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Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion

Inaugural Meeting of Members of the Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion


Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
November 6, 2006

(10:00 a.m. EST)


SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, thank you very much, Dean Slaughter, Anne-Marie, for your willingness to chair this committee, and thank all of you for being willing to serve on this group of experts. I felt very strongly that this is such an important part of the agenda before us over the next generation perhaps, that is, to help to create throughout the world a network of well governed, democratic states, that it would be very useful to have a standing group that would help us to think about the issues of democracy promotion, to from time to time give us constructive criticism on what it is that we're doing, as well as constructive suggestions about what more we might do.

I don't think that there is any doubt that the world has seen a forward march of democracy. You simply look around the world and the number of democratic states has clearly grown over the last decades, and grown in large measure to changes in the geostrategic circumstances, for instance with the collapse of the Soviet Union. I think there is also no secret that it has been from time to time a bumpy ride for the creation of new democracies and their well-being. But in the period since September 11th, I would also argue that there is no doubt that America has begun to recognize the inextricable link between our security and our values, our interests and our values, around the world. It is, I think, a link that we have always understood, perhaps in Asia, in Europe, but perhaps have not pursued as aggressively as we might have, for instance, in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, let me just stipulate that I believe strongly and the President believes strongly that when democracy is on the march America is safer, and when democracy is in retreat America is more vulnerable. Now, saying that does not mean that it is the role of America to "impose democracy" around the world. In fact, I reacted a little bit strongly to that notion because I don't actually think you have to impose democracy. I think you have to impose tyranny. If you ask people, "Do you want to live in a society in which you have some say in who will govern you, in which you can educate your children, both boys and girls, in which you can speak your conscience, in which you can worship freely, in which you can associate to promote your interests, the sort of basics of democracy," most people will say yes.

And we're learning around the world that most people will say yes whether they are sophisticated and literate or whether or not they are poor farmers from the outback of Afghanistan, who stood along dusty roads for hours upon hours upon hours just to cast a vote to have a say in their future. And so I think we ought to put aside forever this notion that you have to impose democracy. Again, I think you have to impose tyranny.

But that does not mean that supporting democracy and helping to promote democracy and helping to work with those indigenous forces that want democracy is an easy task. It is obviously the case that even if people hold very dear in their hearts the desire to be free, it is still quite a challenge to get from that desire to be free to working governmental and nongovernmental institutions that can be the core of helping people to realize those dreams.

Now, we've spoken therefore about this as a generational challenge, and I don't think that there is any doubt that it is. Democratic processes are also not straight lines. They are prone to fits and starts. They are prone to reversals from time to time. And there is no doubt that there are determined enemies of young democracies who would do everything that they can to undo them.

Now, we take a broad view of democracy promotion and I hope that you will take a broad view of democracy promotion as well. It does not mean, as some have said or have accused us of believing, just elections. Elections are obviously one step in the democratic process. I will say that it's hard for me to imagine a democratic process without elections, but it is not to say that elections are the only or perhaps even the most important element of the democratic process.

It is also important to work toward the protection of basic human rights and freedoms. Sometimes in societies that are just emerging from an authoritarian or totalitarian past, this may be the first -- these may be the first most important steps toward building a framework in which democratic institutions can take place, to insist on individual liberties, to insist on human freedoms, to insist on religious freedom. And I think you will find if you look at American policy around the world that the work that Barry Lowenkron, for instance, does through our Democracy and Human Rights and Labor Bureau is very often to go to places even where there is not yet a free political system and to advocate on behalf of human rights and religious freedom as a sort of wedge into issues that will later lead to democracy.

Obviously it's also very important to help states develop the capacity to govern effectively and transparently and accountably because we recognize that if this is not in place, then after elections there is always a risk of a return to authoritarian practices. It is also important to support the development of a vibrant civil society, because as important as governmental institutions can be, they need to be checked both by civil society and by a free press. I'm an old Soviet hand, as you all know, and that makes me something of a dinosaur I guess, but going back to those days it's perhaps not well understood that one of the first breaks in the authoritarian character of Soviet politics as Gorbachev came into power was actually the rise of civil society around issues of the environment. The first really important civil society group in the Soviet Union was in 1986 concerning the pollution of Lake Baikal. And that became a bit of a nugget to move forward the democratic or the first perestroika and of course later on the collapse of the Soviet Union. But it just says that it is important to have civil society vibrant and able to advocate on behalf of citizens.

Finally, let me just say that as we are trying to help states to become well governed so that they can deliver on their democratic promises, we understand to that it cannot be separate or separate from the well-being of the population, from economic development, from the ability to deliver benefits to the population. In so many places around the world we see democracies come into being; they then have difficulty delivering because one of the things that democracies tend to do is when people have voted they seem to expect that there is going to be change, and when that change doesn't come there is sometimes frustration and a tendency to blame democracy. And frankly, I think that we have been trying in our -- the way that we talk about these issues to talk also about democracy and development. One reason that we have restructured our foreign assistance programs is that we really do want to be able to concentrate on good governance, democratic governance, but also the ability of democratic states to deliver for their populations.

The last point that I'll make is that the challenge of promoting democracy, supporting democracy, sustaining democracy around the world is not something that the U.S. Government can do alone. Many of you around this table are representatives of institutions that have an equally important role in the promotion and sustaining of democracy as the U.S. Government. I look to my left and I think about the extraordinary role that American universities have and can play, have played and can play, in bringing students to the United States and sending American students abroad, in helping to lay some of the foundations for democracy and for the people-to-people contacts that really the U.S. Government can only do a fraction of.

And of course I look around and there are people from important nongovernmental institutions that have an extraordinarily important role to play in helping civil society to develop in these countries, because you know best how civil society functions.

This is not an easy task and it is a long-term generational task. But I am quite certain that if we recognize that America can have a leading voice in promoting democracy if we do so from a perch that is humble and that recognizes our own struggles with democracy; that people will be receptive to that message. Very often now when I go to give a speech about democracy, I will talk about our own struggles with democracy. I will remind that the United States, a now mature democracy, only actually guaranteed that all American citizens could vote during my lifetime with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I remind, too, that while our institutions were created to sustain, support and protect democracy, that they were initially institutions of a very limited franchise. But that over time, little by little, step by step, brick by brick, the United States has included more of its population in the democratic enterprise and that that is what is to be expected of those who are just beginning down the road to democracy.

Now to be sure this is a very -- an argument that one has to make carefully because you don't want it to seem as if it should take another 250 years for all people to enjoy the democratic enterprise. But it is a reminder to me on a daily basis when I see fits and starts, when I see an election that didn't go quite as we might have hoped, when I see that there is a reaction, a repressive reaction, to free elections that have taken place, it does remind me, as I said earlier, that this is not a straight line; it's a wavy line. But that essentially it's a line that is moving in the right direction, where the trend is in the right direction and where America has both an interest in and a moral responsibility to support and sustain what is after all the only form of government that really does preserve human dignity.

Thank you very much.

MS. SLAUGHTER: Thank you. We're going to move to the public part of the session and if I can ask people, as they ask questions, to introduce themselves when they ask a question. I will take the prerogative of the chair to ask the first one and I welcome your remarks.

One of the things I said this morning was that promoting democracy, the link between our values and our security, is an area where there is strong bipartisan consensus. You have often spoken of how we live now in a time that is akin to the time after World War II where America is rethinking its basic security and I would suggest that then there was broad agreement over a number of years on the value of containment. Today there is broad agreement on the critical importance of promoting democracy in ways that will take a generation.

