Full transcript of the 2013 Atlantic Council Distinguished Leadership Awards.
Voice of God: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Chairman of the Brent Scowcroft Center, General James L. Jones.
James L. Jones, Jr.
Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. It’s a real pleasure to be here. Normally, you would be welcoming General Brent Scowcroft who, unfortunately, is not feeling well this evening and is not going to be able to join us, but we wish him a very speedy recovery. I’m sure it’s nothing serious but please allow me to be an inadequate substitute.
So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Atlantic Council’s 2013 Distinguished International Leadership Awards. This is an event that is sure to eclipse the notoriety of the recent Washington Correspondent’s Dinner, judging by the turnout this evening. And may I say that, to President Obama, my former boss, you can go ahead and have your drink with Senator McConnell, tonight we get to have a drink with Hillary Clinton.
And tonight we will honor the former secretary of state. We will honor the current NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen; the Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson; the legendary American performer Tony Bennett; and the great Colombia musician and social activist Juanes. We will also launch the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, which will become the Atlantic Council’s tenth center. Please join me in thanking Adrienne for her support of the Atlantic Council’s newest center. Thank you, Adrienne.
So tonight’s awardees, the new center, and the very makeup of this audience, underscore the remarkable global reach and the increasing impact of the Atlantic Council. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have over 700 guests from thirty-three countries in the audience. Thank you very, very much for being here. But I suppose that the real reason I’m standing before you this evening is primarily due to the fact that our chairman of the past four years, now our Secretary of Defense, got himself another job, and the shoes he left behind are so big that we’ve yet to find the right person to fill them, so will volunteers please form a line at the first intermission, off to the right of the stage.
So I’m here to welcome you in my capacity as an Executive Committee member and chair of the Council’s second newest center, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. As Chuck Hagel’s predecessor as chairman of the Atlantic Council myself, I can attest to the importance and demanding nature of this role, and there are few who have performed it as well as Secretary Hagel did. He actually did a pretty good job for an army sergeant. As you know, that’s high praise coming from a marine.
Although Secretary Hagel could not join us this evening, we’re tremendously pleased and honored to have his wife Lilibet in attendance. Would you all please join me in thanking this extraordinary couple for their continuing service to the country and the international security of the dangerous and complex world we struggle to keep safe. Chuck Hagel’s leadership of the Council over the past four years has included four of the most remarkable years of growth and influence in the Council’s history. We wish him well in his new role and we hope to see him at many Atlantic Council events in the near future.
So it’s now my pleasure to pass the baton to Fred Kempe, our president and CEO. But before I do, let me say that it is now quite clear that the Council absolutely did the right thing in asking him to assume the mantle of leadership of the Atlantic Council six-plus years ago. It’s also clear that Fred did the right thing in giving up his cushy career as a journalist for some real work. Since that time the Council has been transformed into one of the most dynamic, effective, productive, and influential organizations in international affairs. The Atlantic Council today is at the cutting edge of dealing with the important issues of our time, and is increasingly seen as a place where people from all walks of international life can come together to discuss the most difficult issues we face. The Atlantic Council, under Fred’s leadership, has not lost its relationship to its basic roots, which is the transatlantic link. To the contrary, it has expanded those roots to reflect the new realities of a multi-polar world environment where the very definition of international security has undergone and is undergoing profound change. Thanks to Fred’s tireless efforts, bolstered by the efforts and loyal support of a first class staff, the Atlantic Council’s contemporary relevance is rock solid in the face of 21st century challenges. Ladies and gentlemen, our president and CEO, Fred Kempe.
Thank you for that kind introduction General Jones. I guess one of the biggest differences of leaving the Wall Street Journal and coming here, if I’d stayed at the Journal – well, let’s put it this way, I’ve worked for now four Chairmen, former Ambassador to London Henry Catto; General Jim Jones; Senator, now Secretary Chuck Hagel; and now interim Chairman, Brent Scowcroft. So the only real difference is I’d be working for Rupert Murdoch.
General Jones, I want to, in front of this entire crowd, thank you so much for your service, not only to the Atlantic Council, but to the United States and to our great alliance. Thank you for your leadership service, and for your friendship, General Jones. (Applause)
As regulars of this event know, our MC’s are usually Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, and I am not replacing them this evening. They did a fantastic job over the past four years, but we decided to give them a break tonight. They were nice enough to put on Adrienne Arsht this morning with me to get the word out about this new Latin America Center.
Like Billy Crystal at the Oscars, Mika and Joe are hard to replace, so we haven’t done it. But we would rather utilize what theatre professionals call the Voice of God to provide the connecting tissue of the program. Secretary General Rasmussen, you may want to listen to this demonstration of the Voice of God.
VOG: Noah, I want you to build me an alliance. Make it consist of 28 countries, all paying no less than two percent of their GDP for defense, and placing no caveats on the use of their militaries.
Fred Kempe: Sound good, Mr. Secretary General? Though I’m not quite sure why divine intervention has a British accent. (Laughter) Knowing Joe Scarborough and knowing Mika, I would imagine Mika would say something like, “Joe would think it appropriate that he has been replaced by a deity.” At this point Mika and Joe would ask you to turn off your electronic devices. I will just say keep them on, turn them on silent, and begin to tweet. You can do @AtlanticCouncil and hashtag #ACAwards, hashtag #ACAwards, if your dinner partner allows you.
You heard us talk in the film about seminal moments, about historic inflection points. What’s true about all those I mentioned in the film – 1918, 1945, 1989 – is how clear it was in those years that the world was changing, but how very unclear it was, in what direction it would change, and how history would unfold. It was human agency, constructive leadership, and yes, sometimes destructive leadership, which determined outcomes. We participated in the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report. I know some of our partners in the audience are here. It’s well worth reading because it really does capture the essence of our new historic inflection point, where we also don’t know the outcome. But at the Atlantic Council we believe the Euro-Atlantic community, working more effectively and purposefully together with its global friends and allies, we don’t believe that can solve the world’s problems, but we believe it’s a precondition for dealing with most of the world’s problems.
