US Department of State 

Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991

Title:

The State Department: On the Front Lines of US Interests Abroad

Bush Source: President Bush Description: Remarks to Department of State employees, Washington, DC Date: Mar 27, 19913/27/91 Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Region: MidEast/North Africa Subject: State Department, Democratization [TEXT] Thank you all very much for that warm reception. I really wanted to come over here, and I really wanted to say thank you, and I wanted to address our foreign policy professionals and all those who support them. You are, indeed, the men and women on the front lines of American interests, both in war and in peace. And this recent situation [Gulf crisis] was no exception. Dwight Eisenhower once marveled at freedom's power to assemble "lightness against the dark." Well, I think that all of you showed that rather eloquently in this Gulf situation, indeed, in our victory in the Persian Gulf. You acted for right, against wrong. I don't know how each and every person here was motivated, but for me, very early on it became a clear choice of good versus evil, of right versus wrong. And when that happens it makes it easier to make some of the decisions. You spoke here, various officers, for dignity against oppression. And I salute you--I salute you on behalf of every American and all the freedom-loving peoples of the world. We do stand for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and no one tried harder to resolve the Gulf conflict peacefully than our Secretary of State Jim Baker and the entire State Department. You know, from August 1990 to January 15 of 1991--166 days--you conducted non-stop discussions in the hopes of reversing aggression, in the hopes of this peaceful settlement. Secretary of State Baker had more than 200 meetings with foreign dignitaries; 10 diplomatic missions; 6 congressional appearances. [The Bureau of] International Organizations and [US Ambassador to the UN] Tom Pickering, operating up in New York, put into effect--helped put into effect--12 UN resolutions. And over 103,000 miles traveled, on the Secretary's part, to talk with members of the UN, the Arab League, and the European Community. Every American staff [member], every consulate, every bureau, and every department here and abroad facilitated these missions. The American people will always remember the courage of Embassy Baghdad and Embassy Kuwait. You were called upon, those that served there, to do your duty, and you did so. You worked closely with our allies, this department did--an extraordinary coalition. I really believe that when history writes the final chapter on all of this, this coalition-- some might say disparate coalition--is going to be one of the highlights of what happened in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Indeed, I think all of your work inspired the American people. And you brought new respect, frankly--and deserved respect, in my view--to men and women for whom diplomacy is not merely a profession but a mission. During all of this, I recall several important meetings at the White House where I drew on the experience of, among others, Assistant Secretary [for Near East and South Asian Affairs John H.] Kelly, Ambassador [to Iraq April] Glaspie; [I] met also with the returning officers from Embassy Kuwait and Embassy [Baghdad]-- Ambassador [Nathaniel] Howell and Mr. [Joseph] Wilson [charg„] later on; and so many others that just did a wonderful job. That mission, your mission, of course, deals with the entire world, not only the Middle East. It's a mission you carried out even as war raged in the Persian Gulf. We forget that at a time all of this was going on, just by way of example, there were some very harrowing problems still remaining, I might add, in Liberia. And you look at other trouble spots in the world and things were going on, and those officers and those supporters of the missions there get very little credit for that. But you kept the foreign policy moving forward. You put out the fires, and you did a great job, even though not as much in the focus as those embassies in Kuwait and Baghdad. So you are dealing with the entire world. It went on, all that important work went on, even as war raged in the Persian Gulf. And then you--along with the finest soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines and Coast Guardsmen that any nation has ever known-- helped light the lamp of liberty. Now, I'd like to see us use that, and I know many here are already actively involved in this, in illuminating a new world order. I know that your jobs often are not comfortable or safe. The scroll--there's a scroll outside that I've seen that tells the tale. Far too many Foreign Service officers have made the supreme sacrifice for this nation and the values it holds dear. And every day you guard this nation's freedom. In coming weeks, we'll be working together to shape this order--and in trying to bring peace, lasting peace, to the Middle East and every corner of the globe. We're talking about Lebanon; we're talking about the Palestine- Israel situation; we're talking about security and stability in the Gulf itself. And our efforts are going to be critical to the solution of the problems in those three areas and so many others. But for now, let me simply leave you with a word of thanks, I'd say, on behalf of the entire coalition--and in memory of those who gave what Abraham Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion." So thank you all very, very much. I am very proud of you. I expect there are some times you wonder whether we know you exist way over 4 or 5 blocks away at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And there are probably some times you wish we didn't know you existed. You can interpret that any way you want. But I've had the privilege since 1971, when I was the permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, to work closely with many people, some--many--of whom are here today. Not so many old guys left, but quite a few. And it's been a joy, and it's been an honor, and I support you. I just came over to say thanks. Thank you very much. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

