Showing posts from August, 2016

Republished from Inter-Press Service News: The Sustainable Development Goals: One Year On by Felix Dodds

A transformational agenda for an insecure world by Felix Dodds, Ambassador David Donoghue and Jimena Leiva Roesch (publication November 9th 2016)

Republished from Inter-Press Service by Felix Dodds
It’s been almost one year since heads of state and government adopted ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ - the ambitious agenda which contains 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.

In fact, 2015 was one of the most important years for multilateral agreements. Not only did the governments sign up to SDGs on 25 September 2015, they also reached the Paris Climate Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as the framework for funding the two policy agendas.
The SDGs were the culmination of four years of negotiations, starting in July 2011, with the initial proposal by Paula Caballero from the government of Colombia. These negotiations saw the most participatory process in UN history.

The vision reflected in the Heads of State Declaration ex…

Third Straw Poll for the next United Nations Secretary General

The third straw poll for the new United Nations Secretary General happened today and there have been some interesting developments.

The largest change has been Miroslav Lajčák moving from tenth to second with now 9 encourage (up from 2) and 5 discourage (down from 6 and only 1 no opinion).

Miroslav was until the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia a member of the Communist Party.  He has been Slovakia’s ambassador to Japan and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

He joined the Czechoslovak foreign ministry in 1988. Between 1991 and 1993 Lajčák was posted to the Czechoslovak and subsequently the Slovak embassy in Moscow. He was Slovakia’s Ambassador to Japan to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro), Albania and the Republic of Macedonia. He was the EU's supervisor to the 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum.

He has served as Foreign Minister of Slovakia three times and is also severed also as Deputy Prime Minister until March 2016. he was a social dem…

Gene Wilder RIP

Gene Wilder was possibly one of the greatest comics of the late 1960s through to the end of the 1990s. My favorite film of his was ‘The Producers’ where he played a hysterical Leo Bloom Jewish accountant who worked out you could make more money from a play that failed than one that succeeded. Staring next to Zero Mostel who played the Jewish Producer proceeded to seduce little old ladies of their savings for the production of the play.They come up with what they think is the utterly tasteless musical play purporting to be about the happy home life of a brutal dictator.  The play opens with a lavish production of the title song, "Springtime for Hitler", which celebrates Nazi Germany crushing Europe ("Springtime for Hitler and Germany/Winter for Poland and France") This got Wilder a nomination for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Though the film was not a box office success it became a cult movie afterwards. It was converted into a huge successful Broadway p…

UNITY: The Desmond Tutu Legacy Project - first Concert in Los Angeles

For decades, Archbishop Tutu has preached a message of unity through ubuntu – what affects one of us, affects us all. The Los Angeles show kicks off UNITY: The Desmond Tutu Legacy Project, a global effort spearheaded by the Archbishop, his daughter Mpho Tutu and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation to ensure his work for peace, justice, and equality continues for generations to come. Each concert will unify musicians, actors, artists, and activists who will lend their voices to raise awareness of Tutu’s life work and global impact. All artists are donating their time for this international cause.
I am interviewing Jason Rothberg who is the lead producer for this and other events happening over the coming months to celebrate Archbishop Tutu and Astrella Celeste who is producing the t-shirts in support of the project.
Jason you have been involved with other charity events but how did you get involved with this project and what do you hope it will achieve?
Thanks to my friendship with you Feli…

High-quality Multi-stakeholder Partnerships for Implementing the SDGs

By Minu Hemmati, CatalySD, and Felix Dodds, GRI

On the margins of HLPF 2016 in New York, Global Research Institute (University of North Carolina) and CatalySD held a workshop on “Multi-stakeholder partnerships for implementing the 2030 Agenda”.

We wanted to create an informal, safe space for dialogue among colleagues from the UN, governments, NGOs, multi-stakeholder partnership (MSP) initiatives, and partnership experts.
We looked at the history of the UN’s involvement with MSPs, and considered options of future engagement in the context of delivering the SDGs. We also discussed factors, forces and developments that may support, or hinder, effective contributions from MSPs. And we talked about next steps.

Much has been learned about engaging with partnerships since the first explicit inclusion of the Major Groups in Agenda21 in Rio, 1992, and hailing partnerships for implementation at WSSD in 2002. However, if we don’t carefully optimize the ways that the UN and UN processes engage w…

Guest blog: We need a global treaty on plastics - Here's what it should look like

WRITER Nils Simon  Senior Project Manager adelphi research  @nsim_berlin Political scientist originally published in ensia
Plastics have boosted our economy because they are versatile, cheap and durable. Yet, thanks to these same traits, in the course of establishing a US$750 billion global industry, we have also created a massive problem. Rivers arefilled with plastic garbage. Plastic bottles soil beaches. Masses of plastic are floating in the ocean. Birds become entangled in plastic pieces, and whales’ stomachs fill with plastic debris. Plastics can harm humans, too, by releasing toxic additives.
And the problem is getting worse: The production of plasticsreached 311 million metric tons (343 million tons) in 2014 and is continuing to increase worldwide. Scientists estimate that in 2010 alone between 5 and 13 million metric tons (6 and 14 million tons) of plastics streamed into the sea. Many hopes have been put on biodegradable plastics, but those still don’t break down easily enough. A…

Second straw poll for the New UN Secretary General

So since the first poll Vesna Pusić has withdrawn as a candidate for Secretary General which leaves 11 and Kevin Rudd the former Prime Minister of Australia was NOT supported by his government to join the election. There are still rumors of a late addition by Alicia Barcena (Mexico) Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean who would be an excellent candidate but I think will not join the fray.
Those who have read my blogs on the election will know I have supported both woman and regional rotation which would mean an Eastern European woman candidate. 
So let’s look at where we are.
After the second straw poll António Guterres (Portugal) the former Portuguese left of center Prime Minister is still in first place but has picked up one less encourage and for the first time two discourage. The question in many people’s minds are those two P5 members such as China and Russia. There is no question in my mind that Mr. Guterres is very well…