My question to you is how you think about the international institutions to do this. Again, as in the late '40s, early '50s, the United States took the lead in building institutions that really did carry forward its work for a generation. And we have now, of course, the Community of Democracies that was created in the Clinton Administration and continued now in this Administration and I wonder if you would give us your thoughts, if you look forward five to ten years, what kinds of institutions you see that could help us carry this forward with the United States playing a leading role but not the only role.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much and it's an excellent question. I do believe that we need both to embed this democracy promotion and sustainment, I'll call it, in the institutions of the international system, perhaps pushing new ones like the Community of Democracies. I would be very interested as you review what we've done with the Community of Democracies if there is some way to institutionalize better within the community of democracies. We've had very good support, very good response to it. We're going to have a meeting in Mali which is a very interesting place to have it. But I don't think the Community of Democracies has yet reached its full potential either as a place that could have a real impact as an institutionalization of our commitment to democracy.

There are several regional efforts that are very interesting. The Hungarians have this center for the practice of -- for democratic practice in which they're trying to take their own experience and help that experience, in almost best-practices way, be spread to other places. That's another way to think is there some way to have more regional institutions that might do this. In its own way, because NATO is an alliance of democracies, it has perhaps had one of the most important effects on democratic development that I can think of. It became, with the European Union, a kind of magnet for states that wanted to become a part of the European architecture and it has a very positive effect on democratization in Europe.

The final point I'd make and would be very interested in your giving some more thought to this. You know, the United Nations ought to be a really fierce defender of democracy. Now I understand it's a member-state organization. I understand not every state within it is a democracy. But the universal charter is an instrument, or it is a statement, of the principles here that suggest the UN really ought to be a fierce defender of these principles. We've made some progress. The Democracy Fund that the President, with a number of other democracies, created in the UN two years ago – now -- no, 2005, so a little over a year ago. That fund has really taken off, some of the contributors to it, for instance, India, another great multiethnic democracy. And so within the UN system there may be more that can be done as well. But I agree with you completely, these need to be embedded in international institutions.

MS. SLAUGHTER: The floor's open. Yes, Carl.

MR. GERSHMAN: Well, first, Madame Secretary, thank you very much for really a very realistic overview, emphasizing both the gains of democracy but also the difficulties, the fact that it's going to be long term, the fact that people are going to be disappointed and so forth. Barry mentioned in the beginning when we got started, you always ask him about the trajectory in a country. And let me just say that I think the trajectory today in the world is not positive. I think we're in a bad period. I would go so far as to say that I think it's a more difficult period than at any time since the third wave got underway in the mid-1970s. It's a difficult period for a lot of reasons. You know, you mentioned the fact that people can be disappointed, the new democracies are not necessarily doing very well, the third wave has run out of steam. There have been reversals and backsliding in a number of countries. There are a lot of factors which press this and challenge our policy.

I want to raise with you one difficult question. When the U.S. gets involved in promoting democracy, obviously this is part of a lot -- our total foreign policy where we have many interests at stake. And there are countries with which we have very complex, multifaceted relationships which sometimes will do very bad things for democracy. I was very impressed two weeks ago today when you were in Moscow and you met with the son of Anna Politkovskaya and with the editors of Novaya Gazeta, Anna Politkovskaya's newpaper. And I think that was an important demonstration of solidarity in a country where we have a complex relationship. But as you know, and I think everyone knows, things are going very, very badly there. It's not just that they may want to close down international NGOs, which now they've backed off, but they're going after in a very harsh way, even as we speak, domestic NGOs. I mean immediately after Anna was murdered and before her funeral, they moved to close down the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, and then the courts actually ordered them closed that very week of her murder.

What can we do in the context of that complex relationship to really have an effect? I mean I think your presence there at the press conference with the son and editors was important, but there's so much more that has to be done to try to prevent an institution like that from being closed down. And they're just one of many that are in danger of that.

And also, just one other point, we also have a very complex relationship with Egypt. I mean we have obviously the Camp David process, the peace process, we're concerned about, you know, the victories of what -- or the showing -- important showing of Islamists in Egypt, in Palestine and so forth. And it is arguably true that the government in Egypt is using what they would call the threat of Islamists to close down democracy. And we -- in that complex relationship, you yourself, one of the speeches that was circulated to us was your speech at American University in Cairo in June of 2005 that came before the elections. Ayman Nour was a candidate in those elections. He is now in prison. I think it's going to be very, very hard for us as we go forward with this policy to have credibility in the region and elsewhere if we don't speak out constantly and strongly that he should not be in prison and that relations -- smooth relations are going to be very, very difficult as long as he is.

