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Colin L. Powell At UN Stakeout - On AIDS/HIV

Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release

June 25, 2001

Remarks by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell At a United Nations Security Council Stakeout

June 25, 2001 New York, New York

SECRETARY POWELL: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to be back at the UN, and especially on this special occasion when we're having this session on HIV/AIDS, one of the great challenges of our time. I am very pleased to have represented my government here, along with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. I congratulate the Secretary General and all his associates for causing this to come about today, and I congratulate them for all the hard work they have put into this.

I want to especially thank the governments of Uganda and Norway for the contributions they made this morning in the course of their presentations, and I hope many other nations will make contributions in due course. But as you heard in the course of the morning, it is not just nations; it's companies, it's private citizens, it's philanthropists, it's foundations, it's individual citizens, all coming forward to help with this new global fund but also beyond the global fund doing whatever one can within one's sphere of life and within one's government to help us deal with this problem in all of its many, many facets.

With that, I would be delighted to take a couple of questions before heading out.

Q: Two questions. First of all, you said in your talk that the 200 million from the White House should be considered seed money, and you said, "And more will come from the United States."


Q: Could you detail that? And the second one is, was it a coincidence or a deliberate timing that today the United States dropped its suit against Brazil?

SECRETARY POWELL: Coincidence on the second question. On the first question, I think it has always been clear that as we are able to, we would add more money to the trust fund as we went forward. This was a $200 million contribution that came within the existing budget planned for that fiscal year, so we had to find offsets, but I would expect that additional funds will be found in the future and appropriated for this purpose in the future.

Q: Will Brazil be taken off the trade watch list, the USTR trade watch list, or do they have to agree, like in the joint statement issued today, to have prior talks with the US before ever seeking a compulsory license?

SECRETARY POWELL: I just got the news about that, and I think I had better yield to my colleague, Bob Zoellick, in the US Trade Representative's office to handle that specific question.

Q: Mr. Secretary, how concerned are you about the reports of Iraqi troop movements into Kurdish areas of Iraq? And what, if anything, do you plan to do about it?

SECRETARY POWELL: I don't usually immediately start planning to do anything about press reports. I have seen nothing that causes me a heightened level of concern. But when I get back, in light of this press report, I will check and see if there is anything to be of concern about.

Q: Mr. Secretary, how is it that you would arrive at an agreement in the Security Council here on Iraq by next Tuesday? And what do you think when you talk about that the cease-fire can hold and move on to the negotiations, the political negotiations?

SECRETARY POWELL: Two questions, okay. On Iraq, I think the action that was taken almost a month ago was a very important one. It was a unanimous resolution which brought all of the members of the Security Council into political agreement that Iraq has to meet its obligations under the relevant UN resolutions, especially 1284. That was important because that political consensus had frayed in recent months.

Where the difficulty has arisen is that we have been unable to resolve the various technical issues with the list, and that has become quite a problem which all sides have been working out. We'll see how far we get with respect to the resolution of those list problems this week, and if no resolution is arrived at, then we will have to figure out what to do, how to extend the current situation and for how long. But I still have hope that perhaps we might be able to reach agreement on the list, but it has become a quite demanding and difficult task. The goods news, though, is that we do have political agreement on what Iraq has to do to comply with UN resolutions.

Q: Secretary Powell, going back to the AIDS issue, how possible is to actually achieve those time table goals, and how committed will be the Bush Administration to achieve the goals set by the --

SECRETARY POWELL: If the time table means by the first of next year, yes, I think that is quite doable. The fund is over half a billion and growing to a billion, with some of the contributions I heard about today. The Secretary General and I and Secretary Thompson talked about organizational arrangements, fiduciary arrangements, putting together the task forces to bring this all together. So I think it is quite achievable by the first of the year.

Q: How committed is the Bush Administration to actually --

SECRETARY POWELL: We are committed, just as the Secretary General is, to see if we can start showing results by the end of the year in terms of using the fund for the purposes it was intended for.

Q: Secretary Powell --

SECRETARY POWELL: Oh, I'm sorry, you had two questions. Forgive me. I'm getting old. I have to write it down.

You're talking about the cease-fire in --

Q: Are you taking any political ideas --

SECRETARY POWELL: The idea that I am taking to the region tomorrow night is the Mitchell Plan. There are no new proposals or new political plans. We have a plan that takes us through the entire situation. Cease-fire, cooling-off period, confidence-building measures, all parts of the confidence-building measures plan laid out by Senator Mitchell and his colleagues. Then that leads to negotiations in due course.

Right now, we are going through the George Tenet work plan, which hopefully will improve security coordination, calm things down to a level where the sides will agree to announce the beginning of the cooling-off period for the Mitchell Plan. I hope to have conversations with Prime Minister Sharon tomorrow in Washington and then again in the region later this week, and also with Chairman Arafat, to get their assessment of how the situation has developed and see how quickly we can move forward to an even lower level of violence, to the level that the sides say it's time to move into the Mitchell Plan. I am anxious to get into the Mitchell Plan, but that will be driven not by a calendar but by the events on the ground.

Q: Back to Iraq on elaboration of if there is no resolution by the 3rd, you mentioned a time period. Is it a one-month extension?

SECRETARY POWELL: Oh, I don't. We'll hear debate on that. I'd like to see a new resolution, but we'll just have to see. It's still a moving target, and there is going to be a discussion tomorrow in the Security Council, and we should hear that debate. We should hear what the different parties in the Security Council and others interested in this issue have to say about it. And I don't want to prejudge what the Council might do.

I really do have to catch a plane. Thank you.


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