US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said that countries like India are emerging as major contributors to global development efforts which has emerged as a key foreign policy tool.
“New countries are emerging as important contributors to global development, including China, Brazil, and India -- nations with the opportunity to play a key role, and with the responsibility to support sustainable solutions,” she said.
“Long-time leaders like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Japan, and others continue to reach billions through their longstanding work in dozens of countries,” she said in a speech ‘On Development in the 21st Century’
Multilateral organisations like the World Bank, the IMF, the UNDP, and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have the reach and resources to do what countries working alone cannot, along with valuable expertise in infrastructure, health, and finance initiatives, she said.
Non-profit organisations like the Gates Foundation, CARE, the Clinton Foundation, Oxfam International, networks of NGOs like InterAction, as well as other smaller groups like ACCION and Transparency International bring their own resources, deep knowledge, and commitment to humanitarian missions that complement our work in critical ways.
“Some foundations are combining philanthropy and capitalism in a very innovative approach, like the Acumen Fund,” she said.
Universities are engaging in critical research, both to solve urgent problems like hunger and disease, and to improve the work of development, like the work of the Poverty Action Lab at MIT,” she said.
Even private businesses are able to reach large numbers of people in a way that’s economically sustainable, because they bring to bear the power of markets, she noted.
“A company like Starbucks, which has worked to create supply chains from coffee-growing communities in the developing world that promote better environmental practices and better prices for farmers; or Unilever/Hindustan, which has created soap and hygiene products that the very poor – long-overlooked by private business -- can afford,” Ms. Clinton said.
The Secretary of State said she mention all of these because she wants to do a better job of both highlighting the multitude of partners and better coordinating among them.
“There should be an opportunity for us to strategically engage in a country with these other partners where we are not redundant or duplicative, but instead are working together to produce better results.
We believe that this will open up new opportunities and increase our impact,” she said.
Ms. Clinton said the Obama Administration is working to elevate development and integrate it more closely with defence and diplomacy in the field.
“Development must become an equal pillar of our foreign policy, alongside defence and diplomacy, led by a robust and reinvigorated AID,” she said.
Some of the most trans-formative figures in the history of development represent that convergence between development and diplomacy, she argued.
People like Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, or Jim Grant, whose global immunisation campaigns saved millions of children, or Wangari Maathai, whose Green Belt Movement has planted millions of trees across Africa and trained thousands of women to be leaders in conservation.
“These development giants combined outstanding technical expertise with a passionate belief in the power of their ideas.
They did whatever it took to convince at times quite reluctant leaders to join them, and as a result, helped to build and lead national, regional, and international movements for change,” she said.
Ms. Clinton said innovation is not just invention of new technologies. “It is also any breakthrough idea that transforms lives and reshapes our thinking,” she said.
“Like Muhammad Yunus’s belief that poor women armed with credit could become drivers of economic and social progress. Or Ela Bhatt’s vision of rural destitute women in India pooling together as the Self-Employed Women’s Association to generate incomes and build grassroots democracy. Or homeless women in South Africa who refused to be deterred by their circumstances and organised themselves to gain access to loans and materials that enable them to build their own houses and eventually whole communities that they now help lead,” Ms. Clinton said.