MCC at UNGA: A Week of Policy, Partnerships, and Progress

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 27, 2010

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping to lead the fight against global poverty. The Secretary of State is the Chair of the MCC Board, and Daniel W. Yohannes serves as MCC's Chief Executive Officer. As Mr. Yohannes writes on the MCC's CEO Blog this week, MCC's mission and work took center stage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). His blog entry provides reflections on events at UNGA, which included an MCC compact signing with the Philippines. Mr. Yohannes writes:

"I listened to President Obama unveil the first-ever development policy issued by a U.S. president. His groundbreaking MDG Summit speech outlined development's heightened role in U.S. global engagement as a strategic, economic, and moral imperative. The President emphasized that economic growth is the centerpiece of his new development policy, because growth is the fundamental force that will transform the developing world and eradicate poverty. He talked about empowering and partnering with countries committed to taking responsibility for their own development. And, he stressed that America's development investments can have maximum impact in partner countries that set in place high standards of transparency, good governance, and accountability.

"I am proud that MCC is already putting the President's core development principles into practice, like investing in economic growth, promoting country-led development, demanding accountability, and focusing on transparency and results. MCC's experiences have informed many aspects of the President's new policy. We are integral to the policy moving forward by sharing what we have learned, including our leadership on rigorous evidence-based evaluations to drive policy decisions and ensure aid effectiveness.

"The principles of effective development outlined in President Obama's policy were repeated by the presidents and prime ministers from a number of partner countries I met with this week to discuss progress on the implementation of their MCC compacts. They spoke about reforming their policies, building homegrown capacity and more responsive institutions, and delivering the results their citizens expect. These themes were also featured at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting. I was particularly struck by CGI's emphasis on strengthening market-based solutions and empowering girls and women, which are also clear priorities for MCC's work in partner countries worldwide and for achieving the economic growth underpinning the Obama Administration's global development policy.

"Moreover, the President's development policy embraces partnership as essential to success, and each MCC event in New York sought ways to mobilize the power of partnerships. I met President Benigno Aquino to sign a $434 million MCC compact with the Philippines. This compact will fight corruption by streamlining processes at the Bureau of Internal Review; strengthen local accountability through the Kalahi-CIDSS rural development program; and improve access to markets and community services through the construction and repair of 220 kilometers of Samar Road. The Philippines's MCC compact is another example of how we partner with countries committed to sound political, economic, and social policies vital for sustainable development to deliver the progress and results the poor expect."

Read Mr. Yohannes' full blog posting here, and Secretary Clinton's remarks at the MCC compact signing with the Philippines here.

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