The Main UN Global Issues
That IAED Focuses on.

* See Global Conditions: The World's Problems, in the year 2001
(In Search of the "Evil Empire", Since there are only "Rogue States" which have recently (September 2000) been renamed more appropriately "States of Concern".)

The questions being asked more and more each day are... ? ? ? ? ?

Whether Globalization is as "rosy" as hyped by the media (owned by the direct benefactors of globalization: the corporations and rich) or does it have devastating impacts on those not in the previous category, in both the Developing Countries and the Developed Countries? The Financial Crisis of September 2008 answered this question.

And, Why? What's Really Going On? Who is Doing What to Who?

(see Global Strategy)

"Your Globalization and 'Structural Adjustment' has NO HUMAN FACE!"
-Minister of a Developing Country at the UN 1999, addressing the IMF and World Bank.

 U.S.A.'s policies (cost cutting -treating the UN like a private corporation, and not paying its legal dues) at the United Nations is almost a complete disaster (through 1999.) They are turning all 187 other members against them and even their own NGOs. If not a disaster yet, it may be headed that way.

GLOBAL DISPARITIES . . . It is estimated that industrialized countries hold 97% of all PATENTS, and global corporations 90% of all technology and product patents. More than 80% of the FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT in developing and transition economies goes to just 20 countries, with China getting the lion's share. See more at Global Conditions: The World's Problems, in the year 2001.

June 13, 2000: Today, the USA Congress is pressing for tax relief for the rich in estate taxes.
UNICEF released the following:
USA now has 13.5 Million children in poverty, just behind Mexico in the World Poverty listings. (USA "Entitlement" Strategy)

"Bill Gates yearly wealth is equal to setting $dollar bills side by side from New York City to the moon and back, 14 TIMES!!"

If there is no government; since the people in control are willing to “shut down government” and “this is the end of big government”; “we will get government off your backs” and willing to “pull the social safety nets” (continually cut the budgets for the disadvantaged...and they are “not entitled to it” attitudes) on their own people;...take unlimited financial contributions for their political campaigns to run for office and control of the government... tell the working class to give up their secure federal government pension system to convert to the (Chilean method) Wall Street and the stock market for their retirement, IRA’s, 401k’s etc. without government insurance backup. We wonder how safe that is? (Ask the Chilean people who have been wiped out in that system. They have been to the UN talking about it.)

(Note: The New York Times, front page of the Business Section, of November 10, 1998 article stating... “It may the largest payday of its kind, a Federal judge has awarded more than $144 million in fees and $4.4 million in expenses ... a record breaking $1 billion settlement from more than three dozen (36+) Wall Street brokerage houses that the lawyers had accused of illegally fixing prices on stock trades on the Nasdaq. The lawsuit accused 37 major brokerage companies including Merrill Lynch; Lehman Brothers; Goldman Sachs; Salomon Smith Barney [Remember their ads... “How did we earn our money? We did it the old fashion way. We earned it!”] and Morgan Stanely Dean Witter, of artificially fixing prices on stocks they traded [“...a long-standing industry practice”] between May 1989 and mid-July 1996 .”

And we are telling the developing world (Russia etc.) to “...get their act cleaned up, if they want our investments and businesses to come to their country.” Is that what...“we are going to get big government off your backs” means?

Are the major corporations creating more and more jobs as reported, or dumping 10’s of millions of workers in the USA? Are those new jobs, good paying jobs, or as low as they can negotiate without benefits (Health, Dental, Life or Pension Plans). Have they "outsourced" their labor to get rid of that (fixed costs) responsibility? Have they dumped over 100,000++ Secretaries and now try to rehire at the lowest salary, no benefits, and try to get them to work for as many bosses as possible; "temp-to-permanent jobs" that don't go perm! Is the majority of the American workforce over worked, underpaid and marginalized so that a hand full can get richer and richer? What are the future implications of these polices? See JOB's!

As inflation is rising in-the-face of every consumer (try the oil pumps, heating bills, electricity, or the grocery store, your phone bill, or, or ...) the government now only measures inflation as the rise in Labor Costs (Salaries, Benefits etc.) The "New World Economic Order" IAED is interested in these policies which impact the economics of countries and the responses of the citizens to these policies. Is all this transformation away from the Post-Industrial Society beneficial in the long run? Is it even debatable? Is it the "'Bullet Train' out of Kyoto, long gone!" (Quote from President of GA at UN) Where are the benefits and weaknesses, problems and opportunities?