GATT and the Uruguay Round

Date: Apr 1, 19914/1/91 Category: Fact Sheets Subject: Trade/Economics [TEXT] Since the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was established in 1947, a vastly more complex trading system has evolved. Now more than one-third (about $1 trillion) of world trade is inadequately covered by international trade rules. In 1986, the eighth round of GATT was launched in Uruguay as the most ambitious trade negotiations ever. More than 100 countries currently participate in talks which aim to strengthen and expand the global trading system. Unlike previous GATT rounds, developing countries play an active role in every aspect of the negotiations. The US government led the call for the far-reaching agenda of the Uruguay Round. Congress established US negotiating objectives for the Uruguay Round in the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of August 1988. Trade issues include the opening of world markets and establishment of international rules of fair play in areas vital to US competitiveness--services, investment, agriculture, and intellectual property. The negotiations comprise four categories: -- Market access (tariffs and non-tariff measures, natural resource based products, tropical products, and textiles); -- New areas of services, trade-related intellectual property rights, and trade-related investment measures; -- Agriculture; and -- GATT rules (dispute settlement, safeguards, balance-of- payments reform, and the non-tariff measure codes, including subsidies and anti-dumping). Unlike previous GATT negotiating rounds, developing countries are active participants in every aspect of the negotiations.
US Objectives
The Administration is committed to ensuring that the Uruguay Round results in agreements that truly meet US objectives. This resolve was demonstrated at Brussels in December 1990 when the United States and other nations decided that it was better to end the ministerial meeting without result rather than to lower ambitions and accept minimal Uruguay Round agreements. The negotiations formally resumed in all areas on February 26, 1991, when a framework to negotiate agricultural reform was reached. The pace of the negotiations will depend on how quickly an agreement on agriculture is reached. The United States will not accept an inadequate agreement and will continue to negotiate to obtain a satisfactory result since a successful Uruguay Round would bring substantial benefits to the United States and other countries.
Benefits to the US Economy
Since the Uruguay Round was launched in 1986, export expansion has been responsible for 40% of total growth in US GNP. In 1990, export growth accounted for 88% of US GNP growth. An open multilateral trading system is the best guarantee that expansion of these export opportunities continues into the next century, and the Uruguay Round is the most important initiative to expand them. Specifically, a successful Uruguay Round would bring such benefits to the US economy as: -- Lower tariff and non-tariff barriers to manufactured products and other goods, which could increase world output by $5 trillion, and US output by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years--equivalent to an additional $16,000 for every American family of four; -- Rules to protect the intellectual property of US entrepreneurs, who lose $60 billion annually through the theft and counterfeiting of their ideas; -- New markets for US services firms, which export $115 billion annually and generate 90% of new US jobs; -- An agreement opening world markets to investment, which helps generate $240 billion, or two-thirds of total US exports in goods; -- Fair competition and open markets in agriculture, creating new opportunities for American farmers, who lead the world with more than $40 billion in annual exports; -- The full participation of developing countries in the global trading system, which could increase US exports by $200 billion over the next 10 years; and -- Strengthened rules on dispute settlement, anti-dumping, subsidies, and trade remedy provisions that should provide predictability and certainty in access to foreign markets and to ensure fair trade at home. Failure to extend fast-track authority will end the Uruguay Round negotiations and increase worldwide pressures to raise trade and investment barriers. A sufficiently sharp movement away from open markets could contribute to a global recession, as it did in the 1930s. Although the ultimate outcome of the Uruguay Round cannot be guaranteed, continued negotiations may lead to a successful round, which is overwhelmingly in the United States' long-term economic interest. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

Export Growth and Fast-Track

Date: Jan 7, 19911/7/91 Category: Fact Sheets Region: North America Country: Mexico, Canada, United States Subject: Trade/Economics [TEXT] Export expansion has been a vital source of economic growth for the US economy in recent years. Since 1986, US merchandise exports have expanded by nearly 75%, rising from $246 billion in 1986 (constant 1982 dollars) to $424 billion in 1990. This $178 billion expansion in exports accounted for more than 40% of the 4-year growth in US GNP. In 1990, merchandise exports expanded by 8.6% ($33 billion) and accounted for 88% of US GNP. Export growth boosts the economy by spurring investment in the manufacturing and other export sectors. While the economy expanded by only 0.9% last year, investment in producers' durable equipment rose nearly three times faster (2.4%) than the rate of economic growth, stimulated in part by export expansion. Such expansion should help moderate the current economic downturn and hasten the recovery. The current outlook for a relatively short, shallow recession hinges in part on sustained export growth. To add one percentage point to GNP growth, US exports of goods and services only need to grow by 6.6% this year. Last year, goods and services exports grew by 6.2%. This year's export outlook is good since moderation of the dollar exchange rate over the last year has increased the price competitiveness of US goods and services in many foreign markets; demand growth is expected to be stronger abroad than at home in the period ahead; and American firms and workers in the export sector have enhanced their international competitiveness in recent years. Manufactured exports have grown extremely rapidly since 1986, and manufacturing as a share of US GNP (in constant dollars) reached a post-World War II record high of 23% in 1988 (the most recent data). During the 1980s, US efforts to resist the imposition of new barriers against American producers and to further open foreign markets to US exports have created a favorable overseas environment for US export expansion.
Export Growth Vital to Economic Expansion
From a 1987 peak of $152 billion, the US merchandise trade deficit fell to $101 billion last year. The trade deficit is likely to continue to decline as the federal budget deficit is reduced and domestic saving strengthened. These adjustments at home and abroad not only should lower the US trade deficit but also sustain the potential for strong US export expansion. To do so, the United States must be in a position to successfully complete the Uruguay Round and to negotiate freer trade for the Western Hemisphere. Strong export growth will be vital if the reduction of the trade deficit is to take place in the context of healthy US economic expansion. It is estimated that a successful completion of the Uruguay Round could increase US GNP by as much as $1.1 trillion over 10 years (1989 purchasing power). That translates into an average income gain of $16,000 for a family of four over the same period.
Fast-Track--Key to Continued Growth
The current economic environment is generally favorable to US export expansion but failure to renew fast-track authority would be the death knell for Administration efforts to successfully complete the Uruguay Round and to negotiate a North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. Under fast-track procedures, Congress can only approve without amendments or reject the bill implementing the free-trade agreement. US export potential would suffer if the Administration cannot negotiate broad foreign- market-opening agreements. A failure of the Uruguay Round might lead to increased pressure to raise trade and investment barriers around the world. Just as falling barriers over the last four decades have stimulated growth in trade and living standards, increasing barriers could reduce trade and economic growth. A sufficiently sharp movement away from open markets could contribute to a global recession. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

