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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Western Hemisphere Region


Bureau of Resource Management
Report
May 10, 2010

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Countries in the Western Hemisphere must work together to advance prosperity and security throughout the region. In FY 2009, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to fulfilling its responsibility to nations in the hemisphere as an equal partner, recognizing that it must stimulate growth in order to create prosperity and provide assistance to those that are most vulnerable.

Promoting Common Prosperity. In FY 2009, the global economic crisis seriously affected the region, threatening recent progress in poverty reduction. To mitigate its significant impact on the availability of credit for the small and medium businesses that provide most jobs in the region, the USG initiated a new Microfinance Growth Fund that provided stable sources of finance and rebuilt lending capacity. Continuing efforts to make the benefits of market-based economies flow to all, the United States re-launched its Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas program to reinforce labor and environmental standards, improve economic competitiveness, bolster small and medium businesses, and promote trade growth.

Advancing Social Inclusion. In FY 2009, the region continued to have the largest gap in the world between rich and poor. The United States is committed to supporting the newly launched Inter-American Social Protection Network to promote the exchange of social protection best practices among hemispheric countries and help reduce social inequality and poverty. The United States also proposed a pilot program to form education partnerships with certain countries in the hemisphere and focus on at-risk youth.

Improving Common Security. Organized crime, terrorism, and trafficking in people and illicit goods continued to be the principal hemispheric security threat in FY 2009. The United States continued work to break the power of criminal organizations in the region through the enduring support of the Merida Initiative, a new paradigm for security cooperation with Mexico and Central America. The United States also continued to make advances in efforts to combat illicit narcotics cultivation and trafficking; the Andean Trade Promotion and Eradication Act contributed significantly to export diversification in the Andean region, and strengthened its legitimate economies as alternatives to narcotics production. Finally, through the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the USG continued to improve security with Canada and Mexico by coordinating border policies, cooperating on regulations, and preparing for potential pandemic situations.

Protecting the Democratic State. In FY 2009, the United States continued its commitment to fostering democratic governance and protecting fundamental rights by working multilaterally through the Organization of American States and other institutions in the Inter-American system. While seeking a new beginning with Cuba, the United States continued to urge the Cuban Government to begin a peaceful transition to democracy. This effort relates to the Democracy, Good Governance, and Human Rights High Priority Performance Goal.

Combating Climate Change and Increasing Energy Security. With nearly 50% of U.S. oil imports coming from the hemisphere, the United States proposed the creation of a new Energy Climate Partnership of the Americas, a voluntary and flexible framework for advancing energy security and combating climate change. The United States also expressed a commitment to working closely on energy and climate with Brazil, Canada, and Mexico through the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. This effort relates to the Climate Change High Priority Performance Goal.

 




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