Our second day at UNGA included two addresses by President Obama, an event about Ensuring Resilient Livelihoods, a Coca Cola partnership announcement, and an event to commemorate the the Every Woman Every Child movement.
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama remembered Ambassador Chris Stevens and delivered a defense of both free speech and the spirit of tolerance: “Understand America will never retreat from the world. We will bring justice to those who harm our citizens and our friends, and we will stand with our allies. We are willing to partner with countries around the world to deepen ties of trade and investment, and science and technology, energy and development — all efforts that can spark economic growth for all our people and stabilize democratic change.”
Later that day at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), President Obama made moving remarks on combating trafficking-in-persons (C-TIP), calling it “one of the great human rights struggles of our time.” USAID is answering the President’s call to “pay attention” to this “barbaric” human right offense. Earlier this year, USAID launched a new Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy to reinvigorate and focus Agency efforts to C-TIP on concrete, measurable principles and objectives.
At CGI, the Coca-Cola Company and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced that they will expand the reach of “Project Last Mile,” which helps government and non-governmental organizations deliver critical medicines to remote parts of the world, beginning in rural Africa. As “Project Last Mile” continues to expand to other regions, USAID will partner to help ensure that vital drugs, medicines and medical supplies get to the people who need them most. “We are proud to join this high-impact public-private partnership with an eye towards expanding into other countries,” said USAID Administratrator Shah. “Leveraging Coca-Cola’s core business expertise and distribution channels has the potential to significantly improve how we bring life-saving products to the hardest-to-reach parts of the world.”
That afternoon, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the United Nations Foundation hosted a high-level event highlighting the new international commitment to building resilience for vulnerable communities. Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah welcomed expert speakers including Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme; and Heikki Holmås, Minister of International Development of Norway. USAID is helping to lead an international commitment to building resilience in areas prone to cyclical crisis so that development gains endure and whole livelihoods are not lost with the next shock.
Finally, Administrator Shah joined global leaders and celebrities to advocate for women and children at the Every Woman, Every Child dinner held at the Museum of Modern Art. In his remarks, Dr. Shah reflected on U.S. leadership in maternal and child health, and highlighted the Child Survival Call to Action held in June. More than 150 countries have now signed the “A Promise Renewed” pledge – committing to sharpen country strategies with the goal of ending preventable child deaths.