Country Profile: Namibia

Date: Apr 1, 19914/1/91 Category: Country Data Region: Subsaharan Africa Country: Namibia Subject: History, Trade/Economics, International Organizations [TEXT] Official Name: Republic of Namibia
Geography
Area: 823,145 sq. km. (320,827 sq. mi.); the size of Texas and Louisiana combined. Cities: Capital--Windhoek (pop. 160,000, est. 1990). Other cities-- Tsumeb, Keetmanshoop, Oranjemund, Otjiwarongo, Luderitz, Swakopmund. Terrain: Varies from coastal desert to semiarid mountains and plateau. Climate: Subtropical.
People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Namibian(s). Population (1990 est.): 1.5 million. Annual growth rate (1990 est.): 3%. Ethnic groups: Black 87%; white 6%; mixed race 7%. Religions: Predominantly Christian; also indigenous beliefs. Languages: English is the official language of Namibia; Afrikaans, German, and various indigenous dialects also are spoken. Education: Years compulsory--to age 16. Attendance--(1983) whites, nearly 100%; others, 16%. Literacy--whites (1989), nearly 100%; others, 30%. Health: Infant mortality rate-- 72/1,000. Life expectancy--57 yrs. male; 62 yrs. female. Work force (est. 200,000 in 1990): Agriculture, forestry, and fishing--20%. Community services--19%. Mining--5%. Government-- 21%. Manufacturing--5%. Construction--5%. Transportation, communications, and utilities--5%. Commerce and finance--18%.
Government
Type: Republic as of March 21, 1990. Branches: Executive--president (elected for a 5-year term). Legislative--National Assembly (72 members); a second house, the National Council, will be established within the first 5 years of independence. Judicial--Supreme Court, the High Court, and lower courts. Subdivisions: 14 administrative regions. Major political parties: South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF), and Action Christian National (ACN). Suffrage: Universal adult. Central government budget: $1 billion. Flag: Rectangular with a diagonal red band in middle; upper left zone is blue with gold sun with 12 straight rays; lower zone is green.
Economy
GDP (1989): $2 billion. Annual growth rate: 2%. Per capita GDP: $1,400. Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, uranium, lead, tin, zinc, salt, vanadium, fisheries, and wildlife. Agriculture (11% of GDP in 1989): Products--beef, karakul (sheep) pelts, wool, other meat, fish. Mining: 29% of GDP in 1989; manufacturing, mainly food processing (5%). Trade: Exports (1989)--$1 billion: diamonds, copper, lead, uranium, beef, cattle, fish, karakul pelts. Imports (1989)--$900 million: foodstuffs, construction material, manufactured goods. Major partners--South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Germany, UK, US. Fiscal year: April 1-March 31. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