The opening film replaced my usual commercial moment for the Atlantic Council, so don’t act too disappointed. I won’t recount all the accomplishments of our nine, now ten programs and centers, much as I am tempted to do so. But they have been considerable in the past year and you can look at them all on our website, acus.org. Instead, I would ask the following people to stand so we can thank them for their service to the Atlantic Council. Please hold your applause until all of the groups that I name are standing.
First of all, please rise all Atlantic Council Board Directors and please stay standing. (Applause) All … and please stay standing and please join them, all International Advisory Board members. (Applause) All Atlantic Council members. This is the ultimate community of influence. Thank you for everything you do for the Atlantic Council. (Applause)
Now I want to have a group stand that I couldn’t be more proud of. You make my job easy every day. You are the best at what you do in Washington. Could, first please stand, all Atlantic Council Program and Center Directors (Applause), and all Atlantic Council Staff and Senior Fellows. All Atlantic Council Staff and Senior Fellows please rise. (Applause) Bless you all. Given the history of the Council and our future challenges, it is fitting tonight, as General Jones also indicated, that our first honoree is one of the most gifted and resourceful Secretary Generals of the greatest security alliance the world has ever known, not to mention his service to his own country as Prime Minister. He will be introduced by the woman who brought him to the United States in the first place some thirty years ago, and their friendship over that period of time underscores our conviction that we don’t just have an alliance of countries, we have an alliance of people. So, over to that divine voice for the introduction.
VOG: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Senior Vice President of the Meridian International Center, Miss Susan Cabiati.
Thank you very much Mr. Kempe. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, and award recipients. I am really pleased and honored to be here tonight to introduce the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The Secretary General and I met, as Mr. Kempe has mentioned, a little over thirty years ago when he was an impressive young member of the Danish parliament, and I was a young program officer at Meridian International Center in charge of arranging his visit to the United States. He had been selected by our US Embassy in Copenhagen to participate in a program that actually Secretary Clinton knows quite well and has strongly supported, the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. For over seventy years this program has been an effective public diplomacy initiative bringing dynamic young leaders to the United States and helping them develop better understanding of our society and its cultural and political life. The Secretary General’s exchange introduced him to a wide range of individuals, from farmers in Minnesota, economists in Chicago, to politicians in Dallas. And through these person-to-person interactions, the Secretary General gained insights into our culture and values and while no one likely knew it at the time, those encounters allowed some very, very fortunate Americans to get to know a rising global leader.
Secretary General Rasmussen is among those select alumni who have returned home to become leaders of their countries, rising as he did, rising through the ranks of Danish politics to Prime Minister and then becoming the Secretary General of NATO. Tonight we recognize and applaud him for the outstanding contributions he has made to the world in both roles. The qualities that moved our Embassy to select him thirty years ago – leadership, integrity, a willingness to listen, and a desire to join the discussion about peace and security for all nations – those qualities have brought us here this evening to honor him with the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished International Leadership Award.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Ladies and gentlemen, dear Susan, thank you very much for your very generous introduction. As mentioned, some thirty years ago you introduced me to this great country. You started me along the path that’s led me here today, and for that I will always be grateful. Let me also express my gratitude to Jim, Fred, Damon, and the entire team at the Atlantic Council. You have made an exceptional contribution to strengthening the transatlantic bond, and I am so sorry that Brent Scowcroft was not able to be with us tonight. I also understand Hillary is joining us shortly, but I would nonetheless like to pay tribute to her leadership, intellect and energy which have served as an inspiration to us all.
For over sixty years NATO has been our collective life insurance. The Washington Treaty’s key principle can be summed up as, “All for one and one for all.” Yet NATO is not just a military alliance. The Washington Treaty also commits all allies to strengthening their free institutions, promoting conditions of stability and wellbeing, and encouraging economic collaboration. Like collective defense, these two are enduring commitments.
NATO was formed to defend our freedoms, personal freedom, political freedom, economic freedom. These values are more powerful than any military might. At the height of the Cold War our nations struck a unique transatlantic deal, protected by NATO, nations that had gone to war against each other forged closer cooperation and laid the groundwork for the European Union. As Communism collapsed, NATO and the European Union opened their doors to new members, spreading freedom across central and eastern Europe. Former foes became friends and allies. That was the second transatlantic deal. Now, in this global century, Europe and North America face a new challenge to protect our shared values across the globe and shape the global agenda in line with those values. So we need to strike a new transatlantic deal, to do more with each other, not less; to come closer, not drift apart; to turn outwards, not inwards. So, how can we make our community and values stronger, wider, deeper? My long-term vision is of a transatlantic common market. So I welcome the launch of talks on a transatlantic trade and investment partnership. This will stimulate jobs, innovation, growth. And in a world where not all play by the same rules, it will insure that we continue to set global standards. But my vision goes beyond trade deals. It’s about people, science, culture. Coming to America strengthened my personal bonds with families, colleagues and institutions across this great country. Coming to America as high school students my two daughters made lifelong friends. Coming to America as a college student changed my son’s life. He’s actually married to an American, and settled here in the States. And my wife and I are proud to be grandparents to Danish and American children. (Applause) That’s why strong exchange programs are the best way to keep us connected. (Laughter)
And North America and Europe must also continue to work with the wider world. As NATO Secretary General, I have visited South Korea, Japan and Australia because partners around the world want us to engage, and we must. We may be divided by geography, but we share the same values and face the same challenges – cyber attacks, terrorism, missile proliferation, piracy. And no country and no continent can deal with such challenges on its own.
Finally, we must deepen our security cooperation across the Atlantic. This is the foundation for everything we have. So we must continue to invest in NATO, and we must all shoulder a fair share of the burden just as well share in the benefits. Today there is a growing imbalance in the security contributions made by American and Europe. European nations need to do more and to do better, because to remain America’s partner of choice, Europe’s choice must be to become the strong partner that America needs. The transatlantic relationship is vital for the freedom, security and prosperity of Europe and North America. And it provides the bedrock of the rules-based global order. This vital partnership is about more than the single strand of security. It’s also about politics, economics and, above all, people.
