About the Author: Brian H. Hook serves as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Affairs.
The UN Review Conference on Financing for Development closed today in Doha. We adopted an outcome statement reaffirming the Monterrey Consensus and calling for a renewed commitment to its principles. The U.S. delegation and many others worked long into the night during the conference to reach agreement on what turned out to be an 85-paragraph statement.
The outcome statement is important for a number of reasons, but perhaps most important in my view because it clearly endorses the actions taken since Monterrey as the right path to improved development results. For decades before Monterrey, the old foreign aid paradigm focused solely on donor responsibility to provide aid. This sort of top-down approach did little to advance global development, and too often it created recipient dependence, undermined private enterprise, and suppressed entrepreneurial initiative.
At Monterrey, President Bush led an effort to launch a new paradigm, where primary responsibility for growth and development rests with the developing countries, with developed countries committed to not only increasing development assistance, but also expanding trade linkages, investment, and other private resource flows.
As I noted in my previous post, the United States has led the way in making this new paradigm a reality, and this conference acknowledged the significant development progress triggered by this paradigm. As we leave Doha, there should be no doubt that the United States will remain the world leader in advancing global development consistent with the Monterrey principles, even in these times of economic difficulty.