What Kind Of Legacy Will Ban Ki-moon’s Leave?

Will Ban Ki-moon Leave A Legacy At The UN?
While he will not leave his post until the end of 2016, Richard Gowan of New York University’s Center for International Cooperation examines the first six years of Ban Ki-moon’s leadership of the United Nations to glean what the next four will hold.

Gowan does not believe Ban’s term will be as scandal-plagued as his predecessor Kofi Annan’s was, but does argue he has “fumbled the opportunity to set out a broader strategy” for the UN.

Real-Time Events Could Shape Next Four Years
In some respects his agenda will be defined for him by the international political calendar, Gowan says, because he has has little choice but to prioritize three issues: international development goals, climate change and the chaos in the Arab world.

For example, the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals at the end of the year will place pressure on Ban to chart a path forward or, at least, how to continue the program’s focus on eradicating poverty.

One potential scandal, however, is related to the UN’s poor record in recent years where anti-Semitism is concerned. The National Review recently reported a case in point – a meeting of the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations, launched in 2005 by former secretary general Kofi Annan for the purpose of “bridging divides.” During the meeting the Turkish Prime Minister characterized Zionism as a “crime against humanity,” a characterization which hardly elicited a raised eyebrow and has drawn closer scrutiny of the Allaiance, its funding, and close ties to the government of Iran.

Global Food Prices Set To Rise In Coming Years?
Contrary to conventional wisdom that looming around the corner is a global food crisis, “real prices (in relation to incomes) will fall and, in some areas, prices might fall in nominal terms as well,” reports The Financial Times.

The paper cites research from Toscafund that predicts a rapid increase in demand will result in greater food production. However, the note adds, it will depend largely on where you live.

For example, Toscafund estimates that in the US high food prices may remain commonplace, but for reasons not related strictly to higher demand.

“I would argue rising food price will prove a stubborn problem in the United States; part of a wider inflation concern we have for the economy reflecting a disorderly decline in the dollar.”

Global Food Industry Impacting How World Eats
Nutritionist Barry Popkin says the global food industry is impacting how more people eat from New York to New Delhi.

“You take a country like China, which went from no convenience stores in 2002 to a million of them by 2008. Walmart and Carrefour have one of the largest presences in the world in China, but they’re only fourth and fifth in size compared to a Chinese supermarket chain. In urban Africa the same thing is happening. So essentially, food systems there are beginning to look like our food systems. Less and less farmers markets, more and more processed packaged food and produce,” Popkin tells Next City, an online publication.


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