In early January of 2009 and again in 2011, I set out development policy wish lists (click here for 2009 and for 2011). Some of my wishes have been at least partly realized. The United States Trade Representative is resisting bullying by the tobacco industry of developing countries seeking ways to minimize smoking; the SEC issued the final implementing regulations for the Cardin-Lugar portion of the Dodd-Frank legislation calling for full disclosure of all private corporation payments to foreign governments in connection with oil, gas, and mining. Though the rule has been challenged and is not yet in force, meanwhile the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has moved to company-by-company reporting of such payments, so the standard of acceptable behavior is changing for companies everywhere and not just those affected by the US ruling.
But many are still just wishes. So my 2014 list will include some repeats. For example, I’ll wish for a variable gasoline tax in the United States and for all middle-income as well as high-income countries to sign on to duty-free, quota-free access to their markets for the least developed countries (included in the much-neglected Millennium Development Goal #8).
But I want to hear from you: what else should be on my 2014 development policy wish list? Let me know in the comments section below.
As you consider what to suggest for additions to my 2014 list, keep in mind international events in 2014 whose proponents and participants will be looking for actionable announcements: the climate summit in September 2014 at the United Nations; and the G20 summit in Brisbane Australia in November. Who in the US development community can forget that it was at a UN Development summit in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002 that President George Bush announced the creation by the United States of the Millennium Challenge Account?
I'm hoping this crowd-sourcing of policy proposals indicates not just what would be good but also what might garner support in the worldwide community in the next year. All ideas incorporated in my list will be duly acknowledged and attributed!