Press AvailabilityKaren Hughes, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz; Pfizer Chairman and CEO Hank McKinnell; Xerox Chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy; UPS Former Chairman and CEO Jim Kelly
November 14, 2005
(8:15 p.m. local time)
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Good evening ladies and gentleman. It is a real privilege for me and the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan to welcome your delegation. The delegation we have with us today, headed by Ms. Karen Hughes, the Under Secretary of State in the United States government has a very special purpose for visiting Pakistan. Some weeks ago President of the United States, President Bush, announced an initiative to help Pakistan meet the costs of relief and reconstruction as a result of the earthquake, which occurred on the 8th of October. As a result, the United States government extended us a package of $156 million and that includes relief, that includes much-needed helicopter support and a host of other items. Then as a second initiative, he appealed to the U.S. private sector, to raise money for the quake affectees in Pakistan. He set up a group of five CEO’s, three of whom are with us today, to send a message to the entire corporate world, and in particular corporate America, to raise money from philanthropists and corporations and individuals in the United States so that this can be used to help the victims of the earthquake.
Today the delegation visited the earthquake areas and saw for themselves the intensity of the damage. They have had several meetings here today to discuss how to take this process forward. Let me just in conclusion say, ma’am, we are delighted with this initiative. This shows a sense of togetherness and a sense of caring and sharing, and this is how relationships are built and this is how people develop their linkages, which helps relations between our two countries, and between the people of the world.
Let me once again thank you, United States Government--President Bush--for this initiative. We welcome your visit here and we hope that this will be the first of many. Now we will ask the Under Secretary to say a few words and then I will introduce each of the corporate sector CEO’s who will then share their views with us also, ma’am.
UNDER SECRETARY HUGHES: Thank you so much Mr. Prime Minister. And I want to thank the President also for his hospitality earlier today. President Bush asked us to come here because Pakistan is a friend of America, and an important friend and a partner, and we care about what has happened to the people here. We’re concerned about people’s lives in Kashmir. We have helped with direct funding. We are the number one international donor to Pakistan. We’ve helped with our military. We’ve helped by trying to rally the international community. As Secretary Rice is traveling this week she is appealing to other governments to also step up to help the people of Pakistan after this devastating earthquake, and we are also helping by enlisting the help of our private sector.
One of the wonderful things about America is we have a great tradition of private and public generosity. Our people want to help. Our companies and corporate sector want to help. We are committed to Pakistan for the long-term and I think also all of us will go back to America and talk about what we saw here today. What we saw was both heart-breaking to realize the horrible devastation and people’s lives lost, people’s lives uprooted, people’s homes destroyed.
So many children -- as a mother it just breaks my heart that so many children -- an estimated 18,000 lost their lives -- we saw a lot of heartbreak. But we also saw things that warmed our hearts. We saw the resilience in people’s eyes, the determination to rebuild their lives. We saw children back in schools, even though they were tent schools at the moment, but they’re beginning to resume their normalcy.
We’re very proud of Americans -- to see the women and men of our military helping to care for the sick and to help rescue people and deliver supplies -- our aid workers. So it was a very emotional day, Mr. Prime Minister and I want to ensure the people here that America is your friend and we’re here because we care about what has happened here. It’s ironic in a place of such gorgeous natural beauty where we saw the beauty of nature. This is my first visit to Pakistan and I’m just struck by the beauty of the mountains and the river, but unfortunately we also saw the horror of nature in the aftermath of the earthquake. We’re committed to helping you over the long run and we are pleased to be here on behalf of our country.
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Thank you Ma’am. Let me just mention before we go to the private sector that there are two other visitors traveling with the Undersecretary who need no introduction, but I thought I should acknowledge them. Ms. Christina Rocca who is the Assistant Secretary of State, a frequent visitor to Pakistan. We have Mr. Mark Ward who used to be head of USAID effort in Pakistan, and now is the Deputy Assistant Secretary. So now we will turn to the corporate leaders of America who are here, starting with Mr. Hank McKinnell, the CEO of the well-known Pfizer company. I might mention here that Pfizer is one of the oldest investors in Pakistan, they’ve been here for almost 50 years.
