Current crises call for concerted global action to advance development – UN

10 March 2011With the financial crisis having reversed many development gains and the world once again facing rising food and energy prices, top United Nations officials today underscored the need for concerted action to advance development, equity and prosperity for all. “The financial and economic crisis has reversed many development gains and interrupted progress in economic and social development. Accelerating progress in building a global partnership for development is crucial to overcoming these setbacks and achieving the MDGs by 2015,” said Lazarous Kapambwe, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.Mr. Kapambwe told the annual high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that the international community is now facing a tremendous challenge of promoting an agreed action agenda to accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs by 2015.In addition to a global partnership for development, the two-day meeting is looking at the role of the UN in global economic governance, as well as financial support for the development efforts of the least developed countries and middle-income countries.“In the absence of effective policy coordination and cooperation among governments around the world, there is a real risk of a new global recession,” said Mr. Kapambwe. “This would add to the already immense human cost of the crisis, which has seriously set back the development efforts of many developing countries.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also highlighted the fact that recent spikes in food and energy prices are also putting at risk the progress achieved over the past decade in lifting millions of people out of poverty. It is also important to recognize the political and economic implications of the recent developments in North Africa and the Middle East, he noted.“While these are still unfolding, the events have already highlighted once again the nexus between poverty, unemployment, inequality and stability. Inclusive, democratic, honest governance is a crucial part of our quest for social justice and human dignity,” he stated. “We must respond to these challenges,” he added, “by charting a course for truly sustainable and equitable development.”Luis Manuel Piantini Munnigh, President of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board, also commented on the recent political and economic events, such as the spike in food and fuel prices and the revolts sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa.All of these “underscore the inescapable reality that fundamental change is upon us,” he said. “These events have highlighted that the old ways of doing business no longer work, and that old assumptions which at one time may have seemed unassailable were, at the end of the day, flawed.” read more

Obama to appear at fundraiser hosted by Keystone opponent as decision awaited

WASHINGTON – With a decision looming on the Keystone XL pipeline, President Barack Obama is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser hosted by a prominent pipeline opponent.The president will speak Friday at a fundraiser in California hosted by the so-called green billionaire Tom Steyer, who has promoted and donated heavily to anti-pipeline campaigns.The White House played down any connection between the event and the president’s eventual decision on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, when asked whether Obama had discussed Keystone with Steyer.“No. I’m not aware of any discussions they’ve had on that particular issue,” Josh Earnest replied during a White House briefing Wednesday.“Mr. Steyer is a well-known advocate for policies that are good for the environment. Particularly policies that will limit carbon pollution, and other contributors to climate change. And obviously the president has a historically strong record in confronting these issues.”It’s not the first time Obama has appeared at a Steyer-hosted event.Steyer held a fundraiser at his San Francisco-area home with Obama in 2013. He’s also hosted events featuring Vice President Joe Biden and 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.At the 2013 event, Obama acknowledged the challenges of climate policy.“We can do so much more,” Obama said.But he added: “The politics of this are tough.”Americans whose jobs are powered by cheap energy might not be able to afford cars like the hybrid Toyota Prius, Obama said, and even if they care about the temperature of the planet it’s probably not their No. 1 concern, compared to keeping a job and feeding the family, he added.In the two years since then, Obama has introduced a slew of climate-change measures through executive action. However, because those measures can’t get through Congress in actual legislation, they could be cancelled by a future president or challenged at the state level and in the courts.One thing Obama hasn’t done: announce a Keystone decision. The White House said earlier this year that its administration’s review was almost over, but now it won’t even provide a ballpark estimate for the timing of a decision.The delay has not only frustrated pipeline supporters — but also opponents eager for a rejection, and a chance to move on from the years-long battle.If it’s granted a permit to cross the Canada-U.S. border, the pipeline would carry more than one-quarter of all Canadian oil exported to the United States.In the meantime, the pipeline’s southern U.S. leg is already operational. Oil is being shipped across the border, into the U.S., through other pipelines and by rail. by Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 17, 2015 3:34 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Obama to appear at fundraiser hosted by Keystone opponent, as decision awaited read more