Thursday, 9 October 2008

Money .... and peace part 2

Robin Robison, QPSW's former staff member on economics issues, writes in today's issue of The Friend (readable online only by subscribers) about the possible consequences of the financial crisis.  He highlights the threat to achieving the Millenium Development Goals, reflecting a concern expressed powerfully by UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro in a 6th October press-release ...

Noting that Africa remains the region with the greatest challenges ahead, particularly against the backdrop of much higher food and energy prices and climate change, she called for increasing and better coordinating aid, reducing agricultural subsidies in developed countries, and investing more in infrastructure.

"Let’s make sure the financial crisis does not divert our efforts," she appealed to Member States. "If we are to take away any lesson from the multiple crises we face, it is that delaying action only makes matters worse."

Robin Robison, meanwhile, concludes:

 .... the developing world will still require markets for their goods in the wealthy nations and technological innovation and other research will still require funding for the benefit of humanity, but the terms of debate about how these goals are to be achieved are open once again. It is an opportunity that the boundaries of what is considered normal in a democratic market economy are now being opened up again before our eyes. The question is who and what will rush into the vacuum that is being created?