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Down in Monterrey

The UN conference on development financing, running in Monterrey, Mexico this week, looks like being an unanticipated success. As I noted last week, president Bush’s announcement of a $5 billion increase in development aid (spread over three years) gave a boost to the conference, when squabbling about money was expected to be the focus.

Now it seems that Bush “mis-spoke” and that the aid increase will be double last week’s announcement. Oxfam policy director Justin Forsyth, who is generally not reluctant to criticise the great powers, reckons this is “a major step in the right direction”.

And US Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill, a frequent critic of “wasted” aid money, said in Monterrey that the US will consult with its international partners on how it dispenses its aid. All good news.

Less enlightening is a New York Times “analysis” from Monterrey, with the headline Globalization Proves Disappointing. As discussed in Davos Newbies passim, there are many valid criticisms of how globalisation has taken place, and there is much to do to improve many of the mechanisms of the global economy. But I don’t understand how the Times could dignify its brief, quote-filled snapshot with the term “analysis”.

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