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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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MDGからSDGへ

 
AKBも関係ありませんし、あまちゃんのGMTも関係ありません。国連英検の学習をされている方はすぐにピンときたのではないでしょうか、今回ご紹介させていただく2つの記事は必読かもしれません。

今週のEconomistは世界の貧困について取り上げていました。というのも今週の水曜日に国連で2015年に役目を終えるMDGの後続プロジェクトにあたるSDGの策定について話し合われるようです。MDGって、SDGってと思われた方は「MDG 国連」「SDG 国連」などとGoogle検索してみてください。下記のような資料を読むと方向性を決めるのも結構大変なんだろうなと想像できます。

持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)に関する国際動向: 各国アンケート調査の結果から

Economistが寄稿記事を載せることはそんなにないと思いますが、下記に紹介するようにジェフリーサックス教授がSDGの意義について書かれています。その記事から、25日のことに触れているところが以下です。

Resolving this problem requires a new approach. On September 25th governments will meet at a special event at the United Nations. Part of their task will be to establish a road map that will lead, by 2015, to a set of “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs). Sceptics will scoff that a UN framework will make no difference to the problems of the world economy. They are wrong.

雑誌などに目を通す価値の一つには、自分のアンテナでは引っかからないようなトピックを教えてもらえるとこにあると思います。立場が偏っていると批判して読まないのはもったいない気がします。

貧困を取り上げた記事では、先週の生物多様性の時と同じような問題設定、「経済成長か、社会保障の充実か」で切り込んでいます。

Poverty
Growth or safety net?
Eradicating extreme poverty is no longer a pipe dream. But first governments must agree on their approach
Sep 21st 2013

この記事は、経済成長万歳というノーテンキなものではなく、「収入」といった経済成長を目標に置くと達成しやすいが、このような目標達成がそのまま社会保障の充実=生活の質の向上に直結するものではないことを真剣に考えているものです。

It is not clear how much the pledge itself caused the fall in poverty—arguably not much, since China, where the biggest decline took place, took no notice of the goal. Still, the correlation has been strong enough for almost all countries to want a new set of global development aims after the current lot expires in 2015. On September 25th their delegations will gather at the United Nations in New York to refine the list of proposed “Sustainable Development Goals”. Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Columbia University, says rather grandly that these “have the potential to open up a new era of technological and organisational breakthroughs” (see article). Barack Obama has committed the American administration to the aim of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, meaning to reduce the percentage of people in the world on $1.25 or less to 3%. Britain’s prime minister, the World Bank and a series of international charities have signed up to that goal, as well.

Yet as Nepal shows, cutting poverty is not just about boosting incomes. Deprivation takes many forms, including the lack of schools, clean water, medicines and family planning. Using her MPI measure, Ms Alkire finds that about one-sixth of Vietnam’s population is poor by income, and one-sixth is “multidimensionally poor”. But they are not the same people: only about a third of the groups overlap. Emma Samman of ODI says, “It is not clear that the $1.25-a-day poverty line, the measure upon which this vision of a poverty-free world exists, is necessarily the best way to think about and measure poverty.”

MDGの結果からも収入という経済面では目標を達成したが、乳幼児死亡率の改善や教育、衛生の向上などは未達成だと、その難しさを指摘しています。But if there were a trade-off between growth and equity, growth would be more important.なんて部分を見ると、経済成長を優先させているとアンチEconomistの人たちはすぐに批判したがるでしょう。

Globally, it has been much harder to improve the social aspects of poverty than the purely economic one (income). Look at the current set of UN development goals. The income target was met five years early. But the world is nowhere near meeting its goals of cutting child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters in 1990-2015. Both are down by less than half. The targets on sanitation and education will be missed, too.

(中略)
The trouble is that inequality is extremely hard to change. The rich and powerful have an incentive not to change it too much. And the benefit of doing so may anyway be marginal. A new study by David Dollar, Aart Kraay and Tatjana Kleineberg of the World Bank finds that almost four-fifths of the improvement in the incomes of the poorest 40% in 118 countries is attributable to improvements in average incomes—ie, it comes from general economic growth, not redistribution.

That still leaves a fifth that might be perked up by policies tailored specifically for the poor, and these would be required to get extreme poverty to zero. But if there were a trade-off between growth and equity, growth would be more important. And as the report concludes, “historical experience in a large sample of countries does not provide much guidance on which combinations of macroeconomic policies and institutions might be particularly beneficial for promoting ‘shared prosperity’ [a buzzword of the World Bank] as distinct from simply ‘prosperity’.”

