Oxford Earth Summit |  www.earthsummit.info |  Feedback |  Latest News! |  NGO of the week
        Water |  Corruption |  Trade |  Environment |  Human Rights |  Education |  Health | Climate
  NEW! Earth-Info.Net weblog co-operative: Babirusa.OrgOxford-Forum.OrgBan The BulbSnare Art

Monday, February 17, 2003

The President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, will be giving a lecture as part of the Oxford Amnesty Lecture series later this week...

While undertaking background reading in preparation for this visit Earth-Info.Net came across a speech Mr. Wolfensohn gave recently in Ireland entitled "Towards a More Secure World". Here are a few quotes:

"....we have of the order of $50 billion being made available for development assistance globally"

"The United States this year will contribute $10 billion. The United States will spend $360 billion this year on defense. The world will spend between $800 billion and $1 trillion on defense, while $50 billion is spent on development assistance. $350 billion a year will be spent on agricultural subsidies, while $50 billion a year is spent on development assistance."

"And the world has set a series of goals called the Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty by 2015, to get all the kids in school by 2015, to reduce infant mortality and maternal mortality, to deal with AIDS, to deal with the environment. And, frankly, it's just not possible to get there with $50 billion, even on the assumption that we get, as we should, a much more effective use of the $50 billion."

"Even on the assumption that we get $10 billion or $15 billion more , we're still short $30, $40, $50 billion in terms of achieving goals that all the leaders of the world have said we should."

"The primary issue, then, which I think we need to address is how seriously all of us take the question of development, both in terms of how we come together and how we provide resources in terms of development assistance and how we deal with the question of trade. Because if you encourage people to build their productive capacity and then block them from your markets, it's not a great incentive. Cotton is a single example in one country that you know well, in Uganda. The cotton subsidy provided by the Northern countries to their growers has cost Uganda $250 billion-just on cotton."

In a second speech on African development entitled Putting Africa Front and Centre Mr. Wolfensohn deals with the importance of partnerships, capacity building, prevention, education, tackling corruption + implementation of existing plans in achieving development...

Earth-Info.Net cannot help wondering how + why governments repeatedly fail to fulfill their international funding commitments and why after dozens of reports + summits so little progress has been made with regard to implementation.