My question to you is what can we do in circumstances like this where we have these complex relationships and governments are undertaking provocative acts of backsliding and repression which make it very difficult not only for democracy to move forward but for democratic activists even to survive?

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. It's an excellent question Carl. And the first -- let me make an overall point, and the let me speak to specific cases. The first thing is that you simply can't let it fall off the agenda. You have to keep pressing the issues no matter how important other elements of the relationship may be. It is -- cannot be that we see a conflict in our policy between pressing democratic issues and continuing to work with a state on a whole range of other -- people might call them strategic interests. And I think we've tried very hard to send that signal. It's one reason that, for instance in Moscow, to meet with Novaya Gazeta is important.

Sometimes I think we, not just the U.S. Government but the international community as a whole, does have an effect. The NGO law in Russia was a law that we all worried a great deal about. We still worry about its implementation, but I think you can say that we did have some effect on how that law was drafted and some effect on how that law is being implemented. It is a daily issue for the people in the embassy. It's always an issue when I meet with the Russians of how it's actually being implemented. So I -- the first point is we can't let it become the fact -- the case that we do not raise these difficult issues just because we have other important work to do. That's the first thing.

The second thing is I think if we are persistent, we can sometimes have an effect. It may not especially in big countries, may not always be the overwhelming effect that we would like to have, but I think we can have an effect. I'm watching a couple of things in Russia. I'm watching, for instance, what becomes of individual freedoms in Russia, because clearly one of the problems has been that the institutions that one would hope that would separate power are not very strong, the legislature, the press, the judiciary. And so one issue to keep an eye on, one set of concerns is what's becoming of individual freedoms. Another set of concerns, when there are elections in Russia -- coming up presidential elections in Russia -- will there be an opportunity at all for the development of opposition? I think these are the kinds of things that we can pay attention to.

And furthermore, in a place like Russia, the emergence of a middle class, which is clearly is coming in Russia should give opportunities for the development of interest-based politics for people who have something to defend. And these are all things that I think your organization and NGOs can help with if they're allowed to do their work.

I want to speak specifically to the issue of Egypt, the sort of Middle East, and the Islamists. I don't believe that Egypt will ever go completely back to where it was in the wake of competitive presidential elections. This is one those steps forward and then some steps backward during the parliamentary elections. But the kind of open debate that took place in Egypt everywhere from in the press to cafés in Egypt, I'm told by people who are there. You don't ever really put that back in a bottle. And so continuing to try and nurture civil society there, which is stronger in Egypt than I had known -- I mean it's a more articulated set of institutions than I have known, longer standing, trying to support those is extremely important because I don't think they'll ever completed go back.

Now when something happens like Ayman Nour's arrest, we go right to the Egyptian Government about it. And I, in fact, raised it in Egypt during this latest trip. The one thing I think we can't fall prey to, fall victim to is the sense that because sometimes elections turn out differently than we might have hoped that then should back us away from the democratic enterprise. When Hamas won the election in the Palestinian Territories, we recognized that this was a legitimate election -- by all accounts it was free and fair -- but then talked about the responsibilities that Hamas had to govern. And among those responsibilities to govern is to be able to govern in a way that you can get the, Abu Mazen himself has called it, the international acceptability that it takes to get assistance and to provide for the Palestinian people. And that's where Hamas has failed.

Now the interesting point is that would we have ever seen Hamas confronted with that dilemma without elections and without their coming into government? Now to be sure, I think one can ask whether it is -- the international community should be more insistent that if you're going to be in politics you really do have to give up terror. In other words, you really do have to disarm. I think that's a point that we should discuss and look at.

