In February the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government-funded development institution, suspended an agreement with Malawi, focused on energy sector development, based in part on concerns over a new law criminalizing consensual relations between women. (See news reports here.) MCC has announced that the Compact will now move forward.
The Council for Global Equality appreciates the attention that the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the U.S. government as a whole have paid to this important human rights concern. We note that MCC has made it clear to the government of Malawi that, "Criminally punishing lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals under laws will prompt MCC to initiate the investigation required for suspension or termination of the Compact". (Read the entire press release here.) We look forward to ongoing dicussions with MCC on this matter.
The Council for Global Equality believes that human rights and democratic good governance issues must remain at the heart of U.S. foreign policy, as a reflection of the fundamental principles for which our country stands. The Council further believes that, as human rights and democratic good governance issues are critical aspects of the partnerships our country seeks to foster abroad, these issues must be more integral to future compact agreements than has been the case to date. We urge that the State Department and MCC ensure that the negotiation and implementation of future compact relationships include formal monitoring of these issues, with a view to ensuring that U.S. assistance promotes the full and healthy respect of overarching U.S. foreign policy principles.
Read the MCC fact sheet on this matter here.