Weekly Wrap Up: “Peace with Justice”
Indiana Fever: The 2012 WNBA champion Indiana Fever was in Washington, D.C., on Friday to visit the White House. President Obama congratulated the team on their winning season and thanked them for their service to communities across the country.
Father’s Day: President Obama celebrated an early Father’s Day last Friday with high school students from Chicago’s Becoming a Man program. During a lunch in the East Room of the White House, the President spoke of the importance of fatherhood and mentorship. President Obama met with students in the program, which is based in low-income public schools, earlier this year to reaffirm the importance of education.
Moving Toward Peace: After crossing the Atlantic Ocean Sunday night, President Obama spoke to the people of Northern Ireland from the Belfast waterfront on Monday, praising them for their efforts toward peace and encouraging them to continue to persist.
From the start, no one was naïve enough to believe that peace would be anything but a long journey. Yeats once wrote ‘Peace comes dropping slow.’ But that doesn’t mean our efforts to forge a real and lasting peace should come dropping slow. This work is as urgent now as it has ever been, because there’s more to lose now than there has ever been.
Trade Agreement: President Obama met with leaders from the European Union on Tuesday to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Together with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, President Obama announced that the EU and the U.S. will begin negotiations on the trade agreement next month. The agreement will increase economic growth in the United States and the European Union.
[T]he U.S.-EU relationship is the largest in the world. It makes up nearly half of global GDP. We trade about $1 trillion in goods and services each year. We invest nearly $4 trillion in each other’s economies. And all that supports around 13 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. And this potentially groundbreaking partnership would deepen those ties. It would increase exports, decrease barriers to trade and investment. As part of broader growth strategies in both our economies, it would support hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the ocean.
G-8 Summit: On Tuesday, President Obama joined leaders from all over the world in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland for this year’s G-8 Summit. During plenary sessions, the President and the other G-8 leaders discussed the global economy and President Obama announced increased humanitarian assistance for Syria. The President also held meetings with President Vladmir Putin of Russia, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President François Hollande of France, Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan of Libya.
German Ties: The people of Berlin gathered on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday, almost 50 years after President Kennedy spoke to the Cold War-divided city, to hear President Obama speak about the strong bond between Germany and the United States.
In his speech, President Obama announced new measurements to reduce our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third. He also praised the Germans for their progress since the fall of the Berlin Wall, he acknowledged that the struggle for freedom, security, and human dignity still persists.
“When Europe and America lead with our hopes instead of our fears, we do things that no other nations can do, no other nations will do. So we have to lift up our eyes today and consider the day of peace with justice that our generation wants for this world.”