By Erik Solheim* | IDN-InDepth NewsDocument
While the international community has learned much about what works in terms of reducing poverty, and the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day, it is far from achieving the overarching MDG goal of eradicating extreme poverty. Subsequently, "getting to zero" remains a challenge in the face of the intractable difficulties of reaching those mired in extreme poverty, says the OECD Development Co-operation Report (DCR) 2013, which explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to reduce poverty. But Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian Minister of International Development, and current Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, insists in an Editorial to the Report that ‘We Can, And Must, End Poverty’.
By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
PARIS (IDN) – At a time when international development cooperation does not draw public focus, a new report highlights Sweden’s significant contribution to assisting countries in need of money they cannot afford to muster on capital markets. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden provided USD 5.24 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2012. This amounted to 0.99 percent of its gross national income (GNI) – in excess of the United Nations’ target of 0.7 percent of GNI.
By Manuel Montes* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
GENEVA (IDN) - The big attraction of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or at least the first seven of these, was their near universal acceptability. It mobilized both resources and politics, nationally and internationally, in pursuit of reducing poverty, hunger, gender inequality, malnutrition and disease.
Since they were introduced, the excitement over the MDGs fully occupied the space for development thinking. The MDG discourse – in international agencies and in national settings – appears to have crowded out the basic idea that development is about economic transformation.
By Deepak Nayyar, South Centre* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
GENEVA (IDN) - The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) began life a decade ago. There were three dimensions to the significance of the MDGs. It was an explicit recognition of the reality that a large proportion of people in the world were deprived and poor.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BERLIN / MONTEVIDEO (IDN) - All that glitters is not gold would appear to be the core of critique the Social Watch, a network of civil society organizations in over 80 countries, has launched against the United Nations High Level Panel's suggestions of new development goals to replace the MDGs.
In a document titled 'A New Global Partnership' the panel claims that, in preparing it, it "heard voices (...) from over 5000 civil society organizations working in about 120 countries" and "also consulted the chief executive officers of 250 companies in 30 countries, with annual revenues exceeding $8 trillion".
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - A modern-day Damocles' sword is hanging over 49 of the world's poorest and most vulnerable courtiers spanning across Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Unless the U.S. and the 27-nation European Union change their minds, the least developed countries (LDCs) will be forced to abide by the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – much to their detriment.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
PARIS (IDN) - Development aid that some of the world’s poorest countries are direly in need of declined for the second successive year in 2012, according to a new report. The reason, says the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is the continuing financial crisis and euro zone turmoil, which has led several governments to tighten their budgets.
By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - Two former German policy-makers and practitioners of international development cooperation have decided to break taboos and call in a joint paper for an overhaul of national, European and international aid policies as a befitting response to rapid globalization that "has changed the world more than many in the field of development policy cooperation would like to believe". They also cast a rather critical look at the 0.7 percent aid target, generally considered as development community's 'holy cow'.
"The (present) global development structures and programs are lagging behind the new realities of economic and political needs. There is no longer a ‘North/South’ or ‘donor/recipient’ structure. Developmental paternalism that ‘donors’ continue to practice must therefore give way to genuine partnership and ownership by partners," say authors of the paper, Eckhard Deutscher and Erich Stather, made available to IDN.
By Outi Hakkarainen* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
HELSINKI (IDN) - Finland is a North European nation with its own socioeconomic challenges, but globally it belongs to well-off countries responsible for engaging in the global development agenda. The Finnish government wants to be an accountable member of the international community, but its political will to be so does not always materialise.
Finland has not, for example, been able to reach the 0.7 % target for its development funding. On the other hand Finland's current Development Policy Programme is positively founded on a rights-based approach. The challenge for Finnish civil society is to compel the government to improve its international performance.
By Nimal Fernando* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - The 'new year' is already over a month old and all pointers are that at least one very old global issue is only that much older.
There is much reference to the 'longest' wars of the fiery kind, but less, perhaps, to the often silent, near-Sisyphean struggle against global poverty. Many concerned voices would argue that 2013 could be among the worst years in which to even embark on any kind of lasting progress on this front.
By Jaya Ramachandran
BERLIN (IDN) - For the first time since 1997 the net official development assistance (ODA) to countries in dire need of funds declined by 2.7%, says the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which comprises 24 industrialised states of the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).