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Showing posts from January, 2017

Three TV series to watch

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Riverdale: Many of us grew up on Archie and his life in Riverdale his relationships with Betty and Veronica, his friendship with Jughead, his rival with Reggie and the evil Cheryl Blossem and of course Josie and the Pussycats.

CW just launched their new series Riverdale with their take on Archie. Its very dark but very good definitely worth a watch.

Brink: An HBO series now available on iTunes and Amazon so you can binge the series. If you want an idea of what might be happening in a President Trump Situation Room this is a good primer. It focused on a geopolitical crisis in Pakistan. With V+Jack Black playing a lowly State official in Pakistan and Tim Robbins playing an intelligent but horny Secretary of State how couldnt it be a success.
The shame is that it is only one series havign originally announced there would be a second series the death of the Executive Producer fed into a decision that they couldnt keep a series 2 to the same level so enjoy series 1.

Death in Paradise:  This …

So who will head UNDP? What post are the Russians looking to take?

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The rumor mill is hard at work in New York as the new Secretary General Administration starts to bed  in.

It seems that there is to be a new Under Secretary General (USG) for Counter Intelligence and according to my sources it will go to a Russian candidate - yet to be named.

There had been some speculation that the Chinese would give up the USG position in UN DESA for a USG position in political affairs and there was already some movement on this as far as countries considering putting forward their candidates. I would have loved to see  as head of UN DESA Trevor Manuel who served in the government of South Africa as Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009, during the presidencies of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, and subsequently as Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission from 2009 to 2014 under President Jacob Zuma.

Now it seems that a new Chinese head of UN DESA will be appointed and come in probably in July.
The new Deputy Secretary Gener…

“SUN” Focus on eXistential Climate Change – 2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

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By Geoffrey Lipman and Felix Dodds
For 2017, the focus of the world’s largest socio-industrial activity, Travel & Tourism, will be on how to link its growth strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - an evolving, 15 year, locally led framework of 17 global SDGs, with 169 targets and 304 indicators, that addresses every aspect of life on our planet.

However, one SDG stands out from the rest – namely Goal 13 Climate Change - for the simple reason that it is existential. Existential means life on the planet is fundamentally threatened.  Without a fix, future generations will freeze or fry. And intensifying climate impacts will severely aggravate many other SDG challenges.  A key issue will be how to keep existential Climate Resilience front and centre in our sector, when Tourism sustainability is everyone’s flavour of the month, humanity’s agenda is shifting to all the SDGs as well as integration of the Paris Accords with their own intense 2050 carbon reduction structu…

Guest Blog: How to protect the planet from Team Trump

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Titus Alexander, campaign coach and author of Practical Politics: Lessons in Power and Democracy Donald Trump’s presidency feels like an avalanche threatening sustainable development and social justice. Suddenly fossil fuel kings like Exxon Mobil’s chief Rex Tillerson, Rick Perry, Myron Ebell, the Koch brothers and other climate change deniers, are at the summit of political power, capable of unleashing every restraint on carbon emissions. Trump’s bullying and unpredictable behaviour makes political skill more important than ever. Misguided protest could trigger the avalanche and sweep aside decades of hard work. Trump’s election has galvanised resistance, but he is also mobilising an angry movement behind his rhetoric. Divisions within America, and with the world, could grow deeper and uglier. Protest has a role, but it is not a strategy and cannot stop Team Trump from riding high. To win in the time of Trump, activists need smart strategies.
I suggest three broad movements to outflank…

Guest blog: Greening Digital Finance

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SIMONZADEK: Co-Director of the UNEP Inquiry into Design Options for a Sustainable Financial System and Visiting Professor and DSM Senior Fellow at the Singapore Management University.  

Digital finance is the unexpected revolutionary – but which side will it take? With the help of digital finance, urbane consumers can glide gracefully and seamlessly through their shopping experiences, migrants far from home can move hard-earned money cheaply to their families, small businesses can access credit lines in minutes through big data-driven profiling, and savers can navigate their investment opportunities with pinpoint accuracy. Will digital finance, then, deliver an all-purpose public good, or do we first need to manage possible constraints or even downsides?

A new generation of intermediaries are reinventing the financial system, breaking down the old value chains with its many profit-taking intermediaries. New financial technologies have earned moral credentials by enabling low-cost fina…

Guest blog by Michael Hutton: Mr Trump and the Iranian Nuclear Agreement

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Michael Hutton:After 9 years active duty in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Mr. Hutton spent 27 years working for the Federal Government at various intelligence agencies (to include the National Counterterrorism Center, the National Intelligence Council and DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis). Most of his career was spent in management and analytical positions directing research on topics from nuclear fuel cycle issues to the potential threat of terrorist acquisition of nuclear materials. He also served as the Associate Deputy Director for the Energy and Environmental Security Directorate at the Department of Energy from 2008 - 2011. Mr. Hutton retired from the Air Force Reserves in 2003 as a Lt.Col. He currently serves an advisor to MyRozi.com, a health care start-up. On the eve of Mr. Trump’s inauguration, there is widespread speculation about the future of a broad range of policy issues.  Of these, the status of our agreement with Iran that ensures its nuclear program wi…

Will the UN survive a Trump Presidency?

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So one of the major challenges for the new UN Secretary General will be the relationship he manages to achieve with the Trump administration.

We have already heard from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham North Carolina before Christmas that unless the UN reverses its Security Council resolution condemning the Israeli settlements the US should refund the UN.

Let's just take a moment and think about this. This was the act of the UN Security Council a member led body not the UN as such but 15 member states, Below is the list of the countries all but one voted for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The only that did not was the US who abstained.

Permanent members ChinaFranceRussiaUnited KingdomUnited States Non-permanent members AngolaEgyptJapanMalaysiaNew ZealandSenegalSpainUkraineUruguayVenezuela
The resolution was drawn up by Egypt - one of the strongest US allies in the region and with the help if British legal and d

Guest blog: New sustainability vlogging channel launched

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Guest blog by Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO Hubbub UK Hubbub UK has secured £100,000 of investment funding from CAF Venturesome to launch a new sustainability vlogging channel. The channel is part of Hubbub’s on-going ambition to take environmental messages to a mainstream audience in a way that is fresh and compelling. Launched on January 7th the channel will consist of weekly vlogs fronted by Sarah Divall exploring all things green including sustainable fashion, food and lifestyles. The approach will be punchy, informative and light-hearted, giving a rapid and engaging insight into the latest ideas and news. The launch of the channel reflects the growing trend of people getting information and ideas through short, compelling video content. Globally over the last 10 years there has been $11.5 million invested in vlogging with 1 billion users and 1 trillion views. The Global Web Index discovered that 65% of internet users have watched a vlog. The largest vlogging audience is cur…