The United States is deeply committed to helping the world’s developing countries grow out of poverty. President Bush has made it clear that expanding the circle of freedom and prosperity is in the fundamental interest of the United States and all nations around the world. No nation contributes more total resources to international development than the United States.

The U.S. approach to development assistance builds on the Monterrey Consensus, articulated at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002, which emphasizes national responsibility, rule of law, governments accountable to their people, and sound economic policies.

Basic tenets of the Monterrey Consensus are:

  • Each country is responsible for its own economic development. Each country must devise and implement its own policies, in line with its international obligations, that create the conditions for development and growth.
  • Governments must adopt sound economic policies and create responsive democratic institutions. Good governance, observance of human rights, and a vibrant private sector help create the necessary conditions for economic growth.
  • To achieve sustainable growth, countries must utilize all development resources – including trade, foreign and domestic investment, domestic savings, private donations, and remittances – as well as official assistance.

Two-Track Approach

  • Working in partnership with the recipient countries, the U.S. provides official development assistance (ODA) through bilateral programs and multilateral institutions to finance specific development programs and projects. The U.S. supports increased assistance to developing countries that have demonstrated that they can use that aid effectively.
  • The U.S. also works for reforms in the international trade system to remove barriers so developing countries can more readily compete and grow through their own efforts.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Chao:  Creating New Jobs is the One Basic Challenge All Nations Share

GENEVA, Switzerland – At the 95th Session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said today that the one basic challenge facing all countries is creating new jobs.

“It is the experience of the United States that job creation cannot be separated from economic growth,” said Chao at the conference attended by delegates of the 178 member countries making up the International Labor Organization (ILO). “The United States believes that the role of the government is to create the conditions for economic growth, so that the private sector can create new jobs.

“That means reducing the excessive taxation, over regulation and abusive litigation that hamper growth. Other conditions that help create and sustain the climate for job growth include transparency, accountability and the rule of law,” Chao said.

By following these strategies, Chao noted the U.S. economy has experienced strong and steady job growth despite unprecedented challenges over the past five years.

“Our nation has seen 33 months of uninterrupted growth, creating more than 5.3 million new jobs since August 2003,” she said. “The national unemployment rate remains low at 4.6 percent, which is well below the 5.7 percent average unemployment rate of the decade of the 1990s.”

The U.S. labor secretary delivered her comments to the International Labor Conference plenary where a discussion on a recently released ILO report entitled, “Changing Patterns in the World of Work” was taking place. The report identifies the main forces driving change, including:

  • The shifts in the structure of employment and working conditions;
  • The challenges facing the development of social security systems;
  • How the institutions governing labor markets are adapting to the new social and economic environment; and
  • Emerging issues that the ILO and its constituents are likely to face in the next decade