UK, US Outline Shared Priorities in New Development Partnership

U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo by: The Prime Minister's Office / CC BY-NC-ND

U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron approved on Wednesday (May 25) a global development partnership that outlines their joint priorities on how to pursue their commitments to improve the lives of more than a billion poor people around the world and boost progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The partnership highlights the following priorities: promoting sustainable economic growth in poor countries, preventing and addressing conflict in fragile states, advancing the rights and plight of women and girls, improving global health, and mitigating the effects of climate change. The agreement also commits the two countries to make their aid more effective, transparent and accountable.

Highlights of the partnership

Economic growth

Obama and Cameron agreed to help improve the business and investment climate, tackle corruption, support capacity building and stimulate trade and regional integration in the developing world.

Conflict and fragility

The two leaders agreed to strengthen local economies, prioritize job creation and promote women’s participation in decision-making processes in fragile states such as Afghanistan and Sudan. Cameron and Obama also agreed to coordinate their countries’ humanitarian operations “to help vulnerable countries to prepare for disasters and to enhance their resilience.”

Global health

The partnership highlights the role of technology and innovation and pledges increased support for maternal and child health improvement in line with the U.N. secretary-general’s global strategy for women and children. It also commits the two countries to work together to ensure that the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization’s upcoming replenishment conference will raise enough funds to allow the group to continue its work.

Girls and women

The United Kingdom and United States will boost their investments in women and girls, with the goal of saving the lives of at least 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth, put more than 5 million girls in primary and secondary schools, help 18 million get access to financial services, and prevent violence against women in at least 15 countries.

Climate change

The two countries commit to work together to implement key agreements reached in a recent climate change conference in Mexico and to collaborate with the private sector and other stakeholders to increase investments in clean technologies.

Aid transparency

The partnership agreement recognizes the need for more effective, transparent and measurable aid.

“We will ensure that the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in November 2011 transforms the way bilateral aid is delivered around the world and we will continue to work together to strengthen multilateral organizations,” Obama and Cameron pledged.

Initial reaction from the development community

The U.S.-U.K. Partnership for Global Development was welcomed by some members of the international development community, who urged other G-8 leaders to make similar commitments.

“Today’s announcement focusing on both child and maternal health, and nutrition, leads the ways for other leaders to produce a coordinated action plan at Deauville this week – how promises are being delivered, by which G8 leaders and where,” World Vision U.K. said.

Read more development aid news.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes 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.