Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes at UNGA-sideline Governance Event

A Head of State Roundtable on Governance and Sustainable Economic Growth

Your Excellencies: President Sall of Senegal and President Yayi of Benin,

Dr. Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations,

Thank you, all, for joining us.

UNGA’s focus this year is on the rule of law.  From our creation, MCC has maintained that sound economic and political governance matters. It is key to delivering effective development assistance and sustaining our investments. It is key to attracting private sector-led growth.It is key for transparency and accountability. It is key for protecting and advancing the rights of people.

Now, promoting good governance is hard. But, there is no substitute for it.

That is why we select our partners based on their commitment to democratic and economic governance.MCC uses 20 indicators taken from third party sources to assess this commitment. We use a scorecard to keep track of how countries perform; and these scorecards are available on our website. Our selection process has become a powerful catalyst for policy reforms, what many call the “MCC Effect.” And, once we partner, we expect countries to remain committed to good governance.If they don’t, they will not be part of the MCC family.

And, we put this principle into practice. For example, when military officers in Mali overthrew the democratically elected government earlier this year, we terminated the compact. In Malawi, it’s a different story. We first suspended our assistance when the government was not upholding the rule of law or the rights of its people. Only when the government decided to pursue concrete actions to address these negative trends under President Joyce Banda did MCC decide to lift the suspension and go ahead with our investment in the power sector.

I am proud of MCC’s leadership in partnering with countries based on their track record on governance. I think a discussion among our leaders from Senegal and Benin on this topic will be extremely insightful.

Since his election earlier this year, President Sall has been a strong partner in implementing Senegal’s compact.  I was honored to lead the U.S. delegation to his inauguration in Dakar, after the world saw a peaceful transition of power in Senegal.

President Yayi has guided Benin through its first MCC compact and the country is now working on a proposal for a second compact. Major policy reforms were key to the success of the first compact.

So, without further delay, let me turn the program over to our moderator, Dr. Richard Haass, who serves as president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Haass has a distinguished career in government, serving in both the White House and the State Department. Richard, I thank you for your support and for being here today to moderate. The floor is yours…