Our Perspective

      • The time is right to place governance and anti-corruption at center stage | Rebeca Grynspan

        30 Sep 2013

        Students in Eastern Sudan participate in artistic competition on the occasion of the International Anti-corruption Day, 2012.(Photo: UNDP in Sudan)

        Thirteen years ago, when the MDGs were formulated, governance-related goals or targets were not included, mainly for political reasons, but what we learned from that experience is that deficits in governance — such as corruption, elite capture of key resources, and low capacity of government institutions — hinder inclusive growth by squandering resources badly needed for development. I was pleasantly surprised that more than 1 million people, who voted through the MYWorld global survey, expressed their opinion that “an honest and responsive governance” should be one of the top priorities in the post-2015 development framework. It is reassuring that both the High-Level Panel Report and the Secretary-General’s report to the General Assembly  corroborated many of the views expressed by citizens on holding their governments transparent, accountable and responsive. According to data from the World Bank, each year US $1 trillion is paid in bribes and it is estimated that corruption can cost a country up to 17 percent of its GDP. Imagine the impact of reversing this! A recent UNDP study found that 76 percent of women surveyed think corruption has prevented them from accessing public goods and services. To counter this, we are promoting and supporting specific anti-corruption measures integratedRead More

      • Rule of Law begins with justice and security | Jordan Ryan

        26 Sep 2013

        Abdul Wasa Antazar, Deputy District in Rodad, Afghanistan, speaks during a training on women's rights, supported by UNDP Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan (JHRA). (Photo: Farzana Wahidy/UNDP)

        In places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo where women face the constant threat of sexual violence, or in Guatemala where a failure to address the injustices of the past puts reconciliation at risk, the story is the same – a lack of access to justice and security breeds a culture of impunity. In the long term, this can destabilize countries, increase the chances of hostility and hinder the progress toward development goals.     I believe that improving justice and security services; modernizing prosecution mechanisms; increasing the number of available lawyers and judges, and training them to make better decisions; making police more accountable and trustworthy; and providing protection and support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence is vital to support crisis-affected countries and help them become more resilient to violence. And to ensure that this work has a lasting impact, people need to understand and have access to both the legal system and the protection provided by security forces. Much has been achieved through the support of UNDP and its partners, even in just the last year. For example: •   In Guatemala, homicide rates declined for the third year in a row after dramatically rising in the previousRead More

      • Peace and stability must be at the heart of the global development agenda | Helen Clark

        26 Sep 2013

        Thousands of fans attended a live concert in Baucau, Timor Leste on 9 October 2013, part of a series of events organized by MTV EXIT’s nationwide campaign against human trafficking. Photo: Martine Perret/UN Photo

        This week, world leaders gather at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss, among other topics, a new global development agenda. The body's eight millennium development goals, which include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, expire in 2015, giving UN member states the opportunity to shape the future of development. They also have the chance to position peace and stability at the centre of the debate. In countries marred by conflict and disaster, development tends to focus on promoting economic growth and progress in specific social sectors such as health and education. Fundamental issues for lasting peace and stability – rule of law and justice, good governance, social cohesion, economic and environmental sustainability – are often left at the margins. To my surprise, I often hear arguments against including peace and stability in a new global development agenda. One of the most common of these arguments is that building long-term peace and stability is separate from the work of long-term human development. In fact, peace and stability do not fall outside of the boundaries of development. The two must go hand in hand. Violence not only claims lives, but also unravels the very fabric of society, leaving schools andRead More

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