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Globalization Must Be ‘More Inclusive’

Globalization Must Be ‘More Inclusive’ To Benefit World’s Poor – UN Official

Warning of growing inequalities both within and between countries at a time of widespread economic growth, a senior United Nations official today said the process of globalization must be made more inclusive in order to benefit the world’s poor.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Kemal Dervis, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said economies are expanding at a virtually unprecedented rate.

“At the same time, we can characterize our age as one of exploding inequalities,” he said, arguing that the poorest are not benefiting from globalization.

Ever increasing inequalities bring “tensions, social problems, frustrations, alienations,” he pointed out, stressing that the process of economic integration must be made more inclusive.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of timebound targets for tackling global ills – are a “tremendously powerful mobilizing force” to address these concerns, he said.

While emphasizing that the international community must do its part, he said responsibility ultimately lands at the national level. “It is, of course, the countries at the end of the day that have to achieve” the MDGs, he said.

For its part, the UN system would work to improve its development activities, he said. Toward this end, it would carry out the recommendations of a High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence, which reached a number of vital recommendations aimed at reducing inefficiency and optimizing resources.

Following his presentation, Mr. Dervis was asked about funding of a UNDP disarmament programme in Karamojong, Uganda. Some 13 women and nine children were reported killed there in November, sparking an appeal from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for restraint. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour urged the Government to review its forced disarmament strategy of the Karamojong and end violence and abuses against civilians in the area.

“The situation in Uganda is a tough one and concerns us a lot,” replied Mr. Dervis. “In terms of what we were doing there, there has never been any UNDP funding or involvement with UPDF [Uganda Peoples Defence Force] disarmament activities.” He added that UNDP appreciates attention to all such issues. “We really welcome any type of question of this sort because we want to be totally transparent as to our activities at the country level.”

ends

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