But I'm not so sure that it is better to have these groups running the streets, masked, with guns rather than having them have to face voters and having to deliver. So when I am told well, you know, your Middle East policy has allowed Islamists to come to power, I think well, all right, so was the answer then that the people of the Middle East don't get to have a voice in who comes to power? What it really says is that there has been an underdevelopment in the Middle East of legitimate channels for political expression that would have produced moderate, centrist-leaning parties, and that has to be worked on. But to assume that you can somehow wait until you have those institutions and parties in place before you allow people to have a voice in their -- who's going to govern them, I think that, too, would be a mistake. So you're right, it's complex. But I see no alternative than to continue to press the democratic enterprise and to try and deal and mitigate against some of its most -- some downsides.

MS. SLAUGHTER: Thanks. Don Horowitz is next, but I if -- since I our time with the Secretary is limited, if I can just ask people to avoid what I know Secretary Rice will remember as MIRV'd questions.

MR. HOROWITZ: Well, I do want to say one word about Hamas in a minute, but I have a more general question, more general version of Carl's question. Before -- in the session prior to this one, Madame Secretary, and by the way, thank you very much for your remarks and for meeting with us. We all appreciate it. We were discussing how to train diplomats in democracy diplomacy, how to measure success of democratization efforts. But it seemed to me as we were talking about that that there's a prior question, and that's the question of doctrine, foreign policy doctrine. A question about where democratization fits in the whole ensemble of policy objectives that the United States has where inevitably there are tradeoffs. One can list many incompatible objectives, that is mutually incompatible objectives, the achievement of which would all be a good thing for the United States. But inevitably when an ambassador is out there or when a diplomat is out there, the ambassador or diplomat is confronted with what strategy and tactics are the appropriate ones and how to trade off one value against another. So I move to ask whether there is now a coherent doctrine of democratization as it fits into the total configuration of American foreign policy.

And then if I could just add the P.S. to the Hamas remark. Hamas was elected on an electoral system that probably was exactly the wrong electoral system for Palestine and that exaggerated the Hamas vote. And that's just my way of saying that details matter here, that one can't just stay democracy's good, there was a free election and they won. One needs to ask subsequent questions about how they won and whether the institutions were chosen were the appropriate ones and how the United States can, if at all, effect those details.

SECRETARY RICE: You're absolutely right, by the way, about the Hamas election. It also spoke to the inability of Fattah prior to the election to unite its list. So there is a great deal that was going on there.

In terms of doctrine, I think we've learned -- you're right. On any given day there may be a tactical tradeoff. Do you do this or do you do that? But I would call them tactical tradeoffs not tradeoffs in objectives because I think I can argue that unless you keep democracy front and center, recognizing that not every government is democratic and you have to deal with some that are not democratic and governments are at different places in their democratic journey, and you have to deal with them in different stages. But unless you keep it front and center, you run the risk of being considered on -- in the broader sense hypocritical about what you're doing. And I really do think that much to the concern of a lot of places around the world, we may be seen as being too much -- having too much of a doctrine in this way of being too true to our doctrine, not willing enough to make "compromises" on that doctrine.

I know when you sit back and you look at this decision or that decision or this tradeoff or that tradeoff, you say, oh, well, the United States is going back and forth, it doesn't -- but I think when you go out into the world, if anything people will say, well, it's America and her democracy promotion. And we know that there are actually states that go out and say, you know, we won't bother you about those democracy issues that the United States bothers you about, which says to me that in fact we're pretty consistent on this for a big set -- big, complicated set of relationships.

Now, the reason that I said I don't think you can skimp on this, Anne-Marie mentioned the end of World War II. I still think that the best argument for what we're trying to do really does come from the end of the World War II. When you think of what we tried to do at the end of World War I, it was to rearrange the balance of power. That's what we tried to do. We had defeated the axis powers and we tried to rearrange the balance of power in a way that would sustain peace. And there wasn't really very much interest in making the world safe for democracy really because the United States withdrew and there was very much more a balance of power view in Europe.

