Our Perspective

      • Africa's renaissance deserves continued support | Helen Clark

        24 May 2013

        Women in Burundi recycle waste as part of a programme to reintegrate returnees and ex-combatants into society. (Photo: UNDP Burundi)

        Many African countries have made significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.  Many more children, including girls, are getting an education than ever before. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty is falling.  The numbers of women elected to legislatures is growing, and the tide is turning on HIV. Meanwhile, there has been a rise in trade, investment and development cooperation with emerging economies, which have been successful in the fight against poverty. Over the past decade, nearly half the financing of infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa was provided by governments and regional funds from elsewhere in the South. The rise of Africa is thus associated with a rising South overall. A significant number of developing countries have transformed themselves into dynamic emerging economies with growing influence, and the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has fallen from 43 percent to 22 percent. This good news has been the result of pragmatic economic strategies, innovative social policies, and the willingness of proactive developing states to invest in physical infrastructure and human development. Africa’s battle against poverty and hunger is not yet over, but at UNDP we are confident  it can and will be won. The challenge now isRead More

      • Indigenous peoples’ political inclusion enriches democracy in Latin America | Heraldo Muñoz

        23 May 2013

        "Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions." - Article 5 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UN Photo)

        One of the most significant roles of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is to help boost indigenous peoples’ political participation. It is crucial to ensure that all people participate in political life and are active decision-makers—especially indigenous peoples. This is essential to overcome historical inequalities and discrimination. In Latin America and the Caribbean there are approximately 50 million indigenous peoples, about 10 percent of the total population. In Peru and Guatemala indigenous peoples account for almost half of the population, while in Bolivia they are more than 60 percent. Even though in Mexico indigenous peoples cover only 10 percent of the total population, Mexico and Peru contain the region’s largest indigenous population: about 11 million people. Mexico, for example, is advancing the ‘coexistence’ of indigenous peoples’ legal systems with the national legal system. It is not an easy process. The indigenous peoples’ representation at local and national levels, including dispute resolution methods, can differ widely and also spark tensions. However, indigenous peoples have shown that they are aware of how modern democracies work, as well as the limitations imposed to their political participation. For this reason, indigenous peoples have been adapting their traditional knowledge systems and their institutionsRead More

      • Post-2015: Participatory, responsive institutions must top the agenda | Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

        06 May 2013

        A participant casts her ballot at a mock elections training in Kenya. (Photo: Ricardo Gangale/UNDP Kenya)

        The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been instrumental in affecting development progress over the past decade, characterized in the latest Human Development Report with “the rise of the South”. However, a lot still remains to be done as the gap between the richest and the poorest, within countries and across countries, has kept growing. As we just passed the 1000-day mark before the deadline for achieving the MDGs, much remains to be done. The United Nations is pulling out all the stops to accelerate progress towards the MDGs by the deadline of 2015. Delivering on the MDGs’ promise has been met with numerous challenges, including governance failures and accountability gaps, a reality that has been acknowledged by a range of development players.   There is a growing acknowledgement of governance failures and accountability gaps as bottlenecks in the context of the MDGs. The Global Thematic Consultation on Governance, part of a global conversation through which people can help shape the next global development agenda, considered the following key issues: -  who should be  responsible for ensuring the achievement of Post-2015 goals -  how to align global governance goals and targets with international commitments -  how to tailor them as needed atRead More