U.S. Ready to Work with Europe on Common Agenda Says Rice
U.S. Ready to Work with Europe on Common Agenda Says Rice
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appealed to Europe February 8 to set aside
past disagreements with the United States and open a new chapter in the
transatlantic alliance based on the unprecedented opportunity to achieve
“historic global advances for justice and prosperity, for liberty and for
“It is time to turn away from the disagreements of the past,” Rice said in a
speech at the Institut d'Études
Politiques-Sciences Politiques de Paris. “It is time to open a new chapter in
our relationship, and a new chapter in our alliance.”
Washington File, Bureau of International Information Programs,
U.S. Department of State. Washington, February 8, 2005.
“America stands ready to work with Europe on our common agenda -- and Europe
must stand ready to work with America,” said Rice in the major policy speech of
her weeklong trip to Europe and the Middle East.
Calling the present “a time of unprecedented opportunity for the transatlantic
Alliance,” she said that if Europeans and Americans “make the pursuit of global
freedom the organizing principle of the 21st century, we will achieve historic
global advances for justice and prosperity, for liberty and for peace.”
Rice began her speech by recalling that the founders of both the French and
American republics were inspired by the very same values. Citing examples of men
and women who have launched revolutions for freedom ranging from American civil
rights champion Rosa Parks to those who brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989,
she likened their courage to those of Afghans and Iraqis who have voted for
Rice said the purpose of her trip is to talk with Europeans about how America
and Europe can work together to advance common ideals worldwide; President Bush
will continue the conversation on his February 21-25 trip to Europe. “We on the
right side of freedom's divide have an obligation to help those unlucky enough
to have been born on the wrong side of that divide,” she said.
Describing in more detail the new chapter she envisions in a U.S.-European
partnership based on common opportunities rather than common threats, Rice spoke
of supporting democratic reform in the Middle East in general, and in
Afghanistan and Iraq in particular.
She cited efforts to encourage political pluralism, economic openness and the
growth of civil society through the Broader Middle East and North Africa
Rice acknowledged that, as President Bush has said, the spread of freedom is the
work of generations, but “spreading freedom in the Arab and Muslim worlds is
also urgent work that cannot be deferred.”
Iraq, she said, “the transatlantic partnership must rise to the challenge that
the Iraqi people have set for us.”
“We must support them as they form their political institutions. We must help
them with economic reconstruction and development. And we must stay by their
side to provide security until Iraqis themselves can take full ownership of that
job," she said.
Rice also called for Europe to join with the United States in supporting a
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition to what the Israelis
and Palestinians must do, there is a “need for all of us to make clear that Iran
and Syria must stop supporting terrorists who seek to destroy every chance for
peace,” she said.
“This is the best chance for peace that we are likely to see for some years to
come; and we are acting to help Israelis and Palestinians seize this chance.
President Bush is committed. I am personally committed. We must all be committed
to seizing this chance,” Rice said.
“Development, transparency and democracy reinforce each other,” she said in
closing. “That is why the spread of freedom under the rule of law is our best
hope for progress.”
Rice said America has everything to gain from having a stronger Europe as a
partner in building a safer and better world. “So let each of us bring to the
table our ideas and our experience and our resources; and let us discuss and
decide, together, how best to employ them for democratic change.”
After concluding her speech, Rice took questions from the audience on subjects
ranging from the development of Iraqi democracy to biological weapons.
Following is the State Department transcript of the secretary’s speech and the
question-and-answer session that followed:
U.S. Department of State,
Office of the Spokesman,
February 8, 2005
Remarks by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Institut d'Études
Politiques, Paris, February 8, 2005.
Secretary Rice: Thank you very, very much. Thank you for those warm and
welcoming words. And let me also thank the people of France for being such
perfect hosts. I've just arrived. I wish I could stay longer. But it's such a
wonderful city; it's wonderful to be here. I look forward to my discussions
here with President Chirac, with Foreign Minister Barnier and with others. And
-- as a pianist -- tomorrow I look forward to visiting one of your fine music
is a real special pleasure for me to be here at Sciences Po. For more than 130
years, this fine institution has trained thinkers and leaders. As a political
scientist myself, I appreciate very much the important work that you do.
