Pursuing a Comprehensive Global Health Strategy: The United States has a moral and strategic interest in promoting global health. When a child dies of a preventable disease, it offends our conscience; when a disease goes unchecked, it can endanger our own health; when children are sick, development is stalled. That is why we are continuing to invest in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through the Global Health Initiative, we will strengthen health systems and invest in interventions to address areas where progress has lagged, including maternal and child health. And we are also pursuing the goal of reducing the burden of malaria and tuberculosis and seeking the elimination of important neglected tropical diseases.
Promoting Food Security: The United States is working with partners around the world to advance a food security initiative that combats hunger and builds the capacity of countries to feed their people. Instead of simply providing aid for developing countries, we are focusing on new methods and technologies for agricultural development. This is consistent with an approach in which aid is not an end in itself—the purpose of our foreign assistance will be to create the conditions where it is no longer needed.
Leading Efforts to Address Humanitarian Crises: Together with the American people and the international community, we will continue to respond to humanitarian crises to ensure that those in need have the protection and assistance they need. In such circumstances, we are also placing a greater emphasis on fostering long-term recovery. Haiti’s devastating earthquake is only the most recent reminder of the human and material consequences of natural disasters, and a changing climate portends a future in which the United States must be better prepared and resourced to exercise robust leadership to help meet critical humanitarian needs.
“As President of the United States, I will work tirelessly to protect America’s security and to advance our interests. But no one nation can meet the challenges of the 21st century on its own, nor dictate its terms to the world. That is why America seeks an international system that lets nations pursue their interests peacefully, especially when those interests diverge; a system where the universal rights of human beings are respected, and violations of those rights are opposed; a system where we hold ourselves to the same standards that we apply to other nations, with clear rights and responsibilities for all.” —President Barack Obama, Moscow, Russia, July 7, 2009 —
The United States will protect its people and advance our prosperity irrespective of the actions of any other nation, but we have an interest in a just and sustainable international order that can foster collective action to confront common challenges. This international order will support our efforts to advance security, prosperity, and universal values, but it is also an end that we seek in its own right. Because without such an international order, the forces of instability and disorder will undermine global security. And without effective mechanisms to forge international cooperation, challenges that recognize no borders—such as climate change, pandemic disease, and transnational crime—will persist and potentially spread.