Gordon Brown speaks about global poverty at the UN.
July 31, 2007 12:50 PM   Subscribe

"It is time to call it what it is: a development emergency which needs emergency action". Gordon Brown speaks to the UN about global poverty. Link goes to full text of speech, video is available from the same page.
posted by teleskiving (3 comments total)
Pretty good stuff and if he can refocus attention on achieving the Millennium Goals and give new momentum to cooperation I applaud him.
Of course, the obvious carp is that the figures he quotes for death and displacements in Darfur are lower than the numbers for Iraq, a situation he played no small part in creating. Cheap point-scoring aside, that may well impact his ability to achieve the consensus required for his laudable aims.
posted by Abiezer at 1:43 PM on July 31, 2007

He mentions the transition of the dynamics of world politics away from a colonial model and towards one of economic dependence. I wish he had spent more time on this topic, because economic dependence is as much to blame for the perpetuation of world poverty as colonialism is for the creation of so much of it.

There is no profit for the average multinational business in providing aid to these areas. For the parts of the third world that have resources to exploit, prosperity requires the advancement of at least some local industry, as well as control over their resources. Neither of these are in the best interests of businesses looking to take advantage of those resources. For the parts of the third world that don't have resources to exploit, well...even with significant investment, it will a long time before they become viable markets. Again, this is an unsound investment.

Ultimately, the vast majority of the resources that could be leveraged to help the third world are in the hands of a group unwilling to donate. This strikes me as one of the biggest problems in mobilizing aid, and it seems to be one without a solution even in an idealized version of reality.
posted by invitapriore at 2:30 PM on July 31, 2007

By all means, let's poor more money into the same failed solutions we've been trying with Africa for decades. I'd have been a lot happier with this speech if he'd mentioned empowering women, micro-loans for small business development, and ending the system of aid that currently causes so much disruption and dependence.

I will give him credit for understanding the role education and public health plays in the continuing poverty of the region though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:35 PM on July 31, 2007

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