Hillary Clinton will be a strong, effective Secretary of State in the new Obama administration.
I observed first hand her commitment to peace and justice during the presidency of Bill Clinton, when Jordan's King Hussein, my late husband, and I worked closely with the Clintons in an attempt to achieve a Middle East peace. When they take office next year, I know that President-elect Obama and she quickly will begin looking for ways to bring security to Israel and justice to Palestinians, including four to six million Palestinian refugees.
In the Senate, Mrs. Clinton has worked hard to protect other displaced populations, including those from Iraq and Darfur. Just two weeks ago, I was part of a delegation from Refugees International that met with Sen. Clinton to discuss the need for a comprehensive plan to deal with five million displaced Iraqis, one fifth of the country's population. Nearly two million of the displaced Iraqis have sought refuge in Syria and Jordan, while the rest have fled their homes and violence within Iraq.
I know the utter despair and hopelessness of both Palestinian and Iraqi refugee families, having lived and worked with both communities over the past 30 years through the Noor al Hussein Foundation and other Jordanian institutions.
Sen. Clinton has introduced legislation to help displaced Iraqis. In the Obama administration she and her colleagues will have to come up with a comprehensive plan to help Iraqis return to a safe and secure Iraq as U.S. troops withdraw. This will be a challenge, but she understands that displaced Iraqis threaten the stability of Iraq, as well as the stability of the region, and potentially beyond.
During the campaign both Sen Clinton and President-elect Obama called for more aggressive U.S. action, including the possible use of force, to stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Their agreement on this point could open an opportunity for a diplomatic push to bring peace to Darfur, something the government of Sudan says it wants but has done little to promote. Any successful peace conference will be complex, requiring full participation by the government of Sudan, rebel movements, Sudanese civil society organizations, neighboring countries and economic stake holders, such as China. While the prospect of success is small, the cost of failure would be extremely high, particularly for the government of Sudan and the people of Darfur.
As Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton will face many challenges, but I know from personal experience that she is up to them all.