Tuesday, November 18, 2014
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; PG Cert. Oil & Gas–Mak; LLB (Hons)–Mak; GC Candidate–GCA]
Very many things can be said about the world. One is that it ‘... is a very unequal place ....’ ironically, life is characterized by a number of sharply contrasting episodes – rich or pauper, wise or fool, brave or coward, strong or weak, master or servant/slave, among others. These social differentiations ultimately cause inequality.
Global inequality refers to inequality among citizens of countries in the whole world, looked at as if it were one country. Income variations are the main dimension of inequality, though not the only one. Indeed, Professor Stiglitz says that there are many dimensions to inequality – income, wealth, health, exposure to environmental hazards and access to justice. Nevertheless, this essay mainly discusses the dimension of income inequality.
2. Past Evolvement of Global Inequality
In the past, prior to the industrial revolution, global inequality was based on class, as determine by successive socio-economic stages that human society has gone through in the course of development, each with different modes of production.
One’s location or situation in the relevant stage determined his or her production level and consequently his or her social class. Different placements on the social scale automatically resulted into unequal productivity, thus translating into inequality in all its forms.
3. Current Trends of Global Inequality
The emergence of the industrial revolution in about 1820 (at the end of Napoleon’s reign in France and his wars in 1815) enabled many countries to accumulate enormous wealth. But the industrial revolution was not evenly spread globally, because it was concentrated in Europe and North America, which enabled some countries to become richer than others, leading to enormous global inequality. Thus, a study showed that, ‘Wealth is heavily concentrated in North America, Europe and high income Asia-Pacific countries, [where] ... People ... collectively hold almost 90% of total world wealth.’
Due to disparities in global development, the Human Development Report 2009 (hereinafter ‘the HDR 2009’) noted that, ‘The world distribution of opportunities is extremely unequal.’ Consequently, today’s inequality is largely premised on geographical location; most of it ‘... stems from very different average incomes among countries. One’s income thus crucially depends on citizenship, which in turn means ... place of birth. All people born in rich countries thus receive a location premium or a location rent; all those born in poor countries get a location penalty.’
4. Impact on Global Affairs
Global inequality has immense impact on global affairs, which Professor Stiglitz says are intertwined, explaining that societies in which many individuals believe that there are fundamental inequities – that the system is not fair – don’t function well, such that individuals and the economies suffer.’ Unfortunately, most impacts are negative. The major ones include the following:–
Global inequality drives migration. The HDR 2009 found that, ‘Every year, more than 5 million people cross international borders to go and live in a developed country.’ It stated that, ‘... inequality is a key driver of human movement and thus implies that movement has a huge potential for improving human development.’ Migration improves people’s global income position; and is considered the single most important trend to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality.
But the HDR 2009 also stated that, ‘Yet movement is not a pure expression of choice—people often move under constraints that can be severe, while the gains they reap from moving are very unequally distributed.’ Migration is also very risky.
B. Undermining Democracy
Inequality incites feelings of marginalization among those affected. They pull back and withdraw from participation in public affairs, including elections, leading to corruption, non-transparency, impunity, poor accountability and incompetence, among others. These erode democratic values.
C. Fuelling Social Disintegration
Perceptions of inequality stir gradual embitterment among people living on the peripheral of society, which causes social disintegration, particularly between the haves and the have-nots. In some instances, social disintegration descends into chaos and violence.
For example, in December 2007, Kenyans took to cutting themselves with machetes, following a disputed presidential election, at the heart of which lay a bitter tribal rivalry between Kikuyus and Luos, over distribution of national resources – the latter accused the former of marginalization. In other instances, social disintegration has taken a truly national dimension, eliciting somewhat highhanded national responses. For example, the land reform programme in Zimbabwe that confiscated large chunks of land owned by whites, whom majority blacks accused of economic marginalization.
D. Weakening Economies
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has found that inequality is one of the hindrances to economic growth. Inequality denotes lack of opportunity for many people; meaning that with it, human resources are underutilized, which weakens economic growth, because from a political economy perspective, the more divided a society is, the more difficulty it faces in getting political consensus behind important public investments. Moreover, increased inequality lowers aggregate demand, which curtails production of commodities in an economic system.
