Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on “Front Lines and Frontiers: Making Human Rights a Human Reality” earlier this month at Dublin City University, just five days before Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

Clinton announced to a full audience the new U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally as well as the Institute of International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction for the university. The invitation-only event was attended by foreign ministers, politicians, entrepreneurs and students of the university.

Clinton summarized the U.S. mission to build a foundation for democracy internationally.

“There are more ties that bind us than divide us,” she said.

Clinton addressed four main points to the strategy. The first is the freedom of religion and protection for religious minorities. Clinton talked about her current intervention to bring peace to Egypt. She hopes through discussion and compromise to bring democracy within their reach.

Another concern is the pertinence of Internet censorship as a human rights violation. There is a reality of leaders deleting negative feedback, which corrupts the now virtual marketplace of ideas. She seeks to uphold the “prophetic” Universal Declaration of Human Rights which preached protection of speech over all mediums.

The U.S. also invests in the protection of civil societies in countries with fragile democracies. Clinton recognizes the government’s fear of civil society because, in achieving its ideals, it could act self-sufficiently. It is a threat that urges governments to repress civic rights.

Lastly, Clinton said “the unfinished business of the 21st century,” is the human rights and equality for women and girls. The new initiative to protect victims of gender-based violence was launched in addition to pre-existing efforts to end child marriage. Clinton believes in women’s work as a means of increasing the GDP globally.

Following the speech, Clinton was presented with the Fr. Aengus Finucane Award for Services to Humanity by former Ireland presidential candidate, Martin McGuiness, and First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson.

Clinton met with students of DCU about the Institute of International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, which aims to teach the skills of conflict resolution. She was in Dublin for two days for the annual Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting.


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