Written by: Lisa Rose (801) 863-8504
On December 10 at 10 a.m. UVSC is holding a presentation concerning foreign affairs. Jim Warlick will be the speaker and will discuss international organization challenges, problems and how it involves the United Nations and other such organizations. The event is in collaboration with BYU and will be held at BYU in the Kennedy Center at the Harold Clark Building.
Warlick has served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Organizational Affairs since April 2006. He is responsible for all aspects of U.S. foreign policy at the United Nations and a number of other multilateral organizations.
Senior Foreign Service officer James Warlick began as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) in April 2006, with responsibility for all aspects of U.S. foreign policy at the United Nations and a number of other multilateral organizations.
Immediately before this assignment, Mr. Warlick was Director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs, responsible for political-military and security issues for Europe and the former Soviet Union, including NATO, OSCE, and related arms control and nonproliferation policy issues (2005-2006). While Director of the United Nations Political Affairs in IO during 2003-2005, Mr. Warlick also served as Principal Advisor to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer during January 2004 to July 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq. Other assignments have included: Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Moscow; Director, for Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the European Affairs Bureau; Acting Minister-Counselor/ Deputy Counselor for Political Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Germany; Special Assistant to the Secretary of State; Operations Center Watch Officer; Consular Officer, Philippines; and Political Officer, Bangladesh.
Prior to his State Department service, Mr. Warlick served as Deputy Representative of the Asia Foundation in Washington, DC and the Philippines; and he was a Foreign Affairs analyst in the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress.
Mr. Warlick is a graduate of Stanford University (1977), holds a Master of Letters in Politics from Wadham College (1979), Oxford University, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (1980) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
“Warlick couldn’t be a better candidate to speak,” said Rusty Butler, associate VP of international affairs. “Due to his career of being an officer in Foreign Service students can explore Foreign Service in depth by getting informed and have questions answered by one of the best people involved with foreign affairs.”
Written by: Justin Richardson Ritter
Four legislators from Tajikistan visited UVSC as part of an international exchange program that brought them to Utah from Dec. 6-14, 2007.
The legislators came to the Beehive State to study human rights, democracy-building, legislative process, and religious tolerance, meeting with political leaders, including Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), State Sen. John Valentine (R-Orem) and U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman.
Alex Stecker, a senior lecturer at UVSC involved with the delegation's visit, said the Tajik legislators visited Utah to find out what changes they need to make to their current system of government.
An emerging country located in Central Asia, just north of Afghanistan, Tajikistan has a fragile economy and is struggling with issues such as drug trafficking, lack of infrastructure, and vocational education.
The delegates came as part of the Library of Congress' Open World Program, which facilitates exchanges with former Soviet republics to "strengthen their friendship and cooperation with the American people."
Stecker said that by the delegation visiting Utah, not only could they learn to better help their country, but Utahns could also learn from them.
"Exchange is not one-sided. It's two-sided," Stecker said. "We need to know about that part of the world. They need to study us."
Accordingly, Cannon and Valentine have accepted invitations to visit Tajikistan next summer. Stecker said the planned exchange represents "a new milestone in cooperation between the legislators of Utah and nations in Central Asia."
Stecker said future goals of the exchange include involving faculty and students, possibly even sending them to Tajikistan.
"A world of good could be done if we sent students over there," Stecker said, explaining that it would bring a different perspective for both sides.
Stecker and other organizers are currently trying to obtain a grant for a vocational education exchange between UVSC and Central Asian countries like Tajikistan. The program would focus on teaching trades such as repair and mining.
"We've got some great programs here," Stecker said. "These countries are emerging, and we need to help them."
For more information about the Open World Program http://www.openworld.gov/
Visits with Lt. Governor Gary Herbert and Senator John Valentine
Visit to BYU Law School
Meeting with Bruce Lindsay of KSL TV
Wendy Widmann de Berger, first lady of Guatemala, will give a speech titled “Creciendo Bien: Women Taking Charge” on Nov. 1 at Utah Valley State College in the Ragan Theater at 3:45 p.m. Her visit to Utah will also include receiving the Enterprise Mentor International’s First Annual International Humanitarian Service Award in Salt Lake City.
“This is an opportunity that fits right in with what we’re trying to do with our international and global engagement area,” said Rusty Butler, associate vice president of international affairs at UVSC. “We want our students and faculty to have greater exposure to international figures, decision makers and people of influence.”
Berger is married to Oscar Berger Perdomo, current president of the Republic of Guatemala, and studied sociology at Trinity College, in Washington, D. C. Throughout her life, she has been involved in projects to assist low-income communities, founded educational workshops for women, promoted housing construction projects, established schools and strengthened daycare programs.
Since January 14, 2004, when her husband was sworn in as Guatemalan President, Berger has been the Head of Secretaría de Obras Sociales de la Esposa del Presidente – The President’s Wife Social Affairs Secretariat – whose mission is to promote and support actions for the improvement of education and health plans, and to promote a generation of healthy Guatemalan citizens with development opportunities.
“We are very excited to host the first lady on our campus,” Butler said. “This will be a significant event for us and for Utah County's Hispanic community.”
Click here for more information on Mrs. Wendy Widmann de Berger and her country of Guatemala.
Visits with Janette Hales Beckham, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Lt. Governor, Gary Herbert
Daily Herald Friday, 02 November 2007
Written by: Brittani Lusk
The first lady of Guatemala visited Utah Thursday. She came spreading a message of humanitarian charity and love for all.
Wendy Widmann de Berger is the wife of Oscar Berger Perdomo, who is president of Guatemala. Berger spoke at Utah Valley State College about humanitarian work she is doing with poverty-stricken women in Guatemala.
"I believe that the only way to overcome the cycle of poverty is by enabling women to build up their self esteem and nurture it. By empowering women and promoting self management we realize that they would become the key elements of change," Berger said. "We know that inspired and empowered women are nearly invincible."
Berger is working with a program called Creciendo Bien, "or growing well." The program teaches women nutritional and hygiene skills and also turns them into leaders by making them coordinators for the program in their own communities.
Single mother and UVSC junior Laura Familia thanked the First Lady after she spoke.
"What you said just inspired me," Familia said.
Berger implored the students in the audience to make their own differences.
"You are young and full of energy, creativity, good ideas and very soon you will be making decisions in your companies, your communities, your government. So find that place in the world where you will be and make sure that you live your life to be remembered by the love you spread," she said.
UVSC junior Luis Gordillo took his picture with the first lady.
"I'm from Guatemala, and I just wanted to meet her," he said.
Berger was honored by UVSC. She was given a plaque as a memento. As part of her trip she will receive the Humanitarian Service Award from Enterprise Mentor International.
UVSC President William Sederburg teasingly invited the first lady back.
"We expect to have you return to us the president of Guatemala in a few years," Sederburg said. "Can we count on you?"
Berger said she would gladly come back, but not as a head of state, perhaps as a tourist.
Berger, along with her husband and his administration, have come under criticism for Guatemala's recent decision to no longer allow Americans to adopt children from Guatemala. Starting Jan. 1 adoptions will cease, including those that are already in process.
Guatemala recently adopted the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, which strengthens protections against foul play during international adoptions.
The Hague is not yet in affect in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of State, the United States is working on making the it affective, but no date has been announced.
Berger said Guatemala adopted the rules to make the adoption process better, but the country has strides left to make.
"We need [adoptions] to be ethical. We need them to be transparent," Berger said. "It will take maybe some time, but I think it the end we want the children's best interest."
First Lady Widmann de Berger with Wilson Sorenson, UVSC president of 37 years
Abdujabbor Shirinov, ambassador of Tajikistan to the United States, will speak at Utah Valley State College Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. in LA 107 as part of the ambassador lecture series.
“Ambassador Shirinow will speak on economic opportunities in his country,” said Maryna Storrs, coordinator of international affairs at UVSC. “He’ll also speak on his country’s role in Central Asia and the Tajikistan government’s relationship with the United States.”