I will continue to work to advance that vision through a new transatlantic deal, to preserve our freedom, increase our prosperity, safeguard our values for generations to come. So thank you very much for this award, and thank you for your continued commitment for all that we do together. Thank you. (Applause)
VOG: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome former Cabinet Secretary and US Trade Representative and current Chair and CEO of Hills and Company, Ambassador Carla Hills. (Applause)
Good evening to every one of this very distinguished audience. I must say I’m indebted to the Atlantic Council for giving me the opportunity to say a few words about a great friend for whom I have enormous admiration and respect. He has been selected to be the 2013 Distinguished Business Leadership awardee.
John Watson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Chevron Corporation, one of the world’s leading energy companies, and the third largest corporation on the Fortune 500. Headquartered in California, Chevron has oil, gas, geothermal energy and interests in more than 170 countries. In 1980, after receiving his MBA from the University of Chicago, John joined Chevron. In the ensuing thirty-three years he has held leadership positions including heading Strategic Planning, President of Chevron’s International Exploration and Production, Chief Financial Officer, Vice Chairman of the Board, and since 2010 Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.
Under John’s experienced leadership, this enormous and diverse enterprise has achieved remarkable returns for its shareholders. But that is only half the story. Under his stewardship, Chevron is partnering with governments, nonprofit organizations and small businesses, investing time and treasure to advance the environmental, educational and economic interests in the communities in which it operates.
The Gorgon Development, one of the world’s largest and surely most complex liquefied natural gas project, is taking place in and around Barrow Island, a “Class A” nature preserve, right off the coast of Australia. Chevron has worked closely with Australia’s premier conservationists to insure that the Gorgon Project does not adversely affect the environmental integrity of Barrow Island.
In Indonesia, where over eight million people are served by Chevron’s geothermal power operation, Chevron has partnered with 100 farmers to improve their agricultural production. And under is Green Corridor initiative has planted more than 30,000 trees, with a goal in the next five years to plant 250,000.
And close to home, in Richmond, California, where unemployment and poverty run high, Chevron has partnered with nonprofit and with the county, giving millions of dollars to advance education and job training programs, and similar programs are being taken in Columbia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sumatra and so many other places where Chevron is building partnerships, enduring partnerships for a better future. John Watson earns applause globally not only for Chevron’s stellar financial performance, but also for giving real substance to Chevron’s core belief that in the long run the company’s prosperity is hinged to the wellbeing of the communities in which it operates.
His remarkable leadership brings to mind a statement by John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader,” and John Watson is just such a leader, and I’ll invite him to the podium.
John S. Watson
I certainly appreciate the kind words, Carla. Carla, of course, has been an exceptional leader in both the public and private sector, and it’s certainly a privilege to be introduced by such a remarkable individual. I am also deeply honored to be sharing the podium this evening with distinguished leaders such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary General Rasmussen. And I never imagined I would find myself on the same stage as Tony Bennett or the talented Juanes. Tony, as a San Francisco Bay Area native, fourth generation by the way, I’ve enjoyed your famous, and what I consider to be your most famous song, for many years.
On behalf of all of us at Chevron I would like to thank the Atlantic Council for this award. The Council plays a vital role in bringing together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to promote dialog around a very broad range of issues. And I know the Council shares our belief that businesses like Chevron, working with governments and other key stakeholders, play an indispensable role in helping to address the most pressing economic and social challenges at home and abroad.
Over the last 150 years we’ve seen the greatest advancements in the living standard in recorded history. These advances have been enabled by the development of abundant and affordable energy supplies that have brought light, heat and mobility to billions of people around the world. Affordable energy has been a primary driver of economic expansion, from the very basic manufacturing of the 20th century to technology, and a new manufacturing renaissance that’s happening in the 21st century. In my travels around the world, I’m encouraged that many leaders I speak with clearly understand the link between affordable energy, wealth creation and, ultimately, better living standards. It’s a link we sometimes forget in the United States because affordable energy is often taken for granted. It’s a lesson we’re relearning as American embarks upon a new technology-driven energy revolution.
At Chevron we’re very proud to drive global economic expansion and rising standards of living, but our role as a multinational corporation extends beyond supplying the world with the energy it needs. My company and, frankly, other US corporations, also play a role that is not always fully recognized by those that are unable to travel abroad. Today we’re seeing American influence and values challenged in many parts of the world. When American corporations do business abroad we don’t represent the American government, but we do represent American values everywhere we operate. We demonstrate the advantage of competition, transparency, air dealings in the marketplace, while underpinning our business by contracts and rule of law. We introduced advanced technologies, environmental and safety standards in countries where few standards existed before we arrived. In fact, from my company, our values and our leadership, are what have helped us gain entry to eleven new countries since 2009. In Liberia it was our technology and expertise that gave us entry to explore for oil and gas, but it’s how we’re tackling social issues that’s building trust. Before a drop of oil has been found or produced, we’ve made significant investments in Liberia’s people through the Chevron Liberia Economic Development Initiative.
Through these types of partnerships, multinational businesses, non-government organizations and governments can effect positive change throughout the world. And in my business we’ve seen the importance of working in partnership with the State Department and leaders such as former Secretary Clinton, to promote American values abroad. We believe we have an opportunity at home to insure domestic policies, enable investment and economic expansion. In particular, we need fair and equitable taxation and clear support for international laws, contracts and trade agreements. By combining thoughtful government policies with sound business principles we create an environment that stimulates growth and promotes economic security.
Everyone in this room – business, government, NGOs, policymakers – share the same aspirations for a world that is stable and prosperous. American corporations working in partnership with government can help realize those aspirations.
I would like to close by once again thanking the Atlantic Council for this award. We look forward to continuing to work with you on critical international issues such as energy security, global economic cooperation and other issues. Through our collaboration we can build stronger, safer and healthier societies around the world. I thank you very much for your attention. (Applause)
VOG: Ladies and gentlemen please welcome the co-anchor of Univision, Maria Elena Salinas.