Global inequality is costly. Among others, first, we pay a high price for it, as we could have more growth, more stability and more equality, but we do not. Second, it poses a vicious circle, where more economic inequality leads to more political inequality; and more political inequality leads to amplified economic inequality. Third, global inequality undermines national, regional and international stability, because it induces intense feelings of segregation and deprivation that find expression in physical and other forms of overt violence.
The net effect of these ills on the human mind is so horrendous that inequality is a sticky and most dreaded subject to talk about, which calls for more effort in curtailing it.
Fortunately, there is some good news: the world is getting less unequal, which trend may be accelerated in the coming years, with the emergence of a global middle class. The growth and expansion of international trade contributes to the gradual reduction of global inequality.
Notes and References
1. Branko Milanovic, The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality (2010), at 120.
2. Surprisingly, upon close scrutiny, one finds that God or as the atheists would have it, Nature, may be the ultimate source of this inequality. Indeed, the Bible, in the book of Proverbs 10:22 states that, ‘It is the Lord’s blessing that makes you wealthy. Hard work can make you no richer.’ So, we may as well take it that the world’s paupers are poor because God wishes it, by not blessing them; conversely, the wealthy are rich because God wills it. In this regard therefore, He is the source and cause of financial and material inequality.
3. Branko Milanovic, in his Week 10 lecture on ‘Global Inequality,’ in the Global Civics lecture series, of the Global Civics Academy.
4. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, ‘The World Distribution of Human Capital, Life Expectancy and Income: a Multi-dimensional Approach’ (2005), at 1. To them, longevity and education are also interesting components of welfare, after income and should be duly paid attention to, although they are completely different.
5. Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, ‘Causes and Consequences of Growing Inequality and What Can be done about It’ (2014). He was speaking during the fourth Annual Oxford Fulbright Distinguished Lecture on International Relations, on 23 May 2014. According to him, inequalities in many of these areas are greater than in income.
Professor Stiglitz also says that there are many aspects of inequality: more income and wealth going to the top; hollowing out of the middle class in many advanced countries, with more people in tails of distribution; increases in poverty in some advanced countries; and worsening of income distribution in most countries.
According to him, each aspect of inequality has its cause – social, economic, political – although they are interrelated. He however, emphasizes that the problem is not just in the economics, but in the policies and politics too, that seem to matter most, yet whose inadequate and often haphazard response makes matters worse. For instance, it is assumed that growth benefits all and that there is always a trickle down effect in the economy, which is not necessarily true. Professor Stiglitz says that these aspects of inequality result into two broad categories of inequality: inequality of opportunity and inequality of outcomes. These are closely linked, because the one leads to the other and vice versa.
6. Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality Lecture, supra note 3.
7. Ernest K. Beyaraza, Social Foundations of Law: A Philosophical Analysis (2 edn), at 33-34, lists and explains the different socio-economic stages of human growth.
First was the primitive or communalist society, in which existed no social classes, since the modes of production were communally owned. Here, everybody was equal.
Second was the slave society – the first socially stratified or differentiated society – where human beings belonged to other human beings. Slaves were acquired, owned, used and disposed of by their masters. Slaves owned nothing and comprised part of the masters’ property. This social differentiation resulted into unequal wealth and power relations among people.
Third was feudal society, which was premised on land ownership by one group of people, the nobles – monarchs, royals (especially princes) and aristocrats – doubling as landlords, on the one hand; and landless peasants, doubling as tenants, on the other. Peasants were socially marginalized and disempowered vis-a-vis nobles who were highly privileged and powerful, thus translating into unequal power relations.
Fourth is capitalism that is characterized by the existence of owners of the means of production (capitalists, controlling land, money and raw materials) and their workers (supplying labour), whereby the former extract value from the latter for a wage. This inevitably results into inequality.
