Rule Of Law Is Key To Advancing Democracy

Posted on Sunday, November 27 at 12:01 by jensonj
Rice outlined U.S. efforts to empower new democracies seeking to uphold the rule of law, including the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan. In those countries, the U.S. government has worked to train new police forces, build courthouses and train judges. Rice said that the United States also is working to stop government corruption with financial incentives for transparency and fairness, and by helping citizens through international tribunals and special courts to bring to justice those guilty of crimes against their own citizens. “Where weak governments possess the will but the lack of means to enforce the rule of law, we must empower them with the strength of our partnership,” she said. Following is the transcript of Secretary Rice’s remarks at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Symposium: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman November 9, 2005 REMARKS by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice American Bar Association's Rule of Law Symposium November 9, 2005 Capital Hilton Washington, D.C. SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. And thank you, Dave, for that kind introduction. I know that I like Dave and I've always liked him, despite the fact that he went to Berkeley, and now I understand his son went to Stanford -- that makes perfectly good sense. But thank you very much for that great introduction. I would like to thank the leaders of the American Bar Association for inviting me to speak. I know I'm a bit the warm up act for Andrew Natsios, who's going to talk to you later about the very important work that the USAID is doing around the world in helping countries to promote the rule of law and to develop institutions of the rule of law. But all of you today at this symposium are helping to lead an important movement to support the rule of law worldwide. The topics you are covering are very important topics and the very same issues that we wrestle with daily at the State Department. President Bush and I share your commitment to the rule of law. And let me just say that I personally have always viewed issues of law as fundamental because I remember in my own life in my own time that as a black girl growing up in the segregated South, the rule of law did not always serve me. And so I think I have a particular appreciation for how important it is that the state respect the rule of law. Ladies and Gentlemen: The advance of freedom and the success of democracy and the flourishing of human potential all depend on governments that honor and enforce the rule of law. Today, America's belief in the universal nature of human liberty, a belief we expressed in our Declaration and enshrined in our Constitution, now leads us into a world to help others win their freedom and secure it in law. Today, the greatest challenges that we face emerge more from within states than between them -- from states that are either unable or unwilling to apply the rule of law within their borders. In a world where threats pass even through the most fortified boundaries, weak and poorly governed states enable disease to spread undetected and corruption to multiply unchecked and hateful ideologies to grow more violent and more vengeful. As the fate of nations grows ever more connected, our challenges are unprecedented, but our purposes are clear: Where weaker governments possess the will but the lack of means to enforce the rule of law, we must empower them with the strength of our partnership. And where autocrats still rule by coercion of the state rather than by the consent of the governed, we must support the rights of their oppressed citizens, wherever they raise their voice for equal justice and lawful government. Where the rule of law is undermined by government corruption, we are offering incentives for honest and transparent behavior. Anti-corruption is one of the key standards of our Millennium Challenge Account initiative, an initiative that rewards good governance and the fight against corruption. And in just the past year, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has signed new development compacts with five countries that are worth hundreds of billions of dollars to those countries, each of which involves significant political and legal reforms. Where the rule of law is flouted by immoral rulers and war criminals, we are helping citizens to operate international tribunals and special courts of justice. The United States helped to launch such efforts in Rwanda and Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia. And we continue to support all people who seek justice for their nations by lawfully trying the criminals who ravaged them. Finally, where the rule of law is emerging from decades of tyranny, the United States is helping newly democratic peoples to liberate themselves.


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