SECRETARY BLINKEN: (Applause) Thank you. Thank you so much. Thanks. Please, sit down. Good morning everyone.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Nice to be with you. Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for the introduction. It was great to see you in person. I have seen you on TV many times. (Laughs.)
And to all of you, it’s just wonderful to be with you. I want to thank the mayor again for his leadership of the US conference. And thanks to Tom Cochran – I was just backstage with him – and the whole team for me being here with you this morning.
So in Washington, we have an old bad joke about bad words that someone might say that you all know very well: I’m from the federal government; I’m here to help. (Laughter.) Well, this group, on the other hand, would say, “I’m the mayor – I’m really helpful.” And I know the difference.
For more than nine decades, the US Conference of Mayors has harnessed the extraordinary power of America’s cities to promote a stronger and safer America.
In the early days of the Depression – when millions were unemployed, bread lines stretched for blocks, banks had dried up – American mayors forged this coalition to secure the first direct aid package to the city. If you go back and look at the campaign, the mayors were united, they were committed, and they were relentless — so relentless, in fact, that when President Hoover kept threatening to veto the bill, they went to the Oval Office and didn’t. t leave until he pledged his support. Please don’t remind President Biden that I shared that story with you. (Laughs.)
In the decades since, these groups have come together again and again to meet America’s needs: advocating for civil rights, supporting the vulnerable, taking in refugees fleeing conflict, addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and fighting violent crime in our neighborhoods.
Today, in terms of the priorities of our time, America’s mayors continue to lead the way – and deliver results for our people.
We know that cities are the engines of opportunity and ingenuity in the United States. That’s where challenges usually appear first, and solutions are often forged the fastest. I have been able to see some of that firsthand in my own travels over the last few years.
The city’s great vitality is because President Biden asked four mayors to join his cabinet. That’s why whenever I visit our cities and meet their leaders, I tend to leave more optimistic and more confident about America’s future — our best days are truly ahead of us.
Now, I realize it might be a little unusual for a Secretary of State to speak at a Conference of Mayors. And you heard from Mayor Suarez – and I told you that this is accurate – I’ve been – I’ll be the first Secretary of State to do that. But I want to be here to spend time with the leaders who are probably closest to our community. And the reason is, it’s a key part of fulfilling the promises that President Biden made at the beginning of this administration. As he said: “Everything we do abroad, we [must] do with the American working family in [our] mind.” That was the order I got on my first day on the job.
When he took office, the President asked me to prioritize the issues that most directly affect our fellow Americans, and he asked the same of our entire national security team.
We have tried to take that charge seriously.
It guides our work in acute challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We know – we have experienced this firsthand: viruses do not respect borders. So to fight COVID-19 at home, we need to slow its spread everywhere.
That’s why we’ve supported the donation of more than 680 million doses of safe and effective vaccines to more than 116 countries. That is why we are working with dozens of countries, with the World Health Organization, and regional organizations to deliver what we call the Global Action Plan to improve vaccination, to strengthen the health supply chain, to combat misinformation and disinformation that helps the spread of the virus – accelerate. the work the mayor does here at home.
And that’s why we’re doing everything we can to make sure the world is better prepared to prevent, to detect, to respond to future outbreaks because we know they’re coming — including by working to establish a State Department bureau on global health security. and diplomacy to ensure that my agency is as organized as it can be to deal with this in the future.
Another immediate challenge is, of course, the climate crisis, which American mayors know – and see firsthand – there is a clear, present, and growing danger. Now, maybe you live in Florida, which last fall was hit by Hurricane Ian, one of the worst disasters of the century. Or the Midwest, where farmland keeps flooding, pushing up food prices for everyone. Or out West, where wildfires get worse every single year, and historic hurricanes just slam the coast.
Now, I know the mayor isn’t just a witness to climate change — you’re helping to lead the fight against it. When Washington withdrew from the Paris Agreement, it was America’s mayors and governors who stepped up. When the effects of climate change arrive at your door, you find solutions to keep people safe, switch to clean energy, reduce emissions, save ecosystems. And you have worked with partners from all over the world to share lessons and raise each other’s ambitions.
Your leadership is vital, and it will be even more so in the years ahead. And also the role of American diplomacy – because, like the pandemic, we simply cannot solve this problem alone. Our country accounts for about 15 percent of global emissions, so even if we do everything at home, we have to take on the other 85 percent.
Now, we have rallied three quarters of all countries to support something called the Global Methane Pledge to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030, emissions coming from gas flaring. If that works, it would be the equivalent of taking every ship out of the sea and every plane out of the sky in terms of emissions. We are working with 139 other countries to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas used in refrigerators and heat pumps and air conditioners. That step alone could avoid warming of as much as half a degree Celsius by the end of the century.
And we’re leading the Subnational Climate Action Leaders Exchange. This is a new initiative to help cities, states, and regions develop and implement net-zero climate resilience targets and roadmaps. These actions advance our climate goals around the world, but they also encourage job creation at home. And you often hear the President say: when I think about climate change, I think about jobs. This connection is real; we can make it stronger.
