Remarks on the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership

John Kerry
Secretary of State
New Delhi, India
June 23, 2013

AMBASSADOR POWELL: (In Hindi) Good evening. A very big thank you to all of you for joining us tonight for this very special occasion. It’s my pleasure to welcome Secretary Kerry back to India, and to recognize his 28 years of service as a senator, in which he played a very important role in promoting our U.S.-India bilateral relationship, including heading up a Congressional trade mission at the time our economic relations were starting to bloom, as well as an important voice both here in India and in the United States on behalf of the Civil Nuclear Agreement.

It is now my pleasure to welcome Secretary of State John F. Kerry. Thank you, sir. (Applause.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Good evening, everybody. I apologize for being a moment late. (In Hindi) And I’m happy to be here with everybody. Thank you. Ambassador Powell, thank you very much for a generous introduction. And most importantly, thank you for your leadership of our mission here, and for your commitment to strengthening the relationship between our two great nations.

It is a pleasure for me to be back. The Ambassador mentioned my previous trips here. It’s a great pleasure for me to be back here in Delhi, and to be surrounded by the special energy of this city, and to be reintroduced to the great architecture, the natural beauty, and to see familiar places and friends. I was just able to meet with my friend, Dr. Pachauri, Nobel Laureate, and we thank him for his extraordinary work. And thank you all for a warm welcome here.

On behalf of the United States, let me begin by expressing my condolences. I was reading the newspapers as we were coming in here, and I express my condolences for the tragedy that saddens us all, the heartbreaking loss of lives and of homes, the extraordinary act of these floods, of the deluge that stormed through the very beautiful Himalayan foothills in the state of Uttarakhand. And I want you all to know that our thoughts and prayers are very much with the families that are mourning and especially to those who still also have people missing. And the United States, through USAID, has provided an initial $150,000, not the hugest sum in the world, but it is a beginning in terms of help, and we will continue to provide help. And NGOs are helping families in remote areas that are affected by this disaster. And I promise you we stand ready to provide whatever additional assistance we can, or that your government decides that it needs.

Perhaps in some ways, it struck me reading the reports, that perhaps Mother Nature, in her own way, is telling us to heed some warnings, yet again. If you look at the United States, we see massive floods and fires and tornadoes. It’s a different time, and we’ll talk a little bit about that later.

Throughout time, poets, philosophers, and travelers of all types have come through here, and they have all have marveled at the diversity of your land, of your languages, your people and their talents. And when the great American writer Mark Twain visited here at the end of the 19th century, he called India the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. But I think you and I know that the real magic of India lies as much in the promising future, in the excitement about the future, as it does in any rich heritage.

I think the magic is found in the sense that I have every time I have returned to India. Every time I come here, I feel like I’m setting foot in a different country, certainly different from the one I was in before. Today’s India is very different from the one I last visited five years ago, and that was different than that I came to right in the aftermath of the 26/11 attack when I went to Mumbai. That was an India that was vastly different than the India of 10 years ago, and far different from the one that I saw that Nancy Powell referred to a moment ago, when I came here to Delhi and Mumbai and Bangalore nearly 20 years ago on what I believe was the United States Senate’s first Congressional formal trade delegation. And I came here in the early 1990s with a group of government leaders and Indian American businessmen very shortly after then-Finance Minister Singh set in motion historic economic reforms that would again change the trajectory of this dynamic country.

And it was about that time, I think, that India began to look very differently at its own place and its own evaluation of its future. And it began to gain a prominence in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region and the world. And that was when it began to adopt this notion of Look East, a Look East policy that would reshape the lens through which all of you would look at your own neighborhood.

Today, my friends, I believe that just as we are living in a changing world, so we cannot, and we must not, forget that we are living on, quite literally, a changing planet. To respond in a way that does justice to science and to facts, what we need actually is a policy that looks forward. To build on our common values and common interests and to seize the common possibilities that lie ahead of us, to do justice to our responsibility for history, for life itself, the world’s largest democracy and the world’s oldest democracy must do more together, uniting not as a threat to anyone, not as a counterweight to some region or to other countries, but unite as partners building a strong, smart future in a critical age.

Now, one of India and America’s strongest shared traditions is our love and our skill, our affection, for innovation. Indian Americans make up just one percent of our population in the United States, but they create eight percent of all the technology and engineering start-ups. Our two countries share a common DNA that compels us to look towards the horizon and think about the next generation. And if we’re going to fulfill our responsibility to those who follow us, which is, I think, a fundamental moral responsibility for everybody, then we have to tap into that tradition of ingenuity and initiative. And we have to work now, quickly, urgently, to write a history that is worthy of the future. It’s in our power. The question is, will we exercise it?

In no uncertain terms, that is why the partnership between India and the United States is in fact more important than ever. And I don’t just mean how our governments work together. That’s not what I’m saying. I mean how we, all of us, harness the energy of our entrepreneurs, our scientists, our students, our citizens, and we join together to build our nations, and at the same time meet the great challenges of our time. As the Hindi proverb asks, “Ek aur ek gyarah hote hei.” Did I get that right? (Applause.) “One and one make 11,” just for my friends over here. (Laughter.)

I am convinced that together, we are uniquely positioned and uniquely equipped to take on the toughest challenges of our time, challenges that regard opportunity, security, and don’t cringe when I say this, but it’s real: even survival. As we look forward to the dimensions that will actually define our relationship, it’s a relationship that President Obama has rightly said will define the next century. Those three challenges that I just talked about actually each present a question: What shape will the future of our economies take? What shape will the future of our security take? And in what condition will we leave the health of the fragile planet that we share?

The health of our planet, let me deal with that first, because the irreversible climate change that is speeding toward us, crying out for a global solution, is really the place to begin this conversation this evening. I have raised this concern in my travels as Secretary of State in every stop I have made, in the far reaches of the Arctic Circle, in sub-Sahara Africa, in Beijing, in Tokyo. For years, as Patch, as we call him fondly, Dr. Pachauri knows, I have been working on this in the United States, with others, where for over 20 years we all know we haven’t been able to do all that we want to do, for a number of different reasons. As you know, and as he said so eloquently so many times, President Obama is absolutely committed to ambitious change in order to meet this challenge, to work with our partners around the world, to help the most vulnerable, and to move toward a global compact, as he said, and as he said last week in Berlin, before it is too late.

From the hearings that I took part in with Al Gore back in 1987, the first hearings ever in the United States Senate on the subject of climate change, through the Rio Earth Summit that I attended, through Copenhagen, Kyoto, and many debates in between, I have watched in dismay while responsible people act irresponsibly, ignoring science and fact. This is an issue that is personal to the many people who’ve worked on it, like Dr. Pachauri, people who have invested time and reputation in order to try to get ahead of the curve.

I know that India is well aware of the grave threat that this global crisis poses. Yours is already one of the most severely affected nations. And unfortunately, the worst consequences of the climate crisis will confront people who are the least able to be able to cope with them. And I emphasize the imperative for us is to act forcefully and cooperatively on climate change, not because it’s about ideology, but because it is about science. And here in India, the home of so much of the history of science, we must recognize that today the science of climate change is screaming at us for action.

Just last month, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere passed a significant and frightening threshold, 400 parts of greenhouse gases per million, a level that has never before been experienced by man in terms of carbon. We are the first human beings ever to live in these conditions. And guess what? We got there faster than any scientist predicted that we would.

Just last week, the World Bank reported that within the next generation that same warming atmosphere could actually lead to widespread water and food shortages, historic heat waves, prolonged droughts, more intense flooding. And India, I regret to tell you, is a candidate, a prime target, for all four. India helps feed the world, producing much of its wheat. But extreme heat could actually cut in half yields of the most productive areas, wreaking havoc on global food prices.

The bottom line is, my friends, we don’t have time to waste. We have an urgent need to connect the dots here. When the desert is creeping into East Africa, and ever more scarce resources push farmers and herders into deadly conflict, where people are already, in parts of the world, fighting over water, then this is a matter of shared security for all of us. When we face major threats from extreme weather events of the kind that were predicted by climate science, including in my country, we all have to act. When the Himalayan glaciers are receding, threatening the very supply of water to almost a billion people, we all need to do better.

