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F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2
accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in
Baghdad to understand the concerns.
Now, Tiefer emphasizes, “State will
have its own private army of security
contractors, and they haven’t dealt with
things on this scale.”
State Department officials acknow-
ledge they have never done anything
quite like the Iraq transition, but they
are determined to succeed. “Make no
mistake, this is hard,” Deputy Secre-
tary of State for Management and Re-
sources Thomas Nides told the
ington Post
in October. But, he added,
“We’ve spent too much money and lost
too many kids’ lives not to do this thing
Susan Brady Maitra,
Senior Editor
Environmental Trends
Point the Wrong Way
Development progress in the
world’s poorest countries could be
halted or even reversed by mid-cen-
tury unless bold steps are taken now to
slow climate change, prevent further
environmental damage, and reduce
deep inequalities within and among
nations. That is according to projec-
tions in the 2011 Human Develop-
ment Report, which the United
Nations Development Program
issued on Nov. 2, 2011.
Titled “Sustainability and Equity:
A Better Future for All,” the 2011 re-
port argues that environmental sus-
tainability can be most fairly and
effectively achieved by addressing
health, education, income and gender
disparities, and by taking action glob-
ally on energy production and ecosys-
tem protection.
The report was released in Copen-
hagen by UNDP Administrator Helen
Clark and Danish Prime Minister
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, whose new
government has pledged to reduce
Denmark’s carbon dioxide emissions
by a dramatic 40 percent over the next
10 years. Here are some key findings
and regional highlights from the study:
• Norway, Australia and the Neth-
erlands lead the world in the 2011
Human Development Index, while the
Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Niger and Burundi are at the bottom
of the annual rankings of national
achievement in health, education and
• The United States, New Zealand,
Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Ger-
many and Sweden round out the top
10 countries in the 2011 HDI. But
when the index is adjusted to take into
account internal inequalities in health,
education and income, some of the
wealthiest nations drop out of the
HDI’s top 20. For instance, the U.S.
falls from number four to 23, the Re-
public of Korea from 15 to 32, and Is-
rael from 17 to 25.
• By 2050, projecting recent posi-
tive regional human development
trends forward, sub-Saharan Africa’s
average Human Development Index
rating could rise by an estimated 44
percent. Conversely, failure to reduce
environmental risks and income in-
equalities could stall or even reverse
economic progress.
• Arab countries have made steady
progress over the past 40 years in in-
come, education and health care.
However, Human Development Index
rankings for the 19 states surveyed
show extremely divergent patterns.
The United Arab Emirates (30), Qatar
(37) and Bahrain (42) all rank in the
top quarter of nations, while Sudan
(169), Djibouti (165) and Yemen (154)
are in the lowest grouping.
• Pollution, deforestation and rising
sea levels threaten development in the
island nations of Asia and the Pacific,
while South Asia must overcome acute
poverty and internal inequalities to
maintain current rates of progress.
• Throughout Eastern Europe and
Central Asia, human development lev-
els continue to rise, with greater equal-
ity than other areas of the developing
world. However, internal income gaps
are widening in many countries, and
environmental deterioration could po-
tentially further undermine hard-won
progress in the region.
• Latin American and Caribbean
nations are reducing wide income in-
equalities, even as many of them take
steps to address deforestation and
other environmental threats. Still, the
report urges even bolder action, both
by individual nations and across the
hemisphere, to address rising sea lev-
els and other climate change chal-
— Steven Alan Honley, Editor
State Celebrates Diplomacy
In November the Department of
State launched a new Web site,
cover Diplomacy
), t
highlight the myriad ways in which
“diplomacy and international issues af-
fect individual citizens, as well as gov-
ernments and businesses worldwide.”
Aimed at the general public, the site
invites visitors to “discover the people
who conduct diplomacy, the places
where the Department of State en-
gages in diplomacy, and the issues
diplomacy helps resolve.”
Through a Diplomacy 101 portal,
visitors can click on an interactive map
to learn what issues selected posts are
working on, consult a diplomatic dic-
tionary that defines common (and not
so common) terms, and much more.
— Steven Alan Honley, Editor