Speech

April 25, 2012

As Prepared by

Jack Morton Auditorium, The George Washington University

Opening Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes at the Forum for Global Development

Distinguished guests,
Friends of MCC,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon! Welcome to the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s inaugural Forum on Global Development!

I am humbled to be in the presence of so many incredible individuals and outstanding organizations working with passion and purpose to make our world a better place.

You are the minds and hands that are improving the human condition. You see the injustices caused: 
• when boys and girls cannot get an education,
• when families go to bed hungry,
• when women cannot get the health care they need as they are about to give birth,
• when communities do not have safe and clean drinking water,
• when workers cannot find a job because businesses cannot access credit,  
• when whole societies suffer at the hands of corruption and a lack of respect for the rule of law.

And you are doing your part—in your ways—to break through these roadblocks and clear a path to opportunity and hope. You are empowering individuals, families and communities toward a self-sufficient life of their own making. 

As the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, I see firsthand what our efforts to fight poverty can accomplish. By
 forming partnerships, embracing innovation, incentivizing policy reforms, investing in the homegrown development solutions of our partner countries, and  holding ourselves and our partners accountable to deliver results,
we are making a tangible difference.

Likewise, those we honor today demonstrate great leadership in innovation, investment and gender integration. Special thanks to the ONE Campaign for working with us on MCC’s Next Generation Award. I’d also like to thank IGD—the Initiative for Global Development—for partnering with us to make MCC’s Corporate Award possible. 

Yet, our work—and yours—is not easy. Sometimes it feels like we face more trials than triumphs. While we know that much work remains ahead of us, today is a moment for us all to come together to reflect and to recognize what has been achieved.

Today, we answer two key questions: Why us? Why now?

First, MCC was founded to push beyond the leading edge of development. So, we are convening this forum to further our conversation on development, on what we can do through forward-leaning programs. This gathering showcases how we can make U.S. development assistance as impactful as possible… impactful for the world’s poor… and impactful for American taxpayers who rightfully demand that their development investments be cost-effective and sustainable.

Second, in a time of scarce resources but great need, we are embarking on a new age in development built on the power of partnerships. This gathering highlights partnerships that work and that deliver development’s full value as a mutually-beneficial catalyst for change that advances our moral, economic and national security interests.

This year’s recipients of MCC’s inaugural awards—our Corporate Award, Next Generation Award and Country Commitment Award—show what is possible. They already stand on the cutting edge of development. They already recognize the value of real partnerships. They are the heralds of hope and the champions of change.

Because of them—and all of you who join us here this afternoon—the world today is, in fact, a better place.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is pleased and excited to honor your successes.

Congratulations, and Godspeed.