Fifth is socialism, which presupposes a classless society where the means of production are socially owned, emphasizing predominance of the majority working group. This premise of socialism, at the heart of which is the idea that from each according to his ability; and to each according to his needs, is an impractical hoax, which, even if it were real and feasible, still encourages inequality in the form of predominance of one group of people (the workers) over others.
One’s social status in each of these stages determined his or her financial and material prosperity. Since all people could not have occupied the same position, inequality was inevitable.
8. United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, ‘Richest 2% own half the world's wealth’ (2006). Available at http://archive.unu.edu/update/issue44_22.htm (accessed on 8 November 2014, at 00:26 hrs). The study found that, ‘Although North America has only 6% of the world adult population, it accounts for 34% of household wealth. Europe and high income Asia-Pacific countries also own disproportionate amounts of wealth,’ yet, ‘In contrast, the overall share of wealth owned by people in Africa, China, India, and other lower income countries in Asia is considerably less than their population share, sometimes by a factor of more than 10.’
But it should be noted that even the rich countries succumbed to high rates of internal inequality that are subsisting to this day. For example, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, supra note 4, gives shocking information and statistics on inequality in the United States of America, which he says has the highest level of inequality among advanced economies, where the top 1% of US income earners take home 22.5% of income; the top 0.1% take home 11.3% of income; the top 0.01% take home 5.5% of income; and 95% of increase in income went to the upper 1% between 2009-2012.
Professor Mohammed Razeen, speaking in his Week 3 lecture on ‘International Trade,’ in the Global Civics lecture series, of the Global Civics Academy, said that this level of inequality is ‘obscene.’
Professor Stiglitz further says that countries that have emulated the US economic model are seeing increases in inequality, for example, the United Kingdom, which now ranks second in inequality.
9. United Nations Development Programme, Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development (2009), at 8.
10. Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality Lecture, supra note 3.
11. Branko Milanovic, The Haves and the Have-Nots, supra note 1. According to him, place of birth determines most of one’s lifetime income and explains more than 60% of variability in global incomes.
Speaking elsewhere, Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality Lecture, supra note 3, gives an example comparing the income variations of the United States of America and the Congo: while the former has more than USD 4000$ per capita, the latter has less than USD 400$ per capita, which translates into a ratio of 100:1. This means that a person living in the United States earns more than his or her Congolese counterpart and so the US resident is more empowered than the Congolese resident, because of the many privileges that come with financial prosperity, including enhanced literacy, greater access to information, ability to enforce one’s human rights and living a healthy and wholesome life.
12. Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, supra note 5. He submits that inequality in health undermines economic performance.
13. United Nations Development Programme, supra note 9.
14. Ibid. According to the report, at page 9 thereof, ‘A person’s opportunities to lead a long and healthy life, to have access to education, health care and material goods, to enjoy political freedoms and to be protected from violence are all strongly influenced by where they live. Someone born in Thailand can expect to live seven more years, to have almost three times as many years of education, and to spend and save eight times as much as someone born in neighbouring Myanmar. These differences in opportunity create immense pressures to move.’
15. Branko Milanovic, The Haves and the Have-Nots, supra note 1, at 123. According to Mr Milanovic, ‘... one’s own efforts, one’s country doing well, and migration are three ways in which people can improve their global income position,’ but he stresses that, ‘The role a person’s effort plays is small; he cannot influence his country’s growth rate, so the only alternative that remains is migration.’ See, ibid.
16. Hakan Altinay, in his follow-up remarks to the Week 10 lecture on ‘Global Inequality,’ in the Global Civics lecture series, of the Global Civics Academy.
Unfortunately, according to Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality Lecture, supra note 3, the rich countries are placing large obstacles to migration, because the temptation for people to migrate from poor countries are very high; and writing elsewhere, Branko Milanovic, The Haves and the Have-Nots, supra note 1, at 164, he has warned of consequences that this will have on the crucial subject of globalization, saying that, ‘... if both large income gaps between countries persist and rich countries limit or prevent migration, globalization may have to be scaled back.’
17. United Nations Development Programme, supra note 9. The report observes, at page 9 thereof, that, ‘For people who move, the journey almost always entails sacrifices and uncertainty. The possible costs range from the emotional cost of separation from families and friends to high monetary fees. The risks can include the physical dangers of working in dangerous occupations. In some cases, such as those of illegal border crossings, movers face a risk of death. Nevertheless, millions of people are willing to incur these costs or risks in order to improve their living standards and those of their families.’
18. For more information, see, Wikipedia, ‘Land Reform in Zimbabwe’ (2014), available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Zimbabwe (Accessed on 6 November 2014, at 00:07 hrs).
19. Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, supra note 5.
20. Ibid. For instance, the Professor says that children of poor people are not living up to their potential.
25. Ibid. Professor Stiglitz refers to one American presidential candidate who reportedly said that you only talk about inequality in economics behind closed doors, in quiet voices.
26. Per Hakan Altinay, supra note 16; Professor Stiglitz, supra note 5.
Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, supra note 4, reveal a lot of good news on reduction of inequality. They state that, ‘Inequality in life expectancy has increased from 1820 to 1930 and fallen considerably from 1930 to the present day.’ (See page 2 thereof); that, ‘The world in 1870 was characterized by a huge gap between the literate and illiterate populations which we hardly can think of today.’ (See page 4 thereof); that, ‘education inequality has decreased steadily since 1870 whereas income inequality has reached its maximum in the middle of the 20th century and lessened only slightly since 1980.’ (See page 5 thereof); and that the extreme poverty rate has decreased from 75% to 20% since 1870 (See page 5 thereof). Overall, they say that, ‘The period between 1870 and 1930 is characterized by an increasing gap in income, life expectancy and education between Western Europe and the rest of the world, particularly Asia and Africa. There are some important interactions between the three components of human development : the success of industrialization and exports of manufactured goods in Western Europe results partially from the technological pace and the gains in productivity induced by important investment in education. The longevity could increase rapidly because average consumption of food improved and health services progressed thanks to education improvement. So that Western Europe populations were involved in a virtuous circle of human development which was out of reach of most other countries before 1950, even if small minorities had access to the same income or education.
But since 1930 and especially since 1950-1960, several other countries have progressively combined accumulation of human capital and increasing income. As a result they have obtained longer longevity and higher human development....’ (See page 12 thereof).
27. Professor Mohammed Razeen, speaking in his Week 3 lecture on ‘International Trade,’ in the Global Civics lecture series, of the Global Civics Academy, argued that trade has enabled an upsurge of foreign investments in many countries, bringing with it a string of several benefits like capital, human resource skills, technology, management expertise and global networks in marketing, finance, etc. These benefits contribute to the reduction of global inequality.
Friday, November 14, 2014
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; PG Cert. Oil & Gas–Mak; LLB (Hons)–Mak; GC Candidate–GCA]
Today’s ‘... world of shared risks and common opportunities, grounded in the realities of mutual dependence and growing interconnection,’ has given rise to the concept of global public goods, which truly characterizes and defines it; and whose importance is as vital as global dependence and interconnectedness are.
To my mind, global public goods are interstate structural belongings available to the whole world or a significant portion of it. In economists’ jargon, they technically share two qualities – non-excludability and non-rivalry; meaning respectively, ‘... that when provided to one party, the public good is available to all, and consumption of the public good by one party does not reduce the amount available to the others to consume.’ They can be regional or global.
There are six types of priority global public goods:
(a) Strengthening the international trading system;
(b) Tackling climate change;
(c) Enhancing international financial stability;
(d) Preventing the emergence and spread of infectious disease;
(e) Achieving peace and security; and
(f) Generating knowledge.
This essay discusses the first five public goods in the main and in conclusion, tackles generating knowledge, as a cross-cutting issue.
2. The Good in Global Public Goods
The good in global public goods lies in their intrinsic value to humanity. But some players in the global arena look at these goods as just immediate, but not important, demands – mere overbearing imperatives. This is wrong. Rather, they should be acknowledged as important and immediate needs, necessary for producing long term and sustainable benefits. The latter perspective, adopted below, helps us in terms of better analysis and better solutions to global challenges.
