I am honored to join the Secretary in submitting the joint Strategic Plan of the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development.
Foreign assistance is a mainstream commitment of the U.S. Government, and development is a critical pillar of our National Security Strategy. There is no doubt that helping developing nations become peaceful, stable and economically selfsufficient is in the best interest of our Nation's security.
Since 2001, the United States has made an enormous commitment to foreign assistance, effectively tripling official development assistance by 2005. With these increased resources have come added responsibilities. We must focus more intently on performance, results, and accountability. We must also measure success in the ability of recipient nations to graduate from traditional development assistance to become full partners in international peace and prosperity.
With the creation of the Office of the Director of U. S. Foreign Assistance, the United States seeks to reform the organization, planning, and implementation of its foreign assistance in order to strategically align our resources with the challenges we face. Foreign assistance reform is targeted to the achievement of the common goal and objectives outlined in the Foreign Assistance Framework. Implementing a common strategy through the Framework requires us to integrate our planning, budgeting, programming, and results reporting at every level. Doing so will improve the transparency of our development resources and ultimately strengthen accountability for what we achieve with those resources.
The ultimate goal of this reform effort is transformational development. Such development engenders lasting economic, social, and democratic progress, through a transformation of institutions, economic structures, and human capacity, so that nations can sustain further advances on their own. Although the primary responsibility for ultimately achieving this transformation rests with the leadership and citizens of the developing nations themselves, U.S. assistance and policy can and must play a vital and catalytic role in supporting our host countries' own national vision for advancement.
Sustainability and local ownership are the keys to transformational development. The principle of sustainability— pioneered by USAID—has now been adopted by most major donors. By working toward the seven Strategic Goals outlined in this joint Strategic Plan, the dedicated men and women of USAID and the Department of State will ensure that the United States remains a leader in promoting transformational development throughout the world.