To CBG faculty, staff, fellows and friends:
For the past seven years, CBG has benefited from
close cooperation with the Boston area business community through
the CBG Leadership Council. This outstanding group of business
leaders helps shape our mission and priorities. In turn, at quarterly
breakfast meetings and other CBG events, our faculty and fellows
share with them our understanding of critical policy challenges,
both domestic and global.
Last week the Leadership Council breakfast focused
on two significant global challenges: the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic
in the developing world and the implications of the Iraq war on
the future role of the United Nations.
Diana Barrett of the Harvard Business School,
my co-chair in a Harvard-wide project on HIV/AIDS as a business
challenge, led the first discussion. "Every day is like three
9/11's," she reported -- some 15,000 around the world die
from the disease daily. But she also outlined the extraordinary
steps the business community has taken to promote awareness, prevention
and even treatment - in Africa, firms such as AngloAmerican, Heineken,
Coca-Cola and DaimlerChrysler have taken the lead because governments
lack the capacity, and in some instances the will, to respond
adequately to the pandemic.
Next week, we were scheduled to hold a workshop
in Beijing on the looming HIV/AIDS crisis in China. However, the
spread of SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) caused us to
postpone the workshop for the time being. There are reports from
world health authorities that SARS could have been headed off
last November by quick and effective action in Guangdong province.
Instead, its incidence was downplayed and the World Health Organization
denied access. It is ironic that our main message in Beijing was
going to be that China would be much better off in dealing with
HIV/AIDS by fully acknowledging the crisis and seeking assistance
I then led off what turned into a spirited discussion
of whether the UN diplomatic train wreck that preceded the military
campaign in Iraq will be repeated once the war is over. Indications
are that it may: other nations, including the United Kingdom,
believe that UN endorsement of the process of selecting a new
Iraqi government is essential to securing its legitimacy, and
that broad international involvement in Iraqi reconstruction will
help share the burden. In contrast, senior members of the Bush
administration have stated that those who fought the war will
have the greatest say in making the peace, and while the UN should
play some postwar role, especially in humanitarian matters, it
will not be central. Thus, today's Bush-Blair Belfast summit may
prove decisive - not only for the future of Iraq, but also for
the United Nations itself.
Elizabeth Bulette, Associate Director of CBG,
is our point person for the Leadership Council. For further information,
including full membership privileges, please contact her at elizabeth
Of course, other work continues at CBG. A few highlights: Prof.
Rob Stavins is preparing for his next Executive Program on Understanding
Environmental Economics; Prof. Dick Light and Senior Fellow
Tom Healey have just hosted the second session of their Young
Faculty Leaders Forum this past weekend; and the Regulatory
Policy Program is gearing up for two separate panel sessions
in April, the first on "Mission Impossible: The New Agenda
at the SEC" (April 14, 6:00pm) and the second on "Blowing
the Whistle" (April 23, 4:30pm). I encourage you to check
out our website for more information: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/cbg.
We live in an extraordinary period of fundamental
and rapid change. None of us has any monopoly on wisdom and insight.
But CBG - and the Kennedy School as a whole - is a precious resource
at this time more than ever, offering informed dialogue and a
neutral space for honest discussion. I feel privileged to be part
of it all.
John G. Ruggie
Weil Director, Center for Business and Government
Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs