“The basic message of this week is that the world must find a new model of collective leadership following the collapse of US authority”, writes Jeffrey Sachs (see photo) from the Earth Institute at Columbia University in the FT’s MDG Blog today. “Like many crises, the fundamental decline of US leadership has been apparent for years, but it had proceeded gradually. Then, like a weak bank hit by a depositor panic, the collapse happened suddenly and in plain view.
At the UN, the world grappled with poverty, disease, hunger, and climate change in the near total absence of US leadership. This was pathetically underscored by President Bush, whose speech to the UN on Wednesday was filled with “terror,” “terrorists,” and “terrorism” 31 times, but didn’t include a single mention of “climate,” “environment,” or the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs). By the time of the UN’s MDG Summit Day yesterday, the US was simply nowhere to be seen, neither in the plenary sessions nor in the breakout events.”
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