global development

The summit, that brought together 50 heads of state, along with a range of US and African civil society and business leaders, is being seen as Washington's attempt to challenge China's status in Africa. Obama denied that the United States intends to compete with China for influence in Africa, however, he said that the relationship between the United States and China is not a zero-sum game.

If the United States hopes to maintain a level of influence in the world commensurate with its economic and military strength, it must modernize and dramatically improve some of its soft-power foreign policy tools. Many of those tools have proven ineffective, and fail to reflect the transformational changes in the past two decades prompted by technology, connectivity, and global markets.

Bringing a stable source of electricity to Kandahar, the cradle of the hardline Islamist movement and once a base for its leader Mullah Omar, was a top U.S. "counter-insurgency priority" as Washington pursued its policy of winning "hearts and minds". But regular power in the city is still years away, and when the United States finally ends subsidies - currently running at just over $1 million a month - in September 2015, Kandahar could lose around half its severely limited electricity supplies, Afghan power officials and U.S. inspectors say.

When African leaders arrive in Washington this week to meet with President Obama, one of the most politically sensitive issues expected to be discussed is the future of the U.S. commitment to global efforts to deal with HIV/AIDS. For more than a decade, the United States has taken the lead in this fight, providing significant funding — $52 billion so far — to the cause through a program known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Qatar’s World Cup organizers view this ground as a blank canvas for a new era in the Middle East, a way to advance their society and use soft power—i.e., the world’s most popular sport—to promote the country’s foreign policy.

In September next year, the United Nations plans to choose a list of development goals for the world to meet by the year 2030. What aspirations should it set for this global campaign to improve the lot of the poor, and how should it choose them? In answering that question, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his advisers are confronted with a task that they often avoid: setting priorities. 

Ireland’s overseas aid programme has come out top in an international comparison of how richer countries help poorer nations. Irish Aid’s performance was declared a “stand-out” after earning top four places in all categories under which the programme was evaluated. It was ranked first under the heading of fostering institutions which means supporting recipient countries to strengthen their state institutions and structures so that they can better nurture their own development as a way out of poverty.

As part of the United Nations-driven process to craft a new sustainable development agenda, a spectacular line up of global artists will hit the stage tonight at the world body's New York Headquarters to add their voices and talents to the unprecedented global conversation under way to build the future we want.