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BBC World Debate: Poverty and Politics

Washington, DC, September 25, 2007

In a unique collaboration involving CommGAP, BBC World and the BBC World Service Trust, a special edition of BBC World’s The World Debate, was recorded at the World Bank's headquarters.

The topic of the debate was Poverty and Politics, and the panelists were specifically asked: What is the most important thing that developing countries can do to improve the lives of their poorest citizens? Is it good governance? Or is it to embrace what some describe as the ‘economic path’, taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by globalization and trade? If it is a combination of both, how can development be achieved in a sustainable and inclusive way? Does private or foreign investment in developing countries threaten or promise sustainable development?


  • Sanjay Pradhan, Director, Public Sector Governance for the World Bank, responsible for providing the strategic direction for the Bank’s work on improving public sector governance and combating corruption.
  • Ashraf Ghani, Chancellor of Kabul University and former Minister of Finance in Afghanistan.
  • Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics at Columbia University and author of In Defense of Globalization.
  • Paul Skinner, Chairman of Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest mining companies. Previously managing director of The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company plc and Group Managing Director of The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies.
  • Tajudeen Rahmann, Deputy Director of the UN Millennium Campaign in Africa, General Secretary of the Pan-African Movement, and a Director of Justice Africa.
  • BBC Moderator: Zeinab Badawi

The debate was aired worldwide during the weekend of October 6 - 7, 2007.

To view the debate, click here (47 minutes)

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