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Bono argues in Sunday’s New York Times that President Obama has already taken major and very welcome steps to “rebrand” America in the eyes of the world. How? By making this statement at the United Nations:
“We will support the Millennium Development Goals, and approach next year’s summit with a global plan to make them a reality. And we will set our sights on the eradication of extreme poverty in our time.”
Since the coup ousting Honduran president Manuel Zelaya last June, the international community has responded with strong words and a mix of mostly mild actions. The Organization of American States (OAS) unanimously voted to suspend Honduras when the de facto regime ignored its demand for the immediate reinstatement of Zelaya, and the UN General Assembly has also adopted a resolution denouncing the coup. The United States and European Union have halted some forms of non-humanitarian aid. But despite some calls for action , the United States and other major trade partners have yet to adopt trade sanctions or to freeze the coup leaders' assets.
Yes that’s right. Securitizing is a bad word nowadays, but in fact it’s a great idea that I’ve written about -- as a wishful dream not a possible Gates-sponsored reality. Yet here it is in a recent Economist article: “Or the foundation might provide insurance against the non-payment of aid promised by a donor, so that a government will know that, one way or another, the money will come.”
I am pleased to announce that CGD has expanded its work in monitoring U.S. foreign assistance. Sheila Herrling, whom many of you know from her wonderful stewardship of our MCA Monitor, has been named Director, Monitoring Foreign Assistance Program and will be managing our Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Program, a one-stop shop for information, dialogue and analysis on the progress and challenges in modernizing U.S. foreign assistance.
As others before me have reported, Paul Farmer, the longest-rumored contender for the USAID Administrator nomination, is out of the running. And so begins again a courtship ritual that, funny enough, is captured in the old children’s rhyme that bears his name.
Secretary Clinton will be leaving August 5 for a seven-country tour of Africa. She will hit Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde. (Whew!) The itinerary suggests that the theme of the trip will be more real politik than President Obama’s recent visit to Ghana which stressed good governance and was a celebration of Ghana’s recent electoral and economic successes. The Secretary, in choosing the largest economies and the continent’s most influential capitals, is likely to highlight more traditional U.S. economic and security interests. A few thoughts on what to expect -- and what Africa can hope for: