THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Denver, Colorado) _______________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release June 21, 1997
PRESS BRIEFING BY SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
Colorado Convention Center Denver, Colorado
4:08 P.M. MDT
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good afternoon. I am glad to present the Foreign Ministers report. Joining me here this afternoon is Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom; Foreign Minister Ikeda of Japan; and Sir Leon Brittan of the European Commission. And the report we are presenting is on behalf of all the Foreign Ministers.
Here in Denver and throughout the year, the eight worked together to combat a whole range of global issues which cast shadows on the lives of our citizens and the future of our global community. We face new threats that respect no borders and that no one state can defeat alone. The eight are meeting those threats together.
This report focuses on our cooperation to promote nonproliferation, ban antipersonnel land mines, combat transnational crime, and strengthen our antiterrorism efforts. I will also report on our progress in pursuing effective U.N. reform and our discussion of regional issues complementing the summit decisions. You will be hearing later from Secretary Rubin about our work here to expand the global economy in ways that will benefit all of us.
My colleagues and I have focused on how we can work together every day of the year, not just here in Denver, to sustain the security of our peoples and the progress of democracy around the world. To block the smuggling of dangerous nuclear materials we have increased the sharing of information and technology among our law enforcement intelligence and customs services. We have also agreed that we must manage carefully our stocks of fissile material no longer required for defense purposes, and we will work together to do so.
Our governments have worked together actively over the past year to promote the negotiation of a treaty banning anti-personnel land mines which spread indiscriminate death and suffering long after conflict has ceased. Two of the important fora where that activity is centered are the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and the Ottawa Process. We will also continue to play a major role in international efforts to detect and remove land mines. And we will provide assistance and technology to countries developing their own programs for land mine removal, as well as to land mine victims.
We are building extensive cooperation among the eight in combating the scourge of international crime by promoting law enforcement cooperation, fighting high tech crime and countering alien smuggling. During the past year we have improved procedures for extraditing criminal suspects in assisting each other in investigating and prosecuting transnational crimes. We're strengthening our programs for information exchange and cooperation against illegal firearms trafficking. And we will all place a new emphasis on effectively targeting alien smugglers.
The rapid growth of computer and telecommunications technology has created new opportunities for criminals and new challenges for law enforcement. The eight will combine our knowledge and resources to enhance our ability to locate, identify and prosecute high-tech criminals. We will also work together to develop the best possible training for officials to fight this new branch of crime.
We're promoting the kind of international cooperation that led to the arrest of a suspect in the CIA shootings and the extradition to the U.S. of one who may help us determine who was responsible for the Kobar Towers bombing. Our joint message to terrorists is this: You have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
At our initiative, negotiations have begun among all U.N. member states on a convention on suppression of terrorist bombing. The eight call upon all states to join the full number of international conventions against terrorism. Our work here will improve our ability to investigate terrorist attacks on ground transportation, improve the safety of air travelers and do more to protect computer networks from terrorists and criminals.
The eight countries represented here have played a leading role in focusing attention on the need for United Nations reform. With help from all of us, reform efforts in all areas of U.N. activity have gained momentum over the last two years. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has seized the initiative and the eight will work with him to make the U.N. and its specialized agencies efficient and effective partners in reaching the goals we all share.
In discussing regional issues, we highlighted the momentous changes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The eight recognized the importance of assisting the new government, but our support will depend on the new authorities' demonstration of their commitment to democratic reform, including elections, sound economic policies, public accountability and protection of human rights including protection of refugees.
We also expressed our concern with the situation in Congo Brazzaville and called on all parties to end hostilities and work for peace. We welcomed the progress accomplished by the U.N. support mission in Haiti and look forward to the Secretary General's new recommendations on our future international presence there.
We called on all parties in Afghanistan to stop the fighting and work toward forming a broad-based government that will protect the rights of all Afghans.
Finally, we called upon the ruling regime in Burma to enter into a meaningful political dialogue with the leaders of the democratic opposition and ethnic minorities to ensure the safety of Aung San Suu Chi.
Working together, whether to reform the U.N., to preserve the global environment, or to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, we attract support and resources that no country could provide on its own. We also create opportunities for our own citizens, and we are reminded that we live in a world in which progress can never again be a zero-sum game.
We have before us the opportunity to shape a future to which nations increasingly come together around basic principles of democracy, open markets and the rule of law. There is no region on Earth that need be excluded from the benefits of an open global community, or that should be excluded from its responsibilities. And there is no American, indeed, no one of our citizens who does not stand to benefit from the creation of a world that is increasingly prosperous, secure and free.
I believe I can say on behalf of the eight that this report represents progress for all our people, working prosperously, traveling safely, and living freely. And I'm happy to say that we can expect even better -- (feed dropped.) Thank you very much.
END 4:20 P.M. MDT