SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS Tables
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PROMOTING DEMOCRACY THROUGH DIPLOMACY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
MAY 5, 2005
Serial No. 10982
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
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HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey,
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
RON PAUL, Texas
DARRELL ISSA, California
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
JERRY WELLER, Illinois
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
THADDEUS G. McCOTTER, Michigan
KATHERINE HARRIS, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJ. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
CONNIE MACK, Florida
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
MICHAEL McCAUL, Texas
TED POE, Texas
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCADAM SMITH, Washington
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
DENNIS A. CARDOZA, California
THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
KRISTEN GILLEY, Senior Professional Staff Member
JEAN CARROLL, Full Committee Hearing Coordinator
C O N T E N T S
The Honorable Frank R. Wolf, a Representative in Congress from the State of Virginia
The Honorable Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State
The Honorable Mark Palmer, President and CEO, Capital Development Company
Ms. Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director, Freedom House
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Saad al-Din Ibrahim, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Mr. Edil Baisalov, President, Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, Kyrgyzstan
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Paula Dobriansky: Prepared statement
The Honorable Mark Palmer: Prepared statement
Ms. Jennifer Windsor: Prepared statement
Mr. Saad al-Din Ibrahim: Prepared statement
Mr. Edil Baisalov: Prepared statement
PROMOTING DEMOCRACY THROUGH DIPLOMACY
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2005
House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:36 a.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen presiding.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. The Committee will come to order.
Those of us who enjoy the political freedom that democratic governance brings often take it for grantedfrom Damascus to Tehran, from Pyongyang to Khartoum. We must always take sides, as Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel has said. We must always take sides. He underscores that neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented.
Vaclav Havel added, irrespective of how powerful it may be, we cannot tolerate any state suppression of man or the repression of his freedoms and rights. Freedom and democracy are mankind's inherent rights. As a system, democracy brings and promotes individual freedom and enhances economic well-being. Building democratic culture and institutions is important, because the long-term rewards of increased stability, prosperity, and enrichment of the human spirit make it worth the effort.
Democracy is also desirable for the peace that it brings. It alone offersthrough the constitutional guarantees of free speech, minority rights, and an independent judiciarya system that leads to the tangible long-term rewards of increased stability.
As President Bush articulated in his second inaugural address, the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. Thus, fomenting democratic principles is in our Nation's vital interests and at the core of what makes us intrinsically American.
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In the last 50 years, we have witnessed a flowering of democracy in many areas of the world. Now, more people are citizens of free democratic states than of captive nations.
In the past few months, we have witnessed the first examples of freedom taking root in some of the caustic soil in the world, the countries of the Middle East. In Afghanistan and in Iraq, people are voting in legitimate elections. In Lebanon, the masses that had marched against 25 years of Syrian oppression and the infestation of state-sponsored terror are now closer to when they can exercise their rights as citizens and human beings free of intimidation.
Yet these developments merely represent a first step. Democracy in the Middle East and indeed throughout the world must continue to be cultivated, nurtured and supported, learned and practiced, and constantly reinforced. Marginalized populations such as women must be empowered and afforded equal protection under the law.
Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky, my good friend, you are one of the Co-Chairs of the U.S.-Afghanistan Women's Council; and I want her to address the issue about activities that she is advancing for the status and the role of women in democracy. What has been the impact of U.S. efforts on the status of women and other minority groups in emerging democracies and transitioning countries?
There are multiple approaches to accomplishing the goals of freedom and democratic governance for all oppressed people. We are so privileged to have with us Congressman Wolf, who will be testifying today, together with Congressman Lantos. They recently introduced the ADVANCE Democracy Act, representing one such comprehensive response.
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I want to welcome my good friend and colleague, Congressman Wolf, and thank him for coming before the Committee today to address this important piece of legislation, of which I am a proud co-sponsor.
The Wolf-Lantos Bill establishes an Office of Democratic Movement and Transition in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and is tasked with implementing policies and activities relating to the transition to and development of democracy in non-democratic countries. In addition, their bill establishes regional democracy hubs and a Democracy Promotion and Human Rights Advisory Board. It requires each U.S. Chief of Mission in each foreign country characterized as undemocratic to develop and implement a strategy to promote democracy and to support individuals in nongovernmental organizations that are committed to democratic principles.
It expresses the sense of Congress that establishing a more formal structure for the Community of Democracies is important. It authorizes the Secretary of State to provide grants to U.S. nongovernmental organizations within the context of the Community of Democracies. The ADVANCE Democracy Act also authorizes funding for the Democracy Transition Center in Hungary, which enjoys broad-based support from reforming countries and emerging democracies throughout the world.
This is not to say that the ADVANCE Democracy Act is a panacea. It is one approach. However, it reflects the interests of the Congress in working with the Administration to develop a comprehensive strategy that translates the objectives of democracy promotion into concrete steps toward the fulfillment of this mandate. Perhaps this initiative can do to modern day authoritarianismparticularly in the Middle Eastwhat the Helsinki human rights process did to undermine the moral underpinnings of the Soviet Union.
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I welcome the views of our witnesses today on this important proposal and on the ways to better integrate democracy and human rights.
Likewise, the Liberty List Act, recently introduced by Congressman Schiff, and with my support as well, offers additional options to support those who toiled for freedom and who have heeded the call for democratic change in their country.
Our bill highlights the work of the accomplishments of individuals, nongovernment organizations, and media who are engaged in the promotion and advancing of religious freedom, democracy, and human rights in foreign countries. Additionally, it calls for the Secretary of State to submit an annual report focusing on the activities of these freedom fighters, these defenders of liberty.
These are but a few of the possible approaches to be considered. We welcome the views and the recommendations on how we can address any existing deficiencies in the U.S. efforts and how we can better coordinate with the people of the individual regions with allies and in multilateral forums to achieve the eradication of tyranny. This, I believe, will then help eradicate the scourge of extremism and terrorism.
Those who struggle for freedom should not have to live behind the shadow of repressive regimes and even more repressive terrorist networks. We stand ready to help. We must see to it that they are given the voice that they deserve and the rights that they have been denied for far too long.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am so pleased to yield all of the time that he desires to our Ranking Member, my good friend, Mr. Lantos.
Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much, Madam Chairwoman.
Let me first express my appreciation to Chairman Hyde, who has been so supportive in moving this hearing on an expeditious basis and who is profoundly committed to the values incorporated in our legislation.
Moliere has a wonderful play in which one of the actors wants to learn to speak in prose. Then it is explained to him that all his life he has been speaking in prose. He really doesn't have to learn how to speak in prose, except to understand that that is what he is doing. There is prose and there is poetry. Some are capable of writing poetry and speaking in poetry. Most of us speak prose.
Just as Moliere enlightened his fumbling actor that he has been doing this all his life, it is our job to enlighten all of us that what the Frank Wolf-Tom Lantos-John McCain-Joe Lieberman legislation calls for is whatarticulately or inarticulately, steadily or with occasional pausesthis country has been all about during its entire life.
As a matter of fact, if there is any issue which not only is bipartisan but which lacks all partisanship, it is the advancement of freedom and democracy globally.
On November 6, 2003, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, which has been our strong voice for democracy across the globe through Republican and Democratic Administrations. The President gave what I thought was a magnificent speech on that occasion, and I was one of four Members of Congress who paid tribute to the National Endowment on behalf of Congress.
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This is what, in part, the President said:
''The advance of freedom is the calling of our time, it is the calling of our country, and we believe that freedom, the freedom we prize, is not for us alone. It is the right and the capacity of all mankind.''
Various organizations like Freedom House are tabulating the progress of freedom globally. While there are occasional setbacks and occasional movements in the wrong direction, if you take a more secular view, if you take a long-term view, it is self-evident that we have a dramatically more freedom-oriented, democracy-oriented world than the one we had not too many years ago.
One of our witnesses, Ambassador Palmer, who wrote an extraordinary book about breaking the real Axis of Evil, lays out a sort of a cookbook on how to create freedom and democracy in the remaining non-democratic countries of the world.
I suspect if there is anything on which this divided Congress can agree, it is that it is not only to the benefit of the people involved, but it is to the direct benefit of our own security that the spread of freedom and democracy is clearly the number one prerequisite of living in a more secure, more peaceful, more civilized world.
I can think of no other topic as emblematic of the values and aims of our country's founding principles and its modern foreign policy than the subject of our hearing. Madam Chairwoman, as our Nation's Declaration of Independence so eloquently states, ''governed derive their just powers from the consent of the government. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.''
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For nearly a century, Americans have agreed that this right does not stop at our shores. Promoting freedom worldwide has been a central tenet of U.S. foreign affairs since at least the Woodrow Wilson presidency. Jimmy Carter renewed this effort in the 1970s, placing greater White House emphasis than ever on human rights. Every President since, Republican and Democratic, has stressed the value of universal liberty.
It is clear that promoting democracy through diplomacy is crucial to our country's long-term security as well as to the stability of many other countries in the world. The 20th century proved this lesson time and again to those who chose to learn it. Since September 11, 2001, the civilized world has become even more broadly aware of how the lack of democracy can create safe havens for nihilistic and destructive forces that do not value human life.
I am very pleased to join our distinguished Chair in welcoming today our witnesses, officials of the U.S. Government as well as courageous individuals whose efforts to promote democracy and to protect human rights in their countries have placed them at risk of great hardship, imprisonment, and even death.
Madam Chair, let us acknowledge in particular our colleague, Congressman Frank Wolf, with whom I am privileged to Co-Chair the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. I am proud to co-sponsor with him the legislation that is our subject of today's hearing, the ADVANCE Democracy Act of 2005.
But before we get to that, let me put the subject of this hearing in a very personal context that illustrates the larger principles at stake. In 1956, my native country of Hungary was in the midst of a national uprising. Hungarian people had a real hope that freedom would come and the yoke of Soviet-imposed communism will be rejected. But the West stood by while the Soviet Union invaded and extinguished the sparks of revolution in one aggressive move.
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In 1989, the West did not let itself make the same mistake. The United States and our democratic friends and allies stood with us and with the Hungarian people and helped them and all others in that region to confront their Communist masters and achieve freedom.
Today, we must decide as a Nation whether we will stand alongside the reformers as we did in 1989 or simply stand by as the oppressors take action against them. The bill Frank Wolf and I co-authoredand its companion in the Senate, sponsored by Senators McCain and Liebermanwill help ensure that the United States of America makes the right choice and stands with the reformers wherever they struggle to bring the light of democracy to their land.
The ADVANCE Democracy Act declares democracy promotion and protection of human rights a fundamental element of U.S. foreign policy. It requires a strategy for bringing democracy to authoritarian regimes, and it provides training incentives and resources to implement that strategy.
When we consult with local democracy advocates, when we formulate strategy and commit resources to back it up in the struggle for freedom abroad, we can help the courageous become the victorious.
Consider the example of the Kyrgyz Republic, where, with United States pressure and United States funding, brave members of the independent media received a printing press that allowed them to spread the truth about the parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan that led to the revolution we all witnessed earlier this year in Bishkek.
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Consider the potential that might be tapped in the darker corners of the world today if we were to help fan the sparks of democracy into a similarly undeniable flame. Who would have said in the summer of 2004, less than a year ago, that democracy would soon flourish in Ukraine? And what Middle East specialist would have predicted the emergence of people power that would effectively evict Syrian troops from Lebanon after a long occupation?
This is what the ADVANCE Democracy Act is all about. It enhances transformational diplomacy. The act will help ensure that the Department of State, as an institution, embraces democracy promotion and the protection of human rights in a formal sense.
The legislation also supports a multilateral approach to democracy promotion and authorizes funding for an International Democracy Transition Center located in Budapest, Hungary, my native city. I never dreamed that in my lifetime I would see such an institution emerge on the banks of the Danube, the living embodiment of what Western backing of democracy can do.
I would like to point out that this landmark legislation, which we have been working on for well over a year, was developed in response to ideas that have emerged from outside government, especially the thoughts and writings of one of our witnesses, Ambassador Mark Palmer, who served with extraordinary distinction and effectiveness as the American Ambassador to Hungary from 1986 to 1989, during that country's amazingly swift transition from totalitarianism to life and freedom.
My wife and I were stunned as we traveled in villages and provincial towns in Hungary, because everywhere Ambassador Mark Palmer was known for his advocacy of democracy and human freedom. On the national holiday, he marched not with the oppressive government but he marched with the dissidents and the people who were working for democracy.
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We must do everything we can to show that the United States is on the side of those who want peaceful change toward democracy and fundamental freedoms. Despite the difficulty of achieving universal democracy, the United States must find better ways to promote democracy throughout this complex world. It is in our own interest. It is consistent with our fundamental values, principles, and history, and it is the right thing to do.
I was delighted in reading Secretary Dobriansky's testimony in which the State Department, although with reservations as to specific details, is fully in favor of this legislation. We will look forward to working with the Department of State to iron out whatever differences we might have.
Madam Chair, if I may, I have been asked to place in the record a few statements, one by Senator Lieberman, who wanted to be with us; and I respectfully request that his statement be introduced into the record.
We have a letter from perhaps the ultimate freedom fighter of our era, Mr. Sharansky, who wrote a letter to Mr. Wolf and me supporting our legislation, and a letter from Rebiya Kadeer, human rights advocate in China, who is supporting our legislation; and I hope, without objection
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Without objection, they will all be entered into the record.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you very much for your always eloquent statement, my good friend.
Per Committee rules, Members who were present when the hearing convened will be afforded 1 minute to give opening remarks. Those Members would be Congressman Smith and Congresswoman Davis.
Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. Thank you very much.
Let me just welcome a true champion of human rights, Congressman Wolf, who has been a great friend of all distressed peoples throughout the world, whether it be from Romania to China, the former Soviet Union, or Africa. He has been a champion in every sense of that word. I thank him for his leadership. It has been extraordinary.
Let me just say, Madam Chair, that whileI would ask that my full statement be made a part of the record.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Without objection.
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[No statement was submitted.]
Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. While it is almost self-evident that democracies aren'twhile they are not necessarily free from human rights abuse and flawswe certainly know that the United States and England and virtually every democracy has its problems. The beauty of a democracy is it provides the ways and means, the structures, the protectionslegal, constitutional and otherwiseto ensure that there are checks and balances, that those who have been aggrieved have a remedyor a means to get a remedyand that is one of the greatest checks and balances.
Thankfully, even the emerging democracies are finding that they need to build up those firewalls as quickly as possiblean independent judiciary and the liketo ensure that people are protected and their rights are protected.
Let me also sayand I have to say this to the AdministrationGod willing, when this legislation is enacted into law, we have to ensure that it is fully funded. I would note with some regret that when the Belarus Democracy Law was signed into law last year by President Bush with great fanfarehe did a wonderful statementit has not been adequately funded. The recommendation for funding that has been sent up falls short of helping the dissidents, the independent media, and all of those who are striving to make a difference in the last remaining dictatorship in Europe, and that is the Lukashenko regime.
I would also note in our group here today, four rows back, is the great Harry Woo, a dissident of worldwide renown, who has been a leader of democracy and human rights in the People's Republic of China. It seems to me that a bill like this will help all of those dissidents and those who cherish and hope for freedom for their lands. Harry, thank you for gracing us with your presence.
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you, Congressman.
Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. Mr. Wolf, thank you, again, for your extraordinary leadership.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. We are so honored to have the gentleman from Virginia testifying before us today. Welcome, Congressman Wolf. He is now serving his 13th term. He is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce of the Appropriations Committee. Since the 107th Congress, he has been the Chair of that Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the State Department.
He and Mr. Lantos, as the Congressman from California has said, are Co-Chairs of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which fights human rights abuses worldwide.
Thank you, Chairman Wolf for your testimony here today.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE FRANK R. WOLF, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate very much the comments, and let me also second what Mr. Lantos said with regard to thanking Mr. Hyde for having this hearing very, very early. I want to associate myself with all the comments that Mr. Lantos made.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The legislation is sponsored by Mr. Lantos, Mr. McCain, Mr. Lieberman, and myself. There has been a lot of work, as Mr. Lantos said, done by all the staffers from all the offices and many of the outside groups. I want to say I don't want to take any credit for it. I think the credit goes to, as Mr. Lantos saidagain, we are on the same pageMark Palmer. I would urge that people read this book, also the leading expert who can speak from experience, Natan Sharansky, who wrote the book, The Case for Democracy.
The Administration has to come up and support this bill. If the State Department doesn't support this bill, they are basically breaking with the Administration. They are breaking with President Bush. Based on the speech that Mr. Lantos again referred to that the President gave to the National Endowment for Democracyand when I sat on the podium listening to the President's inaugural addressthis bill implements, if you will, the President's inaugural address. So if the State Department does not support this, the State Department basically does not support the President of the United States.
This book empowers Ambassadors to foster hope and support wherever they serve, to stand with the people and not the oppressors. It basically turns the Embassies into islands of freedom; the way the Embassies were in Budapest in Hungary; the way the Embassy was in Romania in 1985 where the dissidents used to thirst to come to the Embassy because they knew the Ambassador stood with them; the way the American Embassy was in Moscow whereby the Secretary of State would go to Moscow, he would meet with the dissidents in the Embassy.
How many Secretaries of State have met with the dissidents in the Chinese Embassy in the last several years? I think it is almost zero. I know there are many brave dissidents in China who would be willing to come if they were only invited.
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So this is to make them islands of freedom and to hold Ambassadors accountable for that.
