The world today has been divided into a matrix of developed and developing nations. The division of the countries into the highly criticised brackets of First world, Second World, and Third world, has often led to many debates in many international forura. The United Nations, the most prominent of these, has been a witness to many such debates.
One of the most important issues affecting the developing world is that of Unconditional Aid. One of the most important humanitarian efforts carried out by the United Nations is to provide aid to those nations who are in need This aid has been in the form of emergency & non-emergency aid. Since the past few years, many developed nations, like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Norway etc. have been providing aid to several countries in Africa and south-east Asia.
However, there have been questions raised on the utilisation of the funds by these developing nations. The developed countries feel that the previous aid given by them has not been used in its entirety and they blame the government for the lack of transparency in the allocation of the aid to the general public. However, the developed countries have not refused any future aid to any country. The countries have changed the rules of giving aid, though. The developed and economically dependent nations of the world, have decided to provide aid, subject to certain conditions. Naturally, the developed countries feel that such conditions would ensure accountability and proper allocation on behalf of the aid receiving nations.
However, the developing countries, on their part, feel that they are in no position to fulfil the demands of the developed world, when they cannot feed and clothe their own population. In addition, the aid receiving nations argue that they are more aware of their country’s problems and hence, need to have a say on the policy matters affecting their country’s population. Also, it is felt by many scholars & economists in developing countries that continued non-emergency aid would have a negative effect on the economic growth & infrastructural development of a nation. It would lead to an attitude of dependency rather than self-reliance & thus cripple any efforts made towards indigenous industrial development.
Thus, the developed nations have another accusation to defend. Many experts have criticised the developed nations of making the economically weaker countries dependent on their aid. These developed countries have been accused of bringing about a phenomenon called “Aid maintaining poverty”.
Another question is the quality of the aid. The developing countries require different kinds of aid, including food, medical, technical, financial and technological aid. Developed countries have for example been accused of testing their genetically modified food crops on people of Africa. If Aid, indeed has to be conditional then should it not be subject to quality standards?
The delegates need to be aware of their country’s stand on such an issue. The delegates are supposed to be able to reach a consensus which not only decides on increasing the accountability on the part of aid receiving nations, but also leads to the lowering of the dependency on the economically strong nations. The council must also try to find solutions to problems of Aid Maintaining Poverty and of the quality of aid. In addition to all this, the delegates must reach a common consensus on the need and applicability of unconditional aid to the developing world, keeping in mind its consequences on the people of the world.
Hence the broad sub-topics under the agenda would be –
- The question of Conditional Aid to developing countries
- Aid maintaining poverty
- Quality of Aid – emergency as well as non- emergency aid.
The council should refer to the country listing of the developed and developing nations as concluded by the Human Development Index, the source for which is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index
In addition, the delegates are advised to refer to their countries’ official websites, and/or contact their respective embassies.
Also, delegates should research though various country specific searches on www.google.com
Mitali Nikore Sukrit Khatri
Human Rights Council Human Rights Council