UN Millennium Development Goal 8: Global Partnership for Development

What does global partnership signify to you and to your country?

In terms of improving conditions in less developed countries, the UN has set a goal and defines global partnership through following:

– Existence and development of non-discriminatory trading and financial systems with openness, clear rules and predictability

– Focusing on improving conditions in least developed countries while taking into consideration their special needs (also landlocked and small island state developing States)

– Provide access to affordable essential drugs in co-operation with pharmaceutical companies

– Availability to new technologies (information and communications) in co-op with the private sector

(UN MDG´s. Quoted 19.5.2014).

In 2011, the official amount of development aid was 0,31 % of total GDP in developed countries. The percentage is decreasing, despite of the 0,7 % target set by the UN. Debt burden ratios in developing countries, however, have decreased, and products from developing countries now more easily find their way to the Western markets. The usage of mobile phones in developing countries is rapidly increasing, e.g. beneficial in the usage as payment methods with lacking, or danger of, banking systems in certain regions. (UNA of Finland. Printed Material. 2014; Business Insider. Quoted 19.5.2014).

Exactly how useful is it for a state to have increased access to mobile payments if, at the same time, there is lack of sufficient infrastructure to provide all its citizens with nutritious food? Food for thought, certainly. At least to me it seems somewhat contradictory.

In terms of natural resources, and alternative sources of energy, Africa as a continent alone has the potential to provide all of the world´s energy – through solar power. Currently, however, the continent produces only under one per cent of total world energy. (African Union. Quoted 19.5.2014; The Alternative Energy eMagazine. “Africa, the Untapped Potential for Clean Energy”. Quoted 19.5.2014).

Us humans are deeply curious by nature, through evolution, which made us the ultimate “learning machines”. As proof  for this we only need to look back into the history of humanity, our ancestors.

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision”.

(Ayn Rand)

As an example of human curiosity, courage and learning through mistakes, serves the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, who in the 15th century accidentally discovered America in his urge to find a seaway to India. His voyages of discovery were a countdown to the European conquest of America, and he is said to be the father of imperialism, a term that today mostly awakens negative thoughts about the nature of humanity.

 
A couple of centuries later, in the 18th to be exact, the Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith, presented his ideas in the Wealth of Nations, a classical political economic theory, which still today serves as a foundation for economy. According to Adam Smith´s idea, a state has to secure people´s assets, solve disputes and make sure that rules/laws are being obeyed. In other words: the state needs to take care of things an individual is incapable of alone, or what the individual does without efficiency. In his description of market economy Smith argued that the willingness of an entrepreneur to make progress in his/her private privileges leads to economic advantages and benefits for the whole society. Furthermore, the foundation of the theory is based upon basic economic freedoms for everyone: freedom to choose a line of business, freedom to make decisions, free competition and freedom of trade. (Adam Smith Institute. Quoted 19.5.2014

Further on, international trade, including the terms absolute and comparative advantage, is said to be essential in sustaining friendly relations between different states. The term comparative advantage refers to the ability of producing a specific good or service at a lower cost over another leading to gains in trading between two countries, as long as relative efficiency remains different. In spoken language this means that a country has comparative advantage of another as long as it is able to produce a certain product/service with less total cost than another (cheapest possible production).

But how well does the theory take quality into consideration? Or labor law? There is no discussion at all about these important issues in the theory of comparative advantage. Luckily, many companies in developed countries have today developed business processes which take these important facts into consideration at all stages. Still, many companies necessarily do not.

According to ILO, the International Labor Organization, the amount of child labor worldwide is still as high as 168 million children worldwide. Imagine that! Who is employing all those children? Can we sleep tight at night without certainty about the fact that products/services we consume may actually involve the brutal usage of child labor?

Once again: everyone under the age of 18 is a child, and according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to be a child, to attend primary school, and no child should have to work.

Why not turn quality and transparency throughout all business procedures into competitive advantages in any business? With a world-changing rapidly only companies with sustainable business practices are those that will survive in the long run. Consumers´ are increasingly aware and critical when choosing goods/products/services to consume, and no one wants to take the responsibility of consuming products/services that have not taken quality or children´s/human rights into consideration.

“The price of greatness is responsibility”.

(Winston Churchill)

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aynrand147955.html#rvImJ05Omv2MPifq.99

UN Millennium Development Goal 6: Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Malaria, a mosquito-born disease caused by a parasite, is a silent catastrophe. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people die because of malaria. In 2010, 660.000 people worldwide lost their lives due to malaria infections, mainly in Africa, which was home to more than 90 % of the deaths. The same year, the total number of malaria cases rose up to 219 million on a global level. Every 45 seconds one child dies because of malaria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, quoted 14.5.2014; UNA of Finland. Printed material. 2014).

One of the UN Millennium Development Goals is to combat malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and other severe diseases. Still today, despite of the progress made, more than one million people worldwide die because of tuberculosis. However, in 1990, the amount of deaths caused by tuberculosis was twice as high as today. Malaria deaths decreased with about 25 per cent between the years 2000 and 2010. Even the amount of HIV infections decreases each year, although still 2,5 million people get infected with HIV every year. (UN Millennium Development Goals, quoted 14.5.2014; UNA of Finland, Printed Material. 2014).

In 2011, the amount of HIV positive people worldwide was 34 million. In the combat against HIV, knowledge and education is of out most importance, as well as using condoms during sexual intercourse.

HIV infections can occur:

– During unprotected sexual intercourse (of all kinds, even oral)

– Sharing syringes/needles (e.g. drug injections)

– In blood contact, e.g. through blood transfusions or through other blood products

– From a mother to a child during pregnancy or labor

– In breastfeeding

(Red Cross Finland. Quoted 14.5.2014).

Poliomyelitis, which was almost abolished, is again a threat in certain countries including Pakistan, Cameron, Syria, and a number of other countries. Civil wars are a huge threat in spreading the disease, whereas healthcare workers vaccinating against polio have even been killed by extremists and political radicals. (Helsingin Sanomat. 5.5.2014. Quoted 14.5.2014; WHO. Quoted 14.5.2014).

In the worldwide combat against these diseases following actions are of out most importance:

– Spreading knowledge and educating people in high-risk regions of the importance of good hygiene and the use of protection during sexual intercourse of any kind

– Efficient vaccination programs

– Malaria nets for people living in malaria regions

There are numerous organizations working towards abolishing severe diseases. As an example: NetsForLife – A partnership for Malaria prevention in Africa. (NetsForLife. Quoted 14.5.2014).

Can we work together towards a world without diseases?

  • suojaamattomassa yhdynnässä, myös suuseksissä
  • yhteisten neulojen, ruiskujen tai muiden ruiskeen antamiseen liittyvien välineiden käytössä
  • verikontaktissa, kuten virusta sisältävän veren siirron tai muun verituotteen kautta (nykyään kehittyneen terveydenhoidon maissa kaikki verituotteet testataan)
  • äidistä lapseen raskauden tai synnytyksen aikana
  • rintaruokinnassa.

– See more at: http://www.punainenristi.fi/node/3203#sthash.jsRus27S.dpuf

  • suojaamattomassa yhdynnässä, myös suuseksissä
  • yhteisten neulojen, ruiskujen tai muiden ruiskeen antamiseen liittyvien välineiden käytössä
  • verikontaktissa, kuten virusta sisältävän veren siirron tai muun verituotteen kautta (nykyään kehittyneen terveydenhoidon maissa kaikki verituotteet testataan)
  • äidistä lapseen raskauden tai synnytyksen aikana
  • rintaruokinnassa.

– See more at: http://www.punainenristi.fi/node/3203#sthash.jsRus27S.dpuf