News / USA

Clinton Says Development Aid 'Central Pillar' of US Foreign Policy

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a Washington policy address Wednesday said the Obama administration intends to put development and foreign aid on the same level as diplomacy and military power in U.S. foreign policy.  She also said empowering women around the world is not just a personal priority but a strategic interest of the United States.

Clinton, in office now for nearly a year, has spoken frequently about the need to upgrade and modernize the U.S. foreign aid program. But her speech at a Washington policy institute was the first devoted entirely to the subject and she said it is time to elevate development as a "central pillar" of foreign policy.

The Secretary, speaking at the Peterson Institute of International Economics, said the United States seeks a safer, more prosperous, more democratic and equitable world but it can't be assured of progress toward that goal as long as a third of mankind is mired in poverty.

"We cannot stop terrorism or defeat the ideologies of violent extremism when hundreds of millions of young people see a future with no jobs, no hope and no way ever to catch up to the developed world," said Hillary Clinton. "We cannot build a stable global economy when hundreds of millions of workers and families find themselves on the wrong side of globalization, cut off from markets and out of reach of modern technologies."

The Obama administration has already promised to double the non-military U.S. foreign aid budget to $50 billion a year by 2012 and Clinton's speech offered no new commitments.

But she said the U.S. Agency for International Development, which in the process of doubling its overseas staff, must be rebuilt into the world's premier development agency. She also said the U.S. aid community must have the courage to rethink its strategies and must not simply add up the dollars spent, but assure that the programs achieve lasting change in recipient nations.

"In countries that are incubators of extremism like Yemen, or are ravaged by poverty and natural disasters like Haiti, the odds are long," she said. "But the cost of doing nothing is potentially far greater. We must accept that our development model cannot be formulaic, that which works in Pakistan may not work in Peru. So our approach must be case-by-case and country by country, region-by-region."

Clinton paid tribute to two aid initiatives of the Bush administration - the Millennium Challenge Corporation - which makes grants to countries with concrete plans for good governance and fighting corruption, and PEPFAR - the anti HIV-AIDS program - which has provided millions of Africans and others with anti-viral medications while stressing AIDS prevention.

She also said the administration intends to better coordinate traditional aid programs with others aimed at boosting foreign trade and investment like AGOA, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. 

And she said the United States is moving to put women at the "front and center" of U.S. development work, saying women and girls are one of the world's greatest untapped resources.

"This is not only a strategic interest of the United States, it is an issue of personal importance to me, and one I have worked on for almost four decades," Hillary Clinton. "I will not accept words without deeds when it comes to women's progress. I will hold our agencies accountable for ensuring that our government and our foreign policy support the world's woman and achieve lasting, meaningful progress on this issues."

The Secretary of State said she is working to integrate U.S. aid efforts more closely with diplomacy and defense operations abroad without politicizing aid programs - saying the "3-D's" - development, diplomacy and defense - must be mutually-reinforcing.  She also said that advancing human rights is an "integral part" of the U.S. development agenda. 
 

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid