Monthly Archives: September 2014

Press Releases: Remarks With Vice President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

SECRETARY KERRY: Please be seated, everybody. Thank you very, very much. Good afternoon. We are sorry to be a few minutes late, but the Prime Minister had the pleasure of going to the Martin Luther King Memorial as an off-schedule event on the way over here, and we’re delighted that he was able to do that with the President. The President and he went together, and it was a great trip. Thank you. (Applause.)

So Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to the State Department. And it’s my pleasure also to welcome a leader who’s been a champion of the United States-India relationship for many years, going back to the 1970s and Indira Gandhi, and I’m talking about the Vice President of the United States. I’m happy to welcome you here, Mr. Vice President. (Applause.)

Dr. Henry Kissinger, thank you for joining us today. Welcome home. (Applause.) As you all know, Dr. Kissinger has yet another book, a new book out called “World Order.” And I recommend it to all of you. And just to give you an idea of how insightful this book really is, people are actually reading the book before they look for their names in the index. So it’s pretty significant. (Laughter.)

I want to thank our chef, Vikram Sunderam, who is responsible for this wonderful meal we’re going to have here today. And we are happy to acknowledge his tremendous success at Rasika, which is one of our terrific restaurants here in Washington, one example of how Indian- Americans are not just living the American dream, but they’re redefining it on a daily basis.

And we’re privileged also to have musicians here this afternoon from the United States Army and United States Navy bands. And it’s always an honor for all of us to hear you play, and everybody here joins us in thanking you for your service. We are deeply appreciative. (Applause.)

Mr. Prime Minister, I’m forced to admit that no matter how warm our welcome here today, we’re never going to be able to top your rock star reception at Madison Square Garden. (Laughter and applause.) Billy Joel called me this morning to make sure you hadn’t taken his regular gig there. (Laughter.) None of us have been able to turn on a television or pick up a newspaper without seeing the celebrity coverage that the Prime Minister has received. And with it, for all of us, there’s a sense of shared excitement and a sense of shared possibility.

I’ve been Secretary of State now going on two years, and I was on the Foreign Relations Committee for nearly 30 years, so I’ve seen, as the Vice President has – we’ve both sort of lived through the ups and downs of this relationship. And people talk about the United States and India perhaps the way that a matchmaker talks about two friends that they want to get together. And you sort of have that, “Oh, you have so much in common. If only you’d spend more time together.” (Laughter.)

But what’s very clear about this visit at this moment is that people are watching to wait and see if this Modi moment is going to be the moment when the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy finally capitalize on the full, inherent potential of this relationship. And it does, in fact, seem so natural. The United States and India are two countries defined by the belief that all things are possible.

President Obama often says that, for him, only in America would his journey be possible. And Prime Minister Modi’s journey from a young man who sold tea by the railroad in Gujarat to the Prime Minister’s residence on Race Course Road seems no less improbable. (Applause.)

This belief in opportunity, even against long odds, is really unique to our two countries. We are two countries who begin our founding documents with the same words, the same three words: “We the people.” We’re two countries where entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation is in both of our DNA. The only two countries that could have given birth to Hollywood and Bollywood – (laughter) – the only two countries where high-tech hubs like Bangalore and Silicon Valley could blossom and be connected, even as they are independent in their creativity. We are two countries that, as Swami Vivekananda said in Chicago more than a century ago, have sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations on Earth.

In the last years, I have been pleased and privileged to see our relationship come a long way. It has been a long journey from the mistrust and misperception of the Cold War period and even the post-Cold War period and President Clinton’s efforts to forge a new relationship. And those efforts have continued under administrations Democratic and Republican, alike.

The question today is whether we are going to at last take this partnership to the new heights that we can both envision. And we’re already working together in a crucial number of efforts. Already today our two navies are safeguarding vital trade routes off the Horn of Africa. Today, our engineers are retrofitting telecom networks to run on solar power together. Our scientists are developing new drugs to treat malaria. Our businesses are trading more together – a fivefold increase since the year 2000.

