• Promoting sound development policies that help build the economic and social framework needed to encourage economic growth and poverty reduction and facilitate the effective use of external assistance.
• Debt relief to free up developing countries’ resources for meeting the basic needs of their people. The United States led the G-7 in adopting the Cologne Debt Initiative for reducing debts owed them by those of the world’s poorest countries committed to sound policies that promote economic growth and poverty reduction. The resulting plan is embodied in the HIPC Initiative.
• Public health assistance consisting of grants, loans, and tax incentives for the prevention and treatment of epidemics such as AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as the training of individuals to continue providing public health services.
• Human capacity development assistance for basic education and literacy programs, job skills training, and other programs specifically designed to protect women’s health, provide educational opportunity, and promote women’s empowerment.
• Leadership in the G-8 and OECD to raise environmental standards for export credit agencies and international financial institutions.
In consonance with our values, when a nation that embraces globalization gets left behind, the United States and other proponents of globalization should reach out a hand. Doing so in a manner that promotes not just development, but sustainable development, enhances regional stability, steadily expands the economic growth on which demand for our exports depends, and honors our values, which encourage us to share our wealth with others and inspire growth for more than just ourselves.
Promoting Democracy and Human Rights
The third goal of our national security strategy is to promote democracy, human rights, and respect for the rule of law. Since the founding of the republic, our actions as a Nation have always been guided by our belief that individuals should control their own destinies: economically, politically, and spiritually. Our core values — political and economic freedom, respect for human rights, and the rule of law — support this belief, guiding the conduct of our government at home as well as in its dealings with others outside our borders. Much as John Winthrop set a standard for early colonists that we “be as a city upon a hill,” nearly four centuries later we still seek to demonstrate the power of our democratic ideals and values by our example. This does not make us turn inward or isolationist, nor should it be interpreted as a bid for hegemony. Rather, in keeping with our values, we have lent our encouragement, support, and assistance to those nations and peoples that freely desire to achieve the same benefits of liberty. The extraordinary movement of nations away from repressive governance and toward democratic and publicly accountable institutions over the last decade reflects how these ideals, when allowed to be freely shared, can spread widely and rapidly, enhancing the security of all nations. Despite some minor setbacks for a few of the newer democracies in the last several years, the trend continues. Since the success of many of those changes is by no means assured, our strategy must focus on strengthening the commitment and capacity of nations to implement democratic reforms, protect human rights, fight corruption and increase transparency in government. For this reason, we join with other nations in creating the community of democracies. In June 2000, 106 countries meeting in Warsaw, Poland endorsed the Warsaw Declaration laying out criteria for democracy and pledging to help each other remain on the democratic path.
The United States works to strengthen democratic and free market institutions and norms in all countries, particularly those making the transition from closed to open societies. This commitment to see freedom and respect for human rights take hold is not only just, but pragmatic. Our security depends upon the protection and expansion of democracy worldwide, without which repression, corruption and instability could engulf a number of countries and threaten the stability of entire regions.
The sometimes difficult road for new democracies in the 1990’s demonstrates that free elections are not enough. Genuine, lasting democracy also requires respect for human rights, including the right to political dissent; freedom of religion and belief; an independent media capable of engaging an informed citizenry; a robust civil society and strong Non-governmental Organization (NGO) structures; the rule of law and an independent judiciary; open and competitive economic structures; mechanisms to safeguard minorities from oppressive rule by the majority; full respect for women’s and workers’ rights; and civilian control of the military.
The United States is helping consolidate democratic and market reforms in Central and Eastern Europe and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Integrating new democracies in Europe into European political, economic and security organizations, such as NATO, OSCE, the EU, and the Council of Europe, will help lock in and preserve the impressive progress these nations have made in instituting democratic and market-
economic reforms. Consolidating advances in democracy and free markets in our own hemisphere remains a high priority. In the Asia Pacific region, economic dynamism is increasingly associated with political modernization, democratic evolution, and the widening of the rule of law. Indonesia’s October 1999 election was a significant step toward democracy and we will do our part to help Indonesia continue on that path. In Africa, we are particularly attentive to states, such as South Africa and Nigeria, whose entry into the community of market democracies may influence the future direction of an entire region.
The methods for assisting emerging democracies are as varied as the nations involved. Our public diplomacy programs are designed to share our democratic experience in both government and civil society with the publics in emerging democracies. We must continue leading efforts to mobilize international economic and political resources, as we have with Russia, Ukraine, and other countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and with Southeast Europe. We must take firm action to help counter attempts to reverse democracy, as has happened in Fiji, Haiti, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Peru.
We must help democratizing nations strengthen the pillars of civil society by supporting administration of justice and rule of law programs; promoting the principle of civilian control of the military; and training foreign police and security forces to solve crimes and maintain order without violating the basic human rights of their citizens. And we must seek to improve their market and educational institutions, fight corruption and political discontent by encouraging good governance practices, and encourage a free and independent local media that may promote these principles without fear of reprisal.
Adherence to Universal Human Rights and Democratic Principles
We must sustain our efforts to press for adherence to democratic principles, and respect for basic human rights and the rule of law worldwide, including in countries that continue to defy democratic advances. Working bilaterally and through international institutions, the United States promotes universal adherence to democratic principles and international standards of human rights. Our efforts in the United Nations, the Community of Democracies, and other organizations continue to make these principles the governing standards for acceptable international behavior.