Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yet another forgotten high-minded statement

After the forgotten public statements “expressing support,” little to none came from Europe on the UN Democracy Fund.

Contributions from Germany, Britain and France to the fund -- that had received 32.48 million dollars from 16 countries by the beginning of March -- amounted to no more than 1.6 million dollars, 609,350 dollars and 588,100 dollars respectively.

UNDEF expects an additional 16.54 million dollars in the coming months from five countries including Chile and Bulgaria.
Apparently exporting to dictators requires less customer service, or at least represents effective “constructive engagement” with them, regardless of what they tell the public.

Helle Dale:
What's the problem? Isn't Europe in favor of democracy promotion? Now, Europe likes to blow it own horn regarding its record on foreign aid, and Europeans constantly find ways to shame the United States on this issue. British Treasury Secretary (and likely the next prime minister) Gordon Brown are among those who have pushed for each developed nation to commitment 0.7 percent of its gross national product to foreign aid.
Few Europeans countries beyond Scandinavia actually attain this goal. But by dint of counting everything from student aid programs tointernational broadcasting to assistancetoformer colonies, European governments do look like they are giving more than Washington. As official accounting also mostly fails to add up private international charity, which has a much longer tradition in the United States, the disparity often does look embarrassing. Here, however, is an excellent opportunity for the United States to ask Europeans to put their money where their mouth is.
[ ... ]
Despite lip service from the German and French U.N. ambassadors praising the project, and despite the wealth of Europe, Germany has so far contributed just $1.6 million, Britain $609,350, and France $588,100. The figures were compiled by Thierno H. Kane, director of the civil organizations division at the U. N. Development Programme, and were circulated at a meeting in Berlin last week. A number of other European nations have pledged just $10,000 each year, though it should be noted that many of them are Central and Eastern European countries whose economies are still struggling

The fuse is lit!

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