US will encourage India, China and Russia to tackle global agenda: Clinton

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Washington, July 16 (ANI): Spelling out the United States' foreign policy initiatives for the immediate future, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday said that Washington would put special emphasis on encouraging major and emerging global powers - China, India, Russia and Brazil, as well as Turkey, Indonesia, and South Africa - to be full partners in tackling the global agenda.

"I want to underscore the importance of this task, and my personal commitment to it. These states are vital to achieving solutions to the shared problems and advancing our priorities - non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, economic growth and climate change, among others. With these states, we will stand firm on our principles even as we seek common ground," Clinton said in her address to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Informing the gathering of her impending visit to India from Friday (July 17), Clinton said that she would lay out a broad-based agenda that calls for "a whole-of-government approach to our bilateral relationship."

She also informed that Treasury Secretary Geithner and she would jointly lead Washington's new strategic and economic dialogue with China.

"It will cover not just economic issues, but the range of strategic challenges we face together. In the fall, I will travel to Russia to advance the bi-national presidential commission that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I will co-chair," she added.

She also said that there was a need to acknowledge two inescapable facts defining the world - one that no nation can meet the world's challenges alone and issues are too complex, and secondly that most nations worry about the same global threats - from non-proliferation to fighting disease to counter-terrorism, but also face very real obstacles - for reasons of history, geography, ideology, and inertia.

Clinton said that there were too many players competing for influence, from rising powers to corporations to criminal cartels; from NGOs to al-Qaida; from state-controlled media to individuals using Twitter, but this would not stop the United States from exercising its leadership role in overcoming what most called "collective action problems" and what she called "obstacles to cooperation."

"For just as no nation can meet these challenges alone, no challenge can be met without America," she said.

Stating that the international agenda today was unforgiving -- two wars, conflict in the Middle East, ongoing threats of violent extremism and nuclear proliferation, global recession, climate change, hunger and disease, and a widening gap between the rich and the poor, Clinton said that all of these challenges affect America's security and prosperity, and also threaten global stability and progress.

However, she said, there was no reason to despair about the future, as the same forces compounding problems - economic interdependence, open borders, and the speedy movement of information, capital, goods, services and people - are also part of the solution.

For her, she said foreign policy was simply not an intellectual exercise and therefore there was a need for a new mindset about how America will use its power to safeguard itself, expand shared prosperity, and help more people in more places live up to their God-given potential.

"We must advance those common interests through partnership, and promote universal values through the power of our example and the empowerment of people. In this way, we can forge the global consensus required to defeat the threats, manage the dangers, and seize the opportunities of the 21st century," she said.

"America will always be a world leader as long as we remain true to our ideals and embrace strategies that match the times," she added.

"In approaching our foreign policy priorities, we have to deal with the urgent, the important, and the long-term all at once. But even as we are forced to multi-task - a very gender-related term (laughter) - we must have priorities, which President Obama has outlined in speeches from Prague to Cairo, from Moscow to Accra. We want to reverse the spread of nuclear weapons, prevent their use, and build a world free of their threat. We want to isolate and defeat terrorists and counter violent extremists while reaching out to Muslims around the world. We want to encourage and facilitate the efforts of all parties to pursue and achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We want to seek global economic recovery and growth by strengthening our own economy, advancing a robust development agenda, expanding trade that is free and fair, and boosting investment that creates decent jobs. We want to combat climate change, increase energy security, and lay the foundation for a prosperous clean-energy future. We want to support and encourage democratic governments that protect the rights and deliver results for their people. And we intend to stand up for human rights everywhere," Clinton said.

Ruling out the possibility of going back to Cold War containment or to unilateralism, Clinton said that the United would "work through existing institutions and reform them.

"We'll use our power to convene, our ability to connect countries around the world, and sound foreign policy strategies to create partnerships aimed at solving problems. We'll go beyond states to create opportunities for non-state actors and individuals to contribute to solutions. We believe this approach will advance our interests by uniting diverse partners around common concerns. It will make it more difficult for others to abdicate their responsibilities or abuse their power, but will offer a place at the table to any nation, group, or citizen willing to shoulder a fair share of the burden. In short, we will lead by inducing greater cooperation among a greater number of actors and reducing competition, tilting the balance away from a multi-polar world and toward a multi-partner world," she added.

Acknowledging that some would actively seek to undermine the efforts of the United States, Clinton warned such foes that "Our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal. Our willingness to talk is not a sign of weakness to be exploited. We will not hesitate to defend our friends, our interests, and above all, our people vigorously and when necessary with the world's strongest military. This is not an option we seek nor is it a threat; it is a promise to all Americans."

She said that Washington would seek to promote the use of what she called "smart power" to convene and connect with the rest of the world.

This "Smart Power" translates into specific policy approaches in five areas:

First, we intend to update and create vehicles for cooperation with our partners; second, we will pursue principled engagement with those who disagree with us; third, we will elevate development as a core pillar of American power; fourth, we will integrate civilian and military action in conflict areas; and fifth, we will leverage key sources of American power, including our economic strength and the power of our example. (ANI)

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