News / USA

World Leaders, Officials Honor Late US Diplomat Holbrooke

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks past a portrait of the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, at the State Department in Washington.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks past a portrait of the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, at the State Department in Washington.
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama has eulogized U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke as a clear-eyed realist whose legacy of peace reaches around the world. World leaders and U.S. officials crowded the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Friday to pay tribute to the late ambassador.

President Obama says Richard Holbrooke was an extraordinary diplomat, who served his country until his final moments. "Speaking truth to power from the Mekong Delta to the Paris Peace Talks, paving the way to our normalization of relations with China, serving as ambassador in a newly-unified Germany, bringing peace to the Balkans, strengthening our relationship with the United Nations, and working to advance peace and progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.

Watch Dan Robinson's Companion TV Report:

Holbrooke collapsed while meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department on December 11. He died two days later at the age of 69.

Holbrooke’s greatest success came in 1995, when he persuaded the two sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s bloody ethnic conflict to accept the terms of the Dayton Peace Accords.

At Friday’s memorial, Mr. Obama said Holbrooke’s hard-headed, clear-eyed realism about how the world works was a driving force behind the Bosnia accord. "And that coupling of realism and idealism, which has always represented what is best in American foreign policy, that was at the heart of his work in Bosnia, where he negotiated and cajoled and threatened, all at once, until peace was the only outcome possible," he said.

Richard Holbrooke began his career in the early 1960’s as a civilian representative for the Agency for International Development in South Vietnam.  He joined the State Department and worked for the U.S. ambassadors in Saigon.  And before the age of 30, Holbrooke was part of the American delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

Holbrooke later led the Peace Corps in Morocco, advised presidential candidate Jimmy Carter in his 1976 campaign, and worked as an executive at a Wall Street investment firm.

He also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and to the United Nations, and finally as President Obama’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The president said Friday Holbrooke created a lasting impact on American diplomacy and everyone affected by it. "His legacy is seen in the children of Bosnia who lived to raise families of their own, in a Europe that is peaceful and united and free.  And young boys and girls from the tribal regions of Pakistan, to whom he pledged our country’s friendship.  And in the role that America continues to play as a light to all who aspire to live in freedom and in dignity," he said.

In his eulogy, Mr. Obama announced the creation of an annual award named for Holbrooke, to honor excellence in U.S. diplomacy.  

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were among others who spoke at the memorial.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid