An economy does not grow easily in the midst of a crossfire. The United Nations opens its 70th session on September 15, and later this month diplomats are poised to adopt a new approach to global development. If you thought that eradicating global poverty was about feeding the hungry, providing medicine to the sick and advancing women’s right in poorer parts of the world, think again. The new U.N. development agenda — known as the Sustainable Development Goals — asks countries to combat terrorism and transnational organized crime. This is a controversial but necessary addition. The United States should lead on implementing this new agenda — not only to make poverty history, but to increase our national security.
Security and development go hand and hand, just consider the negative consequences of insecurity around the world. Studies find that areas experiencing terrorism have 10 percent slower growth than surrounding areas ten years down the road. In the Middle East, the World Bank considers IS responsible for a 16-percent loss in welfare capital in Iraq and a 11 percent loss in Lebanon. In East Africa, Al Qaeda–influenced terrorist group Al Shabaab’s attacks in Kenya have hurt the tourist economy, for which it relies on for 12 percent of GDP. The attacks undoubtedly contributed to London-based Fitch Ratings Inc.’s recent downgrading of the country from “stable” to “negative.”
Read the full article in The National Interest here.
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