Shirinov has held positions as department head at Tajik State University, director of the settlement department of the National Bank, first deputy chairman of the executive board of the Joint-Stock Commerce Agro-Industrial Investment Bank, first deputy chairman of the National Bank, chair of the committee for State Financial Control and first deputy director of the Agency for State Finance Control and the Struggle Against Corruption.
He was appointed ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan to the United States Feb. 1, 2007.
Click here for more information on Ambassador Shirinov and his country of Tajikistan.
Deseret Morning News September 26, 2007
Written by: Laura Hancock
OREM — Utah Senate President John Valentine will get a front-row seat to a power struggle between the president and parliament in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Valentine, R-Orem, is traveling to the Asian country with Rusty Butler, an international affairs vice president at Utah Valley State College, and Carol Williams, a Democrat in the Montana Senate, Oct. 1-5.
The U.S. delegation and their spouses will meet with the country's president, vice president, foreign and education ministers, and some local governors, members of parliament and university administrators.
Butler said that Kyrgyzstan, like many former Soviet countries, is an emerging democracy, meaning that society is moving in the direction of fair elections, free press and other institutions associated with democracies.
Currently, the president seeks more power and the parliament is opposing it. Other former Soviet republics have experienced a similar struggle and have altered their constitutions to more clearly define the separation of powers.
"It will be interesting because we're being hosted by the speaker of the parliament and we'll be meeting with a lot of members of parliament," Butler said. "But we'll also be meeting with people in the executive branch."
One purpose of the trip is to discuss opportunities for education for lawmakers in both countries.
"We'll probably have parliamentarians come here as well as parliamentarians from here go over there," Butler said.
Valentine is in Istanbul, Turkey, at a conference for state senators and was unavailable for interviews. He will travel from Turkey to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital.
"There is no cost for the state for his trip to Istanbul or his trip to Kyrgyzstan," said Ric Cantrell, chief deputy of the Senate.
The trip to Istanbul was paid for by the senators conference. Valentine is paying for the leg of the trip to and from Kyrgyzstan.
Butler's trip is paid for by private donors to UVSC.
The relationship between UVSC and Kyrgyzstan began in 1999. Most recently, UVSC hosted 15 judges from Kyrgyzstan to educate them about how the United States seeks "rule by law," or the idea that the law is codified and not arbitrary or from man.
Although the United States has a longer history with democracy than Kyrgyzstan, Butler believes the delegation next week will have a lot to learn.
"They have been through experiences that we have not been through for a couple of centuries," Butler said. "The United States when it was first founded went through horrible growing pains, as you know, and it kept up for decades. And they're going through the same things right now. I think there are many things to learn from these emerging democracies as they find their ways."
Senator Valentine Leading a Diplomatic Discussion and Receiving an Honorary Doctorate
The Utah Delegation at an Upscale Lodge in Kyrgyzstan
Zamira Sydykova, the United States ambassador from Kyrgyzstan, will be visiting Utah Valley State College campus from Sept. 15 to 18. As part of her visit, she will be lecturing Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. in LA 107.
“We have several ambassadors come throughout the year,” said Aliia Kodzhoshalieva, international affairs assistant. “We have a great relationship with Kyrgyzstan and we enjoy every time Zamira Sydykova comes.”
Sydykova was a member of the journalism faculty at Moscow State University and shortly after the dissolve of the Soviet Union, founded Kyrgyzstan’s first independent newspaper, Respublica. Through the years, she fought for a free press in Kyrgyzstan and was thrown in prison because of it. Authorities also attempted to close the newspaper.
In 2000, she was awarded the Courage in Journalism Award by the International Women’s Media Foundation for her accomplishments, and was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the USA and Canada in March 2005.
Click here for more information on Ambassador Sydykova and her country of Kyrgyzstan.
Utah Valley State College will host 15 prosecutors, court personnel and judges from Kyrgyzstan Sept. 7-15.
“Delegates will receive training on the American judicial system and share experiences from their native country with us,” said Maryna Storrs, coordinator of international affairs at UVSC. “They will also stay with host families and experience American lifestyle.”
