THE WHITE HOUSE
For Immediate ReleaseMarch 21, 2000
JOINT U.S.-INDIA STATEMENT
At the dawn of a new century, President Clinton and Prime MinisterVajpayee resolve to create a closer and qualitatively new relationshipbetween the United States and India.
We are two of the world's largest democracies. We are nations forgedfrom many traditions and faiths, proving year after year that diversity isour strength. From vastly different origins and experiences, we have cometo the same conclusions: that freedom and democracy are the strongest basesfor both peace and prosperity, and that they are universal aspirations,constrained neither by culture nor levels of economic development
There have been times in the past when our relationship driftedwithout a steady course. As we now look towards the future, we areconvinced that it is time to chart a new and purposeful direction in ourrelationship.
Globalization is erasing boundaries and building networks betweennations and peoples, economies and cultures. The world is increasinglycoming together around the democratic ideals India and the United Stateshave long championed and lived by.
Together, we represent a fifth of the world's people, more than aquarter of the world's economy. We have built creative, entrepreneurialsocieties. We are leaders in the information age. The currents ofcommerce and culture that link our societies run strong and deep. In manyways, the character of the 21st century world will depend on the success ofour cooperation for peace, prosperity, democracy and freedom.
That presents us with an opportunity, but also a profoundresponsibility to work together. Our partnership of shared ideals leads usto seek a natural partnership of shared endeavors.
In the new century, India and the United States will be partners inpeace, with a common interest in and complementary responsibility forensuring regional and international security. We will engage in regularconsultations on, and work together for, strategic stability in Asia andbeyond. We will bolster joint efforts to counter terrorism and meet otherchallenges to regional peace. We will strengthen the internationalsecurity system, including in the United Nations, and support the UnitedNations in its peacekeeping efforts. We acknowledge that tensions in SouthAsia can only be resolved by the nations of South Asia. India is committedto enhancing cooperation, peace and stability in the region.
India and the United States share a commitment to reducing andultimately eliminating nuclear weapons, but we have not always agreed onhow to reach this common goal. The United States believes India shouldforgo nuclear weapons. India believes that it needs to maintain a credibleminimum nuclear deterrent in keeping with its own assessment of itssecurity needs. Nonetheless, India and the U.S. are prepared to worktogether to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their means ofdelivery. To this end, we will persist with and build upon the productivebilateral dialogue already underway.
We reaffirm our respective voluntary commitments to forgo furthernuclear explosive tests. We will work together and with others for anearly commencement of negotiations on a treaty to end the production offissile materials for nuclear weapons. We have both shown strongcommitments to export controls, and will continue to strengthen them. Wewill work together to prevent the spread of dangerous technologies. We arecommitted to build confidence and reduce the chances of miscalculation. Wewill pursue our security needs in a restrained and responsible manner, andwill not engage in nuclear and missile arms races. We will seek to narrowour differences and increase mutual understanding on non-proliferation andsecurity issues. This will help us to realize the full potential ofIndo-U.S. relations and contribute significantly to regional and globalsecurity.
The true measure of our strength lies in the ability of our people toshape their destiny and to realize their aspirations for a better life.That is why the United States and India are and will be allies in the causeof democracy. We will share our experience in nurturing and strengtheningdemocratic institutions the world over and fighting the challenge todemocratic order from forces such as terrorism. We will cooperate withothers to launch an international Community of Democracies this year.
The United States applauds India's success in opening its economy, itsachievements in science and technology, its commitment to a new wave ofeconomic expansion and reform, and its determination to bring the benefitsof economic growth to all its people. Our nations pledge to reduceimpediments to bilateral trade and investment and to expand commercebetween us, especially in the emerging knowledge-based industries andhigh-technology areas.
We will work together to preserve stability and growth in the globaleconomy as well. And we will join in an unrelenting battle against povertyin the world, so that the promise of a new economy is felt everywhere andno nation is left behind. That is among the fundamental challenges of ourtime. Opening trade and resisting protectionism are the best means formeeting it. We support an open, equitable and transparent rule-basedmultilateral trading system, and we will work together to strengthen it. Weagree that developed countries should embrace policies that offerdeveloping countries the opportunity to grow, because growth is the key torising incomes and rising standards. At the same time, we share theconviction that human development also requires empowerment of people andavailability of basic freedoms.
As leaders in the forefront of the new high-technology economy, werecognize that countries can achieve robust economic growth whileprotecting the environment and taking action to combat climate change. Wewill do our part to meet the global environmental challenges, includingclimate change and the impacts of air and water pollution on human health.
We also pledge a common effort to battle the infectious diseases thatkill people and retard progress in so many countries. India is at theforefront of the global effort that has brought us to the threshold of theeradication of polio. With leadership, joint research, and application ofmodern science, we can and will do the same for the leading killers of ourtime, including AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
We are proud of the cooperation between Indians and Americans inadvancing frontiers of knowledge. But even as we unravel the mysteries oftime and space, we must continue to apply our knowledge to olderchallenges: eradicating human suffering, disease and poverty. In the past,our cooperation helped ease mass hunger in the world. In the future, itwill focus as well on the development of clean energy, health, andeducation.
Our partnership is not an end in itself, but a means to all theseends. And it is reinforced by the ties of scholarship, commerce, andincreasingly of kinship among our people. The industry, enterprise andcultural contributions of Americans of Indian heritage have enriched andenlivened both our societies.
Today, we pledge to deepen the Indian-American partnership in tangibleways, always seeking to reconcile our differences through dialogue andengagement, always seizing opportunities to advance the countless interestswe have in common. As a first step, President Clinton has invited PrimeMinister Vajpayee to visit Washington at a mutually convenient opportunity,and the Prime Minister has accepted that invitation. Henceforth, thePresident of the United States and the Prime Minister of India should meetregularly to institutionalize our dialogue. We have also agreed on andseparately outlined an architecture of additional high-level consultations,and of joint working groups, across the broad spectrum of areas in which weare determined to institutionalize our enhanced cooperation. And we willencourage even stronger people-to-people ties.
For India and the United States, this is a day of new beginnings. Wehave before us for the first time in 50 years the possibility to realizethe full potential of our relationship. We will work to seize that chance,for our benefit and all those with whom we share this increasinglyinterdependent world.
Done on March 21, 2000 at New Delhi
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore