ONE praises Obama, Cameron on joint alliance against global poverty

As the UK Prime Minister David Cameron visits Washington, Michael Elliott, ONE’s President and CEO responds to today’s joint article by the Prime Minister and US President Barack Obama in the Washington Post. In the article they make clear that they “embrace their responsibility as leaders in the development that enables people to live in dignity, health and prosperity.”

Barack Obama and David CameronONE welcomes the support of the Prime Minister and President for investment in food security, their work to improve maternal health and reduce the preventable deaths of children, and their ‘renewed commitment’ to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and reaching the ‘beginning of the end of AIDS’. We also applaud their recognition of the importance of the Open Government Partnership, which will help to make governments all over the world more transparent and accountable.

Now that the L’Aquila framework has run its course, there is a momentous opportunity to use the G8 and G20 summits to secure a new global compact on agriculture and food security. But American and British leadership is required to make this a reality.

International support for developing countries’ own agricultural investment plans could help to lift millions of people out of poverty, in an approach that stresses country ownership, private sector participation, and smart development assistance. The UK and US agree on the importance of these guiding principles. Now we need to rally broad international support around them.

This new framework for agriculture must also emphasize the pivotal role of nutrition. If the right interventions are made, there is an opportunity to prevent millions of children from becoming stunted, and hence from suffering irreversible developmental damage. That will ensure that a generation of future leaders, fathers and mothers can reach their full potential and not be held back by preventable impediments.

These are practical and strategic goals that are appropriate for a bold, historic partnership to promote food security across the developing world. Now is the time to catalyze action to reduce hunger and malnutrition, using the platforms provided by the G8 at Camp David, the G20 at Los Cabos, and continuing the good work into the UK’s crucial presidency of the G8 in 2013.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons