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At last the UN-Habitat Executive Director's position has been advertised.- time for all good candidates to apply.

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The UN-Habitat Executive Director's position has been advertised. Please circulate this within your networks to all eligible interested parties. The call for expression of interest can be found here.  The post should go to a developing country candidate as UNEP has gone to a WEOG candidate and so to balance the senior management in Nairobi money must be on a developing country candidate. In March this year i made a number of suggestions - now that the position is open again let me remind you who they were. I have added Karla Šlechtová the Czech Minister of Regional Development. Developing Country suggestions

Ambassador Macharia Kamau the Kenyan Ambassador to the UN in New York and of course well known to all of us for the amazing work he did in co-chairing both the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group and the negotiations for the 2030 Agenda.
In May 2016 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Kamau and Mary Robinson as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General …

Pam Puntenney RIP: A true loss for the education community

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On the eve of the Heads of State UN General Assembly, I heard that Pam J. Puntenney had died in June this year. In the crazy world of international sustainable development politics, there are some individuals that you remember and who make a serious contribution. Pam was one of them
There was seldom a UN meeting I went to that she wasn’t attended from 1996 to now and her focus on education. She was part of the Education Caucus that succeed in persuading governments to reject the report done by UNESCO on the implementation of the Agenda 21 chapter not once, not twice but three times.
Why was this important? The old Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) particularly in the first ten years was holding UN Agencies and Programmes accountable to the broader sustainable development agenda outside their own governing bodies. The fact was that UNESCO had not done much to implement chapter 36 of Agenda 21 Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training and the education community made…

What should we expect from the Heads of State in General Assembly

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The UN General Assembly Heads of State starts early this year with a High-Level event on Monday the 18th which will be chaired by President Trump on UN reform.

Reform is in the air with the process of reform started by the new Secretary General. His first report came out a month ago and there is now a process of consultation with governments, stakeholders and within the UN and the second reform package will come out in December and governments will discuss both formally in the UN Committee Two process in early 2018.

On Friday the 15th September Achim Steiner the new Administrator of UNDP presented his new vision for the organization. This was trialed out a couple of weeks before in an excellent power point presentation to the Member States. He throws out what was there and has a really impressive vision for UNDP which sits very well with the role it should be playign in the 21st century. He is giving UNDP a leadership it hasn't had throughout the last two Administrators and is su…

Rogue CNN 12: Turning Democrat

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((Rogue CNN exists in a parallel universe to ours where a property developer and reality TV star gets elected President))
Wolf:  In recognition of the political world that spins ever more deeply into an alternative reality, Welcome to a special alt reality edition of Rogue CNN. I am reminded of the British band the Vapors and their single Turning Japanese. Are we seeing President Trump turning Democrat? We have a great panel here today to explore this. Anderson, David Gergen, Mary Katharine Ham.  And I’d like to welcome the most alt reality guest of all, an icon in his own time (though that time actually ended 2 decades ago), the all-time gonzo journalist, the man who in many ways originated the merging of the political with the personal, the insight with the insult, the profound with the profane - former Rolling Stones Political Commentator and now a CNN Contributor, Dr. Hunter Thompson. The panel are here to discuss - Is Trump turning Democrat? If I can turn to David Gergen first who h…

Guest Blog: Reconstructing After The Hurricanes - The Caribbean Challenge

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Liz Thompson is a consultant, a former Minister of the government of Barbados and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. She is a recipient of the Champion of the Earth Award.After days of concern,
I received a short What’s App message from a friend in Tortola. He said simply that the island had been flattened, that he and his wife had lost everything, but they were grateful to have each other and to be alive.
Several of the islands in the Dutch, French and English speaking Caribbean, have been devastated by #Irma, which struck the Caribbean at Category 4 strength. Then, taking the leisurely time of a tourist on summer holiday in the tropics, she slowly wended her considerable, powerful, awe-inspiring mass, and destructive tentacles of wind, water, storm surge, and frightening spectacle of thunder and lightning, toward Florida. Luckily for Floridians, she reached them at Category 3/4 strength. The islands of the Caribbean were not so lucky.
Up North, people do not pay too…

Habitat Report Recommendations Dead on Arrival?

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By Felix Dodds and Jenkins Thomas

On the 5th and 6th of September the President of the UN General Assembly organized a High-level Meeting to discuss the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the positioning of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), as called for in the New Urban Agenda adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). The New Urban Agenda had called for the UN Secretary-General to submit to a report on the effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and oversight of UN-HABITAT, including its mandate, governance structure, work and financial capabilities. To help this the Secretary General had set up an Independent Panel to Assess, Enhance Effectiveness of UN-Habitat after Adoption of New Urban Agenda. You can read my less than positive comments on the report here.
Governance issues There were three major institutional issues raised by the report.  I would again say that the time given for the High-Level Panel w…

Network for Regional Government 4 Sustainable Development 15 Years old today and Going Strong

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September 3rd this year will mark the 15th anniversary of the creation of the Network for Regional Government for Sustainable Development.
There probably are not too many people now engaged in the sustainable development process at the global level who know the history of the setting up of the Network for Regional Government 4 Sustainable Development (nrg4sd).
Let me tell you the story it all began one evening during the fourth preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development(WSSD) held in Bali Indonesia.
Stakeholder Forum, which I was the Executive Director of at the time, had organized a side event looking at the issue of governance and the responsibility for follow up to the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
During the side event, a number of Regional Governments attending the prepcom expressed concern that there was no body that represented their views and concerns. It seemed that the local authority bodies were more focused at the cities and towns level and …