Remarks With Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Copenhagen, Denmark
June 16, 2016

FOREIGN MINISTER JENSEN: I’d like to welcome Secretary Kerry to Denmark and to Tivoli. It is a great pleasure for me to have you here, and I’m looking forward to the discussions we’re going to have tonight but also tomorrow. I think we have some very important topics about security, where we are fighting together to fight Daesh, and we are also fighting to stop radicalization of the young people, both in Denmark, and we’re also working jointly together to do that abroad. And I’m very much looking forward to taking you to Greenland. We met the first time in Anchorage, where you had your glacier conference, and I at that point said if you really want to see climate change, you must come to Greenland. And now it’s came true. So we’re happy to have you here.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Well, Kristian, thank you very, very much. I’m really happy to be here – happy to be in Denmark, and particularly happy to be back in Tivoli Gardens, which I last visited when I was a young boy here with my family on my way driving up to Oslo, where my dad was stationed. So I remember the great rides, and I had a lot of fun, and I know this: I didn’t want to go to Oslo, I wanted to stay here and have fun.

It’s a pleasure to be in Denmark again, particularly at this moment when we are working so closely on so many different issues. Denmark is a major contributor to and leader in the efforts to stand up for democracy, to support Ukraine and its sovereignty, to be part of an effort that is fighting back against a modern form of nihilism and fascism that presents itself in Daesh, or ISIL, as people call it. And we are being successful because we have partners like Denmark and others who are putting people on the line, who are contributing in so many different ways in order to be able to guarantee that we will not be frightened and not have to live with the fear of a terrorist attack. It takes time, but I am convinced by what we are achieving with the help of Denmark and others in Iraq and in Syria that we are going to be successful over time. And we just have to be steady and be confident and keep moving forward.

I also want to express my appreciation for Denmark’s solid support, sensible support of the trade policies that will grow jobs, provide better salaries, open up opportunities, and break down barriers so that we can grow, and that’s essential.

And finally, let me just say that one of the greatest challenges of our times besides the fight against extremism is to deal with the enormous battle of climate change. That’s why I’m going to Greenland tomorrow, because if we were to lose the ice sheet of Greenland, we would see a sea level rise of some 22 feet over the course of this century. Everybody knows that what is happening now is a – is a huge transformation in weather patterns, in the melt of glaciers – which I saw in Svalbard today, and I will see again tomorrow – and we have to make smarter decisions about the kind of energy that we’re going to provide ourselves with. How do we support our nations’ thirst for growth and development, which we want to support? But we can do it in a sustainable way. Again, Denmark is helping to set the pace, making wise choices, but we all have to move faster, further, because that’s the only way to keep the temperatures at the level that will not bring us a catastrophe. So we can’t be urgent enough about it. We can’t be serious enough about it. We have to absolutely do this at the highest rate possible.

So again, to Denmark, to all the citizens of Denmark who are asked to be so much a part of this partnership, we say thank you, and the United States is proud to stand with you for the values of individual freedom and of democracy and where we respect people’s rights and ability to choose to be who they are and to make the most of the opportunities that life presents. And I’m happy to be back here. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER JENSEN: Yes, good. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Thank you all.