The U.S. government has aggressively tried to stop any positive result from the Millennium Summit. However, the goals of the Millennium were confirmed. This is a very significant step. The U.S. spirit has been crushed by the rest of the countries. Wiping out extreme poverty and famine by 2025 will continue to be a target of the international agenda.
We’ll need lots of resources, that’s true. The European Union approval of an incrased assistance for development is good but not enough. The U.S. produces 12 billion dollars annually but it dedicates only 3 millions to Africa.
We had a similar experience at the meeting in Kyoto. The idea of the U.S. deciding on everything has been got through. There is too much wealth and practical knowledge out that country to have self-determination. There are also people everywhere else! Ninety five percent of the world’s population lives out of the U.S.
The poor have grown more visible in the U.S. and there is this incredible story by the government, which could not invest enough in the dams. The U.S. is learning, if the administration had invested a few dozens of millions of dollars in the dams, it would have saved the 200 millions needed to end the flooding. And so it happens with poverty. If we don’t dedicate 50 millions to the poor each year, we’ll spend a whole lot more due to wars, repression and natural disasters.
The U.S. administration thinks that international treaties will stop it from doing what must be done. What a pathetic misunderstanding! That administration is even unable to impose its will on a few square miles in Baghdad. It needs a global association, but this is something the neo-cons don’t want to admit. Furthermore, the U.S. society is terribly scared of the poor; and this also goes to the deepest salary-earning strata. They don’t want to take care of the poor for fear of seeing their own wellbeing lessen.
Poor countries are not asking for a revolution. They only ask for a very small part of our income. If I were a neo-con, I would jump for joy before the idea of being able to save the world order at such a low price.
I blame development bodies for their lack of success. Where do millions go? To bureaucrats, payment of fees and the humanitarian emergency aid. USAID does not make any investments that could be useful for Africans. Actually, the aid does not solve the problem.

Die Tageszeitung (Germany)

Die USA mussten sich beugen”, by Jeffrey Sachs, Die Tageszeitung, September 15, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.