After World War II when the United States really then cared about what would Germany's internal character be, what would Japan's internal character be, we actually got a stable balance of power and the remarkable thing about NATO of course was it was created both to challenge Soviet power and to allow an umbrella for the democratization of Europe. This was an avowedly values-based policy and it's the one that stuck. It's the one that actually created a Europe where nobody believes there's actually going to be a war in Europe ever again and where nobody expects war out of Japan again. And I think that's the best argument that you shouldn't think of democracy as somehow the handmaiden of your foreign policy, but rather as the central pillar from which you can actually do all of these other things, including creating a balance of power that is stable. That's really how I think about it.

MS. SLAUGHTER: We have five more minutes and I've got three questioners, so I'm going to ask you to group your questions and then I'll let Secretary Rice respond. Richard Soudriette is first.

MR. SOUDRIETTE: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary, for your initiative on this committee. I just arrived back last night from Nicaragua. Coming from Oklahoma where we're familiar with people who are born again, it appears that the future president Daniel Ortega is -- at least is claiming that he has had a change of heart. The international workers hymn has been replaced with, "All we are saying is 'Let's Give Peace a Chance.'"

SECRETARY RICE: We'll see.

MR SOUDRIETTE: The point I -- I really liked what you were saying in terms of focus on long-term commitments, also on approach, that it can't just be a Made in America label. Reaching out for partnerships and engaging others is very important.

I guess one of the big issues that all of us who are working in this field -- NDI, IRI, IFES and others -- really confront is there seems to be too much of a focus on a specific event or a specific election and it's very important that we really start thinking in terms of a development process and focusing on strengthening the institutions of democracy and the process. And I think this is where the great work of AID comes in, that we really have got to not become so fixated on perhaps if one candidate that we might not like wins, but remaining engaged, helping to build up the institutions to the point where elections don't always trigger a national trauma and also to the point where civil society also can be strengthened. So I think you're on the right track in terms of a long-term focus, also on the importance of humility and the approach that we have because I think it's much richer and more effective as long as we work with others. So congratulations on your initiatives. Thank you.

MS. SLAUGHTER: Jennifer Windsor is next.

MS. WINDSOR: Thank you, Madame Secretary. Three quick points. One is it's the signal that is sent by the ebbs and flows of U.S. foreign assistance, and particularly assistance for democracy, and I see Ambassador Tobias is here. I just want to point out two regions that I think need a little bit more attention in this regard.

One is really the wholesale withdrawal of the United States foreign assistance from the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans on the hopes that the European Union will somehow miraculously take over a lot of the democracy programs and other efforts that have been funded there. I think it's not ready for withdrawal and I think the trends there are very disturbing and we will regret them.

Also, I think there are real opportunities to connect this area of the world to other areas of the world and we have always seen as part of the U.S. Government an emphasis only on country bilateral programs. And as you're restructuring foreign assistance, the importance of cross-border efforts, sharing of lessons learned, has to be preserved. It's one of the lessons I think we've learned from democracy promotion is sometimes the best thing that America can do is connect one country's practitioners with another.

And then the other region I want to point out is Africa. Africa in Freedom House's index is one of the most volatile regions in terms of gains and then losses, and it is also volatile in terms of American interest and democracy promotion, I would argue, starting from the Clinton -- second term of the Clinton Administration where there was a real shift in focus, I would argue, against -- away from democracy promotion in particular countries within Africa. If you look at the size of democracy programs in Africa, they are one-third the size of democracy programs that have been funded in Latin America and the former Soviet Union. And the question is why and whether that is is in fact the correct kind of strategy to try to promote the connection between democracy and development we were talking about.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.

MS. SLAUGHTER: And our final questioner is Ken Wallach.

