Our Perspective

      • Avoiding another crisis in the Central African Republic | Abdoulaye Mar Dieye

        22 Jan 2014

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        Akadus Zangoa, aged 10, carries a container of water to his mother, who sells manioc from a small stall to make enough money to feed her family. Without access to clean water the fear of an epidemic within the camp is heightened. Photo: UNHCR/S. Phelps

        First of all, I would like to draw attention to the tragedy unfolding in CAR. The sectarian violence in the Central African Republic has uprooted nearly one million people and it is estimated that 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid. Now, a major food crisis is looming. According to the U.N., 94 percent of communities report that they do not have enough seeds to plant for the next agricultural season. There needs to be a strong and massive response from the international community. However, we must understand that the crisis has deep structural causes that are development-related. Extreme poverty, considerable inequalities, poor governance, weaknesses and failures of the political class triggered the crisis. While we invest in humanitarian action, we must also tackle the structural causes of that crisis as part of a wider effort aimed at putting the country back on a more robust development path.  When the violence subsides, attention must stay focused on rebuilding essential infrastructure such as water reservoirs, sewers, bridges and local clinics. To that end, public works projects can provide vital sources of revenue for women and men. Such initiatives can help restore trust and confidence among local communities across ethnic and Read More

      • UNDP strategic plan 2014-2017: Changing with the world | Turhan Saleh

        20 Jan 2014

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        An aerial view of the city of Sehwan Sharif in Pakistan's southern Sindh Province. Photo: UN/WFP/Amjad Jamal.

        We are at a very important moment in modern history, an inflection point, meaning that things are going to be very different in the future than they have been in the past. First, the role that developing countries play in the world – in the economy, science, technology, politics, culture – is changing dramatically. Their importance and influence, which is rising rapidly already, will increase greatly. Second, for the first time in human history, more people are living in cities and towns than in villages. The fastest rates of urbanization are in developing countries, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa. Just think about how this changes our conventional view of where and how people live in the developing world. Third, we have technologies now that are profoundly changing the way we work with each other, relate to each other,  and make and sell things. And the boundaries of these technologies are shifting quickly.    So this is really an incredibly exciting time for development. But there are big dangers: •    Growth and development are not necessarily bringing benefits fairly to everybody, so tensions are rising – and sometimes boiling over –  in a growing number of countries. •    Sometimes the changes taking place are so Read More

      • Why Latin America and the Caribbean matter for the Post-2015 Agenda | Alejandra Kubitschek Bujones

        17 Jan 2014

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        Hands for peace and cooperation (Photo: UNDP Chile).

        For several reasons, Latin America could emerge as one of the most influential regions in the negotiations on what will follow the Millennium Development Goals when they expire in 2015. First: The politics — As discussed in a recent independent report commissioned by UNDP, ‘A Laboratory for Sustainable Development? Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Post-2015 Agenda’, Latin America has successfully captured the most important positions in the bodies engaged with the post-2015 framework. This gives the region a unique opportunity to lead and influence the outcome of the negotiations. Colombia currently presides over the Economic and Social Council, Bolivia heads the G77 group of nations, and Antigua and Barbuda will hold the Presidency of the General Assembly until the 69th session. In addition, Brazil currently leads the World Trade Organization, and the COP 20 climate negotiations will take place in Lima, Peru. Second: The lessons and experience — Latin America is a testing ground for innovative sustainable development approaches. The region has designed and implemented some of the most recognized development programs, combining poverty reduction with social inclusion. Successful cash transfer schemes, such as Brazil’s Bolsa Familia, Mexico’s Oportunidades and Chile’s Solidario have helped increase household incomes, raise school enrollment Read More

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