Ten or so years ago we were all talking about the turn of the millennium, the Y2K bug, things like that.

At the United Nations, they were talking about Millennium Development Goals. 

Now I'll admit, I'm not the greatest fan of the United Nations. Not because I think it is a bad idea, or because I think the people involved are not committed to the idea of global harmony - of course they are!

I just think that the United Nations promises a lot but does not necessarily deliver. A lot of that can be put down to (what else!) politics. Alliances, ideals, history ... they can all get in the way of finding a united voice. And the result is a whole lot of Security Council resolutions which remain ignored.

And so now we have this review of the Millennium Development Goals ... the plans to halve poverty and hunger by 2015, to improve education prospects ... all brilliant and important ideas, but with five years to go, one has to question how close they are to being achieved.

On CTC this week, we'll take you to Indonesia and Africa to see if things are improving there. Short story is "they are not''... and while that may not be a direct result of a failure of the Millennium Goals, it does perhaps highlight that big ideas don't necessarily trickle down to those who need them.

What is the answer? I wish I knew. Putting together this weeks show, I must admit to a slight feeling of hopelessness - global problems like poverty and hunger just seem too big to solve sometimes. 

And to that end, I take my hat off to the UN for at least trying, and not ignoring the problem altogether.

Last week on CTC

We had such a great response to last week's programme ... ironically a week when I was so busy, that I didn't write a blog! 

If you missed it, it was about the huge arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia. I think it was something to do with the contrast between that in the first half, and the horrible stories of living below the poverty line in the US in part two. As I said on-air, there is just always money for war. Sad, but true. 

Anyway, if you'd like to watch it again (or for the first time) it'll be on the main CTC page under the title A big deal.

One year of me!

This week marks one year since I started hosting CTC

Before me, Lauren Taylor was the main host (she is now in our London news centre) with a few others filling in when she was away. 

Back then CTC was still in its infancy, but I was determined to make it - and business news as a whole - more accessible, more understandable, more digestible and more interesting. I hope in the past year I've managed to achieve that, or at least gone some way towards it.

So you know, I really do thoroughly enjoy bringing this show to you every week, and am still quite tickled when I get feedback from viewers - it is great to know you're watching and enjoying what we put together.

And as I look at my twitter account right now, I have 174 followers ... which is about 174 more than I expected, so thank you all 174 of you!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2030; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0130, 1630; Monday: 0830; Tuesday: 0600.

Source: Al Jazeera