This certianly is the "Age of Discontinunity" Peter Drucker predicted.

Read the latest UNDP Human Development Reports | 1999 |1998 | 1997 | .

See "World Conditions" & "World Problems" Section.

More and more people, outside the "receiving end" of the loop (and inside the loop), are beginning to target the corporations and the rich. See Globaloney!

Below are some quotes which point towards a more realistic assessment of globalization from Mr. James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme:

“Every year's United Nations Human Development Report's...clearly points out the new uncertainties and challenges as the world steps into the 21st century. . . [Conditions are getting worse (not better) for most of the World's people.]

"Signs of breakdown are everywhere and it is not a pretty picture at all!"

"The trend towards globalization deserves special attention. It is shown in the growth of regional blocs, in such areas as trade and legal frameworks, in the power of intergovernmental bodies such as the World Trade Organization (MAI) and in the spread of transnational corporations.

Globalization has profound implications for governance, the final impact of which we cannot yet determine. First, is the increasing marginalization of certain population groups. Those who do not have access to the technological/information revolution are in danger of becoming part of a structural underclass. Second, is the erosion of state sovereignty as transnational bodies increasingly mediate national concerns and press for international agreements. Third, is the increased globalization of social and economic problems, such as crime, narcotics, infectious diseases and the migration of labor. Finally, international capital and trade are decreasingly accountable to sovereign states.

Governance can no longer be considered a closed system. The state's task is to find a balance between taking advantage of globalization and providing a secure and stable social and economic domestic environment, particularly for the most vulnerable. Globalization is also placing governments under greater scrutiny which eventually may lead to improved state conduct and more responsible economic policies.

"Challenges for Sustainable Human Development: Good Governance and Democratization"
- - - by James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
Presented at the
Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue
Vienna, Austria
15 April 1997

IAED believes the solutions lie in economic development and creating an opportunity for everybody to have a chance at economic growth and self-worth. IAED working hand-in-hand with the United Nations, Civil Society and our social responsible members does not bury our heads in the sand like some ostrich bird, but are informed, compassionate, concerned with what is actually happening, and we are actively focused on some positive solutions. Would you like to help us and join us?

Good governance is critical for sustainable economic development. What constitutes “good governance?” Who is defining “good governance” ... so far, it does not appear in any dictionary. Enclosed are some quotes on the definition of good governance from the United Nations head of the UNDP.

Global Economic Development

The world has witnessed enormous economic development in recent decades, but the generation of wealth and prosperity has been very uneven, so uneven that economic imbalances are seen to exacerbate serious social problems and political instability in virtually every region of the world. The end of the cold war and the accelerated emergence of a global economy have not solved persistent problems of extreme poverty, indebtedness, underdevelopment and trade imbalances, especially in developing regions. In fact, it has accelerated the separation of the rich and poor.

[Even President Clinton of the U.S.A. says, “Our biggest problem is terrorism.” Who are the terrorists? Are they internal or external? Could they even include the Liberal NGO's? See the new "1996 Antiterrorism Act." and curtailing Civil Rights/Liberties. Who are they so up set about? And what are they upset about?]

One of the founding principles of the United Nations is the conviction that economic development for all peoples of the world is the surest way to achieve political, economic and social security. It is a central preoccupation of the Organization that . . .

Over 60 per cent of the world's population, most of them in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, subsist on $2 or less per day.

About 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty.

Nearly 1 billion people are illiterate.

Over 1 billion lack access to safe water.

Every day, some 840 million go hungry or face food insecurity.

For more details on the Global Conditions: The World's Problems in the year 2001.

The United Nations continues to be the single institution dedicated to finding ways to ensure that economic expansion and globalization are guided by policies aimed at ensuring human welfare, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty, fair trade policies and the reduction of crippling indebtedness.

The United Nations urges the adoption of macro economics policies that address these imbalances, particularly the growing gap between the North and South, the persistent problems of the least developed countries, and the unprecedented requirements of the economies in transition from centralized to market economies. The Organization has worked at the global and national levels for the creation of an enabling environment for development. It is engaged everywhere in helping the efforts of people to escape from the trap of poverty and hunger, and in promoting child survival, environmental protection, women's progress, human rights and democracy. For millions in poor countries, these programmes of assistance are the United Nations.

Can the New Technology Help?

