Obama announces development plan at U.N.
By the CNN Wire Staff
New York (CNN) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced the creation of a comprehensive administration initiative devoted to spurring development efforts around the globe.
Obama calls it new U.S. Global Development Policy and says it’s the “first of its kind by an American administration.”
“Put simply, the United States is changing the way we do business,” Obama said at the summit of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, an ambitious agenda world leaders set 10 years ago to tackle global poverty, which has grown amid the world economic recession.
The program has four approaches. One is changing the definition of development.
“For too long, we’ve measured our efforts by the dollars we spent and the food and medicines that we delivered. But aid alone is not development. Development is helping nations to actually develop, moving from poverty to prosperity. And we need more than just aid to unleash that change. We need to harness all the tools at our disposal, from our diplomacy to our trade to our investment policies,” he said.
Second, the administration is changing how “the ultimate goal of development” is viewed.
“Our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasn’t always improved those societies over the long term. Consider the millions of people who have relied on food assistance for decades. That’s not development, that’s dependence, and it’s a cycle we need to break. Instead of just managing poverty, we have to offer nations and peoples a path out of poverty.”
Obama said that the United States will “partner with countries that are willing to take the lead” and that the time when “development was dictated by foreign capitals has come to an end.”
“The United States of America has been, and will remain, the global leader in providing assistance. We will not abandon those who depend on us for life-saving help, whether it’s food or medicine. We will keep our promises and honor our commitments,” he said.
But, he emphasized that creating the conditions where assistance is no longer needed is what is needed now.
“So we will seek partners who want to build their own capacity to provide for their people. We will seek development that is sustainable.”
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