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I heard a radio news report from NY this morning saying that agreement had been reached, with the final accommodation involving other countries agreeing to the US's definition of terrorism in exchange for the US committing to an aid target (although apparently less than the existing agreed target of 0.7% of GDP.  The US had earlier agreed to some sort of reference to the Millenium Development Goals after first opposing any mention at all.

It would appear that major structural change to the Security Council has been postponed at best.

A new BBC scene-setting analysis piece Poverty and the World Summit is worth reading.

by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2005 at 08:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi CB,
I just posted this over at BT:
Well isn't that absolutely f*cking brilliant...
The goal of 0.7% of BNP for development aid has been long established:
However,
    * The donor governments promised to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA (Official Development Assistance) at the UN General Assembly in 1970 -- some 35 years ago as of writing
    * The deadline for reaching that target was the mid-1970s.
    * By 2015 (the year by when the Millenium Development Goals are hoped to be achieved) the target will be 45 years old.

This target was codifed in a United Nations General Assembly Resolution, and a key paragraph says:

Click the link to read the rest.

So Bolton got the other countries to accede to the US definitions on terrorism, while securing a reduction in the target for development aid.  A big thank you to those who negotiated on behalf of the sane world. </sn>

This was a bad outcome...

by ask on Tue Sep 13th, 2005 at 09:38:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did hear on a BBC news report that the terrorism difnintion had been watered down to a meaningless generality, but I can't find a link at the moment.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2005 at 03:07:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, BBC's Paul Reynolds:
The problem was the definition of terrorism.

There have been a number of UN resolutions against terrorism in general and against specific acts, such as hijackings and bombings, but a clear and agreed definition has been lacking.
(snip)
In the end, no definition was agreed though terrorism "in all its forms" is condemned.

And here's the Guardian's analysis:

Campaigners and diplomats who favoured a bold approach put much of the blame for the failure on John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, who introduced hundreds of late changes to the original document.
by ask on Wed Sep 14th, 2005 at 07:16:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An alphabetical listing of OECD countries and their contributions to ODA.
Only five countries surpass the 0.7% target:  Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden (curiously, all these countries also rank high on the Human Development Index). (pdf-doc)
by ask on Tue Sep 13th, 2005 at 09:58:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm tempted to say that their more enlightened attitude to ODA may be linked to a more enlightened set of domestic health, welfare and education policies.  This theory may be shot down, though, by observing that Australia, Canada, Ireland , Belgium, Japan and the US also appear at the top of the HDI table, but have low percentages of GNP for ODA.  Belgium and Ireland do better than the others, I should acknowledge.
by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2005 at 10:49:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it's actually a significant political issue in Ireland that we aren't going to make our aid target on time. The Taoiseach is announcing a new target date for us to get to 0.7% today. I'm assuming it will be well after the latest possible date for the election.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2005 at 03:27:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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