The history of the United States and that of France are intertwined. Our
history is a history of shared values, of shared sacrifice and of shared
successes. So, too, will be our shared future.
remember well my first visit to Paris -- here -- my visit to Paris here in 1989,
when I had the honor of accompanying President George Herbert Walker Bush to the
bicentennial celebration of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the
Rights of Man. Americans celebrated our own bicentennial in that same year, the
200th anniversary of our nation's Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
Those shared celebrations were more than mere coincidence. The founders of both
the French and American republics were inspired by the very same values, and by
each other. They shared the universal values of freedom and democracy and human
dignity that have inspired men and women across the globe for centuries.
Standing up for liberty is as old as our country. It was our very first
Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who said, "The God who gave us life, gave
us liberty at the same time." Now the American founders realized that they,
like all human beings, are flawed creatures, and that any government established
by man would be imperfect. Even the great authors of our liberty sometimes fell
short of liberty's promise - even Jefferson, himself, a slave owner.
we are fortunate that our founders established a democratic system of, by, and
for the people that contained within it a way for citizens -- especially for
impatient patriots -- to correct even its most serious flaws. Human
imperfections do not discredit democratic ideals; they make them more precious,
and they make impatient patriots of our own time work harder to achieve them.
Men and women, both great and humble, have shown us the power of human agency in
this work. In my own experience, a black woman named Rosa Parks was just tired
one day of being told to sit in the back of a bus, so she refused to move. And
she touched off a revolution of freedom across the American South.
Poland, Lech Walesa had had enough of the lies and the exploitation, so he
climbed a wall and he joined a strike for his rights; and Poland was
Afghanistan just a few months ago, men and women, once oppressed by the Taliban,
walked miles, forded streams and stood hours in the snow just to cast a ballot
for their first vote as a free people.
And just a few days ago in Iraq, millions of Iraqi men and women defied the
terrorist threats and delivered a clarion call for freedom. Individual Iraqis
risked their lives. One policeman threw his body on a suicide bomber to
preserve the right of his fellow citizens to vote. They cast their free votes,
and they began their nation's new history.
These examples demonstrate a basic truth -- the truth that human dignity is
embodied in the free choice of individuals.
witnessed the power of that truth in that remarkable year of 1989 when the
Berlin Wall was brought down by ordinary men and women in East Germany. Yet,
that day of freedom in November 1989 could never have happened without the full
support of the free nations of the West.
Time and again in our shared history, Americans and Europeans have enjoyed our
greatest successes, for ourselves and for others, when we refused to accept an
unacceptable status quo -- but instead, put our values to work in the service of
And we have achieved much together. Today, a democratic Germany is unified
within NATO, and tyranny no longer stalks the heart of Europe. NATO and the
European Union have since welcomed Europe's newest democracies into our ranks;
and we have used our growing strength for peace. And just a decade ago,
Southeastern Europe was aflame. Today, we are working toward lasting
reconciliation in the Balkans, and to fully integrate the Balkans into the
These achievements have only been possible because America and Europe have stood
firm in the belief that the fundamental character of regimes cannot be separated
from their external behavior. Borders between countries cannot be peaceful if
tyrants destroy the peace of their societies from within. States where
corruption, and chaos and cruelty reign invariably pose threats to their
neighbors, threats to their regions, and potential threats to the entire
Our work together has only begun. In our time we have an historic opportunity
to shape a global balance of power that favors freedom -- and that will
therefore deepen and extend the peace. And I use the word "power" broadly,
because even more important than military and indeed economic power is the power
of ideas, the power of compassion, and the power of hope.
am here in Europe so that we can talk about how America and Europe can use the
power of our partnership to advance our ideals worldwide. President Bush will
continue our conversation when he arrives in Europe on February 21st. He is
determined to strengthen transatlantic ties. As the President said in his
recent Inaugural Address: "All that we seek to achieve in the world requires
that America and Europe remain close partners."
believe that our greatest achievements are yet to come. The challenges of a
post-September 11 world are no less daunting than those challenges that we faced
and that our forebears faced in the Cold War. The same bold vision, moral
courage and determined leadership will be required if we are again to prevail
over repression and intimidation and intolerance.