Only 2.4% of the world's population is on the internet. Most are in the United States of America, not even Europe! All those fancy "Java enabled" websites are just "stroking" each other in the rich north. Probably including this one! Seems so far, the internet has just accelerated the "gap" between the rich and poor countries; north and south countries; and even white Americans, Asians and the disadvantaged black Americans (even in the developed and technology leader, the United States.)

"Only international cooperation can break these new technological and economic ghettos . . the alternative is simply to do nothing, to let the knowledge explosion deepen in technologicallly rich societies while poorer countries fall further and further behind. If this happens, the growing gap between haves and have-nots will lead to widespread discontent and threaten any prospect of global harmony and international understanding. This is the most significant challenge we face. We have no time to waste in responding." – Professor Paul Kennedy

Official Development Assistance - ODA

Through their policies and financial flows, the Organization's lending institutions have, collectively, an enormous influence on the economies of developing countries. This is especially true for the least developed countries (LDCs), which include 48 nations whose extreme poverty and indebtedness have marginalized them from global growth and development. The LDCs are the focus of several United Nations assistance programmes, including the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s, whereby LDCs, the majority of which are in Africa, are targeted as priorities for international development cooperation. Donor countries have agreed to commit 0. 15 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) to this group of nations. Small island developing States (see also page 205), landlocked developing countries and countries with economies in transition to market economies also suffer from critical problems requiring special attention from the international community and are similarly priorities in the assistance programmes of the United Nations system.

Declining Assistance to Development

In 1980, industrialized countries pledged at the General Assembly to devote 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) to official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries. But that target has been reached by only a few countries - currently Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden. In fact, Nordic countries by themselves provide over 20 per cent of total ODA each year. On average, ODA has remained at less than half of the targeted level, or about 0.3 per cent of industrialized countries' GNP. With the end of the cold war, ODA has fallen by 14 per cent in real terms between 1992 and 1995. By 1996, ODA, at $58 billion, represented a mere 0.25 per cent of the GNP of the 21 main donor countries - its lowest level in 30 years. The largest donor continued to be Japan, followed by the United States, Germany and France.

In the past, official development finance from northern Governments represented the bulk of the financial resources going into developing countries. But in the last few years, private investment in developing countries has increased dramatically, and private investments and loans now far outweigh official flows. Of total resource flows from donor countries in 1996 of $304 billion, $238 billion was private flows, and only $66 billion was official flows, including non-ODA funds.

Both the World Bank and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development carefully monitor these financial flows and point to serious problems that still must be addressed. Eighty per cent of the private capital flow to developing countries, for example, goes to just 12 countries; the poorest countries attract less than 1 per cent of total foreign investment flows; and nearly 50 developing countries are not receiving any foreign capital at all.

Reflecting concern over these issues, the General Assembly decided in 1997 to convene an international conference or a special session of the Assembly by the year 2001 which would be devoted exclusively to the issue of financing for development. The high-level meeting would address, among other things, the continuing high level of indebtedness, the mobilization of innovative domestic and private resources for development, and governance of the international monetary, financial and trade systems.

Africa - a United Nations Priority

The United Nations, reflecting the concern of the international community, has made the critical socio-economic conditions in Africa a priority concern. In affirming its commitment to support the region's development, it has devised special programmes to find durable solutions to external debt and debt-service problems, to increase foreign direct investment, to enhance national capacity- building, to deal with the shortage of domestic resources for development and to facilitate the integration of the African countries into subregional, regional and world trade.

At its 1986 special session on Africa, the General Assembly adopted the Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990 (UNPAERD), which sought to mobilize political and financial support for economic reforms. Reviewing the Programme of Action in 1991, the Assembly called for a New Agenda for Development of Africa in the 1990s to ensure continued support for the region by achieving an average real growth rate in gross domestic product of at least 6 per cent a year through out the 1990s. The New Agenda accords special attention to human development and increased employment, and to programmes which promote rapid progress in life expectancy, the integration of women in development, child and maternal health, and the provision of adequate nutrition, water and sanitation, education and shelter.

To ensure coordination of United Nations policy-making and of its extensive programmes in the region, the General Assembly launched in 1996 the United Nations System-wide Special Initiative on Africa (UNSIA) to help accelerate Africa's development in the decade to 2005. UNSIA is designed to rationalize and maximize the impact of United Nations assistance, including that of UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Bretton Woods institutions, through more effective coordination at headquarters and at the country level. The Initiative's mechanisms work to forge coherent partnerships to focus on priorities already identified by African countries.

