The New Majority program recommends policies appropriate for the U.S. and other wealthy countries in their relations with Middle Income Countries — the world’s new majority of countries. The program encourages a shift from aid mentality to one of meeting mutual challenges and opportunities.
In the 1960s and 1970s, two-thirds of the world’s countries were classified as “least developed.” Now approximately two-thirds of the world’s countries have risen to Middle Income status. This includes nearly all of Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, at least a third of the countries in Africa, and several countries in East and Southeast Europe, as well as a number of countries in the Middle East. Many of these countries received foreign aid programs from the U.S. and others, but have “graduated” from such programs. Unfortunately, graduation has not led to a new and closer level of relations, reflecting the expanded capabilities and interests of these countries, nor the potential for more rewarding relations for the U.S. and Western Europe.
The Working with the New Majority program convenes a series of lectures by leading foreign policy authorities from Middle Income Countries. These discussions help to clarify the demand side for relations — and to open up areas where more concentrated policy work should be pursued.
The program examines a wide spectrum of relations, always looking for best practices. Program focuses include: official policies; academic, business, and non-profit sector relations; and cross-cutting issues — such as fostering of innovation and programs that engage youth in rich and middle income countries.
A blue-ribbon Global Advisory Council has been formed to advise the program. The Council consists of leaders in a number of sectors who have a record of creativity on international policy. Members of the Council have served as national and international leaders, and also include promising young leaders from China, the Middle East, and Oceania.
The program is directed by Distinguished Fellow Robert J. Berg, who was senior advisor to four parts of the United Nations, founding director of evaluation for USAID and the OECD Development Assistance Committee, leader of a number of NGOs, and who has a record of legislative and policy change in the U.S. and the U.N. Berg currently chairs the board of the Alliance for Peacebuilding.