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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

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STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

By Mr. HAGEL (for himself and Mr. Lieberman):

S. 2305. A bill to authorize programs that support economic and political development in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia and support for three new multilateral institutions, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce The Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Act of 2004 with my colleague, Senator Lieberman. This bill supports economic and private sector development in the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 signaled a turning point in United States foreign policy. Al-Qaida and affiliated groups have established a terrorist network with linkages in Afghanistan, Pakistan, throughout the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, and around the world. The war on terrorism requires that the United States consider the Greater Middle East and Central Asia as a strategic region with its own political, economic and security dynamics. While rich in cultural, geographic and language diversity, the Greater Middle East and Central Asia face common impediments to economic development and political freedom. Although poverty and economic underdevelopment alone do not "cause" terrorism, the expansion of economic growth, free trade, and private sector development can contribute to an environment that undercuts radical political tendencies that give rise to terrorism.

The economic problems of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia cannot be considered in isolation. We must work with the governments and peoples of the region on a cohesive program of political and economic reforms that builds a better future. We cannot lose the next generation to hopelessness and despair. Our initiatives must support progress toward market economies, enhanced trade, the development of democratic institutions, expansion of citizen-to-citizen contacts, educational reform, and private sector development. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said that we cannot reach the UN's goals for improving health, education, and living standards over the next 12 years "without a strong private sector in the developing countries themselves, to create jobs and bring prosperity." This region needs more jobs, economic growth, a vibrant private sector, and good governance practices to help stabilize societies and lead to a stronger foundation for political reform and conflict prevention.

President Bush has committed the United States to a "forward strategy of freedom" in the Greater Middle East to combat terrorism and encourage reform in these countries. This is a multi-layered strategy, including increased spending and support for the National Endowment for Democracy, greater emphasis on public diplomacy, and initiating programs that support political liberalization and free markets. The G-8 summit in June and other forthcoming multi-lateral forums will provide opportunities to consult with our allies on many of these issues. Similarly, Senator DICK LUGAR, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has called for a Greater Middle East Twenty First Century Trust as part of a program of greater engagement with this region, and Senator JOSEPH BIDEN, ranking member on the committee, has proposed a Middle East Foundation to support political participation and civil society in the Middle East.

Our bill deepens and expands America's commitment to economic reform and private sector development in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia by authorizing $1 billion per year for five years and creating three new multilateral mechanisms: a Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Bank to promote private sector development; a Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Foundation to implement and administer economic and political programs; and a Trust for Democracy to provide small grants to promote development of civil society.

These are not traditional foreign aid programs. Our legislation seeks to help stimulate private sector development, promote strong market economies, invigorate trade relations within the region, and empower states to rebuild and open their economies. Through a combination of government initiative and flexible private sector financing, we can bring the resources and expertise needed to launch a new beginning for economic development to the Greater Middle East and Central Asia. Our bill also encourages the State Department and other relevant government agencies to consider new and creative approaches to coordination of political and economic support for the region.

Over the past 2 years, the United States has spent at least $120 billion on our military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Investing in political and economic development is equally important in order to achieve stability in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia. Promoting trade and economic growth in the region complements our political and diplomatic objectives in the war on terrorism. People need hope for better lives. We cannot succeed in our war on terrorism until hope replaces despair among the next generation in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

Just this week, the editorial page of the Omaha World-Herald, my State's leading newspaper, supported the Bush administration's efforts to encourage economic openness among Muslim nations. Our bill today complements these worthy initiatives. Working with our allies to encourage free market development and political liberalization in the Muslim countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia would create, in the World-Herald's words, "a win-win situation" for the United States and those Muslim countries.

I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows;

S. 2305

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Act of 2004".

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

The purpose of this Act is to authorize assistance for political freedom and economic development, particularly through private sector development, in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, including contributions to and participation in 3 new entities: a Trust for Democracy, a Development Foundation, and a Development Bank.

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, signaled a turning point in United States foreign policy.

(2) Al Qaeda and affiliated groups have established a terrorist network with linkages in Afghanistan, Pakistan, throughout the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, and around the world.

(3) The war on terrorism requires that the United States consider the Greater Middle East and Central Asia as a strategic region with its own political, economic, and security dynamics.

(4) While rich in cultural, geographic, and language diversity, the Greater Middle East and Central Asia face common impediments to economic development and political freedom.