Official development assistance (ODA) to all developing countries has averaged around $60 billion a year in the 1990s (see box on opposite page). United Nations ODA is derived from two sources: grant assistance from United Nations specialized and technical agencies and United Nations funds and programmes, which has averaged around $4.5 billion; and loans from lending institutions of the United Nations system, such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank.

ODA from the United Nations system is widely distributed among 130 countries. Africa receives nearly 40 per cent of all United Nations system grant resources, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America each receive 22 per cent, Europe 6.6 per cent and Western Asia 6 per cent.

In 1996, the latest year for which a detailed breakdown is available, the sector comprising humanitarian assistance and disaster management was the largest single recipient of grant-financed development activities of the United Nations system, accounting for over a quarter of total outlays, followed by the health sector. This does not include expenditures by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees which in recent years have averaged around $1 billion annually (see Chapter 5, page 253). In addition, IFAD invests over $250 million a year in loans and grants aimed at relieving hunger and rural poverty (see pages 145 and 163). Finally, the World Bank provides loans totaling over $20 billion a year, while the other so-called Bretton Woods institution, the International Monetary Fund, also offers various forms of support to countries in financial difficulties (see pages 135 and 136 respectively).

But the activities of the United Nations system have been affected by the marked decline of the share of ODA in total resource flows (see box on page 130). Moreover, the share of United Nations system development grants in declining total ODA has dropped from around 8 per cent ($4.9 billion) in 1993 to less than 7.5 per cent ($4.3 billion) in 1996.

As general (core) resources provided to United Nations agencies and bodies have declined, there has been a relatively rapid increase in non-core resources provided for specific programmes, projects or funds. While all countries contribute to development cooperation, nearly 90 per cent of core resources is provided by only 15 industrial countries. The traditional donor base has been static, despite significant changes in the global economy.

For details on the Global Conditions: The World's Problems, in the year 2002.

We suggest you take a look at the The NGOs Network (Non-Governmental Organizations associated with the United Nations) to get a better feel for the current points of view of the people and their organizations.

| Go back to IAED's Focus page | IAED at the United Nations |
© Copyright 1990-2008/2016 IAED. All rights reserved.

Return to IAED Home Page or Contact IAED








Below are some quotes from Mr. James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme:

"...a deepened understanding of North-South issues, of human rights, of problems affecting the Middle East, of employment and unemployment in a global economy. These issues are of even greater concern to us than they were at a time when this politically farsighted man articulated them.

If I look at the topic of toady's presentation, I see three terms that need to be defined adequately. They are: sustainable human development, governance and Good governance.

UNDP defines sustainable human development as development that gives priority to the poor rather than marginalizing them, sustains the environment rather than degrading it, advances women rather than discriminating against them. It promotes job-led growth rather than jobless growth. It is development that stresses equity, empowerment, employment and environment.

Good governance can be seen as the exercises of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country's affairs at all levels.

Good Governance is, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and efficient. And it promotes the rule of law not the rule of men and equal justice under the law. Good governance ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable are heard in decision-making (for example over the allocation of development resources).

We can take it for granted that sustainable human development will not be realized without strong, effective and participatory good governance.

These characteristics of good governance are mutually reinforcing and cannot stand alone. For example, accessible information means more transparency, broader participation and more effective decision-making. Broad participation contributes both to the exchange of information needed for effective decision-making and for the legitimacy of those decisions. Legitimacy, in turn, means effective implementation and encourages further participation. And responsive institutions must be transparent and function according to the rule of law if they are to be equitable.

Governance encompasses the state but it transcends the state by including the private sector and civil society organizations. The institutions of governance in the three domains; state, private sector and civil society must each contribute to sustainable human development.

Societies should aim, through broad-based consensus-building, to define what the best balance is among the state, the market and civil society. Each domain of governance; state, private sector and civil society has strengths and weaknesses. Given that change is continuous, the ability for the three domains to continuously interact and adjust must be built in, thus allowing for long-term stability.

UNDP recognizes that the relationships among state, private sector and civil society are key determinants in whether a nation is able to create and sustain equitable opportunities for all its people. If a government does not function efficiently and effectively, scarce resources will be wasted. If it does not have legitimacy in the eyes of the people, it will not be able to achieve its goals or theirs. If it is unable to build national consensus around these objectives, no external assistance can help bring them about. If it is unable to foster a strong social fabric, the society risks disintegration and chaos. Equally important, if people are not empowered to take responsibility for their own development within an enabling framework provided by government, development will not be sustainable."

End of quotes from Mr. James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

Go back ...