What We’re Reading 6/25/09

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Politico: U.S. needs more foreign diplomats
Eight former secretaries of state make the case for deploying more foreign diplomacy personnel, lamenting that “unfortunately, when it comes to the federal budget, diplomacy, development and democratic governance too often get short shrift.”

AFP: Rich Should Compensate Africa for Global Warming: Ethiopian PM
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has said that rich countries should compensate Africa for the effects of their carbon emissions. He said Africa has been suffering from global warming caused by the developed world’s pollution. He plans to raise the issue at next month’s G8 summit, and suggested that African countries make a united push for it at the crucial climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

AP:UN: Impact of Economic Crisis Could Last Years
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned at the U.N. financial summit Wednesday that the impact of the global economic crisis could last for years with millions more families pushed into poverty, and he urged rich nations to mobilize the money to help hard-hit developing countries. He added that despite stabilization currently discussed in the west, for a large number of countries there are no ‘green shoots’ of recovery, only ‘fallow fields.’ He said the global economic meltdown cannot be an excuse for leaders of the major economies to abandon pledges to help the poor.

Reuters: Broke Zimbabwe Asks World for ‘Stimulus Package’
Zimbabwe appealed to the world on Wednesday for a “financial stimulus package” for its devastated economy, saying lack of foreign support imperiled a recovery plan drawn up by the unity government. The country says it needs $10billion to rebuild infrastructure and ease 90% unemployment. Vice President Joice Mujuru said lack of access to financial resources had hit the country’s agriculture and social services, threatening attainment of U.N. anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals. But Morgan Tsvangirai’s recent tour has yielded mostly promises of aid only when Zimbabwe creates a democracy and improves human rights. Addressing a UN conference on the global financial crisis, Mujuru argued that no conditions should be attached to the stimulus package he is asking for.

Christian Science Monitor: The Kremlin Takes an African Safari
The Christian Science Monitor writes that Russia is returning to Africa in force with aims of catching up to China and Western powers in the “scramble for the continent’s resources, markets, and political allegiances.” President Dmitry Medvedev and 400 Russian businessmen and economic officials arrived in Nigeria Wednesday to sign a variety of oil, gas, and nuclear energy deals. Next week Medvedev will sign an accord on “peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” which could lead to the construction of Russian atomic power plants in Nigeria. This is the longest African tour by any Kremlin leader.

-Grace Lamb-Atkinson

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