New York (CNN) – The Obama administration is changing the way it delivers development aid, elevating the issue to a centerpiece of its national security and economic strategy and targeting nations where resources can be most effective, a senior administration official told CNN.
The policy will be unveiled by President Barack Obama on Wednesday at a meeting on the Millennium Development goals, an ambitious agenda world leaders set 10 years ago to tackle global poverty.
The official did not wish to be identified because the president had not given the speech yet. The days of "just throwing assistance at problems" are gone, the official said. The new policy will treat development as strategic issue, focusing on countries demonstrating good governance and strong economic policy that have the potential to become the strongest partners for the United States.
United Nations (CNN) - President Barack Obama is taking to the world stage before the U.N. General Assembly this week, where he will address efforts to halt world poverty and discuss a wide range of foreign policy issues, including nuclear disarmament and instability in the Middle East.
Obama will reaffirm U.S. support for the Millennium Development Goals, an ambitious agenda world leaders set 10 years ago to tackle global poverty, which has grown amid the world economic recession. He is speaking Wednesday afternoon at a plenary session on the goals.
The president will be among the world leaders speaking on Thursday morning at the U.N. General Assembly's annual general debate, where he will address a wide range of issues.
(CNN) - With the promise of coming AIDS vaccines, former President Bill Clinton urged fellow nations Monday not to give up on funding to prevent a calamity.
Overall support for global AIDS efforts from donor nations flattened in the midst of last year's global economic crisis, according to a recent analysis of 2009 funding levels from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Clinton spoke with CNN's Becky Anderson at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.
"If we all do this, the consequences will be calamitous and you'll spend more money later," Clinton said, referring to reduced donations. "You'll start having large numbers of people dying again, you'll more political instability, more economic collapse, and it's going to cost us more money later. So it's not only going to be a humanitarian crisis, you'll pay now or pay later. So if it's at all, possible hang in there," Clinton said.
Washington (CNN) - Several top Obama administration officials Wednesday vowed that new United Nations sanctions against Iran are just one in a series of three punches that the United States and its allies will deliver against Tehran's nuclear program in coming weeks.
The officials candidly admitted in private that despite all of the public celebration at the White House about "tough" sanctions getting pushed through the U.N. earlier Wednesday, those sanctions alone would not be
sufficient to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions.
But the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private diplomatic relations, said the point is that the U.N. sanctions are just a predicate to lead to even tougher unilateral sanctions by
both the United States and various European Union nations in coming weeks.
"You have a one-two-three punch," one of the senior Obama officials said of the combination of U.S., European and U.N. sanctions in the works for this summer.
United Nations (CNN) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon handed former U.S. President Bill Clinton additional responsibility Wednesday for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, charging him with overseeing aid efforts as well as later reconstruction there.
"You have demonstrated extremely important leadership," Ban told Clinton, who is already the United Nations' special envoy to Haiti.
Ban asked Clinton "to assume a leadership role in coordinating international aid efforts, from emergency response to new construction of Haiti."
Clinton will work with the Haitian government and the people of Haiti in recovery and reconstruction efforts, according to a statement released by Clinton's U.N. office. He will help coordinate the work of U.N. agencies and other international partners in Haiti, including government donors, private investors, and non-governmental organizations, the statement said.
Washington (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti, issued the following statement Tuesday after a major earthquake struck southern Haiti:
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.
My U.N. office and the rest of the U.N. system are monitoring the situation, and we are committed to do whatever we can to assist the people of Haiti in their relief, rebuilding and recovery efforts."
Full coverage: Haiti earthquake
President Obama challenged the gathering, which included leaders of nuclear powers including Russia, China, Great Britain and France, to overcome cynicism against the goal of ridding the planet of nuclear arms.
"We harbor no illusions about the difficulty of bringing about a world without nuclear weapons," Obama said, adding that Thursday's meeting signaled a significant step forward in cooperative global action.
The resolution, which was adopted unanimously, calls for tighter controls on nuclear materials to prevent them from being stolen or used for military purposes. It also encourages enforcement of international treaties and U.N. resolutions regarding nuclear non-proliferation, particularly when nations such as Iran and North Korea are in violation.
"The world must stand together," Obama said. "We must demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise."
It was the first Security Council summit chaired by a U.S. president, and only the fifth time that Security Council heads of state have met. Obama led the meeting because the United States holds the revolving presidency of the Security Council in September.
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) – President Barack Obama made a strong call Wednesday for renewed efforts to reach a Middle East agreement that creates a secure Israel and an independent Palestinian state.
"The time has come to re-launch negotiations - without preconditions - that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and
Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem," Obama said in his first speech as president to the U.N. General Assembly.
"The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security - a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people."
His statement prompted applause, and Obama received an ovation when he later stated: "The United States does Israel no favors when we fail to couple
an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians.
"And nations within this body do the Palestinians no favors when they choose vitriolic attacks against Israel over a constructive willingness to recognize Israel's legitimacy, and its right to exist in peace and security."
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Iran and North Korea "must be held accountable" if they continue to ignore international nuclear weapons treaties.
"If the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they put the pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of
regional stability and the security and opportunity of their own people; if they are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East - then they must be held accountable," Obama said in his first speech as president to the U.N. General Assembly.
"The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced," he continued. "We must insist that the future not belong to fear."
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) - President Barack Obama made clear Tuesday that the United States expects China to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and develop clean energy sources.
In remarks to a U.N. summit on climate change, Obama said "rapidly-growing developing nations that will produce nearly all the growth in
global carbon emissions in the decades ahead must do their part as well."
China and the United States are the world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. While Obama didn't specify China, his comment appeared focused on the role of the world's major growing economy in the climate change debate.
"Some of these nations have already made great strides with the development and deployment of clean energy," Obama said. "Still, they need to commit to strong measures at home and agree to stand behind those commitments just as the developed nations must stand behind their own. We cannot meet this challenge unless all the largest emitters of greenhouse gas pollution act together. There's no other way."