On July 30-31, 2004, more than 40 preeminent international leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors came together at the Aspen Institute to discuss “America’s Role in the Fight Against Global Poverty” and to set out a forward-looking strategy for the United States.
Co-hosted by Richard C. Blum of Blum Capital Partners LP, the Brookings Institution’s Poverty and Global Economy Initiative, the Aspen Institute, and Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, the group’s aim was to explore the dilemma of global poverty from different perspectives, to disaggregate the seemingly intractable problem into more manageable challenges, and to identify key elements of an effective U.S. policy agenda.
With roundtable participants hailing from around the world and representing diverse experiences and approaches, the dialogue was as multifaceted as the challenge of poverty itself. Rather than simply summarize conference proceedings, this essay attempts to weave together the thoughtful exchanges, impassioned calls to action, fresh insights, and innovative ideas that characterized the discussion, and to set the stage for ongoing collaboration in the struggle for human dignity.
Helping to define the issues, share and encourage what works, and build the intellectual framework for such an enterprise will be the guiding mission of the Richard C. Blum Roundtable in the years ahead.
America’s role in the fight against global poverty was the focus of the first annual Brookings Blum Roundtable in 2004. Discussion centered on the imperative of political will, using foreign assistance, trade and financing for development, and how best to reinforce commitment and sustain development efforts.