Nineteen years ago, Natan Sharansky walked out of Perm Camp 85. Chris Smith and I were in the Perm in 1988. We interviewed Sharansky's cellmate before the Wall fell in 1988. The Perm was brutal, and yet he was truthful and will represent and say how important it was when people outside spoke for him.
In a letter that I am just going to read briefly, since Mr. Lantos put the entire thing in, Mr. Sharansky said:
''The democratic system of governance responds to the basic human need for autonomy and freedom of self-realization. But where it is repressed, only very rarely can it emerge without support, encouragement and reinforcement. The United States, the champion of freedom for many decades, can do much to promote democracy and this legislation, in my opinion, sets out a course well designed to succeed.
''It provides for support and encouragement to the dissidents . . .''
Which is what Mr. Lantos saidthe passing of this legislation will be an encouragement for dissidents all over the world who will know that the Congress has done this. Mr. Sharansky continued:
''Dissidents are already motivated, they are tested by experience, and they have definite and clear goals in steady focus.''
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He then goes on to say:
''I recall my own years as a dissident and how the foreign diplomats in Moscow, though personally empathetic nevertheless acted ambivalently.''
We are with you, they were ambivalent because they didn't really know.
So this says we will stand with the dissidents. I would just say that his letter, I would think, as an expert witness, if you will, is very important.
Then Rebiya Kadeer, who Mr. Lantos referred to, was put in prison, in a Chinese prison for 6 years, her crime being that she was moving to speak to seven or six or five congressional staffers. Only about 3 weeks ago did she get out. She said:
''As democracy spreads across the globe, citizens of the remaining authoritarian, one-party countries such as China still dream of a day when they can express their religious, cultural, and political aspirations without fear of reprisal. . . .
''H.R. 1133 offers concrete means to strengthen America's capacity to reach out to undemocratic countries and to suffering peoples like my own.''
Also, Harry Woo has submitted a letter. Harry has spent 18-years in a gulag in Russia.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So these are expert witnesses, if you will, who have been in gulags, the gulag in China and the gulag in the Soviet Union, and can tell us now how this bill would actually support them.
In closing, can you imagine if we had an Ambassador Palmer in China today marching with the dissidents? I just saw this report by the Cardinal Kung Foundation, April 27th, the arrest of seven underground Roman Catholic priests in China. Seven priests, belonging to the diocese of Hebei, were arrested at 5:30 p.m., April 27th, Beijing time.
Can you imagine if we had an Ambassador like Mark Palmer in Cairo, Egypt, standing with the Coptic Christians, standing with the Muslims who wanted freedom? Can you imagine what that would mean?
Quite frankly now, I will have to say that I do not believe the people of China view the American people in Beijing as an island of freedom, nor do I believe that they think that the Embassy in Cairo is an island of freedom.
So, in closing, I thank you for having this hearing. I hope the State Department embraces this the way that President Bush embraces this; embraces this the way that we would have embraced it in years past with Senator Scoop Jackson; embraces it in the way, as Mr. Lantos said, with regard to the Carter Administration.
This would be a bipartisan bill. It would overwhelminglyand each and every day it is delayed for some or other reason means that people like Sharansky and Kadeer and others are going to live in a very difficult time.
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So, with that, I would justI will submit a formal statement for the record.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you. It will be entered into the record.
[No statement was submitted.]
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank you so much, Chairman Wolf, on behalf of Chairman Hyde and the entire Committee. I certainly hope that the State Department and the Administration embraces it as strongly as you have passionately defended it.
Thank you so much. Thank you, Chairman Wolf.
Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. We are pleased to welcome Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky back to the House International Relations Committee.
In May 2001, Dr. Dobriansky became Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. In this position she is responsible for a broad range of foreign policy issues, including democracy. We are fortunate to have her with us today.
Dr. Dobriansky, please proceed with a 5-minute summary of your opening statement. Your complete testimony will be placed in the record.
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Thank you, Paula.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PAULA DOBRIANSKY, UNDER SECRETARY FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Thank you. I will give a summary, and my longer testimony is submitted for the record.
Madame Chair, it is a particular honor and pleasure for me to be here today. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made democracy a defining component of our Nation's role in the world. Advancing freedom has become a hallmark of this Administration's foreign policy.
The President's second inaugural address declaring that ''it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,'' represents a deepening and reaffirmation of a steadfast policy.
The President has reiterated this vision over the course of his presidency to Congress shortly after the attacks of September 11th, in his 2002 National Security Strategy, and in his 2003 address to the National Endowment for Democracy. Each serves as a constant reminder of the moral compass which must guide our efforts.
In her first months in office, Secretary of State Rice has already traveled to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. On each continent, in each capital, she has made the promotion of freedom and democratic institutions central to her agenda. In public speeches and private meetings, she has made clear our Government's firm commitment to this cause and the need to pursue transformational diplomacy. We do not simply accept the world as it is today. Accordingly, the Secretary has called on each of us to be activists, to have a vision of a free world, and to partner with those who themselves are trying to foster democratic change.
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I know that you share these pro-democracy sentiments. I am in the company here in this room today of some very treasured friends and long-time colleagues in the common cause of freedom. Because of your past efforts, entire nations live in freedom and at peace with their neighbors. I commend you for this and I count myself privileged to have partnered with many of you here in these endeavors. But as long as injustice, oppression and tyranny continue, our work is not done.
On behalf of the Department of State and the Bush Administration, I want to commend Representative Wolf, Representative Lantos, Chairman Hyde, the HIRC Members and others in Congress who have labored over this bill. We appreciate the tremendous amount of thought, energy and innovation that has gone into this effort, and we appreciate your interest in working with the Administration to pursue such ideas.
Promoting democracy is the most realistic policy possible, because it is the system of government most congruent with human nature. As Secretary Rice just said last week at the Community of Democracies:
''We must usher in an era of democracy that thinks of tyranny as we think of slavery today: A moral abomination that could not withstand the natural desire of every human being for a life of liberty and dignity.''
We see that freedom's call is resonating with more and more people around the world. From Georgia to Ukraine to Iraq to Lebanon to Afghanistan, the cynicism of skeptics and the oppression of autocrats has been answered by peaceful protests, ballot boxes, and constitution drafts.
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Meanwhile, the dream of democracy persists for many citizens who are still denied it. Just last week at the Community of Democracies Ministerial in Santiago, Chile, I met with democracy activists from non-democratic countries to hear their concerns and support them in their efforts.
Today, I want to share with you an overview of what we are doing to put the President's priorities into practice and explore how we can deepen our partnership in this shared goal.
Our comprehensive democracy strategy, constantly being adapted even as it is being carried out, includes technical assistance, reporting and advocacy, public and private diplomacy, educational and cultural exchanges, and punitive measures. It is bilateral and multilateral. It is willing to consider and use a wide range of means to achieve a common end: The advance of democratic institutions, the affirmation of human dignity, and the ultimate end of tyranny around the globe.
This is why the Secretary has tasked the Department of State with reviewing our organizational structure and resources to insure that we are equipped to carry out this mandate effectively. In fact, she has directed our Ambassadors to give priority to democracy promotion, to make it central to mission strategies and their daily diplomatic activities.
From the beginning of the Administration, we have participated in the Policy Coordinating Committee on Democracy Promotion convened by the National Security Council. This PCC, as it is known, meets periodically to coordinate our Government's interagency efforts to promote democracy and human rights and to ensure that the overall strategy of the President's agenda is being advanced.
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We have developed the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative, the Forum for the Future, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative. This is a comprehensive program working with civil society, businesses, and governments throughout the region to encourage support and accelerate social, political, and economic reform efforts that originate in the region.
Our Human Rights and Democracy Fund stands as another one of our key tools. Through this relatively modest-sized fund, we seek maximum impact by identifying and supporting dynamic, innovative organizations and cutting-edge programs vital to democratization.
We see our focus on women's concerns as a vital component of our overall democracy agenda. As the First Lady has said:
''No society can prosper when half of its population is not allowed to contribute to its progress. Educated and empowered women are vital to democracy and important for the development of all countries.''
Through our International Religious Freedom Office's efforts to designate Countries of Particular Concern, we are also taking measures that promote tolerance, pluralism, adherence to international standards, and a comprehensive array of civil liberties. Again, all of these are essential building blocks to a democratic system.
Likewise, our annual reporting on human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons makes clear our commitment to democratic rights and freedoms. And our Supporting Human Rights and Democracy report details the efforts we are undertaking in nearly 100 countries around the world to promote human rights, democracy, and rule of law.
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There are other items that I can also mention in terms of our interaction with our chiefs of missions, our reports, and using public diplomacy instruments. We maintain a robust series of programs of cultural and educational exchanges, in which we bring foreign leaders and students from many nations and vocations to the United States.
These are some of the kinds of tools and instruments that we have used to advance democracy.
Let me just say in conclusion, we do seek partnerships and coalitions with other nations. The Secretary and I just returned from the third ministerial meeting of the Community of Democracies in Santiago, Chile; and this meeting reflected a new level of unity and cooperation among the world's democracies. I would like to share with you some of the initiatives that came from that.
Finally, regarding the ADVANCE Democracy Act, we support the spirit and intention of this bill. The Administration has provided you with our specific comments in written form. There are some provisions in this bill about which the Administration is especially supportive and a number of specific provisions that give us
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Secretary Dobriansky, perhaps in the questioning period we will get to the bill. I am sure Mr. Lantos and others will be asking about that. So if you could just make your concluding sentence. Thank you.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Thank you. I will.
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I will say, in conclusion, that we look forward to working with Congress on this bill, which has the potential to be an effective and even historic partnership between Congress and the Administration. We have an enormous task, and we look forward to continuing our partnership and working with you on a common democratic agenda.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much. We appreciate that.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Dobriansky follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PAULA DOBRIANSKY, UNDER SECRETARY FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
It is a particular honor and pleasure for me to be here today, for I am representing a President and a Secretary of State who have made the democracy agenda the defining theme of our nation's role in the world. Promoting freedom has been a hallmark of this Administration's foreign policy. We know now more than ever that the way a government treats its own people bears directly on how it acts in the international arena. We know that the best defense of our own borders comes from the growth of freedom abroad.
The President's second inaugural address, particularly his declaration that ''it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,'' represents a deepening and reaffirmation of a steadfast policy. As the President proclaimed in his September 20, 2001 address to Congress, ''The advance of human freedomthe great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every timenow depends on us.'' This was reaffirmed in the National Security Strategy issued on September 17, 2002, which declared one pillar of our foreign policy to be ''extend[ing] the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent,'' because ''freedom is the non-negotiable demand of human dignity; the birthright of every personin every civilization.'' The President expanded on these principles in his November 6, 2003 address to the National Endowment for Democracy. ''The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country . . . And we believe that freedomthe freedom we prizeis not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind.''
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In her first months in office, Secretary Rice has already traveled to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. On each continent, in each capital, she has made promotion of freedom and democratic institutions central to her agenda. In public speeches and private meetings, she has made clear our government's firm commitment to this cause and the need to pursue ''transformational diplomacy.'' We do not simply accept the world as it is today. Accordingly, the Secretary has called on each of us to be activists, to have a vision of a free world, and to partner with those who themselves are trying to foster democratic change.
I know that many in Congress share these pro-democracy sentiments. In appearing before this committee, I am in the company of some treasured friends and longtime colleagues in the common cause of freedom. Because of your past efforts, many former prisoners of conscience are free, former dissidents now help lead democratic governments, religious believers worship openly, and entire nations live in freedom and at peace with their neighbors. I commend you for this, and I count myself privileged to have partnered with many of you in these endeavors.
Yet, I know we also share the conviction that as long as injustice, oppression, and tyranny continue as a blight on the globe, our work is not done. Our striving will not flag. And that is in part why we are here together todayfor me to share with you the Administration's ongoing and expanding efforts to advance the cause of freedom, and for us to consider together how we might continue to strengthen our partnership to pursue this calling. Let me assure you that this Administration knows that our freedom agenda will be even stronger with the active partnership with Congress. The ADVANCE Democracy Act is just the latest tangible demonstration of Congress' commitment to this cause.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On behalf of the Department of State and the Bush Administration, I want to commend Rep. Wolf, Rep. Lantos, Chairman Hyde, the HIRC Members, and others in Congress who have labored over this bill. We appreciate the tremendous amounts of thought, energy, and innovation that have gone into it thus far. And we appreciate your interest in working with the Administration to pursue such ideas.
We believe the expansion of ordered liberty to be the most effective long-term deterrent to the security threats posed by religious extremism, instability, tyranny, and terrorism. Besides being in our national interest, promoting human rights and democratic institutions is also consistent with our national ideals and international agreements. The American tradition and universal human rights standards both recognize the intrinsic and inalienable dignity of the human person, and the rights and freedoms that stem from that dignity. It is the responsibility of governments to respect and secure those rights for their citizens. And it is the responsibility of democracies to promote the protection of these rights and freedoms wherever they may be threatened or violated.
We recognize the great challenge, particularly in light of global problems. We believe promoting democracy is the most realistic policy possible, because it is the system of government most consistent with human nature. Democratic institutions give restraint to humanity's base instincts, and give freedom to humanity's noblest inclinations. Even as we witness great advances in human freedom, such as the crumbling of the Iron Curtain and the demise of Soviet communism a decade and a half ago, we know that history has not come to an end, that new challenges and threats always arise. As Secretary Rice said just last week to the Community of Democracies, ''we must usher in an era of democracy that thinks of tyranny as we think of slavery today: a moral abomination that could not withstand the natural desire of every human being for a life of liberty and dignity.''
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We see that freedom's call is resonating with more and more people around the world. Even a cursory glance at the global headlines of the past two years shows that these principles have moved from dream to reality for many citizens. From Georgia to Ukraine to Iraq to Lebanon to Afghanistan, the cynicism of skeptics and the oppression of autocrats have been answered by peaceful protests, ballot boxes, and constitution drafts. Even those nations that are furthest from democracy perversely honor it in the breachI think here of the ''Democratic People's Republic of Korea,'' as just one vivid example. It is no accident that Kim Jong Il's regime seeks to legitimate its barbaric rule by claiming to be ''democratic.'' Meanwhile, the dream of democracy persists for many citizens who are yet denied it. We say to those who yearn for their freedom in Iran, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Belarus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Turkmenistan, Zimbabwe, Sudan, North Korea, and elsewhere, that hope and history are on your side. We will not forget you, and we will support you in your struggle. Just last week, at the Community of Democracies Ministerial in Santiago, Chile, I met with democracy activists from some of these countries to hear their concerns and support them in their efforts.
So though we are optimistic about the human yearning for liberty, we are realistic about the challenges and obstacles. Freedom's appeal is resilient, yet freedom itself can be fragile.
In fact, the Department of State remains fully committed to this endeavor. We see it as the calling of our time. As Secretary Rice has said, ''In all that lies ahead, our nation will continue to clarify for other nations the moral choice between oppression and freedom, and we will make it clear that ultimately success in our relations depends on the treatment of their own people.'' Furthermore, the Secretary has observed that ''the survival of liberty in our land is dependent on the growth of liberty in other lands.'' This is why she has tasked the State Department with reviewing our organizational structure and resources to ensure that we are equipped to carry out this mandate effectively.
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Today, I want to share with you an overview of what the State Department is doing to put the President's priorities into practice, and explore how we can deepen our partnership in this shared goal. The President's vision is being implemented with bold new programs and initiatives. No less important, his agenda is also being carried out through the countless daily acts of faithful service performed by thousands of State Department staff around the globe. In particular, the Secretary has directed our Ambassadors to give priority to democracy promotion, to make it central to their mission strategies and their daily diplomatic activities.
Our comprehensive democracy strategy, constantly being adapted even as it is being carried out, includes technical assistance, reporting and advocacy, public and private diplomacy, educational and cultural exchanges, and punitive measures. It is bilateral and multilateral. It is willing to consider and use a wide array of means to achieve a common end: the advance of democratic institutions, the affirmation of human dignity, and the ultimate end of tyranny around the globe.
From the beginning of the Administration, we have participated in the Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC) on Democracy Promotion convened by the National Security Council. This PCC meets periodically to coordinate our government's interagency efforts to promote democracy and human rights, and to ensure that the overall strategy of President's agenda is being advanced.
Our security concerns and the indigenous drive for freedom and reform have focused much of our efforts on the broader Middle East and North Africa. The Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Initiative built on a powerful vision of progress and reform in the region. Elections in Afghanistan, Palestinian territories, and Iraq, and most recently, events in Lebanon have shown this vision is shared by millions of people in the region.
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BMENA initiative's strength is in engaging the region's government, civil society, and business leaders and bringing them together to advance common reform goals. The historic Forum for the Future held in Rabat last December was a partnership among the countries of the BMENA region, the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized democracies, and others, all united around a common agenda that advances the universal values of human dignity, democracy, economic opportunity, and social justice. In Rabat, Foreign, Finance, and Economy Ministers from 28 countries gathered to discuss and develop collaborative efforts to support political, economic, and social reform in the BMENA region. Civil society and business representatives also participated in the Forum. The next Forum for the Future will take place in November in Bahrain. We are exploring with our G8 and regional partners ways to strengthen the Forum so that it can better support the democratic trends on the ground.
The Middle East Partnership Initiative, announced by President Bush and funded with bipartisan support from the Congress, has sought to bring the resources, experience, and determination of the United States to bear in an effort to bolster the reform movement in the Middle East. MEPI works with partners in the region to develop programs that help put in place the building blocks for democratic change. Our partners include non-governmental organizations, businesses, universities, international institutions, and in some cases, Middle Eastern governments themselves. Its four-''pillar'' structure focuses efforts on political governance and participation, economic liberalization and opportunity, educational quality and access, and the empowerment of women, recognizing that progress in each of them complements and facilitatesand is often a requirement forprogress in the others. During the first three years of its existence, the Middle East Partnership Initiative set in motion more than 130 programs in 14 countries of the Middle East.