US Expands Orderly Departure for Vietnamese Refugees

Date: Apr 1, 19914/1/91 Category: Fact Sheets Region: East Asia Country: Vietnam Subject: Refugees [TEXT] On April 1, 1991, the United States will implement an expansion of the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) for refugees and immigrants from Vietnam. US officials will be stepping up monthly interviews from 7,500 to 10,000. During the summer, monthly departures will increase from 6,000 to 8,000 persons. This will speed the processing of pending cases and promote legal emigration as a safe and predictable alternative to boat departures, which remain a highly uncertain and dangerous route to possible resettlement. Boat people who survive perils at sea, such as sinking and pirates, are confined in restrictive camps for indefinite periods awaiting screening decisions as to their claims to refugee status. Those found not to be bona fide refugees will not be resettled.
Background
The ODP affords the Vietnamese a safe and legal means of leaving their country for resettlement. The program comprises three groups: Vietnamese immigrants and public interest parolees, refugees, and Amerasian immigrants. The United States is the largest participant in the ODP, resettling more than two-thirds of all applicants within its borders. In fiscal year 1990, the figure was more than 45,000.
Goals of US Expansion
The ODP expansion is expected to: -- Clear the present backlog of current immigrant visa cases by the end of 1991 and reduce the time it takes for eligible applicants to be interviewed and sent on their way; -- Accelerate the resettlement of former reeducation detainees; -- Complete Amerasian interviews by mid-1992; and -- Give applicants a clear sense of how soon ODP will consider their cases. The goal of 10,000 persons a month will nearly double the rate of 1 year ago. The increase is possible because the large immigrant caseload will allow us to use both annual immigration numbers and refugee admission ceilings.
Acceleration by US Agencies
The Department of State and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) have contributed to the acceleration by clarifying our policies, procedures, and interagency relationships in the ODP. Priorities have been clarified and ODP has been separated into two distinct tracks: -- An immigration track for those seeking to be reunited with relatives already resettled in the United States; and -- A refugee track for those who suffered persecution because of close association with the US in Vietnam prior to 1975.
Vietnamese Cooperation
The Vietnamese, particularly during the past year, have cooperated in facilitating interviews and granting exit permission. This cooperation must continue for ODP expansion to succeed.
Vietnamese Immigrants and Parolees
By the end of 1991, the United States intends to interview all 25,000 current immigrant visa petition beneficiaries who are on Vietnamese family reunification lists received through August 1990. In addition, it will interview those not yet received but on the Vietnamese lists by the end of 1992. It will continue to interview non-current immigrant visa applicants as well--if they are unmarried and part of an immediate family that also includes at least one current visa beneficiary. Provided the applicants are otherwise admissible, INS will offer public interest parole to these individuals, who are primarily adult siblings of US citizens applying with their parents.
Refugees
INS will continue to interview former political prisoners for refugee status in accordance with the US-Vietnamese Special Released Reeducation Center Detainees Resettlement Program and Technical Annex. Refugee interviews will also be granted to former US government employees in Vietnam, with priority given to those with 5 years or more of service. Spouses and minor children of refugees in the US will continue to be processed as refugees. On an exceptional basis, refugee interviews will also be granted in other compelling cases.
Amerasian Immigrants
Amerasian immigrants will continue to be processed and receive refugee benefits in accordance with the "Amerasian Homecoming" amendment. Additional family members not eligible under the legislation will await normal current immigrant visa processing, except in cases of dependency such as physical or mental impairment where the remaining family members would be unable to support themselves. Under recent amendments to the legislation, married Amerasians may now be accompanied by their mothers, stepfathers, and half-siblings under age 21, in addition to their spouses and children. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

Country Profile: Vietnam

Date: Apr 1, 19914/1/91 Category: Country Data Region: East Asia Country: Vietnam Subject: History, Trade/Economics, International Organizations [TEXT] Official Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Geography
Area: 329,700 sq. km. (127,330 sq. mi.); larger than Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina combined. Cities: Capital--Hanoi (3 million); Other cities--Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) (4 million); Haiphong (1.5 million). Terrain: Varies from mountainous to coastal delta. Climate: tropical monsoon.
People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Vietnamese (sing. and pl.). Population (1989 census): 64 million. Annual growth rate (1989 census): 2%. Ethnic groups: Vietnamese (85%-90%), Chinese, Muong, Thai, Khmer, Cham, mountain groups. Religions: Buddhism, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian (Roman Catholic and Protestant), animism, Islam. Languages: Vietnamese (official), French, Chinese, Khmer, mountain area languages. Literacy (1989): 80%. Health (1989): Birth rate--33/1000. Infant mortality rate-- 51/1000. Life expectancy--62 yrs. male, 66 yrs. female.
Government
Type: Communist people's republic. Independence: Sept. 2, 1945. Reunification: July 2, 1976. Constitution: Dec. 18, 1980. Branches: Executive--Council of Ministers; State Council (Collective Chief of State); "People's Committees" governing in local jurisdictions. Legislative--National Assembly; locally, people's councils. Judicial--Supreme People's Court. Administrative subdivisions: 40 provinces, 3 municipalities under central government control, one special zone. Political party: Vietnamese Communist Party, formerly (1951-76) Vietnam Worker's Party, itself the successor of the Indochinese Communist Party founded in 1930. Suffrage: Universal over 18. Central government budget: Revenues $3 billion; expenditures $4 billion, including $500 million in capital expenditures (1987). Defense: Current figures not available; 45% of central government budget (1987 est.). Flag: Red with large yellow star centered.
Economy
GDP: $14 billion (1988). Real growth rate: 6% (1988). Per capita income: $200 (1987). Inflation rate: 75% (1989 est.). Natural resources: Phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil deposits, forests, rubber, marine products. Agriculture (40% of GDP; 38% of export earnings): Products--rice, rubber, fruit, vegetables, corn, manioc, sugar cane, coffee, fish. Cultivated land--less than 7 million hectares per year. Land use-- 30% arable; 60% forest and woodland; 10% other. Industry (27% of GDP; 34% of total exports): Food processing, textiles, cement, chemical fertilizers, steel, and electric power. Trade (1988): Exports--$880 million: primarily agricultural and handicraft products, seafood, rubber, wood flooring, coffee, coal. Major partners--USSR (60%). Eastern Europe, Japan, France, Singapore, Hong Kong. Imports--$2 billion: petroleum, steel products, transport-related equipment, chemicals, fertilizers, medicines, raw cotton. Major partners--USSR (74%), Eastern Europe, Japan. Fiscal year: Calendar year.
Membership in International Organizations
UN and some of its specialized agencies--Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)--Asian Development Bank (ADB), Colombo Plan, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, INTELSAT, Mekong Committee, Nonaligned Movement.(###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

Women and US Foreign Policy

Date: Apr 1, 19914/1/91 Category: Features Region: North America Country: United States Subject: Human Rights, State Department, Democratization [TEXT] "It is important for women to be a part of the foreign policy process. . . but there is not a 'women's agenda'. . . we can only succeed if women do not let themselves be diverted from the mainstream issues." Those are the views of Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs, Avis T. Bohlen, who spoke at a State Department briefing marking Women's History Month. Ms. Bohlen is responsible for managing America's complex political, economic, and military relationship with NATO. At one time, she was the only American woman to hold a key position in the arms control field. Former Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs, Rozanne Ridgway, decried the practice of encouraging women to focus on "women's issues," such as population control and human rights. Ambassador Ridgway, who is now president of the Atlantic Council, said that it is important for women like Deputy Assistant Secretary Bohlen to take charge of the "central issues of war and peace, arms and armies." Ms. Bohlen and Ambassador Ridgway were among several speakers to brief about 300 women from around the country who attended a series of briefings sponsored by the Department's Bureau of Public Affairs in March.
Women Leaders Challenge Traditional Roles
"There is a heightened awareness of what the State Department deals with on a daily basis," said Martha Farmar, National Director of the Foundation for Women Resources which sponsored more than 100 women in a "Leadership America" forum briefing on March 4. "Women have a tremendously wide sphere of influence," she said; "For them to be able to go back to their constituents and cite a State Department briefing not only empowers the women but enables them to share the latest information where it will count the most." For participant Linda Chezem, an Indiana Court of Appeals judge, women's input into US foreign affairs can help counter the status quo. "Male-dominated policy-making typically doesn't have a firm focus on women," said Chezem, who has studied emerging legal systems in the Third World and Eastern Europe. She added, "The more people are informed about the foreign policy agenda, the more support officials have to make good foreign policy. In the end, we all benefit." First-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and traditions also can be put to good use in policy-making, helping to abolish stereotypes. Margarita Colmenares, National President of the Hispanic Society of Professional Engineers, was interested in the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement and other issues concerning Central and South America. "As Hispanics, we have a unique expertise and knowledge," she said. "I believe there's a gut feeling on both sides that the agreement is a really necessary step if we are to compete in the world community--whether we like it or not." The March briefings were held off-the-record to promote a frank exchange between participants and officials. For Phyllis Davis-Williams, president of her own rehabilitation service for the disabled in Michigan, the frank dialogue on foreign affairs was an "eye opener." "It made me stop and focus on foreign policy's impact on domestic life," she said. "The fact is, the world is getting smaller." Ms. Davis-Williams said she would use knowledge gleaned from the briefings to interpret foreign affairs in educational and community forums back home.
Role in Mainstream Issues
Deputy Assistant Secretary Bohlen and Ambassador Ridgway briefed about 100 women at the Department on March 15 in a session co- sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). They cautioned against reading too much into their own professional successes, noting that women continue to be under-represented in the senior foreign policy ranks. However, Ms. Bohlen said the "good news" is that the US government is "way out in front" in promoting the interests of American women. "We set an example to the rest of the world," she said; "I feel very proud of that when I go abroad." Women now comprise almost 50% of incoming Foreign Service classes, which average about 150 people. By comparison, in Ambassador Ridgway's 1957 entering class, there were only 6 women--and Ms. Ridgway was the only one who enjoyed a full career. Ambassador Ridgway concluded that women in the Foreign Service can "make an enormous contribution to creating the kind of international environment in which we can all pursue prosperity, ideas, and knowledge." -- by Deborah Guido O'Grady, Dispatch Staff
Public Outreach Services
An array of organizations representing the American political spectrum regularly engage Department foreign policy-makers in Washington and at events around the country. "Briefings are an important communications link between the Department and American opinion leaders," explains Carol Lancaster Milano, Director of the Office of Public Liaison. She and her 22- member staff coordinate more than 1,200 events --briefings, conferences, and speaking trips--every year. Ms. Milano stresses, however, that "you don't have to belong to an organization to express a view on foreign policy." She encourages the public to call or write the Public Information Service at 202-647-6575, Room 5819, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-6810. Organizations wishing to explore options for State Department events should contact the Public Liaison Office for Washington Programs at 202-647-1710 or for Regional Programs at 202-647-2176. (###)
US Department of State Dispatch, Vol 2, No 13, April 1, 1991 Title:

Country Profile: Netherlands

Date: Apr 1, 19914/1/91 Category: Country Data Region: Europe Country: Netherlands Subject: History, International Organizations, Trade/Economics, Democratization, Military Affairs [TEXT] OFFICIAL NAME: REPUBLIC OF NETHERLANDS
Geography
Area: 41,473 sq. km. (16,464 sq. mi.). Cities: Capital-- Amsterdam (pop. 687,450). Others--The Hague, seat of government, (pop. 449,350); Rotterdam, principal port (pop. 558,850); Utrecht (pop. 231,750). Terrain: Coastal lowland. Climate: Northern maritime.
People
Nationality: Noun--Dutchmen and Dutchwomen. Adjective--Dutch. Ethnic Groups: Predominantly Dutch; largest minority communities are Moroccans, Turks, Surinamese, and Indonesians. Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, nonaffiliated, and other. Language: Dutch. Education: Years compulsory--10. Attendance--nearly 100%. Literacy--98%. Health: Infant mortality rate--6/1,000. Life expectancy--76 yrs. (males, 73 yrs.; females, 79 yrs.). Work force (1985): 6 million. Agriculture--1.4%. Trade--17%. Industry--30%. Services--45%.
Government
Type: Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. Constitution: 1814 and 1848. Branches: Executive--monarch (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Cabinet. Legislative--bicameral parliament (First and Second Chambers). Judicial--Supreme Court. Subdivisions: 12 provinces. Political parties: Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Labor Party (PvdA), Liberal Party (VVD), Democrats '66 (D'66), other minor parties. Suffrage: Universal over 18. Defense (1989): 3% of GNP. Flag: Three horizontal stripes: red, white, and blue.
Economy
GNP (1989): $224 billion. GNP per capita (1988): $15,000. Per Capita Income (1989): $13,424; 1988, $13,800. Inflation (1989): 1%. Unemployment (1989): 6%. Gov't deficit/GNP (1989): 5%. Natural resources: Natural gas. Agriculture (4% of Net National Income (NNI)): Products--dairy, poultry, meat, flower bulbs, cut flowers, vegetables/fruits, sugar beets, potatoes, wheat, barley, oats. Industry (19% of NNI): Types--steel, metal products, electronics, bulk chemicals, natural gas, petroleum products, transport equipment. Trade (1989): Exports--$103 billion: mineral fuels, chemical products, machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs. Imports- -$104 billion: mineral fuels and crude petroleum, machinery, chemical products, foodstuffs. Major trade partners--FRG, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, UK, US. Foreign Development aid: 1.5% of NNI, (1990 est.: $3 billion).
Membership in International Organizations
UN, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), European Community (EC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Monetary System, BENELUX Economic Union, European Space Agency (ESA), INTELSAT, Western European Union, and others.
GOVERNMENT
The present constitution dates from 1848 and has been amended several times. The first-level administrative divisions are the 12 provinces, each governed by a locally elected provincial council and a provincial executive appointed by members of the provincial council. The province is formally headed by a queen's commissioner appointed by the crown. The government is based on the principles of ministerial responsibility and parliamentary government. It is composed of three institutions: the crown, the States General, and the courts. The Crown. The queen is the titular head of state. Her function is largely ceremonial, but she does have some influence deriving from the traditional veneration of the House of Orange (from which Dutch monarchs for more than three centuries have been chosen), the personal qualities of the queen, and her power to appoint the formateur, who forms the Council of Ministers following elections. The Council of Ministers plans and implements government policy. Most ministers also head government ministries, although ministers without portfolio exist. The ministers, collectively and individually, are responsible to the States General (parliament). Unlike the British system, Dutch ministers cannot simultaneously be members of parliament. The Council of State, a constitutionally established advisory body to the government, consists of members of the royal family and crown-appointed members generally having political, commercial, diplomatic, or military experience. The Council of State must be consulted by the cabinet on proposed legislation before a law is submitted to parliament. The Council of State also serves as a channel of appeal for citizens against executive branch decisions. The States General. The Dutch parliament consists of two houses, the First Chamber and the Second Chamber. Historically, Dutch governments have been based on the support of a majority in both houses of parliament. The Second Chamber is by far the more important of the two houses. It alone has the right to initiate legislation and amend bills submitted by the Council of Ministers and shares with the First Chamber the right to question ministers and state secretaries. The Second Chamber consists of 150 members, directly elected for a 4-year term (unless the government falls prematurely) on the basis of a nationwide system of proportional representation. This system means that members represent the whole country, rather than individual districts as in the United States, and are normally elected on a party slate, not on a personal basis. The electoral system makes a coalition government almost inevitable. Elections for the Second Chamber were held in September 1989. New elections are not constitutionally required until 1993. The First Chamber is composed of 75 members elected for 4- year terms by the 12 provincial legislatures. It cannot initiate or amend legislation, but its approval of bills passed by the Second Chamber is required before bills become law. The First Chamber generally meets only once a week, and its members usually have other full-time jobs. The last First Chamber was constructed as a result of provincial assembly elections in June 1987; the chamber will next be revised following such elections in March 1991. The Courts. The judiciary comprises 62 cantonal courts, 19 district courts, five courts of appeal, and a supreme court which has 24 justices. All judicial appointments are made by the crown. Judges are nominally appointed for life but, in fact, are retired at age 70.
