19 April 2013
Today, we present César Seoánez Erkell. He is an insurance broker and he is working on a FIIAPP project in Turkey to prevent the contamination of water.
Name of the Project: IPPC – Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
How long have you been in the country? 27 months
Why did you decide to pack your bags and collaborate with the FIIAPP abroad?
Because it was a very good professional opportunity, both because of the theme of the project and because of the working conditions, in an environment in which you collaborate with many people from different countries and you learn every day. I’d already had a similar experience on another Twinning project in Romania and it was very positive, which encouraged me to get involved with this project.
What is your job?
My main objective is to guarantee that the project achieves its goals, meeting the needs of the beneficiary Turkish institution. That means being a communication channel between the Turkish civil servants, fully understanding what needsthey have and what they want us to do, and the Spanish civil servants (and Polish in the case of this project), indicating to them precisely what is asked of them, providing them with the necessary information, coordinating their work and reviewing all the documents so that both sides are fully satisfied with the work done. The work also involves planning and adapting the activities according to the needs of all the parties involved.
What are the positive and negative aspects of working there?
Positive: getting to know another country, the people, other ways of working and tackling problems, making contacts.
Negative: the factors that are beyond our control and which are sometimes missing, such as the engagement, support and decision-making related to the proposals of the project by some at the senior levels of the Ministry.
Have you had any experience in cooperation before this project?
Yes, another Twinning project in Romania.
How would you define the experience?
Excellent, with a heavy workload, but excellent.
11 April 2013
Interview with Rebeca Grynspan: Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the UNDP
The2013 Human Development Reportreveals the “rise of the South” and the importance of human growth going hand in hand with economic growth.
Often, we create a false dichotomy between economic matters and human development. We believe that economic growth is necessary but not sufficient. Without investment in human capital, the sustainability of growth is doubtful. I think that countries such as Costa Rica or countries in Asia or Africa are doing very well because they have expanded the educational base in order to be able to sustain economic development.The expansion of the middle classes requires better governments, better services and better institutions.
One of the challenges presented by the report is climate change. Are the North and the South equally affected by this issue?
Climate change will affect the whole world, rich and poor. The difference is that the poorest countries, with more vulnerable groups, do not have the resources to adapt to climate change nor the strength to prevent natural phenomena from destroying the progress and improvement they have managed to make in recent years. It is not that developed countries do not have problems, it also affects them, but they have the investment. We have advocated social protection systems to protect the sectors which are most vulnerable to natural disasters. We have also advocated more international resources so that countries can adapt to these meteorological phenomena.
The rise of the South is changing the world and also the cooperation models. What role does a programme likeEUROsociAL, from the FIIAPP, play in the exchange of experiences and horizontal cooperation with Latin America?
There are countries with medium income levels that are living better than before but which still have many development challenges. They have a great need for horizontal cooperation, especially with regard to sharing knowledge and mobilising human resources. Of course, in that, EUROsociAL can do a great deal of good work.
04 April 2013
Interview: Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the FAO.
The Spanish minister García-Margallo together with the Director-General of the FAO
Can we now speak of the fulfilment of one of the MDGs, that of reducing extreme poverty by half?
Yes, there are now 45 countries that have managed to reduce extreme poverty a thousand days ahead of time, and there are others that are on course to achieve it. The great challenge is Asia. Half of the starving people in the world are in South Asia. Even so, in Asia, 300 million people have been brought out of extreme poverty through rural development and employment.The Chinese model is now being copied in other countries and that could be the solution.
It is not a utopia. We are not talking about sending a robot to Mars, we are talking about ending hunger. In Africa, there are some 50 million people dedicated to subsistence agriculture. If we can improve their situation and enable them to access local markets, we will be on the right track to end hunger in Africa.
What is the greatest mistake we have made and which we must not repeat in the future?
For over half a century, we have addressed hunger through an increase in food production. We have now realised that it is not enough to produce, we have to be consumers, and for that we have to have money and to have money you have to have a good job, etc.
How can we explain the rise in food prices in recent months?
It is an economic cycle. Since the 1970s, prices have been very low and that discouraged investment and farmers have become poor. Now, the situation is more favourable and what we have to do is open up markets such as Japan or Europe to developing countries so they can have good markets and prices.
What are the challenges for the future?
There are still 870 million hungry people in the world, so there is still a lot to do. What can we do? It is vital to improve governance on the question of food security and turn hunger and extreme poverty into a political matter, a national commitment. The decision to eradicate hunger should be taken by society, the private sector, NGOs and governments.