This was an incredible week for MFAN, the broader development community, and those struggling for a better life worldwide. With the world turned toward Turtle Bay for the Millennium Development Goals Summit and the UN General Assembly, as well as thought leaders from all over just across town at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), development issues became the center of discussion.
No announcement has the ability to impact all the small victories – like the new Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – more than the new U.S. Global Development Policy, which President Obama announced in his speech to the UN on Wednesday. President Obama used his speech as an opportunity to usher in a new era for development saying, “So let’s put to rest the old myth that development is mere charity that does not serve our interests. And let’s reject the cynicism that says certain countries are condemned to perpetual poverty. For the past half century has witnessed more gains in human development than at any time in history.”
The President specifically listed four pillars illuminating how the U.S. is “changing the way we do business” on development. Of significant importance to MFAN, he said the United States is changing how it defines development to mean “moving countries from poverty to prosperity.” To do this, the U.S. will use all the tools at its disposal – “from our diplomacy to our trade and investment policies” – to help move countries along this continuum.
Click to read the fact sheet outlining the new Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development and watch the full speech below:
USAID’s Science and Tech Side Event
Earlier this week, USAID co-hosted a forum on science and technology with the New York Academy of Sciences that included an “interactive science fair to highlight innovations and technologies designed for the developing world’s poorest populations, which are already in use or poised to enter the marketplace and that have significant life-saving and income-producing impact or potential. Exhibitors consist of world-class public, private, and academic organizations that have made the integration and application of science, technology, and innovation for development their primary goal.”
In a post USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah made on IMPACTblog after the forum, he said, “We’re thrilled at the growing momentum for S&T in development. It’s great to see the kind of unbridled entrepreneurial spirit that it takes to achieve the changes the world needs and USAID intends to be there leading the way.”
You can read about USAID’s track record of cultivating scientific advancements to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods around the world in a special report the agency produced for UNGA, Breakthroughs at USAID.
MFAN in the News, Again
As the week draws to a close, the excitement over the new policy is still in the air – and the media. MFAN Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram alongside MFAN Principals John Norris, Larry Nowels, and Liz Schrayer were quoted in a Devex story covering the new policy announcement and the President’s speech. Norris, who is the executive director of the Enough Project, also published an op-ed exploring the challenges ahead with implementation on ForeignPolicy.com. And Beckmann and MFAN Member Greg Adams of Oxfam were both quoted in an Associated Press roundup of reactions. Check out Kaiser Family Foundation’s compendium of media responses here and see MFAN’s other mentions in the news this week by clicking here.