A. Strengthening the International Trading System
Trade increases productivity through more efficient resource allocation, greater competition and technology transfer. Its progressive liberalization has been a chief engine of global economic growth for well over half a century. Estimates show that abolishing all barriers to trade in goods and services could increase global income by $2.8 trillion and lift 320 million people out of poverty.
The international trading system is a global public good, mainly by virtue of the principles of most-favoured-nation treatment and national treatment – enshrined respectively in Articles I and III of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) – because formally, the system’s availability to any one GATT member is not at the expense of any other member and the end result of the system – preventing or reducing protectionism – benefits, potentially, all of its members. As noted by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, ‘... an open and equitable trading system can be a powerful driver of economic growth and poverty reduction.’
B. Tackling Climate Change
The UN Secretary-General warned that, ‘One of the greatest environmental and development challenges in the twenty-first century will be that of controlling and coping with climate change.’
Mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts are global public goods, most efficiently achievable by effective use of carbon taxes to generate a double dividend: first, help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas; and second, provide substantial tax revenue to national governments – money that could be used to finance more global public goods – if the rate were set at a level that would lead to an optimal reduction in carbon emissions.
C. Enhancing International Financial Stability
Financial crises can have serious impacts on poverty levels, and engender international instability.
International cooperation by governments and multilateral organizations to organize and coordinate efforts to prevent and resolve financial crises is a global public good, because the world’s common interest is that countries do not pursue policies that provoke financial instability.
D. Preventing the Emergence and Spread of Infectious Disease
Infectious diseases pose grave dangers to both social and economic stability, threatening the health of every person and the prosperity of every nation.
Prevention is better than cure. Controlling infectious diseases requires: first, improving the global preparedness-to-response chain; second, strengthening the capacity of public health systems to prevent and treat infectious diseases; and third, increasing knowledge for vaccines and treatment.
This would reduce over time the number of infectious diseases confronting global health systems and the deaths they would cause, to the benefit of all states and populations.
E. Achieving International Peace and Security
Preserving international peace and security underlies and is essential to all the other public goods. No wonder, by 2006, 22 out of the 34 countries farthest from reaching the Millennium Development Goals, were in or emerging from a conflict.
There are three major global public goods objectives in achieving international peace and security: combating international terrorism; ensuring nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; and agreement on legitimate use of military force, which pose new security realities of common threats and shared vulnerability, necessitating a much more cooperative global approach to solve them. Progress has been made in this regard and it should be consolidated.
Global public goods are undoubtedly relevant in solving special problems, posed by global issues. They should be given serious attention by governments and peoples of all states.
Quite notably, the nature and intensity of global issues and the problems they pose, are constantly evolving. Hence, in order for us to keep trends with changes in the global environment, there is need for more investment of resources in generating knowledge, which is a cross-cutting issue. Any strategy to provide global public goods requires a special global effort to build scientific and technological capacities everywhere, including in developing countries, to help drive economic development.
That knowledge must be capable of being diffused and assimilated by all people, once generated, for it to be relevant in better analysis of global challenges and presenting better solutions to them. Only then shall we ably and fully ‘... look at the importance of these public goods and ... contribute everyday to a better governance of them [to] make this world a better place.’
Notes and References
1. International Task Force on Global Public Goods, Meeting Global Challenges: International Cooperation in the National Interest (2006), at 3. The Task Force observes that, ‘International cooperation has many uses. It is a tool for altruistic purposes, importantly so, and it serves a host of geo-political interests, certainly. But it is also a tool for states to align their long-term, enlightened national interests to achieve common goals. Some of these goals are “global public goods”.’ See, ibid., at 13.
3. Ibid. The Task Force gives traditional examples of national public goods as including ‘... traffic control systems and national security – goods that benefit all citizens and national private actors but that none could afford to supply on their own initiative.’