But the question is what this relationship looks like tomorrow. The promise of Prime Minister Modi’s visit is really quite simple. This is one of those hinge points in history. Perhaps for the first time the United States and India don’t just share the same founding ideals, but we share the same economic and political imperatives. We both need and want clean air. And we both need good jobs. We both need to trade in new markets. We both need more investment. We both need higher education systems that work for the next generation. And we both need to keep our people safe from the scourge of violent extremism.

Our new partnership is rooted in both shared values and shared interests. And to me, those are the sum of the same values and interests that you, Mr. Prime Minister, have put at the center of your agenda with the words, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, participation of all, development for all.

Prime Minister Modi, we want you to succeed. It is in all of our interest. And we want history to remember that what you did for India’s development is the same memory people have of the history of Mahatma Gandhi and what he did for India’s independence. (Applause.)

So we are invested in that future together. I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all – in fact, I know it isn’t – that Secretary Pritzker, Secretary Hagel, Deputy Secretary Burns, and I all went to India during your first 100 days in office. And it’s not a coincidence that you have come to America so early in your tenure.

We are all invested in this relationship because we recognize what this moment demands of all of us. President Franklin Roosevelt, of course, described America as having a rendezvous with destiny. India’s first Prime Minister spoke about India’s tryst with destiny. And this can be a moment where, for the United States and India, our destinies actually converge. If we make the right choices, if we harness the capacity of our two nations, if we seize the opportunities, this can be the moment to transform our strategic relationship into an historic partnership, a partnership that honors our place as great powers and great democracies.

We’re, as I said, lucky to have a Vice President who understands this vital importance and this relationship, who understands the importance of aligning our interests and our values, and that’s why he has always believed so strongly in the vitality of the relationship with India. (Applause.)

The Vice President and I have been friends now for about 40 years, and of course, he has been, almost just as long a period of time, a great friend of India. We were longtime colleagues in the Senate, where I saw again and again his personal relationships at home and on the world stage work to advance the interests of our country. Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for joining us today. (Applause.)

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. It’s great to be here today. I did tell the President that we were going to be late for lunch, but he didn’t listen to me. (Laughter.) He took the Prime Minister to see the memorial, but – so it’s all the President’s fault we’re late now. (Laughter.)

Mr. Prime Minister, once again, welcome. It’s an honor to have you here. Secretary Kerry and I and along with President Obama enjoyed our dinner last night. We had a small dinner, where I think all of us thought it was a remarkable way in which Senator – and I said Senator – President Obama and the Prime Minister connected, each discussing what each of our countries faced and what needed to be done. It was really quite remarkable. I’ve been to many of these dinners, but I can’t think of any one that went as well. And Happy Navratri, Mr. Prime Minister. It’s good of you to honor us and visit us on – during this holy week. And the Prime Minister is fasting and we keep taking him to dinners and lunches. (Laughter.) And as we Catholics would say, that’s an occasion for sin, but we appreciate the fact he has spent so much time with us.

And it’s good to have a chance to come together to celebrate the relationship that has grown enormously over the past two decades. I don’t think it could have been said better than the way Secretary Kerry said it. This has always been the promise – the promise over the horizon. There was no reason why the oldest and the largest democracy should not be working together, but it’s been a promise and it’s always just been out of reach. But I think one of the reasons why it’s come into reach – it’s not just because of the Prime Minister, but because of the ways in which the different ethnicities, faces, faiths, tongues of both our proud nations have come together.

The way, as John said, the way entrepreneurship seems to be hard-wired into both cultures, where Indian-Americans whose talents have shaped the fabric of this country and our schools, our hospitals and our courtrooms and our government and our arts, entertainment, Main Street to Silicon Valley, and the way it’s reflected in our nation’s military uniforms and those who wear them. Most of all, Mr. Prime Minister, we admire your democracy and the message it sends to people around the world: No nation – no nation has to choose between development and freedom. We can and must secure both. They go hand-in-hand. I saw these virtues firsthand in a number of visits I have made to India over the years.