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We are matching resources to policy priorities, and making clear that in word and deed we stand with those courageous voices for reform, human rights, and freedom. The fate and future of these regions depends ultimately on their own people. But those leaders who stand up to advance democratic principles will know that they have a steadfast ally and partner in the United States. And not the United States alonethe G8 industrialized nations and the nations of the BMENA region are playing vital roles in helping lead this collaborative effort. For example, Yemen, one of the countries leading the Democracy Assistance Dialogue, has recently proposed at the Community of Democracies Ministerial the creation of an Inter-Arab Democracy Charter.
USAID Administrator Natsios is committed to implementing the vision for democracy promotion outlined in President Bush's second inaugural address. USAID manages over $1 billion in democracy promotion assistance in over 80 countries around the globe. In providing direct support to Iraq's transition to democracy; assisting the development of democratic institutions in Afghanistan; supporting innovative approaches to community policing in Colombia; and playing a crucial peace-building role through comprehensive support to establish a new Government of South Sudan, USAID programs are moving our agenda forward.
Our Human Rights and Democracy Fund stands as another one of our key tools. Through this relatively modest-sized fund, we seek maximum impact by identifying and supporting dynamic, innovative organizations and cutting-edge programs that are already working in a number of areas vital to democratization, including rule of law, election standards, labor rights, political party development, civil society development, and institution building. HRDF seeks to cultivate the seeds of democratization, so that when political change comes, the structures and culture are in place to embrace and sustain democracy. We have developed its capability to respond quickly as needs and opportunities emerge. The HRDF has grown in a very short time to $36.7 million this fiscal year. Kyrgyzstan provides just one visible example of HRDF's impact. Our programming there, including support for the region's only independent printing press, enabled the people of Kyrgyzstan to make their voices be heard and contributed to a vibrant civil society that demanded accountability for flawed election races. Zamira Sydykova, a leading opposition journalist, recently testified to that fact before the Helsinki Commission. In her words, U.S. support and programs ''spurred on ordinary citizens to realize their role in the elections'' and ''imparted confidence to the [Kyrgyz] independent mass media.''
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We see our focus on women's concerns as a vital component of our overall democracy agenda. As the First Lady has said, ''No society can prosper when half of its population is not allowed to contribute to its progress. Educated and empowered women are vital to democracyand important for the development of all countries.'' To take just two prominent examples, the United States has funded more than 200 different projects in Afghanistan supporting Afghan women in education, microenterprise, and political, legal, and media training, and we intend to provide significant additional resources to support Iraqi women and their role in the political and economic reconstruction of their country. The President created in 2002 the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, which I have the honor of co-chairing. This partnership brings together women leaders from the United States and Afghanistan to partner in addressing some of the problems, but also opportunities, facing Afghan women. In the words of Massoda Jalal, the current Minister of Women's Affairs and the first woman to run for President in Afghanistan's 5,000-year history, ''The commitment of the US-Afghan Women's Council has allowed Afghan women to be heard and to help lead their country.''
We also see our ongoing advocacy in the areas of human rights, religious freedom, anti-trafficking, and law enforcement training, among other areas, as indispensable components of our overall democracy strategy. For example, when our Trafficking in Persons office takes the lead in determining which governments are not taking sufficient steps to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and punish perpetrators, we are also taking measures that strengthen rule of law, protect minority rights, undermine organized crime, and enhance the social status of vulnerable or marginal populations. All of these are indispensable to a democratic system. Or when our International Religious Freedom Office takes the lead in designating Countries of Particular Concern, we are also taking measures that promote tolerance, pluralism, adherence to international standards, and a comprehensive array of civil libertiesagain, all of these are essential building blocks to a democratic system.
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Likewise, our annual reporting on human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons makes clear our commitment to democratic rights and freedoms. And our ''Supporting Human Rights and Democracy'' report details the efforts we are undertaking in nearly 100 countries around the world to promote human rights, democracy, and rule of law. These reports direct a spotlight on these issues and hold governments accountable.
The process of producing these reports is as important as the final product. Throughout the year, our chiefs of mission and other embassy and consulate staff are instructed to meet regularly with local political and religious leaders, dissidents, journalists, activists, and other voices for democratic values in each country. We learn from them and, where appropriate, encourage and support them. We make clear that when democracy activists peacefully speak out or stand up for freedom, the US Government stands with them.
These reports are sources of accountability and empowerment for citizens of each country. We now translate the introduction of each of the four major reports into seven languages, and posts are instructed to translate each country report into the host country language and post it on our embassy websites within 30 days. It is also a reminder and guide for free nations to remember the plight of those who are not. Accurate information alone does not bring democratic change, but democratic change is nearly impossible without accurate information.
In this same spirit, we are bolstering our public diplomacy efforts, particularly our broadcasting into restrictive nations. Tyrannical regimes seek to maintain their grip on power by maintaining a monopoly on knowledge. They deny their citizens access to independent media and even basic facts about the world. We support broadcasts, print media, and other outlets that equip peoples in closed nations with open truth. These initiatives include Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Sawa, Alhurra, and Radio and TV Marti.
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We also maintain a robust series of programs of cultural and educational exchanges, in which we bring foreign leaders and students from many nations and vocations to the United States. Exposing them to our way of life, our values and traditions and system of government, has been invaluable in helping cultivate potential democratic leaders and reformers. The short time they spend in the United States on these programs often pays a lifetime of dividends. To take just one example, fourteen members of Georgian President Saakashvili's Administration have been exchange visitors to the United States.
While the United States is able and willing to show leadership here, we realize that we cannot do it alone. Just as democratic values are not reserved to the United States, neither is democratic advocacy. We need partnerships and coalitions with other nations. And while the truth of democratic values may be known in the abstract, it is realized most vividly in the diverse experiences of different nations and cultures around the world who have all, in their own unique ways, come to embrace and demonstrate democracy.
The Secretary and I just returned from the third ministerial meeting of the Community of Democracies in Santiago, Chile. This meeting represented a new level of unity and cooperation among the world's democracies. It provided a forum for developing and implementing several specific initiatives, including our Electoral Standards project to create a universal standard for assessing elections, pledges of financial support for the Democracy Fund announced by President Bush at the UN last year, and renewed commitment to the Democracy Caucus at the UN. We are also very encouraged by the leadership shown by other nations such as Hungary, which has established a Democracy Transition Center to make available the resources and expertise of countries that have undergone recent democratic transitions to nations now undergoing their own such transitions. Again, many goals of the Ministerial are reflected in your legislationand for that support we are grateful.
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Because financial assistance must foster independence and not dependence, we have inaugurated innovative new assistance programs such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation that seek to partner with reform-minded leaders, reinforce positive trends, and reward progressive developments. Besides the obvious importance of this funding in its own right, the MCA process delivers a strategic message around the world: economic reform, rule of law, good governance, and political liberalization are all interconnected, and mutually reinforcing. Those who would be prosperous must govern with justice.
Much as we are pleased with these ongoing efforts, we realize that more can be done. The Department is in the process of strengthening our diplomatic, programmatic, and public outreach as well as reviewing our internal organizational structure to ensure that we are organized most effectively to carry out the ambitions that the President has set for us.
Regarding the ADVANCE Democracy Act, the Administration has provided to you our specific comments in written form. There are some provisions in this bill about which the Administration is especially supportive, and a number of specific provisions that give us concern. I hope that we can work with Congress to address these concerns. Let me make clear that overall we support the spirit and intentions of this bill. It has the potential to be an effective and even historic partnership between Congress and the Administration on advancing our nation's foreign policy at a momentous juncture in history.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. To start the questioning, Congressman Lantos.
Mr. LANTOS. Thank you so much, Madam Chair.
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Let me thank my friend, Secretary Dobriansky, for an eloquent statement.
Madam Secretary, a few days ago, Secretary Rice spoke in Chile; and I read her speech with great care. I think it is a magnificent speech; and, with her permission, I will put it in the Congressional Record today because it reflects the spirit of the McCain-Lieberman-Wolf-Lantos legislation, and we were delighted to see her again speak out so forcefully on this issue.
I don't think there is any question that we are all together in this effort. My concern is that, in terms of implementation of these goals and in terms of budgetary support, we will severely part company. So, let me, if I may, as a professional economist, just put some things in context.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent in Iraq, and I have voted in the past to support these efforts, and I will vote again when this issue comes up. But, in view of that, when small millions are asked for implementing the proposals in our legislation, I will look singularly unkindly at budgetary admonitions from the Department of State or any other entity. I think we have to be consistent. We have to recognize that, while this is a dramatically more inexpensive way of bringing about regime changea peaceful and diplomatic process is always infinitely cheaper and obviously infinitely less damaging than the other approachit cannot be done without the expenditure of some funds.
So let me just hoist a flag of caution that, while we deeply appreciate the rhetorical support and understand its sincerity and genuineness, it will have to be translated to support for the financial aspects of our very modest proposal. In this connection, may I ask, has the Department of State taken a public stand on funding the Democracy Center in Hungary?
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Ms. DOBRIANSKY. In Santiago, Chile, in fact, in her statement, Secretary Rice indicated our support for the Hungary Democracy Transition Center.
Mr. LANTOS. At what level?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. We have not yet discussed specifics with the Hungarians. We have participated with the Hungarians in a number of planning meetings to discuss resources and also to determine the focus and the agenda of the center. So, Congressman Lantos, let me say we have committed our support to the center. We have not stated specifically the resources that will be allocated, but we have committed our support to the center.
Mr. LANTOS. I am very pleased to hear that.
May I pursue implementation along other lines?
The day before yesterday Senator Chris Cox, who served as Republican Policy Chairor maybe still doesand I introduced legislation calling for the exclusion of Russia from the G7. Our argument was very simple. The G7 represented the major industrial democracies on the face of this planet; and that, as a matter of courtesy to former President Yeltsin, he was invited to attend the G7 meetings as a guest and as an observer. Later on, as democracy was moving in the right direction in Russia, the Russians were asked to join the G7, which was renamed the G8, although for specific important economic issues the group still meets as the G7.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now it is no secret that under President Putin, Russia has moved in a retrograde fashion. Free media no longer exists in the Soviet Union. The rule of law is arbitrarily implemented in a singularly undemocratic fashion, and there are severe human rights violations in that country.
Russia is scheduled to be the host of the G8 meeting in Moscow next year. Congressman Chris Cox has asked that unless there are dramatic changes in Russia's performance with respect to democratic processes, the meeting not take place in Moscow, and Russia be asked not to participate in G8 meetings until after it returns to its previous Yeltsin-designated democratic path.
What is the State Department's position on this issue?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Well, first, in terms of the concern about human rights and democracy in Russia, the Administration has been very vocal on this issue. When President Bush met with President Putin he not only addressed this in their private meetings, but, as you know, he publicly referred to our concerns about Russia's human rights regression. Also, Secretary Rice visited Moscow recently; and human rights backsliding was an issue that was very much part of her bilateral discussion and on her agenda as well, not just only privately but also publicly.
In terms of the proposal, at this time, the Administration does feel that by engaging Russia, by being direct with Russia, we hope to bring about changes in these areas.
I think that we certainly want to take heed of all suggestions that are made, but right now our position is that it is important to address problems directly, privately, and publicly, and at the same time to engage them.
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Mr. LANTOS. Well, if I may ask one final question, Madam Chair.
Nobody is against engagement. So I plead with you not to use that ambivalent term, because we were engaged with the Soviet Union since 1933 until the collapse of the Soviet system. Engagement means maintaining diplomatic relations, having trade ties, conducting business. Engagement does not mean the granting of the democratic label to regimes which are palpably non-democratic.
One of the concerns I have with respect to next year's meeting of the Community of Democracies is that we will not be careful enough in the invitation list which, of course, is the seal of approval for these governments. If they are invited to attend the meeting of democracies, we label them by definition as democracies.
My understanding is that, as of now, plans are to invite Russia to this meeting in 2006. Am I correct in my assumption and is the subject still open for discussion and debate and dissent?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. First, let me clarify the term. Maybe a better term, rather than engagement is not isolated. As the Secretary of State has used this reference quite specifically, if is not to leave Russia isolated. We feel that we can bring pressure to bear by having them involved in various fora and not leaving them isolated. So my response to you is that our approach at this time is not to have them isolated, to try to bring about change.
Mr. LANTOS. Nobody is advocatingMadam Secretary, nobody is advocating isolation. I am talking about designating invitees to a conference of democracies countries which are clearly not democracies.
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Ms. DOBRIANSKY. I am sorry, you are referring to the Community of Democracies?
Mr. LANTOS. Yes.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Forgive me. I thought you were still referring to the question before concerning the G8.
In terms of the Community of Democracies meeting, this past year, the convening group chose to include Russia. Let me just say that, as this issue is addressed, as we go forward, there are two points I would make.
In the meeting in Santiago, Chile, I think there was an important discussion about, first of all, reaffirming the commitment to include only those countries that are democratic as participants. There is also an observer category which tries to throw a broader net to some that are emerging democracies. There was a discussion specifically over a number of countries, including Russia. The convening group determined that Russia should participate in this gathering.
However, whether it is Russia or other countries, the sentiment is that the selection process needs to be modified. A recommendation that has been specifically made is to set up an independent body that would be comprised of NGOs and also by former leaders. They would make determinations based on, in fact, the Freedom House ranking structure. We do use their ratings at this time, but it is the convening group composed of governments who are making these choices. So, forgive me. I misunderstood. I thought you were referring still to the G8.
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Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you, Mr. Lantos.
Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. Thank you, Madam Chair.
First of all, Secretary Dobriansky, thank you for the great job you are doing and for your many years on behalf of human rights, diplomacy, and public broadcasting. I just want to make a couple of points.
It has always been my concernit is an ongoing concern that the Department, no matter who or whoever has the White House, tends to put trade first, second, third, fourth, fifth and then maybe stability in there and often human rights as an asterisk.
I know that for this President and for you personally and for Condoleezza Rice that is not the case. You do care deeply. But very often out in the field for many of our Ambassadors, human rights tends to play a back-seat role.
I note in your statement today that you point out that the Administration opposes codifying positions and options of authority, either directly or indirectly. I do have some concerns with that, because that same argument, frankly, was used when we were writing the International Religious Freedom Act which went through my Subcommittee. It was actively opposed by the Clinton Administration.
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John Shattuck, who was the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Labor and Human Rights, sat right where you sat and testified against it and said it would create a heirarchy of human rightswhich I thought was as bogus as a $3 billbecause we haveit was value addedmore human rights protections for a previously almost forgotten group of people, and that is religious believers of various stripes and persuasions.
So the concern aboutand the same type of push-back, but certainly not as vigorous, was felt by me and others, because we did the trafficking legislation, the Trafficking Protection Act of 2000.
There are a lot of people in the Department that didn't like that because it clearly delineated lines of authority positions. We actually punted until the 2003 act, establishing ambassadorial rank for now Ambassador John Miller, made it a directorate to get it up and running, and also because there was some push-back about a new Ambassador. We had the same problem with John Hanford's position.
So I would just ask you, if you would, to reconsider, work with us, work with Mr. Lantos and Chairman Wolf on these lines of authority because we don't do enough, I don't think, on human rights. The protocol office gets more money than the human rights office. Protocol is important, but it seems to me that if you want peace, democracies usually don't attack democracies unless it is in a self-defense or to stop some kind of very, very malicious activity on the part of a dictatorship.
So, you know, this is part of peacemaking, it seems to me, and I know you agree with that. So please work with us on thoseon that current opposition toyou know, the positions and the lines of authority. You know, if we were all confident that after passage that would just happen, that would be one thing. But I do think there are some tremendous amounts of collective wisdom that needs to be tapped in Congress and in the Senate andHouse and Senate. We do work very closely with the NGOs, and they do have some very, very fine and often spectacular ideas that find their way into our bills. So please relook at that opposition.
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Secondly, the marriage between USAID, which very often is on the program side actually getting the lion's share of money for democracy building, how can we forge a better link and cooperation between what State does and what USAID does? It seems to me there is very often a disconnect there, and if there is any recommendations you might have for the bill that could further tie that knot so that everybody is on the same page promoting human rights and democracy asyou know, so there is some synergy in terms of that, because it has been, again, my experience, unwittingly, to find that people in the field, sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing, and it is unwitting because they certainly are dedicated public servants.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Okay. Congressman, thank you.
First, as I mentioned in my testimony here, specifically my opening statement, the Secretary has asked us to review internally our structure and also our resources. And the bill puts forth a variety of suggestions. Let me give an example of one.
It mentions in the Democracy, Human Rights, Labor Bureau the need to create an Office of Democratic Movements. We have an Office of Human Rights and Democracy Promotion. The issue is, for example, we have an existing office. We wouldn't create an additional office, but we would like to continue this discussion with you to look at the mandate of that office and how that mandate needs to be modified in terms of the work that the office is presently doing.
There was another suggestion made, for example, to establish an advisory board. We think that having under the Secretary's direction a committee of democracy experts could be very useful, very helpful. Right now, I do regular meetings with nongovernmental organizations and with democracy activists. The Secretary of State does as well, as does the Deputy Secretary of State. So it is trying to determine the most effective structures and, if you will, how some recommendations here fit in, in what is already existing and what makes sense.
