This week CFR hosted two events on issues relevant to the global development landscape. On Monday, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon delivered the Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations (available in video, audio, and transcript form). He focused in part on the struggle to build inclusive democracy in Syria and across the Middle East. As he argued:
In the Arab world and elsewhere, people want real change, not grudging, cosmetic adjustment. Let us remember that whether countries are emerging from conflict or authoritarian rule, transition will not be linear marches toward Jeffersonian democracy or Swiss-style tranquility. The road will be rocky.
On Tuesday, Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter hosted a panel on prospects and challenges facing the G-20 (also available in video, audio, and transcript form). Among the topics was the G-20′s role in promoting good governance and development. As one of the panelists, CFR senior fellow Stewart Patrick, said:
…it strikes me that there is a huge body of evidence suggesting that lack of transparency, the high levels of corruption and other dysfunctionalities, including lack of political participation, is often correlated with lack of development… it would be a natural add-on to the G-20′s work… to actually have a G-20 initiative geared towards the world’s fragile states… the question there is, how do you actually try to nurture growth and stability in those countries? You can’t use traditional development instruments for that.