkey. In 1948, Czechoslovakia fell to a Communist coup; Germany was permanently divided in Berlin. And, in 1949, the Soviet Union exploded a nuclear weapon five years ahead of schedule, and the Chinese Communists won. This wasn't just a kind of minor setback for democracy, these were huge strategic setbacks,” she said.

Now, however, Europe is whole, prosperous and at peace, Rice said, because of the U.S. commitment to democratic values.

In Iraq, she said, “It's difficult for people who have solved their differences, their entire existence by fighting and by coercion and by repression and by violence, it's really hard for them to find a way to resolve their differences by politics instead, and by compromise. It's really hard in Afghanistan, where you still have terrorists who will blow up innocent children at a moment's notice. It's really hard to go to a place like Jordan and see this hotel where this wedding party, of all things, was blown up by a suicide bomber. It's hard to see the difficulties that the Palestinian people live with every day. It's really hard. But it's been hard before for countries that made it.”

We have seen the alternative to democracy, she said, in Afghanistan under Taliban-rule where al-Qaida freely operated and in the Darfur region of Sudan.

“Democracy is hard and democracy takes time,” she said, “but democracy is always worth it.”

TRANSFORMATIONAL DIPLOMACY INITIATIVE

Today’s diplomats must do more than report on countries and analyze policy, Rice said; they must support the growth of democracy and be “first-rate administrators of programs, capable of helping foreign citizens to strengthen the rule of law, to start businesses, to improve health and to reform education.”

The secretary said that the new front lines of U.S. diplomacy are in the transitional countries of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and the emerging regional leader nations like India, China, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and South Africa. The U.S. diplomatic corps should be repositioned to reflect that reality, she said.

In 2006, Rice said, the United States will move 100 positions from Europe and Washington to countries like China, India, Nigeria and Lebanon. Another of the goals, she said, is to spread the U.S. diplomatic presence beyond foreign capitals.

“There are nearly 200 cities worldwide with over 1 million people in which the United States has no formal diplomatic presence,” she said. “This is where the action is today, and this is where we must be.”

The State Department, she said, will develop more American presence posts, like those currently in Egypt and Indonesia, where diplomats live and work in communities outside the embassy, engaging in discussions with private citizens as well as government officials. In addition, the department is exploring virtual presence posts in which foreign citizens can meet with U.S. diplomats via the Internet.

A transcript of Rice’s remarks and fact sheet on transformational diplomacy are available on the State Department Web site.
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State's Fried Says United States, Europe United on Freedom Agenda

Discusses Balkans, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Middle East, Iraq, Iran

The United States and Europe are “essentially united” in the task of advancing freedom around the world, a senior State Department official said January 18 in a wide-ranging foreign policy speech.

“Support for freedom is not just a tactic or tool in America’s national security strategy -- it is THE core concept of our national grand strategy and, I believe, has been so for a century,” said Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried in a speech to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs.

Fried outlined how the United States and Europe are working on a freedom agenda worldwide – not only in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, but also in the broader Middle East, including Iran.

“America cannot advance freedom alone. Nor are we alone. Europe and the United States are essentially united in this great task. Together, we are putting the political, economic and security assets of the transatlantic community to work outside Europe in support of freedom-seekers around the world,” he said.

Fried spoke of “a growing consensus that the purpose of U.S.-European cooperation is not to manage problems, or serve as a regulator of value-free competition, but to support common action in the pursuit of freedom.”

GOALS FOR 2006

In 2006, the trans-Atlantic alliance hopes to “bring the Balkans from post-war to pre-Europe”; to support and consolidate democracy in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan; “to help the Belarusian people achieve democracy; and to encourage countries such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to move more decisively and consistently in the direction of democracy.”

“In Eurasia, we will have to demonstrate clarity about our goals -- democracy, and, through democracy, stability and strengthened sovereignty -- while being realistic about what we can achieve in any given year and in any given election,” he said.

In the Middle East, the trans-Atlantic alliance stands ready to help Palestinians “develop effective instruments of governance,” to support the Iraqi people and their elected government, and to reach out to the Iranian people.