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I think we have a common goal and agenda here. It is a matter of how to develop it in the most effective way and further it. And that is our goal and objective as well.
You asked about USAID and the State Department. I will say that we have worked with USAID in multiple ways. First, I referred in my statement to the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF). USAID has its democracy office. Most of USAID's resources are dispersed on a very large scale to other countries and in their interaction with them, they determine what kind of technical assistance and assistance they need to provide for. Through the HRDF, we provide for very targeted assistance. It is, in most cases, very complementary. It was mentioned earlier about the importance of the printing press in Kyrgyzstan. The printing press was funded out of the Human Rights and Democracy Fund in a very quick and targeted manner. That is not something that necessarily USAID could have done in the time within which this project was realized.
I will give a second example, if I may, and that is on Iraq. We needed to get resources quickly to Iraqi women who are desirous of our support for their involvement in democratic initiatives. It was through a disbursement from the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, which was done in record time, record time being several months, because it takes time with resources. Believe me, that was a positive development. They got it in their hands and well in advance of when they needed it for their participation in the recent elections. So we work closely with USAID and complement many of their efforts on democracy assistance.
Secondly, we also work through the PCC that I mentioned earlier, which is an interagency meeting where we discuss our respective projects and initiations.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thirdly, you may be aware that the State Department had initiated a council which is tasked to focus on our work between the State Department and USAID in many areas, all the cross-over areas, and to determine specifically how we can reinforce one another in terms of our respective mandates.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Smith.
Ms. MCCOLLUM. Thank you. I commend the authors of the bill. I think this is a wonderful reinforcement of what America stands for in promoting democracy. But I have a couple of questions about promoting democracy in general. There was a recent visit to my office, and I know that the parliamentarian group of interparliamentarians has been moving forward to have U.S. participation, and I would like to know what the State Department is going to do to be supportive of more parliamentarian exchanges.
When I meet with people who are serving as parliamentarians, whether it is from Ethiopia or from Northern Ireland, people seeking to run the offices, there needs to be a continued emphasis and push toward more exchange, not just administration to administration, but parliamentarians, if we are really going to be serious about accountability in budgets, if we are going to be serious about fighting global poverty on some of the international health issues that are so violently attacking parts of AfricaAIDS, malaria, tuberculosis. Some of that comes down to mentorship on a personal level, but it also comes to us as parliamentarians, being engaged with other donor nations to make sure that dollars are being effective and that we are all reinforcing things.
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And to that point, I have a recent article in front of me from the New York Times entitled ''Lawmakers Block Women from Voting in Kuwait.'' An ally of ours. Conservative lawmakers in Kuwait's Parliament today, on Tuesday, created a constitutional roadblock that effectively killed the measure that would have allowed women to participate in city council elections for the first time.
That isI would like you to address what we are doing to encourage action on that, and what could be the role of some of us, not just Ambassadors going out, as Mr. Lantos so eloquently pointed out, and standing with people, but those of us standing with the parliamentarians who try to have democracy move forward.
And then I have been baffled about Togo. Here is a small country in Africa in which the African Union stood with citizens who said, ''We want democracy to move forward. We want elections to move forward.'' And did wewhat did we do to make sure that the full force of making sure that every vote counted and every vote was counted properly in Togo? What is our role in supporting the African Union in countries like Togo to move forward? Because we have the President's initiative, the Congress' initiative, a bipartisan initiative to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa, to work on global poverty reduction, and to promote democracy from everything that I have heard; yet we, for the most partmeaning the United States, from what I have been able to gatherhave remained definitely very silent on this issue.
So can you tell me what the State Department's role is with either allies that are blocking democratic movement to move forward, or not practicing what we have so eloquently preached, every single one of us, including the President, about democracy moving forward in some of these small countries where we could have a tremendous impact? I mean, if you need us all to get on the plane and go to Togo, I think we would all go to Togo. What are we doing to promote democracy?
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Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Okay. Well, let me first respond. You had several points. On the issue of parliamentary exchanges, the United States Agency for International Development does fund parliamentary exchanges. One of the challenges, however, admittedly has been congressional schedules where the timing isn't always opportune to set up an exchange. It might work in one directionparliamentary groups coming from other countries here; but I will say that in the other direction it hasn't always worked in terms of congressional schedules. But we do fund parliamentary exchanges.
I couldn't agree with you more in terms of the importance of it. I could tell you that actually it doesn't only have to be for legislators. To give you a specific example, the State Department brought a group of Afghan and Iraqi women here who are in government, including a number of ministers and also other high-level officials, and they were shadowed by Members of Congress.
Ms. MCCOLLUM. Madam Chair, my time is limited. I realize you are going to cut off a response. If I could have the answers to my questions, please.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Yes. Thank you.
Secretary Dobriansky, maybe just give short responses. So we have got that the parliamentarians were in Togo.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. I am sorry. All right. Very briefly, on Togo, we have given democratic assistance. In fact, in our report on supporting human rights and democracy, it indicates how resources like from the Democracy Human Rights Fund have been used in support of human rights assistance helping NGOs. My point is that, yes, we have given assistance on the ground.
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Ms. MCCOLLUM. Madam Chairman.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Ms. McCollum.
Ms. MCCOLLUM. Yes. Madam Chairman, thank you very much. My question is what are we doing today about what is going on in Togo? What are we doing today about what is going on in Kuwait? Right now. It is happening right now.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Right now. And specifically in terms of Togo, we were following the outcome of the elections, following the details on the ground because there had to be a judgment made on the conduct of the elections. So one of the first things that we did was that, and had determined that the specifics provided on the ground, that it concerned us the way that election was conducted. What we continue to do is, in fact, to help the democracy activists. That is what we are doing today in that case.
In the case of Kuwait, I could tell you definitively we have had an ongoing dialogue on women's suffrage. That continues today. We noticed the announcement very much yesterday. We have helped women in Kuwait. We are also trying to help others, not only women, but those members in the Parliament who are interested in seeing that legislation providing women's suffrage go forward.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you. Thank you, Madam Secretary. And I realize, Ms. McCollum, that you did have other questions, that we could elaborate perhaps that the Members could submit written questions to Secretary Dobriansky, and she will answer in writing as well. Thank you.
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Mr. BOOZMAN. Thank you. And I would agree with you, Ms. McCollum, you know, thaton the parliamentary exchanges and things like that. I think sadly, though, one of the things I have experienced is that, you know, we really aren't willing to get on the plane. I know that you are very much so, but some of our colleagues really don't care as much as they ought to, and that is the purpose of having these hearings is to try and, you know, get greater support for that, especially with the parliamentary exchanges and things. It is so valuable to bring those people over, visit with them, you know, take the time. But again, we don't do a very good job of doing that, and are reluctant to go over.
So, you mentioned in your testimony that you had some things that you were especially supportive of and didn't, and then I think you were going to follow up with maybe some other things that you weren't so supportive of. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Certainly. I mentioned the advisory board proposal. We are supportive of that. We would like to see it as a committee in order to include democracy experts and to also give the Secretary an opportunity to put it together.
There were a number of structural suggestions made concerning the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, Labor like the establishment of a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy and the setup of an Office of Democratic Movements. On that we are looking, as part of our internal review, what exists, like an office already exists, but also looking at how the mandate could be expanded, looking at where we feel structurally we need to add value.
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Another suggestion focused on training, specifically in terms of what needs to be done in training our Foreign Service officers. In this regard, now, in our A 100 course, which Ambassador Palmer is very familiar with as the introductory for all Foreign Service officers, it is required to have a democracy promotion course. The Foreign Service Institute does give other courses, related courses, to democracy promotion and human rights. The question is, what more could we be doing? And we would like to have a dialogue on that. But there are some things that we are already doing. I am worrying about time, but in a nutshell those are a few of the examples. There were others.
Mr. BOOZMAN. And did you have some concerns aboutI mean, were there some areas that you were concerned that you weren't as supportive of?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Well, in terms of areas of concern, most stemmed from recommendations being made where something is already in existence. It is how you work with it. I am giving a couple of examples there.
Mr. BOOZMAN. Right. Okay. Thank you.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. But let me just emphasize, we look forward to having a dialogue about the many excellent suggestions that have been made and some whichas I said, some that I think we can move forward on, some that we need to have a discussion on, and then some that we think would not be necessary.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you, Mr. Boozman.
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In the interest of time, I am going to be pretty strict about the remaining 5 minutes for each Member because we will have a vote on the supplemental between 11 o'clock and 11:30, and I wanted to make sure that all of the Members could get an opportunity to ask questions.
And with that I will turn for 5 minutes to Mr. Schiff. So that will be both your question and the Secretary's answer, Adam.
Mr. SCHIFF. Madam Chairman, thank you very much, and I will try to be very quick. At the outset I want to thank you for your support of the liberty list bill and your leadership in the Committee generally, and want to thank our Ranking Member for his wonderful work.
I wanted to ask three things. I will make the questions real simple so it will give you more chance to respond. The first is, I have a concern about some of the cuts in democracy promotion funding in places other than Iraq and Afghanistan, which have either been essentially flat over the past several years or been reduced. I am especially concerned about cuts for democracy programs in Asia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe.
The Administration has proposed cutting funding for the Asia Foundation from $13 million to $10 million, jeopardizing efforts in places like Indonesia. The 2006 Administration Budget also cuts the Global Human Rights and Democracy Fund 25 percent from last year. In Europe the SEED Act is being cut, which was so instrumental in helping Serbia in its transition. That has been cut by $14 million. The Freedom Support Act, which assists democracy programs in Russia and the former Soviet Union, was cut by $78 million this year and has been cut by 46 percent over the last 4 years. And as you have testified, things are not going so well in Russia, and I don't know that we are moving in the right direction in terms of putting our resources where our rhetoric is.
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And further, some areas where the Administration has been strong, the Congress has not been as good. And we have cut some proposed funding for the Ukraine, which I don't think the Ukraine is yet on solid enough footing that we can declare victory and afford to move on. So I would like your thoughts on why the Administration has proposed cuts in democracy funding in other places.
And the second question I wanted to ask you about was about the Democracy Caucus within the United Nations, which I think is a very important concept. It is one I know the Chair and Mr. Lantos have strongly advocated. I would like to know what the status of that is. Where is that, what can be done to further strengthen that institution within the United Nations?
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you. Three minutes to answer.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. All right. Let me work backwards. On the Democracy Caucus, we discussed this in Santiago, Chile, at the Community of Democracies. In fact, it was referenced in the outcome document, the need to undertake further action to bolster the Democracy Caucus. We see the Democracy Caucus as having a role in the introduction of resolutions, in providing assistance to emerging democracies, and also especially looking toward democratic countries and representatives of democratic countries to be placed on and in U.N. organizations. We are working with other countries to move the Democracy Caucus forward.
So I couldn't agree more with what you have said. We are taking steps to do that in the context of the Community of Democracies and also with our partners there and in the United Nations. We think it is an important instrument.
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In terms of budget, you mentioned a number of items. I wrote them down. Let me, if I may, give you a general comment. I think one needs to take a look at what is changing in the world, those areas where we can provide assistance, maybe via multiple means.
I indicated in my statement that it is not only a matter of giving financial or technical assistance. We deal with a wide variety of NGOs and with countries not only bilaterally, but multilaterally. So a figure might not necessarily equate with all that is happening on the ground if you look at it in isolation. And also, quite frankly, there are many supplementals that come through that also add to the overall assistance rendered to a particular country.
I don't believe that our resources and democracy are diminished. On the contrary, we are looking at how we are proportioning out in areas of vital need; those areas where we may have limited resources, how we can ensure our commitment is, in fact, fulfilled.
Mr. SCHIFF. In the last 30 seconds I have got left, I would just ask you to re-examine and rethink some of the proposed cuts, because I haven't seen any evidence that they have been made up in other places. And where we are making further efforts, they should be supplementing the existing funding, not a zero sum game, if we are really going to be putting our resources where our rhetoric has been in this area.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Congressman, if I may say, I made a note of the ones you mentioned, and I will follow up with you on the specifics.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Schiff, a perfectly magnificent 5-minute question and answer. You are to be commended.
Mr. Rohrabacher, let's see how well you do.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Some of the comments about the exchanges: I can remember early on when I came herewell, I have been here 16 years, but 14 years ago, there was an exchange of political leaders from what had been the Soviet Union, and was in transition to Russia, came into my office, and I asked them after the meeting whether they wanted to play football with me afterwards. And I think I probably told you about this before. And we went out and played football, and then afterwards a group of Russians joined us there, and then we all decided to go to the local pub to discuss football. And during that time period, we really wanted to know who was the strongest during the Cold War, so we had some arm wrestling between the Russians and the Americans. And I will let you know that when it came to my contribution, the fellow on the other side just really put me down really quick. And he now is the leader of Russia. He is Mr. Putin. And that was a very interesting way to meet Mr. Putin.
And I think that that type of exchange goes a long way, and so I would put my endorsement in on those type of exchanges because I feel right now I could probably talk to him in a way that I couldn't talk to him before he defeated me in that barroom contest.
I don't think that money is reflective of, necessarily, commitment. And too often in this town what we get is, how are you spending money? That must mean that your commitment goes along with the money. I don't believe that at all. There are things we can do without spending large amounts of money. And I will say that this Administration has been a breath of fresh air compared to the last Administration when it comes to human rights and some of the issues being discussed today, although I am not sure how much money was being spent, et cetera.
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Two issues I would like to ask you about, China and Burma. If people are going to believe that we really have a commitment to human rights, and it is not just an instrument to further American policy, Americans' interests, that we actually are committed to this for a principle, people should know that we are supporting human rights when, number one, in Burma, where it doesn't make any difference to us strategically or economically, and, number two, in China, when it is against our interests economically to create problems with a country so entwined with our own economy. So maybe you could comment on that in terms of policy commitment and as demonstrated by Burma and China.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Just a footnote, if I may. Thank you for your comments, Congressman, about resources, because I did want to mention there are multiple ways of being committed and providing support that doesn't only necessarily translate into a dollar figure, such as many of the exchanges, among others.
On Burma, you know that Secretary Rice identified Burma as one of the outposts of tyranny. We have worked very closely with many NGOs, many activists in terms of trying to provide the assistance to those Burmese activists, those who are inside and those who are in Thailand. Let me just say briefly that we will continue that very strong and steadfast support of them.
In fact, when I was in Chile, I had the benefit of meeting in Santiago one of the activists from Burma who was represented there because we felt it was important to bring over those individuals from those non-democratic countries who are not clearly represented and would not be represented at the Community of Democracies.
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On China, we have raised at the highest levels human rights issues. We also have had ongoing dialogue with the Chinese, which I think has resulted in movement in a number of key areas. Clearly there is a lot that remains. We want to see more progress. We want to see more change in China. And I will just say to you that that will remain very much a key anchor part of our bilateral relationship.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. Chandler, and then we will have Ms. Watson, Mr. Sherman, and Ms. Lee.
Mr. CHANDLER. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Secretary Dobriansky, thank you for all that you are doing to promote democracy. I think it is a tremendous goal, and I would love to see that the focus of this Administration.
I have read some of your comments here with a great deal of interest. One thing in particular that interested me was, you said here in your testimony that we strongly support those who yearn for democracy and freedom, those who yearn for freedom. We support you in your struggle. Several countries are mentioned, one of which was Saudi Arabia. As I read that language, am I reading it correctly to understand that it is the policy of the Bush Administration to ultimately see that the Saudi Royal family is removed from power?
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Ms. DOBRIANSKY. President Bush, in his speech before the National Endowment for Democracy, cited the importance of seeing change in Saudi Arabia, and we have been working with many activists in bringing about changes, democratic changes, in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. CHANDLER. Does that mean that the stated goal of the Bush Administration is to remove the Royal family from power? And how can you promote and accomplish democracy in this country without doing that?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. We work with those democracy activists and believe that it is important to work with activists and also to be guided by many of the suggestions and recommendations that they make. And I will leave it at that. I think we are very much guided by, very specifically
Mr. CHANDLER. Is that their goal?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. I have to say that the ones that I have interacted with have had other ideas about how to bring change, and that it is crucial to have change from the bottom up.
Mr. CHANDLER. So the goal of whether our policy is to remove the Royal family from power eventually is, I assume, something that you don't want to address?
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. Congressman, I think I did answer your question about what our approach is, and our approach is to see change. There are many ways in which change can come about, and I don't think that it is appropriate to cite one or another, and that is why we are working with activists, men and women in Saudi Arabia, toward that goal of change.
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Mr. CHANDLER. Thank you.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Chandler.
Ms. WATSON. Thank you so much, Madam Chair. And I hope I can say that after some time as well.
I want to thank the State Department for sending the Deputy here. You have a very, very awesome job as we spread democracies to other countries, and I, too, am concerned, and I will pick up on some of the other Members about Africa due to the recent trip to Chad and then to the Sudan. And if there is any area that we really need to concentrate and focus on more than any other place in the world, beyond the Middle East, we need to look at the Continent of Africa, almost country by country.
But in looking at the bill, 1133, and it is an attempt to start to specify some action that can be taken to increase the spread of democracy throughout, I would like to know what role the State Department can play. And can you separate yourself out from the aggressions to bring about democracy and the diplomacy? I just came back from Qatar with a couple of my colleagues, and if there was one thing that we heard in the 4 days that we were there at an international conference on democracy and free trade, it was that terrorism feeds on grievances.