MR. WOLLACK: Thank you. I join with others, Madame Secretary, in welcoming you and thank you for your time. I wanted to get back to one point that Donald Horowitz made and a point that you referred to because we'll be talking, I'm sure, about Islamist parties a lot in this group. And that is to differentiate between Islamist parties. The PJD in Morocco is quite different than the Muslim Brotherhood which is quite different from Islah in Yemen which joined with a secular party to compete in the last elections which is quite different with Hamas. And perhaps if a mistake was made in the elections in Palestine, it was that the authority, the Palestinian Authority and the international community did not demand an admission price for Hamas to enter the electoral process, to go through even a process that the IRA did in establishing Sinn Fein, now we're asking Hamas to pay an admission price in governance. Perhaps that price should have been paid before they entered the electoral process. And I think that was a price that was an appropriate price to demand for Hamas because ultimately elections is about a nonviolent struggle to achieve political ends, and to have candidacy requirements is, I think, appropriate for candidates to eschew violence or the advocacy of violence.

And finally, when we talked as you said about elections, let's not forget that in the Palestinian territories this was supposed to be the third election since 1996. So in a sense it may not have been that there were too many elections, that there were not enough elections, and perhaps there would have been a different type of transition that would have taken place in the territories if there had been regular elections where people could have expressed themselves over the last ten years.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thank you for those excellent comments. I don't find much that I -- with which to tangle or disagree or to even comment. I think the comments are very, very good.

Let me just take the kind of general point about moving past a specific election to institution building and the relationship of foreign assistance. And I think it also relates to this question of what's happening in the Middle East where you may not yet have the kind of infrastructure for moderate parties that needs to be built in those countries. And obviously this is an important continuum. You can't just have an election and leave these states to their own devices. They really do have to -- you have to help to build the institutions, you have to help to build the infrastructure.

We talk about well governed democratic states rather than just democratic states because if they are well governed they are more likely to sustain democracy than if they're not well governed. And I take the point about the former Soviet Union. You know, it is an issue of scarce resources and when states begin to graduate from certain kinds of assistance, and that's always a challenge for us in trying to determine when that comes.

One just on Africa though. You know, we have tripled development assistance to Africa. Tripled it.

MR. WOLLACK: Not democracy.

SECRETARY RICE: And -- well, but tripled development assistance to Africa and through something like the Millennium Challenge I think also given people a kind of marker out there as to what is expected in terms of the development of governance. And we do have some remarkably good leadership in Africa now and I think working with that leadership across the region -- this goes to the regional point -- across the region and even into other regions would be a very important step forward because I think in a funny sort of way, with our help Africa can begin to help Africa, which would be a very good step forward.

The final point I'd like to make is just that what Randy has done with our foreign assistance reform is to make it possible for us to ask a question like, "How much are we actually spending on democracy in said country and then in said region?" One of my frustrations in my first budget process here was I kept asking, "How much money are spending on democracy?" And nobody could tell me because it was in so many different accounts. USAID had part of it. State had part of it. There were little pieces here and little pieces there. And let alone ask a question like, "What is it we're trying to achieve in Mozambique, let's say? And what are our three top priorities in achieving that in Mozambique and how do our resources actually match up to what we say our three priorities are?" We didn't have that capability.

I think now we're building a system which allows us to ask those questions, allows us to better target our foreign assistance, because we have had dramatic increases in foreign assistance in this administration, we've doubled official development assistance. We now have a real obligation to make sure that that money is being spent against certain objectives and that over time those objectives are being met. And one of those objectives has to be helping to create well governed states that are not going to be for time immemorial dependent on foreign assistance. We want to graduate countries. We don't want to graduate them too soon, but we do want to graduate them. And I just want to say that I hope Randy will spend some more time with this group talking about some of the things that we've tried to do to make our foreign assistance more transparent to the leadership of the Department about what it is we are actually doing.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, before you go --

MS. SLAUGHTER: No, sorry. We are --

SECRETARY RICE: It's not the time to ask, James. You know that.

MS. SLAUGHTER: So I was about to thank you and tell you you've given us a great deal to chew on for the rest of the day. This concludes the public part of our group's deliberations. If the members of the committee would come forward for a photograph, and otherwise we are concluded. Thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: James, you'll get your chance.

2006/1004

Released on November 6, 2006

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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