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EDITORIAL
from issue no. 12 - 2004

With humble determination


Giulio Andreotti interviews Colin Powell.The United States and the rest of the worldin a wide-ranging survey


Giulio Andreotti


Colin Powell

Colin Powell

GIULIO ANDREOTTI: You are a general with considerable diplomatic skills that are widely acknowledged, which does not surprise me as I remember well your wisdom at the time of the Kuwait crisis. If you today could design a possible balance of power able to guarantee a more stable and peaceful world order, what would you say? What is your concept of balance in regard to trans-Atlantic relations and beyond?

COLIN POWELL: We are beyond the era of balance of power politics. We are in a new era characterized by a common cause of freedom. Stability and peace now come from open and cooperative relationships with the nations with whom we share common values. We make an enormous difference when we work together. For over half a century now the key successes of the transatlantic partnership—embodied in NATO and, increasingly, in the U.S.-EU relationship—have been astonishing: peace in Europe, victory in the Cold War, successful democratic and market transitions in much of the former Soviet bloc, and creation of a more stable global economic system through mechanisms such as the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO. Our common agenda with Europe is larger than ever—from advancing free trade to fighting terror to bringing peace to the Middle East.
The year 2004 witnessed a historic expansion of both NATO and the EU, and initiatives to help the nations of the Middle East and North Africa with reform and modernization. This is a testament to the strength of our common values and ideals and the way to build democratic stability and opportunity for people around the world. As we consider the road that lies ahead and as we navigate the challenges that we’ll meet, it is clear that success can only come from our working together.
Up, a group of  Bagdad women protesting to American soldiers about  grave difficulties caused by the lack of water, electricity and vital supplies; above, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signing the arms reduction treaty, Washington 1987

Up, a group of Bagdad women protesting to American soldiers about grave difficulties caused by the lack of water, electricity and vital supplies; above, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signing the arms reduction treaty, Washington 1987

ANDREOTTI: Italy’s relationship with the US has deep roots and reasons. The US president who resumes the Reagan policy of arms reduction (nuclear and other types) would enjoy much support. Is it possible for the U.S. to adopt such a policy? Eulogies for President Reagan were unanimous, but no one talks of arms reduction anymore.
POWELL: Effective arms control contributes to achieving our goal of reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction to our nation and the world. Over the past 15 years we have reduced deployed strategic nuclear warheads from over 10,000 to less than 6,000 by December 2001 and eliminated nearly 90 percent of U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons. The U.S. has also refrained from conducting nuclear explosive tests since 1992, and has removed more than 200 tons of fissile material from its stockpiles, material enough for at least 8,000 nuclear weapons.
A major accomplishment during President Bush’s first term was the negotiation of the Moscow Treaty, which will result in the further reduction of deployed strategic nuclear warheads by two-thirds by the year 2012 down to anywhere from 1,700 to 2,200 nuclear warheads.
With the major changes in the international security environment since the end of the Cold War, the international community must adapt its arms control and non-proliferation policies to meet emerging threats, particularly terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. President Bush has actively promoted new ideas for addressing the proliferation threat, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative. On the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which the U.S. proposed, we will continue to address the threat of proliferation with partners around the world.
ANDREOTTI: Everyone appreciated the U.S. revocation of the embargo against Libya, followed later by the European Union. It was proof that the traditional strategy of political-diplomatic dialogue with the Arab world can still have a positive outcome. What do you think?
POWELL: At the beginning of this process with Libya, the President committed to respond to concrete Libyan actions in good faith, noting that Libya “can regain a secure and respected place among the nations and, over time, better relations with the United States.” It took years of determined diplomacy, combined with unmistakable American resolve in Afghanistan and Iraq, before Libya made an historic choice and took significant and irreversible steps to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. It set a standard that we hope other nations will follow. Libya’s action is being reciprocated economically, politically and diplomatically.
U.S.-UK coordination on Libya has been extremely close and a contributing factor in the success of our respective policies and is continuing.
We haven’t resolved all our concerns about Libya, however. We will continue dialogue with Libya on human rights, economic and political modernization, and regional political developments. We welcome Libya’s engagement with Amnesty International. We share the European Community’s concern over the plight of the Bulgarian medics. Diplomatic engagement and cooperation in education, health care, and scientific training build a foundation for stronger relations. As the President stated in December 2003, “Should Libya pursue internal reform, America will be ready to help its people to build a more free and prosperous country.”
Powell with the president of the PLF, Abu Mazen, Jericho, 22 November 2004