The Open World Leadership Center is an independent legislative branch entity headquartered at the Library of Congress. This training initiative is part of its Open World Program which brings political and civic leaders from former Soviet republics to experience American democracy and civil society in action. The program recently expanded to include the countries of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Each U.S. visit concentrates on a set theme – Kyrgyz Delegation’s is The Rule of Law – in line with the delegates’ occupation, exposing them to ideas and practices they can learn and implement in their home country.
The Kyrgyz delegation’s visit will include training sessions by UVSC faculty, meetings with Utah judges, legislators and educators, tours of courthouses, museums and law libraries, participation in a mock trial, as well as visits to sites in Salt Lake City. UVSC’s co-host for the Open World delegation, Senator John Valentine, has also arranged for a mock session of the State Senate at Utah’s Capitol.
“The Open World Program is a great opportunity to showcase American society, economy and culture to foreign guests as well as to get to know theirs,” Storrs said. “It’s also a great opportunity for UVSC to build community relations because people will see the good the college is doing, not only locally, but internationally.”
Funding for the program comes entirely from a government grant given by the Library of Congress.
For more information about the Open World Program http://www.openworld.gov/
Daily Herald 17 Sep 2007
Written by: Nicole Bird
It may be that many Utahns do not know about Kyrgyzstan or even how to pronounce it, but the Kyrgyz government, including the delegation of judges visiting Orem last week, certainly know and love Utah.
Utah Valley State College hosted a group of judicial leaders from Kyrgyzstan through the Open World Program, which was instituted in 1999 by the Library of Congress.
The Open World Program brings judicial delegations from countries in the former Soviet Union to the United States to experience the American rule of law. This is Kyrgyzstan's first year as a participant in the Open World Program.
Rusty Butler, the associate vice president of International Affairs at UVSC, has had a long and lasting relationship with the Kyrgyz people and much of Central Asia. He is the president of the Utah-Russia Institute and serves as middleman between UVSC and the Library of Congress. When asked why this was a program he wanted to bring to the students of the college, he spoke of broadening their horizons.
"Whether you like it or not, we live in a global environment," Butler said.
He was a part of the first interaction between Kyrgyzstan and UVSC in 1999, eight years before Kyrgyzstan would join the Open World Program.
Baktybek Abdrisaev, the ambassador at the time, visited UVSC and Butler said he fell in love with Utah. He said the love for Utah may sound peculiar to some.
"Many said, 'Why Utah?' I just said why not?" Butler said.
That first visit inspired many others. The former ambassador came again and again, bringing with him the country's foreign minister, the president and first lady, and most recently the judicial leaders. The consensus was the same: a great affinity for Utah.
The former ambassador explained that Kyrgyzstan is 95 percent mountainous and that he and the judges loved the mountains of Utah and especially how close they are in the valley.
Even though the mountains in Kyrgyzstan are about twice as high as the Wasatch Mountain range, they all spoke of the beauty of the land and the similarity of Utah's terrain to their home country.
The ambassador also said there is much to learn and gain from a place that is so analogous to Kyrgyzstan.
He said this is the best place for these judges to learn about things from improving living conditions to farming cattle and fish because of the high altitude, similar climate and rocky landscape.
Marat Sultanov, a chief justice from the capitol city of Bishkek, said that he liked Utah because he didn't feel like he missed his country or family. He said the host couple treated him better than even his own parents.
"This is my mom and my dad," Sultanov said pointing to his host couple.
Sultanov also spoke of the mock Senate debate they were able to take part in on Wednesday.
State Sen. John Valentine invited the judges to visit the Senate in Salt Lake City and debate a mock bill on mine safety, a pertinent subject for the state.
Sultanov said it meant a lot to him to be sitting in the same seats that American senators and judges sit in and that he was impressed with the accessibility of the politicians.
In Kyrgyzstan, it is not easy to communicate with judges or politicians, and Sultanov said that he appreciated the "opulence and transparency of the people."
Sultanov also said he felt a special feeling of trust from the people to the government. He said the government officials want to improve Utah and do it practically.
