IT'S TIME TO RETIRE TERM 'THIRD WORLD', SAYS WORLD BANK
WASHINGTON, APRIL 16, 2010 (STARS) (AP — It is time to stop using the term “Third World” to refer to developing countries and recognize they are an essential part of a new, fast evolving, multipolar international economy, the head of the World Bank said Wednesday.
Robert Zoellick said the global economic crisis of 2009 showed the categorization of First and Third Worlds, donor and supplicant, leader and led, no longer fit as nations such as China, India and Brazil assume increasing economic power.
He said involving developing countries in solving big international issues is essential: “We cannot afford geopolitics as usual.”
Zoellick spoke about lessons learned from the financial crisis in advance of the spring meetings next week of the bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund. Both organizations played a major role in helping member governments deal with the financial meltdown by providing loans and grants.
Zoellick said in his talk at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars that climate change is another area where a one-size-fits-all approach by the developed world does not work for developing countries.
“While we must take care of the environment, we cannot consign African children to homework by candlelight or deny African workers manufacturing jobs,” he said.
Zoellick said a third area where old thinking no longer applies and the interests of developing countries need more consideration is in responding to economic crises.
He said, “The danger is that developed countries focus on summits for financial systems, or concentrate on the mismanagement of developed countries such as Greece,” where a massive budget gap and soaring debt exposed the flaws in the rules that the 16 nations that use a common currency, the euro, are asked to obey.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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