Maria Elena Salinas
Good evening. What a pleasure to be here. On the eve of President Obama’s trip to Latin America it is fitting that the Council launches tonight the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, and Adrienne, thank you so much for your interest and for your commitment to the betterment of our countries and the development of relations between our countries. Thank you so much. (Applause)
I am honored this evening to introduce your next honoree, someone that I truly admire as an artist and as a human being. He the world’s leading Spanish language rock artist with twenty-one Grammy Awards. He’s come out with six solo albums and has sold more than 16 million copies. It was his upbringing in Medellin, Colombia, in a loving family of musicians and music lovers that put him on track to become an artist. And it was a crude reality of the times that developed him, in him, a social conscience. He saw and lived the worst of the drug wars in the Medellin of the ‘80s, and he was personally touched, having lost one of his closest friends to narco-violence, and a cousin to the left wing rebels of the FARC. He turned to rock music as a form of expression and relief. But once he reached the limelight he could not turn a blind eye to the suffering in his country and around the world. So he decided to dedicate a good part of his life to creating a more peaceful world.
Over the years his humanitarian work has helped engage Colombian youth in constructing a more peaceful, secure country through his Mi Sangre Foundation which provides assistance and rehabilitation to landmine victims throughout Colombia.
Today, having expanded its mission, the Foundation also works extensively trying to increase early childhood development throughout Latin America.
The organization Paz Sin Fronteras, Peace Without Borders, which he is a founder of also, utilizes music to unite people, regardless of political or geographic divide, then advocates that all people are entitled to the basic human right of peace.
For this, it is my honor to introduce to you the recipient of the Atlantic Council’s Social Activist Award, Juan Esteban Aristizábal, known to the world as Juanes.
Good evening. I am honored to be here today. Beyond my musical career, this acknowledgment has great significance because of what our Foundation is doing, and also in light of the changing hopeful times my country, Colombia, is going through.
A few days ago a journalist asked me if my commitment to social issues was as strong as the artistic and musical drive that defines my life. I didn’t have to think more than a split second to reply. For me they are inseparable realities. The lyrics of my first songs were written in times of violent bombing, and under the harassment of those who believe in the illusion of making easy money. And it was music that helped me discover that I am stronger than those who mistakenly thought that hope could be killed with a gun.
For me and others of my generation, art became more than just a haven. It was a powerful way to conquer fear and transform our feelings of impotence into creative impulse. That was the origin of Mi Sangre. The Foundation, born in 2006 provides psychosocial support to victims of armed conflict. These are Colombians who with our support, and through their own strength, slowly healed the deep wounds that violence has inflicted on their bodies and souls.
Back then we began focusing on land mine victims with the support of the European Community. Today, with the help of other organizations and governments, in particular that of the United States, in addition to psychosocial support, we are able to deliver education processes using art, throughout Colombia. Today most individuals with whom we have worked for the past seven years are active peace builders. It is because of them that I stand here today. I have seen them resist, from taking a gun or from being recruited by illegal armed groups, with dignity and talent, with a guitar or spray paint as their instrument of peace. I have seen them cry and heal and progressively grow and smile once again. They deserve all the credit because their life is not a speech, and their day to day is tangible proof of personal growth, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
I also want to extend this acknowledgment to my family at Mi Sangre, with special mention to the director Catalina Duque, who is here tonight, as well as all those people in my country who directly or indirectly contribute to peace process, and have the courage to conquer skepticism and to regard with optimism this challenging process initiated by the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas.
Colombia is a thriving country full of opportunities but it will only be the country we all want if we are able to offer those opportunities to everyone and still towards social justice. To me it is the only true path to lasting reconciliation and peace. Thank you guys so much. (Applause)
VOG: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome back Mr. Fred Kempe.
Thank you Juanes and congratulations. Congratulations also to Secretary General Rasmussen and John Watson. Carla Hills, thank you for providing us that wonderful John Quincy Adams quote, which I think we’re going to use forever more as part of our judging of who is a great leader, deserving of this award, and as you can see, a great international public leader, a great business leader, and a great artist and social activist. It can apply to all sorts of walks of life.
Before we break for dinner, please join me in thanking people who have made this dinner possible, this evening possible and, frankly, a lot more possible, at the Atlantic Council, our dinner Co-Chairs. This dinner really supports our great work in so many different respects. I’ll ask you to stand as I read your names and I’ll ask the audience to hold its applause until I finish the list.
These are the Co-Chairs who are here tonight. I won’t read the whole list, that’s in your program and also on the screen that you’ll be able to look at. So let me start. Robert Abernethy, Victor Chu, Bahaa Hariri, Peter Kovarcik, SD Shibulal, Tzvetan Vassilev, Adrienne Arsht, Boyden Gray, Jonas Hjelm, Ahmet Oren, Alexander Mirtchev, N’Gunu Tiny, Maciej Wituckisi. What an incredible international and global group of leaders. Thank you so much. (Applause)
That’s it for now. We’ve got lots of surprises in the second half of the program including a very special and unusual musical performance to end the evening. I think you’ll remember that one for years to come. Enjoy your dinner.
VOG: Ladies and gentlemen. Please take your seats. The program is about to resume. Ladies and gentlemen. Please welcome back Mr. Fred Kempe.
I hope you enjoyed your dinner and some lively conversation. Before we start the second half of our program, I do want to recognize two more small groups. As you know, our Armed Forces, Army, Navy … I’m just pacing for the sound … Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines have been in continuous combat perhaps for the longest time in American history. We at the Atlantic Council have all four services represented with Senior Fellows. We also have the State Department regularly represented. I would ask the Fellows of all four services and the State Department to stand with their partners so we can acknowledge your service and thank you for it.
Fred Kempe: And yes, we do have inter-service rivalry at the Atlantic Council. Again, one other acknowledgement. I’d like to recognize former honorees, former awardees at this dinner, who are in the audience. Again, if you could stand, we’d greatly appreciate it. General Stephane Abrial.
Fred Kempe: General Jim Jones.
Fred Kempe: Alan Greenspan.
Fred Kempe: Henry Kissinger.
Fred Kempe: And I’d like to ask Lilibet Hagel to stand on behalf of Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Fred Kempe: Thank you for joining us tonight to welcome this new cohort of awardees. This is the part of the program every year where we thank people for unique strategic initiatives. By “strategic” we mean game changing initiatives for the Atlantic Council that are multiyear in duration and significant enough that really changes the nature of the work we can do. First, I would like to take the opportunity to thank N’Gunu Tiny. He’s become a strategic partner of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center. Mr. Tiny, who is with us tonight, comes from a long line of engaged diplomats and leaders who have made a significant impact on the history of modern Africa. He is a lawyer, and he is an entrepreneur, based in Luanda, Lisbon, London, with offices in Dubai and New York, and quite a Frequent Travel set of miles.