経済成長以外で、ガバナンスや透明性などを目標にするのは難しいと指摘するところをみると、SDGには懐疑的な立場なのかなと思ってしまいます。ただ、その取り組みの意義を否定しているのではありません。

A similar point can be made about calls for better governance. Improving accountability, transparency and effectiveness would be an excellent idea. But setting targets for those is difficult. Moreover, as extreme poverty falls, more of the core of deprivation will be in fragile and failing states such as Congo and Afghanistan—the very ones whose governments will be hardest to improve because they barely exist.

None of this means those gathering in New York next week are doomed to fail. The goal of eradicating extreme poverty is closer than ever; Nepal shows what can be done. But defining extreme poverty beyond the simple $1.25 a day is hard and deciding how to target social problems harder still. It will be an uphill struggle.

Economistが皮肉的に感じてしまうのも、今回のようにちょっと突き放して冷めた目で捉えがちなことが多いかからでしょう。といってもEconomistが問題の重要性を否定しているのではないだけに、理解するのも難しいかもしれません。

記事に出てきたmultidimensional poverty index(MPI)を生み出したSabina Alkireさんの動画です。






今日の記事は長くなってしまい恐縮ですが、ジェフリーサックス教授の寄稿も簡単に目を通しておきます。動画はSDGについて説明している去年のものです。余力があればこちらの動画もご紹介させていただきます。


サックス教授のエッセイは気候変動問題についても、経済問題についても新しい取り組みが必要なことを訴える問題提起から始めています。

Free exchange
The next frontier
In a guest article, Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, outlines his vision for sustainable development
Sep 21st 2013

CLIMATE science tells us unequivocally that we need to “decarbonise” much of the energy system by the middle of this century. Yet advanced techniques for extracting fossil fuels—fracking, new deep-ocean drilling and the like—dominate today’s economic and political discussion. These measures may temporarily boost the economy but they would end up crowding out investments in low-carbon technologies. A boomlet in fossil fuels is bound to be a dead end. Short-term priorities and long-term needs are at odds.

This disconnect also exists in the realm of jobs policy. Youth unemployment is stuck in the stratosphere in part because conventional jobs have succumbed to advances in information technology, robotics and outsourcing, leading to lower employment and a decline in earnings among unskilled youth in particular. In response economists obsess about policies to manage demand. But that will not address these structural changes. New strategies in education and training, and in smoothing the tricky school-to-work transition, are also needed.

ちょっと脱線しますがCLIMATE science tells us unequivocally that …という書き出しにピンときた方は、本物英語に触れている方ではないでしょうか。IPCCの第5次報告書が今週末からでるそうですが、第4次報告書で"warming of the climate system is unequivocal"と表現しニュースになりましたね。ウィキペディアでも説明がありました。

(ロングマン)
unequivocal formal
completely clear and without any possibility of doubt:
His answer was an unequivocal 'No.'

(ウィキペディア)
The headline findings of the report were: "warming of the climate system is unequivocal", and "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations."


ネットでみつけた資料
大気や海洋の全球平均温度の上昇、雪氷の広範囲にわたる融解、世界平均海面水位の上昇が観測されていることから、気候システムの温暖化には疑う余地がない (unequivocal)。

やっぱり多読というか幅広く英語に触れるようにしないと、英文を味わうことができないというのが自分の立場です。基礎を築くのには反復練習が欠かせませんが、それだけで終わっている人たちがほとんどですよね。サブカルにしか興味のない英語教師ばっかりじゃねえ。。。

サックス教授の提言は是非リンク先で読んでいただきたいのですが、論点を簡潔にあげる方法は学びたいですね。to identify three elements of successとあって、各要素を一語で言い切っています。

Setting goals is one thing; achieving them quite another. All of these SDGs would require an overhaul of technology systems, whether for health, energy, transport, food supplies or safer cities. Target-driven technological change of this sort is very different from the normal evolutionary path of established industries competing through incremental changes in products and processes. We are perhaps more familiar with targeted technological change in the military context (the Manhattan Project, to take an obvious example) but there are enough civilian cases (the Moon landing, the Human Genome Project, the eradication of smallpox) to identify three elements of success.

The first is “backcasting”.

The second element is “road-mapping”.

The third step is global co-operation,

「目標設定と実行は別物だ」ということは我々も痛感していますが、そんな時はSetting goals is one thing; achieving them quite another.とでも言えばいいのですね。
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Yuta

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