I want to know what role the State Department can play in changing the image of the United States from imperialistic and aggressive, to a tone of ''we want to work with you,'' and ''we want to supplement your efforts in bringing back what is a true democracy.'' And it deals with tone; it deals with an attitude that really says we want to assist, not imperialize, not take over, but assist. So can you comment?
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And just let me end with this, and then I will be through with my questions. I was searching through 1133 and talking to my staff because I am really concerned, when we talk about spreading democracy and talking about crimes against humanity, that we mention torture. Because right now we are up in front of the world, and there is an ongoingwe have got to change our image if we want to spread Western-style democracy to other places in the world. This was repeated over and over again when we were in that conference of 600 delegates from around the world. You, United States, you are not practicing what you are preaching to us.
What can the State Department do? And that is my last question. And if you run out of time, you can respond in writing.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Ms. DOBRIANSKY. I will try to be very brief. As you were speaking, I thought of immediately the fact that our Secretary of State has talked about transformational diplomacy, which is not traditional diplomacy. It is about engaging other countries. It is about working together. It is about finding common ways of moving forward on a broad range of issues.
One of the areas that she has cited, in fact, is democracy building, and I will give you an example of what I think constitutes this very transformational diplomacy. You mentioned the needs of Africa. At the meeting in Santiago, Chile, when we had the meeting of the Americas countries, we talked about how we have the Inter-American Democratic Charter and how this has been of interest to many African countries. There has been an interest in knowing regionally how we have worked together and how we can share our experiences and move forward in collaborating on democracy. As a result of this, the Organization of American States will be reaching out to the AU and, in fact, will be inviting in a number of countries, and we will be part of that, to help and to assist very specifically with democracies and the furtherance of democracy not only regionally, but also looking at individual country experiences.
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Secondly, let me mention that in Santiago, Chile, the Secretary of State also, herself, in her remarks, talked about the issue of humility. I mentioned a quote, I think it was before you came in, in terms of her talking about our own past history. She cited slavery.
So I will say that as part of the transformational diplomacy, part of moving forward, we see ourselves as engaging. We see ourselves as also addressing, directly, issues that we grapple with. But I will also say that we also have many things to contribute of a very significant and very positive nature in which other countries look to our experience. Why? Because we debate. We debate issues. We always look for how we can better ourselves when something goes wrong.
So I would say in sum, that we do have, I think, a new mandate and one that does place a great emphasis on activism, on change, and on partnering with others to bring about change.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Ms. Watson. And thank you, Secretary Dobriansky. You are an excellent spokesperson for the Department. We look forward to having you back in front of our Committee on many occasions. And the Members will submit their additional questions in writing to you. Thank you so much.
And we welcome our next panel of experts in the field of democracy. Ambassador Palmer was instrumental, as we have heard this morning, in the Velvet Revolution in Hungary. He has served in policy positions in the State Department in five Administrations, including launching the National Endowment for Democracy. He has worked with both the Clinton and the present Bush Administrations helping them to initiate the new democracy policies, including the Community of Democracies which we have talked about this morning, and abolishing the so-called Arab exception, for the first time promoting democracy in the Arab world. And we welcome Ambassador Palmer with us today.
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Also joining us will be Jennifer Windsor, who became the Executive Director of Freedom House in January 2001. Prior to her position at Freedom House, Ms. Windsor worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for over 9 years, where she focused on democracy and governance issues in Africa, among other matters. And thank you for being with us, Jennifer.
Also we have with us Mr. Saad al-Din Ibrahim, who holds dual Egyptian and United States nationality. He is a renowned human rights activist, a Professor of Sociology. He is currently a public policy scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and he is keenly interested in the movement of democracy in the Arab world. Welcome, Mr. Ibrahim.
And then we will hear also from Mr. Edil Baisalov, who has been President of the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, Central Asia's largest civic grassroots network and watch-dog group, which played a critical role in the recent democratic breakthrough in Kyrgyzstan. From October to December 2004, Mr. Baisalov led the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations, a 1,000-strong election observer delegation to the Ukrainian Presidential elections, and we thank you very much for traveling from Kyrgyzstan to be with us today, Mr. Baisalov. Thank you so much.
And I would like for you to summarize your statements, as you have heard, and I would be pleased to recognize each and every one of you for 5 minutes. But your full statements will be made a part of the record. And we will begin with Ambassador Palmer.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE MARK PALMER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
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Mr. PALMER. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
The 20th century, as we all know, was the bloodiest century in history. And it was the bloodiest because dictators killed 169 million of their own people in democide and launched every single war of that terrible century. The 21st century could be even bloodier because the remaining dictators, roughly 45, have even greater capacity with nuclear weapons and other weapons to do even more damage to their own people and to us and to the rest of the world.
There is, of course, a possibility that this century will be much better, and that is that dictators will go extinct as a class, that they will disappear, and that is, of course, the goal of the ADVANCE Democracy Act of 2005, with which I have been associated from the outset.
Let me say why I think it is an important piece of legislation in specific and practical ways. It is an effort to make systematic and permanent democracy as a part of our diplomacy, as the centerpiece of our diplomacy. For example, it would codify the position of Under Secretary for Global Affairs as the leader position within the U.S. Government on democracy promotion. Under Secretary Dobriansky is the first incumbent of that position who has focused on democracy. Her predecessors did not do that, and, in my judgment, it would be the height of folly to trust to luck that her successors will just automatically make democracy the centerpiece of their effort.
It is simply not true, as the State Department is reporting to you in their response to this bill, that Under Secretary positions are not codified. Two of the six existing Under Secretary positions are already codified, and there is, therefore, no reason in precedent not to codify this position.
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As somebody who worked for 26 years inside the State Department, it is clear to me as it is to anybody who has worked there that there is a daily war between the geographic bureaus and some of the functional bureaus on the one side doing conventional diplomacy, and on the other side the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and this position of Under Secretary. It is the purpose of this bill to strengthen the hand of those who are at war on a daily basis.
We recently had to fight to try to keep new Tang Dynasty television up on EUTELSAT, and the East Asian bureau and the economic bureau fought tooth and nail against doing that, and fortunately Paula Dobriansky, who is a stalwart, fought on the other side. And we are still up on that satellite, thanks to you, to Members of Congress also, who joined, as you know, in a very strong letter of support for doing that. But without this coalition of Congress and these elements within the Department, and without strengthening it, nothing will happen.
The Office of Democratic Movements which is proposed in the bill is really a critical thing. On an almost daily basis Iranians, Libyans, Belarussians, Chinese, and others come to my humble office and say to me, ''Who is it that we can talk with in the State Department?'' Now, sometimes desk officers in regional bureaus, the Libyan desk officer or whoever, is sympathetic, and sometimes they are really outstanding, but all too often they don't know anything about how to promote democracy. They are nervous about people power, and there is, therefore, no locus in the State Department today for these kinds of people power movement leaders to go and sit down and talk with experienced people. That is why we believe that for the first time in the history of the U.S. Government, there should be a single office where people who are involved in people power movements know they have a friend, a friend who is an expert and who can get things done within the U.S. Government.
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We also believe that it is very important to have action plans for each non-democratic government. It is all too often the case that our diplomacy is simply reactive, and the dictators are extremely skillful at playing games with us, arresting somebody, then getting us to pay a price to get them out of jail, and then rearresting them a week later. And the only way to get out of that is for us to sit down with the democrats in each one of these non-democratic countries and work out a game plan, an action agenda, which the bill provides for. It is not enough to just sort of leave it up to the system to somehow decide that it is going to have a consistent country-by-country plan which works from the inside out and specifies goals and a way of getting about helping these people inside.
Congressman Wolf mentioned Natan Sharansky's letter in which he said that it is all too often the case that our diplomats inside our Embassies are uncertain about whether they are supposed to be supportive or not to dissidents. Well, I was the officer in the American Embassy in Moscow in the late 1960s responsible for doing that job, that is for dealing with dissidents and Jewish people and writers and others, and I was very uncertain then whether I could even mention to my boss that I was smuggling out samizdat, dissident literature, through the diplomatic pouch. I wasn't sure whether I would get fired for doing that. I went ahead and did it. I was taking a lot of different stuff out through the diplomatic pouch and smuggling stuff back in through the diplomatic pouch, but I was afraid, actually, that I might get fired. And some years later I actually was reprimanded by Secretary Baker for doing what Congressman Lantos mentioned I did in Budapest.
We need to make clear, and the bill tries to make clear, that officers will actually be rewarded for doing these kinds of things, and we need to specify that in efficiency reports and in this wonderful idea for a Congressional Democracy Award. Many of my colleagues in the Department today know that you all up here are their best friends. Those who want to do this kind of work think of you as their allies, and that has to be put down in legislation. You cannot leave that up to chance. It has got to be in terms of promotions and of rewards. It has to be made much clearer than it is today.
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Under Secretary Dobriansky mentioned that in the A 100 course there is training for young officers in democracy promotion. I spent quite a bit of time talking with the Foreign Service Institute and others about exactly this question. There is today no manual on how democratic transitions do take place, can take place. There are no case histories. This bill is very, very important in providing for training for our officers and for our Ambassadors because
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Perhaps you could summarize. I know Mr. Lantos will spank me for that because you can see how he loves you.
Mr. PALMER. Understood.
I will just end by saying that yesterday I was with Akbar Atri, who is one of the four major student leaders in Iran, and he asked me today, and I want to do it, to say that Iran is an example, and there are unfortunately many others as well, which need you all and need this bill. He gave to me, and I wanted to just show you quickly, a secret document from inside the Iranian Government which is banning the six leaders of the referendum from speaking in universities or even appearing in universities. That is the kind of thing that this bill is addressing, getting us organized and systematic and permanently fighting this war through peaceful means. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I agree. Thank you so much, Mr. Ambassador.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Palmer follows:]
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PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE MARK PALMER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
The 20th century was the bloodiest in human history because dictators made it so. An estimated 169 million people died at the hands of their own leadersHitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, Pol Pot, Saddam Husseinan estimated three times the also historic record number of combatants killed in the wars started by these same men. The 21st century could be even bloodier and filled with wars as the world's remaining dictators have or are seeking to gain weapons of mass destruction and foster or actively support terrorists themselves intent upon massive destruction. Both dictators and terrorists need internal and external ''enemies'' and the use of force to sustain their power.
An entirely different scenario is possible for this century. Roughly half of the world's dictators have been removed from power over the past four decades, almost always without a shot being fired, and democracy is on the advance. While history seldom moves in one direction, and we are sobered by Putin's Russia crossing back across the line from Partly Free to Not Free in 2004, there is reason for hope if we and other democracies place support for oppressed democrats inside the remaining dictatorships at the center of national security policy and our diplomacy.
The ADVANCE Democracy Act of 2005, with which I have been associated since its inception, makes the pursuit of democracy a more systematic and permanent part of our diplomacy. It recognizes that our primary allies are not the dictators but the people who want the right to elect their own leaders and to remove them from power, to form independent trade unions to fight for better wages and therefore also fairer trade, to read and watch honest newspapers and television stations, to worship freely, to have recourse to courts which base their decisions on the rule of law and not the interests of the dictator, to accept the ''radical'' notion that women are people too. It affirms that we should study and learn from the successes of people's power movements in peacefully removing their illegitimate leaders, and particularly what our diplomats and non-governmental organizations can to do to help.
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Specifically, the Act provides for clear and continuing leadership within the U.S. Government. It codifies the position of Under Secretary for Global Affairs and specifies that the incumbent bears primary responsibility for democracy promotionUnder Secretary Paula Dobriansky is the first incumbent who has made democracy her highest priority and it should not be left to fate and individual inclination in the future. The Democracy, Human Rights and Labor bureau is substantially strengthened, including by the establishment of the Office of Democratic Movements and Transitions, the first locus within the United States Government for accumulating the experience of past transitions and systematically applying them in the remaining non-democratic countries. There has long been a tension between the geographic bureaus of the State Department, traditionally the power bureaus, and the functional bureaus. For those of us who care about democracy and human rights, it is critical to strengthen the hand of those who fight daily battles for these rights within the system. I am frequently approached by young Iranians, Libyans, Belarussians, Chinese and others in people power movements asking who they can approach in the U.S Government for advice and support. Their experience with the relevant regional bureau's country desk officers is mixedsometimes quite wonderful but all too often they are met with suspicion or lack of understanding and expertise. There has been no office anywhere in the U.S. Government which can serve as a knowledgeable interlocutor and partner. The Act also provides Regional Democracy Hubs in each region where there is a democracy deficit.
The Act requires action plans for each non-democratic state to guide our diplomacy. These plans would begin with our embassies asking local democrats what their strategy is and how we can help them achieve it. Often we find that our embassies and diplomacy are merely reactiveallowing the dictator to manipulate his own people and us, for example by regularly arresting people and then releasing them as a supposed sign of liberalization and response to us, even asking for policy rewards, only to have the same people or others arrested shortly thereafter. As each country situation has its own specific features, our plans need to well-grounded in reality, but they also need to be creative and benefit from successful experiences elsewhere. Conventional diplomacy is fine under conventional circumstances, but often in non-democratic countries unconventional diplomacy is called for and works.
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In his letter to Congressman Wolf supporting this Act, Natan Sharansky recalls ''my own years as a dissident and how the foreign diplomats in Moscow, though personally empathetic nevertheless acted ambivalently. They were not sure that their governments would want to risk offending the host country. Your bill is exceedingly important because it assures US diplomats that their country supports their natural inclination to encourage freedom and democracy.'' I was one of those diplomats in Moscow in the late 1960s and was directly responsible for dealing with dissidents, Jews, actors, writers and others the Communist Party oppressed. I vividly recall my own uncertainty about whether I could admit to my superiors that I was smuggling out dissident literature, so-called samizdat through the diplomatic pouch. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in charge of our relations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan, I worked assiduously with his wife Avital to secure Natan's release from his twelve years in prison and stood with her to greet him as he was released in Germany. That was one of the proudest moments of my diplomatic service. Natan is absolutely right that many of our diplomats have a ''natural inclination to encourage freedom and democracy''. I know of dozens of cases in which Foreign Service Officers, particularly the younger ones, have risked their lives and their careers to help democrats. This Act will help ensure that they have the confidence they are doing the agreed thing and that they will be rewarded not punished for their initiative.
It is wonderful that this Act establishes a Congressional Democracy Award for U.S. Government employees who have made extraordinary efforts to promote democracy. Nothing could more encourage our people on the front line. Congressmen and Congresswomen always have been in the lead within the U.S. Government on human rights and democracy, way out ahead of the traditionally cautious State Department and even the White House. My savvy colleagues in the Foreign Service knew and know that they must turn to you for support when the ''system'' simply is too passive.
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The Act also provides for training career Foreign Service Officers and Chiefs of Mission in practical methods which have worked in helping local democratic forces, people power movements and non-democratic regimes make peaceful transitions. There are no State Department manuals or other organized materials or courses in this field. The case histories of work by Ambassador Harry Barnes in Chile helping to bring down Pinochet, or Ambassador Smith Hempstone almost succeeding in uniting Kenyans to replace Moi, or most recently the splendid work of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev together with such perhaps surprising democratic allies as the French and Japanese embassies there need to be made systematically available. Again I recall that when I went out to Budapest to take up my post as ambassador in 1986, no one gave me any advice on how to promote democracy in that then communist state. It is still true today that Chiefs of Mission going to non-democratic nations generally are unaware of past precedents and their own potential. They do not understand that they are proxy voices for a people without their own elected leaders.
The Act recognizes the importance of the world's democracies working together. It underlines the central importance of the Community of Democracies, of the Caucus of Democracies within the United Nations, of practical alliances of democracies in every institution and region. The democracies produce 89% of the world's GNP, we are overwhelmingly the most powerful militarily and in democracy we have by far the most magnetic political values and system. But we all too often have not worked together; when we do as most recently demonstrated in Lebanon, nothing can stop us. Now we need the political will to find agreed political strategies to promote democracy in places like Iran, North Korea, Cuba and China. We also need operational institutions with staffs and resources.
In that regard, the Act provides financial support for the Democracy Transition Center, which is being established by a growing list of participating states in the Community of Democracies under Hungarian leadership. The United Nations and the United States are supporting this multinational initiative. It is striking that there are numerous multinational bodies like the World Bank and the IMF responsible for economic development and quite intrusive in insisting upon modern free market economic strategies and programs. There are no multinational equivalent institutions for political development, insisting upon and guiding transitions from dictatorship to democracy. The closest is the United Nations Development Program, which has done remarkable work promoting democracy under the leadership of Mark Malloch Brown, for example through its Arab Human Development Reports. But even the UNDP's leadership told me that they face inherent limits, for example an inability to describe a member nation of the United Nations as a ''dictatorship''. So they too support the establishment of the Democracy Transition Center as a partner with which they can work.
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The Act provides for a substantial increase in the State Department's Human Rights and Democracy Fund. USAID is not present in many of the world's non-democratic statesthe State Department and this Fund have been innovative and fast-moving in certain situations. The Act establishes an internet site for global democracy, which would carry key democratic documents including translations into local languages of the relevant portions of the annual State Department reports on human rights.
A bipartisan Democracy Promotion Advisory Board is established to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of State, including a study of democracy assistance. The tax payers are spending substantial sums for democracy assistance and no systematic, independent review has taken place since we first launched into this field in a major way in the early 1980s. We need to know whether our priorities are right. And for the Secretary of State and the President on an ongoing basis to have independent views and expertise about the never-simple challenges of helping to bring democracy to non-democratic countries can be of real value. Too often government insiders are consumed with fire drills and crises, are unable to look ahead and develop fresh ideas and programs. This new board will provide that dimension.
