Sunday, September 18, 2011

Secretary of State Clinton APEC Speeches

The U.S. hosted, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired, the first APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy in San Francisco this past weekend. A transcript of her speech is here. In March, 2011, Clinton spoke at the first Senior Officials Meeting for the APEC Forum. That speech is here. Both speeches are chockablock with words like productivity, workers, capital, economies. Both are about wealth accumulation. "Ensuring that economic engagement delivers results to the American people is our top domestic priority. It is a top foreign policy priority as well, as well as a personal priority." Whether trade agreements forged in the last decades meet this triumvirate priority is debatable. Will KORUS add 70,000 new jobs in the U.S.A.? To be fair, I clouded both speeches separately: women the most used word in Friday's speech, but absent completely in the March speech. Economies, economic, growth, productivity were equally represented in both speeches however, noting that the speech on Friday was about women and the global economy pertinent to APEC. I understand these are economic speeches, but women are not measured by their productivity, which is the core message of the Friday speech: engage women and increase global output. What are the priorities of women globally? I doubt economies, trade, businesses and nations would be penultimate. Perhaps clean water, education, safety, freedom, healthcare would be. Clinton has said before that we must include women leaders and women activists to succeed. How we measure success in a global paradigm that is not primarily gauged on wealth and earth-ravaging growth for no reason other than to accumulate is up to the women of the world.

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