Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do MDG's Exclude Democracy And Human Rights?

Nkunda, a member of  Rwanda's chapter of Blogger Anonymous (using anti-detection software is mandatory) , in an interview with Anthony Painter (part 3) made this pertinent remark:
"MDG's unfortunately haven't been able to reach consensus on democracy and human rights"
After meeting Gordon Brown, Nkunda met Juan Carrero at the Ralph Park in New York. Instead of trying out their new skateboards, they participated in a protest against Kagame's participation as co-chair of the MDG Advocacy Group , discussed the impact of the imminent release of the mapping report and  Zapatero's refusal to Meet Kagame at the MDG Advocacy Group in New York.

Kagame's much praised model of development  is "authoritarian" . Obviously countries like China and Russia won't see a problem in that. However, intriguingly the model has received it's most vocal praise from the west. In April Jared Cohen, policy planning staffer at the State Department, wrote this allmost prophetic tweet which seems to have been about Kagame's future role as member of the MDG Advocacy group:
"President Kagame and I talked about importance of translating Rwanda's domestic innovation into a leadership role on the continent"
US government website has this uninspiring quote on the topic of MDG's and democracy: 
"What do the MDGs mean for democracy around the world?  MDGs such as promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, and achieving universal primary education address issues that are related to democracy, and if successful, can create conditions that support and encourage democratic systems."
Clearly not a very ambitious statement. It also leaves out essential parts of what democracy is about. Let's listen to what White House spokesperson Hammer had to say after the recent Rwandan election rigging:
"Democracy is about more than holding elections," Hammer added. "A democracy reflects the will of the people, where minority voices are heard and respected, where opposition candidates run on the issues without threat or intimidation, where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected."
Wouldn't it be great if we could point to a succesfull modern day example of democratic development too?

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