4. These benefit countries belonging to a specific geographic territory e.g. the East African Community (EAC).
5. These benefit all countries and therefore, all persons.
6. See, International Task Force on Global Public Goods, supra note 1, at 31. According to the Task Force, ‘These are priorities because the threats posed by global ills are rapidly mounting. Because the issues are interlocking, each adding to the other, none are able to be adequately addressed in isolation (as in the vital relationship between trade and security or infectious disease and trade). Because the benefits of supplying them are substantial. Because failing to supply them would have significant and in some cases irreversible consequences. And because they are important to a range of public and private constituencies whose engagement is necessary for progress.’ See, ibid.
7. This explains why, as Javier Solana says, in his Week 9 lecture on ‘Global Governance,’ in the Global Civics lecture series, of the Global Civics Academy, ‘Many developing countries are suspicious that the climate change drive is a move to prevent them from developing industrially,’ in spite of the fact that climate change is a scientifically proven reality. They feel unnecessarily pushed or even blackmailed by their developed counterparts.
8. For example, enhancing development. The International Task Force on Global Public Goods, supra note 1, at 15, stated that there is a relationship between global public goods and development. The Task Force gave three dimensions to this relationship: first, transcending traditional development divisions between donor states with advanced financial capacities and recipient states with limited resources; second, global public goods can propel development. For example, improvements in international financial regulation systems are critical to achieving broader economic development; and third, development is fundamental to the supply of many important global public goods, whose provision is hindered by limited state capacity to avail them. This means that if provision of global public goods propels development, then development sustains the provision of global public goods. This is a hallmark of the symbiotic relationship between them.
9. International Task Force on Global Public Goods, supra note 1, at 16.
10. Ibid., at 49. Further, the benefits of strengthening the international trading system may be seen in light of its subtle promotion of international peace and stability. The 19th century French Liberal economist, Frederic Bastiat, so forcefully made the case that free trade was perhaps the surest route to peace as well as prosperity. He is often credited with having said that ‘If goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.’ See, Thomas J. DiLorenzo, ‘Biography of Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850).’ Available at http://mises.org/page/1447/Biography-of-Frederic-Bastiat-18011850 (Accessed on 23-10-2014, at 00:56 hrs).
11. Ibid., at 16.
12. Ibid., at 49. Also underlying the international trading system have been, ‘... the ideal of universality and the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination that have been present since its origins,’ (see, ibid., at 50) which have contributed to its remarkable evolution and ability to empower people world over. These are global public goods in themselves.
13. Report of the Secretary-General, In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All (2005), at 18. Unfortunately however, the international trading system is not open or equitable enough. The Secretary-General pointed out, ibid., that, ‘At present, developing countries are often denied a level playing field to compete in global trade because rich countries use a variety of tariffs, quotas and subsidies to restrict access to their own markets and shelter their own producers.’ The International Task Force on Global Public Goods, supra note 1, at 50, also noted that, ‘... as the system has grown, over time it has accommodated rules that ... allow for discriminatory treatment of products and trading partners.’ These contradictions in the system negate its goodness and intrinsic value to the people it is meant to serve.
14. Ibid., at 19.
15. International Task Force on Global Public Goods, supra note 1, at 41.
16. Ibid., at 16.
17. Ibid., at 45.
18. Ibid. The Task Force notes that policy makers are broadly agreed on the causes of financial instability: unsustainable macroeconomic policies, fragile financial systems, institutional weaknesses and structural flaws in international financial markets. See, ibid., at 46.
19. Ibid., at 16.
20. Ibid., at 33. Thanks to enhanced and improved travel means, infectious diseases are not effectively deterred by national borders, hence the need for collective action by states, together with other international actors. Thus, the Report of the Secretary-General, supra note 13, at 20, emphasizes that, ‘Many infectious diseases that ravage developing countries today, notably HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, pose severe risks for the entire world, particularly in the light of emerging drug resistance. Both familiar and new infectious diseases require a concerted international response.’