I’m proud to say that our Africa Center is the first of its kind to have such significant backing from individuals, companies, and foundations on the African continent. This is a testament to the significance and the impact of the work of Peter Pham, the Director of the Ansari Africa Center, and his remarkable team.
Fred Kempe: Mr. Tiny, we will look forward to welcoming you back in DC in the near future for an event focused on celebrating this new strategic partnership, but in the meantime, I wonder if you could rise and give us a chance to applaud you.
Fred Kempe: It is now my pleasure to introduce the Atlantic Council’s newest center and the most important of our new 2013 initiatives. In the next three years, both the World Cup and the Summer Olympics will be held in Brazil. The election of Pope Francis of Argentina, the first pope from the Americas in the Southern Hemisphere is just one of the many signs of the emerging stature of Latin America as a source of global leadership. Three of the G20 countries are Latin American: Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Our quickest growing trade partner is Latin America. We get more of our energy in the United States from Latin America than the Persian Gulf. We don’t often enough recognize the Atlantic Ocean that gives us our name is not exclusively an ocean of the Northern Hemisphere, but indeed, stretches from pole to pole. Indeed, the Atlantic Coast of South America is longer than the North American Atlantic Coast.
I’m pleased to announce, more than that, the term “Atlantic” for us has more to do with shared values and shared history than shared geography, as any member of NATO or partner of NATO without an Atlantic Coast can attest. So I’m pleased to announce that with the help of a truly distinguished visionary leader we are seizing the opportunity of Latin America and making it part of the transatlantic community. Tonight marks the official launch of our Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. This Center will seek to integrate the region more fully into the transatlantic community by fostering a new era of partnership and action among political, business, and (Inaudible) leaders of Europe, the United States, and Latin America together.
To take on this next step, we needed a partner, and we were incredibly fortunate to have found that person on our own board, a very special woman whose name the Center will carry with great pride. It is now my pleasure to welcome onto the stage a visionary philanthropist and business leader. She is a groundbreaker. She is a person who makes things happen. She was the eleventh woman accepted to the Delaware Bar. She was the Chair of the Board of Total Bank. She is also the Founder of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in Miami, Dade County. Please welcome to the stage my dear friend Adrienne Arsht, as we celebrate the founding of the Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center.
Buenas Noches. Yo soy Adrienne Arsht. So I’ve been asked tonight how did this Jewish girl from Wilmington, Delaware develop a passion for South America. I first went there in 1963, during a break in my first year of law school. I wanted to go off and travel for a month, and I told my parents that I wanted to go to many places, including Minowas, way up the Amazon. Mother and daddy looked at a map and said, “Well, maybe we could join you.” And I adore my parents. So the three of us set out in 1963 and spent a month in South America.
When I moved to Miami in 1996, I was immediately caught up in the Hispanic community there. I was embraced by the Cubans and every other South American nationality. In fact, I got the name, the honorary title of being a Jewban (Laughter), Jewish and Cuban, which is a very, very high compliment. (Laughter) I can tell you, though, that somebody from Miami did seek to have that on a license, and when they applied for that, of course, it went to the state capital in Tallahassee, and they didn’t really understand, and they thought it was banning Jews, and they tried to not let them have that. (Laughter) It was clear to me when I lived there that Miami was really the future today for the United States and I needed to find ways for the rest of the country to embrace Latin America the way they did in Miami, which is sometimes referred to as the city in South America closest to the United States. When I returned to Washington in 2008, all I could talk about was what was happening in Miami, and how important it was for us to focus on Latin America and start being aware of the values on that continent that are so similar to ours. As I walked around town and kept saying things like this, Fred Kempe listened, and then he went to the board of the Atlantic Council and talked to them, and they understood, and they came to me and said, “We would like to take your vision and your passion and create a center that will integrate South America with Europe and with the United States.” And as they say, the rest is history. But I prefer to say today we start making history. Muchas gracias mis amigos.
Fred Kempe: Ladies and gentlemen. Please turn your attention to the screen for a special message and introduction from Tony Bennett’s long-time friend, President Bill Clinton.
(Via video) My friend Tony Bennett’s music has spanned over an incredible sixty years and still today continues to fill us with joy as much as when he first got his start back in 1950. His artistic accomplishments would be more than enough to earn him his tonight’s honor; yet, there is so much more to celebrate about Tony’s life. As long as I’ve known him he has truly been a citizen of the world, an extraordinary individual who has served his country in World War II, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma, in 1965, and has devoted his generous spirit to charitable causes all across the globe. Closest to his heart is exploring the arts, which he founded with his wife Susan to support arts education in public high schools.
We’ve been talking about Tony Bennett’s heart since he released his signature song fifty years ago, but it’s our hearts that are filled with Tony’s goodness, and talent, and humanity. So it is my great honor to present Tony Bennett with the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Tony Bennett.
Thank you. I’m so thrilled tonight. I want to dedicate this performance tonight to everyone in America, and to my wife, and my wonderful son, and to Bill Clinton, and the greatest ambassador in the whole world, Hillary Clinton.
Tony Bennett: Thank you. What happens now? (Laughter) Are the musicians here yet? (Laughter)
Fred Kempe: I think we’re going to hear from Tony Bennett in music a little bit later on.
Tony Bennett: Oh. I’ve just been fired. (Laughter)
Fred Kempe: That’s the second most embarrassing moment I’ve had at one of these dinners. (Laughter) The first was last year. I’ve known Dr. Henry Kissinger for years. I respect him hugely, deeply. And he also is the longest serving Atlantic Council Board Member. Now, I’m going to pass the mic to him in a second, but last year he introduced Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for the award that Hillary Clinton and Secretary- General Rasmussen are receiving this evening. And Ban Ki-moon had a video that he wanted us to show, and so since Henry Kissinger was introducing Ban Ki-moon I thought he could also introduce the video. He said, I think, to the entire audience, that in his entire life, which was not a short one at that point, that he had never been asked by anyone … compelled by anyone to introduce a video. (Laughter) So tonight we are not having Dr. Henry Kissinger introduce a video. He will introduce Secretary Clinton. But for the moment, I will introduce a video. (Laughter) I ask you to turn your attention to the screen for two very special messages from a pair of Secretary Clinton’s friends and admirers.
(Via video) It is a pleasure to send greetings to the Atlantic Council’s Annual Gala and to the recipients of the Distinguished Leadership Awards being conferred, especially to former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is receiving the Distinguished International Leadership Award. It was a conference in South Africa sponsored by the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, along with the Brenthurst Foundation, just over a year ago, which although we did not know at the time, played a significant role in assuring respect for constitutional order and a peaceful transition of power in Malawi. An even more significant role was played by Secretary Hillary Clinton. The support of the US Department of State, under her direction, and presented in Malawi by Ambassador Janet Jackson, was really critical. I think maybe it was a unique situation in Africa to have three women in positions of senior leadership being able to work together to determine the future path of a nation. It was, therefore, also agreed to host Secretary Hillary Clinton on a visit to Malawi in August of last year, the first by a U.S. Secretary of State.
It was a pleasure to show Secretary Clinton firsthand what a great nation Malawi is. The restoration of US assistance under Secretary Clinton’s leadership, including the previously suspended Corporation Compact, will help us continue on our journey, filled by the hard work of Malawians across the country to make a better tomorrow for their children. That hard work has only just begun, but there’s a world of opportunities in Malawi for those who wish to invest here and work here. I note that in addition to the International Leadership Award there is also a Business Leadership Award. Well, to the winner of that award, and to everyone else, for that matter, I have a simple message, and that is that Malawi is open for business, and I would like to invite everyone to come, see, and engage, as Secretary Clinton did during her term of office as Secretary of State.
Let me once again offer my congratulations to Secretary Hillary Clinton, the other award recipients, and the leadership of the Atlantic Council. Thank you.
(End of Video)
Aung San Suu Kyi
(Via video) Tonight I’ve been given two totally unnecessary tasks to introduce Hillary Rodham Clinton and to speak about why she has been honored with the Distinguished Leadership Award. I think everybody knows Hillary much better perhaps than I do, and everybody knows that she certainly deserves the Distinguished International Leadership Award and why she deserves it. I would like to talk about her from the point of view of somebody who is from a country that has been struggling for democracy for decades. We have not yet achieved our goal, but we are confident that we will achieve it, due to people like Hillary Rodham Clinton. As First Lady, as Senator, and as Secretary for State, she has supported our aspirations, not just in a practical way, but with the kind of moral authority that has strengthened us in our darkest hours. Last year, I was introduced by Christine Lagarde, who gave one of the most moving speeches I’ve ever heard. I was immensely grateful to her. I am immensely grateful to her now for her kind words. I cannot hope to compete with her in introducing Hillary, because I’m not Christine Lagarde, and also because there is so much Hillary has done, that I would not be able to comment in one short speech. I would simply like to say I’m proud to be one of those who have met her and recognized in her the qualities that make a good politician, a good lawyer, a good wife, a good mother, a good friend, who I do look on Hillary as a friend, although I have not met her many times, because friendship is not based on the length of time you have known one another, but on what you have in common. And she has such an uncommon understanding of our problems that we feel close to her, even though we see too little of her.
I look forward to many more meetings with Hillary, and I look forward to working with her for those values in which we both believe. Our people have great admiration for her, and will always welcome her to our country, and we hope that in the future she will take a greater and greater interest in Burma, and that we will able to work together to establish the kind of society of which she can be proud, something of which Hillary can be proud would be something of which we can all be proud, because her standards are of the highest. If I have to just choose one sentence in which to describe Hillary Rodham Clinton I would say she is an international leader who has maintained the highest standards in everything that she has taken on throughout her long career as a lawyer, as a First Lady, as a Senator, and as Secretary of State. Hillary, I congratulate you and I send you all my love and admiration.
(End of Video)
Our interim Chair, Brent Scowcroft, was to introduce those videos and the next speaker. As you know, he could not be here with us tonight, but because no one could introduce Dr. Kissinger as well as his good friend and former Deputy National Security Advisor, when Dr. Kissinger was both Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, I want to use the words General Scowcroft employed when the Atlantic Council honored Dr. Kissinger with this Global Citizen Award in New York last September. Quote, “It is customary to say when introducing a well-known figure that he needs no introduction, but Henry does.” (Laugher) Dr. Kissinger, those aren’t my words, those are General Scowcroft’s (Laughter) “Dr. Kissinger,” General Scowcroft continued, “just listing the most notable achievements of this remarkable man would easily consume the entire evening. Let me make just a couple of points,” said General Scowcroft, “most Secretaries of State reach their peak fame as they leave office. I venture to say that Henry Kissinger is perhaps more widely known in the world today than he was when he left office some 35 years ago. He is a synonym for global diplomacy, but even more notably I would like to point out that in my judgment Henry Kissinger has the most strategic mind certainly that I have ever encountered.” Dr. Kissinger, please join me on the stage.
I greatly appreciate the remarks of General Scowcroft. Anyone who worked for me or with me for any length of time, who finds it in his heart to say generous things after that is a man of truly spiritual qualities. (Laughter) Now, before I go to the introduction I must have a word with Fred Kempe about videos. (Laughter) My secret dream is that someday, if I grow up more, I will be asked in my own right to introduce somebody at the Atlantic Council, because Fred thinks I need a little help and I might screw it up (Laughter), but I’m making progress. (Laughter) Last year, I introduced the video. This time, I follow the videos. (Laughter) And who knows, some year I may come out here all by myself and do it right. (Laughter)
Now, it is my great privilege and great personal joy to introduce Hillary Clinton. She has just left the office of Secretary of State, and I know those are difficult times when your hand twitches to reach a telephone to give some order and you want to tell somebody he didn’t do it quite right. And I went through this. And as I was going through it, I suddenly realized that at least four Secretaries of State became president, and that sorted focusing my mind (Laughter), even though there was a constitutional provision that prevented me from doing it. And I thought up all kinds of schemes to get around it. (Laughter) But I want to tell Hillary when she misses the office, she looks at the history of Secretaries of State, there might be hope for a fulfilling life afterwards.
