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13th Session of the UN Comm. on Sustainable Dev.

Opening Remarks at the 13th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13)

Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
Remarks to...
New York City
April 20, 2005

Mr. Chairman, the United States is gratified that a reformed UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) has galvanized concerted action on sustainable development.

The CSD's focus in this two-year "water cycle" also has encouraged governments, international organizations, and non-governmental actors to develop and strengthen implementation networks that promote action in key areas, such as integrated water resources management, water and health, and transboundary waters.

The United States is committed to working through the Global Water Partnership to support the development and implementation of integrated water resource management strategies in El Salvador, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. We welcome the similar commitments of other donors to support action on integrated water resources management in fifteen other countries. We hope to see additional efforts.

To help reduce the incidence of water-related disease worldwide, the United States was pleased to join other donors, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and others in last week's launch of the "Partnership to Improve Health through Water."

We are committed to working with other donors, the World Bank, and the Global Environment Facility to support UNDP's "Shared River Basin Initiative." This effort brings capacity building and other help to developing countries that choose to jointly address integrated management of shared rivers.

We are committed to mobilizing resources from all potential sources. The United States has nearly doubled our aid to the developing world since 2000 and our share of total ODA is the highest it's been in nearly 20 years.

However, ODA is dwarfed by other development resources, such as international trade, foreign direct investment, domestic savings, and remittances. Promoting democratic and economic freedoms is the best way to unlock these flows and advance the international development goals of the Millennium Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

The United States is proud to partner with those developing countries that govern justly, investing in people, encourage economic freedom and promote human rights and dignity.

Following up on our commitment made at the March 2002 Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development, we created the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Our Congress has thus far appropriated nearly $2.5 billion for this innovative new foreign assistance program. President Bush has requested another $2.5 billion for this year and plans to scale the program up to $5 billion annually beginning in 2006.

Just two days ago, the United States signed the Millennium Challenge Account Compact with Madagascar. This $110 million, four-year agreement aims to reduce poverty through economic growth and will give Madagascar's rural poor the opportunity to secure property rights, obtain access to credit, and better understand market opportunities.

We are working closely with 15 other eligible countries on their proposals for Millennium Challenge Account assistance.

We are also mobilizing resources through innovations, such as credit guarantees and revolving loan funds.

For example, USAID's Development Credit Authority program has signed 126 agreements in 38 countries to mobilize over $900 million in local capital for investment in agriculture, microfinance, small and medium enterprises and infrastructure projects, including water and sanitation.

USAID's Global Development Alliance is forging public-private partnerships to stimulate economic growth, address health and environmental issues, strengthen civil society, and expand access to education and technology in the developing world. In two years it has fostered over 290 partnerships. A total U.S. government investment of $1 billion has leveraged over $3 billion in cash and in-kind donations from the private sector.

The public-private partnerships and initiatives we launched at Johannesburg continue to deliver results. To cite just two examples: President Bush's Water for the Poor Initiative has brought access to clean water to 9.5 million people and access to sanitation to approximately 11.5 million people.

Working in 19 countries, the Safe Water System partnership has distributed or sold at low cost over 12 million bottles of disinfectant solution to help households have clean water.

Mr. Chairman through your leadership, this CSD has shown how it is possible to produce innovative, useful and action-oriented outcomes, during this "Policy Year." This has been a tremendous boost, both for UN reform and for implementation.

As we transition now to the two-year "energy cycle," our task is to further empower implementation actors to build stronger, more nimble networks that give us new ways to work together in advancing sustainable development. Thank you.

Released on April 20, 2005


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