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Development

  •  September 2, 2013 
“If we want things to change, some things will have to stay as they are.” This inversion of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa‘s aphorism summarizes a key finding of a recent global survey on the future development goals. A select group of development commentators favors maintaining most of the familiar Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after …
  •  August 22, 2013 
Helen Clark of UNDP
Constant reform has characterized the United Nations Development Program throughout its existence, say the authors of two recent books on the agency. Change bespeaks an organization ready to adapt but also fundamentally uncertain about its proper role. It teeters between two sets of tensions. The first tension is between being both coordinator and competitor …
  •  August 7, 2013 
Li Yong, director-general of Unido
At the end of 2012, Britain withdrew its membership from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or Unido, the most recent of several major donor countries (including the United States and Canada) to do so. Although it has had strong support from many developing countries, Unido has for many years been regarded with skepticism …
  •  July 27, 2013 
PAHO antimalaria campaign, Paraguay
Institutions of global governance are weak by design not default. As Singapore’s permanent representative in New York, I encountered senior members of the American establishment who lamented the United Nations’ poor condition. The explanation was the domination by the poor and weak states of Africa and Asia and the poor quality of its bureaucrats. …
  •  June 26, 2013 
Britain, the world’s major center for investment in the extractive industries, is reviving the international debate on how open management of mining can prevent conflicts. The issue was raised in a Security Council meeting on June 19, after a seven-year hiatus on the subject in that setting. It was also discussed at the Group …
  •  May 24, 2013 
Obama in Burma
Burma’s major moves toward liberalization and release from the vise of its military grip signal huge strides toward democracy, yet nothing in this long-isolated, mineral-endowed country is assured. Even as the nation branches out from its dependence on China and advances cordial relations with the United States — including a visit by President Thein …
  •  May 20, 2013 
Armenia National Disaster Observatory
As the United Nations relies more heavily on private sources of financing from foundations and corporations, it is important to look at how these changes affect the world body’s development aid channel. A new report examining how private donations to activities of the UN Development Program reveals both advantages — better management, for example …
  •  May 7, 2013 
Roberto Azevedo of Brazil
The World Trade Organization has voted in a new director-general, Roberto Azevedo, Brazil’s ambassador to the trade group, pushing aside Mexico’s hopes of winning the seat for Herminio Blanco, a former trade minister. Azevedo replaces Pascal Lamy of France and will take office Sept. 1 for a four-year term. The vote, held by consensus …
  •  April 15, 2013 
Burma Resistance Day
When Burma won independence from Britain in 1948, it was a devastated country tormented by multiple crises. Geographical misfortune had placed this otherworldly Buddhist nation in the path of powerful armies in World War II as Japan battled Western allies for control of the strategically placed country. Its capital city, Rangoon, was heavily damaged; …
  •  March 13, 2013 
A displaced person in Mali.
For the developing world, the news in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Report is almost all good. (More on that “almost” later.) The title of the report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, sets the tone. New players with global clout, increased South-South trade and investment, strengthening regional …

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