Bretton Woods Committee

Article excerpt

Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered opening remarks on multilateral cooperation to members of the Bretton Woods Committee at the U.S. Department of State June 12. Before rejoining the government, Powell was a member of the committee, a nonpartisan group organized to increase public understanding of international financial and development issues and the role of the Bretton Woods institutions-the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and regional development banks.

Committee members are prominent Americans who believe the United States must maintain its tradition of strong international economic leadership. Members include leaders from industry, finance, academic institutions, civil society, former government officials-including 34 former cabinet members-and other opinion leaders.

The U.S. is working to repair the infrastructure of Iraq destroyed by 30 years of neglect, Secretary Powell told assembled committee members-not specifying 12 years of sanctions and two U.S.-led wars against the country. If the U.S. can put together a democratic government in Iraq, Powell stated, a country with no history of democracy, it will be a powerful example to other nations in the world. "Now that the dictator has been removed, the Iraqis will begin to have a choice in their future," the secretary of state assured listeners.

Switching to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Powell said that despite a recent wave of violence, both parties were moving on the road map. He came down hard on Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other groups which, he said, are trying to destroy hopes for peace. …