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Everyone says August in Washington, D.C. is quiet. That is of course, unless you are planning to attend the presidential conventions and from what I can tell, just about everyone is sending someone to the conventions. And this time around, CGD is going to both of them.

September 8th: See Our Updated Republican Convention Slideshow and Read the Blog Entry?

September 2nd: See Our Updated Democratic Convention Slideshow and Read the Blog Entry ?

CGD President Nancy Birdsall and I are headed to Denver next week for the Democratic National Convention and to Minneapolis the following week for the Republican National Convention. While some may think we’re going for the parties (Kanye West? Willie Nelson? LeAnn Rimes? Rage Against the Machine?) we are not. There is actually a lot more going on related to global development at the conventions than one might expect.

For starters, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and friends are hosting an “International Roundtable on Combating Global Poverty” in Denver where Nancy Birdsall will join former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO John Danilovich, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, the actor and advocate Ben Affleck and other distinguished panelists to offer suggestions on how the next administration can help tackle global poverty and improve the U.S. role in the world.

At the Republican Convention, the ONE Campaign has pulled together two high-level panels to address 1) U.S. leadership in global health and 2) growth, opportunity, and stability in the developing world. Nancy will speak on the second panel, where I expect that she and others will make the case that growth, opportunity and stability in the developing world is in our own self-interest: it’s critical to growth, opportunity and stability in the U.S. and other rich countries, too.

Besides the panels Nancy will join, there are many other discussions about the U.S. role in the world and the next president’s opportunity to make global development a key part of U.S. foreign policy and national security. These include events hosted by Oxfam, the German Marshall Fund, the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, and others.

Can you remember the last time that global development, trade, climate change and other U.S. policies affecting prosperity and growth in developing countries were part of the U.S. national debate in a presidential election? This year, the issues are very much on the table, including in the Democratic National Committee Platform. As I write, the Republican platform hasn’t yet been posted but given the planned activities at the convention, I’m hopeful that we will see global development addressed there as well.

The upsurge in attention is something that we at the Center and our friends in other development organizations have been working towards for a long time. It’s a sign of a growing recognition that global development matters for prosperity and security both globally and at home. CGD’s contribution to this shared effort lies in our solid research and analysis, including most recently in The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President. But these issues would be nowhere on the political radar, and certainly not at the conventions, without the hard work of organizations like the ONE Campaign, who have shown U.S. politicians that there is indeed an American constituency - often clad in ONE Campaign t-shirts—eager for the next U.S. president to make global development a U.S. priority.

Updates to follow from the conventions!

Disclaimer

CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.