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IMF governance reforms were agreed the week before the G20 Summit. One decision – to increase IMF resources but not by much – may matter for the IMF’s role in a still-unsettled Eurozone – if Ireland’s problem becomes Portugal’s and so on.
For a full and nicely balanced assessment of the reforms from Ted Truman, including on resources, go here. Among other things, unpacks a couple of little-known and little-understood facts that are (though he doesn’t say so directly) about the role of the USA – the poor man with good ideas.
The Chinese Year of the Tiger will soon cede to the Year of the Rabbit and, from a climate perspective, some might view the transition as apt. Since last December, after all, the heroic agenda of Copenhagen has morphed into the timid menu of Cancun. But appearances can be deceiving in the climate game, and a tiger remains crouched in the wings. Nick Stern recently invoked it:
In this blog, I’ll let others do most of the talking. For a clear conservative position on climate change, let’s turn to last week’s address on climate and development by Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative Secretary of State for International Development in the new British government. This government, you will recall, is headed by David Cameron, another real-live conservative. Secretary Mitchell gave a gem of a speech, and it’s worth digesting in full.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week named Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin of Nigeria to be the next executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), replacing Dr. Thoraya Obaid who held the position for 10 years. Dr. Osotimehin is a professor of medicine at Ibadan University. He served a brief time as Minister of Health in Nigeria and supported several controversial global health efforts, including polio elimination and increasing access to treatment for HIV/AIDS.
With less than a week to go until the start of the next round of global climate negotiations, in Cancun, Mexico, climate policymakers see further work on ambitious finance pledges made at the Copenhagen climate talks last year as key to progress towards collective action to avert runaway climate change. Mexico’s ambassador to Washington has stressed the value of such incremental progress.
The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof makes recommendations for charitable giving this season here. But he missed half the point and way more than half the potential impact. Here’s what I had to say in a comment on his blog:
During a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on the global financial crisis and Nigeria’s financial reforms, CGD vice president for programs and senior fellow Todd Moss said Nigeria’s economic and political stability are inextricably linked to each other and to U.S. national interests. He urged members to support the African Development Bank and the World Bank and proposed a new idea: Nigeria should consider using oil revenues to finance cash transfers to citizens in the Niger Delta.
Perhaps predictably, media coverage of the G-20 Seoul Summit focused on the currency wars, and assessments of impact of the meeting were decidedly mixed (though, interestingly, more negative in the United States than in the big emerging markets). But global imbalances were hardly the only item on the agenda. Three summit documents have the potential to become more important with the passage of time, especially if the development community seizes upon them as opportunities to press the big economies for pro-development policies and spreads the word.
Our colleagues Sarah Jane Staats and Connie Veillette have already explained how the recent election results might affect foreign aid. The 150 Account, which includes aid, is a prime target as Congress takes aim at the budget deficit. One silver lining may be that belt-tightening could also force compromise on long-overdue reforms.