The International Implications of Biden's Development Cooperation Policy

The “America First” policy and unilateralism of the Trump era have wreaked havoc on multilateral institutions. How will the newly inaugurated Biden administration position development aid, what development policies will it adopt, and what impact will it have on the world?

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Author: Zeng Lu

On January 20, Biden took office as the 46th President of the United States. On the day of his inauguration, Biden signed an executive order to return to the "Paris Agreement" and adjust global health policies. How will the Biden administration position development cooperation, what development policies will it adopt, and what impact will it have on the world?

Development aid returns to foreign policy center

The Biden administration will rebuild diplomatic relations with allies, reshape the global leadership of the United States, and mobilize the world to effectively deal with global challenges. The Biden administration sees development aid as a core pillar of foreign policy, with new Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling aid "the centerpiece of foreign policy," serving both diplomatic and national security goals.

Development assistance team with rich experience and high level

John Kerry and Samantha Power will serve as the president's climate change envoy and USAID administrator, respectively, and join the president's National Security Council, underscoring the Biden administration's view of development aid as diplomacy policy priorities. Kerry served as Secretary of State in the Obama administration and played an important role in the process of reaching the Paris Agreement. Bauer served as the Obama administration's ambassador to the United Nations. During his tenure, he was committed to United Nations reform, women's rights, human rights and democracy.

Development aid policy focuses on climate change and global health

Climate change becomes a top priority.The Biden administration sees climate change as central to foreign policy and national security. On the day of his inauguration, Biden restarted the process of the United States joining the "Paris Agreement", and will start to formulate nationally determined contributions; he nominated Kerry as the special envoy for climate change to represent the United States in international climate negotiations and "unite other countries to respond to the threat of climate change."

The Biden administration will promote international conferences such as the Group of Seven to increase the emphasis on climate change; influence international financial institutions such as the World Bank to launch financing programs, economic stimulus programs and debt relief initiatives in support of the Paris Agreement; and plan to support developing countries Implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, and promote climate-friendly investments.

Participate in global cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.Biden believes that global health security is crucial to US foreign policy and national security, and he looks forward to the United States working with partners to lead and revitalize the global response to the new crown epidemic. On the day of his inauguration, Biden revoked the decision of the previous administration to withdraw from the WHO; set up the Global Health Security and Biodefense Agency in the National Security Council to deal with the threat of global infectious diseases, and authorized the United States Agency for International Development to lead the global response to the new crown epidemic.

Biden expressed his intention to support the "Access to New Coronary Pneumonia Tools Acceleration Program (ACT)" and join the "New Coronary Pneumonia Vaccine Implementation Plan (COVAX)", requesting to strengthen the federal government's coordinated response and support related multilateral initiatives to help the world respond to the epidemic crisis and alleviate the epidemic Influence and promote economic recovery.

Overturn the abortion policy of the previous administration.The Biden administration is also expected to overturn the previous administration's ban on abortion funding, which banned federal funding to international organizations that conduct abortion-related businesses, affecting more than 1,300 health programs around the world.

What are the international implications of Biden's development aid policy?

The return of the United States to the Paris Agreement is of great global significance, but challenges remain.As the second largest carbon emitter, the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement has been warmly welcomed by other countries. UN Secretary-General Guterres said: This move means that countries that generate two-thirds of global carbon emissions will commit to achieving carbon neutrality.

The United States supports and promotes the Paris Agreement through multilateral conferences and institutions, promotes the use of climate-friendly financing instruments by international financial institutions, and supports developing countries in addressing climate change, which will help developing countries strengthen their resources and capabilities to address climate change.

However, Biden's climate change policy also faces challenges. The Biden administration will unite the rest of the world to tackle climate change, including promoting cooperation with China. Climate change may become a breakthrough in Sino-US relations, but there are still uncertainties.

Although the Biden administration stated that the New Climate Deal will translate into green growth and job opportunities, the policy will have a huge impact on the traditional oil and gas industry and major oil and gas producing states, and will trigger opposition and resistance from relevant trade unions.

Congressional support is key to Biden's climate change goals. Climate change legislation needs the votes of 60% in the Senate to pass. The Democrats have a weak majority in both houses of the Senate. The Biden administration still needs to win the support of some Republicans to get the votes of 60%. The energy companies and trade unions behind the Republican Party will surely set up many obstacles for this.

The United States participated in strengthening global anti-epidemic cooperation to help developing countries get more support.The COVID-19 pandemic has hit global public health and the economy hard, especially in developing countries. The monopoly of most vaccines in developed countries has made developing countries even worse. COVAX, which aims to help equitable access to vaccines in developing countries, also needs to raise $5 billion in 2021. Biden asked the United States to actively participate in multilateral cooperation in response to the global epidemic, and intends to support ACT and join COVAX. This move is expected to ease the financing pressure of COVAX and support more developing countries to obtain urgently needed vaccines as soon as possible.

In addition, the establishment of the Global Health Security and Biodefense Agency plans to support global actions to respond to the epidemic through the federal government and multilateral initiatives, launch a global health strategy for the Biden administration, increase global health spending, and fully activate the health, diplomacy and humanitarian response to the global epidemic. The start of socialist interventions is expected to help developing countries get much-needed more support to fight the epidemic.

The United States has returned to the multilateral arena, and the United Nations has gained both support and pressure for reform.On the day of his inauguration, Biden returned to the "Paris Agreement" and revoked his decision to withdraw from the WHO, sending a strong signal of support for multilateralism, which has been widely welcomed internationally. The Biden administration will increase funding and support for UN agencies and vertical funds, and use the multilateral status of the United States to influence international actions to address global challenges such as climate change, health, immigration, and debt issues.

At the same time, the Biden administration will further pressure the United Nations system to increase reform efforts. Biden has issued an executive order to strengthen and reform the WHO. In addition, the United States will join hands with its allies to influence the important agenda of the United Nations and the selection of heads of the United Nations' professional agencies. For example, the first term of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will expire next year. At that time, the selection of the Director-General will become the focus of the operation of the United States and its allies.

The “America First” policies and unilateralism of the Trump era have wreaked havoc on multilateral institutions. If the Biden administration can support multilateralism and abide by international rules, the United States will reintegrate into the world, and it will be positive for countries around the world to cooperate to deal with global challenges in a changing world.

This article was first published on the WeChat public account "International Development Observation". All rights reserved, please indicate the author and source when reprinting.






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Comment (1)

  • old slow ocean| February 22, 2021

    America is back?

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