On Tuesday, October 21, I was privileged to attend the White House Summit on International Development. Throughout the day Summit participants took part in dialogue on how to sustain the new era of international development led by President Bush with strong bipartisan support in Congress.
Unlike older models of “donor” and “recipient” relationship, the new era of development is rooted in powerful partnerships between the American people and host nations. It is anchored by four powerful principles – local participation and ownership, good governance, poverty reduction through economic growth, and results.
For several years now, I have had the great privilege to lead an initiative that is part of the new era -- the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR is the largest international initiative in history dedicated to a single disease. To date, the American people have committed $18.8 billion for the first five years of PEPFAR and, recently, President Bush signed into law a bipartisan reauthorization for $48 billion for the next five years for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
PEPFAR’s success is rooted in the new era principles. The New York Times has called this break with the past a “philosophical revolution” in development. This view trusts and believes in others. It puts people from the village level to the national level and from all walks of life in control of their lives and destinies. As we continue forward in the new era, I am confident that the U.S. will continue to reach millions with HIV prevention, treatment and care and that it will continue to create hope for millions around the world.
At the Summit, I was privileged to moderate a plenary panel that focused on country ownership. It is fitting that we began this Summit with a discussion of country ownership because this principle is at the heart of effective development and thus a cornerstone of the New Era in Development.
Country ownership has been a key to PEPFAR’s success. Eighty-seven percent of our partners are local organizations – from all sectors of society. Individuals, communities and nations are taking responsibility for their epidemics and are transforming their lives, their communities and their countries. I have been privileged to see country ownership in action everywhere I go – from a nation’s capitol to remote villages. There are legions of local heroes with whom we are privileged to serve and partner.
Reflecting on the Summit, I remain confident in America’s ability to sustain the new era of development for generations to come. Americans realize, as President Bush often notes, that to whom much is given, much is required.