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US-German Round Table for the 21st Century in Munich
Remarks by Ambassador Coats
February 19, 2004


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Michael Rogowski has already recognized many distinguished guests and I would like to add my greetings to the participants of the 7th U.S.-German Round Table.

I am especially pleased to welcome some former colleagues -- the members of the Congressional delegation -- to Germany. Your participation is a tribute to the partnership between our two countries. It is also a mark of the respect and support that the U.S. Congress gives to our enduring ties with Germany.

We can indeed reflect with pride on how Germans and Americans stood together in friendship in the last half-century, united in purpose to promote liberty and security. The German-American partnership in the last half of the 20th century is perhaps one of the greatest success stories in modern history. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since 1989, the world has undergone a series of extraordinary social, technological and economic changes that hold great promise. We have witnessed the spread of freedom and democracy to countries around the globe, a revolution in information and technology and an incredible integration of capital and ideas and people across national boundaries.

We have also witnessed profound changes in the global security environment. During the Cold War, security was defined within the context of the global political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. Today, the single greatest threat to global security is the nexus between terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, failed states and the instability that arises from extremist organizations.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 will forever remain a dramatic and tragic reminder of how the challenges of the 21st century differ from those of the past. The threat of terrorism creates a common interest in cooperation among all countries that value peace, prosperity, and the rule of law. We must work to ensure that no country stands outside the coalition against terror. The formation of cooperative partnerships among all nations is the key to international security. Sources of national strength and security for one nation add to the security of others.

The National Security Strategy of the United States and the Security Strategy of the European Union have both mapped out major policies to address these challenges of the 21st century.
Some of these new policies have been deployed.

Since September 11, law enforcement communities around the world have worked together to detect and thwart the menace of international terrorism. To this end, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, and every financial mechanism has been employed. NATO forces, in their first out of area mission, have played a crucial role in helping to bring stability to Afghanistan. New cooperative partnerships in economic and social development have been developed.

Undeniably, the Atlantic Alliance was tested by differences over the methods taken to address the threats posed by Saddam Hussein -- but we can certainly agree on the importance of the development of a stable, democratic, and prosperous Iraq that does not seek to possess weapons of mass destruction. The values and goals that shaped the Alliance in the past have not changed. The Security Conference earlier this month here in Munich provided a useful forum to review all that has been accomplished but also to preview the important agenda that lies ahead -- to, as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said, to “think creatively about how we can harness the power of the Alliance.”

We view the spread of weapons of mass destruction and related delivery technologies to be one of the gravest threats to global security. During the Cold War, weapons of mass destruction were, as President Bush pointed out last week in a speech at the National Defense University, "deterrents - weapons of last resort. What has changed in the 21st century is that, in the hands of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction would be a first resort." We must be alert to new and emerging threats. Unless the spread of terrorism is stopped, attacks will grow bolder -- and more deadly.

Weapons of mass destruction are becoming easier to acquire, build, hide, and transport. The Pakistani nuclear scientist, Dr. A.Q. Khan, admitted recently what our intelligence services have known for some time, namely that he had been systematically transferring nuclear technology to rogue states. In the last 12 months, we have seen that there are indeed two different models of behavior -- a path of defiance and a path of cooperation.

One of the most promising multilateral nonproliferation efforts is the Proliferation Security Initiative, which aims to combat proliferation by developing new means to disrupt the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction at sea, in the air, and on land. This initiative was developed by the United States, Germany, and nine other close allies and friends developed. Since President Bush announced the initiative last May during his visit to Poland, more than 60 countries have indicated their support.

This is important. Many countries around the world are just beginning to establish export-control systems, and will look to Germany, the United States and others for counsel. We must present these countries with a clear and common message about the need for effectively enforced export controls that meet international standards. There is a need to make hard policy choices to stop the illicit flow of arms and technologies.

Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction represent two of the more immediate threats to global security, but there are many other, longer-term threats. The long-term strategy in the fight against terrorism is to deprive it of its havens, its recruitment grounds, its weapons and its tools -- and its foot soldiers. We will do this in no small measure through the promotion of democracy and freedom, and so together we must also address the problems of failed states and promote good governance and human rights. As President Bush said in his speech at Whitehall Palace in London last November, "Lasting peace is gained as justice and democracy advance. In democratic and successful societies, men and women do not swear allegiance to malcontents and murderers; they turn their hearts and labor to building better lives.”

In Afghanistan and Iraq, we must create successful states that embrace freedom and enjoy broadly shared economic development. If we are successful, this could generate extraordinary encouragement to millions of people now mired in hopelessness. We appreciate Foreign Minister Fischer’s suggestions on how the EU and NATO could work together in the Greater Middle East, in this respect. And we are pleased at the Chancellor’s commitment to responding to Iraq’s current crisis with Germany’s contribution in the Paris Club to “significant debt reduction.”

As with other countries elsewhere, the road to a democratic Iraq must include jobs and a new free market perspective for the Iraqi people. For the growing divide between the developed and the developing world is also a long-term threat to global stability. As the President has said -- and this is reflected in the U.S. National Security Strategy, “A world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 a day is neither just, nor stable.” End quote. In the Arab world, one out of five people lives on less than 2 dollars a day and one out of every seven is unemployed.

The United States supports the emerging consensus that sustained growth and poverty reduction is impossible without the right national policies. President Bush's Millennium Challenge Account will increase development assistance by 50% -- but the assistance will go only to those developing nations that demonstrate a commitment to fighting corruption, respecting basic human rights, embracing the rule of law, investing in health care and education, and following responsible economic policies. I am pleased to be able to report that President Bush signed legislation January 23 that provides $1 billion for the MCA in the current fiscal year. The Administration has also requested $2.5 billion for the MCA in FY 2005 and aims for $5 billion annually for the program beginning in FY 2005.

The global economy in the 21st century is based on a system of mutual trade and investment and the free flow of information. Economic growth supported by free trade and free markets creates new jobs and prosperity globally. Germany and the United States believe in the importance of rules-based trade and the key role that the World Trade Organization has in opening markets. And, despite the serious setback at Cancun, we are working to realize further progress on market access, for our own products and for the products of developing nations. This is the way to build greater prosperity around the world. USTR Zoellick's letter to Minister Clement and to his other counterparts in trade ministries around the world last month is part of this effort to work in partnership with Germany, the EU, and others in achieving this mutually beneficial objective.

But industrialized countries are not exempt from the need to pursue sound economic policies. We have a common objective of maintaining and promoting growth in our own countries. Our dynamic economies keep changing and creating new opportunities - and posing new challenges. The dynamic of the marketplace leads to the creation of new jobs and new businesses -- that go where the growth is. Here too -- we see that when we define our common objectives, then we can make real progress. Think about the need for dialogue and new ideas in the areas of job creation, stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship, adapting education to the needs of the 21st century, regulatory reform, competition policy or the development of more efficient financial markets.
The transatlantic ties of history, commerce, and of friendship that have served us so well will help us to address the challenges that lie before us. Together, as President Bush said at the Bundestag, " Our conscience and our interests speak as one: to achieve a safer world, we must create a better world.” His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan addressed the Munich Security Conference earlier this month. He pointed out that the Middle East is on the frontline of a global struggle for peace and development. “If we succeed,” he emphasized, “success will require all of us. This may be a century in which billions more people have access to the world’s promise.”

America is not about conquest, it’s not about occupation. It’s about freedom from tyranny, liberation from brutal dictatorship, sharing it’s wealth through government aid, and even more important and in much larger amounts – private charitable and NGO contributions.

Most of all, it’s about sharing the most precious God ordained right of all men, women and children on the face of this troubled earth – the right of freedom. The Germans here tonight understand this. Some have personally experienced it following the terrible days of the Nazi era and World War II.

The U.S. and FRG, as the world’s 1st and 3rd largest economies, sharing a unique post-war relationship, sharing a common heritage and values, have a special responsibility to partner together to address the challenges of the 21st century. As I indicated on our arrival in Germany on September 7, 2001, “Together Germany and America can be a powerful voice for peace and prosperity.”

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