Oxfam America congratulates Secretary of State-Designate Hillary Clinton

By Oxfam

WASHINGTON — International aid organization Oxfam America congratulates Hillary Clinton on her nomination to serve as US Secretary of State. Oxfam America president Raymond C. Offenheiser, made the following statement urging Secretary-Designate Clinton to prioritize global poverty, social injustice, and humanitarian issues in the foreign policy agenda:

?We congratulate Secretary-Designate Clinton on her nomination to this critical leadership position at a time when the country faces a turning point in US foreign relations. We encourage Secretary-Designate Clinton to lead the new Administration on a foreign policy agenda that reengages with the international community and leads the fight against global poverty.

?The current economic crisis weighs heavily on those struggling to overcome extreme poverty. Today, nearly one-third—or about two billion—of the world?s people are living on less than $2 a day. Secretary-Designate Clinton must work toward positive long-term change through a foreign policy strategy that will reinvigorate the global economy and foster a more prosperous world for all.

?Currently, US programs to fight global poverty are scattered across two dozen federal agencies, with many competing agendas and strategies. We believe that US foreign aid needs a major overhaul. We look forward to working with Secretary-Designate Clinton to set clear purposes and priorities for our development programs, and put poverty reduction and recipient countries' needs at the forefront of development policy.

?With the current financial crisis, US foreign policy must promote economic growth at home and abroad. US foreign aid, done right, can promote global stability and create good will around the world and economic benefits for the poor that in turn will create stronger economic partners for the US.

?The international community is failing millions of vulnerable people in places like Afghanistan, Darfur and Congo. The incoming Secretary has an opportunity to build a 21st century State Department that can meet this challenge by doubling the number of core diplomatic personnel and moving resources to potential and ongoing conflict zones, especially in Eastern and Central Africa.

?Secretary-Designate Clinton must implement a diplomatic strategy that tackles many of the problems that fuel international conflicts—including poverty and inequality brought on by climate change and irresponsible natural resource exploitation.

?Climate change is quickly emerging as a powerful driver of poverty and instability around the world. It is time to focus on this crisis through a foreign policy agenda that addresses the impacts on poor communities internationally.

?Secretary-Designate Clinton must work with oil and mineral producing nations to promote greater transparency, respect human rights, and weed out rampant corruption, which has contributed to the widespread failure of the extractive industries to contribute to meaningful poverty reduction. ?We look forward to working with Secretary-Designate Clinton and the State Department to address the plight of millions of people living in hunger and poverty around the world.?

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