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
From the end of World War II until December 1958, The Netherlands was governed by a series of coalitions built on a Labor-Catholic base. Since 1958, governments have been formed primarily from a center-right coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Liberals. The social democratic-oriented Labor Party generally has been in opposition, except between 1973-77 and briefly from April 1965 to October 1966, and from September 1981 to May 1982. The Labor Party is part of the present coalition. The current government, formed in November 1989, is a center-left coalition of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and Liberal (VVD) parties headed by Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers of the CDA. The government has the support of 103 of the 150 members of the Second Chamber who represent 10 political parties. The four largest parties hold 137 of the 150 seats. They are: -- The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), which was formed from a merger of the Catholic People's Party and two Protestant parties, the Anti-Revolutionary Party and the Christian- Historical Union. The merger process, begun in the early 1970s to attempt to stem the tide of losses suffered by religiously based parties, was completed in 1980. The CDA occupies the political center among the major Dutch political parties. It supports free enterprise and NATO membership and holds to the principle that government activity should supplement but not supplant communal action by citizens. On the political spectrum, the CDA sees its philosophy as standing between the "individualism" of the Liberals and the "statism" of the Labor Party. The CDA won 54 seats in 1989 parliamentary elections. This equaled the party's strong showing in the 1986 elections. -- The Labor Party (PvdA), a European social democratic party, which is left of center. Labor has 49 seats in the current Second Chamber, which makes it the second largest party after the CDA. The party joined the CDA to form the present government, after having spent most of the past 11 years in opposition. Labor's program is based on greater social, political, and economic equality for all citizens, although in recent years the party has begun to debate the role of central government in that process. The PvdA supports Dutch NATO membership but has been critical of some alliance policies, particularly regarding nuclear weapons. Although called the "Labor Party," it has no formal links to trade unions. -- The Liberal Party (VVD), which is "liberal" in the European, rather than American, sense of the word. It thus attaches great importance to private enterprise and the freedom of the individual in political, social, and economic affairs. The VVD is generally seen as the most conservative of the major parties and solidly supports most NATO policies. The VVD was the junior partner in two governing coalitions with the CDA from 1982-89, but is now in opposition with 22 seats in the Second Chamber. -- The Democrats '66 (D'66), largest of the "small" parties in the Dutch parliament. The electoral fortunes of D'66 have fluctuated widely since the party's founding in 1966. The 12 seats it currently holds are slightly above the historical average of the party's showing over the last 20 years. D'66 is a center-left party, generally portrayed as between the CDA and PvdA, with its strongest support among young, urban, professional voters. D'66 is currently an opposition party.
ECONOMY
The Dutch economy is based on private enterprise. Although the government has little direct ownership or participation, it heavily influences the economy, with more than 45% of the gross national product (GNP) involved in its operations and social programs (including transfer payments). The government plays a significant economic role through the many permit requirements and regulations pertaining to almost every aspect of economic activity. Services, which account for more than half of the national income, are primarily in transport and financial areas such as banking and insurance. Industrial activity provides about 22% of the national income and is dominated by the metalworking, oil-refining, chemical, and food-processing industries. Construction amounts to about 9% of the national income. Agriculture and fishing, although visible and traditional Dutch activities, account for slightly more than 4%. Foreign trade heavily influences the open Dutch economy, with exports accounting for 66% of GNP. The Netherlands finds a liberal commercial policy advantageous and participates in the European Community (EC), the Benelux Economic Union, and the European Monetary System. It firmly supports the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and multilateral trade negotiations to establish freer and expanded world trade. The recent political developments in Eastern Europe are not expected to have significant effects on the Dutch economy during the next few years because the Dutch level of trade and investment in those countries is very low. In 1959, the vast Slochteren gasfield in Groningen Province began production and is now one of the world's largest producing natural gasfields. In addition, The Netherlands also discovered gas on the North Sea's continental shelf. At present, total proven natural gas reserves (mainland and North Sea) amount to 1.2 trillion cubic meters. The reserves of other Dutch gasfields, including the Dutch North Sea sector, total about 24% of those of Slochteren. Current gas production is running annually at about 72 billion cubic meters, roughly half of which is exported to EC member countries. General government revenues from natural gas totaled about $8.7 billion in 1986 and accounted for more than 14% of total government revenue, dropping to $2.9 billion in 1989 (4% of revenue). Dutch economic growth has improved after several years of lackluster performance. The annual growth rate in 1989 was 4.2%, while inflation remained at 1%. Corporate investment has been high. Currently, The Netherlands' balance-of-payments account shows a strong surplus. The CDA/VVD coalition under Prime Minister Lubbers has agreed on the broad outlines