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6-Regulation: U.S. President Bush links fight for GE crops withfight against hunger



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TITLE:  President Delivers Commencement Address at Coast Guard
SOURCE: The White House, USA, News Release
        http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030521-2.html#
DATE:   May 21, 2003

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


President Delivers Commencement Address at Coast Guard
Remarks by the President in Commencement Address to United States Coast
Guard Academy Cadet Nitchman Field
New London, Connecticut


[Fact sheet] Fact Sheet
[listen] Audio



THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thanks for the warm welcome. Admiral
Collins and Admiral Olsen, Secretary Ridge, Lieutenant Governor Rell, Mr.
President, I'm glad you're here, thank you for coming, sir; Congressman
Simmons, the fine professors of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy,
distinguished guests, proud family members and the graduates. Thank you
for your welcome, and thank you for the honor of speaking to the newest
officers of the United States Coast Guard.

You know, I was born in this state, just down the road. (Laughter and
applause.) I've still got relatives living here. (Laughter.) And it looks
like some of them were up late last night painting Pride Rock. (Laughter
and applause.)

This is a proud day for the Class of 2003, I know you've worked hard to
get here. You've persevered through the rigors of Swab Summer, you've
faced difficult trials -- in the classroom, aboard Eagle. And now, with
silver dollars in your pockets, you're ready to become officers in our
nation's oldest, continuous sea-going service. You have shown each day
that you "revere honor" and that you "honor duty." You have made your
families, your professors and your country proud. On behalf of the
American people, thank you for choosing a life of service, and
congratulations on a great achievement. (Applause.)

I bring with me a small graduation present. Pursuant to the longstanding
tradition, I hereby grant amnesty to all cadets on restriction for minor
conduct offenses. (Laughter and applause.) I leave it up to Admiral Olsen
to determine the definition of "minor." (Laughter.)

Coast Guard Academy life is demanding, and it should be -- because you
are entrusted with solemn responsibilities, in peace and in war. America
counts on the Coast Guard to enforce maritime law, to secure our
waterways and ports, to rescue those in distress, and to intercept
illegal drugs. In this new century, we will count on you even more. The
men and women of this class are the first ever to graduate into the
Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with protecting the
American people against terrorist attacks. You are bringing a long
tradition of duty to this new and urgent task. Terrorists who seek to
harm our country now face your "Shield of Freedom." Every citizen can be
grateful that the Coast Guard stands watch for America.

[...]

America's national ambition is the spread of free markets, free trade,
and free societies. These goals are not achieved at the expense of other
nations, they are achieved for the benefit of all nations. America seeks
to expand, not the borders of our country, but the realm of liberty.

Our vision is opposed by terrorists and tyrants who attack a world they
can never inspire. This vision is also threatened by the faceless enemies
of human dignity: plague and starvation and hopeless poverty. And America
is at war with these enemies, as well.

The advance of freedom and hope is challenged by the spread of AIDS.
Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people are afflicted
with HIV/AIDS, including 3 million children under the age of 15. The
African continent has lost 7 million agricultural workers. In some
countries, almost a third of the teachers are HIV positive. A 15-year old
boy living in Botswana has an 80 percent chance of dying of AIDS. It is a
desperate struggle for any person, or any nation, to build a better
future in the shadow of death.

Yet, this shadow can be lifted. AIDS can be prevented, and AIDS can be
treated. Lives can be saved, and others extended by many years. In my
State of the Union Address in January, I put forward an Emergency Plan
for AIDS Relief, directing $15 billion over the next five years to fight
AIDS abroad. And we will especially focus our efforts on 14 African and
Caribbean countries where HIV/AIDS is heavily concentrated.

I'm pleased that both Houses of Congress have now passed a bill
authorizing these funds; I look forward to signing the bill next week.
(Applause.) The Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is the largest, single up
front commitment in history for an international public health initiative
involving a specific disease.

With this dramatic expansion of America's efforts, we will prevent 7
million new HIV infections; treat at least 2 million people with life-
extending drugs; and provide humane care for 10 million HIV-infected
individuals and AIDS orphans.

When I travel to Europe next week, I will challenge our allies to make a
similar commitment which will save even more lives. I will remind them
that the clock is ticking -- that every single day 8,000 more people will
die from AIDS in Africa. There will be 14,000 more infections. I will
urge our European partners, and Japan, and Canada, to join a great
mission of rescue, and to match their good intentions with real
resources. (Applause.)

The advance of freedom and hope in the world is also challenged by an
ancient enemy: famine. Our world produces more than enough food to feed
its 6 billion people. Yet tens of millions are at risk of starvation, and
millions more lack water fit for drinking. This crisis also is
concentrated in Africa. We have the ability to confront this suffering.
And we accept the duty, a old as the Scriptures, to comfort the afflicted
and to feed the hungry.

America is already the largest provider in the world of food relief --
giving more than $1.4 billion in global emergency food aid, and one-half
of all contributions to the World Food Program. And we are determined to
do more. I've committed to a nearly $1 billion initiative to provide
clean drinking water to 50 million people in the developing world. I've
also asked Congress to provide $200 million for a new Famine Fund, which
will give us the flexibility to act quickly when the first signs of
famine appear. I call on other nations to follow our lead by establishing
their own emergency funds. By saving time in responding to crisis, we
will save lives.

We can also greatly reduce the long-term problem of hunger in Africa by
applying the latest developments of science. I have proposed an
Initiative to End Hunger in Africa. By widening the use of new high-yield
bio-crops and unleashing the power of markets, we can dramatically
increase agricultural productivity and feed more people across the continent.

Yet, our partners in Europe are impeding this effort. They have blocked
all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears. This has
caused many African nations to avoid investing in biotechnologies, for
fear their products will be shut out of European markets. European
governments should join -- not hinder -- the great cause of ending hunger
in Africa. (Applause.)

We must also give farmers in Africa, Latin America and Asia and elsewhere
a fair chance to compete in world markets. When wealthy nations subsidize
their agricultural exports, it prevents poor countries from developing
their own agricultural sectors. So I propose that all developed nations,
including our partners in Europe, immediately eliminate subsidies on
agricultural exports to developing countries so that they can produce
more food to export and more food to feed their own people. (Applause.)

[...]

To fund this account, I have proposed a 50 percent increase in America's
core development assistance over the next three years. Under this
proposal, our annual development assistance eventually will be $5 billion
greater than it is today. I urge the Congress to give its full support to
the Millennium Challenge Account. And when I'm in Europe, I will call on
America's partners to join us in moving beyond the broken development
policies of the past, and encourage the freedom and reform that lead to
prosperity. (Applause.)

These goals -- advancing against disease, hunger and poverty -- will
bring greater security to our country. They are also the moral purpose of
American influence. They set an agenda for our government, and they give
idealistic citizens a great cause to serve. President Woodrow Wilson
said, "America has a spiritual energy in her which no other nation can
contribute to the liberation of mankind." In this new century, we must
apply that energy to the good of people everywhere.

[...]

Congratulations. May God bless the Class of 2003. May God continue to
bless the United States of America. Semper Paratus. (Applause.)


*****


Fact Sheet: the Advance of Freedom and Hope

"America's national ambition is the spread of free markets, free trade,
and free societies. These goals are not achieved at the expense of other
nations, they are achieved for the benefit of all nations. America seeks
to expand, not the borders of our country, but the realm of liberty. Our
vision is opposed by terrorists and tyrants who attack a world they can
never inspire. This vision is also threatened by the faceless enemies of
human dignity: plague and starvation and hopeless poverty. And America is
at war with these enemies, as well."

- President George W. Bush May 21, 2003

[read this release at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030522-5.html]