Thursday, December 10, 2009

The United States and the Western Hemisphere: Partnership and Shared Responsibility

The United States and the Western Hemisphere: Partnership and Shared Responsibility. Bureau of Public Affairs, State Dept
December 10, 2009

"We are committed to working with you to keep our people safe and secure, to protect and harness our natural resources and to widen opportunity and prosperity. To achieve the shared prosperity we seek, we must integrate our commitment to democracy and open markets with an equal commitment to social justice."

— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have met every democratically elected leader in the Western Hemisphere, part of a forward-looking U.S. approach to the region that emphasizes shared responsibility for challenges and relationships. Our engagement with our hemispheric neighbors includes pragmatic and concrete partnerships addressing common challenges and advances a shared regional agenda of inclusive prosperity, democratic governance and citizen safety.

Commitment to Social and Economic Justice
The United States supports policies that broaden social opportunity and mobility, create a wider foundation for growth and ensure the benefits of growth and trade are more widely distributed, particularly among traditionally marginalized groups.

  • The U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racism breaks new ground in cooperation on racial issues and opens the way to similar dialogues with other countries.

New Partnerships Benefiting the Region’s Poorest and Most Vulnerable Citizens

  • The Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative fosters shared prosperity by expanding economic opportunities.
  • Microfinance Growth Fund for the Americas puts money in the hands of small and micro businesses that affect people’s daily lives.
  • The Inter-American Social Protection Network facilitates country-to-country partnerships to design or improve social protection programs, starting with conditional cash transfer programs.
  • The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas is a demand-driven, flexible approach to enhance energy efficiency and infrastructure, by promoting technology sharing and clean energy use.

Commitment to Citizen Safety
The United States and the nations of the Western Hemisphere have developed a series of partnerships to increase public safety and strengthen our ability to address a wide range of traditional and transnational threats, including health and natural disasters. These programs address local, transnational and white collar crime including corruption, as well as the links between these threats and the region’s social and economic challenges.

  • The Merida Initiative broadens and deepens our cooperation with our partners in Mexico and Central America to strengthen the rule of law institutions necessary to ensure citizen safety.
  • The Caribbean Security Basin Initiative reflects our commitment to greater shared security throughout the Caribbean and will address a broad spectrum of issues affecting the safety of citizens across a 15-nation region.
  • Emergency Management Agreements with Mexico and Canada have strengthened emergency communication capabilities and allowed our countries to develop effective responses to pandemic outbreaks.
  • The Colombia Strategic Development Initiative is a comprehensive approach to sustain stabilization gains made in Colombia by increasing the presence and impact of economic and social development institutions.

Bicentennials: 2010 is an important year of bicentennial celebrations in the Americas. Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico will all commemorate 200 years of independence. During this "Year of the Bicentennial," we will showcase a history of deepening integration in the hemisphere and a series of new partnerships with our neighbors to strengthen the ability of democracies to deliver safety and prosperity to all their citizens.