Our Perspective

      • Inclusive and sustainable growth is the answer | Ajay Chhibber

        23 Nov 2011

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        UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Zinedine Zidane visits one of UNDP's inclusive growth projects in Mali. Photo: UNDP

        As leaders of the G-20 countries grapple with the immediate euro crisis, we must look beyond to a more fundamental problem facing the world – rising inequality, joblessness and ultimately a lack of demand, causing deep recession. This is not a cyclical problem that will be addressed by stimulus packages but a more structural problem, inherent in the current growth process. Addressing inequality is crucial in responding to the current economic, food and climate change crises across the globe. As the spreading Wall Street protests indicate, inequality and a sense that the system only works for the top one percent is under attack across the world. Rising inequality and unemployment is also cited as a major factor in the Arab uprisings which are still playing out.  And rising food and fuel prices are again ringing alarm bells. Even in Asia where there has been a sharp acceleration in economic growth in many developing countries, rapidly rising inequality is causing concern, and the poor continue to suffer disproportionately from high food and fuel prices—in addition to being the hardest hit by an increasing wave natural disasters and rising sea levels. Rather than trying to compensate those left out of the growth process, Read More

      • Building wealth long after the miners depart

        08 Nov 2011

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        UNDP Administrator Helen Clark with a felt processing entrepreneur who is part of the Enterprise Mongolia project. (Credit: UNDP)

        A conference on managing extractive industries in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, addressed the challenge of how resource-rich countries can make best use of their precious oil, gas or mineral assets and develop resilience to price volatility. Countries exporting these commodities need options to stabilise their economies and make them less vulnerable to the vagaries of unpredictable prices. Recent market history shows why: copper prices dropped nearly 15 per cent from July to September, and the price of gold has gone up more than 30 per cent since January. Such fluctuations make budget planning difficult and resource-rich developing countries vulnerable to market shocks. It’s also true that economies where extractive industries dominate do not always reap social and economic benefits for their people. Indeed, the extraction of mineral resources can become a curse where it fuels conflict and creates environmental disaster. The gross mismatch between the wealth generated and the paucity of local benefits derived is often exacerbated by weak governance and a lack of transparency and accountability. Yet it is possible to design policies that guard against the negative impacts of exploiting natural resources. That is why UNDP and the government of Mongolia brought together representatives of 17 resource-rich developing countries to Read More

      • Ultimate goal of development? Expand peoples’ choices

        02 Nov 2011

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        Human Development Report 2011: Investments in access to renewable energy, clean water, and improved sanitation will advance equity, sustainability, and human development. PHOTO: ©UNDP/ARANTXA CEDILLO

        Finding ways to make human development progress truly sustainable for the seven billion people who now live on our planet and for generations to come is a central challenge of the 21st century. The international community must find pathways to development which maintain ecosystem balance and reduce inequalities. This year’s Human Development Report asks whether we can expect the positive trends of the last forty years to continue and improvements to be sustained for the people who will live on this planet over the next four decades. The report warns that some 1.7 billion people in 109 countries are living in ‘multidimensional’ poverty. According to the report, escalating environmental hazards threaten to slow or reverse the notable progress in human development of previous decades. The impact in the worst case scenario is projected to be worse for countries which are low on the Human Development Index (HDI), leading to widening inequalities between high HDI and low HDI countries.  Key Messages of the Human Development Report 1 The most vulnerable suffer a double burden: They are more affected by environmental degradation and are less resilient towards its resulting threats such as unclean water, indoor air pollution from unhealthy cooking and poor sanitation. Read More

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