Monthly Archives: October 2006
“Ten years after the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) in Rome, which promised to reduce the number of undernourished people by half by 2015, there were more hungry people in the developing countries today – 820 million – than there were in 1996…. The report listed a series of steps which, it said, was needed to eradicate hunger in the years ahead. They included: focussing programmes and investments on “hotspots” of poverty and undernourishment; enhancing the productivity of smallholder agriculture; creating the right conditions for private investment, including transparency and good governance; making world trade work for the poor, with safety nets put in place for vulnerable groups; and a rapid increase in the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7 percent of GDP, as promised.” More
The next installment of UNF Insights explores some problems associated with using what economists call “Purchasing Power Parity” (PPP) to assess what each member state must pay in dues to the United Nations. Readers of The Economist might recognize the term from the magazine’s periodic “Big Mac Index,” which uses the price of a McDonalds hamburger to compare economies around the world. In short, PPP is a way to measure comparative standards of living by comparing the price of a “basket of goods” in one place (i.e. a Big Mac in Bengal) to the same “basket of goods” elsewhere (i.e. a Big Mac in Bologna.)
When applied to the price of a hamburger, PPP gives harmless anecdotal evidence about the relative strength of economies. But if used to calculate UN dues – as some key member states have argued – it would have debilitating consequences for UN operations. To find out why, click here for my short essay on the topic.
“While acknowledging that progress has been made over the past two years in reducing foreign influence in Lebanon, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday that disarming Hizbollah is a “key element” in ensuring a permanent end to hostilities, and warned that much remains to be done to restore stability and peace.” More
“The industrialized world’s emissions of greenhouse gases are growing again, despite efforts under the Kyoto Protocol to cap them and stave off global warming, the United Nations reported Monday.
Emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases declined in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the shutdown of polluting factories and power plants in eastern Europe. But now those economies are rebounding, contributing to a 2.4 percent rise in emissions by 41 industrialized nations between 2000 and 2004.” More
“In his briefing to the United Nations Security Council on Friday, the UN’s top official in Sudan, Jan Pronk, highlighted the government’s gross violations of the Darfur Peace Agreement and stressed that Sudan was still looking for a military solution to the deepening crisis.
Pronk added that his ongoing criticism of the Sudanese government’s decision to seek a military solution, having signed a ceasefire agreement, had prompted his expulsion from his position of UN Special Representative for the Secretary-General in Sudan.” More
“The United Nations humanitarian chief said Friday that sectarian killings are “out of control” in Iraq, with about 100 deaths a day and civilians fleeing neighborhoods and towns because of the cycle of Sunni-Shiite reprisal attacks.
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.