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July 31, 2020 Source:  Keith Krach

State Department

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Under Secretary of State Keith Krach UN High Level Political Forum 2020

Under Secretary of State Keith Krach addresses the 2020 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. This year’s forum is focused on the world’s most pressing development challenges in the context of a devastating global pandemic. According to Secretary Krach, the coming decade of sustainable development will be severely challenged by this and other disruptions. Nevertheless, the United States is committed to the values and needs that underline development around the world, working alongside civil society and the private sector to advance progress on the sustainable development goals.

According to Krach, "The U.S. leads 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 one billion dollars 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 underserved 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."

Krach continues, "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 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 one point seven trillion annual shortfall in infrastructure investment and the vast development of humanitarian aids 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 and 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 percent of that is from its private sector. Finally, 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 and debt finance, infrastructure development projects."

"Collateralized finance must not undermine transparency, good governance, debt sustainability and sovereignty in recipient member states. Take, for example, the United States commitment to implementing the debt service suspension initiative announced by the G20 and the Paris Club. And this provides struggling countries fiscal space to fund their pandemic responses. The United States will continue to implement the DSSI across all 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 just want to thank each and every one of your countries for your hard work and your 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, and the United States is ready to be of service to partnership and cooperation with all of you. Thank you very much. And God bless all of you."

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