Last Updated July 13, 2006
A term that covers handling biological material, including animals, plants, microorganisms and DNA, safely, whether in the laboratory or in the environment.
An umbrella term that covers groups in democratic and "semi-democratic" countries that work for non-violent change in areas such as civil rights, social assistance and economic reform. In academic terms, the London School of Economics defines Civil Society as "the set of institutions, organizations and behaviour situated between the state, the business world and the family. Specifically, this includes voluntary and non-profit organizations of many different kinds, philanthropic institutions, social and political movements, other forms of social participation and engagement, and the values and cultural patterns associated with them."
The divide in societies and countries between the digital "haves," those with access to high technology such as computers and the Internet, and poorer people and countries who have only marginal or no access to high technology.
G-20 (The Group of 20)
An international forum of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 countries, plus the European Union. According to its Web site, the G-20 "was intended as a forum to discuss, study and review policy issues among industrialized countries and emerging markets with a view to promoting international financial and economic stability." The members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Also included are the finance minister of the country holding the rotating presidency of the European Union, and financial officials from the European Central Bank, the IMF and the World Bank.
A group of seven countries with the world's strongest economies, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union sits at the G7 table as an observer.
The G7 plus the Russian Federation, which participate in summit political talks. Russia does not participate in all the economic meetings.
Genoa Plan for Africa
At the 2001 Genoa Summit, the G8 leaders agreed that there should be a new partnership between the developed world and Africa. As part of this, the G8 said it would support African leaders in their plans for developing their countries, to appoint APRs (Personal representatives for Africa) and to come up with a concrete plan to be discussed at the 2002 Kananaskis Summit. Agreement on conditional economic aid was reached at Kananaskis.
Used by those who believe that the end of the Cold War offers opportunities to build a more co-operative, safer and fairer world. The London School of Economics defines global governance as "a minimum framework of rules necessary to tackle global problems guaranteed by a set of institutions including both international organizations and national governments."
The decline of barriers between cultures and countries caused by easier and faster communications, the growth of global markets, and worldwide transportation systems. Other factors in globalization include problems with the environment, which know no boundaries, the spread of AIDS and international terrorism.
a bureaucratic acronym for "information and communications technology" - in other words, high tech.
International Monetary Fund is a United Nations agency founded in 1945, to "help promote the health of the world economy." The headquarters of the IMF is in Washington, D.C. The aim of the organization is to govern exchange rates and international payments among its 183 member states. The IMF monitors economic conditions in various member countries and often gives advice on how to correct problems. Activist groups, frequent critics of the IMF, say the organization concentrates too much on monetary issues and often ignores social problems.
Economics that looks at all the major forces involved in an economy and the economic relationship between large sectors.
Economics that looks at specific forces in the economy, such as the actions of an individual consumer.
The Millennium Partnership for African Development (MAP) was a plan developed by leaders in Africa to create a program of sustainable development for the continent. This program later became The New Partnership for Africa's Development.
NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development)
A plan by African leaders to create sustainable growth and development, eradicate poverty and become part of the world economy. At the 2001 Genoa Summit, the G8 leaders agreed to support NEPAD and in the December, 2001, budget, the Chrétien government promised $500 million to support African development. At the 2002 Kananaskis Summit, the G8 leaders went further, pledging conditional economic aid and debt relief for Africa.
ODA (Official Development Assistance)
A bureaucratic term for foreign aid.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, passed on September 28, 2001, calling for worldwide action to prevent terrorism.
U. S. government Center for Excellence for Sustainable Development offers this definition: "Sustainable development is a strategy by which communities seek economic development approaches that also benefit the local environment and quality of life."
An agency founded in 1944 to help fund development assistance, largely through loans to national governments. The World Bank website says the bank loaned $17.3 billion US to client countries in 2001. On its website, the World Bank says: "The Bank uses its financial resources, its highly trained staff, and its extensive knowledge base to individually help each developing country onto a path of stable, sustainable, and equitable growth." Activist critics say the World Bank's emphasis on loans has led to the debt crisis facing many developing countries.
WTO (World Trade Organization)
An international organization that governs world trade using trade rules negotiated by member governments, based on the belief that a uniform set of rules helps the exchange of goods and services. Disputes are often sent to the WTO's panels that interpret the agreements and make sure a country's trade policy conforms to WTO rules. On its website, the WTO says it emphasizes negotiations between countries and does not have coercive powers. Activists say the WTO can overrule democratic governments, something the WTO vehemently denies.