Most recently, Mr. Prime Minister, I brought my wife Jill and my daughter and my son-in-law to India with me less than a year ago, and we – and I learned something, as I told you in the –anteroom. When I was in Mumbai – Secretary Kissinger – I found out that what I had heard for so many years was true, that I actually had relatives in Mumbai – (laughter) – for real. A press person after the second press conference I had presented me with a portrait – a copy of a portrait of my great-great-great grandfather who – the Irish part of me is hard to admit, but was an English sea captain who settled and lived in India, and there are three Biden families in Mumbai. So I’m going home with you, Prime Minister. (Laughter and applause.) But – and my wife and my daughter got to see what I’ve had the ability to see in the past: the incredible dynamism and diversity that reinforced in all of us the remarkable fact of where we find ourselves. The question is no longer is whether it’s in the interest of the United States and India to build a strong relationship, as President Obama says, into the defining partnership of the century ahead; the question is: How ambitious and how rapidly are we prepared to build that partnership? And I believe, as the President does, we should be bold.

Mr. Prime Minister, you won the largest democratic exercise in history, with over 550 million Indians casting their votes earlier this year. (Applause.) And you campaigned on some of the very goals we hope to achieve in this relationship: greater investment in India’s economy, a modernized defense sector, inclusive growth for both of our peoples. And your support for economic reform paves the way for the expansion of our nearly $100 billion in trade on a yearly basis. This work will not be easy. It demands us both making tough choices, but I think that we have an incredible opportunity before us.

Mr. Prime Minister, I think together you and President Obama can usher the partnership of two great nations and two great peoples into the 21st century in the way we’ve been looking for and hoping for for some time. I am often known for quoting Irish poets by my colleagues, but one of my favorite Irish poets is William Butler Yeats, and he thought a great deal of the great Indian poet Tagore who was – he thought he was among the very best. And he was India’s first Nobel Prize winner, the only person to ever have two of his compositions chosen as the national anthem of two different countries – India and Bangladesh.

I’ll summarize what Yeats wrote about Tagore in the book that won Tagore the Nobel Prize that came to him over 100 years ago. He said: “His lyrics are full of subtle rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies, of invention – the work of a supreme culture.” The same can be said of India today: a diverse community humming with dynamism and energy, a great and ancient society reinventing itself to be able to thrive in the 21st century. Tagore wrote, and I quote: “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” We have to act together.

Mr. Prime Minister, our conversations these past two days leave me with absolute confidence that we can cross the sea together. And we are encouraged – all of us who have been in contact with you these last couple days – with your sense of purpose, with your incredible energy, and with your commitment to this relationship. So Mr. Prime Minister, welcome again, and the floor is yours. (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER MODI: (Via interpreter) Honorable Vice President Mr. Joe Biden, Secretary of State Mr. Kerry, the words that have used for praising me, the sentiments that you’ve expressed praising me, I’m very grateful to you wholeheartedly for that. And listening to both of you, it is very clear that because of my travel this time, the relations between India and America a new confidence has risen in that relationship, a new excitement is there in this relationship. And ultimately, the relationship between two countries, the basis of this relationship is always the manner in which the kind of confidence that is there in the two countries, and what is the chemistry between the leadership of two countries – that is what works for a long time, and in the last two days especially and for last four days that I have been in the U.S., I have been feeling this, that not only on Mars have we met. India and U.S. haven’t met only on Mars. We are also meeting on the Earth as well, and we are coming close.

There are certain problems. You use a system which is 120-volts, and we use 220-volt system in India. So 120 and 220 – when you have to bring them together and the difference in the energy which is there, so we’ll have to undertake necessary steps in order to bring it together, and I’m sure we’ll succeed in it. Then 120-volt and 220-volt system – both the systems will start working together, and that is how I am standing here amidst you.

