Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
October 17, 2011


On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we recognize that a cruel injustice has been done whenever a child is limited not by ability but by lack of food or water; whenever a woman loses her life simply for giving birth; whenever a precious daughter or son succumbs to a disease that is preventable.

Poverty is ruinous to the fabric of societies—but it also tears at the ties between nations. Our greatest threats to international peace and security often incubate in societies that can’t meet the basic needs of their people. In an interconnected world, protecting our humanity and promoting our security means redoubling our fight against extreme poverty.

The United States will continue to serve as the world’s leader in global development, knowing, even in tough economic times, that the one percent of our budget that we spend on diplomacy and development advances our values and is essential to our national security. We will continue to seek partnerships with NGOs, philanthropists, and leaders in the private sector. We will continue to provide relief in regions facing crisis—such as the Horn of Africa, where more than 13 million people face death, starvation or displacement as a result of conflict and famine ( And we will continue to insist on development that is sustainable, working with partners who are serious about building their capacity to create lasting change.

Finally, we will always remember, as President Obama said in June, that “we are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home.” Our economic power, as Secretary Clinton put it on Friday, “underwrites all the elements of ‘smart power’: robust diplomacy and development and the strongest military the world has ever seen.” The Obama Administration will continue to work tirelessly to create pathways to opportunity for Americans, just as we will continue to seek common cause with global partners in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.


PRN: 2011/203