This obligation requires us to adapt to new circumstances -- and we are doing
that. NATO has enlarged not only its membership, but its vision. The
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe now operates not only on a
continent whole, free and at peace, but beyond Europe, as well. The agenda of
U.S.-EU cooperation is wider than ever, and still growing, along with the
European Union itself.
agree on the interwoven threats we face today: Terrorism, and proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction, and regional conflicts, and failed states and
have not always seen eye to eye, however, on how to address these threats. We
have had our disagreements. But it is time to turn away from the disagreements
of the past. It is time to open a new chapter in our relationship, and a new
chapter in our alliance.
America stands ready to work with Europe on our common agenda -- and Europe must
stand ready to work with America. After all, history will surely judge us not
by our old disagreements, but by our new achievements.
The key to our future success lies in getting beyond a partnership based on
common threats, and building an even stronger partnership based on common
opportunities, even those beyond the transatlantic community.
can be confident of our success in this because the fair wind of freedom is at
our back. Freedom is spreading: From the villages of Afghanistan to the
squares in Ukraine, from the streets in the Palestinian territories to the
streets of Georgia, to the polling stations of Iraq.
Freedom defines our opportunity and our challenge. It is a challenge that we
are determined to meet.
First, we are joining together to encourage political pluralism, economic
openness and the growth of civil society through the broader Middle East
The flagship of that initiative is the Forum for the Future -- a partnership of
progress between the democratic world and nearly two-dozen nations, extending
from Morocco to Pakistan. The Forum's mission is to support and accelerate
political, economic and educational reform. Its first meeting in Rabat last
December was a great success.
Beyond this bold initiative for reform, in which America and European efforts
are fused, we also work in parallel. The European Union has a decade-long
experience with advancing modernization through the Barcelona Process.
Individual EU member-states have also been working for years to nurture the
attitudes and institutions of liberal democracy in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
And it is not just our governments that are promoting freedom. American- and
European-based non-governmental organizations devote huge efforts to the reform
Our people exemplify the values of free society as they work in their private
capacities. Our societies, not just our governments, are advancing women's
rights and minority rights.
Our societies, not just our governments, are making space for free media, for
independent judiciaries, for the right of labor to organize. The full vitality
of our free societies is infusing the process of reform, and that is a reason
Just as our own democratic paths have not always been smooth, we realize that
democratic reform in the Middle East will be difficult and uneven. Different
societies will advance in their own way. Freedom, by its very nature, must be
homegrown. It must be chosen. It cannot be given; and it certainly cannot be
imposed. That is why, as the President has said, the spread of freedom is the
work of generations. But spreading freedom in the Arab and Muslim worlds is
also urgent work that cannot be deferred.
Second, we must build on recent successes by stabilizing and advancing
democratic progress in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Last October, the people of
Afghanistan voted to set their country on a democratic course. And just nine
days ago, the people of Iraq voted not just for a government, but for a
All of us were impressed by the high voter turnout in Iraq. Each ink-stained
finger belonged to a man or a woman who defied suicide bombers, mortar attacks,
and threats of beheading, to exercise a basic right as a citizen.
There comes a time in the life of every nation where its people refuse to accept
a status quo that demeans their basic humanity. There comes a time when people
take control of their own lives. For the Iraqi people, that time has come. There is much more to do to create a democratic and unified Iraq; and the Iraqis
themselves must lead the way. But we in the transatlantic partnership must rise
to the challenge that the Iraqi people have set for us.