And regarding both these individuals here – honorable Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary John Kerry – that in political life it is so easy to take the simpler path, and people try to take simpler paths. But there are very few people who take difficult paths and undertake different journeys, and both these leaders have always undertaken difficult journeys wherever there have been problems. And they have risen beyond politics, and they have tried to deal with those problems and solve with those problems, and they have worked very hard for these. And this is the nature of both these leaders, and it is rarely seen in politics, because it is so easy to draw a line on butter. But to draw a line on stone, you need to work a lot and you need great courage. And both these leaders belong to this temperament.

And today I say this with great confidence: that India would – is moving fast, and forward very fast. And the youth part that is there in India and the talent which is there in India, and the very innovative nature of Indians and India, and the ancient civilization that we have in India – all these things that are there. And today at the world forum generate a new hope, are creating a new hope. And the hopes that the people in the world have to fulfill those aspirations and hopes – India is committed, India is determined. And I would like to assure the world community and especially the America – the United States of America – that to fulfill the aspirations – hopes and aspirations of the world, they are all looking up to India, and India has become ready for that. India is ready to march ahead step-by-step and in tune with the Americas. We would like to select those parts which take us to the welfare of the world and humankind, and strengthen the democracy. And the smallest of the small nations in the world which are struggling, and the backward people in the world – we are committed to removing their difficulties, and I’m fully confident that we will put our energies to this use.

It is a hugely successful journey that I have undertaken here, and today I got this opportunity to meet all of you here. And I would also like to thank His Excellency President Obama from the core of my heart that you took out a lot of time. We were together yesterday and today for a – for quite some time, and today, in fact, he took me around. And with such ease, with such humility, he has given a new dimension to our relations. And for this I would also like to thank His Excellency President Obama and both the Excellencies who are present here – His Excellency the Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, from the core of my heart; and also the Secretary of State, His Excellency Mr. John Kerry. And also thank all of you very much. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India After Bilateral Meeting

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

1:05 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  It is an extraordinary pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Modi to the White House for the first time.  I think that the entire world has watched the historic election and mandate that the people of India delivered in the recent election.  And I think everyone has been impressed with the energy and the determination with which the Prime Minister has looked to address not only India’s significant challenges, but more importantly, India’s enormous opportunities for success in the 21st century.

We have had an outstanding discussion around a range of issues.  And we, during our discussions, reaffirmed that as two of the world’s largest democracies, vibrant people-to-people contacts between India and the United States, including an incredible Indian American population that contributes so much, that we have so much in common it is critical for us to continue to deepen and broaden the existing framework of partnership and friendship that already exists.

Last night, during a private dinner we spent most of our time talking about the economy.  And we agreed that in both countries, one of our primary goals is to improve education and job training so that our young people can compete in the global marketplace, and the Prime Minister shared with me his vision for lifting what is still too many Indians who are locked in poverty into a situation in which their lives can improve.

We also today spent time talking about the international situation and security issues.  We addressed challenges in the Middle East and violent extremism and the fight against ISIL.  We discussed what has now been a successful peaceful transition of power in Afghanistan and the need for all of us to work together to ensure that there is stability there. 

We discussed the issues of trade, issues of making sure that maritime rules are observed, and we discussed how we can continue to work together on a whole host of issues from space exploration, scientific endeavor, to dealing with humanitarian crises like Ebola in West Africa. 

And throughout this conversation I’ve been impressed with the Prime Minister’s interest in not only addressing the needs of the poorest of the poor in India and revitalizing the economy there, but also his determination to make sure that India is serving as a major power that could help bring about peace and security for the entire world.

So I want to wish him luck in what I’m sure will be a challenging but always interesting tenure as Prime Minister in India.  I’m very grateful for the friendship between the United States and India, and I’m looking forward to building on this meeting so we can continue to promote progress in both countries and around the world.

So thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (As interpreted.)  President Obama, members of the media:  First, I want to thank President Obama for his invitation and his warm and generous hospitality.  I am pleased to visit the USA and meet President Obama at the start of my tenure.

