Increasing Access to Affordable Electricity Across the Hemisphere

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, alongside Columbian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin Cuellarmeets, center left, addresses the Connecting the Americas meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012 in New York. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Roberta S. Jacobson serves as Assistant Secretary of State forWestern Hemisphere Affairs.

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in a meeting with Secretary Clinton that she co-hosted with Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Ángela Holguin to advanceConnecting the Americas 2022 (Connect 2022), the newest initiative under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. The meeting included many foreign ministers from the Western Hemisphere and focused on how Connect 2022 aims to increase energy access to citizens across our hemisphere.

More than 31 million people in the Western Hemisphere lack access to affordable, reliable energy services. Compared to the rest of the world, the Americas has high rates of electricity access, but far too many… more »

Flying Aboard an Open Skies Mission
Alexander Borman, an Intern in the Office of Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC/ESA), joins an inspection team to examine the Russian Tupolev-154 aircraft in summer 2011. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Alexander Borman serves as an Intern in the Office of Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC/ESA).

This past week, I had the privilege of representing the Department of State aboard a Russian military jet flying over the United States under the Open Skies Treaty. For those who are not familiar, the Open Skies Treaty, in order to promote transparency and confidence building among the 34 Parties to the Treaty, provides these States Parties the ability to fly a limited number of unarmed observation flights over any part of any signatory. The previous nine weeks of my internship in Washington D.C. provided me with ample background to understand the treaty implementation I witnessed first-hand.

State Department internships are 10 weeks. They offer undergraduate and graduate students the… more »

Innovating Our Way to a Second Green Revolution
An Indian farmer displays wheat after harvest in India, May 2011. [AP]

About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs.

Nearly one billion people — one seventh of the world’s population — suffer from chronic hunger. Because of extreme hunger and poverty, children, adults, and indeed entire societies are prevented from achieving their full potential. But, through the work of many, progress is being made.

Today, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn of the World Food Prize Foundation, and I honored the former President of Ghana, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, and the former President of Brazil, H.E. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as recipients of the 2011 World Food Prize. Their commitment and visionary leadership have propelled Ghana and Brazil toward meeting Goal 1 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals — to reduce the prevalence of poverty and hunger by half by the year 2015.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary… more »