World Bank man put in charge of WSSD implementation (12/9/2002)

12 September 2002


The World Bank, which is in the business of forcing open the world's local economies to multinational corporations, has further increased its stranglehold on multilateral institutions with the appointment of its former vice president for external affairs, Mark Malloch Brown, as the head of the new UN watchdog set up to oversee how governments are meeting their World Summit on Sustainable Development goals.

Since leaving the World Bank, Malloch Brown has been heading the UN World Development Program (UNDP) where, with his World Bank colleague Fukuda-Parr, he has turned the UN's focus away from poor farmers‚ rights and environmental sustainability and towards the adoption of GM crops in the Third World.

"It would be wrong for rich Northern consumers," Malloch Brown has said with regard to GM, "to block development of these technologies that hold so much promise to help feed the poor".

Malloch Brown's first act was to commission UNDP‚s annual 'Human Development Report'. Previous reports had contained clear analysis of the true causes of inequality, but Malloch Brown's was the first to promote the notion that GM crops are the solution for Third World poverty and that western environmentalists are standing in the way of their progress.

More than 290 grassroots and farmers‚ groups from around the world plus NGOs like Oxfam, ActionAid, the Intermediate Technology Development Group and Greenpeace International objected strongly to the report's conclusions. The UNDP then issued an Open Letter defending the report, in which they named only Greenpeace as a critic. Conveniently, the report came out just days before the OECD meeting on GM food and crops in Bangkok, chaired by Lord Selbourne (chair of the British Chemicals Stakeholder Forum), where delegates predictably endorsed it.

When Malloch Brown moved to the UN, World Bank president James Wolfensohn said, "I believe that Mark will do a wonderful job as head of the UNDP, and I wish him every success. I am certain that his appointment will further strengthen the partnership between the Bank and the UN system."



11 Sep 2002
Environmental news from GRIST MAGAZINE, a project of Earth Day Network

In what seemed like a tacit acknowledgement of the failure of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which ended last week, the United Nations has announced that it will not plan any more summits on the environment and development until governments have taken serious steps toward meeting the goals for progress established at Johannesburg and earlier summits.  In place of the high-cost, high-profile meetings, the U.N. will create an unprecedented watchdog operation to campaign for change and report on how well governments are meeting their goals.  U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Mark Brown, who is currently in charge of the U.N. Development Programme, to coordinate the new initiative, which will issue annual reports on the progress of individual nations. Praising the change, Clare Short, the U.K.'s International Development Secretary, said, "We do not need more big multilateral agenda-setting conferences, we need a real period of intensive implementation."

straight to the source:  London Independent, Geoffrey Lean, 08 Sep 2002
"post-Enron, it's difficult to believe that companies can be trusted even to keep their own books, let alone save the world." - Naomi Klein on the World Summit on Sustainable Development

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