NYT on Yunus: What happened to reporting in the “paper of record?” (12/11/02)

 Bjoern Sigurdsoen’s  photo of Muhammad Yunus and Taslima Begum (a borrower from Grameen Bank, the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) accompanied yesterday’s New York Times story by Walter Gibbs, “Nobel Winner Warns of Dangers of Globilization.”  Mark had emailed it to me last night.  I found it interesting to read the account in the paper of record.

After writing about Yunus’s comments on globalization, Gibbs continued:

Dr. Yunus, 66, then took a direct jibe at the United States for its war on terror, telling about 1,000 dignitaries at Oslo’s City Hall that recent American military campaigns in Iraq and elsewhere had diverted global resources and attention from a more pressing project: halving worldwide poverty by 2015, as envisaged by the United Nations six years ago.

Is this a news account?  I’m also amused that the reporter makes no mention, unlike writers for other papers of where to find the original text of the lecture  online. Actually,  Yunus spoke of September 11 in the second paragraph of his speech, long before his comments on globalization.  Yunus mentions world leaders first and then the United States as a big spender in the war on terrorism.  I’d say  the characterization “direct jibe” is more commentary than factual reportage.  Here is that portion of the lecture in its entirety. 

The new millennium began with a great global dream. World leaders gathered at the United Nations in 2000 and adopted, among others, a historic goal to reduce poverty by half by 2015.  Never in human history had such a bold goal been adopted by the entire world in one voice, one that specified time and size. But then came September 11 and the Iraq war, and suddenly the world became derailed from the pursuit of this dream, with the attention of world leaders shifting from the war on poverty to the war on terrorism. Till now over $ 530 billion has been spent on the war in Iraq by the USA alone.

I believe terrorism cannot be won over by military action. Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest language. We must stand solidly against it, and find all the means to end it. We must address the root causes of terrorism to end it for all time to come. I believe that putting resources into improving the lives of the poor people is a better strategy than spending it on guns.

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