Secretary Clinton Meets Wth Embassy Personnel and Their Families

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Chief of Mission Residence
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
August 10, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress) here is expanded. We have already seen the benefit of your hard work to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. We are enrolling more than a million children in educational programs (inaudible) include governance and promotion of human rights as well as (inaudible) humanitarian assistance, and to assist American citizens and American businesses in providing the (inaudible) that is necessary.

We’re going to be asking a lot of you because we think that there is a lot we can do together (inaudible) this country, not only government-to-government, but people-to-people. So I really welcome your ideas. (Inaudible) our State Department website, my Secretary website, and offer your suggestions and (inaudible) with any ideas that you think we ought to be considering.

I’m working hard to increase the funding for State Department and USAID. We’re also beginning to address the disparity in pay between officers who serve overseas and officers who serve in Washington. We’re going to keep accountability in pay as a top priority in trying to resolve that disparity once and for all.

President Obama and I, along with (inaudible) thank you, and we thank our Congolese partners who work at this mission. And we are very intent on realizing the promise of a stronger U.S.-Congolese partnership.

I’m also well aware as I travel around the world now (inaudible) 16 and a half years, how hard it is to do these trips. When somebody like me drops in, it takes a lot of work in addition to everything else that you are doing. And I want to (inaudible) I know what goes in to a trip like this.

But I’m also well aware of (inaudible) that I think certainly should be followed in this case, and that’s a wheels-up party. When I finally leave the territory of the DRC and I become the responsibility of your counterparts in Nigeria, you all deserve to (inaudible) because I know how difficult it’s been to make all the arrangements. (Inaudible) work, and it’s work that is important and consequential, and work we literally would not (inaudible) without your leadership and your commitment to opening this relationship (inaudible).

Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)

PRN: 2009/T11-52