USIS Washington 

17 September 1998


(SecState may urge veto of foreign affairs money bill)  (2920)

Washington -- Secretary of State Albright has urged Congress to fully
fund the Clinton administration's foreign affairs program, warning
that the appropriations bill now working its way through Congress
"would make dramatic and unacceptable cuts" in the President's fund
requests while attaching "burdensome restrictions" on their

"If this bill reaches the President's desk in its current form,"
Albright said during a September 17 address to the Carnegie Endowment
for Peace, "I will be compelled by my responsibilities as Secretary of
State to recommend its veto."

She noted that US spending on international affairs is down to about
one percent of the Federal budget, and the 1999 request is, in real
terms, $3.7 billion ($3,700 million) below the International Affairs
budget submitted by the Bush administration for its final year.

The Secretary again urged that the US Congress fund US contributions
to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations. "If
we want a strong voice in any reforms that are made, we must maintain
our influence by paying our share," Albright said.

Following is the State Department text of her remarks, as prepared for

(begin text)


Office of the Spokesman

As Prepared for Delivery

September 17, 1998

Remarks by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright

at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace

Washington, D.C.

Thank you, Jessica; and let me take a moment to thank you as well for
all the work you have done over the years, both at the State
Department and beyond, to put global issues into the mainstream of
foreign policy thinking.

Carnegie is lucky to have you. And we are lucky to have Carnegie. You
have provided a steady stream of foreign policy talent to the State
Department, from Steve Sestanovich and David Scheffer to standout
Carnegie board members such as Strobe Talbott and Greg Craig.

In addition to being a source of great people, Carnegie has been --
and I know will continue to be -- a rich source of ideas. I, for one,
am counting on this, because the issues that Carnegie focuses on are
the ones that will determine the legacy of our generation and the
identity of our age. What matters most for the future of our children
is not the preoccupations of the moment, but whether the broad
opportunities of this era are squandered or seized.

For example, will the trend towards open markets and free trade resume
or grind to a halt as a result of the financial crisis?

Will the worldwide movement towards democracy continue or go into

Will we succeed in curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction,
or find ourselves confronted in the new century with catastrophes
unmatched even by those of the old?

Will we find a way to resolve conflicts and build a global culture of
peace, or be surrounded by regional and civil wars conducted with
ever-more deadly weapons at ever-greater risk to our own society?

These are the questions that matter, but perhaps above all is a
question related to each of the others: will the United States of
America continue to lead, or will we hide our heads in the sand out of
indifference, complacency or fear? Will we, in years to come, play the
role of eagle, or ostrich?

It is this last question that I want to discuss today. Some suggest
that Americans have turned inward and are no longer willing to bear
the costs and risks of leadership. I do not believe that, but I do
know that we have reached a critical moment in our effort to shape the
post Cold War world. Now more than ever, we need bipartisan support in
Congress and broad support from the American people. Only with that
will we succeed in our broad objective of bringing the world closer
together around basic principles of democracy, open markets, law and a
commitment to peace.

That is why I want today to shine a spotlight on finding decisions
that will be made on Capitol Hill between now and when Congress
adjourns early next month. Those decisions will have a major impact on
America's capacity to lead.

In the aftermath of the US embassy bombings in Africa, we are asking
for resources to improve the security of those who represent America
overseas, and to strengthen our fight against terror.

We are also asking Congress to reconsider its current course and to
make the investments we have requested in peace, freedom, stability
and human development. These are the bread and butter investments that
back our leadership with substance and enable us to further our
interests and promote our ideals around the globe.

First, let me deal with the immediate needs we face in the aftermath
of the murderous attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

We must demonstrate in concrete and unmistakable ways that America
will not be intimidated by terror. We will keep our commitments. And
we will work with others to ensure that, sooner or later, one way or
another, terrorists are held accountable for their crimes.

The fight against terror is an old struggle that has entered a grim
new phase with the emergence of terrorist coalitions that do not
answer fully to any government, that operate across national borders
and have access to advanced technology. Their goal is to cause America
to abandon its friends, allies and responsibilities.

Since the Beirut bombings 15 years ago, the security of our diplomatic
posts has been a bipartisan priority. More than $1 billion has been
spent building and upgrading facilities, but it remains a work in

In the past month, we have stepped up these efforts, while responding
to a multitude of additional threats. By so doing, we believe we have
foiled several planned attacks and thereby saved many lives.

But all this requires money -- millions of dollars now, and many
millions more in the future.

After the Africa bombings, we can no longer consider any post

We must build secure facilities to replace those that were destroyed.
We must address elsewhere the kind of security deficiencies that made
the posts in Kenya and Tanzania tempting targets. And we have an
obligation to help the thousands of innocent people affected by the
bombings. By so doing, we can show that terrorists will not succeed in
driving a wedge between the United States and our friends and allies
around the world.

Within the next few days, the Administration will submit a formal
request for supplemental funds to beef up our diplomatic security and
finance an even stronger counter-terrorism campaign. I have been
heartened by the support we have received in our preliminary
discussions with Congress, and I am hopeful that our request will be
acted upon promptly.

I emphasize, however, that this is not a one-time, short-term problem
-- unless we want to turn our embassies into prisons, from which our
diplomats monitor events on CNN; or to shrink dramatically the number
of our overseas posts, which would make it impossible to protect our
interests, and leave the impression of an America in retreat.

Moreover, security means more than safety from bombs and guns, and it
demands more than guards and concrete walls.

Security requires a world in which America's vital interests are not
at risk, and in which the values we cherish are widely shared. To
build that kind of world, we must do more than build safer embassies.
We must also do more to promote democracy, sound economic practices,
and respect for the rule of law.

But unfortunately, for the past decade, we have been cutting foreign
policy positions and slowing expenditures on international affairs --
which now constitute only about one percent of the Federal budget.

Moreover, the foreign operations appropriations bills approved by the
Senate and now being considered by the House would make dramatic and
unacceptable cuts in the amounts requested by President Clinton, while
attaching burdensome restrictions to the expenditure of those finds.
If this bill reaches the President's desk in its current form, I will
be compelled by my responsibilities as Secretary of State to recommend
its veto.

We have two opportunities to work together on this and make sure our
diplomacy has the resources it needs: the first is when the House
votes on the bill, as early as this afternoon. The second, more
realistically, is when the two houses meet to prepare a single

The rapid progress and cooperative spirit of our efforts on the
supplemental shows that we can work together, if we recognize what is
at stake. And when we are talking about the success or failure of
American foreign policy, the stakes are high indeed.

For example, President Clinton laid out this Monday a bold outline for
American leadership in confronting the international financial crisis.

On this critical issue, the United States, with the world's largest
economy, has a unique responsibility to lead.

But we cannot lead without resources. We need money for emergency
assistance, for institution-building and to pay our contributions to
the International Monetary Fund, which bears the brunt of short-term
support for nations at risk.

I will not argue that the IMF's response to the crisis has been
perfect. But it has stood between us and deeper problems; and it has
helped keep smaller economies from being destroyed. If we want
countries under threat to have a source of assistance other than
ourselves, and if we want a strong voice in any reforms that are made,
we must maintain our influence by paying our share.

At a time when our business, investors, farmers and workers are
looking to Washington for leadership in calming a jittery world
economy, it is, frankly, hard for me to understand why the leadership
of the House of Representatives -- the people's house -- would fail to
support IMF funding to the utmost. I am grateful for the efforts made
on the Senate side. And I hope that the final version of the
appropriations bill will include the President's full request.

The financial crisis has left Russia facing a particularly difficult
and uncertain future. Russia's economic problems are deep and complex.
We cannot solve them -- only Russians can do that. But neither is it
in our interest to declare Russia a failure and walk away.

For while we do not have to worry about waking up to find the hammer
and sickle waving over the Kremlin, we do have important interests in
a Russia that is stable, peaceful, and moving toward democracy and
prosperity, not tyranny and despair.

We have a vital interest in seeing that former Soviet nuclear weapons
technology and expertise are controlled, not put up for sale.

We have a vital interest in supporting the efforts of the Russian
people to build democratic institutions and market structures that are
stable, fair and effective.

We have a vital interest in helping the Russian people build
institutions they can believe in, and develop forms of democracy that
help improve their lives.

Russia's neighbors -- Ukraine, the states of the Caucasus and Central
Asia, and others also face major problems as a result of the financial
crisis. But their importance to us as critical elements of a secure
Europe, as trading partners, and as new or potential members of the
democratic community -- is undiminished. Now is not the time to signal
the world that we are giving up on the region and its profound

This year, our request to Congress included substantial increases in
assistance programs for the New Independent States. Those programs
help develop private businesses, improve nuclear safety, support civil
society, and address crime and corruption.