He went on to say that the government in Kyrgyzstan is not financed in the proper way and thus has lost priority because of the lack of resources.
It is that sense of responsibility that he wishes to take back to his country from Utah.
City court justice Gulnara Sultanbekovna also spoke of the people in Utah.
She was most impressed with the close family relations and the warm feelings within her host family.
She also said she was grateful for the respect shown toward her as a woman. She said although most judges are women in Kyrgyzstan and women are expected to have professional careers, it is still a male-dominated society.
"The man is the chief," Sultanbekovna said.
She said in Kyrgyzstan women are responsible for the family while still working fulltime.
She said she did not see a separation between man's work and woman's work in Utah.
One goal of the Open World Program is to expose the visiting delegates to American culture. These Kyrgyz judges have developed a great respect for Utah culture.
They would like to send their children, the rising generation, to Utah for education in not only an academic sense but to also learn family values and high morals.
The daughter of the speaker of the Kyrgyz government is currently a freshman at UVSC.
The Kyrgyz judges see this experience in Utah as a way to improve the newly independent state.
Former ambassador Abdrisaev said one of the goals of last week was to create and maintain exchanges and relationships between the country of Kyrgyzstan and what he calls "the safest and friendliest place in the United States."
“Ambassador Fernández was invited by Governor Huntsman to participate in a state-wide endeavor to promote international trade and to help local businesses establish international operations,” said Maryna Storrs, coordinator of international affairs at UVSC. “When the ambassador comes to UVSC, he will speak to students about international trade opportunities with Chile.”
Fernández was asked to visit Utah by Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, who was unable to attend UVSC’s Women of the Mountains conference in early March but wanted to strengthen the relationship between Chile and Utah. While in Utah, Fernández will also meet with Utah companies interested in doing business in Chile like Chilean business officials and Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.
Fernández, who has also served as ambassador to the European Community, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, was appointed U.S. ambassador July 2006. From 1994-2000 he was Chile’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Prior to that he served as member of the executive committee of the Centre of Studies for Development.
After studying political sociology at Bonn University in Germany, Fernández earned a law degree from the Catholic University of Santiago. He served in the Chilean Foreign Service from 1967-1974, during which time he was Third Secretary in the Embassy of Chile in Germany. Political unrest forced his exile from Chile in 1974. He lived in Bonn, Germany until 1982, when he returned to Chile.
Fernández has edited and served on the editorial boards of several publications. In addition to his many international appointments and leadership positions, he became president of the European-Latin American Relations Institute (IRELA) of Madrid, Spain, in 1992 and is also honorary President of the Chilean Association of Sommeliers.
Click here for more information on Ambassador Fernandez and his country of Chile.
The Salt Lake Tribune April 3,2007
Written by: Jennifer W. Sanchez
OREM - Mexico's agricultural undersecretary says his nation is going to have to do a better job of marketing its primary assets - and hanging on to them - if it is going to become a bigger player in the global economy.
Jeffrey Jones told a Utah Valley State College audience Monday that first and foremost, Mexico needs to improve economic opportunities for all Mexicans. Especially its college graduates.
"We're losing a lot of our good people to the United States," he said. "We need those people to develop our country."
When one looks at all Mexico has to offer, Jones says he is optimistic. Mexico has some 7,000 miles of beaches and the only tropical rain forest in North America. It has oil, mining and farming resources. And because of its location, Mexico can act as a trade link between Asia and Europe.
But at the same time he speaks of hanging on to Mexico's most educated workers, Jones says his nation is also seeking better opportunities for Mexicans wanting to head north - though it comes at some cost.
The undersecretary calls Mexico the "loser" and the United States the "beneficiary" in the flow of Mexicans to the U.S., noting that roughly 90 percent of Mexicans working in the United States are ages 18 to 47, making them a big labor asset for the United States.
"When you see that, you know there's something seriously wrong," he told the crowd of about 75 people.
Jones said there are two ideas, espoused by a Singapore dignitary named Kishore Mahbubani, for developing nations that he wants Mexicans to consider. No. 1: We will blame only ourselves. No. 2: We will acknowledge there is corruption.
