Special Feature

The State of the Globe 2004/05: Toward Equity in Development?

What were some key insights on global development in 2004?

Will 2005 be the year of progress in development?


Despite a lack of major progress on the issue of global development, some positive achievements were recorded in 2004. For example, some developing countries won important WTO cases that they had brought against rich-country agricultural subsidies. Our Read My Lips feature captures the key trends of the development agenda.

“Deng Xiaoping probably did more than anyone else in the 20th century to raise the living standards of hundreds of millions of people.”
(Robert Mundell, Columbia University professor and Nobel Prize winner, September 2004)

“If you can get power to India’s 600,000 villages at a decent cost, you can stop people cutting down trees and asphyxiating themselves by burning biomass.”
(James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, November 2004)

“The public health of the developing world is the single issue of greatest significance for humanity over the next half century.”
(Larry Summers, president of Harvard University, January 2004)

“Our position is that the days of loan-based development are over.”
(He Jacob Zuma, deputy president of South Africa, October 2004)

“If I cannot feed my family, my children, then why would I send the little money I do have out of the country? To me, this does not require an economics degree to figure out.”
(Agustin Retegui, Argentine cellular phone salesman, February 2004)

“We ask that the West abandon its neo-mercantilism — its hoarding and protectionism. We ask for equitable access to the world’s markets.”
(South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki, June 2004)

“The comfort of the rich depends on abundant supply of the poor.”
(Voltaire, 18th century French philosopher, January 2003)

“If the government can’t provide us with food and jobs, these international companies should do it.”
(Saturnina Pelozo, member of Argentina’s Independent Movement of Unemployed, August 2004)

“Outsourcing is nature’s way of balancing the brain drain.”
(Nazif Ahmed Mahmoud, Egypt’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology, February 2004)

“As soon as a developing country starts doing well, the United States or another country says, ‘You’re dumping.’ The idea is, if they are winning, they must be cheating.”
(Joseph E. Stiglitz, former World Bank chief economist, February 2004)

“To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
(President John F. Kennedy, January 1961)

“The deeply indebted farmers, who owe opium to wholesalers on future contracts for cash they received at planting time, will face a grim choice: give their daughters to the traffickers, flee the country — or grow more opium.”
(Barnett R. Rubin, director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, October 2004)

“Afghanistan remains the least-resourced nation-building exercise in the last 60 years.”
(James Dobbins, Rand Corporation analyst and formerly President George W. Bush’s special envoy to Afghanistan in 2001)

“The UN was not created to take humanity to heaven— but to save it from hell.”
(Shashi Tharoor, UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, September 2003)

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