On Shifting Ground

According to UNAIDS, 33.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide, and approximately 2.7 million new infections occurred in 2008. For every two people who start treatment, five more are infected. Undoubtedly, this global epidemic requires a comprehensive, multisectoral approach that expands access to prevention, care, and treatment.America is leading the fight against global HIV/AIDS through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease internationally in history. The human impact of America’s investments in partner nations’ efforts is profound. Through PEPFAR, the United States has directly supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for over 2.4 million people, and care for more than 11 million people with care and support programs, including more than 4 million orphans and vulnerable children. PEPFAR’s efforts around prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs have allowed nearly 340,000 babies of HIV-positive mothers to be born HIV-free. PEPFAR is the cornerstone and largest component of the President’s Global Health Initiative, which supports partner countries in improving health outcomes through strengthened health systems. Responsible for overseeing US-sponsored programs to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide, Ambassador Eric Goosby joins the Council to discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to the fight against global AIDS. Ambassador Goosby has over 25 years of experience with HIV/AIDS, ranging from his early years treating patients at San Francisco General Hospital when AIDS first emerged, to engagement at the highest level of policy leadership.

Direct download: 07_28_10_Eric_Gossby.mp3
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The grandson of refugees in Mexico, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is a career diplomat. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs and was posted in 1993 to the Mexican Embassy in the United States where he first served as Chief of Staff to the Ambassador, and then as head of the counternarcotics office. In 2000 he became Chief of Policy Planning at the Foreign Ministry and was appointed by the President as Mexican Consul General to New York City in 2003. He took a leave of absence from the Foreign Service in 2006 to join the presidential campaign of Felipe Calderón as Foreign Policy Advisor and International Spokesperson, and became Coordinator for Foreign Affairs in the transition team. In November 2006 he received the rank of Ambassador, and in February 2007 was appointed Mexican Ambassador to the United States.

Direct download: 07-22-10_Arturo_Sarukhan.mp3
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What can the United States do to help realize its dream of a peaceful, democratic Middle East? Would a re-shaping of traditional alliances in the region offer the solution? In his new book, Stephen Kinzer argues that two up-and-coming Middle Eastern powers, Iran and Turkey, will be America’s logical partners in the twenty-first century. He also recommends the United States reshape its relations with two traditional Middle East allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, if it stands any chance in breaking the Middle-East stalemate. Labeled by The Washington Post “among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling,” Kinzer offers the Council his alternative ideas on America’s role in the Middle East and attempts to move this vital policy issue beyond the alternatives of the last fifty years.

Direct download: 06-18-10_Stephen_Kinzer.mp3
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In The End of the Free Market, Ian Bremmer details the growing phenomenon of state capitalism, a system in which governments drive local economies through ownership of market-dominant companies and large pools of excess capital, using them for political gain. This trend threatens America’s competitive edge and the conduct of free markets everywhere. Bremmer follows the rise of state-owned firms in China, Russia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Venezuela and elsewhere. He demonstrates the growing challenge that state capitalism will pose for the entire global economy. Are we on the brink of a new kind of Cold War, one that pits competing economic systems in a battle for dominance? Can free market countries compete with state capitalist powerhouses over relations with countries that have elements of both systems—like Brazil, India and Mexico? Does state capitalism have staying power?

Direct download: 06-30-10_Ian_Bremmer.mp3
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