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Showing posts from May, 2015

Time to think about the Declaration

We expect the zero text for the Declaration to be out very shortly. To remind us about what governments said at the February session on the Declaration:

"That the opening paragraph should highlight that the post-2015 development agenda is universal and transformative and grounded in shared values and principles. It should outline the purpose of this agenda, the need to pursue development differently, and provide a sense of urgency. The text should explain that the agenda builds on the MDGs and refer to the Rio+20 outcome document. It should include the notion of a ‘people-centred’ agenda and further define it. As an overarching priority, the paragraph should reaffirm that this integrated agenda will provide an opportunity to end poverty in all its dimensions, reduce inequalities, foster sustainable development in all its three dimensions and achieve shared prosperity. It must highlight that poverty eradication and sustainable development are intrinsically linked."

One of the…

Food for thought paper on a possible Technology Facilitation Mechanism

I have just had a moment to read the 'Food for thought paper on a possible Technology Facilitation Mechanism'. that UN DSD put out last week. I ahve to say i think it is a really good paper and deserves to be read and supported. I have for a long time argued that there is a lot of IP that is publicly owned due to investment in research by government. I believe that should be made available to developing countries.

Over the past twenty years developed countries have argued that IP is owned by private companies and much is but not all though. This papers starts to address how that might be approached and that we need to have a mechanism to share information, knowledge and experience, good practices, lessons learned; enhance coordination and cooperation; support “matchmaking” between technology
supply and needs, including needs for technical assistance.

I have argued that would be best done with putting knowledge banks under the relevant UN Agency or Programme. the paper goes som…

Best Book of the Year: Nixon's Comrades: A Kremlin Note Taker Remembers

I have just finished one of the best books I have read this year and possibly this century - Nixon's Comrades. Nixon was clearly a complex figure and it is difficult to know how history might have portrayed him had Watergate not happened. As I have said in previous blogs he achieved a lot of positive actions the setting up of EPA, supporting the establishment of UNFPA and UNEP. America could have had universal health coverage in 1972 if they had accepted the proposal he put forward - similar to what Obama did in 2008 - 36 years later - bringing China into the family of nations as a UN member. This book also shows the role he played in making the world a little safer.

I grew up during the cold war and the real threat of a nuclear summer. MAD for us was not only a great marvel comic but  stood for Mutely Assured Destruction (MAD). 

I have always been an a avid reader of  political books such as Robert Kennedy's Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Memoirs of…

An interlinked and coherent governance structure - Financing for Development

The follow on process for FfD also needs to be integrated into the follow up process for the SDGs in this paper I address how it might do this at the global level. Although not all of the issues addressed in the FfD agenda fall under the HLPF many do. I want suggest some areas governments might like to look at for both the HLPF and EcoSoc.
The HLPF
To address the follow on process for FfD It might be useful to look at the follow-on process for Agenda 21.
For example at the first UN Commission on Sustainable development (CSD) in 1993 governments adopted the following:
61. The Commission, recognizing its mandate to review the adequacy of the financial resources available for the implementation of Agenda 21,decides to establish an inter-sessional ad hoc, open-ended working group composed of Governments, which will nominate experts in order to assist the Commission in the following tasks:
To monitor and review the requirements, availability and adequacy of financial resources for the impleme…

WE KNOW WHAT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SHOULD LOOK LIKE — NOW LET’S DO IT

Just published on ENISA.  May 13, 2015 — Fifteen years ago, more than 190 countries, with input from many stakeholders, established a set of eightMillennium Development Goals, or MDGs, to guide global development work. Ranging from reducing by half the number of people living in extreme poverty to improving development governance, the goals represented an attempt by governments to set a limited number of priorities. In reality, they showed an inability to deliver on more ambitious action plans agreed in the 1990s at a number of United Nations conferences and summits. Some but not all of the MDGs have been achieved, in part due to the financial crisis in 2008. Continue reading here

UK Election - is this the end of the UK as a major power in the world?

For those that have not yet woken up to the implications of the UK election let me help you. We could see the UK losing its UN Security Council seat in the next 5 years.

Why do i say that? Lets look at the results for a moment. In Scotland the Scottish National Party (SNP) took 56 of the 59 seats. The Conservatives have been returned with a small majority. The Liberal Democrats have nearly been wiped out. Three party leaders have resigned the Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP. We are in a new uncharted world now.

We just had a referendum on if Scotland should stay in the UK and that was won by 10%. The SNP said there would not be a second referendum unless there was massive change in Scotland. Well now there has been so a second referendum is now on the cards and it must look very much as if that would go for independence from the UK. We are in this position because of many reasons: the Labour Party has imploded in Scotland because of a lack of delivery - the Conservatives played a En…

Proposed Revision of some SDG Targets by the Co-chairs

GOAL 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
Proposed Revision 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, including through assistance to those affected by complex humanitarian  emergencies, and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
Explanatory rationale:  A revision to this target is proposed to bring focus to the needs of people affected by complex humanitarian emergencies.
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age
Proposed Revision 3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of ag…

Why those attending the Gates Foundation are addressing the SDGs and how the media is not helpful

It is getting alittle tiringto have to keep defending what has been themost participatory and open global conversation and development of policy prioritiesthat we have ever had.
Some of the criticisms have come from thosewho didn't get what they wantedin the Sustainable Development Goals and targetsothers because they haven't participated in the processand now realize it is too late and others because they don't seem to recognize the huge challengesthat we fact in the world in the coming years.
Of course it would be easier if we didn't have to cover so many issues but we had that chance that was the 1990's. The lack of delivery of previous commitments means that of course the world now has to face so many more urgent issues.
I read the story inHumanosphereand of course I wasn't at the meeting so I can only comment on what was reported as being said. It was a report on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations Global Partners Forum.
"It’s like ‘No targets left beh…

Proposed themes for the UN General Assembly Session on the Post 2015 Development Goals

The co-chairs have released a revised version of what should be the six themes for the the post-2015 Summit interactive dialogue in the UN GA September 25-27th.  
As per Decision 69/555 on the modalities for the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, the overarching theme for the dialogues will be "Transforming the world: realizing the post-2015 development  agenda".
It is envisaged that each interactive dialogue would address the three dimensions of sustainable development. There will also be scope to address in each dialogue issues such as gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and prioritising the needs of all vulnerable groups.
Proposed themes for the interactive dialogues: Ending poverty and hunger, and addressing humanitarian emergencies
Tackling poverty in all its dimensions; addressing malnutrition and achieving food security; completing the unfinished business of the M DGs; addressing humanitarian emergencies  …

Habitat III Prepcom II…….? What Happens Now?

One of the conferences I engaged in in the 1990s and have fond memories of is the 1996 Habitat II Conference, which adopted the Habitat Agenda. I remember it in part because it achieved the most progressive stakeholder engagement in a UN Conference ever. I also have very fond memories of it because I made a lifelong friend in the Chair of the Conference Pakistan Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel who went on to be Deputy Executive Director of UNEP. In Habitat II I was the coordinator of the NGO negotiating team working under the International Facilitating Committee (IFC) a Major Group platform that managed their engagement in the conference.
So this was my personal background to attending the second preparatory conference for Habitat III last week.
Are there lessons to learn? I think so.
Perhaps it is best to start by explaining what happened in Habitat II and you can make your own minds up.
Preparatory process
The preparatory process for Habitat III similar to Habitat II has three preparatory m…