These are some of the highlights of this Act. It was drafted over a period of a year in close consultation with experienced diplomats and democracy promoters from inside and outside government. I am pleased that it has the support of groups across the spectrum. I particularly want to note that the Committee on the Present Danger, itself broadly bipartisan, has issued a strong statement of support.
I urge that you give the Act careful consideration and hope that you will support it. I wish to commend the outstanding leadership of Congressmen Wolf and Lantos in initiating and promoting this legislation along with many of their colleagues in the House and Senate.
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Ms. Windsor.
STATEMENT OF MS. JENNIFER WINDSOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREEDOM HOUSE
Ms. WINDSOR. Thank you, Madam Chairman, and I request that a full text of my statement be included in the record.
Freedom House appreciates the opportunity to testify about this important legislation which is focused on enhancing U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the remaining repressive states in the world. My written testimony and our current reports detail Freedom House's latest thinking about current trends in democracy. Clearly, despite overall global progress, far too many people continue to live under repressive conditions around the world. The legislation we are talking about today is focused on what the U.S. Government can do to reduce that number.
I was asked to address the global factors that influence political change today. The questions of what ingredients actually spark political change and democratization is complex and varies from country to country, but I will highlight just a few issues.
First economic factors. While not determinative, economics still matter in democratization. We have found a clear correlation between per capita income and the long-term success in consolidating democracy. That doesn't mean that poor countries have no hope for democracy, nor does it mean that we should just focus on promoting economic growth and poverty reduction as the pathway to promoting democracy. It just means that there are challenges that emerge from poorer countries, and we need to look for leadership within the country to create opportunities for democratic change.
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Second, and I want to emphasize this, the power of example. Global political learning has taken place on a civic level. Slovaks and Croats have transferred civic skills to Serbs, who in turn have helped inspire and guide the work of Ukrainians and Georgians and even the Lebanese and the Kyrgyz. On the other hand, authoritarian leaders learn as well, as we can see from Central Asian leaders and from Russia, who are seeking ways to crack down on civic activism, especially on foreign support for such groups, to forestall similar events happening in their countries.
Third, the impact of terrorism. In particular regions and countries, terrorism clearly has had a negative impact on freedom. Terrorist groups themselves, as does any government or group that uses violence, negatively impact on individual freedom, with innocent civilians often bearing the brunt of attacks. The growth in terrorism can also be damaging to the emergence and strengthening of peaceful civic forces within countries, either through direct attack on those groups or through triggering state repression and emergency decrees that provide obstacles to freedom of information, expression, association, and other key factors that allow civic forces to operate effectively within societies. Also some governments have used the threat of terrorism as an excuse for continuing or heightening their control over societies and the larger polity.
If the U.S. and others seek to promote democratic values as an integral part of a counterterrorism strategy, the negative impact that terrorism has on democracy promotion efforts can be somewhat mitigated. Unfortunately, too many cases exist where the U.S. has not adopted such an integrated strategy of fighting terrorist groups while promoting democratic practices.
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Next I would like to highlight a few internal factors that make countries ripe for democratic transition. First and most importantly is the existence of a broad-based civic coalition. A forthcoming study of Freedom House indicates that the emergence of broadly based civic nonviolent coalitions is the most important condition and mechanism from creating democracy. According to our preliminary research of the nearly 70 countries where authoritarian systems have collapsed in the last 30 years, 70 percent have had significant pressure from grassroots movements, and this broad-based civic advocacy was a key factor in transitions that helped to supplant authoritarian or totalitarian rule.
Top-down change is far less frequently the major force, something we should take into consideration as non-democratically elected governments in the Middle East and North Africa argue that they need to be the ones to control how political reform happens in the region.
Moreover, the study confirms that recent events in Ukraine, Georgia, and Serbia are not unique in history. Indeed, movements using the strategy and tactics of civic nonviolent resistance, domestic boycotts, mass protests, strikes, and worker actions, civic education campaigns have been a key ingredient to political change in a number of countries we have studied. What is critical is not just the importance of these factors in triggering transitions, but actually in determining the quality of democracy that results years after that transition.
Of course, there needs to be a turning point or a defining moment that serves as a catalyst for action in countries. There are a number of key triggers, but I would point to the recent events in Georgia, Ukraine, and other countries in terms of fraudulent elections. The issue of elections has been diminished by a number of critics who think that we emphasize it too much, but they do present an important catalyst that can serve to encourage democratic change.
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In terms of recommendations for U.S. policy, the consistency and coherence of the current U.S. commitment to fighting tyranny is extremely important and can make a significant contribution, but failure to follow through on the rhetoric or to use it as a fig leaf to act on other interests can also have an equally negative impact.
Other recommendations: There are no lost causes. No country should be considered a lost cause. Even in the most repressive regimes, I would argue, the U.S. can use diplomatic pressure to create greater political space, and, to the extent possible, support those struggling for change to keep hope alive.
Two, we absolutely need to place greater emphasis on nonviolent civic-based resistance within our diplomatic and assistance efforts. We do have some money going to civil societies, but it is not for the kind of coalitions that I think that have proven to be absolutely instrumental throughout history.
And the third is be patient and keep a long-term focus while reacting to short-term opportunities. While clearly there is a lot of excitement about transitions, a lot of the transitions that have happened have happened after years and years of assistance to civil society and other forces which people had declared to be a waste of money.
In the end, Mr. Chairman, there is no ironclad formula to predict or target countries ripe for democratic change. And as we ponder the role that the U.S. and other countries can play in supporting this further expansion of democracy, we should also maintain a sense of humility. As history has shown us again and again, it is the people of the countries themselves who often risk their lives to bring about democratic progress in their countries. Our role is to help support their efforts in the most effective way we can. Thank you.
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much. No lost causes. Amen.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Windsor follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MS. JENNIFER WINDSOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREEDOM HOUSE
Freedom House appreciates the opportunity to testify about this important legislation, which is focused on enhancing U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the remaining repressive states in the world.
In the last year, we have seen movement towards democracy in countries including Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Georgia, many of which experts had written off as ''stalled'' authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regimes that were unlikely to see progress in democratization anytime in the near future. What we have learned from such countries is that experts are often wrong, and that civic forces can and will create possibilities for change when seemingly none exist.
Freedom House has been active in supporting the infrastructure of civic life and democratic values in many of these countries. We continue our work in a variety of regions and settings around the world to empower citizens in their effort to bring democracy to their countries and to deepen respect for human rights and the rule of law once tyranny falls and democratic transition begins.
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As important, Freedom House conducts extensive research on the state of political rights and civil liberties through Freedom in the World, a global survey of press freedom, our Nations in Transit annual study focused on the former Communist countries, and the Countries at the Crossroads report that mainly looks at countries where progress toward liberalization has stalled.
I will draw on all of that experience in addressing the issues that the Committee has asked me to consider here today.
Freedom House Assessment of Current Trends in Democracy. The world has clearly witnessed a continued expansion in the number of countries which are rated Free (now 89 countries are Free, in 1974, only 41 countries were) and an overall decline in the number of Not Free countries (49 countries now are Not Free, a reduction from 63 countries in 1974). Nearly two thirds of all countries in the world are considered to be electoral democracies, and the number of countries we consider to be ''worst of the worst,'' (those who get the lowest ratings in our survey, 7, 7) has declined from 21 countries in 1994 to 8 countries at the end of 2004.
However, while we continue to see overall gains each year, forward progress has clearly slowed since the unprecedented breakthroughs in the early 1990s, as you can see from the chart below.
Moreover, despite overall global progress, far too many people continue to live under repressive conditions around the world. The Middle East continues to be the least free region in the world, despite the recent progress of elections in Palestine and Iraq, and increased civic activity in Lebanon, Egypt and other countries. Africa is the second least free region, and continues to be the most volatile; Free countries still represent only 11 out of a total of 48 countries. Outside of the Baltics, most countries in the former Soviet Union remain mired in authoritarian practices, although recent developments in Georgia, Ukraine and, potentially, Kyrgyzstan, have opened the door for democratic progress in these countries. China, which is attempting to open its society economically without allowing political accountability, continues to represent some 60% of the total global population living in Not Free societies. Horrendous abuses continue to occur in the world's most repressive regimes, including North Korea, Burma, Cuba, Turkmenistan, and Zimbabwe.
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Even in those countries considered Free, we continue to see troubling deficiencies in rule of law, high levels of corruption, a tendency to clamp down on press freedom, and a lack of independence in the judiciary. This has contributed to growing disenchantment in, for example, Latin America, where public opinion measures indicate a growing discontentment with incomplete democratization in many of these countries.
Factors that Influence Political Change Today. The question of what ingredients spark political change and democratization is complex and varies from country to country, but I will highlight four that stand out from Freedom House's extensive database of analysis and practical experience working to support democracy advocates around the globe:
(1) Economic Factors. While not determinative, economics still matters in democratization. We have found a clear correlation between per capita income and the long-term success in consolidating democracycountries with higher per capita income levels are more likely to succeed in their democratic consolidation, and conversely, the lowest income levels correlate with significantly lower levels of freedom. According to a 2003 Freedom House study, countries with an average per capita gross national income above $1,500 are likely to have more success in completing and consolidating a democratic transition than those below that level.
This does not mean that poor countries have no hope for democracy, nor does it mean that we should just focus on poverty reduction and economic growth as the pathway to promoting democracy. Data on incomes and freedom levels also reveal that low-income countries are fully capable of establishing strong democratic practices and respect for civil liberties rooted in the rule of law (In 2003, we found that of the 128 countries with an annual per capita GNI of $ 3,500 or less, 38 are rated Free by the survey.) It suggests that where there is a smaller private sector, a very small middle class, where the levels of education is low, and where populations are predominantly rural, there are further challenges to the advancement of democratic reform. In such instances, other factors may take on greater import, for example, the role of enlightened leaders or other elites in creating opportunities for democratic change.
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It is just as important to look deeper into the type of economic systems that exist, particularly their openness and connectivity to the rest of the world, as well as societal connections, and how they link to levels of freedom. A cursory comparison of Freedom House data and the fifth annual A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Globalization Index, for example, demonstrates that a correlation exists between the degree to which a country is connected economically, technologically, personally, and politically and the respect for political rights and civil liberties within that country.
2) The power of example. Clearly we can see that the ''regional spillover'' impact that was present in the waves of democratic transitions in the early 1990s still exists, even between regions. Global political learning has taken place on the civic levelSlovaks and Croats have transferred civic skills to Serbs, who in turn have helped inspire and guide the work of Ukrainians and Georgians, and even the Lebanese and Kyrgyz.
On the other hand, authoritarian leaders learn as well, as we can see from the Central Asian leaders and Russia, who are seeking ways to crack down on civic activism, especially on foreign support for such groups, to forestall similar events happening in their countries. In addition, the relative economic success of China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia is unfortunately seen as an alternative for countries that would like to enjoy the fruits of economic liberalization without losing political control.
In considering the power of example, it is important to take into account the important role that the mediaparticularly transnational and international mediaplays in providing civic coalitionsand the general populacewith the information and images that can either encourage or discourage struggles and hopes for change.
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3) Impact of terrorism. In particular regions and countries, terrorism clearly has had a negative impact on freedom. Terrorist groups themselves, as does any government or group that uses violence, negatively impact individual freedom, with innocent civilians often bearing the brunt of attacks. The growth in terrorism can also be deleterious to the emergence and strengthening of peaceful civic forces within countries, either through direct attacks or through triggering state repression and emergency decrees that provide obstacles to freedom of information, expression, association and other key factors that allow civic forces to operate effectively within societies. Also, some governments have used the threat of terrorism as an excuse for continuing or heightening their control over society and the larger polity, which is detrimental to future democratic changes.
If the United States and others seek to promote democratic values, including respect for rule of law, as an integral part of a counter-terrorism strategy, the negative impact that terrorism has on democracy promotion efforts can be somewhat mitigated. Unfortunately, too many cases still exist where the U.S. has not adopted an integrated strategy of fighting terrorist groups while promoting democratic practices. A number of countries with which the U.S. has established close relationships in the post-911 period pose particularly difficult challenges. These are countries that were poor performers on democracy measures before 911, which have been stuck in place or even regressed since that timeamong them Uzbekistan, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia. If the U.S. security strategy is ultimately predicated on advancing democratic practice in such at-risk states, it is of paramount importance that we examine very closely whether our current policiestaken in totaltoward these states are in fact bringing about desired results.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC 4) The foreign policy of democratic powers. In his influential book, The Third Wave, Samuel Huntington notes the important role that a change in the foreign policies of major democratic powersmainly the foreign policies of the European Union (EU) and the United Stateshad on influencing political change in the late 1980s. While we know that internal forces are ultimately the agents of change in pushing for democratization, we have also learned that external support can make a difference.
A key issue today is whether the EUthrough the new neighborhood policy or other mechanismscan continue to provide concrete incentives to encourage further democratic reform. Through the Millennium Challenge Account, the United States can also provide similar ''carrots'' that may strengthen the position of reformers within stalled regimes to open up political space within those countries. At Freedom House, we have observed a considerable increase in interest in our evaluations of countries that are candidatesor potential candidatesfor the MCA. These countries have expressed their willingness to improve and are interested in successfully competing for this new assistance.
It is vitally important therefore that the U.S. Government uphold the high expectations for funding of this innovative aid model so that it does not lose its potency before it even has the chance to make a meaningful impact. In general, the consistency and coherence of the current U.S. commitment to fighting tyranny is extremely important, and can make a significant contribution, but failure to follow through on the rhetoricor to use it as a ''figleaf'' to act on other interestscan also have an equally negative impact.
Factors that Make Countries Ripe for Democratic Transitions. I have already touched on some of these conditions in the discussion above, but would like to share a few thoughts on what factors make countries ripe for democracy efforts to take hold, primarily by drawing on a new Freedom House special report that examines nearly 70 transitions from tyranny that have taken place over the last three decades.
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1. Broad-Based Civic Coalitions. Our forthcoming study indicates that the emergence of broadly-based civic nonviolent coalitions is the most important condition and mechanism for creating democracy. According to our preliminary research of the nearly 70 countries where authoritarian systems have collapsed, 70 percent had significant pressure from grassroots movementsand this broad-based civic advocacy was a key factor in transitions that helped supplant authoritarian or totalitarian rule.
Top-down change is far less frequently the major force, something we should take into consideration as non-democratically elected governments in the Middle East and North Africa argue that they need to be the ones to control how political reform happens in the region. Similarly, it raises doubts about whether the Chinese path of economic opening with carefully controlled gradual political change orchestrated from the top will ever bring about genuine democratic progress in that society.
Moreover, the study confirms that the recent events in Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia are not unique in history. Indeed, movements using the strategy and tactics of civic nonviolent resistancedomestic boycotts, mass protests, strikes and worker actions, civic education campaigns, and student activismhave been a key ingredient to political change in a number of the countries we studied. What is critical is not just the importance of these factors to triggering transitions, but also the quality of democracy that results years after that transition. In the vast majority of non-violent, civic driven ''people power'' transitions, the level of freedom years after the transition is high. When top-down change occurs it tends to stop short of full-fledged democracy rooted in respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In other words, people power matters.
2. The Turning Point. No matter how many civic groups exist, how much alternative media is supported, or how many activists are trained in nonviolent resistance, successful change will not occur in most cases without a decisive shift in public opinion.
What triggers public protest? What leads hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of people to take to the streets in nonviolent protest and long-term resistance?
Corruption. One of the most important catalysts for protest is growing outrage over rampant corruption in the ruling elite. This, however, requires long-term efforts to investigate and inform the public about the machinations of their current and former leaders. Ukraine and Kyrgzystan are two interesting recent examples.
Nepotism is a subset of cronyism and corruption, but it breeds growing resentment and helps peel layers of legitimacy from the country's authoritarian rulers. Therefore, a focus on petty and grand corruption in closed and authoritarian states should be an important part of the strategy for democratic change.
To the extent that political leadershipthat is to say those wielding powerrely on a narrow base of support in highly corrupt settings, suffering from cronyism and grand corruption, such leadership will devise a strategy to keep only these narrow interests satisfied. On the other hand, where wider democratic mobilization occurs, leadership must take into account the will of a larger segment of the citizenry, which can drive reform.
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Economic Failure. Economic failure is of course another factor that erodes the legitimacy of tyrants. But very often, protests also erupt in countries with growing economies (eg. Ukraine) or more typically in formerly fast growing economies where there has been a rapid economic reversal (Poland in the 1980s) or stagnation (the former USSR).
Struggle for national sovereignty and liberation. In some cases, the struggle for national sovereignty becomes an important component of civic mobilization. This is the case in Lebanon's protest against Syrian hegemony this year; in Ukraine, where resentment of Russian interference in the Presidential election of 2004 was a contributing factor in the Orange Revolution's success; and in Poland in the 1980s, where opposition to Soviet hegemony was among the factors spurring the Solidarity movement.
Stolen elections. Finally, one of the most important triggers is fraudulent elections. We live in a democratic world, where even tyrants are often required to go through the exercise of multi-candidate and multi-party elections to preserve a patina of domestic and international legitimacy. In many settings opposition parties play a nominal role, and rarely compete for power. In other settings, however, opposition forces often receive substantial support but are thwarted by electoral machinations that always leave them short of a majority. These are countries that some refer to as pseudo-democracies, dominant party states, and semi-democracies.
