The Diplomad: Great Things Afoot: UN to Save World

The Diplomad is at it again..My commentary is not needed..just read..:)

*This blog is shutting down so I am posting the entire entry here*

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Great Things Afoot: UN to Save World

A lazy Saturday at last! A few phone calls — including a bizarre consular case — but none requiring the Chief Diplomad to go to the office, not yet. The Always Lovely Mrs. Chief Diplomat is braving torrential rains and risking my Chevy in her endless quest for the perfect item. The Diploteens are with friends; Diplodog and I are alone — well, except for four members of the household staff, three guards, three gardeners (watering the lawn, despite the rain), and ten workmen knocking down walls in the back of the house.

I had planned to blog on the Inaugural and President Bush’s radical speech which — if he’s serious — signals a high energy, revolutionary US foreign policy over the next four years. On the Inaugural, I was going to ridicule Demos crying about a “$40 million Inaugural party while we have a war; while we have poverty, while, while, etc.” Let’s join in and complain about Federal funding of the arts (and the UN) while we have a war: do you know how many bullets we could buy and HUMVEES armor with the USG money that’s goes to lefty “art” and the UN? Do you know how many cages we could add to Guantanamo? But, I decided not to write about those things — at least not now — for, my friends, I erred this morning. I went on the official UN website; not good to do if you want a low stress day.

It seems that your UN, having acted so resolutely and efficiently in the December 26 tsunami crisis, has taken on greater challenges, more befitting such a superb organization. (BTW, on the day, January 18, that two UN-leased helicopters finally became active in Sumatra, the US increased its helo flights from 30/day to 80/day; that’s for those who see the US effort as superfluous.)

What’s your UN up to? It’s going to end world poverty! Having ended the poverty of UNocrats, your UN will now spread the wealth. How will do it this magical thing? It has a report! And no ordinary report — as they say, “Not Available in Stores” — this one is extra special. The report, “A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals” is 3,000, yes, three thousand pages long! The Diplomad is sure all of you will go to the link right now and download three thousand pages of UN prose. Fill up your hard drives! Burn out your printers!

OK. Any report– unless written by G-d Himself — 3,000 pages long is worthless as a plan of action, much less as a “Practical Plan.” How long is the US Declaration of Independence? How long is the US Constitution? How long is the EU Constitu . . . never mind. Dear readers we at The Diplomad love you dearly, but, sorry, we’ll not read it for you. We won’t be the only ones on the planet to do so.

So let’s do what lazy MSM journalists do; let’s look at what the UN says the report says,

New report to Annan proposes solutions to problems of world poverty

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today launched a 3,000-page document which research team leader, Special Adviser Jeffrey Sachs, called “a unique report” recommending that rich countries double their investments in poor countries to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving extreme poverty by 2015 and going beyond to eliminate it by 2025. The report calls for specific investments across a wide spectrum of problems, not for handouts or charity. Low-income countries need investments of $70 to $80 per head per year from 2006, rising to $120 to $160 per year in 2015, it says, adding that many middle-income countries could fund those investments themselves, given adequate debt relief and appropriate, specialized technical assistance.

Starting from ideas put forward by Mr. Annan, Mr. Sachs said, the team of 265 experts and graduate students took three years to collect and analyze the data.

Former President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, co-chair of the Project task force on trade, told the briefing that what had been missing in the international development debate were specific policies, strategies and resources. Much more funding was needed for overseas development assistance (ODA), Mr. Zedillo said, because it was time to relaunch the aid target, set in 1969 and confirmed in 2002, of having the 22 rich countries put in 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) as untied aid. More than money was needed, however, he said. It was the responsibility of the rich countries to remove the obstacles to the global flow of goods and services.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Jos? Antonio Ocampo [said] the research team had updated the debates of the past by basing their long-term strategies on the MDGs and devising a new form of country-led economic planning

Development experts had become cautious in their thinking because so many programmes had failed, Mark Malloch Brown, the chairman of the UN Development Group, said last week at a briefing on the report. One of the biggest benefits of the report would be to help development specialists “get back our ambition.” One ambitious recommendation came from the Science, Technology and Innovation Task Force, which called on poor countries to lift themselves out of poverty by promoting technological creativity. The co-chairs said international organizations and donors needed to strengthen developing country expertise in science and technology through higher education. “Higher education is at the centre of the development process, but assistance to poor countries often focuses mainly on primary schools,” their section of the report says.

Isn’t this sad? Remember, we are quoting from a UN “puff piece” account. This is the best they can do? Did Scrappleface write this?

Very quickly: let’s look at this para by para,

1) Sachs, a smart man who should know better, calls for a doubling of investment by rich countries in poor countries. What does that mean? Should the US and UK governments, for example, force private companies to invest in poor countries? Make them move their factories there? Regardless of lousy legal and security conditions? Or should those governments just give the money away? How would that be different from what’s been tried in the past?

2) “Starting from ideas put forward by Mr. Annan . . .” What is this, the North Korea School of idolatry? What ideas has Mr. Annan ever had? Unless, that is, Mr. Sachs is inspired by Mr. Annan’s deft handling of money in the oil-for-food scandal; well, that is one way to fight poverty. It took 265 experts and graduate students three years to collect data? Have they ever heard of the internet? Were they being paid by the hour?

3) “Former President Ernest Zedillo of Mexico, co-chair of the Project task force on trade . . . ” Stop right there! I don’t think that I would want any ex-President of Mexico talking about the rich giving the poor money. He might start by digging into his own bank accounts, which, undoubtedly are quite ample. “It was the responsibility of the rich countries to remove the obstacles to the global flow of goods and services.” Have you seen our trade deficit? Don’t poor countries have the responsibility to stop having corrupt, thieving governments that care not one bit about their own people?

4) “[T]he
research
team had updated the debates of the past by basing their long-term strategies on the MDGs and devising a new form of country-led economic planning.” There’s a novel idea, eh? Economic planning! I’ll say they’ve updated “the debates of the past!” They’ve resurrected the Soviet Union. Now that’s an effective poverty-reducing model.

5) “One of the biggest benefits of the report would be to help development specialists ‘get back our ambition.'” Ah! The truth! Development specialists! That’s the real purpose of the report! To get unemployed members of the Vulture Elite employed! “Higher education is at the centre of the development process, but assistance to poor countries often focuses mainly on primary schools.” Hmmm? So what do you do when you have poor countries where the kids are illiterate because the elementary schools don’t work? Have the authors of this report seen how many people from all over the world are educated in US institutions of higher learning?

Enough. This is pathetic. What world are these people in? I doubt anybody is going to read the three thousand page action plan — and the world won’t be any the worse off for it.

# posted by Diplomad @ 5:55 PM