A Report from the 2006 Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty
From August 2 to 4, 2006, more than fifty preeminent international leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors came together at the Aspen Institute to discuss “The Tangled Web: The Poverty-Insecurity Nexus” and to generate concrete, practical steps for participants to pursue in the months ahead.
The roundtable was hosted by Richard C. Blum and the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development Program, with the support of honorary co-chairs Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and Mary Robinson of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative. By exploring the complicated connections between poverty and insecurity, examining the practical implications for public and private organizations operating in developing countries, identifying areas of greatest need, and highlighting best practices, the roundtable organizers’ greatest hope is that the passionate dialogue that began in Aspen will be transformed into meaningful action against hunger, homelessness, hardship, and human suffering.
Although the participating experts hailed from around the world and represented diverse sectors and approaches, each person brought to the table an individual and institutional commitment to advancing human security. Rather than summarize the conference proceedings, this essay—like those from previous roundtables—attempts to weave together the informed exchanges, varied perspectives, fresh insights, and innovative proposals that characterized the discussion. A companion volume, Too Poor for Peace? Global Poverty, Conflict, and Security in the 21st Century, published by the Brookings Institution Press, contains chapters by experts that provide in-depth analyses of the topics addressed at the roundtable.
A conference report is also available.
[On the U.S.-Chinese relationship in the U.N. climate negotiations at COP 24] There was a capacity to be a convener, each of us.That’s not available right now.
[On the U.S.-Chinese relationship in the U.N. climate negotiations at COP 24 and the Paris Agreement "Rulebook"] [There's] a lot of push this year from a number of developing countries to basically re-bifurcate these things. It’s a big fight.
[On making progress on climate change] We’re in a stage where no one really knows what to do. And it’s easier to try out things in small groups and figure out what works. The problem is that the climate scientists say we don’t have time for all this slow, cautious experimentation anymore, because the train is speeding. That’s the nature of the problem. It’s the result of having spent a long time talking about the climate problem in formats that really didn’t make progress.