What’s New August 2005

This page lists changes to this site for August 2005.

See below for other updates and to get notified of changes to the site.

The G8 Summit ended with what seemed to be small progress. While the aid increases and debt write-off were welcome, the spin accompanying it hid how little they really were as inflated figures or subtly misleading phrases were used instead. There is no new progress on trade or climate change. Some small victories were there though, such as progress on some health issues. Despite the huge concerns, perhaps with the increased public awareness, there is a glimmer of hope for the future. A new page had been added to explore these issues.

How does terrorism fit into the larger global issues? How can causes of terrorism be better addressed? This article explores some of these issues. New article has been created.

The spin on the $40 billion debt write-off has been quite marked. It is really about $1 billion per year, and its present net value amounts to about $17 billion. Furthermore, it is not debt forgiveness, even though it may appear as a write-off. The reason is that G8 countries will reimburse the multilateral creditors by reducing the amount of aid they give to foreign countries. In effect, for the long run, poor countries have submitted to more harmful conditions, while losing out on future aid. In return, G8 leaders receive praise as saviors. A small update added regarding this.

For up-coming WTO talks, is there a risk that recently raised awareness about unfair rich country subsidies, tariffs, and protectionism will mean that rich countries may attempt to use this as a bargaining chip to get similar scales of reduction from poor countries? One size certainly does not fit all even though it initially may sound fair. For poor countries at various stages of development, it has been shown that some levels of protecting and nurturing is vital for industrialization. After all, practically all of today’s industrialized nations did this so why not allow the same for today’s developing countries? Updates added to this page to reflect more details about tariffs and development.

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