Obama Gives International Development Nod in Inauguration Speech


January 23, 2013
Crickett Nicovich, Senior Policy Associate

He said it! That’s right. The President of the United States spoke about the power of international development in his inauguration speech.

In President Obama’s speech on Monday, he touched on a great deal of issues that Americans care about including the economy, national security, and the health of our nation. As the speech was dissected, the significance of mentioning gay marriage and gun control rose to the top of the pundits’ lists to debate. What did the absence of this word or the way he said that indicate? What will the Administration prioritize in the next four years?

President Obama also mentioned one important issue in his speech that people may have overlooked – the effectiveness of development that focuses on improving the lives of the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. He said:

America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe.  And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice –- not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.  

It’s exciting to hear our President talk about fighting poverty and injustice and linking that to building peace and global alliances. But, like the pundits, I want to know what this means for the Administration’s goals for this presidency. What does this suggest as a legacy issue for Obama? And, most importantly, what kind of work will we need to do as activists in the next four years to improve access to health, education, and economic opportunity for those living in poverty around the globe?

One thing is for sure, we all have a stake in a peaceful and healthy world. As RESULTS activists and staff gear up our campaigns with the 113th Congress and the re-elected President, I’m reminded again why our work is so important.

What has your group planned for 2013? To get you started, group planning guides can be found here.

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