News / USA

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

Multimedia

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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid