Statement on Global Economic Statecraft Day

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
June 14, 2012

Today the U.S. Mission to the OSCE joins U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Missions around the world to focus on Global Economic Statecraft Day.  Global Economic Statecraft Day was announced by Secretary Clinton to highlight America’s commitment to putting economic issues at the center of our foreign policy and to use diplomacy to advance America’s economic renewal.

We raise this issue at today’s Permanent Council because we recognize that economic forces –from the euro zone crisis to the transitions in the Middle East and North Africa– shape our foreign policy choices as never before.  Our economies are interdependent; so are our fates.  America’s economic renewal depends on the strength of the global economy – and the global economy depends on the strength of the American economy.  The OSCE provides a forum for sharing best practices for the promotion of economic security.  Through the leadership of the Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, in coordination with activities in the field, the organization has proven itself a unique and invaluable platform for discourse, cooperation, and on-the-ground implementation of programmatic activities.  This platform allows for coordination of our priorities to ensure more effective support of all of our policy goals in the economic sphere.

The United States takes this day to reiterate our commitment to tackling difficult economic issues in the OSCE space.  We are using diplomatic tools to strengthen the economic foundations of America’s global leadership, and we are elevating the strategic role of economics in America’s foreign policy—both in what we choose to prioritize, and in how we pursue solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.  Whether by employing trade and economic tools to support transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, or by working to attract private investment to create a New Silk Road in Central Asia, we are expanding our diplomatic toolbox to strengthen economic security.  In addition, we are prioritizing investing in women’s economic potential, which, as the OSCE affirmed through its Ministerial Council Decision on the Empowerment of Women in the Economic Sphere in Vilnius last year and the World Bank and other data demonstrate, is essential to growing economies around the world.   We view the OSCE as a key partner in all these efforts.

We also recognize that businesses face a host of new, behind-the-border barriers, such as intellectual property theft or requirements that force companies to transfer technology and source supplies locally.  Such barriers hurt both businesses and customers around the world.  The United States is making it a diplomatic priority to level the playing field by promoting an open, free, transparent and fair economic system around the world.  Corruption continues to plague both the provision of government services and the procurement of government supplies. We urge participating States to use the excellent opportunity provided by the Irish Chairmanship’s thematic Second Dimension focus on good governance to adopt a Ministerial Decision or Declaration on the promotion of good governance in the OSCE space.  We strongly believe this Decision or Declaration should include recognition of the value of multi-stakeholder initiatives through the endorsement of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Open Government Partnership.

We thank you for the opportunity to share with you the priorities set out by Secretary Clinton for the future of U.S. diplomacy in the economic sphere.  Our goal is to bring issues of economic security into all dimensions of the OSCE through ongoing relationships with the OSCE executive structures, field Missions, and participating States, in order to ensure that our efforts reflect the importance of economics in our foreign policy.

Thank you, Chairman.