Powell with the president of the PLF, Abu Mazen, Jericho, 22 November 2004

ANDREOTTI: How can this political-diplomatic dialogue be extended to the Middle East in general (Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Syria, Iran, etc.)?
POWELL: We will continue to use every opportunity to move forward on peace in the region. As the President has said, the objective of two states—Israel and Palestine – living side-by-side in peace and security can be reached by only one path: the path of democracy, reform, and rule of law. All we hope to achieve requires that America and Europe remain close partners. Together we are the pillars of the free world. We face the same threats and share the same belief in freedom and the rights of the individual.
The other opportunity—and challenge—we see in the Middle East is the longer-term issue of supporting efforts from within the region aimed at democratic change and economic modernization.
Ultimately, our success will be measured by whether we are able to achieve a partnership with people and leaders in the region who see their own self-interest wrapped up in economic modernization and greater political openness. That certainly will not be an easy process, nor will it be quick. But it is essential to get started—and to pursue regional reform with the same vigor, purpose, and leadership that we bring to rebuilding Iraq, helping the Israelis and the Palestinians achieve a two-state solution, and combating terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
George W. Bush with Vladimir Putin

George W. Bush with Vladimir Putin

ANDREOTTI: Turning to Russia—what went through your mind when you saw the horrendous images of the Beslan massacre?
POWELL: Like all Americans who watched the images of Beslan, I could not help but feel this was the same kind of evil and terror that we saw perpetrated against us on 9/11 or against Spain on March 11. We understand the anger of the Russian people after the terrorist massacre in Beslan. We share in their grief, and our hearts went out to all who suffered. To put children at risk and to murder them in such a deliberate manner can have no political or religious justification. The evil that we saw in Beslan must be fought and resisted. It was a reminder that there can be no compromise in this battle. The Russian people must deal with this in the most powerful, direct, and forceful way that they can in order to protect their citizens, as we are doing to protect ours. The United States stands firmly with Russia in fighting all forms of terrorism. This attack has only energized our efforts to continue the fight.
[ RUSSIA ] Like all Americans who watched the images of Beslan, I could not help but feel this was the same kind of evil and terror that we saw perpetrated against us on 9/11 or against Spain on March 11... The United States stands firmly with Russia in fighting all forms of terrorism
ANDREOTTI: Staying in the East—what kind of relations do you want to have with a China led by Hu Jintao, who at just 61 years old now has complete power?
Powell , with Chinese prssident Hu Xintao in Beijing on 25 October 2004

Powell , with Chinese prssident Hu Xintao in Beijing on 25 October 2004

POWELL: I have met President Hu several times. I found him well-prepared to discuss our relationship, which over the years has deepened and broadened. I think that he recognizes China needs to play an increasingly responsible role to contribute to peace, prosperity, and security in Asia and in the world overall.
President Hu and the new Chinese leadership are focused on setting a clear course for China’s economic development and promoting good governance. The United States looks forward to engaging China’s leaders in making our relationship more solid and constructive than ever.
We have many more areas on which we agree rather than disagree—the Six-Party Talks, through which we are trying to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and the fight against terror, for instance. Human rights is an area where we have significant disagreements; however, I was pleased when China’s Foreign Minister committed during my recent trip to Beijing to reinvigorate our bilateral dialogue. We would like to see more progress in China on religious freedom and I have expressed our hope that China’s citizens will have the right to worship freely as guaranteed by China’s constitution. I look forward to a day when the Holy See will be in direct contact with Chinese authorities, and be able to minister to the many thousands of Catholic Chinese.
[ CHINA ] I have met President Hu several times. I found him well-prepared to discuss our relationship, which over the years has deepened and broadened... We have many more areas on which we agree rather than disagree... I look forward to a day when the Hoy See will be in direct contact with Chinese authorities, and be able to minister to the many thousands of Chinese Catholics
ANDREOTTI:There is an ever increasing demand from emerging nations—in Latin America, Africa and Asia—to be able to take their place on the world stage, not only at the United Nations. According to you, how should the U.S. respond in the face of this new reality? What do you think about UN reform?
Humanitarian aid to Darfur

Humanitarian aid to Darfur

POWELL: We want strong and vital global partners to work with us to address global problems and challenges. We support policies that encourage good governance, alleviate poverty, and fight disease—not only so states won’t fail, but also so they can emerge from these ills and contribute to global prosperity.
To fight HIV/AIDS in hard hit countries, we helped set up the UN Global Fund and our own Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. We created an innovative program for development and poverty alleviation, the Millennium Challenge Account. Developing countries that implement policies to govern justly, invest in their people and encourage economic freedom will benefit from these funds.
Nations that select such paths into the future will find America standing with them. We appreciate that many of these nations have stepped up and are working hard with us to solve regional crises, and in some cases, taking a leading role. For example, Nigeria and other African countries are part of an African Union force in Sudan, and Latin and Asian nations are signing on to help with peacekeeping in Haiti.
On UN reform, we are open to considering proposals on ways that the UN can adapt to better meet today’s challenges. The High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, appointed by Secretary-General Annan, has just issued its report. We welcome the serious effort it represents and will examine its recommendations carefully. Effectiveness will be the chief benchmark by which we evaluate proposals for institutional and structural reform of the UN. Broad consensus within the organization and regional groupings will also be needed to advance any reform of UN bodies.
ANDREOTTI: You became involved personally in the crisis in Sudan, in the North/South negotiations and then in Darfur. Why? Does the intensive U.S. effort in Sudan indicate what it wants to realize in the rest of Africa?
POWELL: We became involved in the Sudan to help end a civil war that had been going on for 21 years and cost thousands of lives. Then a humanitarian tragedy unfolded in Darfur that had to be confronted and corrected immediately. We may be on the brink of a peaceful Sudan thanks to the recent signing of a declaration between the government and opposition, affirming their commitment to conclude a comprehensive peace agreement by the end of the year 2004. I want to be optimistic that there finally will be a government of national unity and reconciliation in Sudan, with renewed political and economic ties to the world. A new Sudan hinges on the parties following through on their promises.
It has been a difficult and frustrating journey to stop the genocide in Darfur, but the United States has led the way. We worked to put a ceasefire in place in Darfur, which due to repeated violations by the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels has proven difficult to maintain. We’ve given more than $302 million in humanitarian aid for internally displaced persons in Darfur and refugees who fled to eastern Chad. We were instrumental in the adoption of two resolutions on Sudan at the UN—Resolutions 1556 and 1564—and the most recent Resolution 1574, unanimously agreed to in Nairobi. I sent a team to investigate reports of atrocities in Darfur, and we were the first to identify genocide there. We provided more than $40.3 million to support the expanded African Union (AU) mission. We also recognized the important contributions that Europe has made and the energetic role played by the UN and humanitarian organizations. We and other world donors have done much, but we must do more—both on the humanitarian front and to support the expanding AU presence in Darfur.
Powell in the Vatican on 2 June 2003 with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of the Holy See, 
(first left), the then Secretary for Relations with the States Jean-Louis Tauran, now cardinal (on the right) and Jim Nicholson, former American ambassador to the Holy See (center)

Powell in the Vatican on 2 June 2003 with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of the Holy See, (first left), the then Secretary for Relations with the States Jean-Louis Tauran, now cardinal (on the right) and Jim Nicholson, former American ambassador to the Holy See (center)

ANDREOTTI: In celebrating the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Holy See—established in 1984 by Reagan—you wrote that you look towards the challenges ahead with “humble determination.” Given the present international situation, what does this mean?
POWELL: America’s primary challenge in the world today and tomorrow is above all to promote the dignity of mankind in a world in which such dignity is at risk from terror, disease, poverty and violence. We do this in many ways—from our assistance to the world’s poorest, to our defense of human rights and religious freedom, and yes, even in our willingness to defend human freedom with force if necessary. All our efforts, whether or not they make headlines, reflect the inherent goodness of the American people and their desire to do good in the world. This is the true heart of U.S. foreign policy—the vital core that animates our international actions.
In meeting these challenges, our diplomatic partnership with the Holy See—rooted in the primacy of human freedom—will play an increasingly important role. As I see it, many of today’s central challenges are moral challenges: if you think about combating the evil of human trafficking, protecting religious freedom wherever it is threatened, or eliminating the scourge of HIV/AIDS, all of these must be resolved with moral clarity and the ability to translate that clarity into action. If we continue to work together, I believe the U.S. and the Holy See can help build a world of freedom, hope and peace. We have already done much to elevate the human condition, but we humbly recognize that there is much more to do. With humility and determination, I believe we will continue to advance the cause of human dignity in the face of the many challenges facing the world today.
[ USA AND HOLY SEE ] Our diplomatic partnership with the Holy See—rooted in the primacy of human freedom—will play an increasingly important role... With humility and determination, I believe we will continue to advance the cause of human dignity in the face of the many challenges facing the world today
ANDREOTTI: Is development cooperation the guiding principle to be followed in confronting the misery experienced by so many countries? Do you think we can do more?
POWELL: For best results, development cooperation between donors and recipients is essential. Cooperation between donor nations eliminates duplication and it ensures that the right assistance reaches the right recipients. Cooperation with the developing country ensures that the causes of problems are addressed, not just the visible symptoms. This effort requires not only technical development expertise, but also cooperation and cultural knowledge to understand and address these basic problems.
Our commitment to humanitarian assistance where lives are at stake remains unchanged. In fact, we have dramatically increased our spending on traditional development, even as we have begun the new Millennium Challenge Account, which helps countries that are implementing good governance. In countries that are not committed to reform, conventional programs are unlikely to advance development. In fact, assistance can actually hide underlying instabilities or contribute to state insecurity. It is critical to apply resources very carefully, with specific flexible short-term goals that allow for changing circumstances.
ANDREOTTI: Finally, there are many people in the world who marvel at the ease with which weapons can be bought and sold in the United States. What is your opinion on this?
POWELL: In our country many feel passionately that the Second Amendment to our Constitution explicitly guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. We believe in personal freedom so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others, on public safety, or on the general welfare. Our focus is on stopping crime and punishing those who commit crime with firearms.


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