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Showing posts from June, 2016

Right to the City and Cities for All on Wednesday 29th 8-10am

RSVP to  Jo.Cook.Contingentwkr@fordfoundation.org

New UN Reform proposals from panel co-chaired by Juan Somavia (former Director General of ILO) and Mr. Klaus Töpfer (former Executive Director of UNEP)

Reform of the UN is always difficult but we are in a process of change because of the 2030 Agenda the , the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and the Paris Climate Agreement. Business as usual is not possible.
The present ECOSOC Bureau commissioned an Independent Team of Advisors (ITA) to come up with a review of the UN Development System (UNDS). The co-chairs of the ITA are former heads of UN Agencies and Programmes Juan Somavia (former Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)of Chile) and Klaus Töpfer (former Executive Director of UNEPof Germany).
When I was at the German Habitat Forum recently I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Toepfer and Manfred Konukiewitz the former Deputy Director General, Global and Sectoral Policies and Commissioner for climate policy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and heard some of the recommendations that the ITA were looking to put forward for member sta…

send your comments on Communitas Draft Principles of Public-Private Partnerships - for Habitat III

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: WORKSHOP TOWARD GUIDING PRINCIPLES WRITTEN BY CHRIS DEKKI ON JUNE 8, 2016. POSTED IN PARTNERSHIPS In an effort to establish guiding principles for PPPs in implementing the SDGs, Communitas organized a convening of leading thinkers and practitioners with a broad range of views on PPPs for urban infrastructure. Presenters and participants included representatives from local government, the UN, NGOs, researchers, development institutions, and the private sector. The convening provided a venue for an exchange of views on the potential benefits and risks of PPPs with the aim of identifying conditions under which such partnerships can be beneficial for cities and regions.  Draft Principles for Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Infrastructure (Comments welcome by 24 June!)

Support the memory of Labour MP Jo Cox

Everyone is shocked about last weeks assassination of the Labour MP Jo Cox. Many of us who worked at the UN  will know Jo she worked for the aid groups Oxfam and Oxfam International between 2001 and 2009, serving first in Brussels as the leader of the group's trade-reform campaign, becoming head of policy and advocacy of Oxfam GB in 2005, and then becoming head of Oxfam International's humanitarian campaigns in New York in 2007.  Her work at Oxfam, including meeting disadvantaged groups in Darfur and Afghanistan, influenced her political career.

Jo's charity work later led to a role advising Sarah Brown (the wife of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown), who was spearheading a campaign to prevent deaths in pregnancy and childbirth. Jo was national chair of the Labour Women's Network and a senior adviser to the Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery charity. She was elected  MP for Batley and Spen seat being vacated by Mike Wood in the 2015 general election. Listen to her…

The SDGs , Climate, EU and Trump: Are we about to enter a new dark ages?

There are dark forces at play in the world we saw that in Orlando, Paris, Brussels, Syria, Iraqi and now with the murder of the Jo Cox the British MP for Batley and Spen by a Leave it supporter the list grows day by day.  As Jo said in her maiden speech to the House of Commons:
 “Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration,” she insisted, “be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” This should be a time of coming together not splitting apart.

Terrorism is having an impact on many people and that fear brings out a reaction that makes fertile ground for far right extremists to proposer. We see that in the US with Trump and his Make America Great Again or Marine Le Pen with her Nat…

Habitat III needs to integrate the 2030 Agenda, Paris Outcome,Addis Ababa and Sendai

I am a huge supporter as are most Member states of utilizing the Habitat III conference to be a major implementing agent for the SDGs, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and the Paris Climate Agreement at the local and sub-national level.

There is no question that the Habitat III process is way behind whereHabitat IIwas at this point in 1996. Not only was there a text then that member states were happy to negotiate around by now but many many more days still left to negotiate that text.

In 1996 there was still 23 days of negotiating days left for Habitat II at this time in the process. Habitat III has only nine days left for negotiations -  though there is a proposal for an additional two days at the end of this month. Clearly there will need to be additional days I would guess in total 10-15 to address the 104 page comments by member states into the 20 page original zero draft. A new text is expected by the end of this week.

I see only two po…

Monkees a time of fun and innocence

The Monkees are on their 50th anniversary tour and I picked them up at the Charlotte concert just before their new album ‘Good Times’ was released. I had already pre-ordered a copy and downloaded the first three advanced tracks.
For a band that was put together for a TV series in 1966 who would have imagined that 50 years ago some of their great songs would still be part of the music landscape. But they are classics songs like ‘Last Train to Clarkesville’, I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’, ‘Daydream Believer’ and ‘I’m a Believer', made famous again by Smash Bros for the film Shrek, but originally by the Monkees. A song written by the great Neil Diamond one of the reasons for the success of the Monkees was who was writing their songs in addition to Neil people like Harry Nilsson, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, John Stewart, as well as Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

In preparation for the new album there was a call out to indie rock song writers for input. Just like the 1960s the new album…