Our Perspective

      • The future we want needs legal empowerment and justice | Magdy Martinez

        05 Oct 2012

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        Roma in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Photo: UNDP in Europe & CIS

        The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been successful on many levels. They could be understood by all. They could be implemented universally. They have become the development horizon for 140 governments in the South and the coherent cooperation agenda for another 50 governments of the North. Clear, quantifiable and time-bound goals and targets were at the core of this success. But new challenges have arisen. For development to be effective, inclusive and sustainable, governance values, systems and institutions are needed. Formulation of the post MDG development agenda needs to be a broad-based and inclusive process, which reflects the demands and priorities of the people most impacted by development policy, i.e. the poor and marginalized groups.   Recently, Ms. Aminata Toure, the Minister of Justice of Senegal, noted that while the youth in her country express patience with the slow pace of infrastructure and social development, they will no longer stand the injustice in their society. In last week’s Financial Times, George Soros and Sir Fazle Abed argue that legal identity and birth registration are universal rights and key to the enjoyment of many development goals including education, health and access to employment. It is a goal of legal empowerment of the Read More

      • From the street to the Parliament: A growing democracy | Cihan Sultanoglu

        28 Sep 2012

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        Social mobilization in Iskra Village, Kyrgyzstan. Photo: UNDP Kyrgyzstan

        Kyrgyzstan has become the first country in Central Asia to adopt a parliamentary democracy and UNDP, a key partner in the country since its independence in 1991, played an essential role in helping draft the country’s new constitution. The latest changes in government, in September 2012, were carried out fully in line with this new constitution, and Kyrgyzstan saw a smooth and peaceful transfer of power. UNDP helped organize parliamentary hearings, trainings and study visits for the members of parliament and staff.  We also supported the creation of parliamentary information channels, such as a website, a dedicated radio and TV service. We will continue to work with the Parliament to improve the budgetary process and strengthen the audit system – to further promote accountability. Today, Kyrgyzstan’s government and parliament are closer to representing the voters’ will than anywhere else in Central Asia.  As Parliament Speaker Asylbek Jeenbekov recently said, “Kyrgyzstan is steadily moving from an aggressive street democracy to a parliamentary democracy”. However, high levels of poverty – touching nearly 50% of the population in some regions – youth unemployment, low participation of women in government, corruption, drug trafficking, ethnic tensions and environmental pollution are still challenges the country must face. Read More

      • Youth hold the key to Somalia’s future | Sima Bahous

        28 Sep 2012

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        Today, 73 percent of Somalis are under 30, making theirs one of the world’s youngest countries. © UNDP Photo/Alistair Lyne

        For decades the world has heard only bad news from Somalia. Lawlessness, famine, piracy, and conflict have shaped our global view of this small, Horn of Africa country. The recent slaying of a member of Somalia’s new parliament underscores the severity of its challenges. Beyond the headlines, though, Somalia shows tremendous promise—it is strategically located, it has a promising agricultural sector, and recent estimates show that it may have a good deal of oil as well. But a better future will be driven neither by its location nor its natural resources: It will be driven by the country’s people—and Somalia’s hopeful youth hold the key. UNDP is today releasing its Somalia Human Development Report 2012, which focuses on the enormous potential that lies in empowering Somali youth to become an engine of peace-building and development in this country of stark contrasts. Today, 73 percent of Somalis are under 30, making theirs one of the world’s youngest countries. Typically, young people in conflict or post-conflict zones are viewed as either victims or aggressors, and indeed for decades Somali youth have known more than their fair share of violence and despair. Many young Somalis have never set foot in a schoolhouse— and still Read More