CQ Global Researcher
As Bashar Assad’s government slaughtered thousands of civilian protesters in Syria, the United Nations stood impotent, blocked from intervening by Russian and Chinese vetoes. The inaction contrasts with U.N. success stopping similar atrocities during the uprising that overthrew Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Some critics charge the U.N. is too heavily influenced by authoritarian countries, while others say it is dominated by industrial democracies. Nevertheless, many U.N. agencies quietly feed the hungry, aid needy children and enable mail and aircraft to move smoothly across borders.
Are traditional powerhouses losing their edge?
The industrial democracies are beginning to lose their traditional dominance in science and technology — not because they are doing less, but because the rest of the world is doing more. Developing countries are increasing their share of patents and R&D spending. International scientific collaborations are on the upswing, Western universities are building branches overseas, and multinational corporations are locating high-tech operations abroad. Traditional powerhouses won't be replaced soon, however, in part because developing countries’ educational systems don't yet nurture innovation.
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