Now, I’ll say right up front I do understand, and I fully sympathize with the notion that India’s paramount commitment to development and eradicating poverty is essential. I understand that. And nothing that I advocate, nothing that we advocate, those of us who believe we can respond to this challenge, would shortchange that one iota. But we have to recognize that a collective failure to meet our collective climate challenge would inhibit all countries’ dreams of growth and development. All countries have a different and unique history and national circumstance. And heading off this crisis is going to depend on working together, and on each of us doing our part.

Here’s the good news. And there is good news. The good news is that if we do this right, it’s not going to hurt our economies; it actually grows them. It won’t deny our children opportunity; it will actually create new ones. The new energy market can be the biggest market ever seen on earth. It’s a $6 trillion market with 4 billion users. And its fastest growing segment by far is clean energy. Compare that, for a moment. In the 1990s, when a lot of people grew a lot of wealth, that came from a $1 trillion market with only 1 billion users, and that was the high-tech computer revolution. This market is six times bigger and hundred thousand times more important.

Today, the population of India is soaring, and electricity demand is rising along with that increasing population. But the number of Indians who lack access to electricity is roughly the same as the entire population of the United States. Combating climate change and reducing energy poverty are actually two interconnected challenges that cannot be separated. Access to energy is the essential ingredient of economic development. You can’t create jobs in the dark.

So this is not just about air and water and weather. This is about jobs. It’s about economy. It’s about growth. And as we look forward, India and the United States, with our traditions of innovation and our tradition of technology creation, we are particularly well-positioned together to ready ourselves and roll up our sleeves and take advantage of this opportunity. And if anyone can succeed at this, it is us. Why? Because the entrepreneurial spirit of India, just like that of the United States, is one that thrives on new opportunities. Indian immigrants to America worked and saved over a lifetime in order to climb up the economic ladder, not so their children could just start all over again, but so they could stand on a platform of opportunity.

Staring us in the face today is one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time. It’s called clean energy. And I emphasize the dynamic, forward-looking India of today is not going to find its energy mix in the 19th century or the 20th century solutions. It won’t find it in the coal mines. India’s destiny requires finding a formula in the 21st century that will power it into the 22nd. I believe that, working together, India and the United States can make this leap, and it would be to our benefit and to the whole world’s.

We’re already taking new, cooperative steps together all the time. I want to thank India for hosting the Clean Energy Ministerial here in Delhi – in New Delhi in April. And with Energy Secretary Moniz, who joins me here for this dialogue we will have in the next day and a half, we are committed to working with all nations towards a clean-energy economy. The clean energy partnership that President Obama and Prime Minister Singh launched in 2009 doesn’t just speak to the strength of our bilateral relationship. It’s actually proof positive that among our businesses and our universities and NGOs, we actually can mobilize billions in public and private resources to deploy energy that lights streets and cities and indeed lights the way towards the future.

This week USAID – and our head of USAID Raj Shah is here for this dialogue – they’re launching a loan guarantee program to support a private equity firm in Mumbai that will help mobilize at least $100 million in private sector financing for clean energy in India. We’re also announcing a new effort to significantly enhance the efficiency of India’s air conditioners, which is a rapidly growing source of greenhouse gases.

Together, though, I’ll tell you, no question about it, we can actually do a lot more. We can do much more to create jobs and opportunity. We can support off-grid clean energy and simultaneously help to solve the twin problems that I mentioned earlier, of energy access and climate change, by providing low-carbon, no-carbon sources of energy off the grid to places where they don’t have it. We can work together to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. Huge amount of greenhouse gas comes from buildings themselves. But by building modern in modern and technical ways, you could make a building completely self-sufficient and completely energy-contained. Actually, buildings can account for 40 percent of global energy use.

We can work together to globally phase down hydrofluorocarbons, which is a potent greenhouse gas that’s found in our air conditioners, our refrigerators, our industrial appliances. And we can eliminate the equivalent of roughly two years’ worth of current global emissions by the year 2050 if we were to do that. And India can join China and the United States and other major economies in order to rapidly develop joint technology and pilot programs for low- or no-carbon strategies, which are essential.

In addition to that, we need to and we can provide support to the entrepreneurs who have the most creative ideas. And in doing so, we’re going to find literally that the possibilities are limitless. Take, for example, Gyanesh Pandey. He’s an electrical engineer who moved back to India from the United States, and he figured out how to power thousands of rural Indian homes using rice husks. Thanks to the combination of his imagination and a little investment from the United States, Gyanesh’s husk-powered power plants are now providing electricity and opportunity to more than 200,000 people in 350 off-grid villages.