PFIZER CHAIRMAN AND CEO HANK MCKINNELL: Mr. Ambassador today was a very special day that I know we won’t forget for maybe the rest of our lives. In the city we visited we met a very special family, the father who headed the family died when a wall fell on him. His wife survived, but dug from the rubble her young grandchild. And Ambassador Hughes and I held that small child, a 5-month-old child. And looking at this family I realized that all the people in the valley that we’ve seen as we traveled and we met in this village, everyone has a similar story. When you read about and see on television this devastation, you understand this in your mind, but you don’t really understand it in your heart until you visit and see the people and see how much help they need.
It has also been an inspiring day. We met the men and women of the United States Armed Services -- how dedicated they were to their mission, flying night missions into remote valleys with big helicopters delivering supplies and rescuing people. We met the leaders of the American business community here in Pakistan, extremely dedicated to this effort. We met the leaders of the local industry -- the Pakistan industry -- and saw how dedicated they were and how supportive they were.
And I take back with me two thoughts: one is that there exists in Pakistan a wonderful dedicated group of people in the non-governmental organizations that are on the scene, they have the knowledge of the area and the people, and they are willing to work. And we also have the people of Pakistan who have come together in a way beyond what would have normally been predicted. This event galvanized the people of Pakistan to help those who need help more than any of us can realize. So I go back to the United States with a simple message: There’s a need, there’s an enormous need, maybe larger than anybody in the United States understands. But there is a tremendous resource here. There is the government of Pakistan. There is the United States military. There are the foreign investors and the local companies, and the people of Pakistan who are dedicated to improving the lives of the people affected by this disaster. I hope twenty years from now I can return to Muzaffarabad and meet that young child, and talk to him about his memories of his grandfather. Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Next we have the Chief Executive Officer of the Xerox Company, Anne Mulcahy.
XEROX CHAIRMAN AND CEO ANNE MULCAHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. Thank you for the warm welcome here. It has been an unbelievable day. We have talked to wonderful people all day long dealing with extraordinary challenges. We came because we wanted to see. We have been reading and watching on television but seeing enables us to go back and really tell the story in a way that touches the American public. So, in support of the efforts of the American government we really look forward to joining them as the private sector and making a difference here for the future of the Pakistani people. Thank you very much.
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Thank you Ma’am. Next representative of the United States corporate sector is Mr. Jim Kelly, former CEO of the well-known United Parcel Service (UPS).
UPS FORMER CHAIRMAN AND CEO JAMES KELLY: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. It has been a very interesting and emotional day. We had the opportunity to meet with and be with many people and hear many stories about what has occurred over the last four weeks and certainly our sympathies and heart goes out to all the people that we had the opportunity to meet with today. I think what strikes me the most is the unity of spirit of the Pakistani people in supporting the victims of the earthquake. The President asked that we assess the situation and try to bring the right level of attention to the needs here, and certainly after the opportunities that we had today to listen first-hand to what has occurred, we intend to go back and do that very vigorously. So thank you, and thank you for your hospitality.
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Thank you. Just for the press, there are two other members of this group of five. Sandy Weill, the Chairman of Citigroup and Mr. Jeff Immelt the Chairman and CEO of the GE company. We hope they will come some other time later, and we welcome them to visit Pakistan. We can take two questions.
QUESTION: Thank you. I have a two-part question. First is addressed to Madame Secretary. Madame Secretary, since you have seen the area devastated by this earthquake, and we have seen with gratitude the efforts on part of the United States troops, especially when we saw from here the flying Chinook choppers, we really feel indebted about it.
My question to you is: Do you think that the international community’s support, keeping in view the devastation, matches with that? And will you ask your friends in G8 and since you are leader of the developed world, to come out to sustain the help until the last person is settled and restored?
My question to Mr. Jim Kelly and his colleagues is that the private sector of the United States and this developed world was very much forth-coming when this tsunami occurred, but unfortunately we could not see the zeal the effort of that state. Could you, sir, assure that the private sector will do the same in case of Pakistan? Thank you very much.
