Our Perspective

      • Universal access to energy: Getting the framework right | Veerle Vandeweerd

        19 Jun 2012

        Improving access to affordable and sustainable energy services is absolutely central to broader development efforts to reduce poverty, and improve education, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability. Globally, 1.4 billion people across the globe lack access to electricity (85% of whom live in rural areas), and 2.7 billion people (approximately 40% of the global population) rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating. Currently, the largest concentrations of the ‘‘energy poor’’ (that is, people who are both poor and lack access to sustainable modern forms of energy) are in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Recent projections suggest that the problem will not only persist, but in fact deepen in the longer term without an international recognition and commitment to effect change. The challenge of increasing access to sustainable and cost-effective energy for the poor has to be met by setting new and bold targets for financing and implementation at the global and country level. Given its capacity as the lead development organization of the UN, UNDP is supporting the publication of a Report on ‘‘Universal access to energy: Getting the framework right’’. This report is the unique outcome of collaboration amongst experts focused on addressing key issues emanating from Africa and Read More

      • 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

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