Our Perspective

      • Road to Rio: Empowerment, accountability and the rule of law | Magdy Martinez-Soliman

        07 May 2012

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        In South Sudan, UNDP is supporting legal education and research to lay a strong foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society. Photo: UNDP

        Sustainable development is about ever-widening inclusiveness and transformation of impoverished people into empowered and informed citizens.  It is about governments being held accountable for the decisions they make. The three strands of sustainable development must go hand in hand along with civil and political rights. From our perspective, sustainable development must entail human development and democratic governance.  Why is it so crucial?  Because it is the poorest in the world who will bear the brunt of unsustainable practices, as their livelihoods and welfare are most closely linked to natural resources. Sustainable development boils down to the fundamental question of whether people have the opportunities to know their rights, claim their rights, voice their concerns and influence their future, and whether decision makers can be held accountable for policies that impact communities, their environments and livelihoods. ‘Triple win’ development policies can regenerate the global commons by integrating social development with economic growth and environmental sustainability.  Governance is the glue that binds together the three strands in policy and practice. Law and regulatory reforms should serve as a means to resetting the balance between economic efficiency, social fairness and environmental sustainability. This requires that legal and regulatory frameworks be assessed from a sustainabilityRead More

      • Road to Rio: What should replace the MDGs? | Rebeca Grynspan

        01 May 2012

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        A worker of "Cooperative Café Timor", Timor-Leste’s largest employer, raises a handful of coffee beans (UN Photo/Martine Perret)

        The main objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are as relevant today as before: to free people everywhere from hunger and poverty, ensure that they can live healthy lives, have access to basic education, sanitation, and clean drinking water, and that men and women are guaranteed equal rights, placing human development at the centre of the debate. Much progress has been made, such as halving extreme poverty, reducing infant deaths by nearly 12,000 fewer children each day and increasing the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS 13-fold. But we are still a long way from achieving some of the goals and targets, including reducing maternal mortality and empowering women and girls.  Extreme poverty will only have been reduced by half as compared to 1990 levels, but not eradicated.  Achieving the MDGs by our target date must remain a top priority and the international community must not lose its focus and momentum on achieving the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.  In thinking about the post-2015 agenda, we must ensure that our approach reaches those left behind or at risk of being left behind: the poorest of the poor and those disadvantaged, stigmatized, or discriminated against because of their sex,Read More

      • Haiti: The key to recovery | Marc-Andre Franche

        25 Apr 2012

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        Haiti’s ability to successfully manage people and resources, establish and enforce norms, monitor and report progress, is foundational to its development. Photo: UNDP

        The difference in Port-au-Prince today is striking. The visible progress is testament to the limitless dedication of Haitians towards rebuilding their country. It also shows unprecedented support from the international community. As the humanitarian effort winds down, it is crucial to understand Haiti will continue to face humanitarian situations, but these must be integrated into medium and long-term recovery and development strategies.  The international community cannot forget Haiti and must scale up the quality and quantity of its support.  In particular, support should ensure Haitians are genuinely front and center of the reconstruction process.  For their part, Haitians and in particular the economic and political elites must revive the extraordinary sense of unity and solidarity which was so moving after the earthquake.  Urgent decisions on realistic actions plans that count on actual available resources are needed.  Agreements between the legislative and executive and between ministries regarding division of labor and issues of leadership are critical for any progress to materialize. Furthermore, improving the quality of aid requires new focus and investments to build durable Haitian institutions.  Haiti’s ability to successfully manage people and resources, establish and enforce norms, monitor and report progress, is foundational to its development. The government and theRead More

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