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President meets with Dalai Lama

President Obama with the Dalai Lama

President Obama met this morning at the White House with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. The President stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China.

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President Obama to visit Australia in March

The White House announced today that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Australia in March. The specific dates for the trip were not announced. The President will also visit Guam and Indonesia.

The White House said this trip is an important part of the president’s continued effort to broaden and strengthen the partnerships that are necessary to advance our security and prosperity.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of U.S.-Australia relations. “The president looks forward to commemorating that milestone and consulting with Prime Minister Rudd on ways that we can build on the strong relationship between our two countries and discuss issues such as global economic recovery, clean energy and climate change, nonproliferation and Afghanistan,” the White House said.

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Secretary of State Clinton promotes internet freedom

In a major foreign policy speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined the U.S. commitment to internet freedom, which she said is essential to upholding human rights and encouraging economic prosperity.

» Continue reading “Secretary of State Clinton promotes internet freedom”

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Haiti crisis postpones Secretary Clinton’s Australia visit

Secretary of State Clinton has announced that, due to the devasting earthquake in Haiti and its severe aftermath,  she is returning to Washington, DC, instead of continuing her trip to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia.

» Continue reading “Haiti crisis postpones Secretary Clinton’s Australia visit”

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Secretary of State Clinton to visit Australia

Secretary of State Clinton will visit Canberra and Melbourne this month. While in Canberra, the Secretary, along with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, and Australian Defense Minister John Faulkner, will participate in the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) to discuss key global and regional security challenges.

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President Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize

“Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls,” the President suggested in his acceptance speech. “We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice.  We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity.  Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.  We can do that — for that is the story of human progress; that’s the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.”

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President Obama outlines Afghanistan strategy

President Obama has outlined the government’s strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan in a speech at the U.S. military academy at West Point, New York.

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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

In June 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), with participants of the first Women’s Global Institute on Women, Violence and Human Rights, called for a global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to emphasize that violence against women is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women engineering students were gunned down for being feminists; and 10 December, Human Rights Day.

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Senate approves Bleich nomination as Ambassador

Ambassador Designate Jeffrey L. Bleich

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jeffrey Bleich as the next U.S. Ambassador to Australia, clearing the way for his arrival in Canberra. Ambassador-designate Bleich must formally present his credentials to the Governor General before assuming his post.

To learn more about Ambassador-designate Bleich, you can see his biography on the Embassy website.

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Ambassador-designate Bleich testifies to Senate panel

During confirmation hearings November 5, Ambassador-designate to Australia Jeffrey L. Bleich told a Senate panel that there is no greater honor or opportunity than to work with our valued Australian friends and allies. “The relationship between the United States and Australia is one of our strongest and most productive international alliances,” he said in his opening statement. Bleich, who is nominated by President Obama as the next ambassador to Australia, must be confirmed by the full Senate before the appointment is official.
To read a transcript of his testimony

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