Thursday, July 30, 2015

UN's Faux Development Agenda

The United Nations seems to be headed for a summit session of the General Assembly in September that will agree on a meaningless global development agenda.

The draft of the document now being discussed in New York makes high minded declarations about "principles" and "commitment" but ignores such key issues as money laundering and drug trafficking that bedevil economic growth in poor countries.

Produced  after lengthy "consultations" by the Ambassadors of Ireland and Kenya, it does not mention drug trafficking at all. Governments only promise to "strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol."

Money laundering is noted obliquely in the pledge by governments that by 2030 they will "significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows ... and combat all forms of organized crime."

There are four anodyne references to terrorism:

1. Governments say they will "take further effective measures and actions, in conformity with international law, to remove obstacles and constraints, strengthen support and meet the special needs of people living in areas affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and in areas affected by terrorism."

2. They will "Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime.

The third and fourth mention of terrorism repeat those formulations word for word in other sections of the draft.

If any of this makes a difference to the lives of the billion people living on less than $1.25 a day it will be convincing proof that miracles do happen.

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