They have shown extraordinary bravery and determination. We must show them
solidarity and generosity in equal measure.
must support them as they form their political institutions. We must help them
with economic reconstruction and development. And we must stay by their side to
provide security until Iraqis themselves can take full ownership of that job.
Third, we are working to achieve new successes, particularly in the Arab-Israeli
diplomacy. America and Europe both support a two-state solution: An
independent and democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace with
the Jewish State of Israel.
And we all support the process of reform in the Palestinian Authority, because
democratic reform will enlarge the basis for a genuine peace. That is why we
were supportive of the Palestinian people in their historic election on January
And Europe and America support the Israeli Government's determination to
withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. We both see that withdrawal as
an opportunity to move ahead -- first to the roadmap, and ultimately, to our own
-- to our clear destination: a genuine and real peace.
are acting to transform opportunity into achievement. I have just come from
meetings with Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas. I was impressed with
the fact that they said the same thing: This is a time of opportunity and we
must not lose it. I urged them to build on this momentum, to seize this
chance. And today's meeting of the Palestinian and Egyptian Presidents, the
Israeli Prime Minister, and Jordan's King was clearly an important step forward.
The United States and the parties have no illusions about the difficulties
ahead. There are deep divisions to overcome. I emphasized to both sides the
need to end terrorism; the need to build new and democratic Palestinian
economic, political, and security institutions; the need for Israel to meet its
own obligations and make the difficult choices before it; and, the need for all
of us -- in America, in Europe, in the region -- to make clear to Iran and Syria
that they must stop supporting the terrorists who would seek to destroy the
peace that we seek.
Success is not assured, but America is resolute. This is the best chance for
peace that we are likely to see for some years to come; and we are acting to
help Israelis and Palestinians seize this chance. President Bush is committed. I am personally committed. We must all be committed to seizing this chance.
Next month in London, Prime Minister Tony Blair will convene an important
conference to help the Palestinian people advance democratic reform and build
their institutions. All of us support that effort.
And we will continue to share burdens that will one day soon, we hope, enable us
to share in the blessings of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, between
Israelis and all their Arab neighbors.
G8-Arab League meeting will also convene in Cairo next month. This meeting has
the potential to broaden the base of support for Middle East peace and
democracy. The Tunis Declaration of this past May's Arab Summit declared the
"firm resolve" of the Arab states to "keep pace with the accelerated world
changes through the consolidation of democratic practice, the broadening of
participation in political life and public life, and the reinforcement of all
components of civil society."
that resolve forms the basis of Arab participation in this meeting, only good
can come from it.
Our efforts in Lebanon also show that the transatlantic partnership means what
it says in supporting freedom. The United States and France, together,
sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1559. We have done this to accelerate
international efforts to restore full sovereignty to the Lebanese people, and to
make possible the complete return of what was once vibrant political life in
The next step in that process should be the fourth free democratic election in
the region -- fair and competitive parliamentary elections this spring, without
Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and
throughout all of the broader Middle East and North Africa, the nature of the
political conversation is changing. Ordinary citizens are expressing thoughts
and acting together in ways that they have not done before. These citizens want
a future of tolerance, opportunity, and peace -- not of repression.
Wise leaders are opening their arms to embrace reform. And we must stand with
them and their societies as they search for a democratic future.
Reformers and peacemakers will prevail in the Middle East for the same reason
the West won the Cold War: Because liberty is ultimately stronger than
repression and freedom is stronger than tyranny.
Today's radical Islamists are swimming against the tide of the human spirit. They grab the headlines with their ruthless brutality, and they can be brutal. But they are dwelling on the outer fringes of a great world religion; and they
are radicals of a special sort. They are in revolt against the future. The
face of terrorism in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, called democracy "an evil
principle." To our enemies, Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite are also evil
principles. They want to dominate others, not to liberate them. They demand
conformity, not equality. They still regard difference as a license to kill.
