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Human Development Report 2005

International Cooperation at a Crossroads – Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World

image of Human Development Report 2005
The Human Development Report 2005 examines the scale of the challenge facing the world at the start of the ten year countdown to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals mark. The Report focuses on three pillars of cooperation, each of which is in urgent need of renovation. The first pillar is international aid; the MDG project has been compromised by chronic and sustained under-financing, allied to problems in aid quality. The second pillar is international trade; under the right conditions, trade can act as a powerful catalyst for human development. The ‘development round’ of World Trade Organization talks, launched in 2001, provided northern governments with an opportunity to create those conditions. The third pillar is that of security; violent conflict is a source of systematic human rights violation and a barrier to progress towards the MDGs that must be overcome.

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International trade

“Until the lions have their historians”, declares an African proverb, “tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” The same is true of tales about international trade. For globalization enthusiasts the rapid expansion of world trade over the past two decades has been an unmitigated blessing, notably for the world’s poor. Reality is more prosaic. Greater trade does offer enormous opportunities for human development. Under the right conditions it has potential for reducing poverty, narrowing inequality and overcoming economic injustice. For many of the world’s poorest countries, and for millions of poor people, these conditions have yet to be created.

English

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