Billions of people face threats from poverty, disease, environmental degradation, rampant criminality, extremism, and violence where states and public institutions cannot provide security or essential services to their own citizens. Conflict-ridden and fragile states also can incubate these and other threats that rarely remain confined within national borders. Indeed, some of the world’s most dangerous forces are manifest in or enabled by precisely these contexts.
President Obama has long stressed the importance of working with others to promote sustainable economic development, combat poverty, enhance food and economic security, curb conflict and help strengthen democracy and governing institutions. The Obama Administration is also committed to supporting broad-based and sustainable economic development, including making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) America’s goals. This is a broad but crucial agenda for the United States that will enhance our own security in an interconnected world. It is one that requires engagement from many different elements of the international community but where the United Nations has a unique and critical role to play.
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