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Showing posts from October, 2015

RIP Michael Meacher a sustainable development champion

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It was with great sadness that I just learned of Michael Meacher's death on October 20th..

Over the years I have worked with a number of excellent UK Environment Ministers such as John Gummer, Chris Patton and Michael Meacher.  This included as a member of the Green Globe Task Group set upin 1996  by Labour in opposition to advise the Shadow Environment Minister (Meacher)  and the Shadow Foreign Secretary (Robin Cook) and then after the 1997 election continuing  advising them as sitting Ministers on issues of sustainable development. This advice was outside the civil service advice and something they were a little concerned about.


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Michael gained a reputation for being a politician who was on top of a complex brief  who cared deeply about the issues  in the brief. He was one of the longest serving ministers in the same job in the Labour government, from 1997-2003. For Rio+5 he and most of the incoming Labor Ministers all turned up for that UN General Assembly Special S…

The UN response to the PGA issue

As I reported in my previous blog about John Ashe, the UN and the Media that the UN was not involvement in this scandal but that it was a member state issue. I said i would return to this issue if i thought it was worth doing so.

On Friday the 23rd (while I was at the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival) the UN Secretary General in response to a question on the subject said:

"I have made it quite clear all the times that the United Nation's staff or leadership should work with the highest level of integrity and ethical standard.  That is why I have made this one of the top priorities, and I have asked OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) to have a thorough investigation and I have established a small task force led by my Chief of Staff, Susana Malcorra, to draw out some means and measures -- how we can make more transparent and accountable measures, particularly on the case of President of General Assembly, Office of the President of General Assembly.  We have all of the dis…

Hoping for Feedback on my Blog?

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My dear readers,

It seemed like a good idea after the Sustainable Development Goals negotiations to ask for a little feedback on this blog.

You may have noticed I do blog on none UN related issues but I also hope that at times gives some little relief.

Please take just a few minutes to fill in the survey form here 

It will help me ensure that I cover the issues you want as well as ones i enjoy writing on.

warmest regards






What do you do after the Sustainable Development Goals have been adopted?

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Some people might have gone back to work, visited their therapist (advice for this can be found here). I thought a week in Key Largo and the third Humphrey Bogart Film Festival seemed a good idea.
When I used to live in San Sebastian i used to attend that amazing film festival and they were crazy enough to give me a press pass. There is a classic video of me and Kate Beckinsale (one of my favourite actors) in a press conference for CLICK discussing......Another of me discussing the carbon offset with Ben Stiller for Tropical Thunder and another with Robert Downey Junior asking him if his political views had changed since getting out of jail. Ahhh those were the days. The  San Sebastian Film Festival this year was celebrating its 63rd year so the Humphrey Bogart Festival has a little way to go.

The main attractions were Stephen Bogart, son of Bogie and Bacall who hosts the festival. Joining him was Eddie Muller. Eddie, is known internationally as the "Czar of Noir," and othe…

Blog for Routledge: Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals: A transformational agenda for an insecure world

In this exclusive blog post, Routledge author Felix Dodds, discusses the development of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a forthcoming book that will tell the complete story.

On September 25, Heads of State met in New York and adopted the ‘Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' (UN, 2015). This had been a long process that started in Solo, Indonesia, in July 2011 when the governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and UAE suggested that instead of replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with another set of development goals that would deal with impacts of policies, that a set of ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ should complement the MDGs. These SDGs should challenge the root causes and not the symptoms that they should be – not only for developing countries, but for all countries. They also shouldn’t just address development, but also sustainable development.

Stakeholders had the first attempt at identifyi…

And the new Speaker will be....

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Perhaps many people do not realize that the Constitution does not require that the Speaker be an elected House Representative, though every Speaker so far has been an elected Member of Congress. There's also no Constitutional requirement that the Speaker be a US citizen. The Speaker is also second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and ahead of the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.
In other countries like the UK the office of Speaker is considered non-partisan. Maybe the US should consider going in a similar way as the House has become ungovernable. The Speaker of the House is a leadership position and the office-holder actively works to set the majority party's legislative agenda.
So to help the Congress with their decision on the next Speaker we thought we would suggest some ‘out of the box’ names.
Kanye West graduating from high school, West received a scholarship to attend Chicago's American Academy of Art in 1997 is…

INPUTS TO HABITAT III

INPUTS TO HABITAT III The process of the SDGs is coming to the end of the negotiation stage with the Summit 25-27th September. The focus will shift onto the agreement on which global indicators we will have for SDGs, how the UN will deal with monitoring and review and the toolkits for implementation. In the next year Habitat III will play a critical role as the first major conference to deal with what this will mean. I wanted to produce a report on this processThe Habitat III process will have four major inputs. These are:
National Reports: National reports from countries which should have or should involve national stakeholders.
Regional Meetings: There will be regional meetings in four of the UN regions. The output in each case would be a Declaration. There is NO template for the Declarations so it will be up to each meeting to produce what they want. The Asia-PacificRegional Meeting is in Jakarta, Indonesia is on 21-22 October 2015; the Africa Regional Meeting is in Nigeria on the 31…