Regarding Iraq, Fried said Europeans have come to realize that failure in Iraq would be “a grave blow to our common security and to the prospects for reform and stability throughout the Middle East,” while success would set the stage for the advancement of the freedom agenda throughout the region. “It is critical that Europeans act on that realization,” he added.

The new Iraqi government “deserves the support of democratic allies around the world,” Fried said. “This will give Europeans the chance to support fully the Iraqi people and their elected government. That support can take many forms -- military, capacity-building, political support -- but it needs to be unstinting.”

Fried also spoke of the United States and Europe reaching out to the Iranian people and offering an “agenda of hope for Iran.”

The Iranian government, he said, is determined to develop nuclear weapons, supports terrorism and is “hostile to democracy in principle,” and the anti-Semitic statements of its president are “ugly.”

But “we should not now accept that theocracy and isolation are the fate or desire of the Iranian people,” Fried said. “International pressure on the regime may increase in 2006, as surely it should, but the world's democracies should at the same time reach out to the Iranian people. In addition to our efforts to deal with the nuclear challenge, in 2006 the United States and Europe should offer an agenda for hope for Iran.”

Finally, in 2006 the United States and Europe should “reach out, assist and empower reforms in the Broader Middle East,” Fried said. “We must not be impatient, but we have started and we must keep faith with our values and with those in the region who share them.”
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U.N. Security Council Wants Militias in Lebanon Disarmed

State's Bolton says council's statement outlines Syria's failures

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- The U.N. Security Council issued a formal presidential statement putting pressure on Syria and Lebanon to comply with the council's 16-month-old resolution designed to restore Lebanese independence.

The statement, which reflects the unanimous agreement of the 15 council members, was issued January 23. It said that significant progress has been made toward implementation of Resolution 1559 since it was issued September 2, 2004, as a result of the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon and Lebanon holding free and credible parliamentary elections in May 2005 and June 2005.

But the council noted with regret that other provisions of Resolution 1559 have yet to be implemented, "particularly the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory and free and fair presidential elections conducted according to the Lebanese constitutional rules without foreign interference and influence," the statement said.

"The council calls on the Lebanese Government to sustain its efforts to achieve progress on all these issues in accordance with Resolution 1559 and to pursue a broad national dialogue and the council calls on all other parties concerned, in particular the Government of Syria, to cooperate to this end," the council said in the statement read by Council President Ambassador Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton characterized the council's statement as "a clear delineation of Syria's failure to comply with many significant aspects" of the resolution as well as a "clear, unanimous signal from the Security Council on what Syria still has to do."

Bolton specifically mentioned Syria's "failure to disarm the Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the failure to allow free and fair presidential elections, the continued terrorist attacks."

"The Syrians need to take it very seriously," the ambassador said of the presidential statement.
Resolution 1559 set out the Security Council's support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon. It also set out a number of specific requirements that must be met to end foreign influence in that country including the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, the disbanding of all militias and extension of government control throughout the country.

Bolton also listed other actions Syria must undertake to establish normal relations with Lebanon, including the exchange of ambassadors and demarcation of the border.

The United States is "paying particular attention" to presidential elections, he said.

The Security Council's presidential statement "makes it very clear that the election of the next president should be pursuant to constitutional procedures that are not unduly influenced by foreign pressure. It ought to be a Lebanese decision about a Lebanese president," Bolton said.

The statement did not set a deadline for either Syrian or Lebanese compliance. But Bolton said that he is "waiting for the sound of Syrian compliance."

The text of the Security Council president’s statement is available on the U.N. Web site.

Some related posts:

-Bush, Americans and Spreading Democracy

-Rice, Foreign Policy and Promoting Freedom

-WORLD FREEDOM 2005

-The Realities of Promoting Democracy

-Promoting Freedom and Democracy is a Vital Part of the War on Terror

-The bases of the U.S. Mideast policy

-Terror and democracy in the Middle East

-U.S. National Intelligence Strategy Highlights Democracy Promotion

-Iraq and Lebanon: Ongoing Liberation

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