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Jeffrey Sachs is is an American economist and co-founder and chief strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and hunger. He is also the[…]

The UN is much maligned, but vital for creating global agreements, Sachs says.

Question: What's the role of the UN?

Sachs:    The UN is a much maligned and yet vital institution for all of us, including the United States.  In the US, the right wing says, oh the UN, that just takes away American prerogatives and that’s the kind of incorrect and simple-minded thinking that has gotten us into other disasters in Iraq and elsewhere.  We need the UN to get global agreements on how to help unstable regions, how to secure peace, and how to face environmental calamities like climate change.  Now, within that context, the UN has engaged in some encouragement of volunteerism.  The global compact, for example, is an initiative to get companies to step up to the challenges of labor rights, human rights, environmental sustainability, and now the millennium development goals, but much more could be done.  A lot of volunteerism in the context of the UN and its specific agencies like UNICEF or like the World Health Organization could play a very important role.  I think it’s a wonderful idea.