I speak of Hillary with admiration and affection. She has been Secretary of State in a transitional period of global foreign policy, the scope of which is perhaps not always commented on. For much of the period after World War II, the world was preoccupied with establishing the new entities that were emerging partly from the war, partly from the independence and the colonial movements. In the period in which Hillary served, the fundamental challenge has become to relate these various elements to each other, and this has a component that within each region the cultural differences are profound, and between the regions the historic differences and evolution are profound.
So the task is to produce stability within the regions and cohesion among them at a time when the United States has to establish priorities among its various activities. So it is not so much a time for drama as it is for caring and for bringing together some of the underlying realities and issues.
When I call Mrs. Clinton Hillary, I do that not so much to indicate familiarity, but to use a name that the whole world uses. It shows to what extent she has succeeded in her people-to-people work, and her concern for minorities and her commitment to developing countries, in her belief in the Atlantic relationship, to establish herself as a name with which the people of the regions can have a personal relationship. I find that when I travel around the world that people say, when they talk of her, they talk of Hillary much more than of Secretary Clinton. So Hillary has, in this difficult period, been responsible for redefining the use of power around the world by giving it the name Smart Power rather than Blunt Power, but more important than that, she has emphasized the moral content that unites ultimately the people of the world, and this at a moment when such issues as nonproliferation environment impose themselves as necessities, because the alternative to dealing with them creatively is the disintegration of order, maybe of health, maybe of safety.
So it’s been an honor to watch Hillary break my record in traveling around the world and doing it in less time than was available to me. So she beat me in both mileage and in the time, but also to establish herself and our country as an advocate and as a spokesman for a world in which the weak can be secure and the just can be free. And it is in this spirit that I would like to give Hillary the award of Distinguished International Leader of the Atlantic Council. Thank you.
(Applause and Music)
Thank you very much, Henry. That was incredibly generous. It means a great deal to me personally. Henry’s been a very good friend and a very willing counselor over the course of my tenure as Secretary of State. He’s also going to be celebrating a birthday this spring, so an early Happy Birthday. But he truly is such a remarkably astute and indefatigable presence in the world. He got up here and tried to pretend that when he goes places people talk to him about me. (Laughter) That was such an unusual statement coming from Henry, it should be recorded for posterity (Laughter), but the fact is that everywhere I go people talk to me about Henry, and I’m always pleased to hear that, because he is still out there every week, every month traveling around the world trying to work with and encourage leaders to think beyond their own narrow and oftentimes destructive self-interests. So his friendship and advice has been indispensable to me.
I want to thank Fred and the entire team here at the Atlantic Council for the work you do every day. Those of us who are being honored this evening are well aware of how significant your efforts are throughout the year that leads up to this annual dinner. And I certainly want to congratulate my fellow honorees. It has been a joy working with the Secretary General of NATO. Secretary-General Rasmussen is a true leader, and brought a sense of mission and purpose to NATO, and I am very grateful that I had the chance to be his colleague. I want to congratulate John Watson for the leadership that he brings on behalf not only of his company, but of American business and Americans’ interest in the global economy.
l also want to thank my dear friend, Tony Bennett. He is the Henry Kissinger of music, and Henry is the Tony Bennett of diplomacy. (Laughter) Each one of them can make you feel like you’re such a slacker. (Laughter) Tony’s pitch, his tone, his timing is still perfect, and that does induce a bit of an inferiority complex in us lesser souls who talk and not sing for our dinners. And I also want to say how pleased I am, but who could not be pleased to see Juanes anywhere, any time, and to congratulate him as well for his Humanitarian Leadership Award. I also want to join in thanking Adrienne Arsht for this great commitment on behalf of Latin America. Latin America deserves as much of our attention and the Atlantic Council, by moving forward on this front, is making a real difference here in Washington.
But let me just say a few words, if I could, about our Atlantic relationships. I made thirty-eight visits to Europe as Secretary. I believed then, I believe now, I think I will always believe that our security and prosperity are intimately intertwined with that of our European friends and allies. And our goals are just as important together in the 21st century as they were in the 20th century. When I became Secretary of State, I spent a lot of time thinking about my illustrious predecessors, and not primarily the ones who went on to become president, but about the extraordinary generation of those leaders who were not just present at the creation, but leading the creation of a liberal global order that provided unprecedented peace and prosperity, along with progress on behalf of the values that we held in common.
Now, George Marshall remains a particular favorite of mine. You know his story, but it still is just extraordinary and unprecedented. Not only a hero of World War II, but as Secretary of both Defense and State. And he helped Americans understand that it was in our interests and consonant with our values to reach out even to our former enemies to rebuild a shattered continent. Marshall, along with President Truman and Secretary Acheson, and others, understood that if the United States were to assume the responsibilities of global leadership in a world of increasing complexity, we needed to have a vision of what that would look like. Not the next day or the next quarter, but the next fifty years, the next century.
So Marshall called in George Kennan and asked him to start looking ahead, not into the distant future, but beyond the vision of the operating officers caught in the smoke and crises of current battle, far enough ahead to see the emerging form of things to come. Well, since then, our world has only become more complicated, more interconnected, more interdependent, and it certainly has strained the international architecture that that post-war generation helped build and defend. So in the spirit of George Marshall, I’d like to just mention three issues that are really emerging challenges, but also opportunities facing the Atlantic Alliance: Energy, trade, and readiness. First, energy. Now, for decades Europe had many nations that received much of their natural gas from a single country, Russia. It’s well known, and it became apparent that monopolies in anything, particularly energy, create risks. They make countries vulnerable to threats and coercion, and distort the balance of power. So NATO, under Secretary-General Rasmussen, has rightly identified energy as a key security issue of our time. To address that issue, I advocated for and helped create the US-EU Energy Council, which has helped to deepen our cooperation on strategic energy issues, and it was in partnership with the Department of Energy. They had the expertise and the long experience, and we had the diplomatic reach. We backed a pipeline project called the Southern Corridor, which would help bring natural gas from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia to European markets. We worked with our European partners to build a competitive gas market.
