Weekly Roundup: Busan, Durban, LA OWS, and Forbes

December 2nd, 2011 12:14 PM


This originally appeared in Dowser

More big meetings, more empty promises?

Photo Courtesy of Guardian:  Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

  • Busan: The Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

The aim: a partnership for global development and aid effectiveness that has big players like China and India on board. The hope: that the forum could establish a set of unifying principles for aid based on effectiveness, transparency and accountability. Early on the UK tried to pull the  Chinese into the agreement, given their economic interests and activity in Africa.  But, China refused. At the last minute the delegates came to an agreement – but on very wishy-washy terms that don’t hold the Chinese and Indians to the same terms as other countries.  As the  Guardian  reported, the document read: “The principles, commitments and actions agreed in the outcome document in Busan shall be the reference for south-south partnerships on a voluntary basis…”

One of the other big problems the forum wanted to address is the fragmentation of aid that has made delivering and using aid effectively a big challenge.  Rwanda, for example, called for an end to tied aid, aid that must be spent in the donor country. They’d rather have full ownership of the funds to be disbursed as efficiently as possible.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Villagers shelter as floodwaters submerge houses and fields in Assam, where nearly a million people were displaced by extraordinary floods in 2010. Photograph: Str/EPA

  • Durban: The UN Convention on Climate Change

As Durban, the next climate change negotiation conference, gets going, frustration  is already building with a group of developed nations, including the US, Canada, and Japan, who are not interested in new legal negotiations before 2015 when the current round of negotiations will expire.  The US, and now Canada, are staying away from the Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And new players like China and India are only adding to the headache by delaying hopes of a global consensus. At the Guardian Amy Goodman writes passionately about why Durban may be the last chance for Kyoto and why change must start happening now.


Photo Courtesy of LA Times: (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / November 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Loses Ground in LA

The LAPD wiped out remaining protesters in one quick sweep in the middle of the night.  The LATimes  reports that with an “overwhelming use of force” the protesters stationed outside LA City Hall for the last two months were circled and pressured into fleeing, a move that had been in the works for several weeks now.  The breaking up LA’s OWS base happened the same night as a similar scenario played out in Philadelphia.  But does the shut down of these physical camps mean dwindling support for OWS?  The LATimes explores, signaling that yes, numbers may have decreased somewhat.

Charlie Rose analyzed the movement, asking two New York journalists if OWS still has steam, if they can fight the naysayers who called them a leaderless, mission-less group, and how technology has fueled this movement.  Watch the interview here.

FORBES ranks Social Innovation

Known for its lists on millionaires, FORBES created its first Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs List  with a special feature on the new trend of investing in social ventures.  Does the list do justice to the field? Check it out and let us know in the comments.

Photo Courtesy of Forbes

More Interesting Reads

  • Time’s Martha White writes about the weakening of the American Dream – can it make a comeback in a more modest form?
  • And Inc. asks why many young entrepreneurs are going elsewhere, especially back home with their ideas.  Is this the beginning of a brain drain for the US?
  • FT’s Sarah Murray looks at social enterprise in Latin America, a part of the world that’s finally getting more resources, attention, and the expertise it needs to deliver on more “good” projects.
  • Duke University is richer this week.  The Gates Foundation granted the University $37 million for its projects on HIV/AIDS.
  • Guardian’s Sarah Boseley writes on World AIDS Day about the implications of the collapse of the Global Fund.
  • The Telegraph writes about converting non-givers to givers in the UK.  Read how the richest of the UK are learning about the new ways of giving; this isn’t your grandpa’s philanthropy.

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