Financing the UN: Payers, Pipers and Tunes

GENEVA — Change is in the air again on First Avenue. Among numerous reform options being bandied about, none will be more consequential than those on financing the United Nations system. There are the sledgehammer arguments: drastic slashes in funding by Washington and other donors could precipitate dramatic change. As we have argued in these … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women’s Rights Must Be Backed by Legal Rights, a New Coalition Insists

More than two decades have passed since a series of dynamic international conferences in the 1990s — on human rights, reproductive choices and broad empowerment for women — inspired and encouraged women around the world to raise their hopes in many ways. Subsequently, there have been gains in female education at all levels, a bigger … Read more

A Poverty-Easing Plan to Help Displaced People and Their Host Countries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One year ago, almost 1 percent of the world’s population, about 65 million people, had been forcibly displaced from their homes. That is a population size that would constitute a nation larger than Britain or would be the world’s 21st-largest country. But instead of creating their own country, the majority of the 65 … Read more

Illegal Money Transfers From Developing Nations Nearing $1 Trillion

A nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C., estimates that in 2011 — the latest data available — $946.7 billion flowed out of developing countries in various illegal ways, including diversions by corrupt officials and businesses as well as through tax evasion, terrorist transfers and cash moved across borders in the suitcases of traffickers. Furthermore, … Read more

Developing Nations Take Aim at the World Bank

In a direct challenge to Western control of two major international financial organizations, the five countries known as the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — announced on July 15 the formation of a new development bank that they will control. The final plans to establish the bank, to be named the … Read more

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Poverty Stalks Eastern European and Central Asian Countries

A family in Macedonia is making coffee using a Primus stove after a power outage

The world’s most abjectly poor people are most often — too often, they say — illustrated by faces from South Asia or sub-Saharan Africa, where numerically, the majority of the global poor live. A new interactive report from the World Bank moves the focus north, to eastern European countries and Central Asia, where scores of people … Read more

World Bank, WHO and Japan Seek Full Health Coverage in All Nations

While Americans quarrel over the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — much of the rest of the world has established or is moving toward universal health care for all citizens, and the World Bank is taking a lead in setting measurable targets for meeting that goal as a priority in human development. “The quest for … Read more

So You Want to Be a Furnace Cleaner? Nyet!

Belarus stadium

If you are an aspiring snowmobile driver in Kazakhstan and happen to be a woman, you’re out of luck. The same goes for operating cranes at sea, among other labor-intensive jobs in the country, which bans women from dozens of such positions. It could be worse. In Russia alone, women are barred from 456 types … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Far-Reaching Changes Remake the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

An olive oil plant in Tunisia

  BERLIN — The fight against hunger became a primary goal of the United Nations system early on. In 1943, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened an international conference that reached agreement on the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and two years later, on Oct. 16, 1945, only days before the founding … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Eight Ways to End Poverty Now

Infant in Niger

NEW HAVEN — As the Millennium Development Goals reach their deadline of 2015, the United Nations, international policy partners and governments are already tasked with creating a set of new goals to continue to work toward ending poverty worldwide. They ought to learn four crucial lessons from the MDG experience: 1. The targets and monitoring … Read more

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New World Bank Leader Backs Anticorruption Campaign

Jim Yong Kim, new World Bank president.

On his first day in office on July 2, the new World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, placed himself firmly in the footsteps of his predecessor. He announced that he was backing two recent decisions in the bank to halt the organization’s involvement in projects in Bangladesh and East Africa because of documented corruption. A … Read more

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