(5) Although poverty and economic underdevelopment do not alone cause terrorism, the expansion of economic growth, free trade, and private sector development can contribute to an environment that undercuts radical political tendencies that give rise to terrorism.

(6) Given the relationship between economic and political development and winning the global war on terror, America's support for freedom in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia must be matched with expanded and new programs of partnership with the people and governments of the region to promote good governance, political freedom, private sector development, and more open economies.

(7) The United States and other donors should support those citizens of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia who share our desire to undertake reforms that result in more open political and economic systems.

(8) Turkey, which should be supported in its aspirations for membership in the European Union, plays a pivotal and unique role in efforts to bring economic development and stability to the Greater Middle East and Central Asia. [Page S4028]

(9) The President should seek new mechanisms to work together with European and other nations, as well as with the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia to promote political and economic development in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

(10) Because the dynamics of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia have a serious impact on global security, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should now shift its strategic focus to the region, including expanded roles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Mediterranean.

SEC. 4. DEFINITION; SPECIAL RULE.
(a) GREATER MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA DEFINED.-In this Act, the term "Greater Middle East and Central Asia" means the 22 nations of the Arab world (Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine/West Bank/Gaza, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen), Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
(b) SPECIAL RULE.-A country listed in subsection (a) may not receive assistance under this Act if such country is identified as a country supporting international terrorism pursuant to section 6(j)(1)(A) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (as in effect pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), section 40(d) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2780(d)), section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371), or any other provision of law.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF ASSISTANCE.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the President is authorized to provide assistance to countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia for the purpose of promoting economic and political freedoms, free trade, and private sector development, including the programs described in the following paragraphs:
(1) UNITED STATES CONTRIBUTION TO AND MEMBERSHIP IN A GREATER MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA DEVELOPMENT BANK.-The President is authorized to work with other donors and the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia to establish a Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Bank to promote private sector development, trade, including intra-regional trade, and investment in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

(2) CREATION OF A GREATER MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION.-The President is authorized to work with other donors and the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia to establish a multilateral Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Foundation to assist in the administration and implementation of assistance programs, including public-private programs, pursuant to this Act, with specific emphasis on programs at the grass-roots level, to include volunteer-based organizations and other nongovernmental organizations that support private sector development, entrepreneurship, and development of small- and medium-size enterprises and exchanges.

(3) CREATION OF TRUST FOR DEMOCRACY.-The President is authorized to establish, together with other donors and private sector and nongovernmental leaders from the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, a multilateral, public-private Trust for Democracy to support grass-roots development of civil society, democratic reform, good governance practices, and rule of law reform in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia. Private foundations shall be encouraged to participate in the Trust through the provision of matching funds.

SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING COORDINATION OF ASSISTANCE TO COUNTRIES OF THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA.
Recognizing the importance of coordination of assistance to the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, and the strategic imperatives required by the war on terrorism, it is the sense of Congress that-
(1) the Secretary of State and the heads of other relevant Government agencies should consider new approaches to the coordination of the provision of political and economic support for the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia; and

(2) the Secretary of State should consider appointing a Coordinator for Assistance to the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

SEC. 7. PROGRAM REPORTS.
(a) REQUIREMENT FOR REPORTS.-Beginning on January 31, 2005, and annually thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the progress of the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, the Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Bank, the Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Foundation, and the Trust for Democracy in developing more open political and economic systems and the degree to which United States assistance has been effective at promoting these changes.
(b) CONTENT.-The reports required by subsection (a) shall include general information regarding such progress and specific information on the progress of each of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Bank, the Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Foundation, and the Trust for Democracy in-
(1) encouraging entrepreneurial development and supporting growth of small- and medium-size enterprises in the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia;

(2) promoting private sector development, democratic political reform, good governance building, rule of law reform, and other appropriate goals in the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia;

(3) fostering intra-regional trade and investment by United States businesses and financial institutions in the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia;

(4) developing public-private partnerships to carry out the purpose of this Act; and

(5) encouraging the involvement of the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, and other donors in each institution.

SEC. 8. ENTERPRISE FUNDS REPORTS TO CONGRESS.
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a comprehensive report evaluating the appropriateness of the establishment of enterprise funds for 1 or more countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia. The report shall evaluate whether and to what extent enterprise funds might be an effective mechanism for promoting economic reform and investment in the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

SEC. 9. REPORT ON COORDINATION OF ASSISTANCE TO THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA.
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report that describes the measures that have been employed, and the measures that are planned to be employed, to improve the coordination within the Department of State and among the heads of the relevant Government agencies of the provision of support to the countries of the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

SEC. 10. NOTIFICATIONS TO CONGRESS REGARDING ASSISTANCE.
Section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2394-1) (relating to reprogramming notifications) shall apply with respect to obligations of funds made available to carry out this Act.

SEC. 11. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.-In addition to funds otherwise available for such purpose and for the countries to which this Act applies, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State to carry out the provisions of this Act, $1,000,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2005 through 2009.
(b) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.-Amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) shall remain available until expended.

Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I rise today, along with my friend and colleague from Nebraska, Senator HAGEL, to introduce the Greater Middle East and Central Asia Development Act of 2004. This would be a Marshall Plan for the Greater Middle East.

Let me put it in the context of the news we are receiving from Iraq today. While public opinion surveys that have been taken by independent groups have shown recently that the substantial majority of the people of Iraq, quite understandably, are grateful that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, and while a majority of them are optimistic about their future-a better life for themselves and their children-it is clear, of course, every day there is a growing group of Saddam loyalists left over from the previous regime, and terrorists, fanatical jihadists, insurgents who will attack and kill Americans and Iraqis to stop the forward movement of progress and freedom and prosperity in Iraq.

We clearly have to respond to that with force in defense of our values, of liberty, of freedom for the Iraqis. We have, if you will allow me to use Scriptural words, to employ our swords. But it is also true in Iraq and throughout the world that we will only win the war on terrorism if we use not just our swords but plowshares as well. That is what this piece of legislation Senator HAGEL and I are introducing today is all about.

I want to speak for a few moments about it. Senator HAGEL will be over later in the day to offer his remarks on the bill.

Madam President, a half century ago, at the dawn of the cold war, Congress authorized the Marshall Plan for Europe-a bold initiative inspired by Secretary of State George Marshall and premised on a simple but transformational idea: that to stop communism, we had to rebuild and democratize Europe. The Marshall Plan offered monetary aid, of course, but it offered much more. It was a national commitment of American values to transform the future of Europe by offering the Europeans the blessings of liberty and prosperity, and thereby linking, in the deepest way, Europe's future with our own. The same ideals and goals of the Marshall Plan can and must now be applied to the people of the Greater Middle East.

The predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East and Central Asia have, unfortunately, emerged at this moment in history as the cradle of fanatical Islamic jihadist terrorism. There is a great civil war being fought in the Arab world between the peace-loving, law-abiding majority of Muslims and the minority of jihadists. This civil war unleashed the violent terrorist forces that led to September 11, 2001, the attacks on America; March 11, 2004, the attacks on Spain; and the repeated attacks in places such as Fallujah in Iraq that are occurring almost every day. The outcome of our war against Islamic terrorists will be determined by the way in which we use our swords and our plowshares to determine the outcome of the civil war in the Muslim world.

To stop al-Qaida and other terrorist groups from expanding this civil war and recruiting a new generation of killers, we must use all of our military power to capture and kill the enemy. We must drain the swamps of terrorists in Iraq and wherever they grow.

At the same time we must combat the conditions that fuel terrorism and drive recruits to al-Qaida and hate and despair. To do this we must seed the garden, not just drain the swamp, with freedom, hope, and economic opportunity. If we invest in the political and economic future of the Middle East and Central Asia in our time, as we did in Europe with the Marshall plan after the end of the Second World War and at the beginning of the cold war, we will expand democracy's reach, choke off the terrorists, strengthen our own national security, and move the world toward greater peace.

That is the underlying premise of the legislation Senator HAGEL and I are introducing today. It is designed to complement our swords in the war against terrorism with the plowshares of political and economic assistance.

Our legislation is not soft. It is not welfare. It is in fact a different kind of warfare on the battlefield of ideas and ideologies, visions for the future. Although there are compelling humanitarian reasons for offering assistance to the people of the Greater Middle East, there are also compelling American national security reasons for doing so. The political and economic assistance Senator HAGEL and I are proposing might be though of as additional weapons in America's arsenal in the fight against terrorists.

Let me summarize what our legislation contains. We advocate making a major financial investment in the future of the Middle East and Central Asia. How we propose making this investment is in some ways as significant as how much we propose investing. The key to the success of our Marshall plan for the Middle East, as it was of the Marshall plan for Europe, is it is not a detailed list of programs. It is a statement of values and purposes. It is the creation of a structure to carry out those values and purposes, and it is a commitment of American and international resources to realize those purposes.

