Our Perspective

      • Rio+20: What are the parameters of success? | Nils Boesen

        15 Jun 2012

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        Community mobilization and participatory approach in Haiti involves people in building their homes, neighborhoods and cities in accordance with their expectations and needs. Photo: UNDP Haiti

        We are in the midst of a tectonic shift - from the post-World War 2 order to a new, very different order where new powers arise. But not only, as so often depicted, through the rise of new nations and economies. Important as they are, there is more to it than the welcome arrival of the “BRICS” –the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, seen as the leading emerging economies. The broader tectonic shift is the move away from nation states being the dominant players to a much more diverse, complex - and exciting - multi-faceted set of players influencing (as opposed to single-handedly governing) the directions of change. Think civil society linking up and using social media. Think global corporations doing the same, and developing new corporate social responsibility approaches far beyond cosmetics. Think universities and think-tanks actively fostering innovations - be they social, technological, or managerial. And, not least, think cities (and maybe, even city-states, as competitors/alternatives/supplements to nation-states) with their amazing mass of energy, power and resources, and how they address sustainable development challenges - nearly by default across the strands of the social, economic, environmental and the technological. Little wonder that with such a mass of actors, interests Read More

      • World must come together to reframe development | Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau

        12 Jun 2012

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        SCHOOLGIRL IN ADDIS-ABABA, ETHIOPIA. KOREA IS INCREASING ITS OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE. PHOTO: UN PHOTO ESKINDER DEBEBE

        The rise of Asia, economic challenges in the West, the increasing importance of foundations and the private sector in development mean global development partnerships must be broader than ever before.  It must also reflect the aspirations of the poor and marginalized, who are demanding to be heard. At the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2011, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and emerging countries, traditional donors, developing nations, the private sector, civil society and other groups came together to endorse a new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The broad consensus reached at Busan lights the way for the world to work together in reframing development after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. Consultations on a new development framework are underway. The United Nations is leading a comprehensive process within countries and regions on global themes to help build consensus. This is why 13 Asian nations are sharing views on what should come next . Their recommendations should feed into the post-2015 consultation process, which is as important as the end result.  If all actors do not buy in, the new framework will not work. The Republic of Korea Read More

      • Road to Rio: People's voluntary involvement is key | Flavia Pansieri

        04 Jun 2012

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        One of the local volunteers participating in the UNV Sudan supported Diversity campaign in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Ayman Suliman

        Volunteering is a key driver of the changes needed in our societies to achieve sustainable development. If we - each one of us - don't engage, participate and be the change we seek, how can we expect to build a sustainable future for generations to come? Every single person is acting for sustainable development, by helping friends and family, by recycling waste, by teaching the kids how to turn off the tap. Most people engage voluntarily without even thinking about it, just because they know it is the right thing to do. Some people volunteer further, and get involved in development or environmental action for a week, for a month, for a year. Their work, big or small, might sometimes go unnoticed to the world. But their actions count in the communities that benefit from their hard work. That is where the power of volunteering comes in. Recent comparative international studies give an idea of the scope of volunteerism. For example, the Gallup World Poll (GWP) concludes that 16 per cent of adults worldwide volunteer for an organization. The Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project (CNP) finds that the number of volunteers contributing through voluntary organizations in 36 countries, taken together, Read More

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