I’m happy that we are meeting here just a few days after the Indian and the U.S. missions reached Mars around the same time.  So after the India-U.S. summit on Mars, we are meeting here on Earth.  (Laughter.)  This happy coincidence captures the potential of our relationship.

This visit, especially my conversation with President Obama, has reinforced my conviction that India and the United States are natural global partners based on our shared values, interests, and strengths in the digital age.  We already have the foundation of a strong partnership.  We now have to revive the momentum and ensure that we get the best out of it for our people and for the world.

The President and I spoke about many of our common economic strategies.  I’m confident that India will see rapid economic growth and transformation.  We are focusing in India not just on policies but also on processes to make it easy and productive to do business in India.  I believe that India-U.S. economic partnership will also grow rapidly in coming years.

I also saw President Obama’s support for continued openness and ease of access by Indian service companies in the U.S. market.  We are serious about resolution of issues on both sides to enable civilian nuclear energy cooperation to take off.  It is important for India’s energy security.

We had a candid discussion on Bali ministerial of the WTO.  India supports trade facilitation.  However, I also expect that we are able to find a solution that takes care of our concern on food security.  I believe that it should be possible to do that soon.  

We have agreed to consult and cooperate closely on climate change issues, an area of strong priority for both of us.  There was great convergence on international developments that matter the most to our two countries, including peace and stability in Asia Pacific region.  The United States is intrinsic to our “Look East” and “Link West” policies.

We discussed existing terrorism challenges, including in South Asia and the new threats of terrorism in West Asia and beyond.  We agreed to intensify our counterterrorism and intelligence cooperation.  The Afghan people have shown the will to prevail over violence and extremism.  We discussed our two countries’ continued commitment to assist Afghanistan and our own coordination in this area.

We have shared concern on the Ebola crisis in Africa, for which India has already made financial commitments of $12 million. 

Given our broad range of shared interests, we will also continue to beef up our security dialogue and defense relations.  I want to especially welcome the U.S. defense companies to participate in developing the Indian defense industry.

During the last four days in the U.S. I have seen extraordinary interest and excitement about India and India-U.S. partnership among the people of our two countries.  We will draw strength and inspiration from it as we start a more purposeful course in our ongoing journey.

I look forward to receiving President Obama and his family in India at a convenient time.  I, once again, thank President Obama, the people of the United States, and especially the Indian American community for their warm welcome and hospitality.  And also I should thank the media from India and the U.S.

END
1:20 P.M. EDT

Press Releases: U.S.-India Cooperation on Promoting Women’s Empowerment


The United States and India believe that the empowerment of women and girls is essential for sustained prosperity, peace, and progress in society.  The two countries partner on a range of programs and joint initiatives to strengthen women’s economic and political participation; to prevent and respond to gender-based violence; and through a new focus on adolescent girls, the two countries will work together to enable young women to lead lives as healthy and productive citizens.

 

Promoting Women’s Leadership in Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, and Health 
 