UNDER SECRETARY HUGHES: First let me address the issue of the international community. We are strongly urging members of the international community to do more, and that is one of the reasons that we are here. I think that all of us can do more. We are here to urge the American people to do more.
You mention the tsunami. The tsunami received very widespread media coverage and so I want to challenge and urge all of our friends in the news media to help us in this path of publicizing what’s happened here. The tsunami happened at the time of year after the holidays when it was a quiet time, so there was a lot of coverage for a very intense period of time.
This situation is a little different. It has lasted longer and it has the potential to continue to be an emergency situation as winter comes. As you have so many people who are without shelter and who have been left homeless, and as it gets colder and colder and the snows begin to come. Yes, we will be urging the international community -- Secretary Rice on her trip to the Middle East this week is urging other nations to step up and will be talking to the United Nations and others to urge all of us to do more because obviously this is a catastrophic event and as we witnessed today, a lot of people still need our help.
MR. MCKINNELL: I can’t actually guarantee that the private sector in American does anything because we are a very large number of independent companies. But I can say, if leaders of American companies saw what I saw today that would be willing to match what Pfizer is prepared to do. Shortly after the earthquake struck we announced that we were contributing $1 million to several relief organizations and $5 million of Pfizer medicines.
Mr. Prime Minister, based on the need I saw today, I am pleased to announce we are increasing our cash contribution to $2 million and Pfizer medicines to $10 million, and if you use the $10 million, talk to me again.
In meeting with the President, I like the idea of sponsorship by anybody who is willing to be involved and be recognized. We are also going to sponsor a clinic in the affected areas, a hospital.
QUESTION: You met with US delegation. What are you expectations that the (inaudible) going to be over $5 million dollars?
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: As you know, we have finalized the estimates, jointly with the World Bank, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and also we took on board USAID, DFIF from the United Kingdom, (inaudible) and several other donors. This has been a collective effort, and our objective was to arrive to a consensus. We are very pleased that consensus has been achieved and $5.1 billion will be required for relief and reconstruction over the next several years. We believe this amount of funding can be raised through a mix of grants, donations, sponsorships, soft credits and the 19th is the launch of what will be a pretty extensive exercise. This is not a one-day event. This is a long journey. The 19th is the first step in this long journey.
QUESTION: I think that seeing is believing, actually, (inaudible). How would you strategize an approach to all the private sector people? How you would realize other companies and groups in America to come forward? And secondly, what is your study apart from Pfizer in how you are going to increase your help?
MR. MCKINNELL: Clearly not all Americans can have the experience that we had today. It is our job to go back and explain to Americans what the needs are. But as we say in America, a picture is worth a thousand words. There is a tremendous opportunity for the media to show the world what has happened in this part of Pakistan. You are very good at that. You are the professionals in communicating news. There is news in Northern Pakistan, and it should be communicated to the world.
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Last.
QUESTION: I want to know does United States (inaudible) increase the assistance to Pakistan affected areas?
UNDERSECRETARY HUGHES:As you know the United States has committed $156 million to the rescue and relief efforts and that number is actually increasing everyday as our military operations continue. In fact when I arrived here today our Rear Admiral in charge of the military operation told me that 90 new doctors were coming in here today, 90 more would be coming tomorrow to set up yet another field hospital operation. That brings to about 1,100 the number of United States military personnel who are here supporting and working with the government of Pakistan to help in this emergency.
What we are doing is increasing through our military, we are also increasing our efforts to raise awareness in funding diplomatically through the international community. We have launched this brand new private sector initiative and I think, Mr. Prime Minister, that the government’s plan for sponsorship will be very popular, because that gives people something tangible that our corporate executives can go back and say will you sponsor a school or would you go to a healthcare company and say would you sponsor a hospital or go to a publishing company and say would you sponsor a library or a university. So I think the idea of a sponsorship would be prove to be very popular in our country. I expect -- Americans are very generous people and once they know of a need, I believe that they will work very hard to step up to meet it.
PRIME MINISTER AZIZ: Let me just conclude by thanking everybody here, to say that Pfizer is the largest single contributor in this whole effort as of now. Thank you, sir.
Released on November 15, 2005