In FY 2010, U. S. support in the Western Hemisphere enhanced core U.S. interests and well-being through investments in increased security and prosperity for American citizens, as well as for U.S. international partners. The United States remains an indispensible ally in promoting stable, prosperous, and democratic societies through providing assistance to the most vulnerable, and by pursuing dynamic partnerships with Latin American neighbors.
Opportunity in the Americas – Economic Prosperity and Social Inclusion: During her policy address on the Americas in June 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about Opportunity in the Americas. The United States envisions a more prosperous hemisphere with greater trade opportunities for all, and increased U.S. exports to the region. The United States also seeks a hemisphere that is more competitive and equitable, and provides greater social mobility for its citizens. The U.S. Government continues to support common prosperity through such initiatives as Pathways to Prosperity, and remains committed to helping close the opportunity gap that exists for farmers, small business owners, women, and historically marginalized populations so that they may have the chance to contribute to and share in broader economic progress. In support of this goal, the United States is focusing on improving food security and building the capacity of U.S. trading partners to benefit from free trade agreements with the United States. The United States is also working in the Western Hemisphere to fight social inequality and poverty through the Inter-American Social Protection Network, demonstrating the commitment of governments and citizens throughout the region to achieve social justice in creative and innovative ways. The United States continues to support trade and investment opportunities in the region in order to bolster the strong economic growth necessary to achieve and sustain economic prosperity.
Social Equity Among All Peoples of the Americas: The U.S. Government has supported countries in the region in building sustainable systems to prevent disease, advance maternal and child health, improve nutrition, and deliver health services to the disadvantaged, which has directly contributed to reduced poverty rates. The United States has also strengthened early-grade reading and provided higher education opportunities to marginalized students, allowing citizens to share more equally in economic growth benefits through increased productivity and job prospects.
Citizen Safety: Crime and violence are a major challenge to Latin America’s development and represent a threat to U.S. borders and citizens. Keeping both U.S. citizens and citizens throughout the hemisphere safe requires going beyond preventing drug production, trafficking, or consumption. The safety of people throughout the hemisphere depends on effective and accountable institutions of governance and strengthened rule of law. In recognition of this, U.S. Government partner initiatives—including the Merida Initiative in Mexico, the Central America Regional Security Initiative, and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative—are whole-of-government, integrated, multi-dimensional approaches that include a sharp focus on crime prevention, justice system reforms, anticorruption efforts, law enforcement effectiveness, and programs targeting at-risk youth.
Democratic Governance: The United States recognizes that the goals of facilitating regional prosperity, citizen safety, and a clean energy future will require building stronger and more participatory and effective institutions of real democratic governance. In partnership with host-government counterparts, the United States supports leading roles for both multilateral organizations, such as the Organization of American States’ role in strengthening implementation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and local nongovernmental organizations in ensuring that all citizens receive the benefits of democratic societies.
Clean Energy and Global Climate Change: The United States has compelling political, economic, and environmental stakes in regional and global advances toward a secure future based on clean energy and improved environmental management, including adaptation to climate change impacts. Toward that end, President Obama invited all countries of the hemisphere to join the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, which is undertaking initiatives that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy poverty, infrastructure, cleaner use of fossil fuels, sustainable forests, and climate change adaptation. Many Latin American countries are making enormous contributions to the development of new forms of clean energy and improved management and conservation of natural resources, especially forest ecosystems. Secretary Clinton has also launched a Climate Change Policy Dialogue with Brazil to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote greater scientific cooperation, and advance clean energy technologies.
Assistance Coordination and Effectiveness: The U.S. Government sees important opportunities to more effectively coordinate assistance and leverage resources in the hemisphere. The Department is engaging with donor partners such as Canada, Spain, and the EU, as well as aid recipients to improve information sharing in the region. Inter-American players such as the Central American Integration System and the Caribbean Community, as well as other actors such as the Organization of American States, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank are also key partners.
Department of State
Secretary Clinton and Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Espinosa presiding over the Second Merida initiative High Level Working Group Meeting. Under Pillar II of Merida (institutionalize the Capacity to Sustain the Rule of Law), USAID Mexico worked at the federal and state levels through its Justice and Security Program to train over 14,288 justice sector personnel on the new oral, adversarial system. With this support, USAID helped seven Mexican states pass the required penal and criminal reforms.