Renowned economist, Jeffrey Sachs, who is presently a UN consultant on the Millennium Targets project, says the proposal by Brazil to exclude government spending by poor nations on housing and basic sanitation from primary account calculations is very interesting.
The proposal was formally presented by minister of Cities, Olivio Dutra, at the II World Urban Forum which is taking place in Spain.
Sachs called the idea “a practical manner to deal with the problem of social development,” and said he saw a strong desire by the Brazilian Ministry of Cities to engage in strategic, long-term efforts that were of great importance.
Representatives from Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, India and Thailand have expressed interest in the Brazilian proposal.
“Although each country is different, there are many things they have in common. Among those things are problems with urbanization, social exclusion, poverty and difficulties in funding sanitation and housing,” declared Dutra.
Sachs went on to say that the idea of a world summit to discuss hunger combat, proposed by president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was praiseworthy (the summit begins on September 20 in New York).
“This is the time for nations such as Brazil to raise their voices …It is not a good idea to have the discussion on things like the environment and poverty conducted exclusively by rich nations like the United States,” he said.
Reporter: Juliana Andrade
Translator: Allen Bennett