Top Devex Quotables of 2012

By Devex Editor 18 December 2012

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Quotes are stories in themselves. And some of this year’s one- or two-liners do a better job of arguing for women’s empowerment and sustainable development than a full-page narrative on these pressing issues.

Over the past year, we featured the wittiest, most contentious and most insightful sound bites on global development in our publications and posted them on our social media channels. You’ve liked and shared them on Facebook; on that basis, and along with our own favorites, we compiled the 15 most memorable Devex Quotables of 2012. In order of publication or statement date:

“[S]o often the big resoures to support a country only come when it is plunged into severe crisis, when a stitch in time might have saved nine.”

– Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Program
Feb. 13

“We need to help companies find profit opportunities abroad, not photo opportunities.”

– Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development 
March 7

“Money alone does not buy better health. Good policies that promote equity have a better chance.”

– Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization
April 2

“It’s not good enough to say you know about poverty. You have to live it.”

– Ngozi Okono-Iweala, finance minister of Nigeria
April 9

“In the future, regional and global power and national stability will be determined not by who controls arms, but by who controls access to medicines.”

– Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS
June 6

“There’s no copy-and-paste system in foreign aid.”

– Atifete Jahjaga, president of Kosovo
June 11

“It is shocking that we have the most complex and strict rules on all sorts of products from bananas to iPods, but no global rules for trading tanks, machine guns and bullets. This needs to change.”

– Nicolas Vercken, spokesperson of Oxfam
June 13

“We all must move from a greed economy to a green economy.”

– Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia
June 22

“Neither peace, development nor human rights can flourish in an atmosphere of corruption.”

– Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations
July 9

“Electing Sudan to the U.N. body mandated to promote and protect human rights worldwide is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter.”

– Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch
July 12

“As long as countries wave chequebooks over our heads, we can never be equal.”

– Louise Mushikiwabo, foreign affairs minister of Rwanda
Aug. 1 (published)

“There is no silver bullet to change the world, but educating girls is like silver buckshot.”

– Nicholas D. Kristof, columnist at The New York Times
Sept. 12

“We usually say there is always a ‘Plan B,’ but there is no ‘Planet B.’”

– Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations
Sept. 28

“The point is not for the giver to have a good feeling, but for the people we’re trying to help to have a good feeling.”

– Bill Gates, philanthropist
Oct. 9

“Increased food yields do not necessarily mean a decrease in hunger; they just mean more food. Who is going to get access to that food is a different issue.”

– Justin Kilcullen, director of Trocaire
Oct. 17

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