Remarks After Meeting on the Adoption of a UNSC Resolution to Combat Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

Hillary Rodham Clinton
   Secretary of State
Susan E. Rice
   U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York City
September 30, 2009

AMBASSADOR RICE: Good morning. It’s my great pleasure to introduce to you somebody who needs no introduction, our tremendously distinguished Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who chaired this morning a historic session of the United Nations Security Council. I’m extremely grateful for her leadership and her partnership in this and in so many other ways. And I will give her to you in just a second.

I will apologize for having to leave. I am in the middle of chairing a Council session and consultations on Guinea, and I expect to come back in my capacity as president to brief you on the results of that subsequently. The Secretary of State.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you so much, Ambassador Rice. And I want to reiterate my appreciation for your tremendous leadership here, the entire U.S.-UN mission. We thank you for presiding over the Security Council with such distinction this month and for this last week of work that you helped organize for the President, for myself, and for our Administration.

I was very honored to chair the Security Council today on an issue that is of critical importance. As I have said many times over many years, the role and rights of women in today’s world is a critical core concern of foreign policy. It is national security. Of course, it has a moral and human and social and economic dimension. But the more we know about conflicts, the more we realize that women who do not start conflicts are often the victims. But women have tremendous potential for being peacemakers and peacekeepers. So we will do more to prevent violence against women and girls, particularly sexual violence, as we focused on in the resolution today. But we will also do more to end the conflicts that have made women and children their primary victims and women have to be at the table in ending those conflicts and charting new courses for their societies. So I’m particularly grateful to the Secretary General and the Security Council for taking up this important matter.

I look forward to working to make sure that we coordinate efforts, we have mechanisms that will really produce results. This is not about duplication, this is about a commitment that will actually produce the kinds of actions that all of us know are needed. So with that, let me throw it open.

QUESTION: I want to ask you about a letter that you might have received from Foreign Minister Kouchner from France about the extradition of film director Roman Polanski, and if you did receive such a letter, the gist of what it requested.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have not seen the letter. I have read about the letter that, I think, both Minister Kouchner and perhaps, Minister Sikorski of Poland have sent. But this is a matter that is not before me. This is a matter that is in the justice system of our government. And I will, of course, respond and answer any questions that my counterparts have, but this is a matter to be dealt with in the ordinary course of law enforcement and justice in the United States.


QUESTION: I wanted to ask you about Mr. Goldstone’s report, which was released yesterday in Geneva, and since you’ve mentioned about impunity, don’t you think the same principles should apply to the Palestinians who live in Gaza facing Israel’s actions? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. We believe that the mandate for the Goldstone report was one-sided, and that many of the recommendations are appropriately dealt with by the institutions within Israel; therefore, we believe that the appropriate venue within the international system is the Human Rights Council. We and other nations will be engaged about that, but we have grave concerns about the recommendations.


QUESTION: What role would you like members of the Colombian Supreme Court – Court of Justice in the next coming days – what are your issues regarding – or your interest regarding this meeting?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not aware that I will be personally meeting. But I believe there may well be, if there is such a meeting, others within our government, including from the State Department. We have worked very closely over many years with the Colombian Government to support the people of Colombia in their struggle against both the narco-traffickers and the drug cartels, as well as the continuing insurgency by the FARC. We are always evaluating what needs to be done. And we also offer, we hope, constructive advice whenever possible to assist the Colombian Government and the Colombian people.

Yes, yes. Yes, right there. Yeah, yeah.

QUESTION: Hello, Madame, how are you? Iran seems unwilling to step down from its position that it will not suspend enrichment of uranium. Are you – on the eve of these talks, are you at all considering any such formula to step down from your demand of suspension of uranium in order to make these talks in Geneva go forward? What is your message on the eve of these talks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am certainly looking forward to the talks commencing in Geneva. We have made it very clear, through the P-5+1 and also through bilateral approaches to Iran, that we support what the international community has said with a unified voice. The P-5+1 statement that we issued last week here in the United Nations clearly set out the dual tracks that we are proceeding on.

On the one hand, Iran has a choice – to comply with its international obligations – and that would mean not only offering inspection, but ending its activities absent the kind of monitoring and supervision that would guarantee that what they’re doing is solely for peaceful purposes, and the alternative track, which is greater isolation and international pressure.

I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of this meeting which has not yet started, but we obviously are doing everything we can with others in the international community to make the choices to Iran very clear.

Thank you all. Thank you all very much.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a United Nations matter.

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PRN: 2009/T12-37