But they are wrong. Human freedom will march ahead, and we must help smooth its
way. We can do that by helping societies to find their own way to fulfill the
promise of freedom.
can help aspiring societies to reduce poverty and grow economically through
sound development strategies and free trade. We must be aggressive and
compassionate in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other infectious diseases
that tear families apart, destroy individuals and make development of whole
Ultimately, we must learn how to put developing states on the path to
self-sustained growth and stability. After all, it is one thing to fix a
sanitation plant or to repair a schoolhouse; it is another to establish the
essential components of a decent society: A free press, an independent
judiciary, a sound financial system, political parties, and genuine
Development, transparency and democracy reinforce each other. That is why the
spread of freedom under the rule of law is our best hope for progress. Freedom
unlocks the creativity and drive that produces genuine wealth. Freedom is the
key to incorruptible institutions. Freedom is the key to responsive
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a time of unprecedented opportunity for the
transatlantic Alliance. If we make the pursuit of global freedom the organizing
principle of the 21st century, we will achieve historic global advances for
justice and prosperity, for liberty and for peace. But a global agenda requires
a global partnership. So let us multiply our common effort.
That is why the United States, above all, welcomes the growing unity of Europe. America has everything to gain from having a stronger Europe as a partner in
building a safer and better world. So let each of us bring to the table our
ideas and our experience and our resources; and let us discuss and decide,
together, how best to employ them for democratic change.
know we have to deal with the world as it is. But, we do not have to accept the
world as it is. Imagine where we would be today if the brave founders of French
liberty or of American liberty had simply been content with the world as it was.
They knew that history does not just happen; it is made. History is made by men
and women of conviction, of commitment and of courage, who will not let their
dreams be denied.
Our transatlantic partnership will not just endure in this struggle; it will
flourish because our ties are unbreakable. We care deeply about one another. We respect each other. We are strong, but we are strongest when we put our
values to work for those whose aspirations of freedom and prosperity have yet to
Thank you for your attention.
I'm Benjamin Barnier (ph), a student in journalism here. My question is very
simple. Iraq Shiites want Islam to be the only source of legislation. Do you
think it's a positive thing? And if not, what do you think the coalition can do
in order to keep a separation between the states and religion?
Secretary Rice: Thank you very much for the excellent question. I believe that
the Iraqi people will now engage in an intensely political process. They have
elected new leaders, the government will be appointed, and then they will have
to use this opportunity to find institutions and means to bring all of the
elements of Iraqi society together, that is Shia, and Kurds, and Sunnis, and Turkoman and other minorities as well.
The democratic process is a process of overcoming differences peacefully. And I
believe that everything that we're reading from the Shia, who are the majority
in the country and who have probably done extremely well in these elections, is
that they understand their responsibility not to do to their fellow Iraqis what
was done to them by those who had them live in tyranny and fear. They have
talked about reaching out to the Sunnis. They have talked about reaching out to
think that you will see them come to terms with the fact that there are
different religious traditions, different political traditions, different ethnic
groups in Iraq, that all now will have to be in a unified Iraq.
was heartened by some of the statements of some of the Shia that they understand
that a theocratic government, or a clerical government, would be unacceptable to
the vast majority of the Iraqi people. And so they will find a proper role for
Islam in their future. Many societies have done that and have done it still
with democratic institutions in place.
What we must understand is there is no inherent conflict between Islam and
democracy. These two can exist side by side, as they do, for instance, in
Turkey. And I am quite sure that whatever role Islam comes to play will be one
that is tolerant of other religious traditions; that recognizes that there are
many other groups in Iraq who do not wish to see anything approaching a
theocratic state. The Iraqis have no tradition of it, and I expect that they
will come to a conclusion that will surprise us all in how well they do it.
will be hard. And let me assure you, there will come a time when they are
negotiating and discussing when we're going to wonder if it's all going to break
down and will they get there? That's just the political process. After all,
there were times in our own political process in 1789 that a few of our founders
threatened to walk out of the Constitutional Convention. So I think the Iraqis
will get past this period and they will create a democratic and unified Iraq.
