Ahead of the Curve?: UN Ideas and Global Challenges by Louis Emmerij

By Louis Emmerij

Rules and ideas are arguably an important legacy of the United countries. prior to the Curve? analyzes the evolution of key principles and ideas approximately overseas fiscal and social improvement born or nurtured, sophisticated or utilized less than UN auspices given that 1945. The authors assessment the coverage principles coming from UN enterprises and students with regards to such severe concerns as decolonization, sustainable improvement, structural adjustment, simple wishes, human rights, girls, global employment, the transition of the japanese bloc, the position of nongovernmental organisations, and worldwide governance. The authors locate that, in many circumstances, UN rules approximately find out how to take on difficulties of world import have been sound and far-sighted, even if they generally fell at the deaf ears of strong member states until eventually it was once obvious various technique used to be wanted. The authors additionally establish very important components the place the UN has now not stood constructively on the fore.

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But it was not to be. The financial focus of the West remained on the Marshall Plan for Europe, and the global perspective for employment policy and action remained a distant dream. World Bank lending to developing countries over the next five years remained at a very low level compared with the Marshall Plan. And developing countries had to wait until the early s for the bank to introduce program loans by sector instead of merely projects. The UN was ahead of the curve in putting ideas on the table—but the industrial countries were not prepared to examine them seriously.

The breathtaking nature of these four ideas was, and remains, remarkable. Each of course had predecessors including Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, the Dec- 16 Emmer 01 (16-42) FINAL 3/5/01 Four Powerful Ideas 11:08 AM Page 17 17 laration of Independence, the New Deal, and the  Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The gestation period for ideas, as we have underlined in the introduction, is long. 1 In one or more essential respects, however, each of the four powerful sets of ideas represented important advances from historical precedents and national and international norms and institutions of the period.

The reason for this effort lies behind a comment from Jeffrey Garten, dean of Yale University’s School of Management, about UN efforts to broker a pact among Emmer 00b (1-15) FINAL Introduction 3/5/01 10:57 AM Page 11 11 transnational corporations, labor associations, and watchdog NGOs. ”26 Understanding how important the UN’s past role has been in disseminating and generating ideas to respond to global challenges requires responses to four questions. First, what have been the key economic and social ideas contributed by the UN?

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