The Global Partnership for Development: Making Rhetoric a Reality
United Nations, 2012The protracted global economic crisis has begun to take its toll on international development cooperation. Last year, official development assistance (ODA) fell for the first time in many years, while trade protectionist measures increased. There has also been too little progress in fulfilling other key aspects of the global partnership for development. While the poorest nations have received generous debt relief over the past decade, many still face unsustainable obligations. Essential medicines remain too expensive and difficult to obtain in many developing countries. And despite recent progress, the vast digital divide between developed and developing countries persists, in part because access to the Internet and mobile phones remains far too costly for low-income households.
Trade is another source of concern highlighted in this report. Negotiating parties have yet to complete the Doha Round that was meant to usher in a fairer multilateral trading system. I urge negotiators to find a way out of the impasse through pragmatic approaches that seek agreement first on specific areas, such as ensuring duty-free and quota-free market access for exports from least developed countries.