Tom Arnold and Moral Responsibility
At an earlier stage of his career, he worked for the European Commission on Agricultural Policy and on development programmes, representing the Commission for three years in the Ivory Coast and Malawi. Tom was Chairman of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Committee of Agriculture (1993 – 1998). In 2003, he was appointed to the UN Millennium Project Hunger Task Force (2003 - 2004), established by Kofi Annan to devise a strategy to halve world hunger by 2015.
Tom was a member of the Irish Hunger Task Force (2007 - 2008), which was charged with proposing a strategy through which Ireland could make a distinctive contribution towards ending world hunger. He is a member of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s 2020 Advisory Council and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund’s Advisory Group.
At European level, he is chairman of the European Food Security Group, a network of 40 European NGOs engaged in food and hunger work and is Vice-chair of the Trans Atlantic Food Aid Dialogue – an alliance of American, European and Canadian NGOs working on the reform of international food aid.
Tom was recently appointed to the trust governing the Irish Times, Ireland’s leading newspaper and to the Irish government’s Commission on Taxation.
Tom Arnold is a graduate in Agricultural Economics from University College Dublin and has Masters Degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin.
Question: Does the North have moral duty to improve living conditions in the South?
Arnold: I do think there’s a deep moral responsibility that, you know, as the Good Book says, I am my brother’s keeper. I think, to some extent, there is that. Of course, the developed world can only do so much. At the end of the day, developing countries have to take their own responsibility, their political leaders. They have to be the ones that set the standards, that implement the policies, and I think what has happened over recent years, particularly since the Millennium Development Goals have been agreed, there’s been a greater sense of interdependence of responsibility. The primary responsibility and the primary ownership for development has to rest with the countries themselves, with the politicians and the people of those countries. But then, we do need to help those countries in structured and sustained way in order to, you know, in order to achieve development.
The CEO says developed countries do have an obligation to less developed countries.
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