An anti-genocide agreement, fine words on development and failure
on human rights and disarmament mark the world's biggest summit
As delegations from 191 governments choked New York's narrow streets, diplomats and United Nations' bureaucrats tried to craft an accord that tackled critical security and development issues and set the UN on the path to reform. The accord was meant to synthesise the conclusions of a high-level panel which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
had set up in 2003 to examine threats to peace and security with a detailed report by economist Jeffrey Sachs
on the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of reducing global poverty by half by 2015. The aim was a security consensus, a diplomatic trade-off mediated through the UN: rich countries would provide more aid, open markets and debt relief and poor countries would do more to counter terrorism, instability and proliferation of the deadliest weapons. For Africa, the timing was critical. It was a chance to build on the pledges made by the Group of Eight (G-8) countries at July's Gleneagles summit (AC Vol 46 Nos 10 & 14) and extract a clearer commitment from rich countries to end agricultural subsidies and widen market access in the run-up to December's World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong.
Africa's ambitions to get two permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council are suspended until the end of the year when the troubled issue of its expansion and reform wil...
After 14 years of war, Liberians mistake a footballer for a politician
The international football star George Manneh Opong Weah leads the pack of 22 presidential hopefuls, in the last weeks of campaigning for the national elections due on 11 October. ...