MDGs, Fragile States Top US-Australia Development Agenda

The U.S. and Australia have underscored their commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and assisting conflict states as part of their development efforts, which were fleshed out during the 25th annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations, or AUSMIN, on Nov. 8 in Melbourne.

AusAID and the U.S. Agency for International Development will focus on maternal and child health, family planning, food security, agricultural research, climate change and natural resource management, and reconstruction of Afghanistan, according to the 2010 AUSMIN communique.

The two donor nations also highlighted the importance of civil-military collaboration in responding to conflicts, disasters and insurgencies, as well as the need to boost the United Nations peacekeeping capacity.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Afghan government will take over the security of some parts of the Islamic nation starting next year, but did not specify a timetable.

“We have said from the very beginning that the goal is to be able to transition security to the Afghans themselves, starting next year. But that transition will be conditions-based and will be determined as the analysis of our commanders in the field suggests to the civilian leadership in both of our countries. It is really important to underscore that the progress that we believe is occurring is very challenging, it takes patience, it requires all of us to understand that this is a tough fight that we’re in,” Clinton said.

The U.S. and Australia also pledged to cooperate with other G-20 nations to help promote a balanced global economic growth. 

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.