At The UN, Divide Between US And Russia While Progress Made On Development Goals
Does Bill Gates Represent The New Age Of Global Aid?
For decades, development aid simply involved giving money to the UN to implement old policies, but, argues Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, tech billionaire Bill Gates has refashioned the way aid is distributed and how development goals are set.
“The billionaire’s main contribution to global health is the manner in which he combines technology, aspiration, resources and rigor. It is the same approach that has chased the polio virus across the world to its redoubts in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” writes Gerson, adding that in the last 25 years, more than a billion people have been lifted out of poverty.
“Where, outside the best of corporate America, do you see such voluntary, strategic disruption? Such commitment to measured outcomes? It is the precise opposite of the way most people view spending on global health and development. But it is common practice in the golden age of aid,” he concludes.
In an interview with Quartz, Gates said the United Nations decision to set clear development goals in 2000 was a critical step forward.
“It made a fantastic difference. Because it really highlighted the measures that you can look at country by country. And amazingly, instead of all the measures tracking your level of wealth, you see some countries who reduced childhood deaths even when they were very, very poor or who got women into education. So we were able to really encourage better measurement, really highlight those numbers,” he said.
Two Speeches Reflect Two Visions Of The World
The speeches delivered by President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored how different the world looks from Moscow and Washington, and how inconsistent President Putin’s realpolitik is with President Obama’s dream of a rule-based international order.
Despite their differing world views, Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations argues Syria might present (or force) an opportunity to work together.
“Despite their contrasting world views and testy personal relationship, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin may be forced to find some common ground on the way forward, at least when it comes to Syria. Russia’s military buildup in that country has given it some leverage in negotiations with the United States, which was also taken by surprise by yesterday’s agreement among Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria to share intelligence related to the Islamic State. Moreover, a slew of foreign governments—including not only big emerging countries like China and India but also close U.S. allies like Germany—are now convinced that Assad must be part of the solution in Syria,” he writes.