» Friday, May 26, 2006

Washington Speech

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) previewed the Prime Minister’s speech. He said that this was the third of his series of three foreign policy speeches this year. His first speech spoke of the need to stand up to extremism and terrorism, not just through security methods but also by taking head on its ideas. The second speech argued that not only did we need to stand up for global values such as democracy and human rights but that they could only succeed if they were implemented fairly. Not just through security but also issues of justice and prosperity.

This speech took that argument further and argued how we should apply those global values in practical ways in real terms. Given that he had just returned from Iraq on Monday he started with Iraq, not because he wanted to re-open the old argument but because of where Iraq was now. It had a democratically elected government, a government which represented Sunnis, Shia and Kurds. He would say that following the setting up of the new Government that Iraq was: "…a child of democracy, struggling to be born." He would say: "If Iraqis can show their faith in democracy by voting for it, shouldn’t we show ours by supporting it?" That should be the basis for: "A new concord to displace the old contention… The war split the world, the struggle of Iraqis for democracy should unite it." He would say that Iraq had an importance far beyond the boundaries of Iraq itself, "We should be champions of change in the Middle East as a whole. Wherever we can, we should work to expand democracy and free speech." That included Iran, though he stressed that change should not be imposed there: "The greater freedom which he had no doubt most Iranians wanted was something we needed too." He also called for a change in the pace of progress in the Middle East Peace Process. Everyone knew what the solution was, which was two states sitting side by side. Hamas, he said, should accept that and acknowledge it and renounce violence. There should be "a speeded up pathway to final status negotiations;" the alternative would be a continuing descent into despair.

Finally he would deal with a mismatch between global challenges and global institutions. He would call for reform of the Security Council, to make it more representative, even if that could only be agreed initially on an interim basis. He said that the case for merger of the World Bank and the IMF should be looked at, that we should also look at a multi-lateral system for safe enrichment and that the G8+5, which had been on an informal basis at Gleneagles, should become the norm. One quote which summed up the speech, which was a much more detailed and thought through speech then he could give a full impression of: "the governments of the world did not all believe in freedom, but the people of the world do."

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. I thought ‘hot air’ contributed to Global Warming and was to be frowned upon.

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 30 May 2006 on 5:33 pm | Link

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