  • U.S.–India–Afghan Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative Through an expanded partnership between the United States, India, and Afghanistan, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the Indian Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), the world’s largest women’s trade union to economically empower 3,000 Afghan women, strengthen local institutional capacity, and establish training centers across four Afghan provinces and Kabul.
  • South Asia Women’s Economic Symposium (SAWES) Initiative:  Developed under the U.S.-India Women’s Empowerment Dialogue, the SAWES initiative is advancing women’s entrepreneurship and cross-border business partnerships in India and across South Asia.  Supported by the U.S. Department of State, the Asia Foundation is implementing a series of activities in collaboration with South Asian women’s business associations to increase access to finance, markets, and training opportunities for female small and medium-sized enterprise owners. 
  • Tupperware Brands Global Links Program Through a public-private partnership with Tupperware Brands Corporation and Rollins College, in January 2015, the State Department will launch the Global Links Program in India to support entrepreneurship education for women. The program will support an Indian female professor of business or economics to travel to the United States to enrich her exposure to entrepreneurship education curriculum, participate in an externship at Tupperware headquarters, and support the professor’s efforts to build the capacity of future female entrepreneurs within her home university in India.
  • Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Fourteen women business leaders from India have participated to date in a high-profile public-private partnership program between the U.S. Department of State and the Fortune Magazine Most Powerful Women Summit to develop their leadership and business skills through mentorships with senior American women executives. 
  • Women in Science Workshops Identified as a priority area for engagement between the United States and India, the U.S. Department of State has partnered with the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology (S&T) Forum, and prominent U.S. and Indian scientific organizations to advance women in science and technology.  In July 2014, the United States and India organized an exchange on “Evidence-Based Techniques to Advance Gender Equality in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” The U.S. National Science Foundation and the Indo-U.S. S&T Forum will hold a second workshop in New Delhi in November 2014 to develop bilateral partnerships that promote women in science and enhance research collaborations. 
  • Women in Clean Technology Initiatives The Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Clean Energy (wPOWER) funded by the U.S. government, supports rural clean energy entrepreneurs in Maharashtra and Bihar states, in partnership with Indian NGO Swayam Shikshan Prayog.  The Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, a recipient of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, is promoting capacity building in green jobs for women in the informal sector in Delhi.
  • Women’s Health Programs: USAID supports improved maternal and child healthcare through programs such as the RMNCH+A Alliance, which is being implemented by leading Indian foundations and the Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project.  The Health for Urban Poor project supported by USAID and implemented by the Population Foundation of India is increasing access to priority health services for women and children in urban slums and will be scaled up by the Government of India under the National Urban Health Mission.

Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence (GBV)
 

  • Safe Cities Initiative USAID, UN Women, and the government of Japan have partnered to implement this innovative program that employs a gender empowerment approach to urban planning and infrastructure development in New Delhi and enables girls and women to reclaim access to safe public space.  Through this program, partner organizations spread information regarding GBV and NGO services, including help lines to citizens, and engage men and boys as advocates to both prevent and respond to sexual harassment or assault. 
  • Mobilise! Project Supported by USAID, Dimagi, Inc. in collaboration with the St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore is implementing a new program using mobile technology to increase the number of women screened for GBV during routine health visits, and provide counseling and referral services to survivors. 
  • Women in Public Service Project:  With support from Embassy New Delhi, the Wilson Center and Lady Shri Ram College partnered to hold a series of roundtables in 2014 for emerging women leaders from India and the region.  Participants discussed policy recommendations and drafted a Regional Platform for Action to promote women’s political participation and address GBV.  Additional workshops will follow in 2015.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives:  Shakti Vahini, an Indian NGO, is building the capacity of newly initiated Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs), facilitating interstate police cooperation in 10 northern Indian states to combat sex and labor trafficking and forced marriages, and creating a 24/7 Response Center for search and rescue of TIP victims in partnership with AHTUs.  
  • Public Outreach and Awareness Programs Through exchange and speakers programs, the U.S. Department of State regularly brings Indian leaders to the United States and American experts to India to share expertise and lessons learned on key issues facing women and girls.  In 2014-2015, six different exchange tours will focus on women’s empowerment.  In 2015, Embassy New Delhi plans to support communications training for organizations working to combat violence against women, including a “TechCamp” in Mumbai to implement real world technology solutions to empower civil society activists as they address GBV.  Our Embassy and Consulates also plan to hold a series of film festivals throughout India focused on GBV.  Global public-private partnerships with USAID, such as the Women and Girls Lead Global Project and the Girl Rising Global Partnership, will use innovative multimedia and film campaigns to promote girls’ education and engage men and boys to address root causes of GBV. 

