The 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS), released today by President Obama, makes a powerful argument about how central development is to our national security and prosperity.
Our biggest global challenges: improving global health security; addressing inequality; confronting climate change; countering authoritarian regimes and extremism; and ending conflict all require successful humanitarian and development responses.
USAID’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies is right at the center of this strategy.
“We have an historic opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation and put our societies on a path of shared and sustained prosperity. In so doing, we will foster export markets for U.S. businesses, improve investment opportunities, and decrease the need for costly military interventions.”
The new NSS comes at a seminal moment for international development, as the world comes together in 2015 to create new goals for development, for climate, and figures out how to get them done.
Strong and sustainable American leadership is the central theme of the strategy. In it, President Obama calls for the United States to play “a leading role in defining the international community’s post-2015 agenda for eliminating extreme poverty and promoting sustainable development.”
USAID is delivering on this pledge through efforts with our civil society partners, at the United Nations, and in the 80 countries around the world where we practice what we preach.
Development is a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach. The challenges we face, and ambitions we harbor, require this. Our New Model for Development ties together the need for local ownership and good governance with big public private partnerships that deliver big results.
The strategy doubles down on this by calling for us to “use our leadership to promote a model of financing that leverages billions in investment from the private sector and draws on America’s scientific, technological, and entrepreneurial strengths to take to scale proven solutions in partnership with governments, business, and civil society.”
In 2010, President Obama said that USAID must be the world’s premier development agency. This is needed to bring the historic changes to women and girls, people burdened by hunger and disease, and those struggling for freedom that our values and our national security require. The 2015 NSS reflects an Agency transformed.
The development voice is strong, and we are delivering on ambitious goals like lifting 7 million farmers out of extreme poverty, getting 100 million children reading, and driving infant and maternal mortality to record lows.
“We embrace our exceptional role and responsibilities at a time when our unique contributions and capabilities are needed most, and when the choices we make today can mean greater security and prosperity for our Nation for decades to come.”
USAID’s work has never been more central to this goal.