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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 11, 2010

Watch Clinton's speech on East-West Center Web site

Advertiser Staff

The East-West Center will live-stream tomorrow's speech by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the U.S. vision for Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement.

Attendance is by invitation only, but Clinton's 2 p.m. speech will be streamed live at www.eastwestcenter.org.

Clinton's address kicks off an eight-day Pacific trip that will take her to Hawai'i, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia.

The State Department has said that the East-West Center was chosen as the venue for Clinton's policy address in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the center's founding by Congress, according to the center.

Eni Faleomavaega, American Sämoa's nonvoting delegate to Congress, said he is disappointed Clinton won't be meeting with the leaders of some 15 island nations during her travels.

Faleomavaega said most administrations have disregarded the needs and concerns of Pacific Island nations.

"But, considering that President Obama was born and raised in Hawai'i and understands the challenges and needs of the community, I thought these small island nations, however small, would finally be given the time, consideration and respect they deserve," said Faleomavaega, chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment.

"At a minimum, the president or the secretary could have easily called for a summit of foreign ministers from the island nations to meet in Sämoa, Hawai'i or even New Zealand, he said. "That this was not done shows a lack of sensitivity for the region and sends a message that some 15 Pacific Island nations are not an important or integral part of our U.S. foreign policy objectives."