SecretaryGeneral urges stronger global development partnership amid declining aid levels

“The report paints a troubling picture,” Mr. Ban told reporters as he launched the 2012 MDG Gap Task Force Report at UN Headquarters in New York. “It is clear that we need a stronger global partnership to achieve the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.”The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed on by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development.’In March Mr. Ban reported major progress in achieving the MDGs, with several important targets – on poverty, water, slums and on parity between girls and boys in primary education – having been met.“But, on the global partnership, progress is weaker,” he told the media briefing. “Last year, official development assistance decline for the first time in many years. I repeat my call to the international community: do not place the burden of fiscal austerity on the backs of the poor – either in your own countries or abroad.”The Task Force Report, issued ahead of the annual high-level General Assembly meetings next week, notes that after reaching a peak in 2010, the volume of official development assistance fell almost three per cent in 2011.It warns that with no apparent commitment by donor governments to reverse the trend, it is possible that fewer of the MDGs will be reached in fewer countries by the 2015 deadline.While challenging, meeting the remaining targets by 2015 is still possible, but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago and international support is adequate, says the Task Force Report, which offers recommendations for the global community to sustain momentum on important MDG gains.According to the Report, to meet the UN target of 0.7 per cent of donor country gross national income, total overseas development assistance (ODA) should more than double to about $300 billion (in 2011 dollars), thus leaving a delivery gap of $167 billion against that commitment. Least developed countries should receive about one-fourth of this amount. Figure 1. ODA of DAC members in 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011 (percentage of GNI) Figure 2. Delivery gaps against UN targets in 2011 The Report commends the international community for successfully providing debt relief to heavily indebted poor countries, and says that since existing international debt relief initiatives are coming to an end, it is urgent to devise new arrangements.On the issue of trade, the Task Force Report points out that negotiations for a fairer multilateral trading system – taking place under the so-called Doha Round of negotiations on reducing international trade barriers – remain at an impasse 11 years after they began. Rather than seeking a comprehensive agreement, the Report suggests that achieving partial agreements could help in making steps forward and regaining momentum in the negotiations to eliminate inequities in the trading system.The MDG Gap Task Force – created five years ago to track progress in strengthening the global partnership for development – recommends that donor governments honour their commitments to deliver increased ODA, despite budgetary constraints. “Let us heed the lessons of this new report and keep pressing for progress,” said Mr. Ban. read more

Mens Basketball No 5 Ohio State seeks redemption in rematch against No

Ohio State freshman forward Kaleb Wesson (34) looks to drive in the second half of the game against Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Mar. 2 in Madison Square Garden. Ohio State lost 68-69. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 5 Ohio State has faced No. 4 Gonzaga before and it did not end well for the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs handed first-year head coach Chris Holtmann his first loss at the helm of the Buckeyes in what is still the largest loss of the season, an 86-59 defeat.Both teams have come a long way since then. Ohio State lost two of its next three games, but then finished the season going 19-4 in the remaining 23 games. Gonzaga, on the other hand, lost its next game against Florida, but finished the regular season with a 27-4 record and claimed both the West Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships.Projected Starters:GonzagaG — Josh Perkins — Junior, 6-foot-3, 190 lbs., 12.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.3 apgG — Silas Melson — Senior, 6-foot-4, 194 lbs., 9.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Zach Norvell — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 205 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Killian Tillie — Sophomore, 6-foot-10, 210 lbs., 13.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 apgC — Johnathan Williams — Senior, 6-foot-9, 228 lbs., 13.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.6 apgOhio StateG — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apgG — Kam Williams — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.7 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.8 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 19.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.7 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 10.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.1 apgScouting GonzagaGonzaga has everything that gives Ohio State trouble. It is a team with a significant size advantage that can score from 3 if it needs to and relies on strong post play with big, athletic guards who shoot well. For those reasons, Ohio State was unable to even come remotely close to the Bulldogs in its early season loss. Aside from center, where freshman Kaleb Wesson has a 42-pound advantage over senior Johnathan Williams, Gonzaga is bigger at every position in the starting lineups. The physicality and size advantage is part of the reason the matchup last time was not close.Typically this season, Ohio State has been able to outscore its opponents in the paint and win the battles on the glass. But against Gonzaga, Ohio State was outscored in the paint 36-22 and outrebounded 35-31. This is not an uncommon trend for Gonzaga this season. The Bulldogs have the fifth-highest 2-point scoring success rate of any team in the country at 58.7 percent and hold opponents to a miniscule 43.7 percent rate, sixth-lowest in the nation. They have also dominated opponents on both sides of the court in rebounding, owning the sixth-highest rebounding margin in the country at plus-8.6.Gonzaga is not just a big team, however. It also possesses quite a lot of speed and athleticism. Against Ohio State, it scored nine fast-break points to the Buckeyes’ zero and converted 17 points off turnovers. This type of offense is one that could give the Buckeyes plenty of issues the second time around. Ohio State has struggled against teams with a fast-pace offense and against any team with a size advantage. Likely no player will give Ohio State more issues again than junior guard Josh Perkins. Standing 6-foot-3, he is taller than either of the Buckeyes’ starting guards and gave the team a lot of issues in the first meeting. He dropped 20 points on the Buckeyes in the last game between the teams, making 6-of-9 3s and two free throws. Though he is not quite of the same caliber as Penn State sophomore guard Tony Carr, who has combined to score 83 points in his team’s three wins against Ohio State, Perkins’ ability to both score from 3 (40.4 percent 3-point success rate) and inside (49.6 percent 2-point success rate) combined with his size and athleticism will provide the Buckeyes with a significant challenge. Where’s Wesson?For the first time this season, Wesson played fewer than 10 minutes. The freshman center logged just seven minutes in his team’s 81-73 win against South Dakota State while the team deployed a smaller lineup that leaned heavily on Wesson’s older brother, sophomore forward Andre Wesson, and a trio of guards. Wesson made his first career start against Gonzaga and fouled out after recording 25 minutes. But in his second game against the Bulldogs, he will need to be ready to give the Buckeyes even more minutes. The drastic size disadvantage for Ohio State means the team will need its biggest player to provide production in the paint if it hopes to come away with the win.The Bottom LineOhio State and Gonzaga play very similar games. Both can score from beyond the arc when they need to and both tend to dominate in the paint. But Gonzaga plays the same game significantly better than Ohio State.This Ohio State team could be better than the one that lost 86-59 to Gonzaga on Nov. 23, but this is still one of the toughest possible second-round matchups the Buckeyes could have drawn. It would be a major surprise if the Buckeyes came away with the win.Prediction:Gonzaga wins 82-68 read more