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October 28th, 2006

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12:58 pm - UN Envoy to return to Sudan
Following this post where I talked about the UN's Envoy to Sudan getting expelled after Mr. Plonk wrote his personal sentiments regarding the situation on his personal blog, the UN has decided that Mr. Plonk will return to Sudan still as head of the Envoy.  Stupid government, if you don't like the UN being in your country then straighten yourselves out so that the UN doesn't have to be there.  They make it sound like the peacekeepers actually _want_ to be in some foreign country instead of at home with friends and family *headdesk*.

[EDIT]: I know not too many people on my f-list are political-oriented, but I'm gonna toss this out there in hopes that someone can help me out.  The Enron issue.  What do you guys know about that?  I've heard of it only slightly since it happened before my leap into politics, so I'm kind of fuzzy on exactly what happened.  Was it something to do with their stocks or something?  Like cheating its stockholders out of their money, or am I way off on this one?

[EDIT2]:  Let's try something new to attempt at motivating me _not_ to write my essays the night before they're due.  I'm going to write it here on lj since it seems my fingers are much more tempted to type when they're faced with the text box of the lj update page instead of the MS Word page (that blank page is intimidating, maybe all these boxes and buttons help alleviate some of the pressure? xDD).

So, the essay's for my Introduction to International Development class, DVM 2105A, and the topic I'm writing about is (quoting from the page the prof gave us):
"The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the latest framework to guide the battle on poverty and underdevelopment in the Third World.  Bearing in mind the difficulties of realizing earlier frameworks, is it realistic to think that the DMGs will have their desired effect?  In your answer identify some of the other major frameworks that have been used in the past, their successes and failures."

The essay's suppose to be 8pgs (double spaced) using about 8-10 sources.  I'm going to leave the sources part out for now (since I haven't gone to the library for books or anything yet ^^;;) and just write up a few pages on my own personal beliefs regarding the MDGs to form the backbone of the essay. 

Feel free to comment with suggestions and criticisms of any parts, like I said, this is the very very very very rough outline of the essay.  Also, if you know of any other frameworks the UN or other organizations have tried in the past to battle poverty in 3rd world countries, gimme a shove in the right direction ne?  ^o^


       Since the beginning of the era of contemporary globalisation, many growing issues have started to emerge that affects the lives of billions of people worldwide.  These issues hinder the development of many nations across the globe and perpetuate an endless cycle of poverty and despair amongst their people.  The United Nations, often seen as the only leading international organization with any measure of hope to resolve these issues, even partially, has taken it upon themselves to at least attempt to find a resolution.  The Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, were formed with the idea of helping poverty-entrenched nations pull themselves out of the poverty cycle and onto the road of growth.  The MDGs, however, are met with varying degrees of cynicism and disbelief amongst the general public, both in developed and developing nations.  Given the United Nations' history of setting lofty ideals simply to discard them or leave them unfulfilled due to lack of accountability, one cannot say that this skepticism is unfounded.  Even so, the United Nations hopes to achieve the MDGs by the year 2015, a very daring and ambitious goal that has some people hoping against hope that this time, the UN will live up to its word.

        The eight basic principles that make up the MDGs are as follows; eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development.  Each one is then subcategorized with a specific numerical mandate.  Reading through them, one cannot help but feel that these are very tall orders to ask from countries that have a hard time simply sitting down to talk with one another civilly.  Asking all one hundred and ninety-one nations to sign onto the MDGs was easy, but now the hard task of how to go about it begins.  Many of these issues, such as that of extreme poverty and hunger, have been on the UN agenda for decades making little headway.  Politicians all agree, at least outwardly, that poverty hinders a nation's growth and it should be dealt with swiftly for the good of all people.  The eradication of it, however, has been hampered with one blow after another.  The developed nations' habit of forcing Capitalistic and free-market policies onto developing nations through institutions like the IMF and World Bank are often seen as primary causes for poverty in the first place.  This means that it's very possible that these two organizations will have to change their policies of dealing with indebted nations if the UN wants to achieve their first goal, something that does not seem very likely in the near future.  The issue that the United Nations does not have supreme rule over all other international organizations and state governments rises to the surface as questions of what is to be done about nations and organizations that instigate policies that deter the MDGs are brought out. 

    The second and third goals, achieving global primary education and promoting gender equality, are somewhat linked in that as both boys and girls are allowed to receive education on an equal footing, women can, through actions, prove that they are just as capable as men in most fields.  Again, however, the issue of delivering education of poverty-ridden nations requires substantial amounts of money.  Are nations suppose to borrow this money from the IMF and World Bank, or allow foreign direct investments by multinational corporations in order to stimulate their economy?  This would, of course lead to further debate of whether FDI is indeed helpful in the stimulation of a nation's economy at all.  Another problem with ensuring that all children receive at the least primary level education is that many families simply cannot afford to have their children in school.  They need the children to work in order to generate income and feed the family.  Families must first have the money to live on before they can even consider sending their children to school, there is no sense having an education if the child is going to starve to death.

       The next three goals all deal with issues of health and disease.  This in turn, brings in the issues of major pharmaceuticals and their profit-driven agenda outweighing those of saving lives.  Many diseases in developing nations are easily eradicated in developed countries, some do not even exist anymore.  This means that the only reason these diseases are still having such a big impact on underdeveloped nations is due to their restraint on money.  The majority of big pharmaceutical firms have their headquarters based in Capitalist nations, where profit is placed above the value of all else.  With that kind of an agenda, it is unrealistic to expect them to start considering the socialistic values of any society which is what is promoted by the MDGs.  The value of human lives must be brought to the forefront if there is to be any progress in this subject of concern.

    Next is the issue of environment sustainability.  The environment has been used and abused since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  Humans have grown disconcerned with the fate of fellow organisms, ignorant that their fate is closely tied to ours.  The modern consumeristic ways of those in developed nations, especially in regard to the West are simply unsustainable.  If every nation is to develop to the extent of the West, the Earth would cease to exist within days.  This concern needs to be brought to the attention of leaders in the developed nations more-so than those of the underdeveloped as it is in the developed nations where the most pollution and garbage are created.  Government policies are only the first step to resolving this issue, the connection between individual consumption and environment degradation has to be linked in the minds of every single consumer in the developed world in order to decrease the amount of resources taken from the Earth, and thus the amount of garbage thrown out.  This, again, however, clashes with Capitalistic beliefs of the developed world.  Should consumers halt their over-consumption, businesses and corporations lose out on profit and their revenues drop.  Thus through their multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns, they encourage potential customers day after day to throw out old products even if 'old' means simply a few days and buy new ones.

    Lastly, and perhaps the hardest of all 8 goals to achieve, is the creation of global partnership for development.  Partnerships require cooperation, and amongst 191 nations, that is something next to impossible to achieve.  Nations have different societal values, cultures, histories, and political policies.  All of these hinders international cooperation.  Even in the age of modern globalisation, thousands of years of history and culture are hard to throw away.  For nations like the United States and Canada, where the history is limited to a few hundred, the concept of millennias of deep-rooted teachings is hard to imagine.  However, even for America and Canada, the values and national pride grows strong, especially in the face of potential attacks to fundamental beliefs.  One can only imagine that kind of nationalism multiplied by several hundred for nations with ancient histories.  Forcible change to political policies in order to accomodate the MDGs can cause civil unrest as citizens might see it as their governments bowing to the international pressure.  In nations where political situations are already fragile and civil bonds are weak, this can easily lead to rebellions and in worst cases, civil wars.
    Although the Millennium Development Goals from the viewpoint of most of the developed nations seems only a logical step on the road of international security and equality, it brings with it a whole slew of issues, many of which the United Nations is simply not capable of resolving, especially not in time to meet their mandate of the year 2015.  These issues dig right to the roots of civil society and their problems, in most cases, problems that have existed for decades, if not centuries.  The fundamental issue of placing the lives of humans above and beyond the reach of money is still unresolved, and as long as that value is not changed,  issues of poverty, suffering, and inequality will continue to surface as can be seen through countless examples in the history of any nation.

Waa~!! 5 pages done!!  I've NEVER sat and wrote 5 pages of ANY essay in ONE sitting =*o*=  So now once I add quotes from sources, talk about some other frameworks they've used and how they crashed and burned, then round out some of the arguments, then I'm DONE!! DEAR LORD!! A MONTH BEFORE THE DUE DATE!!  Lj I love you =DD

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that the issue involves political aspect or not. As far as I know, it's largely due to cheating on accounting and auditing stuff. Have read something about that for a case study, yet forgot most of it....o.O
I'm suggesting googling. ^^
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah that's what I was thinking, it's just I find if I google it a lot of times the articles make my head hurt, so I thought maybe someone can explain in simpler terms xDD But yeah, I'll definitely do some digging
Date:October 28th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)

fight poverty led by UN

First thing first. UN shall stop haveing internatioal conferences and pay themselves stay in lexus hotels. All those money raised shall go to people qho need them directly
Date:November 14th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)

hello its about the major paper in DVM2105 A

hi my name is Georgie, n apparently we have the same n i was wondering if for the earlier frameworks u think that taking what he gave us on his course meaning Modernization theory, Dependancy theory and so on will be ok ?
[User Picture]
Date:November 15th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)

Re: hello its about the major paper in DVM2105 A

Oh wow, hey, I didn't think anyone actually from that class would find my blog, and even less so this particular post.

I'm actually thinking about that too, because I asked a friend in 3rd year PoliSci for suggestions on earlier frameworks adopted by the UN or any other international organizations and she couldn't think up of any that's been as...organized as the MDG's. I would think using those theories would suffice, because after all they were made in the hopes of combating poverty right?

How are you doing in the way of sources? I'm finding it really hard to find specific books talking about the MDG's and even more-so criticizing them. Most of the ones I've read are all about how to help achieve them, very little critique about whether they're even possible or not. Not to mention he wants 8-10 x__X
Date:November 15th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)

the major paper in DVM2105 A

Well you congradtulations are in order then, cuz when i google the some key word i found ur blog.
About the sources, well i have an article which i think is the key article it is written by Sakiko Fukuda Parr and the title is Millennium Development Goals why they matter it is the best sourse you can find i think it is actually the answer that question i found on the online library of ottawa in the journal Global Governance. Hope it will help u.
N i reallu hope that u that we are right n those are the frameworks he is expecting.

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