The new virtual courtrooms allow justice to be imparted in Colombia’s most remote areas. Florida International University/Carlos E. Vargas Camacho Image
Just and democratic governance is important to the U.S. Government and the American public for three interrelated reasons: as a matter of principle, as a contribution to U.S. national security, and as a cornerstone of a broader development agenda. Governments that respect human rights, respond to the needs of their people, and govern by rule of law are more likely to conduct themselves responsibly toward other nations. Effective and accountable democratic states are also best able to promote broad-based and sustainable prosperity. The goal of the U.S. Government is therefore to promote freedom and strengthen effective democracies by assisting countries to move along a continuum toward democratic consolidation. Within this strategic goal, there are four strategic program areas: rule-of-law and human rights, good governance, political competition and consensus-building, and civil society.
Of the 19 indicators within this Strategic Goal, three met or exceeded targets and four were below target. Ratings are not available for 12 indicators that are either new or for which data are not yet available. The Department of State and USAID allocated $3.4 billion toward this Strategic Goal in FY 2009, which is seven percent of the total State-USAID budget supporting all strategic goals. A more detailed discussion of the priorities under this Strategic Goal and U.S. Government performance for five illustrative indicators is provided in the following section.