2005/02/17

Where does US Stand on UN Proposal to End World Poverty?

On January 17, a 3,000-page report from the Millennium Project -- researched by 265 scientists, economists, academics, and development experts from around the globe -- was handed to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. It outlined in detail how the UN can eliminate extreme poverty throughout the world by 2015.

Headed by Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, the Millennium Project aims to make the world a safer place for all its inhabitants through poverty elimination and education. Citizen's for Global Solutions reports on their web site that "the Millennium Goals are considered crucial to the success of international efforts to reign in terrorism and violent instabilities within and between countries." They quote Sachs, who says, "breaking the poverty trap of the poorest countries is a matter of extreme urgency for our security. When people lack access to food, medical care, safe drinking water, and a chance at a better future, their societies are likely to experience instability and unrest that spills over to the rest of the world."

The Millennium Project's web site points out that providing world citizens living in poverty with infrastructure, access to health care, and an education will make them less vulnerable to disasters, hunger, and environmental degradation. For instance, "every year, 300 to 500 million cases of illness worldwide are due to malaria," something that could be eliminated by giving people living in susceptible areas mosquito nets for their beds.

Because the plan's financial structure is front-loaded, one of the UN's biggest obstacles will be convincing G-8 countries to double their foreign aid. The United States and other UN countries pledged to give 0.7% of their GDP to global development at the Millennium Summit in 2000. Currently, the actual international development funding average for UN countries is .25%, with the United States giving only 0.15%.

The Millennium Project lists 13 international governments on its web site that have voiced supported for the Millennium Project since the release of its report one month ago. The US has yet to make the list. Don Kraus, executive vice president for Citizens for Global Solutions, points out that, unlike President Clinton, President Bush does not have an ambassador to the UN on his cabinet, which has been "problematic" when dealing with the international community. He also notes that while Bush has vowed "to defend our security and spread freedom by building effective multinational and multilateral institutions," relations between the US and the UN have not been strong in the past few years; a situation made worse when Sen. Norm Coleman called for the resignation of Kofi Annan over the Oil for Food scandal.

10 Comments:

I wonder where the U.N. stands on ending world poverty...

U.N. peacekeepers - just a bunch of thugs? 

Seems everyone's getting a piece of the pie. 

Posted by brogonzo
2/17/2005 02:23:00 pm  
"Currently, the actual international development funding average for UN countries is .25%,  "...

I find it very sad that rich western countries like those in the EU and the US fall so short of what they agreed on as a fair and reasonably "painless" effort.

From memory, Denmark and another 3 or so countries are here to remind us that it won't bleed us to death to actually make a small contribution towards bettering this planet. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/17/2005 03:14:00 pm  
We can always depend on you to miss the point eh, Brogonzo? It's ok for us to talk about the EU's problems but not the US? LOL

It's a trashy opinion piece. You want to believe the UN is now a 'child sex ring' then go for it. You never fail to amaze me. I didn't fail to see the parts that probably appeal to you. Abu Ghraib obviously isn't worth mentioning in light of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the UN around the world today. Oh, this is rich.

Please everyone do go and read this wonderful journalistic piece that normally Brogonzo would be the first to scorn with his fervant desire for truth and clarity in journalism...oh, we do need to be careful about twisting and spinning as we attempt to present the facts. *puke* 

Posted by Dianne
2/17/2005 03:57:00 pm  
"Seems everyone's getting a piece of the pie "...

Wow... we now get the daily telegraph as THE authoritative source of objective information.

I'm impressed, Brogonzo, LOL.

Like they say themselves, such trash news sources as "BBC/CNN/Independent/Guardian/New York Times/Le Monde/Sydney Morning Herald/Irish Times/etc" are irrelevant.

Much safer to stick to the DT and WorldNetDaily for factual information. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/17/2005 04:16:00 pm  
Ah well, take it for what it's worth. I suppose there's no way the United Nations could be corrupt, right?

I suppose a piece is only "slanted" or "trashy" if it slants in the opposing direction to one's personal beliefs.

Don't believe what's going on with UN workers in Africa? Ok, don't. Ignore it. Abu Ghraib certainly hasn't gotten enough press, right?

While we're on that subject, sentencing has finished for several of the soldiers involved in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. 

Posted by brogonzo
2/17/2005 04:25:00 pm  
"Ah well, take it for what it's worth. I suppose there's no way the United Nations could be corrupt, right? "

I did take it for what it was worth. It's a trash piece. There is much better out there on this issue.

I just don't intend to trash the entire United Nations and all it's members, including those that have died, because of the corruption of a few. The intent of the neo-cons to destroy the UN rather than even discuss reform I will fight in every way I can.

I will put together a piece on the UN just for you, Brogonzo..juicy bits included.  

Posted by Dianne
2/17/2005 05:09:00 pm  
Well, it would be great if the United Nations was capable of acting as it should, i.e., as a relevant body. But it's not. It's hard to take anyone seriously when they make Libya the chair of the Human Rights committee.

I'll be interested to see what you've got on the UN. 

Posted by brogonzo
2/17/2005 05:23:00 pm  
"Well, it would be great if the United Nations was capable of acting as it should, i.e., as a relevant body "...

Well perhaps if the US actually paid their pledged contribution to the UN like other nations do, it would help some.

One thing I find strange is: until Bush threw his lil tantrum 2 years ago because he didn't get the UN to mandate his war, the US was quite happy with the UN - corruption included. But since then, mysteriously, the UN is the worst possible organization in the world according to the US.

Also strange is the fact no other country in the world seems to think so.

I wonder why. But of course, dumb me, I forgot: everyone in the world is wrong except the US. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/17/2005 11:12:00 pm  
Oh come now. That's just overgeneralization, just like saying "everyone in the US hates France." It's disingenuous, incorrect, and it doesn't contribute anything to the discussion. We've had problems (and by we, I mean we members of the world) with the UN for quite some time now -- like, say, Somalia, 1992? 

Posted by brogonzo
2/17/2005 11:57:00 pm  
Somalia was another US screwup that Bush would have done well to study before he decided to invade Iraq. But, intervention is always mandated in the search for precious oil.

There are problems with the UN Brogonzo but you don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Are you suggesting that the US take over all the projects the UN is currently involved in around the world? If not then who? Who will replace the 61,000 UN employees most of who are doing the job they were hired to do. At this time, around 50 UN employees have been implicated in sexual exploitation in the Congo and all have not been substantiated as of yet. Speaking of generalizations it's big one when you try to make the crimes of a few bad apples the entire agenda of the UN.
There is no doubt in my mind and many others that the current call for the disbanding of the UN (and France) by the US is due to their lack of support for the Iraq war. Most of the people talking about the UN now hadn't the slightest idea what was happening within it's hallowed walls until Bush started screaming, "you're either with us or against us."

There is no other that can do what the UN does around the world. Reform is what is needed and is being implemented now although it will no doubt take a long time to work its way through the bureaucracy.

I actually think it wouldn't be a bad thing if the US did pull out of the UN. They usually pay just enough dues to keep themselves off the deadbeat list and since so many Americans don't want their money going to the UN well...

 

Posted by Dianne
2/18/2005 09:26:00 am  

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