Since their proclamation in 2000, the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) have become the leitmotiv of international development
politics. With the MDGs, the development discourse among governments and
international organisations has focused on eradicating the most extreme
forms of hunger and poverty as well as on basic social services for the
population, above all in the fields of primary education, health and water
supply. Most of the MDGs are linked to clear quantitative and time-bound
targets, the majority of which are to be attained by 2015.
This paper takes as a starting point an international conference, held in New York in April 2008, organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Global Policy Forum. The conference considered the right to food and the role of the United Nations in responding to the global food crisis. Seventy experts from more than thirty countries attended. This paper is not a formal account of the conference proceedings. Rather, it starts from the main themes discussed and tries to take the debate further - both the causes of the crisis and the responses that are called for.
This report considers many aspects of the
conflict, with special emphasis on the US Coalition's responsibilities
under international law. It also considers political and economic issues
in Iraq and argues for urgent change, including a speedy withdrawal of