July 29, 2020

Menendez Statement for the Record in Support of Nominee for Inter-American Development Bank

WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today submitted the following statement for the Senate record in support for Mauricio Claver-Carone to serve as the next president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

“M. President, I rise to speak about the campaign currently underway to select the next president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in September of this year.

The IDB has served as the preeminent development bank in the Americas since 1959. For more than 6 decades, it has brought together the United States, Canada, and our partners from Latin America and the Caribbean to advance an agenda for development and inclusive economic growth in our hemisphere. The United States has proudly been a leading voice to strengthen the IDB’s critical mission in the Americas, and donors from the European Union to Japan and South Korea, have provided enduring support to the institution.

In September, the IDB will hold elections to select its next president. Last month, the United States announced it would nominate Mauricio Claver Carone, the current National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere, as our candidate to be the next president of the IDB. Since Mr. Claver Carone’s nomination was announced, more than 15 governments in the region have offered their support for his candidacy. These governments represent a wide range of ideological perspectives, levels of economic development, and different historic relationships with the IDB. In recent weeks, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, our hemisphere’s other premier multilateral institution, offered words of support for Mr. Claver Carone’s candidacy.

I have known Mr. Claver Carone for over two decades. During this time, Mr. Claver Carone has demonstrated a commitment to inclusive economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and he has been an outspoken advocate for democracy and human rights in our hemisphere. In his more recent roles at the National Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, and the Treasury Department, he has worked with governments across the region and across the ideological spectrum to advance United States’ partnerships in the Americas. He has also worked to address the political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and counter the agendas of governments that seek to counter U.S. interests in the region—from Cuba’s authoritarian regime to Putin’s Russia to China’s government. Of equal importance, he has shown the ability to work in a bipartisan manner with Democrats and Republicans in the United States, including in the U.S. Congress.

While I have been and remain an ardent critic of many aspects of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, and I have not always agreed with every policy decision that Mr. Claver Carone has made during his service to our government, I recognize his consistent commitment to advancing U.S. national security, our foreign policy interests, and an agenda of shared priorities with our partners in the hemisphere.

For these reasons, I support Mr. Claver Carone’s candidacy and would welcome the opportunity to continue working with him as the next president of the Inter-American Development Bank.

I recognize that selection of the next IDB president is taking place two months before the United States holds general elections and that some have concerns about the implications of this timing. Given that the United States is the IDB’s largest shareholder, the next IDB president must commit to working in a bipartisan manner with the next U.S. president and their administration, regardless of party. This is an essential task for the success of the IDB. As the senior Democrat in the Foreign Relations Committee, I would look forward to working with Mr. Claver Carone to ensure that this happens.

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the Americas and severe economic impacts follow, the IDB will play an absolutely essential role in the recovery of countries across the region. This makes the selection of the IDB’s next president of the utmost importance. The IDB needs leadership that can achieve consensus across the Western hemisphere and set the stage for a decade-long recovery effort. The task is formidable, but I remain confident that the United States can and will play an integral part in supporting the IDB’s efforts and our partners in the region.”

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