Development goals should shape framework of globalization - Annan

Development goals should shape framework of globalization - Annan

The key challenge for upcoming international policy forums on how to manage globalization is to place development at the centre of their discussions, instead of viewing it as a product of globalization, according to a just released report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"Development goals should shape the framework of globalization rather than allowing the blind forces of globalization to define the outcome of development," the Secretary-General writes in the report on the UN's role in promoting development.

He notes that his views and recommendations should be seen in the context of two events that will provide major opportunities to address many of the core issues that arise from the dynamic interaction of trade, finance, technology and investment - the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting, scheduled for next month in Doha, Qatar, and the International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in early 2002 in Mexico.

Citing recent assessments, the report suggests a substantial decline in global economic growth, with industrial production and business and consumer confidence falling in many developed countries. Practically every forecast made towards the first half of 2001 had to be modified downward in the year's third quarter without even taking into account the potential effect of the 11 September terrorist attacks on the global economy.

The attacks' precise impact could depend on how trade, business and consumer confidence, investment and capital flows will be affected, the report says, pointing out that certain industries - most notably travel and tourism - are already experiencing a direct impact. "Events over the forthcoming weeks will therefore be essential for assessing the direction in which the world economy is moving," Mr. Annan says.

Given its universality and broad mandate, the UN "has an important role to play in promoting policy coherence with the explicit goal of placing development and poverty eradication at the centre of policies and processes related to global integration," the Secretary-General says.

"There is an urgent need," he writes, "for a partnership encompassing the Governments of both developing and developed countries, international organizations, civil society and the private sector in order to ensure the adequate flow of resources, knowledge and technology to developing countries so that they can effectively address the underlying causes which stand as obstacles to sustainable development and poverty eradication."