| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S.Res. 376 (ats) Expressing the sense of the Senate that the men and women who fought the Jasper Fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota should be commended for their heroic efforts. [Agreed to Senate] ...
S.Res. 376 (ats) Expressing the sense of the Senate that the men and women who fought the Jasper Fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota should be commended for their heroic efforts. [Agreed to Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 2d Session S. RES. 375 Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding initiatives for Greater Middle East reform and modernization including a Twenty-First Century Trust. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 9, 2004 Mr. Lugar submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations _______________________________________________________________________ RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding initiatives for Greater Middle East reform and modernization including a Twenty-First Century Trust. Whereas one of the greatest threats in the 21st century is the nexus between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, which is fueled by failed states and instability that arises in large part from extremist organizations from the Greater Middle East region including nations of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and South Asia; Whereas the United States must promote security and stability in this troubled region where demographics, religious extremism, autocratic governments, isolation, stagnant economic systems and war have often overwhelmed the talents of the people and the wealth of the region's natural resources; Whereas poverty and economic underdevelopment do not cause terrorism, but, by promoting economic prosperity, political reform, peace and security in the Greater Middle East, the United States and the international community can help reduce the potential that such countries become a source of international terrorism; Whereas advancements in communications, transportation, health and educational opportunities have yet to reach large percentages of the people of the Greater Middle East; Whereas reform and modernization must come from the people and nations within the Greater Middle East and cannot be imposed from countries or individuals outside; Whereas the best way to achieve these goals is to cooperate with our traditional partners and with other countries, specifically in the Greater Middle East on a new paradigm of reform and development; Whereas the Arab Human Development Report of 2003 commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme identified the lack of knowledge, freedom, and the empowerment of women as the most serious challenges to development; Whereas the United States launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative in 2002 to support economic, political, educational reform and the empowerment of women in the Middle East and has undertaken similar programs in North Africa and Central and South Asia that are creating educational and economic opportunity, fostering private sector development, and strengthening civil society; Whereas other members of the Group of Eight (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom), and the European Union have established and supported similar programs and objectives; and the European Union, in particular, established the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in Barcelona in 1995 which includes development of economic and financial cooperation and greater emphasis on social, cultural, and political issues; Whereas many nations of the Greater Middle East have individually and multilaterally expressed their interest and intentions to move towards implementing governmental and civil society modernization and reform, and many such countries have declared their commitment to support universal principles of democracy, human rights, and individual freedoms, including freedom for women; Whereas the Alexandria Library in Egypt hosted a conference in March 2004 entitled Critical Reforms in the Arab World: From Rhetoric to Reality to bring together members of civil society in the Middle East including intellectuals, business people, and academics and the conference participants made a statement declaring that they ``are fully convinced that reform is a necessary and urgent matter,'' and that they embraced ``without ambiguity, genuine democracy''; Whereas the Arab League Summit in May 2004 resulted in an assertion of the firm resolve of these nations to reaffirm human rights and freedoms and to carry on reform and modernization, including consolidation of democratic practice, broadening participation of all components of civil society and widening women's participation in the political, economic, social, cultural and educational fields; and Whereas the members of the Group of Eight met in Sea Island, Georgia in June 2004 and committed to cooperate with the countries of the ``Broader Middle East and North Africa'' to assist in advancing their aspirations for political, economic and social reforms: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, SECTION 1. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON GREATER MIDDLE EAST INITIATIVES FOR REFORM AND MODERNIZATION, INCLUDING A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY TRUST. It is the sense of the Senate that-- (1) in June 2004, the President encouraged the Group of Eight (the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom) to outline a plan to engage with the countries of the ``Broader Middle East and North Africa'' in a way that allows such countries to establish priorities for reform and modernization in the new millennium; (2) reforms in the countries of the Greater Middle East, including nations of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and South Asia, must be generated from within by the people and governments of such countries, and can only be effective if undertaken in the context of people taking charge of their own futures; (3) the President should seek to build on the initiatives of the Group of Eight and establish specific mechanisms for accomplishing the goals of reform and modernization of the Greater Middle East such as establishment of a Greater Middle East Twenty-First Century Trust, as described in section 2; the two-way nature of the functions of such a Trust confers ``ownership'' of the processes of reform in the countries of the Greater Middle East and will invite renewed dialog; (4) the members of the Group of Eight and the nations of the Greater Middle East region should follow-up the G-8 Summit with official and private meetings, conferences, and other events to further explore and implement initiatives, including establishing terms of reference for a Greater Middle East Twenty-First Century Trust; (5) the members of the Group of Eight can help effect long- term political and economic change in the Greater Middle East by leveraging financial contributions from Europe, Asia, and the wealthy countries of the region, and by providing the imprimatur of the broad international community; (6) the President should use his considerable leverage with allies inside and outside the region to assist in the promotion of democratic reforms and political freedom; and (7) recognizing that social and political change would be more difficult in an atmosphere of violence, the President should work with other industrialized democracies and with the countries of the Greater Middle East to promote peace and maintain a stable environment for long-term progress. SEC. 2. MODEL FOR ESTABLISHING A GREATER MIDDLE EAST TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY TRUST. The Senate urges the President to consider generating support for a Greater Middle East Twenty-First Century Trust (hereinafter referred to as the ``Trust'') in coordination and partnership with the members of the Group of Eight and the countries of the Greater Middle East in a quest for political, economic, and educational reform and for modernization in such countries. The Trust could be organized with the following guidelines: (1) Donors to the Trust could pool resources to deliver grants and work together to define the funding criteria for the Trust based on high priority needs identified by the recipients of such grants. (2) The contributors to the Trust could include wealthy countries of the Greater Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and others willing to invest in their own futures and take a stake in the Trust's success. (3) The Trust could be sensitive to cultural concerns of the people and governments of the countries of the Greater Middle East and could respect Islamic financial principles to ensure that the Trust will be accepted in the region. (4) The Trust could reflect advances in understanding of international development and be based on the models of the Africa Action Plan of the Group of Eight, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which represent a new form of social compact between governments and donors that does not superimpose a plan from donors but, instead, works with the recipient countries to plan and set priorities for assistance. (5) Contributors to the Trust could use independent indicators to judge if a candidate country is making strides to promote the rule of law, political and civil rights, combat corruption, and modernize economic and education systems. (6) The Trust could be a vehicle for action that would set broad goals and criteria and should include specific programs developed and offered by the countries that will receive assistance from the Trust. <all>
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