Moderator: Thank you. Another question from a student.
Good afternoon, Madame Secretary. My name is Ann Gavaeneau (ph) and
I'm a fifth-year student in the Master of Public Affairs. And my question is
the following: What is the American position on the form multilateralism should
adopt in the future? For instance, do the United States consider it more
appropriate to act through regional or ad hoc coalition such as the Caucus of
Democracy Madeleine Albright launch in Poland, then to use the United Nations
means of actions?
Secretary Rice: Thank you very much. We have
to use all the means at our disposal. The United States is a founding
member of the United Nations. We want the United Nations to be strong and
active and effective. And we have taken many issues to the United Nations. For instance, the United Nations was instrumental and incredibly important in
providing the resolution that now allows us to bring attention to what is
happening in Lebanon in terms of Syria.
The United Nations has been critical in providing the mandate for the coalition
forces that are now in Iraq as a part of a multinational force there to support
the Iraqi people. The United Nations, and I must say that Mr. Valenzuela and
Mrs. Pirelli of the United Nations did a wonderful job in assisting the Iraqis
in their election. They were very active in Afghanistan. So on and on and on,
the United Nations is both an important decision-making body and an important
means for carrying out those decisions.
There are also other important fora. Sometimes we can do things through NATO. Sometimes we can do things through the OSCE. And increasingly, it is a good
thing when ad hoc coalitions of countries get together on a regional basis
because they have some particular interest. I'll give you three quick examples.
One is, the United States and Russia, China, South Korea, Japan are engaged with
North Korea in the six-party talks, because those are the regional neighbors who
most want to be sure that there is not a nuclear-armed Korean Peninsula.
That's an example of an ad hoc arrangement for a regional problem. A problem,
by the way, that could have very big international implications, but where the
neighborhood is trying to manage it.
second example is that at the very beginning of the tsunami -- when the tsunami
hit, the United States, Japan, India and Australia, which had navies in the
area, formed a core group so that we could use that naval -- those naval assets
to make sure that, at the very beginning, aid was getting to the affected areas
of the tsunami.
And a third example is a very large coalition, ad hoc group, called the
Proliferation Security Initiative, to which France belongs, which is an effort
to interdict dangerous cargos related to weapons of mass destruction, using our
international laws, using our national laws.
we have great respect for and want to use the United Nations and the Security
Council. But there are times when other mechanisms are equally important. I
think we will need to be judged by how effective we are, not just by the forms
that we use.
Moderator: Thank you. You can, of course, ask questions in French.
(Via Female Interpreter)
Good afternoon, Madam Secretary. I am the president of the
Council of Democratic Muslims in France. As a French citizen, originated from
Bagram, I'd like to -- here we have a few people from left and right, who live
democracy, and we know them, we love them because they speak sincerely. If you
put yourselves in the position of an Arab -- French or American -- he lives in a
Western country. He lives democracy. He lives his freedom.
you think for a single moment when going around the Arab world or Muslim world,
is there one single country, one country, Madame Secretary, where freedom of
expression or democracy is respected? When President Bush tells us, I am here
to free the world from tyranny, theocracy, dictatorship, every Arab dreams,
dreams of this feeling of finding himself again in a country that you want to
build for them.
Unfortunately, and my question is: Is there a single Arab or Muslim country,
which deserves to be defended by Bush and by America? Is there a single Arab
country, which is making an effort? Please allow the Secretary to respond.
(Via Female Interpreter) Yes, good afternoon. I'm the President of the French
Council of Muslims, and I'd like to understand, as a citizen myself of a
democratic country. And here we have a lot of political people from the left and
the right, political people, which I, who I represent -- sorry -- whom I like
and know because they speak the truth. Is there one single Arab country; is
there one single Arab country in the world, which really deserves to be defended
by the President Bush?
Secretary Rice: Well, it was somewhat longer than that, I believe, and I
understand. Let's talk about the Arab people. The Arab people deserve a better
future than is currently in front of them. This is a part of the world in which
the status quo is not going to be acceptable.