In the Mexican culture, wealth is often seen as an evil, he said. But Mexicans need to learn how to value more business, economic development and money.
"It's a value that needs to be spread through the community," he said.
Meanwhile, Mexicans also have to deal with the country's corruption.
"It's still a big issue for us," Jones said. "You can't create prosperity when people can't trust each other."
Jones, a 1982 Brigham Young University graduate, is a former senator in Mexico and member of UVSC's National Presidential Advisory Board. Jones, who has Mormon roots in his home state of Chihuahua, also has a daughter, Melina, who is a UVSC political science junior.
There are more than 200,000 Mexicans or people of Mexican descent living in Utah.
Crystal Gomez is graduating with a BYU master's degree in public administration this month, and she wants to head home and work in adult education. "I'm from Mexico, and I love my country," she said.
She attended the event in hopes of meeting Jones. He was delighted that she wants to return, and gave her his contact information.
The Women of the Mountains Conference is a partnership event between Utah Valley University (UVU) and the Kyrgyz National Centre for Development of Mountain Regions. It addresses issues critical to women and children of the mountainous nations. Typically these nations are often impoverished and underdeveloped and their women and children suffer disproportionately from the existing conditions.
Click here for a copy of the conference agenda.
For more information about the Women of the Mountains Conferencehttp://www.womenofthemountains.org/index.php/2007-conference/
Women of the Mountains Conference Participants
John Lowell became the ambassador of Malta to the United States on February 26, 2003.
Ambassador John Lowell was born on February 24, 1936 in Sliema, Malta. He is married to Marie-Therese nee Zarb and has three children.
Ambassador Lowell studied at St. Aloysius College in Malta. He became a High Commissioner of Malta to Canada in November, 2003.
Ambassador Lowell previously served as nonresident ambassador to Croatia (2000-03), as well as to Bulgaria, Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999-2003). John Lowell, who has been chairman of the Manoel Theater Committee at the National Theater since 1993, was the main shareholder and managing director of the Ells Ltd. Malta from 1967 to 1997. There, he owned and managed various subsidiary companies in the fields of property development, travel, catering, import/export and duty-free management. In addition, from 1952 to 1966, ambassador Lowell worked for Barclays bank DCO.
Ambassador Lowell held several high status titles such as Washington General of the State pf Washington, USA, Commendatore of the Republic of Italy, Order of Merit—Republic of Bulgaria. His past presidencies include the SKAL Club in Malta, Chamber of Commerce of Malta, and Floriana Football Club.
Ambassador Lowell enjoys classical music, opera, theater, art and traveling. Golf is one of his favorite sports.
Click here for more information on Ambassador John Lowell and his country of Malta.
Ambassador Lowell and His Wife at UVU and Utah Olympic Park
Was born in 1960 in Frunze city. Nationality – Kyrgyz.
Graduated in 1983 from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. After the graduation attended postgraduate study in the same Institute.At the same time, since 1985, worked as the junior scientific employee on faculty of «Materiology of Semiconductors». In 1987, after the postgraduate study, joined the Kyrgyz National University where he got promoted from a junior teacher to the senior lecturer. PhD in physics and mathematics. The author of more than 50 scientific works in the field of physics and materiology of semiconductors. Has a class grade “State adviser of 1 class “.
Since 1992 - chief of department, acting vice-chairman, vice-chairman of National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since 1994 - Chairman of National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic. In 1998-1999 - Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic. In 2000-2005 - Deputy of Legislative assembly of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee. The head of deputy group " El uchyn ". In March, 2005 was again elected as Deputy of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. From December, 2005 till March, 2006 - Chairman of constitutional legislation, judicial-legal reform and human rights Committee of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since March, 2006 – Chairman of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. Holder of the various state awards. Was awarded with the “Dank” medal for substantial contribution in preparation, introduction and maintenance of steady float of national currency – Kyrgyz Som.
Click here for more information on Chairman Sultanov and his country of Kyrgyzstan.