Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
U.S. Department of State
July 10, 2020
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention today. On behalf of President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the United States government, it’s an honor to join you.
The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is focusing on the world’s most pressing development challenges in the context of a devastating global pandemic. As we look forward to the Decade of Action, the achievement of sustainable development will be severely challenged by these and other disruptions. The United States is committed to the values and needs that underlie development around the world by working alongside civil society and the private sector to advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
We lead the world in health and humanitarian aid. We account for more than 40 percent of total global health funding. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the United States has allocated more than $10 billion that will benefit the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Our new Development Finance Corporation recently approved $1 billion in additional investments that will advance sustainable development in Africa, Latin America, the Indo-Pacific, and enhance U.S. engagements with emerging markets.
These projects will strengthen health systems, bolster food security, and expand access to financial services for women, small businesses, and other under-served groups. To give just one example, the United States has allocated $122 million in health assistance to Pacific and Caribbean Small Island Developing States to aid in their pandemic responses.
In all of these efforts, the United States is guided by values that form the basis of trust – values such as transparency, reciprocity, integrity, accountability, respect for rule of law, respect for property of all kinds, respect for sovereignty of nations, respect for the planet, and respect for basic human rights. These values are essential for providing the foundation to peace and stability, which is required for progress on the 2030 Agenda.
The United States is committed to combining efforts with other countries, companies, and civil societies that share commitment to those same trust principles. We call it the Economic Prosperity Network, and we ask all of you to join. Through this network, we will have strength in numbers against authoritarian economies that seek to subvert the interests of developing nations. Think of it as a network of networks, comprised of other regional and sector specific initiatives.
One is the Blue Dot Network, which the United States launched in November 2019 with our partners Japan and Australia to certify quality infrastructure development. Blue Dot certification highlights infrastructure done right – infrastructure built with transparent procurement practices, quality infrastructure, and in a way that does not harm local communities.
When it comes to meeting the estimated $1.7 trillion annual shortfall in infrastructure investment, and the vast development and humanitarian needs in the developing world, we also recognize the need for robust private sector involvement. That is why the Economic Prosperity Network, and the Blue Dot Network, both prioritize private sector involvement – not just from U.S. companies, but from all ethical and values-oriented businesses and foundations around the world.
We’re very proud that here in the U.S., private philanthropy far outstrips government assistance. Altogether, the developing world receives over $360 billion from the U.S. every year – and more than 90% of that is from its private sector.
Finally, the United States is also leading the way on debt sustainability – in stark contrast to unsustainable collateralized debt with secretive loans and lopsided investments offered by others. In fact, I take this opportunity to call on all sovereign and state-owned creditors to transparently disclose their use of collateral in debt-financed infrastructure development projects. Collateralized finance must not undermine transparency, good governance, debt sustainability, and sovereignty in recipient
Take for example, the United States’ commitment to implementing the Debt Service Suspension Initiative announced by the G20 and the Paris Club. This provides struggling countries fiscal space to fund their pandemic responses. The United States will continue to implement the DSSI across our export credit and development finance agencies. We call on all official creditor governments to do the same in a fully transparent manner.
In conclusion, I want to thank each and every one of your countries for your hard work and leadership. The United States reiterates our support of the 2030 Agenda as a global framework for sustainable development, helping countries work toward global peace and prosperity. The Agenda reminds us that we all have a shared responsibility to work toward achieving its vision. The United States is ready to be of service, through partnership and cooperation with all of you.
Thank you very much, and God bless all of you.