You have large populations that are not receiving proper education. As the
report to the United Nations by Arab intellectuals noted, you have 22 countries
that have a GDP that is not the size of Spain. This is just not acceptable for
a culture -- the Arab cultures -- that were, in many ways, part of the cradle of
civilization. How can this be?
And so the freedom deficit, the absence of freedom, has had very dramatic,
negative effects in this part of the world. And unfortunately, we in the West,
for too long, turned a blind eye to that freedom deficit.
When the President spoke at Whitehall in London, he talked about 60 years of
trying to buy stability at the expense of freedom, and getting neither. And
what we have gotten instead, is a level of hopelessness that has produced an
ideology of hatred so virulent, so thorough, that people flew airplanes into
American buildings on a fine September morning; blew up a train station in
Madrid; people in another part of the world from another tradition, but the same
ideology of hatred, that took helpless children hostage in Russia. This can't
be the future of the Middle East.
And so both our security and our moral conscience tell us that this is a part of
the world that can no longer be isolated from the prosperity and human dignity
that freedom brings. And so it is not what President Bush defends; and
certainly, I want to be very clear.
I said earlier, this is not an issue of military power. This is an issue of the
power of ideas, of the power of being able to support people in those societies
who are just tired of being denied their freedom.
And so this is a great goal, not just for the United States, but for all of us
who are fortunate enough to live on the right side of freedom because in each
and every case, for all of us, somebody cared enough about human dignity and
human liberty to make a stand in our past. Our ancestors did.
And that's why we all enjoy the liberty and freedom that we do. And sometime in
the past, others stood up for us so that we could defeat tyranny and we could
live in freedom. And we simply have to do the same thing for the people of the
Middle East who are seeking a different future.
Moderator: Thank you. We have a question on the
(Inaudible) company and lecturer at this institute.
Madame Secretary, I would like to ask you a question about chemical and
biological proliferation because we are lacking a multilateral system similar to
the imperfect, but at least existing, system in the nuclear field with the IAEA
and with the NPT.
And here, what steps do we intend to take to have multilateral verification
systems on chemical and biological weapons? Knowing that all these efforts have
been -- have stalled since the beginning of your Administration four years ago?
Secretary Rice: Thank you. In fact, we have been very active in trying to deal
with the problems of chemical and biological weapons. But as you know, it's not
You mentioned the problem of verification. The problem of verification is
particularly severe and difficult with biological and chemical weapons because,
very often, the very same means that one uses to make a biological weapon or a
chemical weapon can be for completely innocent means, so-called dual-use
projects -- products, so that, for instance, the chlorine that can be used to
purify a swimming pool can also be the basis for a chemical weapon; the same
laboratory that can be used to find a cure for cancer can be used to make
biological weapons. And these are made in very small spaces that can be easily
is especially difficult when you are dealing with very closed states that are
making an effort to deceive and to prevent verification from taking place. I
have no doubt that verification, for most of the world, for European countries,
for the United States, for many of our friends and allies around the world, is
much less of a problem because, of course, these are open societies. And when
they declare that they are not going to build something, there is Le Monde or
the New York Times or somebody that is going to make certain that the
information gets out about what is being done. The problem is with closed,
dictatorial societies that are trying to deceive.
we have been party to the conventions and we have been active in the
conventions. We need to redouble our efforts to make certain that, for
instance, when we find some evidence that we believe points to biological or
chemical weapons programs that we are prepared to act to hold accountable those
states in which it's found.
It's a very serious problem. It is also a serious problem for terrorism because
biological weapons or chemical weapons would be much easier for a terrorist
organization. We in the United States experienced what just a little anthrax
could do. And so it is a very serious problem. It's a huge intelligence
problem given the closed nature of some of these societies, but we do have the
international conventions and we continue to work within them.
Moderator: As you may imagine, Secretary Rice has a very full schedule so we
have time for only one last question. Please, one short last question.
My name is Francois (Inaudible). I am teaching economics here in Science Po.
