The Honorable John D. Negroponte
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
2003 World Trade Dinner
Thank you very much for that kind introduction.
I’m delighted to be here again at the National Foreign Trade Council’s annual dinner—an event that has become a welcome and elegant
Before proceeding to the heart of my remarks, I’d like to acknowledge the NFTC leadership, including its board of directors; its chairman, Michael Jordan; its president,
For almost a century, of course, American business has used the NFTC to champion global commerce and open foreign markets to American trade and investment.
Your fundamental belief – that
There is no better, or even plausible, alternative to American business doing its utmost to shape an increasingly globalized world according to the principles of a free marketplace.
This is good for the
As we seek to advance the full range of
A cornerstone of
In this regard, I thank you for your leadership of business coalitions supporting free trade agreements between the
Here let me note that
The NFTC itself deserves high praise for its important work on the WTO Doha Development Agenda. Your leadership in pushing all nations to seek bold outcomes will increase economic opportunity everywhere, especially in parts of the world that need it most.
This is enormously important to us at the UN, where we have worked hard to build a strong partnership to fight famine. As I noted in a speech before the UN Economic and Social Council in
The administration believes that increased agricultural productivity is a critical component of fighting poverty and hunger. As a consequence, we took action last year when we rolled out the “initiative to end hunger in
Science and technology, in particular, offer tremendous potential for increasing productivity and income for the poor without further degradation of the environment. Biotechnology, for example, is capable of boosting the nutritional value of foods, increasing crop yields, reducing pesticide use, making crops disease and drought resistant, generating income in rural areas, and even vaccinating infants against diphtheria, tetanus and measles.
Sadly, some in the world use campaigns of misinformation and fear in an attempt to squelch this promising technology’s usage. In our view, decisions about food safety should be based on scientific fact, not political conjecture or public hysteria.
I therefore applaud the NFTC’s leadership in bringing together business groups concerned about the growing use of non-science based risk regulations as disguised protectionist trade barriers. Your efforts to make sure that sound science remains the benchmark for international trade regulation are enormously helpful in keeping hope alive for the world’s malnourished millions.
Another important feature of the president’s Millennium Challenge Account is its emphasis on transparency in government and fighting corruption. I know NFTC shares his concern, so I am pleased to highlight for you last month’s adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Like other anti-crime treaties before it, the new convention establishes commitments to criminalize certain undesirable and harmful conduct – in this case, corrupt actions such as bribery, embezzlement, and money laundering. But the convention does not stop there. It also requires that governments take action in a number of areas – for example in public procurement, public financial management, and in regulating their public officials — that will help prevent corruption from happening in the first place.
This is vital not only to the rule of law, but to the fundamental confidence citizens must have for representative government and private enterprise to succeed.
Corruption and democracy are incompatible; corruption and economic prosperity are incompatible; and corruption and equal opportunity are incompatible.
But our work at the UN and NFTC’s efforts are compatible, and so I am sure we can count on your support for the new convention just as we count on you to keep making the case for free trade and scientific and technological innovation.
I’d like to conclude my remarks this evening by noting that even as we face critical challenges in places like
Men and women living ordinary lives do the most extraordinary things. Our soldiers in
This is where the NFTC’s policies and initiatives come in.
By helping develop a world built on free market principles, you are doing nothing less than helping develop a world built on freedom itself—and a free world will be a peaceful, well-fed, and well-educated world as well.
Again, I appreciate the opportunity to speak here this evening, and I am grateful for your support of what
Thank you very much.