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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid