How does the U.S. Department of State engage with other countries?
The Department of State engages other countries through both traditional diplomacy – government-to-government interaction – and through public diplomacy – interacting with other countries' publics through the media, information programs, and educational and cultural programs. The key policies of the Department of State—such as advancing democracy; preventing the spread of nuclear weapons; defending human rights; supporting civil society groups and women’s efforts; and encouraging prosperity by increasing investments and new markets overseas for American business; promoting trade and creating jobs at home—represent some of the key ways the Department interacts with countries across the globe.
Direct assistance is the most obvious example. With the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department works to improve food security and human health, reduce poverty, mitigate the impact of global climate change, and empower women and girls. The agency also helps countries like Haiti to recover from natural disasters and contributes to bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other unstable countries around the world.
The Department champions the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encourages countries around the world to adhere to universally accepted principles of freedom, personal security, and equality. The Department supports defenders of freedom in their efforts to establish democracies in their own countries and assists newly formed democracies in following democratic principles.
The Department helps millions of refugees and victims of conflict or natural disasters around the world. Each year, the United States also grants permanent visas to tens of thousands of refugees to live in America.
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases pose global health challenges. As diseases spread and more people become sick, the political and economic stability of countries is put at risk. Working with other agencies and countries, the Department responds to world health problems and monitors the spread of potentially dangerous diseases.
The Department works with other nations and through multilateral institutions to help improve the lives of people everywhere.