We are also currently negotiating a global agreement to end plastic pollution by 2040. In the US, cities will be essential to that effort. We know that cities like Seattle and Phoenix are making efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle plastic. And we look forward to working with the Conference of Mayors to help craft an agreement that mayors here and around the world can implement.
Our focus on delivering for the American people also shapes our work on long-term strategic challenges, such as the global technological revolution that is literally changing how we live and how we work. We must ensure that critical and emerging technologies – and all their applications, from artificial intelligence to biotechnology – properly protect our privacy, our security, our democracy, even as they provide incredible opportunities in your communities at home.
So we forged a new partnership to bring together our closest economic partners and fellow democracies to try to build, support, and promote common rules to do just that. Many of these rules are formed in windowless conference rooms around the world, sometimes in the UN system. That’s where it actually happens. That’s where decisions are made that actually affect the way everyone gets to use this technology.
So it’s important – more than important, it’s important – that the United States is at the table – in fact, at the head of the table – when all those rules are laid out. We have a new bureau in the State Department for Cyberspace and Digital Policy. We have a new office for a special envoy for critical and emerging technologies to ensure that we will be positioned to lead this issue, that we will be at the table, that we will be at the head of the table.
We are also making a diplomatic push to make our supply chain safer and more resilient. Now, just a few years ago, if said supply chain I think people’s eyes will glaze over. It may still create that effect. It’s kind of a wonky phrase. It is commonly used by economists and trade experts. But I think by now most of our fellow citizens have experienced first hand what it means when the supply chain is disrupted. If you look at the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, for example, it is produced between 11 sites in five countries, with input coming from many, many places. If it’s messed up, we know what’s going on.
So we mobilize our partnership to strengthen the supply chain that affects the availability and freedom of everything from cars to basic medical supplies. We are forging new partnerships to diversify the supply chain for critical minerals so we can lower costs and reduce dangerous dependencies, especially in autocratic countries, because economic security is national security. We know that and we live it every day at the State Department.
We’re also using the diplomatic toolkit to protect American workers and try to level the playing field on which they compete, because if they give — given a level playing field, they’re going to outperform anybody. In the first year of the administration together with partners across the US Government, we rallied 130 countries to enter the global minimum tax for the largest corporations in the world.
The deal will help stem the race to the bottom in corporate taxes. It’s a major step toward ensuring that multinational corporations invest here in America, eliminating incentives to move jobs and profits overseas in pursuit of the lowest taxes. It will make America more competitive and ensure that our government and all of you have the resources to invest in our roads, in our bridges, in an education system that gives opportunities to the next generation.
We have also set up new partnerships such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the American Partnership for Economic Prosperity to try to shape the economic rules of the future and create more opportunities for your citizens.
Finally, we focus on a crisis that I think everyone in this room knows very well: fentanyl. The fentanyl overdose epidemic is the number one killer in America aged 18 to 49. That is a frightening fact, and it bears repeating – the number one killer in this country of America is 18 to 49: the synthetic opioid, fentanyl. At the State Department, I have made clear that we must bring the full force of American diplomacy to bear on this challenge. So we are working with international and private partners to try to disrupt the supply chain of synthetic drugs and prevent the diversion of chemicals from legitimate purposes to the production of synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamines.
And we’re committed to working with you to create and implement solutions that can really make a difference in your community.
So public health, climate, supply chains, the future of technology, economic security – these are the issues that our diplomats, your diplomats work on day in and day out. This is what we mean when we talk about foreign policy for the middle class. That’s what we mean when we say that the line between foreign and domestic policy is more blurred than ever.
And just as what we do abroad has a huge impact at home, what we do at home is critical to our success around the world. That’s truer than ever at a time when we’re seeing geopolitical competition reach its most intense point since the Cold War.
Historic investments like the CHIPS and SCIENCE Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act – these are truly critical to our standing and our influence around the world. I feel this every day. When the law was passed, it literally added a lift to our diplomacy around the world. It creates American jobs, revitalizes our industries, recharges our innovation base, positions us better to compete with our rivals, demonstrates the power of democracy – when it’s right – to deliver for its people.
It is precisely because foreign and domestic policies are so closely linked and mutually reinforcing that, in our judgment, we must try to deepen the relationship between institutions like mine and yours.
And that’s why the State Department is launching a new subnational diplomacy unit. I am delighted to have Ambassador Nina Hachigian here. He became our messenger to all our cities and countries.
Nina comes to us from Los Angeles, where she was the first deputy mayor for international affairs. Before that, he was our ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and he worked with me on the National Security Council way back in the Clinton administration. I know he is very excited to be working with all of you.
Last November, Nina traveled to Richmond, Virginia, where she met with Mayor Stoney and representatives from the business community. And he heard something we’ve heard in many parts of our country: more needs to be done to create good-paying jobs. Cities are eager to help attract more foreign direct investment and create more markets for exports.
