Thank you, Mr. Chair. The United States appreciates the opportunity to continue working with our LDC partners. Addressing the particular issues faced by LDCs has long been a critical part of the UN development agenda, and one the U.S. supports fully. Our engagement is in the spirit of President Obama’s recent address to the GA, where he said, “we come from many places, but we share a common future. No longer do we have the luxury of indulging our differences to the exclusion of the work that we must do together. “
The global financial crisis and resulting recession has affected almost every dimension of the burden of poverty, as noted in the Secretary General’s report. We stand ready to work with least developed countries as part of the global response to the world recession, rising food insecurity and caring for the sick. I offer three examples as illustrative of our commitment to working with our LDC partners.
First, the United States is consulting with LDC partner nations on collective efforts to overcome the world financial crisis and improve the global financial architecture. We embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. We are executing on this commitment. In New York, for example, before and after the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, the senior U.S. economic official dealing with the G-20 process met with LDC countries. In the months ahead, we look forward to building on that dialogue and further information sharing on important issues relating to least developed countries at the UN, including the 2010 Millennium Development Goals review.
Second, President Obama recently announced that the United States would commit at least $3.5 billion over the next three years to promoting agricultural development in developing countries. U.S. leadership catalyzed momentum at the 2009 G8 Summit at L’Aquila, Italy, where donor governments collectively committed $20 billion to agricultural development in developing countries. We are committed to working with our LDC partners to advance and implement country-led agricultural development programs and strategic coordination.
Third, the United States launched a major health initiative that will benefit many LDCs. We have set aside $63 billion to carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS, to end deaths from tuberculosis and malaria, to eradicate polio, and to strengthen public health systems. We are joining with other countries to contribute H1N1 vaccines to the World Health Organization.
Mr. Chairman, questions of development require a global response and the United States is committed to working with our LDC partners to finding global solutions. The United Nations lies at the heart of identifying better ways to mobilize support for addressing development challenges. Upcoming UN events such as ECOSOC and the Second Committee’s ongoing work on the global financial crisis, next year’s Financing for Development review, and the 2011 LDC High Level Event will be opportunities for advancing our work.
Thank you very much.
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