Celebrate, Innovate, and Sustain

Toward 2015 and Beyond

The United States’ Strategy for Meeting the Millennium Development Goals
September 2010

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a symbol of our common humanity.  They are a declaration of the world’s commitment to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality and environmental sustainability, and extending hope and opportunity to millions across the developing world.  The eight goals, organized around internationally agreed targets, have provided a framework to translate our highest ideals into concrete action.  They also have helped mobilize unprecedented political support and resources for development.

Enormous progress has been made toward meeting the MDGs, and we must recognize, celebrate, and support these achievements.  Above all, credit belongs to the citizens and governments of countries that have prioritized development and invested in their people.   These achievements are also testimony to the power of successful development partnerships, and the efforts of the United Nations and other multilateral agencies, donor governments, private business, and individuals from around the world. 

But much more remains to be done.  If we are to meet the ambitious objectives we have set, historic leaps in human development will be needed.  For this reason, we must be even more determined, strategic, and focused on results as we chart the path to 2015.  

  The United States seeks a safer, more prosperous, more democratic, and more equitable world. We cannot reach that goal when one‐third of humankind lives in conditions that offer them little chance of building better lives for themselves or their children. As recognized in the U.S. National Security Strategy, we believe that development is a moral, strategic, and economic imperative.  The successful pursuit of development is essential to advancing our national security objectives: security, prosperity, respect for universal values, and a just and sustainable international order.  Countries that achieve sustained development gains can be more capable partners, participate in and contribute to the global economy, and provide their people with the opportunity, means, and freedom to improve their lives. Therefore, we are elevating development as a key pillar of our foreign policy and making it central to our engagement with the world.

Our aggressive and affirmative development agenda is guided by the first‐ever U.S. global development policy – a forthcoming directive from President Obama which sets out the strategic objectives and the core approach to development for this administration.  The policy focuses the U.S. government on achieving sustainable development outcomes by making broad‐based economic growth and democratic governance top priorities, investing in game‐ changing innovations that have the potential to solve long‐standing development challenges, and building effective public sector capacity to provide basic services over the long term.  The policy also puts a premium on selectivity, on leveraging the expertise and resources of others, on empowering governments that demonstrate high standards of transparency and accountability, and on driving our investments with evidence of impact.  In tandem, in 2009 Secretary Clinton launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)3 to help build more agile, responsive, and effective institutions for diplomacy and development. Together, the U.S. global development policy and the QDDR will help modernize and strengthen our capacity to support countries to achieve sustainable development outcomes and guide the U.S. approach to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Last updated: January 11, 2013