And because we are all in this together, we should work constructively side-by-side in the UN climate negotiations. I’m convinced that we can more move towards a global agreement that puts us on track to avert the most dangerous climate change; that is sensitive to and respectful of the diversity of national circumstances and capabilities; and that is fair, pragmatic, and can actually evolve with changing circumstances.

So as we think of a future framework that works, I want to assure you that we are sensitive to India’s unique circumstances. I think you – I hope you have a sense of that, and you should know that in the United States you have a willing partner to help you to develop, but to develop in ways that allow all of us to act responsibly simultaneously.

So, we have done much together on some of this front, but there is actually so much more that we can do. These problems, each of them, actually have solutions, and we have the ability to find them. I say frequently this is not a question of capacity; it’s a question of willpower. It’s a question of political people, leaders, making the right decisions, offering the right choices, and being willing to go out and sell them to people with confidence that this in fact can work for all of our economies as well as for our long-term future. We simply need to muster the will to bridge the gap that Gandhi talked about when he said, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

And just as our two democracies actually offer the world a vibrant choice beyond the stale stability of autocracy and the chaos of extremism, our action on global climate change together can inspire other people to see a future where environmental stewardship and economic dynamism actually go hand in hand. I think that’s the best spirit of the United States. It’s also the best spirit of India. And together, India and the United States, which over the next years will be among the top three economies of the world, that’s a worthy aspiration and it’s an important example for us to set.

Now importantly, as we think about this future, clean energy is really only one way that we can proceed forward. India and the United States can actually partner to create jobs and sustainable growth in many ways. There’s a lot more that can do. We share an appreciation for competition – for fair competition – smart investment, open markets, that encourage entrepreneurs to take risks and protect their innovations when they do. And the global economy of the 21st century needs to make the most of our joint commitment to those principles.

In fact, our economic partnership is already growing stronger every single day. Annual trade in goods and services between the United States and India has grown nearly five-fold just since the year 2000. And more than 50 percent – it’s grown more than 50 percent just during the Obama Administration. Bilateral foreign direct investment now stands at nearly $30 billion. This trade and investment supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in both of our countries. And public-private programs like the Millennium Alliance give social entrepreneurs a platform to improve lives in areas from energy to data to agriculture.

Truth is we can also do more here. And that’s why I’m here this week, because I want to ensure that our economic relationship grows stronger in every respect and that we make sure that we honestly address our differences – and there are some – without detracting from our shared goals. We need to conclude a bilateral investment treaty as soon as we can, which is an important step towards bolstering investor confidence in both of our countries.

And as we find ways to connect our economies to each other, we must also connect them with the rest of the shrinking world so that our neighbors can also realize their full potential. Nowhere is this more important, frankly, than in supporting Afghanistan, where India has taken a leadership role. The reality is that Afghanistan’s fortunes are tied to the region, just as the future of the region is tied to an increasingly stable, secure, prosperous future for the Afghan people. This is at the very heart of the New Silk Road vision, which I look forward to working with India to advance.

India has made extraordinary contributions and many important investments to the effort in Afghanistan. We’re grateful to you for that. Afghanistan plays a central part in our shared vision of a more interconnected continent, with rail links that go from the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Thailand and natural gas pipelines connecting Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Expanding regional connectivity along the New Silk Road will actually ensure that all countries in the region benefit from Asia’s economic miracle. And we are cooperating to realize the potential of the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor, which can spur development and investment as well as trade and transit between the dynamic economies of South and Southeast Asia.

All of this has the ability to benefit every country in the region. And I look forward to working with India and other regional partners in order to develop a shared economic vision and a process to put it in place. And it’s important to emphasize one of the most fruitful and meaningful ways to advance the economy in your – is your continuing normalization of the trade relations with your next-door neighbor, Pakistan. Now, just last year, bilateral trade increased by 21 percent. I’m not sure everybody in India is aware of that. And I welcome ongoing discussions about the expansion of energy trade, the establishment of regular air travel between Delhi and Islamabad, and the prospect of more commerce passing through Wagah, and all of these things could be steps in the right direction.

Yes, there’s still a long way to go in that relationship. I understand that. But if India and Pakistan can confidently invest in each other, then the rest of the world will more confidently invest in you. Now, I know there’s a lot of history to the relationship between India and Pakistan, so I’m not naïve about some of the difficulties (inaudible). Particularly after talking to the leaders of both nations, however, I believe that a new dynamic is beginning to emerge, and that it can develop further. Prime Minister Sharif has stated clearly that his chief goal is his country’s economic revival. And that is a goal that India and the United States share. The fact is that in this age of globalization, of expanded connectivity all across the world, there you have – we’ve created a broad-based realization that both countries, India and Pakistan, can gain substantially from expanding economic ties and breaking down the old barriers, and changing history. All in all, this presents a tremendous opportunity for progress. It could be a beginning of a new era for India-Pakistan relations that could be built on mutually beneficial trade, and out of that, hopefully, could come a level of trust.

That brings me to the third question before us: What can we do to strengthen our security in a region whose stability matters to the whole world, and where threats transcend borders? I start by emphasizing that the United States is grateful that we have found an extraordinary partner in India on matters of defense preparedness, combating narcotics, counterterrorism, and confronting radical, violent extremists. We have enjoyed a very successful relationship – even a partnership, I guess I’d say – with India on non-proliferation and on international security. Over the past several years, we have worked together closely to realize India’s intention of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group. The United States continues to support India’s full membership in these groups, as well as an expanded UN Security Council with India as a permanent member.

And as we continue to develop this relationship, we look forward to opportunities for co-production and co-development of defense systems. India will soon have more C-17 aircraft than any country besides the United States of America. And that will allow it to respond more rapidly and more efficiently to natural disasters in the region and beyond.

I’m also proud of the work that we did on the Civil Nuclear Agreement that Nancy referred to when she introduced me. When I was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we guided that agreement through the United States Congress, and I was privileged to work with Prime Minister Singh in helping to try to create the capacity for it. That agreement demonstrated our mutual confidence of our strategic partnership. So we look forward to realizing the full implementation as soon as possible, including making progress on the efforts of Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi to construct nuclear power plants in India.

And as you heard from President Obama, and from Defense Secretary Hagel, and from me, India is a key part of the U.S. rebalance in Asia. And we are committed to that rebalance. I want to emphasize this point. Our security interests with India converge on a wide range of maritime and broader regional issues, and we value India’s role in our mutual efforts to ensure a stable and prosperous Asia.

It’s important that in Afghanistan, the ongoing transition process actually reached a milestone just this past week. Yet today, the Afghan people are no longer reliant on coalition forces for their security. Today the Afghan National Security Forces are taking the lead in providing security for their entire country. And by the end of next year, the NATO-led combat mission will be over. I want you to be confident, notwithstanding the end of the NATO combat mission, we the United States remain committed, together with many of the allies who were part of that effort, to a lasting relationship with the Afghan people that extends well beyond December of 2014. The United States will continue to work with the government to transition to Afghan leadership, Afghan security. And through diplomacy, we will support the Government of Afghanistan’s effort to achieve a responsible end to more than 30 years now of war.

Now obviously, we’re very realistic about the difficulties of making progress in any diplomacy. We get it. Making peace is never easy. And a final settlement may in fact be a long in coming. Afghans on all sides will need to come together, and they will need to reach for a shared vision for the future of their country. And let me be clear: Any political settlement must result, in our judgment, in the Taliban breaking ties with al-Qaida; renouncing violence; and accepting the Afghan constitution, including its protection for all Afghans, women and men. Afghanistan cannot again become a safe haven for international terrorism, and we are committed to an ongoing force level in the region, with the consent of the Afghan Government, that will continue to conduct counterterrorism to protect all of us from that scourge.

We also remain squarely focused on another historic milestone on the horizon: Afghanistan’s 2014 elections. As democracies like India and the United States uniquely understand, Afghanistan’s future will be determined when millions of Afghan men and women vote to choose what kind of country they want to live in, which leaders they want to empower, and how they will resolve the conflict that has torn apart their country for a generation.