21. Ibid., at 34.
22. Ibid., at 37.
23. Ibid., at 55. The Task Force argues that, ‘In the absence of an effective collective security system, not only will the levels of war, terrorism and other forms of strife increase, but international prosperity will be at risk or even reversed. War, conflict and terrorism will erode international confidence, weakening financial markets. And isolationism and distrust between peoples will infect trade regimes, bringing protectionism and economic reversal. International public health and efforts to combat climate change will suffer in an atmosphere of eroding security.’ See, ibid. Conflicts cost millions of lives and impose corollary health, environmental and economic costs to neighbouring states and the global community. Preserving international peace and security is therefore, a precondition for sustainable development and poverty reduction.
24. Ibid., at 16. The Millennium Development Goals are a series of time-bound targets, cutting across development areas of interest to the United Nations – ranging from halving extreme poverty, to putting all children into primary school. They were agreed upon at the Millennium Summit in the year 2000, with a deadline of 2015.
25. Ibid., at 55.
The Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility (2004), at 31-55, identified six clusters of interconnected security threats, which require a new security consensus and concerted national and international action. These are: war between states; internal conflict; terrorism; organized crime; the use and spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and poverty, infectious disease and severe environmental degradation.
The Report of the Secretary-General, supra note 13, at 25, also identifies the same threats, plus poverty. It stresses that, ‘In our globalized world, the threats we face are interconnected. The rich are vulnerable to the threats that attack the poor and the strong are vulnerable to the weak, as well as vice versa. A nuclear terrorist attack on the United States or Europe would have devastating effects on the whole world. But so would the appearance of a new virulent pandemic disease in a poor country with no effective health-care system.’ The Secretary-General therefore, suggested that, ‘On this interconnectedness of threats we must found a new security consensus, the first article of which must be that all are entitled to freedom from fear, and that whatever threatens one threatens all. Once we understand this, we have no choice but to tackle the whole range of threats. We must respond to HIV/AIDS as robustly as we do to terrorism and to poverty as effectively as we do to proliferation. We must strive just as hard to eliminate the threat of small arms and light weapons as we do to eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, we must address all these threats preventively, acting at a sufficiently early stage with the full range of available instruments.’ See, ibid.
27. The Report of the Secretary-General, supra note 13, commented and offered guidance on these matters. On combating international terrorism, the Secretary-General said that, ‘Our strategy against terrorism must be comprehensive and should be based on five pillars: it must aim at dissuading people from resorting to terrorism or supporting it; it must deny terrorists access to funds and materials; it must deter States from sponsoring terrorism; it must develop State capacity to defeat terrorism; and it must defend human rights.’ See, ibid., at 26. On ensuring nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the Secretary-General said that, ‘The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ... has proved indispensable: it has not only diminished nuclear peril but has also demonstrated the value of multilateral agreements in safeguarding international peace and security. ... Progress in both disarmament and non-proliferation is essential and neither should be held hostage to the other.’ See, ibid., at 28. On legitimate use of military force, the Secretary-General said that, ‘When considering whether to authorize or endorse the use of military force, the [Security] Council should come to a common view on how to weigh the seriousness of the threat; the proper purpose of the proposed military action; whether means short of the use of force might plausibly succeed in stopping the threat; whether the military option is proportional to the threat at hand; and whether there is a reasonable chance of success. By undertaking to make the case for military action in this way, the Council would add transparency to its deliberations and make its decisions more likely to be respected, by both Governments and world public opinion.’ See, ibid., at 33.
28. Ibid., at 21.
29. International Task Force on Global Public Goods, supra note 1, at 69.
Plato said that knowledge is power. But Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich (New Edition) (1960), at 56, noted that this is a false belief. To him, ‘It is nothing of the sort! Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action and directed to a definite end.’ (Emphasis in original.) Mr. Hill advocated for specialized knowledge that is organized and used ‘through practical plans of action.’ See, ibid. I request the international community to devise practical plans of action aimed at ensuring that all people especially, those living in the marginalized parts of the world like Sub-Saharan Africa, are enabled to participate in generating and using knowledge of global public goods and their relevance in better analyzing and solving global challenges.
30. Javier Solana, supra note 7.