A sneak peek at US foreign, development policy priorities for 2012

In the next 11 months, the United States will drive its development agenda alongside its diplomatic priorities as part of efforts to harness a “decade of opportunities” in overseas engagement.

Jake Sullivan, director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State, one of the country’s foreign policies for 2012 is to “consolidate the efforts that we have undertaken to shift from a decade of war and a focus on threats” to a “decade of opportunities.” Among these opportunities are to push development alongside diplomacy — a push backed and initiated by U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The United States will also continue supporting democratic transactions in the Middle East and Africa, expanding engagement in Asia and the Pacific, and deepening partnerships with Central and South American countries, Sullivan said.

Answering questions at a recent webchat with journalists across the globe, Sullivan also hinted at U.S. development priorities in Caribbean and Africa as well as countries like Bangladesh, where health and agriculture are key focus sectors.

In the Carribean, Sullivan said the United States will continue its extensive programming to curb the spread of AIDS and provide treatment to people living with HIV. This commitment is in line with Clinton’s vision of an AIDS-free generation, he added.

Improving Africa’s trade sector is also to remain an important development and diplomatic priority for the United States. Sullivan said “it is an incredibly important priority for the Secretary and for this Administration” to promote job growth and business in the region.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.