of its economic policy for the 1990-94 period, leaving the basic goals of the previous government intact but changing its emphasis. The new policies will boost public spending on the environment by $3 billion and on education, housing, social security, and health by $1 billion over the next 4 years. Defense spending will grow by just 0.6% in 1990 and 1991 and will be frozen in 1992 and 1993. In total, the new policy measures will increase public spending by more than $2 billion per year by 1994. Environmental Policy. Awareness of the environment plays a major role in Dutch life. In 1988, The Netherlands spent 1.3% of its GNP on environmental protection--almost twice as much per capita as in the United States. The Dutch Ministry of Environmental Affairs has released an ambitious and expensive--$3 billion-- environmental plan for 1990-94. Under this plan, Dutch industry will be required to double its spending on environmental protection. By 1994, industry will have to spend an extra $1 billion each year to meet stricter pollution control guidelines. In November 1989, Prime Minister Lubbers presented his government's proposals to the States General. The Dutch goal is to make production and consumption compatible with the conditions of sustainable development within one generation. In June 1990, a supplement to the environmental plan was submitted, including plans for a reduction in CO2 emissions by 2000. To finance this program, a CO2 levy has been introduced, which is expected to generate $75 million in 1990. This will be spent on anti-acidification measures ($20 million), energy conservation ($30 million), and promotion of public transport ($25 million).
DEFENSE
The defense structure of The Netherlands comprises the Ministry of Defense and the various branches of the armed forces. Political responsibility for the defense of The Netherlands lies with the minister of defense and the state secretary for defense. The Dutch, as members of NATO, are engaged in arms control negotiations with members of the Warsaw Pact which will affect the size and equipment of the participants' conventional military forces. The Royal Netherlands Army Forces (RNAF) has a total peacetime personnel strength of about 123,000 military and civilians. The Royal Netherlands Navy is composed of escort ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters, a mine countermeasure force, and a Marine Corps, as well as the necessary supporting elements. Priority has been given to anti-submarine warfare, with emphasis on air defense and surface warfare. The weapons systems of the Royal Netherlands Air Force are primarily fighter aircraft and surface-to-air guided weapons.
FOREIGN RELATIONS
The Netherlands abandoned its policy of neutrality after World War II, and joined the NATO alliance as the best means to ensure security and promote national interests. Post-war Netherlands governments have followed an active, engaged foreign policy in many areas of the world. In addition to pursuit of national interests, Dutch foreign policy in recent years has been rooted in several important principles, which include the promotion of peace and security in Europe, support for Third World development, and respect for international law and human rights. The Netherlands seeks to advance many of its objectives through multilateral cooperation. It was a founding member of the European Community, has long based its security policy upon membership in NATO, and is one of five nations to sign the Schengen Accord abolishing border controls between itself and Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Germany. Economic and trade policy is closely coordinated through the European Community and, to a lesser extent, other international bodies, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, GATT, and the International Monetary Fund. Other foreign policy interests generally take into account consultations within European Political Cooperation, the political consultation process of the EC. The Netherlands also is a member of the Benelux group (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). Finally, The Netherlands is an active and responsible participant in the United Nations and its affiliated organizations. The Netherlands is a strong proponent of North-South cooperation and maintains an impressive development assistance program. Aid commitments are fixed by law at 1.5% of net national income, although actual disbursements have not always reached that level. For 1990, the development assistance program will give special attention to four transnational problems: poverty, population, environment, and debt. The Netherlands has had a long- term development relationship with 10 "program" countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania) and three geographic regions (the Sahel, Southern Africa, and Central America). It also contributes large amounts of aid through multilateral channels, especially the UN Development Program, International Development Association, and EC programs. A large portion of Dutch aid funds are channeled through private ("co-financing") organizations that have almost total autonomy in choice of projects. The Dutch are members of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which was formed recently to finance economic reforms in Eastern Europe.
US-DUTCH RELATIONS
Our partnership with The Netherlands is our oldest continuous relationship and dates back to the American revolution. Our excellent bilateral relations are based on close historical and cultural ties and a common dedication to individual freedom and human rights. An outward-looking nation, The Netherlands shares with the United States a commitment to an open market and free trade. In May 1989, Prime Minister Lubbers was in Washington on a private visit and met with President Bush, and 2 months later, President Bush became the first American President to visit The Netherlands while in office. The President went to The Netherlands as a guest of Queen Beatrix and spoke in the church in Leiden used by the Pilgrims before many of them sailed to America. The United States and The Netherlands often have similar positions on issues affecting NATO, regional problems, trade, and economic cooperation which enable them to work together both bilaterally and in the