Moderator: Louder, please.
Let me ask you why you have chosen this very country to deliver your highly
Secretary Rice: Oh, thank you. (Laughter.)
Well, first of all, France has a great tradition of debate, of intellectual
ferment. This is a wonderful institution that fosters that debate. And it is
no secret that the United States and France have sometimes disagreed in the past
about how to proceed on a common agenda.
The good news is that while France and the United States have disagreed from
time to time, and everybody has paid attention to that, the United States and
France have continued to cooperate on a wide, wide range of efforts.
sometimes say that U.S.-French relations are far better in practice than they
are in theory, because if you look at what we do, we have done on Lebanon; if
you look at our cooperation in Afghanistan; if you look at the Kosovo work that
we've done earlier in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Balkans more generally; if
you look at the Proliferation Security Initiative -- I can go on and on and on
-- the fight against terrorism, the intelligence and law enforcement work that
we do together; this is a deep, broad, active relationship that is very
effective on behalf of world peace.
When we disagreed, we still disagreed as friends. And as long as we remember
that we have not just common values but a common future built on those values, I
think we are going to see an even stronger relationship, if you will, a kind of
rebirth of energy in the U.S.-French and the U.S.-European relationship because
we have great things ahead of us.
I could just close with a personal reflection in this regard, I was lucky enough
in 1989, and by the way, I said in my speech at one point it was my first visit
to Paris -- my first visit to Paris was actually in 1979 on my way to language
training in Russia. And I love coming here.
But I was here in 1989 for the bicentennial; it was a remarkable year. And I
was lucky enough to be the White House Soviet Specialist at the end of the Cold
War, so I got to participate in the liberation of Eastern Europe, the
unification of Germany, the beginnings of the peaceful breakup of the Soviet
Union -- things that I never thought I would see, let alone have a chance to
you know, I realized that I was just lucky enough to be harvesting good
decisions that had been taken in 1946 and in 1947 and in 1948 and in 1949, when
those leaders, at the end of World War II, faced a dizzying array of threats --
strategic threats -- to the progress of freedom and liberty.
When you think about the fact that in 1946, much of Europe lay in ruins and
there were real concerns about the importation of communism into Europe from the
Soviet Union; if you think about, in 1947, there were civil wars in Greece and
Turkey; in 1948, we experienced the Czechoslovak crisis and the collapse of that
democratic government; in 1948, the Berlin crisis split Germany for what seemed
to be permanently; in 1949, the Soviet Union exploded a nuclear weapon five
years ahead of schedule and the Chinese communists won the civil war.
Now, how did they do it? How did they form NATO? How did they support a united
Europe? How did they move forward on an agenda that 50 years later produced the
circumstances in which Germany could be unified, the rest of Europe could be
freed of tyranny, and we could be talking about a NATO that includes not just
France and Germany and the United States, but Poland and the Czech Republic and
Slovakia and the Baltic States? How did they do it?
They did it because they remained united as an alliance of values. And I know
it looks really hard to talk about the spread of freedom and liberty into places
where it has never been. I know it looks really hard when we see the pictures
from Iraq of the suicide bombers to think that the Iraqi people are going to
build a free and stable democratic state. I know it looks hard when we look at
Afghanistan and how far it has to go. But this last month or so, little more
than that, has been something else.
How could you not be impressed with the Rose Revolution in Georgia and the
Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the Palestinian people going to elect a leader
who says that it is time to give up the armed Intifadah and live in peace with
Israel? And how could you not be impressed by the Afghans, really, in a very
underdeveloped society standing along dusty roads to vote where women who used
to hide their faces and couldn't even have medical care without a male relative;
and now they stand and they vote and they run for office? And how could you not
be impressed with the Iraqi people and their facing down fear?
much is changing in our world. So much is changing in the Middle East. And if
we, in this great alliance, put our values and our efforts and our resources to
work on behalf of this great cause, we've only just begun to see what freedom
Thank you very much.