Tom Arnold on Development Success Stories
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: What countries stand out as models for sustainable development?
Arnold: You have a number of success stories in Africa in the last 15 to 20 years. A country like Ghana has achieved substantial growth rates. There’s some countries in Southern Africa who are also doing quite well. In Asia, I was in Bangladesh a couple of weeks ago, and that’s a country facing enormous challenges, but there’s 150 million people living the country, something twice the size of Ireland. I don't know what the appropriate level of state in United States it is, but it’s a small piece of land. And, you know, they’ve been growing against all the odds and surviving the [IB] with poverty, but they’re still making some progress, and obviously there are some other cases, particularly in Asia, places like Cambodia, who, you know, have came out with dreadful internal conflict 30-odd years ago and have made a lot of progress. So, I think the foundation stones have to be good governance. I think countries have to invest in education. Obviously, set and get, find some way of partnership between governments and civil society, and governments, I think, have to be willing to give the space to civil society to enable them to make a contribution and enable at, over time, institutional development, both at governmental and at non-governmental level to development. And that is ultimately, I think, what needs to be done in a country, and obviously, good, well grounded policy, policy is important. I mean, policy that will put a… in a country, for example, that has a big proportion of its economy dealing in agriculture, that has to be a, you know, a due focus on that, and I think the food crisis earlier this year brought at home to people that for the last 20 to 30 years agriculture and rural development, as a sector, has largely been neglected, and there is a dawning on the leaders, both at national and international level, that has to change.
The CEO mentions Ghana and Bangladesh as two positive cases in international development.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.