Carry on.

AID Conference Notes – Day 1 Summary

During the panel discussion, three main topics were discussed:

  1. The Relationship between North and South (read: developed world and the developing world) – using International Trade policy, what can developed countries do to reduce poverty in developing countries?
  2. Foreign aid – does it do any good?
  3. Climate change and the environment – what can the developed world do to help climate change?

The following are a series of notes from the three above topics:

  • There are two things that the developed world can do to reduce poverty: Use Trade and Use Development aid
  • Is it as simple as scaling up the amount of aid? No it’s more more complicated than that.
  • Currently, many developed countries tie trade to certain conditions given by the donor. One example: If we give you money, you must use that money to buy Canadian wheat. Such schemes reduce the value of the foreign aid by an average of 15 percent
  • There is no accountability with the funds that are given.
  • Giving money is not enough
  • Regarding climate change, there must be a global concerted effort to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas and pollution.
    • This effort implies trust and the sharing of power amongst of ALL participating countries
    • This effort implies that a lifestyle change is needed on an individual level… it’s more than just recycling cans and newspapers.
    • The developed world, particularly US and Canada must realize that we are no longer the dominant power regarding a number of subjects, including climate change
  • Will foreign aid do any good?
    • On the surface, yes. Upon examination, however, foreign aid, if done improperly will result in even more hardship
    • The given money results in local industries being crowded out, due to an increasing dependence of the country on foreign aid.
    • When a country realizes that a large portion of the budget is made up of foreign aid for their country, politicians and leader spend more time gaining foreign aid instead of actively managing the company.
    • Foreign aid should be seen as a global partnership between the giver and the recipient.
    • To increase the effectiveness, foreign bureaucracy needs to be de-layered. Giving must be made easier.

    The problem with using trade as an mechanism for growth is that the majority of countries that need aid are agriculture based. However, most developed countries, such as Canada and the US, put up trade barriers preventing these countries from gaining access to the market. Therefore, poor countries can’t improve because they can’t sell their products abroad.

    Norther countries need to learn how to trust one another and stop protectionism.

    “Protection is never more crueler than when it’s removed”

    “Western countries should focus more on giving opportunity, not aid.”

    “Dependency isn’t development” – people need to learn how to do things on their own.

    Western countries need to build trust amongst nations. How? By building trust with foreign communities in our own countries.
    Q: How can the US justify giving out relief when 1 in 10 in the US are below the poverty line

    A (from students): US welfare rules benefit the recipient. You get more benefits if you don’t work at all than by actualling working.

    A: North America is in a strong trend to “Designing out” poverty – moving poor people in one area and out of sight, so they don’t have to deal with it.

    Q: Are we hypocritical for not giving aid if we see a homeless person outside.

    More Comments:

    • North America is no longer the leading profit nation
    • North America is no longer productive.

    Millenium Development Goals

    The UN Millenium Development Goals, of which Canada is a signatory, is a global framework to reduce global poverty. We only have 9 years left to achieve those goals when they are due.

    About Terrorism

    The best way to reduce terrorism is to establish a bsis of partnership based on Equality and Fairness

    What is preventing us from moving forward?

    What about the debt ubrden of the LDC’s

    What about unfair trade practices?

    “Foreign Aid will never work if it goes into a black hole”.

    Dependency on US is a dangerous thing.

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