I wrote recently (how rich do you think you are?) about personal wealth, and the vast differences between the rich and poor. There are enormous differences between nations also.
Because of these differences, and the terrible effects of poverty on people's wellbeing, 189 nations signed the Millenium Declaration in 2000, "to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level".
These nations agreed to achieve the following targets by 2015:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 4. Reduce child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 8. Develop a global partnership for development.
The cost of a realistic program to achieve these goals is estimated to be perhaps $50 billion extra aid a year. That seems an emormous amount, until you learn that almost $1000 billion is spent worldwide on arms each year, and $300 billion in agricultural subsidies. The Iraq war has cost something like $100 billion each year.
Yet the rich countries are not meeting their side of the deal, with aid from most countries either falling in real terms, or no better than steady. And the recent G8 meeting in Germany did little to bring change or confidence.
I guess governments will only act if they know their citizens want them to.
Well, God is in heaven And we all want what's his But power and greed and corruptible seed Seem to be all that there is I'm gazing out the window Of the St. James Hotel And I know no one can sing the blues Like Blind Willie McTell Bob Dylan, "Blind Willie McTell"