Convening Collaborative Dialogues

  • The U.S.-India Women’s Empowerment Dialogue:  The United States and India plan to schedule the next U.S.-India Women’s Empowerment Dialogue at a mutually convenient time.   Chaired by the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and India’s Minister for Women and Child Development, the Dialogue will advance joint programs related to key issues including women’s leadership; improving girls’ equal access to secondary education; women’s health and increasing women’s access to sanitation; strengthening the protection of women and girls; and accelerating women’s participation in the work force, including the private sector.

 

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Press Releases: U.S.-India Strategic Consultations


Through ongoing dialogues and multilateral initiatives, the United States and India are accelerating their engagement to meet the challenges of the 21st century. As the world’s two largest democracies, the United States and India have over 30 bilateral dialogues, including the Strategic Dialogue. The two cooperate with other partners on a wide variety of regional and global issues to share views, address challenges, and provide leadership in the world.

  • U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue: In July 2014, the United States and India held the fifth round of Strategic Dialogue discussions. This annual forum, led by the Secretary of State and the Minister of External Affairs, has led to deeper cooperation on regional issues, expanded trade and investment opportunities, contributed to India’s energy security, expanded people-to-people ties, and continued joint science and health research. The Dialogue also addresses challenges like climate change and counterterrorism, building on deeper U.S.-India counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation since the 2008 Mumbai attack that claimed both Indian and U.S. victims.
  • U.S.-India-Japan Trilateral Dialogue: Since inaugurating the Dialogue in December 2011, the United States, India, and Japan have held five rounds of trilateral discussions on a wide range of regional and global issues; a sixth round is planned in the near future. In addition, the three sides will explore holding a trilateral ministerial at a mutually convenient time. In July 2014, the United States, India, and Japan jointly participated in the Malabar naval exercise in the Pacific Ocean following a May 2014 trilateral disaster response and risk reduction workshop in Hawaii. All three strategic partners participated in 2013 in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief, and Military Medicine exercise hosted by Brunei.
  • Indian Ocean Region Dialogue: The United States and India plan to hold regular consultations on the Indian Ocean region. These will address maritime security and environmental challenges, protection of sea lanes, disaster management preparedness, and other issues relevant to this region through which two-thirds of the world’s seaborne trade in oil, half of the world’s seaborne container traffic, and one-third of the world’s seaborne bulk cargo transits annually. The dialogue reinforces our common economic and security objectives within regional organizations like the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). The United States is an observer at IORA.
  • Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor (IPEC): Given India’s Act East policy and the United States’ rebalance to the Asia Pacific, the United States and India have discussed their visions of an Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor that can help bridge South and Southeast Asia – where the Indian and Pacific Oceans converge and where trade has thrived for centuries. Trade between South and Southeast Asia grew from $4 billion in 1990 to $86 billion by 2011. An increase in infrastructure investment equivalent to 1 percent of global GDP would likely translate into an additional 3.4 million jobs in India and 1.5 million in the United States. The United States acknowledges the significance of India’s $120 million investment in Burma’s Sittwe port and commits to explore similar programs leading to future development opportunities.
  • UN and Multilateral Issues Dialogue: The Department of State and the Ministry of External Affairs are preparing to launch a dialogue focused on UN and multilateral issues. This new initiative will cover issues including the UN’s role in peace and security, the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda, and UN management and reform. India is the second largest contributor of peacekeepers to UN missions, with over 8,000 peacekeepers in the field, and participates with the United States in five UN peacekeeping missions.
  • Cooperation in Afghanistan: The United States and India share a strategic interest in promoting peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan, and since 2012 have twice convened a trilateral dialogue with Afghanistan. India has been an important supporter of the international community’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, pledging $2 billion since 2001 in areas such as infrastructure projects, humanitarian assistance, women’s empowerment, education, human rights, and capacity building. India is also an important partner with Afghanistan via the Istanbul Process, a dialogue launched in November 2011 to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors, with the support of the United States and other international donors. The United States actively supports India’s participation in the Heart of Asia group of countries, which seeks to advance confidence building measures aimed at improving regional cooperation on Afghanistan.
  • Regional Trade and Energy Coordination: The United States has also engaged India on the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline. The project has the potential to transform regional markets by delivering up 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to help meet South Asia’s growing energy needs, and generating an estimated $500 million annually in transit revenues for Afghanistan. TAPI is an important component of the United States’ New Silk Road initiative, which seeks to strengthen Afghanistan’s regional integration by expanding trade and transit routes and opening new markets.