While critics frequently point to sham elections and pseudo-democracy, it is very often precisely such illegitimate processes that spur mass-based challenges to authoritarian rule and open the door to real liberalization. Among such examples are Kyrgyzstan in early 2005, Ukraine in 2004, Georgia in 2003, the 1986 presidential election in the Philippines, Chile's 1988 referendum on Pinochet, Nicaragua's election of 1990, the 2000 presidential election in Serbia and Montenegro (formerly the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), and Peru's tainted election of 2000.
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In all these cases, an election or a referendum became the catalyst for the successful application of civic-based mobilization and resistance strategies. This is because major national elections and referenda offer a key opportunity for broad-based umbrella coalitions to reach critical mass. They create a timeframe in which civic and opposition political forces can concentrate resources, people power, and retain the discipline required to hold together broad-based coalitions. This means that pressure on states to sustain electoral processes should remain a high priority of the diplomacy of democratic governments. It also means donors should give greater resources to civic election monitoring groups, political party training, independent polling, civic awareness campaigns and similar election related initiatives.
Additional Recommendations for U.S. Policy
1. No ''Lost Causes.'' No country should be considered a ''lost cause.'' Even in the most repressive regimes, I would argue that the U.S. can use diplomatic pressure to create greater political space, and, to the extent possible, support for those struggling for change to keep hope aliveespecially for those inside the country.
2. Place Greater Emphasis on Non-Violent Civic-Based Resistance. The U.S. and other countries need to increase their focus on and support for nonviolent means of civic resistance, led by broad based coalitions that unite mature and skilled civic organizations and a citizenry that has been awakened to the misrule of their illegitimate leaders.
There is an urgent need for the international democratic community to better understand the importance of indigenous civic-based resistance directed at challenging authoritarian rule and spurring democratization. There is, likewise, the need to implement a paradigm shift in aid and democracy assistance priorities in order to promote and strengthen such movements with new resources and new aid initiatives. Toward this end, we need a deeper understanding of how democratic mobilization that results in system change differs from mobilization that can improve democratic practice in societies that have already undergone system changes. The first is really about pushing for a rotation of power where entrenched leadership will not compete or otherwise share power in a meaningful way. The second, and in some ways more challenging aspect of mobilization, is to consolidate democratic practice and to successfully accomplish the work of democratic governance. Georgia and Ukraine are in this second, very challenging phase right now. The United States and the world's democracies must help in whatever manner possible to see through the successful consolidation of democracy in these countries.
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It is also important for policymakers to recognize that in most cases such investments in civic life are modesta matter of millions or tens of millions of dollars. Support for civic-based movements, therefore, is far less expensive than major military expenditures and far less costly than the normal bill for large development programs, the success of which can be undermined by unaccountable political leadership. Given the correlations between open, transparent, democratic societies and peace, as well as sustainable development, there is an urgent need for greater international commitment to funding this sector, especially in closed societies and fragile new democracies
3. Be Patient, Keep a Long-Term Focus while Reacting to Short-Term Opportunities. While clearly the most recent examples show how rapidly transitions can happen, the work of building coalitions is a long-term effort. While we cannot precisely tie specific assistance programs to outcomes in Ukraine, or Serbia, or Georgia, the civic movement in those countries was supported by years of outside funding and training aimed at creating a lattice work of independent non-governmental groups, supporting think tanks, assisting in political party training, advancing civic education, promoting democratic values through indigenous groups, sustaining independent media (where possible) and providing outside sources of unfettered information when free media cannot function inside a country.
Because such work is a long-term effort, it requires patience and a commitment to making modest, but long-term, investments.
4. Be Open, But Be Careful about Public Campaigns against Specific Regimes. This work should be undertaken and carried out as openly as possible (although in many totalitarian settings it is impossible for democracy assistance to be rendered openly without interference from the repressive state.) After all, what we are proposing is assistance to lawful organizations that have a right to operate in accordance with international human rights standards, including rights protecting press freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of peaceful demonstration and protest.
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Openness is not the same thing as circumspection. As a matter of policy, it is best that broad initiatives in support of democracy and democratization be supported, rather than specific declarations that suggest a particular country is to be ''targeted'' for ''regime change.'' The United States and the international community of democracies should not engage in grand proclamations about efforts to supplant one particular system or tyrant. Governments, donors, and democracy NGOS should simply proclaim the broad objective of helping empower citizens and giving them the capacity to govern themselves.
In the end, Mr. Chairman, there is no iron-clad formula to predict or target countries ripe for democratic change. And as we ponder the role that the U.S. and other countries can play in supporting the further expansion of democracy, we should also maintain a sense of humility. As history has shown again and again, it is the people of the countries themselves who often risk their lives to bring about democratic progress in their countries. Our role is to help support their efforts in the most effective way we can.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Ibrahim.
STATEMENT OF MR. SAAD ALDIN IBRAHIM, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS
Mr. IBRAHIM. Thank you, Madam Chairman. Thank you, Members of the Committee. You have been outstanding in helping our cause over the years, and I would like for the record to show that we in the Ibn Khaldoun Center, when we are subjected to the acts of autocracy in our country and were incarcerated in the period between 2000 and 2003, it was Members of this Committee and other members of other outstanding organizations here that stood by us.
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Second, I would like to congratulate the authors of the proposed act to promote or to advance democracy in the world, because for so long people like myself felt that we were fighting alone, whereas the autocratic regimes in our part of the worldand I am speaking of the Middle East, the part I know very wellwere getting your support, American and Western support for years, 6 years, whereas democracy advocates were fighting alone. So this act and other statements that we have been hearing recently from the Administration, from President Bush, from the Secretary of State, and from other ranking members of this great country, sound like music to our ears.
The important thing is sustainability and forceful implementation of what we hear, and this act would go a long way in doing that if honestly and consistently implemented.
And I would like to just add three or four points. One is that I noticed reading the draft that there is an absence of any attention to the media. There has been attention to the media in other acts of this Administration, like al Hayat and Rad Usauer. But I am reminded all the time that what brought down totalitarian regimes in the Eastern Bloc were two things: Helsinki Accord, 1975, and that is now 30 years ago, and Radio Free Europe.
This act is the functional equivalent of the Helsinki Accord, and this has to be emphasized, because I think all the potential and all the great ramifications that come out of it could be similar to what came out of Helsinki. That remains the missing part, and that is the media, and there are many ways you can support the democrats through initiatives, local and domestic initiatives of their own, that would be tailored to their own causes.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Many of us, advocates of democracy, get smeared and character assassinated, day in and day out. Instead, control the media that has tremendous power in influencing our public opinion. It is true that ultimately the truth comes out, but it sometimes takes very long before the truth comes out.
Therefore, if there is any chance to address this omission or this oversight in the draft of it, then I think it will go a long way.
Other than that, I think the act fulfills many of our aspirations, and we have said all along, and I am repeating here to Members of this very distinguished Committee, that we don't need support by planes or tanks or marching armies, or that we need that you withhold your support from the autocrats. Let me add that the autocrats are not the only foe we are facing as democracy advocate. There are the theocrats as well.
So here we are, unlike the situation in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, where the democrats were facing regimes in the Middle East. In the Arab world, we are facing both our autocrats and theocrats, who are mirror images of the autocrats, and therefore it is a tougher fight than anything that our Eastern European brothers fought 20 or 50 years ago.
So I want to emphasize that in order to provide into the bill the kind of conditionality that not only would be demanded of autocrats if they continue to receive your support, but also from any other theocratic potential forces that may come to power, that the same conditionalities will apply to it.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ibrahim follows:]
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PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. SAAD AL-DIN IBRAHIM, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS
CRAFTING A DEMOCRACY-BASED FOREIGN POLICY IN THE ARAB WORLD
1. Building on new realities
1.1 The march of events in the Middle East in early 2005 has been dramatic, creating strategic opportunities that exceed anything the region has seen since the Sadat-Rabin years. The prospects for peace and democracy are ripe in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Signs of autocratic regime devolution are also appearing in Libya, Sudan, and Syria. Windows of positive opportunity should be swiftly exploited before autocratic forces retrench and/or extremists jump into center stage to derail the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
1.2 The US has a unique opportunity to restore its sagging image in the region by observing consistent, credible policies, and by utilizing multi-lateral approaches whenever possible, and staying the course.
1.3 Middle East pundits and Arabists are neither used to the speed of unfolding events nor attuned to the potential positive outcomes. This is reminiscent of their Cold War counterparts, who were taken by surprise as the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet bloc disintegrated without a single shot. No doubt keen on protecting US interests, some are cautioning against leaning too heavily on traditional friends to democratize, particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (Wisner and Bacon, WP, March 5, 2005). Others advise going gently with old foes, like Syria (Flint Levirett, NYT 'Engage and Empower'.) The challenge is to craft a democracy-based foreign policy that does not waste the extraordinary opportunities emerging now, and yet protects vital interests and restores US credibility in the region.
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1.4 For the last 200 years, major transformations in the Middle East have been jolted by an external shock, from Napoleon's 1798 expedition to Egypt to the present moment. While the administration's detractors may deny that recent democratic openings were triggered by US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, nonetheless these are now facts on the ground and should be forcefully built upon. This memo is confined to the most likely cases of success in the short and medium run.
1.5 There should be clear doctrine in support of democracy, freedom, and human rights throughout the Middle East. Extending US aid, trade, and technology must be conditioned on each country in the region embarking on clear policy of democratization with a timetable or a roadmap that could provide a benchmark on ensuing progress. Dispersal of aid and approval of trade exchange may be timed in accordance with implementation of the suggested sequence of such timetable or roadmap. This is to be specified further in every country case discussed below.
2.1 The assassination of Rafik Hariri triggered a genuine Lebanese uprising against Syria's nearly 30-year old occupation of the country. There is a rare international consensus in supporting the uprising and expelling Syrian forces and agents from Lebanon. That rare momentum should not be allowed to dissipate.
2.2 While the objective should not be to humiliate the Syrian regime, it should not be allowed time or leeway to circumvent and absorb these pressures. The regime has a long history of just that, since the Taif Agreement of 1989. It was the insistence on implementing UN Resolution 1559 in its entirety before the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 2005, which ultimately got the twenty-nine year old occupation forces out of Lebanon.
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2.3 Face-saving measures for Syria may be accommodated so long as its evacuation of Lebanon is completed in an orderly manner before the elections. A similar evacuation of Syrian intelligence operators, estimated in the thousands, remains to be done and ascertained by independent international observers (such as the UN and/ or the European Union).
2.4 It is commendable that the Shiite leadership in Lebanon has remained restrained. Even when Hezbollah staged its massive demonstration in mid-March, it was orderly and peaceful. Many observers noted that it was the Lebanese flagnot their own black flagthat was raised during the demonstration. Other observers considered the demonstration a courtesy gesture towards a Syrian ally, akin to a warm and grateful goodbye. This has ensured both the peaceful nature of events and spared any potential sectarian division that could be exploited by the Syrian regime. The Shiite stand is in keeping with a similar wise decision by their counterparts in Iraq, a la Ayatollah Sistani. This should be recognized and commended informally but perhaps not officially, in order not to undermine popular support. As part of that recognition, Hezbollah may be forcefully encouraged to set aside arms and engage in the political process as a Muslim democratic party, akin to the Turkish Justice and Development party and the Iraqi Dawa party.
2.5 A caretaker government to oversee elections should be non-partisan and made up of cross-sectarian, competent technocrats. It is important that they not have blood on their hands or corruption tainting their past. A public figure like Selim el Hoss may be an optimal candidate for prime minister and could form such a cabinet.
2.6 As soon as an internationally monitored election is concluded, the new parliament should consider a motion asking for the resignation of President Lahoud and electing a new president before the end of the year.
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3.1 The Syrian regime is currently at its weakest and most vulnerable position in the last 30 years. Not only was it under mounting pressure in Lebanon, but internally, 200 Syrian intellectuals had also petitioned for withdrawal from Lebanon, and they are now demanding more freedom of expression and respect for human rights. This is symptomatic of an emerging civil society in Syria, one that is also ready to pressure for democratization. The Helsinki Accords of 1975 with the former Soviet bloc should be seriously entertained as a model to reshape Syria's regional role, using both incentives and disincentives.
3.2 The confluence of international, regional, and homegrown pressure will make the Syrian regime ready to engage in Camp David-style peace talks with Israel, i.e. the return of the occupied Golan Heights for full peaceful relations. A more forceful American mediating role can give the regime some assurances that they will reap benefits similar to those gained by Sadat and King Hussein following their respective peace agreements with Israel.
3.3 The US and its western allies should make clear to the Syrians that there is no interest or scheme of toppling the regime so long as it upholds human rights, ends the state of emergency, and engages in gradual power-sharing with other political forces.
3.4 Given Syria's pivotal strategic location in the Arab East (el Mashreq), it should be encouraged to lead in establishing a regional common market that will include Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq, and in due time, Israel.
Page 97 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC4. Palestine
4.1 The momentum created by the recent Palestinian elections, the formation of a democratic government, the Sharm el Sheik meeting, and the mutual confidence-building measures between Israel and the PA should be sustained. As has often happened in the past, extremists on both sides will try to derail the process with violence. The international community should help to prepare the two sides for this eventuality and have a clear course of action, not only to contain but also to isolate the perpetrators, be they Israeli or Palestinian militants.
4.2 The best preventive strategy is rapid progress on the road map. Much of the ground work for implementing it has already been laid in a series of talks and virtual accords, starting with Camp David 2000, Taba, and the civil society initiatives on both sides resulting in the Geneva Accords of 2003. In public opinion polls of Israelis and Palestinians, 54% and 56% respectively supported the substance of the Geneva two-state settlement. This is a crucial moment for the US to take steps to be perceived as even-handed in its role as a mediator, something that has eroded in the past four years.
4.3 As a further confidence-building measure, the US should prevail on the Sharon government not to destroy the Israeli settlements and greenhouses in Gaza and the West Bank, which are to be evacuated during summer 2005. Destroying these settlements serves no purpose, and leaves ill feelings on all sides, e.g. as happened with the Yamite settlement in Sinai during the 1980s. The US should call on third parties and/or graduates of the Maine-based Seeds of Peace program to make constructive use of these facilities in joint-ventures of the kind suggested by former Prime Minster Shimon Peres in his book, The New Middle East.
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4.4 In keeping with the goal of bringing in Islamic forces to the peaceful political process, Hamas and Islamic Jihad should be encouraged through both incentives and disincentives to join in the emerging political order in Palestine. The PA must make room in government for these groups, as well as for the secular democratic movement (Palestinian National Initiative) and others.
5.1 The January 3rd elections in Iraq gave a tremendous boost to all democracy forces in the Middle East, the carriage of which Iraqi women and men braved out to vote was and still is an inspiration in the region, despite the continued violence and bloodshed.
5.2 The US-led Coalition forces, Iraqi police and army are fighting not only pro-Saddam loyalists and Al-Qaeda recruits, but also several Middle Eastern regimes that have no interest in seeing a stable and democratic Iraq.
5.3 So long as US Coalition forces exist, they will be visible targets of the so-called ''Iraqi Resistance.'' It is advisable for these forces to withdraw from all major urban centers to areas in the north (i.e. Kurdistan) in which they are still perceived as forces of liberation. Alternatively, they may be re-deployed in nearby Kuwait to the south, a country and a people which still remember with gratitude the role of the international coalition in liberating their country fourteen years ago.
5.4 It is advisable to involve as many European, Islamic and Arab countries in the training of the Iraqi military and police forces, even symbolically. The quicker the UN can take over responsibilities for state-building and administrative responsibilities of Iraq, the better. Regardless of what some Americans think of it, the UN flag still carries with it international legitimacy and moral power in the eyes of many around the world, Arabs and Muslims included.
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5.5 Although negotiation and bargaining among political stakeholders are part of the democratic political process, the delay in forming the new Iraqi government for three months after the election was portrayed in the Middle East as haggling, greed for power, and inefficient governance. This should be remedied and avoided in the future. Otherwise it will give democracy a bad name.
6. Saudi Arabia
6.1 Although Saudi Arabia is a significant economic power, thanks to oil and a spiritual regional leader, and the holy shrines on its soil. Yet it is the most conservative, if not outright reactionary, country in the region.
6.2 Political dissidence has been on the increase in recent years, the latest of which are three outspoken critics of the Royal family who have been imprisoned since March 2004 and who are awaiting a trial on a charge of fomenting ''sedition'' punishable by beheading. It is incumbent on the US and other world democracies to speak out in their defense.
6.3 By the same token, Saudi women should be granted full citizenship rights and have the option to participating in the country's municipal and hopefully national elections in the foreseeable future. Again, a timetable for political and educational reform should be demanded of the Saudi regime in return for continued economic military and diplomatic cooperation.
6.4 Saudi Shiite citizens have for decades been deprived of some of their basic rights, and this is a time when the Saudi authorities must rectify these discriminatory practices.
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7.1 It is often said that attempts to democratize the Arab world will not go far without Egypt on board. That is a county that had begun to democratize in 1866, when it issued a constitution and elected its first parliament. Granted this was not yet Westminster-style democracy, but it ushered in the first Arab liberal age which lasted nearly a century.
7.2 When a military junta took over in Egypt in 1952, it triggered a series of similarly autocratic military-based regimes across the region, from Iraq to Mauritania. For the last quarter of a century, emerging civil society forces in Egypt have been waging a determined, peaceful struggle to open up political space. They were not supported by western democracies, enabling the Mubarak regime to dismiss them, or when needed, to imprison or morally assassinate them. Ayman Nour is only the latest case in point.
