Bono & Sachs are blogging at the UN

Bono & Sachs, 2 protagonists of the ONE campaign (and DATA and Live8 and ...) are in NYC, covering the UN General Assembly and MDG-Summit. read their blog on the Financial Times' website at http://www.ft.com/devdiary

One thing is for sure: these 2 fella's aren't in it for the money: in fact: they are wasting their money and resources in trying to convince governments and institutions to step up AID,...drastically.

The UN meetings were abuzz that the US could find $700 billion for a bailout of its corrupt and errant banks but couldn't’t find a small fraction of that for the world’s poor and dying.

Or as SACHS puts it:
It’s easy to be cynical about grand challenges like the MDGs. When world leaders assembled at the UN in September 2000 on the eve of the new millennium and adopted eight goals to fight poverty, hunger, disease, and deprivation by 2015, most of the leaders at the UN and those in public paying attention probably expected that the goals would sink out of sight by the next week’s news cycle. Global goals are for photo ops, not for grown-ups, is a popular view of our cynical age.

Yet something has happened which brings world leaders back time and again to declare their commitment to the MDGs. Part of it is the stark reality that 10 million children under the age of 5 die each year of extreme poverty. Even the most hardened of cynics know that this stark fact is dangerous for our hopes for peace and stability, as well as for sustaining human values and quality of life on a crowded planet.

Part of the continued interest is the understanding that the MDGs are not fantasies but practically achievable objectives. Measles deaths have been reduced by 91 per cent in Africa since 2000 through MDG-based initiatives. Malaria deaths have plummeted in recent years in Rwanda, Sao Tome, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, Kenya, and other countries, because of the mass distribution of bed nets and effective medicines. Food production has roughly doubled in Malawi because of an ingenious voucher program for seed and fertiliser for impoverished farmers.

A third reason for the MDG staying power is that poor people and their governments have taken seriously the call to fight poverty. Throughout Africa, governments and NGOs have devised specific plans of action – to grow more food; train community health workers; extend coverage of medicines for AIDS, TB, malaria and other killers; pave roads; and install solar-power pumps for safe water and irrigation. The plans have been made. Special financing mechanisms like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria have been devised, and have proven their worth.

The laggards in the struggle for the MDGs are not the poor countries or their ostensibly corrupt governments. The laggards are the rich world, so full of promises and high rhetoric and so low on delivery. The MDGs are falling short because of a lack of promised financing to put in place the clinics, schools, roads, power, and other investments needed for their success. Six years ago, the rich countries pledged in Monterrey, Mexico to “make concrete efforts toward the international target of 0.7 per cent of GNP in official development assistance.” Yet the United States stands are 0.16 per cent, Japan at 0.17, Italy at 0.19, Canada at 0.28, Germany at 0.37, and France at 0.39.

Water Wars


Reading: Verhulst, Godverdomste dagen... and - of course WIRED NEWS
Viewing: Website stats explode over 55.000 hits
Listening to: AC/DC (|..|-)
Thinking: Speak softly and carry a big stick
Travelling: Barcelona, Paris, ...
Last picture: a copy of ROY 880.000€ (now exposed in the toilet downstairs!)
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Land aan de afgrond

NV.A blaast regering op (of toch bijna), op de tonen van "Nu het lied der Vlaamse zonen".
Is het een zwanenzang, of een feniksgebroed?
Laat ons in elk geval Voltaire indachtig zijn als het gaat over "verantwoordelijkheidszin": “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

De Blauwvoet - Wikipedia: "De Blauwvoet"

In wezen is het een referentie aan de 19eeuwse ontvoogdingsstrijd, die poëtische én studentikoos werd ingezet, door Rodenbach e.a. (zie de volledige tekst http://cf.hum.uva.nl/dsp/ljc/rodenbach/blauvoet.htm. De her-vertolking in de huidige context is misschien wat radikaal maar heeft het effect van een zweep op een politiek debat dat regelrecht de afgrond invoert - of toch niet? Het is nu écht wel "storm op zee"

Eyskens was deze ochtend op de radio en sprak de gevleugelde woorden:
heeft Bart De Wever, die toch een fijne historicus is, zijn les niet geleerd: waar leven we hier, in Vlaanderen, dat in 50 jaar tijd een eigen parlement etc....heeft... en bovendien zijn we de meest welvarende region van de wereld, dus van het zonnestelsel, dus van de melkweg...

Nu de NV.A bijna de regering is uitgewerkt, lijkt de weg open naar een niet-communautair geladen oplossing, of toch niet? Want was Leterme niet verkozen met een duidelijke boodschap? Alleszins wordt het land onbestuurbaar: de schandalen van de politie van vorige week zijn in elk geval uit de ether gewerkt... De postjespakkerij-en bescherming teert volop, en ondertussen keldert de economische situatie verder...

Afin, het was mooi zolang het duurde, een land zonder regering, en de ambtenaren waren content...nu komt daar misschien verandering in? Zal Reynders premier worden? Valt de Vlaamse regering? Krijgen we verkiezingen? Wordt de Staat verder hervormd (zoals eigenlijk iedereen wel beseft want het model draait stroef?) Kan ik nog met mijn Franstalige kerelskameraden (blijven) spreken?




Try this! (courtesy Milo : and yes, ik zit met een midlife crisis...)
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No more excuses! Tune your Wifi to wacondah and look for workout category! (courtesy of the Stockholm Scandic)
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Zoals WF Schiltz het op De Standaard online zo mooit promootte,
geen speld tussen te krijgen tussen die Al!


Facts about Desalination

* With population growth and concerns about water scarcity increasing, several countries, especially in the Middle East region, are developing desalination plants to convert saline water (e.g. sea-water, brackish water or treated wastewater) into freshwater.

* The global market for desalination currently stands at about US $35 billion annually and could double over the next 15 years.

* In 2002 there were about 12,500 desalination plants around the world in 120 countries. They produce some 14 million m²/day of freshwater, which is less than 1% of total world consumption.

* The most important users of desalinated water are in the Middle East, (mainly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain), which uses about 70% of worldwide capacity; and in North Africa (mainly Libya and Algeria), which uses about 6% of worldwide capacity.

* Among industrialized countries, the United States is one of the most important users of desalinated water (6.5%), especially in California and parts of Florida.

Source: 1st United Nations World Water Development Report: “Water for People, Water for Life" (WWDR1, 2003)

Walk On Water - I Want One Of Those

Walk On Water - I Want One Of Those

I want one of these seems like the ultimate adult toy sotre!