But that’s not all. Nina and her team also heard that cities are looking to the federal government for help with other issues that affect their ability to expand inclusive economic opportunities and develop businesses – such as how to fix supply chain problems, how to navigate a complex global tax regime, or how to supporting women- and minority-owned businesses as they compete worldwide.
We can help. This is a problem we work with every day. And with the subnational diplomacy unit, mayors now have an address at the State Department when they need help.
The subnational team will also strengthen partnerships between American mayors and the world. US mayors have taken the lead in the global arena – last fall at COP27, where the Conference of Mayors held sessions on climate migration, social justice, and financing.
So we are here to accelerate that engagement, to support it, including by connecting you with our partners beyond our borders, like fellow mayors, as well as national governments, businesses, multilateral organizations. We know they have a lot to learn from you.
So I’m here to really tell you that this subnational diplomacy unit, a new office in our department, is your tool. And I sincerely hope that you will use it.
Now, it is also far from the only part of the State Department that focuses on our city. I have explained to every part of my team that we all need to connect our countries, to connect our cities and our foreign policy. And I want to invite you to work with us in this mission.
Join us, for example, at the City Summit of the Americas at the end of April, which will bring together mayors, governors, and community leaders to help prioritize our hemisphere to ensure that our work in democracy, public health, climate, on migration, in digital technology and more actually benefits citizens at the local level. That’s basically what this is all about.
Join us in initiatives like the Open Government Partnership. Sign the Declaration of Global Mayors for Democracy to defend the rule of law, to empower our citizens, to help fight corruption.
Continue to welcome people from all over the world to travel, study, work, live in your cities, which is the basis for our own economic growth, for our competitiveness, and for the prosperity of the middle class.
And help us learn. Help us learn from your success and make sure others do too. The answers to many of the challenges facing our world can be found right here in American cities.
Cities like Boston, which know that tracking COVID-19 in wastewater is one of the best ways to anticipate its spread, have set up systems to test the water, neighborhood by neighborhood, to calibrate the city’s pandemic response and stop the spread. .
And cities like Carmel, Indiana, are home to more than 140 roundabouts, which significantly reduce traffic casualties and mean that cars emit more tons of carbon emissions each year.
Solutions are found in cities like San Diego, which use geospatial data to determine which communities most need digital connectivity and have set up public Wi-Fi hotspots, free tech support, free computers and internet skills classes where they’re most needed.
Three cities, three examples of innovation that make a difference for their citizens. Three opportunities the federal government and the entire world should learn from. Three reasons why our foreign policy needs cities as partners.
Together as partners, my hope is that we can work, and work for the American people. It is our common responsibility; we are determined to do it with you. Thank you so much for having me this morning. Thanks. (Applause.)
Who is the current U.S. Secretary of State?
Antony J. Blinken was sworn in as the 71st US Secretary of State on January 26, 2021. This may interest you : letter from dr Tromp: Business Updates – Boise State News. The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser.
Who is considered the greatest Secretary of State in the United States? John Quincy Adams has been called “one of the greatest secretaries of state” in the history of the United States and is often credited with “the greatest diplomatic victory ever won by a single individual in US history.” Do you know what that victory is? (Hint: This is not the Monroe Doctrine!)
Who is higher than the Secretary of State?
As the highest-ranking cabinet member, the secretary of state is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the US federal government, after the president and vice president, and fourth in line to succeed the president, after the vice president. president, chairman of the DPR, and…
Who has been U.S. Secretary of State?
Blink. Antony J. Blinken was sworn in as the 71st US Secretary of State on January 26, 2021. This may interest you : Call of Secretary Blinken and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kuleba – United States Department of State.
How many states have Secretaries of State?
The secretary of state is an official in the state government of 47 of the 50 states in the United States, as well as Puerto Rico and other US possessions. Read also : business people.
Who is the secretary to the U.S. President?
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|2017–2019||Madeleine Westerhout||Donald Trump|
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How many secretaries to the president? The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments – the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs , also …
Who works closest to the president?
The Cabinet is an advisory body made up of the heads of 15 executive departments. Appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, cabinet members are often the President’s closest confidants.
Is the Secretary of State more powerful than the Vice President?
As the highest-ranking cabinet member, the Secretary of State is the third-highest official in the executive branch of the United States Federal Government, after the President and Vice President and fourth in line to succeed the presidency. after the Vice President, Speaker…
Where is the U.S. Secretary of State?
Northwest, Washington, D.C., USA
Is the Secretary of State Federal or state? The Secretary of State, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary implements the President’s foreign policy through the Department of State and the United States Department of State.
What are 3 things the secretary of state does?
Responsibilities of the Secretary of State include: Serving as the state’s Chief Electoral Officer. Conduct electronic filing and Internet disclosure of campaign and lobbyist financial information. Maintain business filings.
Who is the US Secretary of State?
Blink. Antony J. Blinken was sworn in as the 71st US Secretary of State on January 26, 2021.
How powerful is the US Secretary of State? The secretary of state can negotiate, interpret, and terminate agreements related to foreign policy. The Secretary may also participate in international conferences, organizations, and agencies as a representative of the United States.