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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] ...


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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>

Pages: 1

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