Our legislation would create three new international institutions that will support economic and political development in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia, open institutions that will require participation by representatives of the countries benefiting from this support, a partnership. Institutionalizing involvement of a wide group of donors and recipients will promote better cooperation and give ownership and accountability to the impacted nations and to the private reformers in those nations-key ingredients to successful foreign assistance.

The first new institution Senator HAGEL and I would create is a trust for democracy for the Middle East that would support the development of civil society in the region, not unlike efforts we made to help those who had the dream of freedom and opportunity in countries of the former Soviet Union, now living to experience that dream. Modeled on the Balkan Trust for Democracy, this institution we propose would marshal the support of civic leaders and reformers as well as private foundations to provide grants to worthy grassroots projects that support free association and promote civic responsibility, the building blocks of democracy.

Second, Senator HAGEL and I would build a multilateral development foundation that would provide a second track for assistance, together with other donors, assistance that would be additional to that already being provided bilaterally by the U.S. and other international donors. This foundation will be a public place where we and other donors can come together with the countries of the region to set priorities together, to work together for the greater good of this troubled region. Many countries in the Greater Middle East are richer than they are developed, meaning their wealth has not translated to economic progress for most of the people. We would invite all governments in the region to sit on the board of this foundation, and we would ask all to contribute financially and programmatically to it.

Finally, our legislation would establish a new Middle East and Central Asia development bank, like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This bank would include private sector participation and would underwrite large-scale infrastructure projects in the region. It would also have a microcredit lending facility and a project development facility.

We also believe it is important and necessary to make American assistance more effective. That is why we are calling for the establishment of an office of the coordinator for Greater Middle East and Central Asia at our Department of State. The creation of such an office would help ensure all assistance provided by any government agency of ours is in line with the overarching goals and objectives of our foreign policy. It would also give other donors and countries of the region a simple place to go when seeking information about the programs we would create.

With this collaborative structure in place, Senator HAGEL and I would authorize $5 billion in assistance over the next 5 years. That is no small sum. But it is in fact small in comparison to the tens of billions of dollars in today's money that were spent on the Marshall plan in Europe 50 years ago and the hundreds of billions of dollars we are spending now and will continue to have to spend for the military side of the war against terror. That figure, we believe, is the minimum required to have a positive, measurable impact in the region and to signal the seriousness of our intentions.

Earlier this month, civil society leaders from all over the Arab world gathered in Alexandria, Egypt to discuss an Arab reform agenda. At that meeting participants agreed on a declaration that calls for significant reforms that encompass the "political, economic, social, and cultural aspects" of society. The fact is the reforms those Arab world reformers seek are at least as far-reaching as those that are being suggested by others from the outside, including from the United States. I know there are similar reform efforts underway in Central Asia. They deserve our support.

In introducing this legislation today, Senator HAGEL and I hope to give new impetus to the discussions taking place in Washington and elsewhere about what we collectively can do to support political and economic reform in the Greater Middle East and to give the people in those great regions an alternative to a better life than the hatred and suicidal death al-Qaida offers.

The Bush administration has put forward serious proposal along the same lines as ours. It certainly has the same goals. This bill Senator HAGEL and I are introducing today is intended to build on that effort. We hope it helps shape the debate of the best method to implement, which should be one of partnership and collaboration along with a serious commitment of American resources.

In June, the United States will host the G-8 summit in Sea Island, GA. That summit will be followed by the U.S.-EU and NATO summits also in June. The future of the Greater Middle East will be placed high on the agenda of all those important meetings.

By introducing this legislation today, Senator HAGEL and I hope to enable our Government to go into these summits with the bipartisan support of the Congress and also to provide some direction as to what we believe should be done and how it might best be done. Senator HAGEL and I hope our colleagues will take a look at this proposal and join us in cosponsoring it and sending thereby a message no less profound and no less necessary than the message of the Marshall plan half a century ago, that the United States is serious about improving the lives and expanding the freedoms of the millions of people who live in the Greater Middle East and Central Asia.

Today, that is our most urgent international imperative. At the dawn of the cold war, America answered the challenge of communism by seeding a garden of peace, hope, and prosperity in Europe. Today, at the dawn of our current war against terrorism, it is equally essential that we answer the inhumane, barbaric threats of terrorism and acts of terrorism with all necessary force, but also by seeding the same kind of garden of peace, hope, and prosperity in the Greater Middle East.

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