Thursday, September 15, 2005

Failing the Weak at the UN Summit

Despite the best attempts of the US press to obscure the real failure and real blame for this week's watered down UN Miilenium Development Goals (MDG) Summit, anyone paying attention knows that it was the US who sabotaged the document's chances and sent us backwards from the (already weakened) Millenium Development Goals agreed to in Gleneagles just months ago.

Two weeks ago, I highlighted the WMD our new UN Ambassador John Bolton tossed into the document in the form of 750 Amendments at the last minute. Fortuately, not all of them made it it to the final text. But enough of them did, to consider this historic opportunity effectively lost.

The meeting´s final document does not express the world´s real problems or solutions. It ignores meaningful steps towards WMD disamament, weakened wording on the environment and took out specific dates and goals to meet MDG targets for poverty reduction and aid increases.

The summit has become an ambiguous mish-mash of meaningless hyperbole because it blatantently ingnored 150 countries in the negotiation process.. perhaps a planned necessity because of Bolton's last minute rewrite. In addition, too many countries only shut their mouths in public about the blatant hypocrisy.

But in the US media, all we hear about is how the document failed because it did not address such controversial topics as the definition of terrorism and reform of the UN Human Rights Commission (HRC). I for one, am thankful these important items did not get the short-thrift other items got and hold out for a larger, more transparent debate on those subjects. Not one US media outlet that criticized the document on these grouds (and countries like Pakistan, Egypt and Cuba, rather than the US) saw fit to mention that the UN gathering had originally been called to review progress on its Millennium Development Goals to tackle poverty and disease, not address these issues.

The result is that, with the lack of urgency in this document, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) general director now states that the goal to reduce the almost 900 million starving people of the planet by half for 2005 will be achieved in 2115 instead.

But lets be clear, the third world does not want handouts. It simply wants to control its own destiny and stop the transfer of ITS resources to the West. As the Jamaican President stated during his speech: Since 2000, the developing world has transferred $1.2 TRILLION dollars to the rich countries.

Give Kofi Annan credit for calling a spade a spade, saying the lack of progress on disamament and development was "a real disgrace". Kudos on the genocide provisions, the only rear tangible step forward.

For more analysis check the Globe and Mail, or Bob Geldoff in the Independent


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6:19 PM  

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