America’s expanding supplies here at home played a key role, not because we exported, but because we no longer needed to import. Gas, once destined for the United States, found its way to Europe, consumers got cheaper gas. Gazprom was forced to compete. We have to keep building on this progress, and in particular, we need to capitalize on the natural gas boom here in the United States to fuel our own economic renewal and to help build a bridge to a clean energy future, which will, by extension, further bolster Europe’s energy security.
I hope the Atlantic Council and others will support and advance this work, because in the years ahead transatlantic cooperation on energy will be an increasingly important pillar of our relationship, for managing competition in the Eastern Mediterranean, giving Israel a chance to become energy secure, to increasing the pressure on Iran, to combating climate change.
The second issue is transatlantic trade. Today, you know Europe is America’s largest trade and investment partner, but the United States remains one of only a handful of WTO members not to move beyond most favored nation status with the EU. Growth remains too slow and unemployment too high on both sides of the Atlantic, and this has obvious strategic as well as economic implications, limiting our capacity to act, and weakening our mutual influence in the world. There’s also another even bigger issue that arises from those facts. Our shared economic model, open, free, transparent, fair markets is under increasing pressure. We see new barriers to trade rising, not at borders, but behind them. Everything from forced technology transfers to preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises. So we need to redouble our efforts to stand for a level playing field, and that the rules of the road apply to everyone. That should help us as we embark on some serious discussions between the U.S. and the EU about enhancing our trade, harmonizing our regulatory schemes to spur broader based growth, and create good jobs here and there.
I think that means we should be moving forward on a comprehensive new trade agreement, as the President mentioned, and an agreement that addresses longstanding impasses on market access, and help strengthen global rules and norms on non-tariff barriers, market distortions, and other competitiveness issues would be, in my view, very good for the United States, because if we get this right, an agreement that opens markets and liberalizes trade, would create jobs, and generate hundreds of billions of dollars for our economies, but also strengthen our position in an increasingly globally competitive market.
Now, I think, third, the issue of readiness, and Secretary-General Rasmussen and I have spoken about this most recently at the Bush Library opening. The Obama Administration continues to update America’s ballistic missile defenses to protect both Europe and the United States against threats from outside the continent. Turkey is already hosting a critical radar system. Spain is welcoming Aegis Missile Defense Cruisers. And in the coming years, and their American operators will be deployed in Poland and Romania. We need to be just as forward leaning when it comes to the emerging threat from cyber-attacks. As advanced economies in the digital age, both the United States and Europe are particularly vulnerable to attacks, targeting our communications systems, our financial institutions, critical infrastructure, data, trade secrets. The stakes are higher than many people realize, and this should be a priority not just for governments, but for business as well.
Now, in the last century, United States and Europe led the way in our transatlantic alliance to develop an international architecture and clear rules of the road for governing the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons. In the 21st century we need to do the same with cyber. That would be a significant contribution to our common security. In all these areas, however, the watch word for our alliance must continue to be shared responsibility. That’s how we’ve kept the peace, and extended the frontiers of freedom and opportunity. But let’s face facts, as my colleague and friend, Bob Gates, has warned, NATO is turning into a two-tiered alliance, with a shrinking percentage of members willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of common defense.
During the operation in Libya, which was an unprecedented historic partnership between NATO and the Arab League, with participation from Arab League members, notably the Emeritus, and Qatar, Jordan, and Morocco, we saw that fewer than a third of NATO members participated in strike missions. Others simply did not have … it wasn’t a question that they weren’t willing, they did not have the military capacity, especially the needed intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance assets. So NATO is being hamstrung, not just by budget deficits, which we all have to grapple with, but by political deficits, because even in these difficult economic times, we cannot afford to let the greatest alliance in history slide into military irrelevance. This is a responsibility we all share, and I would urge the Atlantic Council to continue to make it a priority.
Let me end by going back to Marshall. I think about this all the time. In 1947, with America victorious, but Europe and Japan in ruins, it would have been easy to pull back within our borders and focus on the home front. My late father, who served for five years in the Navy, had to give up his small business when he went into service, so after coming out at the end of the war he wanted to restart his business. He wanted to start a family. He wanted to just have a normal life. The last thing in the world my conservative Republican father wanted to hear was, you know what, you need to chip in to help rebuild our former enemies. So there are more taxes to pay, more sacrifices to make. But Marshall understood that America’s fortunes were bound up with the fate of Europe and vice-versa, that we truly were all in this together. And his vision helped convince skeptical Americans like my father that the Atlantic alliance was worth the sacrifice, and the results changed history. So as we look to the future of the transatlantic Alliance, as we peer through those crises of current battle, we should endeavor to follow the advice of General Marshall. Let’s stay focused on the emerging form of things to come, on energy, trade, readiness, and building new partnerships of purpose rooted in shared values and dedicated to our common interests. That is how we will renew the alliance for the 21st century, and ensure that it remains the solid foundation for global peace and prosperity. Thank you all very much.
VOG: Ladies and gentlemen. Please welcome back Adrienne Arsht.
Adrienne Arsht: Well, I think with those two that’s an awfully hard act to follow. So I promise you, no remarks, but we will have music. It is a universal language. And tonight we have something very, very special. Tony Bennett, who’s known for singing duets, will perform with Juanes tonight for us. So you see the musicians arriving, and please welcome Tony Bennett and Juanes.
(Tony Bennett and Juanes perform)
Fred Kempe: What an evening and what a close. Tony Bennett and Juanes.
Tony Bennett: Thank you.
Fred Kempe: Please keep your seats for a minute, and then join me in applauding all of tonight’s awardees and introducers as they come up to the stage for a family photograph. Please come to the stage. Please applaud them all.
Fred Kempe: And as they come up to the stage, there will be one more song that all of you will join in. This is the month of Henry Kissinger’s 90th birthday. Please everybody join me in singing happy birthday to Henry Kissinger.
(Singing Happy Birthday)
Fred Kempe: We look forward to seeing you all next year on May 7th for the 2014 Distinguished Leadership Awards. Thank you for coming.