WORLDVIEWS

Business in Kinshasa Rolls On While Eastern Congo Simmers

Marketplace in Kinshasa

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Democratic Republic of the Congo is riddled with negative media attention. In the midst of virtually persistent conflict in eastern Congo since 1993, what goes on far away in Kinshasa, the capital of this massive country? Economic reforms, health care developments and a culture of music and creativity are providing support … Read more

A Tale of Sierra Leone and Striving for Transparency

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 of … Read more

Poverty Experts Want New Thinking on Development Goals

A colonial-era home in Bolama, an island off Guinea-Bissau

If 2015 comes and goes with a significant number of Millennium Development Goals failing to meet their targets, questions will abound over whom or what to blame. There will also be skepticism over reports that a few of the goals have already been met with 100 percent success. In general, specialists in development have already … 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

Let’s Talk About Sex in Nicaragua

VozJoven, a youth program in Nicaragua

LA DALIA, Nicaragua — Things are getting steamy between two cartoon characters kissing each other on the big white screen. The boy wants to have sex without a condom; the girl is worried he will walk out on her if she says no. Finally, she gives in but soon after finds herself pregnant. Raging with … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

An American in Europe: The UN, Who Cares?

The metro in Cologne, Germany

BRUSSELS — George Gershwin certainly would not have been inspired to write a symphonic tone poem about an American academic on sabbatical attempting to interpret European reactions to the United Nations. Ten years ago, Robert Kagan wrote that “Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus.” Perhaps, but not regarding the UN. After years of … Read more

The Glory of Self-Learning, Discovered by Children in India

An Indian student in front of a Hole in the Wall education kiosk.

Imagine a new world of innovative, inexpensive and successful learning, where dusty streets in rural towns in developing countries are lined with self-powered computer kiosks and children from poor neighborhoods have the same ability to work with new technology as children in richer areas do. That dynamic is the goal of new education policies put … Read more

Sun and Wind End Long Waits for a Grid in Poor Countries

Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant

When power failures on an unheard-of scale left about 600 million people in India in the dark this year, advocates of solar and wind power could again question why a country baked in sunshine and buffeted by winds over land and sea has not moved faster to install renewable energy systems. Across the developing world, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Fighting Corruption Can Be a Fatal Act

Indigenous Pacchanta in southeast Peru.

WASHINGTON — In 2000, I had the privilege to present Lasantha Wickramatunga, from Sri Lanka, with the Transparency International annual Integrity Award. Wickramatunga was a prominent and tenacious newspaperman with the courage to ask tough questions, call for government accountability and expose corruption. On Jan. 8, 2009, he was driving to work when eight unidentified … Read more

With Public Schools Out of Reach, Burmese Monks Teach the Poor

Burmese boys at a monastery

RANGOON — One of the most surprising statistics about the Burmese people is not that they are the poorest in Southeast Asia. It is well known that decades of military dictatorship destroyed the national economy and set human development back at least a generation. What is unexpected is that throughout the worst of times, the … Read more

Two Faces of Burma Coming to New York

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, leaves Westminster Hall.

It may have been a coincidence or maybe not. When the 67th United Nations General Assembly session opens in New York in mid-September, the president of Burma, Thein Sein, is expected to speak in what is still called, quaintly, the “general debate.” At almost the same time, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize … Read more

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

WORLDVIEWS

Horn of Africa: Recoveries Fail and Fail Again

Horn of Africa famine

WASHINGTON — News on the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa continues to flare in the media ever since famine struck last summer and lasted through the fall. Although the famine was declared resolved by the United Nations this winter, relieved by good harvests and a flood of food aid, a crisis could reoccur. … Read more

Nagging Hunger Undermines Millennium Poverty Goal

eradicating hunger

The first of the eight Millennium Development Goals makes an ambitious demand: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger worldwide. It is now widely accepted that progress has been made in many countries on cutting the percentage of people living with less than the rock-bottom $1.25 a day. But decreasing hunger by half is another sadder story. … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Three World Bank Nominees, Including an American

World Bank nominee

With only hours to spare before the deadline on Friday for nominating the next president of the World Bank, President Obama announced a surprise choice: Jim Yong Kim, the 52-year-old president of Dartmouth College and a global expert on HIV-AIDS. The World Bank is part of the United Nations system and its members have until April … Read more

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