Extraordinary political changes in the year since former army general Thein Sein came to power in Myanmar have prompted European powers to ease restrictions on the isolated nation, raising questions whether such rewards are too little or too much.
European leaders have mapped out a bold agenda ahead of the Rio summit, vowing to transform development aid, help provide renewable electricity to the world’s neediest people, and bulk up the United Nations environment body.
Europe’s apparent failure to forge broad agreement on introducing a financial transactions tax marks the latest setback for organisations counting on a similar worldwide fee to fund development aid in austere times.
Representatives of the world’s poorest nations are preparing to assemble a new "programme of action" to reduce grinding poverty. Among proposals that could emerge from the U.N. Least Developed Countries Conference in Istanbul next month is a global tax on financial transactions that would generate billions of dollars a year for development assistance.
Pakistan is still reeling from flooding that caused one of the world's costliest natural disasters in 2010, with millions of people lacking shelter, infrastructure in ruins and donations falling short of appeals. But worse may come.