7.3 The Mubarak regime has deluded the West into believing that political liberalization would open the gates to an Islamist takeover. This may have been understandable in the years immediately following Sadat's assassination. But to continue arguing the same point now is a cynical use of scare politics that feeds on post 911 fears in the United States and Europe.
7.4 The second ploy that the Mubarak regime has skillfully used to ward off significant opening of the system is to argue that economic reform should precede political reform. At the end of 24 years in power, he has little to show for either.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC 7.5 The third effective ploy has been to point to Egypt's mediating role in the Arab Israeli peace process. While that role should be commended when it is sincere and produces results, it should in no way be used as a trade-off against internal democratic reforms. After all, Egypt is a prime beneficiary of the peace process so far, and in that regard is no different than other regional actors. Nor did engagement in the peace process prevent Israel from maintaining its robust democracy, nor prevent Jordan and the Palestinians from forging ahead with their own democratization.
7.6 The recent elections in Iraq and Palestine, as well as a popular uprising in Lebanon and similar defiant demonstrations in Cairo and other cities, seem to have finally embarrassed and compelled Mubarak to make a limited concession. He called upon parliament to amend one article (Article 76) of the constitution to allow for contested presidential elections in the fall. This replaces the 50-year-old practice of referenda endorsing the military's single candidate.
7.7 This is a welcome step, but not enough. Without amending at least two other articles of the constitutionArticle 77 to end unlimited rule and impose presidential term limits and Article 85 to increase Presidential accountability to other branches of governmentthe reforms will not truly level the playing field for multi-party politics. In addition, Article 82 should be amended to require the election of a vice president along with the president, ending a situation of 24 years in which Mubarak refused to appoint a vice president.
7.8 The current skepticism among opposition groups in Cairo regarding Mubarak's latest announcement is due in large measure to the conviction that as long as Emergency Laws are in effect, and the state controls all electronic and print media, true contestation in Egyptian politics will remain a mirage.
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7.9 The recent incarceration of the opposition party leader, Ayman Nour, and thousands of others who are held purely based on their peaceful exercise of political rights must be ended, and further harassment of this kind must cease.
7.10 The US should make it clear that it will henceforth tie its military and economic aid for Egypt to a clearly-stated timetable for political reforms as outlined above.
Mr. CHABOT [presiding]. Thank you very much, Mr. Ibrahim. Had you concluded your testimony?
Mr. IBRAHIM. Yes.
Mr. CHABOT. Thank you.
Mr. IBRAHIM. I had submitted the written testimony that I hope will be included.
Ms. CHABOT. Yes. It will be included in the record.
Mr. Baisalov, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
STATEMENT OF MR. EDIL BAISALOV, PRESIDENT, COALITION FOR DEMOCRACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY, KYRGYZSTAN
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BAISALOV. Thank you, Mr. Chairperson. I want to start by thanking the Committee for inviting me to testify. I would like to personally thank Madam Chairperson. We know that you chair the Subcommittee on Middle East and Central Asia and you worked there. Your leadership and commitment to promoting the democracy in our part of the world has been truly inspiring and great.
The ADVANCE Democracy Act submitted by Mr. Lantos, we think thattogether with other congressional leadersis a true landmark legislation that is really inspiring for all of us democratic activists around the world.
The only comment I have is that I would like to see that while it is very important to achieve breakthrough in non-democratic countries, it is very important to keep the focus on democracies and transition and to keep working with them while they are on the road to stable and consolidated democracies.
I would like also to go on the record with greeting to my Congressman, Congressman Smith, whose leadership of the Helsinki Commission and his dedication to promoting OSCE principles and holding countries like Kyrgyzstan accountable and making them live up to the commitments of the OSCE over the past years was also very influential.
Thank you all, to Members of this great Committee, for the work you do and please know that your letters, your telephone calls, your attention, and your interest really make an impact. People around the world, dictators, leaders of authoritarian governments, do listen when a United States Congressman makes a phone call or writes a letter. Literally, many times it does save human lives, the attention which a Member of this Full Committee pays to the development of people around the world.
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Take, for example, Mr. Rohrabacher's letter or draft legislation. I remember very vividly in Ukraine, when he submitted a resolution, which was about Mr. Kuchma's personal responsibility for falsifying Presidential elections. It was submitted by him 2 months before the Presidential elections. You know, there were hundreds and hundreds of articles in the Ukranian newspapers and in the national press which discussed this draft resolution, so it does give a tremendous impact to the work that you do.
You know, we saw the Orange Revolution take place in December. There were hundreds of us from other countries, from Eastern Europe, from the former Soviet Union. With the support of organizations like Freedom House, we came together in the European network of election monitoring organizations. Seventy-five of us from Kyrgyzstan could never imagine that in March, you know, just several weeks ago, we would see our own Tulip Revolution.
This revolution in Kyrgyzstan marks the third time that the post-Soviet country experiences such a breakthrough. It truly means that it is not a coincidenceit is not happening because some foreign power is interfering or there is some international conspiracy, it is an objective, historical process. It is a wave of democratic institutions that are sweeping around the world and the former Soviet Union. There will be a set of accusations that it is inspired, that it is paidI mean, we saw a lot of those, there are really statements by various people that people in Maidan Square in Kiev were paid to stay there in the cold and freezing weather.
But, of course, we should all feel confident. I would urge that the United States Government and the United States Congress feel confident enough that in the face of these accusations that you stand steady and you don't allow new policies and you fight, you struggle for the freedom for peoples around the world, be governed by what the government of countries like Uzbekistan say about you. It is 58 years after the Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. It is time that you be confident in the work that you do and in advancing, in adopting such acts as ADVANCE Democracy Act.
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While I request that my full testimony be made part of the Committee, let me just conclude with two points.
Ambassador Palmer, you were there when the Communist regime collapsed at the end of the 1980s. We should not assume that the Communist ideology and the whole heritage of all this totalitarian regime collapsed and was made that way democratically.
The activists, 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, continued to deal with this Communist ideology and with all of thiswhich was, you know, people were indoctrinated. You know, there was a great system which indoctrinated the whole country, it was part of the culture, everything.
I think I would like to requesturge the United States Congress help us to do, perhaps, a study on the effect, on the continuing effect, on the continuing tolls of the Communist ideology as the external ideology is exerting on us. In a few days we will be celebrating the great victory of the defeat of Nazi Germany. But the defeat of the totalitarian regime was marked by the Nuremburg trial and all the evils were named. There was no trial for the communism, and there needs to be one because we continue to experience this sort of effect of this ideology.
Just to conclude, I was very saddened to hear that the Freedom Support Act, the funding for this act, was being decreased. Ten years ago I benefited from that act, and I spent a year in a high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. I would like to thank Libby and Jerry Johnson and their family for hosting me for 1 year. This was funded by the generosity of the American people through the Freedom Support Act.
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I think these sorts of exchange programs do make an impact. I sometimes, you know, I wonder if I would still be thinking in the Communist way or some other way if I didn't have that sort of experience 10 years ago.
Thank you so much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Baisalov follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. EDIL BAISALOV, PRESIDENT, COALITION FOR DEMOCRACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY, KYRGYZSTAN
Let me express my deep appreciation for the opportunity to testify before you today.
When President Bush appealed in his second inaugural speech this January to the nations around the world, to 'all who live in tyranny and hopelessness' with the promise that 'the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors'that sent a powerful message across the world. People do listen to what the head of the most powerful nation has to say. In fact, the newspaper that I edit back in Kyrgyzstan, The Demokrat, splashed these words across its front page within hours of the beginning of President Bush's second term. On the eve of the crucial parliamentary elections in February, many of our readers, democratic activists, non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders, party members, journalists and members of parliament continued to discuss the meaning of President Bush's words, 'When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.'
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And the Kyrgyz people did stand up for their liberty. Following the fraudulent parliamentary elections of February 27 and March 13, in which the leading opposition members were either barred from running or faced the full use of government resources to defeat them, the people of Kyrgyzstan protested against these results and demanded genuinely free elections. The people had long been frustrated by the one-man rule and the corruption that had developed around the former scientist-turned-dictator, and were no longer willing to accept that their representatives be handpicked by the government.
The Akayev family took under its control most profitable businesses and lucrative state contracts and made it impossible for local or international entrepreneurs to do business in Kyrgyzstan without sharing profits with the family. The Akayevs personally made tens of millions of dollars from business with the United States-operated airbase, monopolizing the supply of fuel as well as pocketing money from lease agreements.
One striking example of the Akayev government's corruption was trade with China. The Chinese reported annual volume of trade turnover with Kyrgyzstan as 480 million dollars, while official statistics released by Akayev's regime put this figure at 80 million.
This is just one example of how the cost of corruption and inefficient government the Kyrgyz people came to bear was enormous. Poverty could not be adequately addressed with customs and tax revenue not being collected properly and international aid money being siphoned away. At the same time, public discourse was increasingly stifled, with opposition leaders, independent journalists and civic activists intimidated and persecuted by the government. Despite this, government propaganda and numerous private electronic media outlets monopolized by President Akayev portrayed Akayev as a democratic leader and hailed Kyrgyzstan as 'the country of human rights.'
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Just a little more than a month ago, on March 24, as the result of several weeks of popular protests, Askar Akayev and his family were forced to flee to Russia, putting an end to the authoritarian regime that had ruled Kyrgyzstan for fifteen years since the break up of the Soviet Union. In their protest actions against Akayev, the Kyrgyz people were inspired by the success of the 'people power' displayed most recently in Georgia, where the Rose Revolution in November 2003 ousted Eduard Shevarnadze, and the Orange Revolution of Ukraine, which was a refusal to accept the falsified results of the presidential elections at the end of 2004. Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution marked the third time in 18 months that a democratic movement came to power at the result of peaceful resistance in the former Soviet Union.
So what role did the United States of America play in these transitions? How did the US government keep the promise made of standing with peoples earning for liberty?
First of all, the credit for the achievements belongs to the people of the respective countries; the U.S. government played no direct role in these events. We believe that the assistance provided by the United States directly to Kyrgyz civic groups and indirectly through NGOs such as the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, Freedom House, Internews and International Foundation for Electoral Systems was instrumental in helping creating the space for political dialogue, raising civic awareness and providing support for civil society. However, what happened in Kyrgyzstan in early 2005 was the result of Kyrgyz people advocating their own interests and beliefs through groups that they had created themselves.
The organization that I represent, the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, is one such group. The Coalition is an umbrella group uniting more than 170 NGOs around Kyrgyzstan, which joined forces six years ago to advocate for democratic reforms. Since 1999, the Coalition has monitored more than ten elections and referenda through fielding long-term and election day domestic non-partisan observers. Our nonpartisan reporting on the elections and recommendations on helped improve the process and resulted in many amendments of the election code.
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With funding made available by USAID through NDI, we have trained thousands of civic activists, local council members and election observers. We trained and deployed more than 1,700 election observers throughout the country for both rounds of parliamentary elections, and produced reports, statements and press releases to provide the public with a domestic, nonpartisan evaluation of the election process before, during and after the elections.
The work of the Coalition was assisted in the parliamentary elections by the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO). ENEMO is a group of 17 civic organizations, including the Coalition, from sixteen countries of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. These nonpartisan organizations are the leading domestic election monitoring groups in their countries. In total, ENEMO member organizations have observed more than 110 national elections and trained more than one hundred thousand election monitors. ENEMO seeks to support the international community's interest in and support for democracy in the post-communist countries of the OSCE region, to assess electoral conditions and the political environment, and to offer accurate and impartial observation reports.
ENEMO international observation missions, such as the short-term monitoring mission in Kyrgyzstan in February and March, evaluate the electoral process using international standards for democratic and fair elections and benchmarks in the assessed country's legislation and constitution. The Coalition is an active member of ENEMO; I was a co-chair of the mission in Ukraine for the presidential elections in November.
Besides the importance of supporting local and regional groups, U.S. embassies play a critical role in these transitions. In the recent democratic breakthroughs in Georgia and Ukraine we saw that the most crucial roles belonged to Ambassadors Miles and Herbst, who ensured that American politics were articulated as clearly as possible and the international support was marshaled.
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US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Stephen Young also deserves recognition in greatly supporting the desire of the Kyrgyz to live in a free society. Throughout his time in Kyrgyzstan, Ambassador Young frequently met with civic activists around the country, speaking with journalists, students, businessmen and political party leaders to articulate US support for democratic development. Ambassador Young maintained a direct dialogue with President Akayev while also urging him publicly to respect the international commitment of Kyrgyzstan to democratic reforms. In the months preceding the revolution, Ambassador Young came under repeated attack by the Kyrgyz governmental press, which tried to depict him as violating international norms of conduct and accused him of interfering in the internal affairs. Despite a number of activities aiming to discredit him, Ambassador Young stood steady in his call for democracy in Kyrgyzstan. Previous U.S. Ambassadors to Kyrgyzstan also deserve credit for being vocal and visible supporters of democracy. It cannot be overestimated how important this sort of support is for local democratic activists.
Another vital area for building democracy is mass media. During the time of the Soviet Union, Radio Liberty was one of the only ways for the people to hear accurate news and information about their own society and the world. Radio continues to play an important role throughout the former Soviet Union today in providing balanced coverage of the events. A year before the presidential elections in Ukraine, authorities shut down FM radio stations that transmitted Radio Liberty. The authorities in Kyrgyzstan shut down Radio Liberty two weeks prior to the elections. The Kyrgyz service Radio Azattyk served as the only outlet through which the voters could learn about the latest developments.
However, in the name of reaching mass audiences, proud traditions of the Radio Liberty are recently being forgotten. For example, the RFE/RL Russian Service no longer airs programs on human rights directed to the many Russian speakers in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The recent steps at commercialization of international broadcasting, with the primary focus on increasing the number of listeners at the cost of downgrading or lowering the quality of the content, are shortsighted and should be reviewed. It would be useful for the Congress to consider funding an independent study of the current role of international broadcasting as an important element in American public diplomacy and as a valuable way of promoting democracy and the development of civil societies.
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Consideration should be given to on-air educational broadcastingteaching English or about the role of religion in various democratic societiesto countries such as Turkmenistan, where educational systems are being dismantled by the state. Television broadcasting should be launched to the whole of Central Asia, based in Kyrgyzstan.
Although fifteen years have passed since the collapse of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the ghost of communism still continues to exert its toll on these post-totalitarian societies. No one should assume that the fall of the Soviet Union brought about automatic end to totalitarian ideology. While there have been a considerable amount of activities towards the rebirth of civil society and raising civic awareness, it is clear that until the post-communist societies undertake a special effort to evaluate their pasts and recognize all of the evils of totalitarianism, we cannot say that liberty and human rights are strongly rooted in our societies. It should come as no surprise that in many countries, nostalgic feelings for the totalitarian past and 'iron fist' rule are on the rise again, while the majority of the population still views the gulags (forced labor camps) and Holodomor (Ukrainian famine in the 1930s) as unfortunate incidents in Soviet history.
The United States should consider establishing a special program to study the history of the communist regimes around the world since 1917 and the ways to overcome continuing influence of the communist and other extremist ideology today.
I also believe that democracies must befriend people, not dictators. Student and other activist exchange programs must be expanded. Ten years ago I myself benefited from the generosity of the American people through the Freedom Support Act. I was awarded a scholarship that allowed me to attend high school in Columbus, North Carolina. Thousands of former exchange students like me are now entering key positions within business, the government and the civic sector. It is clear that only continued expansion of people-to-people public diplomacy efforts such as student exchange programs will ensure a better understanding of each other and a celebration of humanity, democracy and human rights.
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Note: The Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society received $114,000 in the last fiscal year in US government funding through USAID and NDI.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN [presiding]. Thank you so much. Very powerful testimony. And that part of indoctrination, Mr. Sharansky in his book, The Case for Democracy, that we had talked about this morning, he calls them the double thinkers, and it is part of having to survive in that kind of Communist ideology.
Mr. SCHIFF. Madam Chair, I just wanted to join you in thanking our witnesses today. We have just been paged for votes, so we will be running off.
But thank you, Mr. Ambassador, Mrs. Windsor, Mr. Ibrahim, and Mr. Baisalov. We very much appreciate your testimony. I would like to follow up with you to get some of your thoughts on some of the funding issues that I raised with the Ambassador earlier, as well as I will get your thoughts on the legislation that the Chair and I have introduced to establish a liberty list, so that we can spotlight some of the work of brave journalists around the world, brave reformers around the world, hopefully to give them some measure of protection by being recognized.
We would give discretion to the Administrationnot to recognize people, that would be counterproductivebut I would also love to get your thoughts, perhaps in writing, on why some of our outreach in the Arab world has been unsuccessful, why some of the media, Al Hurra, Rebiya Kadeer, and others have not been as successful as we would like. Maybe they simply need more time.
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But given the dramatic impact that Radio Free Europe and other efforts have had in other parts of the world, is there something just different and distinct about reaching out to the Arab world that makes it much more challenging that we need to be aware of?
So I want to thank you. We will look forward to following up with you and I join my Chair in telling you that I am a true appreciator of your testimony.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Schiff.
I will also submit some questions in writing, because I am interested in knowing about the types of assistance for democracy movements that have not been successful, because we can learn a lot from our mistakes as well.
But we thank you for wonderful testimony, all of you. Some of you have lived through and many of you have led the efforts toward democracy and freedom movements around the world. You have a lot of admirers here in Congress for the work that you do each and every day. We thank you so much.
We thank the audience and the media for participating.
The Committee is now adjourned. We have votes. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 11:43 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
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