India can play a critical role in supporting these elections. We should and must work together to support an inclusive, legitimate democratic process that helps the Afghan people find unity around a new leader who will build on the economic and social gains that have been achieved under President Karzai. The world’s largest democracy can play a central role in helping the government of Afghanistan improve its electoral system and create a credible and independent framework for resolving disputes. A successful election – and this is so critical – a successful election in 2014 will be the first time in Afghanistan’s history that one popularly elected leader will peacefully replace another, and that is the mark of a true democracy.

India, as we know, is a global partner in our effort to build stronger democracies throughout South Asia, as well as rules of the road across South Central and East Asia. And you are a partner to help us find a more peaceful and a more prosperous continent from the Caucasus all the way to the coast of Japan. It’s a major responsibility, and we welcome the opportunity to share the burdens of that responsibility with a great nation.

In each of the three futures that we have discussed – our shared planet, our intertwined economies, our common security – we are actually more connected and closer than ever before. But the strongest glue that binds our fates and binds our futures is actually our people. The 3 million Indian Americans in the United States and 100,000 Indian students who study there, they enrich our neighborhoods, our offices, our schools. Indian Americans have founded major technology companies, taught our children, created groundbreaking art and literature. Every day, in ways small and large, the Indian American community contributes to the vibrant fabric of American life.

When a vicious and a cowardly act of terror strikes one of our most treasured traditions, as it did two months ago at the Boston Marathon, surgeons like Vivek Shah, who was running towards the -- have we got – there you go. (Inaudible.) (Laughter.) Now, if you ask me to do that technologically, I could have never succeeded. (Laughter.) Don’t ask me to turn it off again.

But when this vicious act took place in Boston, my hometown – the Marathon is a great event, and it takes place on Patriots Day. It’s a big deal for us. And when this wonderful event of Patriots Day, on a beautiful sunny day, was interfered by the – this – these bombs that went off, as surgeons like Dr. Vivek Shah, who was running toward the finish line at the time, instinctively decided to run towards the blast, and he tended to the wounded, making makeshift tourniquets and saving lives. Only afterwards did he try to find his own family.

Indian Americans have also helped bring our two countries closer by giving back to India, founding countless nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, many of which can be supported through an innovative online portal at the State Department that we helped create called That trend can only continue if both of our counties invest in the education we know is needed for the skills of the future. That is especially true here, where half the population is younger than 25 years of age. It’s a reason higher education is such an important part of our ongoing bilateral conversation, including the annual Higher Education Dialogue that we will hold here on Tuesday morning.

So in turn, I ask you, I ask India’s youngest citizens, to accept your responsibility to be engaged, to make sure that your leaders hear your voices, and that you stand up for rights – equal rights – and opportunities, especially for women. That is a responsibility that falls to all of us equally. We must fearlessly stand up for the right of every girl to advance as far, or even further, than her male peers. And that means when inequality or violence seek to stamp out that opportunity, as with the tragic death of Nirbhaya, whose memory I was proud to honor at the State Department recently, we must all stand up and say no, just as so many did in Delhi, by demanding justice.

My friends, this is a time of great promise, great promise between our countries and great promise for the world. India will soon be the world’s most populous nation, and it will be the third-largest economy on this planet. This region, the world, and the cherished U.S.-India relationship will evolve even more dramatically in the next five or 10 or 20 years than it has in the last decade or two. And this will always be an ever-changing place, always the one land, as Mark Twain wrote, that that all people desire to see.

So we have to look forward, and we have to move forward, along with the currents that will take us into that future. And we have to do this not as passive passengers, but as drivers. That tradition of moving forward is a foundation of our friendship, I know that, just as it is a foundation in the soul of your nation and in the center of your flag. When India’s founders were designing the Tricolour, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, your first vice president and second president, explained why the new republic is well represented by spinning Ashoka Chakra. That’s the eternal wheel of law. He said, “The wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.”

My friends, that’s what we seek. I think that’s what most people on the planet seek. And we are mindful of the challenges ahead of us. We are hopeful for the possibilities they can bring. But to make the most of it, we look forward to keeping the wheel rolling as we travel that journey together with you. That will be a privilege. And if we do our jobs, we’ll reach our destination.

Thank you for the privilege of being with you. (Applause.)

PRN: 2013/T09-04