FW: Interesting comments from Brian Atwood
> >> Copyright 1999 Associated Press/AP Online
> >> June 30, 1999; Wednesday 04:11, Eastern Time
> >> >
> >> HEADLINE: Retiring AID Head Vents Frustration
> >> J. Brian Atwood has a disquieting message as he prepares to step
> >head of the U.S. foreign aid agency: Don't believe those stories about
> >and free enterprise enabling developing countries to lift themselves out
> >> And part of the problem, according to Atwood, is what he sees as
> >> Washington's pinch-penny attitude toward Third World problems.
> >> ''What will it take to wake up our political leaders?'' he asked.
> >> ''More failed states? More wars? More south-to-north migration? More
> >> transmission of infectious diseases? More terrorism?''
> >> After six years as head of the Agency for International Development,
> >> Atwood will return to the private sector next week. He could have gone
> >quietly, as his predecessors have done, but decided not to.
> >> He gave his valedictory Tuesday at a luncheon at the Overseas
> >> Development Council, which attempts to sensitize opinion-makers
> >> on Third World issues.
> >> ''The sad and even dangerous reality is that globalization and the
> >> democratic market economy movement have not closed the gap between rich
> >poor,'' he said.
> >> ''Much of the change we are seeing is occurring within the previous
> >> ruling classes of these societies. Some in the donor community seem
> >content to
> >nurture reform without equity.''
> >> Economic growth, he said, can reduce poverty only with investments
> >> health care, education, job creation, community development and food
> >> The industrial world is getting ''shamelessly rich'' while most of
> >> the world's people are losing ground, Atwood said. He put the ratio of
> >> to poor at about 65 to 1, or for every $65 earned in industrial
> >countries, $1
> >is earned in poor ones. About 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty,
> >> Atwood called the government's international affairs budget ''a
> >> There is no money to do anything,'' he said. ''It's outrageous.''
> >> He took aim at the congressional class of 1994, the election that
> >> gave Republicans control of the House and Senate. It was filled with
> >> ''nonpassport-carrying members,'' Atwood said, a not-so-subtle
> >such people think provincially, not globally.
> >> Another source of distress for Atwood was U.S. policy toward the
> >> United Nations. ''What we are doing to the United Nations system is
> >> unconscionable,'' he said.
> >> ''At a time when the U.N. is bending under the weight of human
> >> crises, most emanating from the developing world, we are sapping
> >> it of its vitality by refusing to pay our bills. Then we criticize it
> >> not doing its job.''
> >> He described as ''shameful'' a recent compromise under which the
> >> Clinton administration would pay $819 million in arrears on the
> >it pay a smaller share in the future. The congressionally drafted
> >'designed to appease people whose real goal is to kill the United
> >> Atwood said.
> >> Atwood was scheduled to become ambassador to Brazil after his
> >> at AID, but Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., the Senate Foreign Relations
> >> chairman, refused to convene hearings on the nomination.
> >> Helms was smarting from Atwood's characterization of him as an
> >> ''isolationist'' and his accusation that Helms drew up complicated
> >> government reorganization plans ''on the back of an envelope.''
> >> Atwood withdrew his name from consideration for the Brazil post in
> >> May.