Secretary Clinton Makes the Case for Investing in Development
In a major address on “Development in the 21st Century”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a clear case for why the U.S. must be investing abroad, even at a time when Americans are facing hardship at home. In this important speech, capturing the vision of the Administration’s development policy, Secretary Clinton reminded the audience that “we contribute less than one percent of our budget to foreign assistance,” and “Why development in other countries matters to the American people and to our nation’s security and prosperity.”
“The United States seeks a safer, more prosperous, more democratic, and more equitable world,” she said, and development is central to U.S. efforts to stopping terrorism and global pandemics, building a stable global economy, and advancing democracy and the rule of law. Throughout her address, Clinton cited numerous examples of development needs, such as in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Yemen, and successes in places like Ghana, Rwanda, and Thailand.
While admitting that the “three Ds” of smart power have not always been well coordinated, she stated, “It’s time for a new mindset for a new century. Time to retire old debates and replace dogmatic attitudes with clear reasoning and common sense. And time to elevate development as a central pillar of our foreign policy and to rebuild USAID into the world’s premier development agency.”
In her remarks, the Secretary sought to differentiate between aid and investment. While aid will always be necessary for emergency response, she said, we must “break the cycle of dependence that aid can create by helping countries build their own institutions and their own capacity to deliver essential services. Aid chases need; investment chases opportunity.” She highlighted the Millennium Challenge Corporation as an example of investing in countries who are investing in themselves.
In addition to a plug for more resources, the Secretary laid out six approaches to development in the 21 century:
- Adopting a model of development based on partnership, not patronage
- Integrating development more closely with defense and diplomacy in the field
- Working to improve the coordination of development across Washington
- Concentrating our work in sectors or areas of convergence
- Increasing our nation’s investment in innovation
- Focusing more of our investment on women and girls