Unfortunately, both versions of the appropriations bill would leave
our assistance below this year's levels. And the House has proposed
conditions that would withhold 50 percent or more of our assistance to
Russia, Ukraine and others. We need more flexibility. I ask Congress
to remove these restrictions, and to restore finding levels
commensurate with the urgency we face.

Next week, in New York, the President will give his annual address to
the United Nations General Assembly in New York. There, before a
worldwide audience, he will argue America's case in the fight against
terror and for the rule of law. He will discuss the need for firmness
in dealing with Saddam Hussein and urge adherence to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which is fifty years old this year.

All this is appropriate America's role as the world's leading champion
of freedom. What is not appropriate is that the President will be
asked to go before the world once again with our nation roughly $1
billion behind in payments to the United Nations system.

This debt undermines our leadership in an organization our
predecessors created and in whose work we have a broad and varied

The best America is a leader, not a debtor. I have asked Congress
before; I urge Congress now. Before you adjourn, cast a vote for UN
reform and for American leadership; cast a vote, at long last, to pay
our UN bills.

Another test of our willingness to back our leadership with resources
is in Korea, where we have pledged to contribute finds to implement
the Agreed Framework.

The House Appropriations Committee has voted to end those
contributions because of concern about North Korea's recent missile
launch and other actions that have raised doubts about the intentions
of the government in Pyongyang. Rather than moving us toward
resolution of our concerns, we think this is a formula for stalemate,
and perhaps confrontation.

The Clinton Administration has no illusions about North Korea. And we
have let North Korea know, in no uncertain terms, the risks involved
in its current course. But the Agreed Framework remains central to our
ability to press for restraint on missiles and answers to our
questions about suspicious underground construction activities.

I urge Congress to keep the heat on by meeting our commitments even as
we press North Korea's leaders to meet theirs.

We also risk failing to provide leadership on critical environmental
and social issues.

Unless Congress reverses course, we will continue to lag far, far
behind in funding international environmental cooperation that helps
preserve clean air and water for everyone, including Americans, as
well as create markets for our cutting-edge green technology.

And we will be unable to support the family-planning programs that
help stabilize population growth, reduce maternal and infant
mortality, and cut demand for abortions. The proposed "Mexico City"
conditions are an assault on the free exchange of ideas that Americans
cherish. And their first victims will be the women and families who
look to America for help in building better futures for the children
they wish to have.

Let me emphasize, our overall funding requests are modest. No
President, Republican or Democrat, would be seeking less. In fact, our
1999 request, in real terms, is a full $3.7 billion below the last
International Affairs budget submitted by President Bush. The
challenges have not lessened; neither should our commitment to meeting

Today, America looks to Capitol Hill for evidence that our
representatives will act in the face of new threats and longstanding
imperatives to reaffirm America's presence on the center stage of
world affairs.

I personally am confident. Over the past half-dozen years, I have seen
Congress and the Executive come together to dismantle and secure
thousands of weapons from the former Soviet Union, enlarge NATO, build
peace in Bosnia, support the Agreed Framework, help our partners in
the Middle East and enact numerous other measures to further our
interests around the globe.

Time and time again, we have stood together across party lines. That
is what we must do now; for, as history teaches, it is then that
America is strongest.

A half century ago, our nation was in the midst of a bitterly partisan
election campaign as candidates fought for the levers of political

But in that same testing year of 1948, a Democratic President and a
Republican Congress approved the Marshall Plan, laid the groundwork
for NATO, established the Voice of America, recognized the infant
state of Israel, airlifted lifesustaining aid to a blockaded Berlin
and helped an embattled Turkey and Greece remain on freedom's side of
the Iron Curtain.

There are those who say that Americans have changed and that we are
now too inward-looking and complacent to shoulder comparable burdens.
But by standing tall, and backing our leadership with resources, we
have the opportunity to prove the cynics wrong.

American foreign policy is not the province of a particular party,
ideology or point of view. It finds its strength not in its brilliance
of theory, but in the steadfast qualities of the American people-whose
interests it defends and whose values it reflects.

Through this century, we have survived and prevailed against
aggression, Depression, Fascism and the totalitarian threat. Now, we
face new dangers and uncertainties. But we have not lost our
confidence, nor have we grown weary. For our country, there are no
final frontiers. We are doers. Whatever threats the future may hold,
we will meet them. With the memory alive in our hearts of past
sacrifice, we will defend our freedom, meet our responsibilities and
live up to our principles.

To those ends, this afternoon, I pledge my own best efforts. And
respectfully solicit your wise counsel and support.

Thank you very much.

(end transcript)