Policies By Region
As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee for more than a decade, Senator Leahy has been one of the Senate's leading proponents for focusing additional U.S. attention and resources to help the people around the world.
Last year's war in Gaza and the conflict in 2007 between Israel and Lebanon underscored, once again, the urgent need for a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Senator Leahy knows that Israel faces grave challenges from its neighbors in the Middle East, particularly Iran, and the United States has been, and will continue to be, a strong supporter and ally of Israel. Senator Leahy has always strongly supported Israel's right to self-defense and condemned Hamas' indiscriminate rocket attacks. However, he also disagrees with the economic blockade of Gaza as it amounts to collective punishment, with Israel's use of excessive force in Gaza which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, and the continuation of settlement construction in the West Bank. Like President Obama, Senator Leahy believes that the dire situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable and contributes to Israel's insecurity. He has long maintained that the Palestinians' fundamental rights must be respected and that they need a state of their own.
In President Obama's recent Cairo speech, he challenged both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to demonstrate the vision and flexibility necessary to move beyond the violence and recriminations that have stalled any meaningful progress for years. Senator Leahy has met with the President and Special Envoy George Mitchell on the Middle East peace process and continues to believe that a solution can be achieved that respects the sovereignty of both peoples within a two-state solution.
Plagued by poverty, conflict, and disease, Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the world's poorest places. Seventy percent of its people live on less than $2 a day and 200 million go hungry everyday. Every year, millions of Africans, the majority of them young children, will die of malaria and AIDS.
Development assistance is essential to build the capacity of these countries to provide critical humanitarian needs such as clean water, health care, food, and basic education. In addition to responding to humanitarian crises in Africa, I have worked to create a more sustained, comprehensive approach necessary to help promote peace and prosperity on the continent.
From India to Indonesia to China to Japan, Asia is a vast continent with a diversity of interests to the United States. In the 21st century, many nations in Asia are dealing with continuously changing political, military and economic systems.
In a relatively short period, Asia has experienced explosive population growth, rapid urbanization, and emerging economies despite the persistence of poverty. With this rapid change also come challenges in development, governance, and civil society.
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN
Latin America is a region of breathtaking beauty, rich biological diversity, and an extraordinarily diverse and talented population. Yet tens of millions of Latin Americans live in miserable conditions on less than $3 per day. Many become illegal immigrants in the U.S. Others struggle daily with unemployment, discrimination, crime and injustice.
The U.S. and Latin America have many shared interests that range from trade and tourism to human rights and the environment. But despite sharing deep cultural and ethnic ties, for the past two decades the United States has paid little attention to Latin America. Senator Leahy has long believed that our country should do far more to strengthen relations with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere.
- Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Actions Taken Against NGOs In Egypt, December 29, 2011
- Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Departure Of President Mubarak, February 11, 2011
- Senator Leahy Comments On State Department Report On Merida Funding And The Leahy Human Rights Conditions, September 5, 2010