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Progress has been mixed, but remarkable in places. Bound by common goals, public, private and non-profit organisations worked together to tackle some of the world's gravest ills. They should take satisfaction in what has been achieved.
But as the UN General Assembly convenes to discuss the post-2015 agenda, we must not underestimate the task ahead. One billion people live in poverty. One in eight people go hungry each day. One in four children who enter primary school is likely to drop out before completion.
Widespread corruption undermines development efforts and poor governance squanders resources. A recent report showed that Africa loses twice as much through tax avoidance, secret mining deals and fraud as it receives in foreign aid.
This isn't just a matter of statistics; there is human cost of collective political failure.Read more.
We hope that the new Iranian government will engage substantively with the international community to reach a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program and to cooperate fully with the IAEA in its investigation. We remain ready to work with Iran should the Rouhani administration choose to engage seriously. Secretary Kerry welcomes the Foreign Minister's commitment to a substantive response and to his agreement to meeting in the short term with permanent UN Security Council members and Germany, coordinated by EU High Representative Ashton to discuss the nuclear program.
The former National Security Agency contractor revealed that the agency had allegedly tapped the emails of Rousseff and other members of the Brazilian government. While entirely within the NSA’s mandate to gather intelligence on foreign powers, it was understandably embarrassing for the United States. Obama’s bilateral meeting with Rousseff during G-20 meeting last month didn’t seem to mend the damage much at all.
In fact, the spying controversy prompted Brasilia to cancel Rousseff’s trip to the U.S. entirely. The White House insists that the dinner has only been postponed and that the decision was entirely mutual, but that doesn’t change the fact that the very prominent event is no longer set to take place anytime soon. What’s more, Brazil is now moving to pass a law that would require foreign companies to host their servers in Brazil if they’re to do business within the country, a move that prompted some worry that the days of an open and unified internet may be coming to an end.
It’s entirely possible that Rousseff will use her time before the world to denounce foreign spying and at least allude to the United States’ current indiscretions.