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10 January 2011
Deakin University Professor and Chair of International Development Mark McGillivray has been invited by the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, to join 60 of the world's leading intellectuals at the Dakar Seminar on Global Governance next month.
Seminar invitees include former US Vice-President and Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Nobel Peace Prize winners Martti Ahtisari and Muhammad Yunua, Bottom Billion author and Oxford Professor Paul Collier, author of the Stern Review on Climate Change, Sir Nicholas Stern and Nobel Prize winning economists Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz.
Professor McGillivray, who is based in the University's Alfred Deakin Research Institute (ADRI) said the seminar aimed to address the question of whether humankind is capable of addressing the fundamental issues affecting the world.
"While the question is quite broad, the intention of the conference is to bring together the leading thinkers on the various issues, bring the debate back on track and develop solutions," Professor McGillivray explained.
"Professor Paul Collier, who visited Melbourne as a guest of ADRI last year, outlined his ideas on how developing countries could be helped to capitalise on their natural resources to benefit their populations.
"One of the issues I shall be bringing to the table to be addressed is the basis on which billions of dollars in development aid is allocated by the World Bank and other international aid agencies.
"I first raised this issue in Stockholm last year, but our research shows poorer and more vulnerable countries miss out on vital aid because many agencies allocate aid according to very narrow criteria.
"The global development aid budget in 2009 was $145 billion and over the coming years is predicted to exceed $155 billion per year.
"Much of this aid has or will be allocated according to an allocation system that unfairly penalises not only needy countries but those that are doing all they can to improve the poverty reducing impact of the aid they receive."
Professor McGillivray acknowledged the honour of being included in such a select group of invitees, noting that he "will use the seminar to gather insights that can be built into the international development research program at ADRI, ensuring that it remains at the cutting edge of innovation and policy-relevance."
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