|DESA News Vol. 12, No. 06||June 2008|
The year 2008 marks a major transition in global economic and social development. The era of cheap and plentiful fossil fuels is waning, pressures on commodity prices are accelerating, and the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and well-being are getting worse. A slowdown in economic growth lies ahead.
Current economic conditions, the rising price of oil, the growing food crisis, the worsening impacts of climate change and Africa’s difficulties in meeting the Millennium Development Goals all reflect the glaring neglect of sustainable development in developed and developing countries. There is a pressing need around the world for the effective integration of economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.
Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, urged action on the food crisis during a special session of the Economic and Social Council on 20 May. To avoid facing the same crisis next year or the year after, "We need to rethink the failed policies of the past. We need new strategies for development that work."
In the wake of global financial turmoil, the mid-year update of the World Economic Situation and Prospects forecasts a deeper downturn in the global economy in 2008 and warns that in the absence of aggressive and coordinated expansionary policies a more severe contraction will occur, which could trigger a disorderly unwinding of the massive global imbalances and have drastic implications for global trade and finance.
Efforts to reduce poverty and improve food security in developing countries are hampered by declining support for strong agricultural growth, long considered a hallmark of successful poverty reduction strategies. Strong agricultural growth is four times more effective than growth in other sectors in benefiting the poorest half of the population, the report finds.
Mr. Adil Khan retired from the United Nations on 31 May following a distinguished career in policy analysis and development cooperation of more than thirty years. Mr. Khan brought a broad range of expertise to the organization in such areas as pro-poor development, participatory governance, social charters, microcredit, and state capacity-building.
Resumed regular session for 2008, New York, 29 May-6 June
Bamako, 17-20 June
Substantive session for 2008, New York 30 June-25 July