Subject: USDOS: Albright on Human Rights
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 10:03:17 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
In addition to the grand works summarized by the Dept of State below. Albright said the following about Indonesian/East Timor:
"In the months ahead, we can expect many important tests of democracy.
In Indonesia, for example, leaders must heed their people's desire for far-reaching political reform, heal ethnic divisions, deal fairly with the aspirations of those in East Timor and Iryan Java, and prevent further violations of human rights."
"In recent years, we have made great progress. But despite that, in many countries, appalling abuses are still being committed against women. These include coerced abortions and sterilizations, children sold into prostitution, ritual mutilations, dowry murders and domestic violence.
There are those who suggest that all this is cultural and there's nothing we can do about it. I say it's criminal and we each have a responsibility to stop it.
That is why the United States expressed outrage about the abuses committed against ethnic Chinese women in Indonesia during the riots last May."
ALBRIGHT SPEECH ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN ATLANTA DECEMBER 3 (SecState discusses human rights in foreign policy)
Atlanta, Georgia -- Secretary of State Albright emphasized the importance of human rights to international security and well-being in a speech delivered December 3 at Emory University.
Her address was part of the Rosalyn Carter Distinguished Lecture Series.
"Human rights is not just some kind of international social work," Albright said. "It is vital to our security and well-being, for governments that disregard the rights of their own citizens are not likely to respect the rights of anyone else."
The Secretary noted that in this century, "virtually every major act of international aggression has been perpetrated by a regime that repressed political rights. Such regimes are also more likely to spark unrest by persecuting minorities, sheltering terrorists, running drugs or secretly building weapons of mass destruction. And they are enemies not only of political freedom, but also of social and economic development."
She emphasized US support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion."
She also noted US support for the rights of women everywhere. With the leadership of First Lady Hillary Clinton, the United States has launched the Vital Voices Initiative, which brings women together from around the world to build public-private partnerships, "and to help women participate fully in the economic and political lives of our nations," the Secretary of State said.
Albright countered skeptics who argue that violation of human rights is part of human nature.
"The Clinton Administration believes that, if we are to build the kind of future we want, we must insist that there is nothing inevitable and certainly nothing natural about gross violations of human rights," she said.