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Senator John Kerry discusses U.S. Diplomacy and Development

In a speech at the Brookings Institution titled “Diplomacy and Development in the 21st Century: A Conversation with Senator John Kerry,” Senator Kerry summarized his views on the current state of U.S. diplomatic and development institutions and suggested a number of reforms that would “strengthen our civilian institutions to adequately address the challenges of the 21st century.” Some of these reforms include:

- Increasing resources, personnel and training;

- Improving coordination of U.S. foreign assistance programs;

- Clarifying the policies and goals of U.S. foreign assistance;

- Reauthorizing the Foreign Assistance Act; and

- Rebalancing the decision-making process between Washington and the field.

Senator Kerry also announced that he would be “introducing two pieces of legislation: a Foreign Affairs Authorization Act that will authorize the State Department and related accounts, and an initial foreign aid reform bill.”

Secretary of State Clinton testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the FY 2010 budget for the Department of State

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the FY 2010 budget for the Department of State. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton discussed food security, global health issues, and USAID staffing levels.

Secretary of State Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Foreign Policy Priorities in the FY 2010 International Affairs Budget

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the FY 2010 budget for the Department of State. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton discussed global health issues and USAID staffing levels.

H.R. 2475 – Foreign Relations Authorization and Reform Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011

The proposed bill authorizes appropriation levels for the Department of State for FY2010 and FY2011 and directs the Secretary of State to make specific reforms in U.S. foreign relation policy. Among other things, the proposed bill incorporates aspects of other recently introduced bills to protect girls by preventing child marriage.

Testimony by Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew on the FY 2010 International Affairs Budget

Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew testified before the House Foreign Affair Committee on the FY 2010 International Affairs. During his testimony, Deputy Secretary Lew discussed the “principles and priorities that underlie President Obama’s international affairs budget request for 2010” including “five smart power funding objectives.” These objectives include:

1) Building civilian capacity at the Department of State and USAID;
2) Promoting long-term development and human security by addressing economic development and good governance, food security, education needs, global climate change, and global health;
3) Enhancing strategic bilateral and multilateral partnerships;
4) Strengthening global security capabilities; and
5) Maintaining the resources to respond to humanitarian needs.

S. 954 – World Bank International Development Association Replenishment Act of 2009

Among other things, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to contribute $3.7 billion to the International Development Association for the 15th replenishment of resources and an additional $356 million “to the International Development Association for the purpose of funding debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.” The bill also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to “seek to ensure that multilateral development banks rigorously evaluate the development impact of selected bank projects, programs, and financing operations.” Finally, the bill requires the Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a study in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and other Federal agencies “on the respective roles each agency plays in the formulation of United States policy concerning the development policy, programs, and activities of the World Bank Group.”