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Press Releases: U.S.-India Development Cooperation


The United States-India development partnership, with its focus on harnessing science, technology, innovation, and partnership to identify, test, and scale solutions to global development challenges, is a model for the world.  The partnership has seen significant progress in recent years, including concrete advances toward two ambitious global health commitments—an end to preventable child and maternal deaths and an AIDS-free generation.  In agriculture, the U.S. has supported India’s leadership in bringing Indian innovations and expertise to African countries to strengthen food security.  The India-U.S. Millennium Alliance innovation partnership has supported dozens of Indian innovators to develop, test, and scale their innovative products and technologies.  The U.S. and Indian governments will continue to join efforts to address the world’s most intractable development challenges and emerging priorities.

 

  • Water and Sanitation:  Within India’s seven mega-million cities alone, 23 million people live in informal or slum settlements with inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services.  As a result, water-borne disease is a constant concern and a leading cause of sickness and mortality, particularly among children under five.  The scale of this challenge requires innovative approaches to urban development which draw upon the best Indian and U.S. expertise.  USAID announced a knowledge partnership with the Indian government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the new 500 Cities National Urban Development Mission and Clean India Campaign.  State-of-the-art research, targeted technical assistance, innovation, knowledge-sharing, and public-private partnerships to facilitate scale are central to this partnership, which includes a new $6 million Urban Water-Sanitation-Hygiene (WASH) Alliance to support public-private partnership models in urban areas.  
  • Triangular Partnership:  Triangular partnership has showcased Indian leadership and know-how, benefitting developing countries in areas such as health, food security and women’s empowerment.  The shared goals of the U.S. and India  for future triangular development cooperation as elaborated in the joint Statement of Guiding Principles include: (1) $1.5 million to extend small mechanization and capacity-building efforts to Indian and Nepali institutions, businesses, and universities; (2) an expanded $1.5 million project with the Self Employed Women’s Association to mobilize Indian expertise to empower and improve the livelihoods of 3,000 Afghan women across four Afghan provinces and Kabul; and, (3) concerted efforts to strengthen disaster management in South Asia, including through an upcoming study tour conducted by the ASEAN Coordinating Center on Humanitarian Assistance for Disaster Management.
  • U.S.-India Millennium Alliance: The USAID-supported Millennium Alliance is an innovation partnership that brings together public and private partners to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to source and scale innovative solutions to development challenges that affect the base of the pyramid populations across India and the world.  USAID also supports several other innovation platforms such as the READ Alliance, India-Africa Agriculture Bridge, CLEAN Off-Grid Alliance, Tuberculosis Alliance, and Reproductive Maternal/Newborn/Child Health (RMNCH) Alliance.  Innovation, science, and technology are central to other joint development cooperation efforts, including a new $6 million partnership to research climate resilient crops.
  • Financing Social Development Through a proposed U.S.-India Diaspora Investment Facility, we could provide financing for significant social impact investments in India by offering new ways for the Indian diaspora community in the U.S. to invest and channel their funds to small and-medium-sized enterprises generating social impact in India.
  • Wildlife Biodiversity is the fabric of our lives and planet. Promoting stewardship of nature is a critical and effective strategy for fighting extreme poverty and fostering resilient societies.  With partners ranging from non-governmental organizations to the private sector the United States is conserving biodiversity and combatting wildlife trafficking along an entire spectrum of efforts. Whether it’s conserving wild lands, decreasing demand for wildlife products on the ground, or supporting research, the United States enables a holistic response to this complicated challenge at various levels.

 

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