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First Lady Hillary Clinton’s decision to travel to Beijing for the conference was not without its critics. Many in the United States government felt her presence would be a tacit endorsement of China’s human rights record, and undermine U.S. diplomatic pressure on the country to reform its laws. Despite this resistance, the First Lady was determined to not only attend the momentous occasion, but deliver remarks that would push the envelope on women’s rights globally. The U.S. delegation also included Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, a congressional delegation including U.S. Representatives Harman, Maloney and Morella and Senator Wirth, and high-level representatives from civil society and the private sector.

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