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Showing posts from September, 2017

World Benchmarking Alliance launched during UN GA High Level Week

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the milestones
marking the path towards the future we want. Collectively, they
provide one of the most ambitious yet achievable agendas the
world has ever set. Delivering these goals and their targets will help to ensure all people can live in dignity and collectively succeed in preserving our environment.
On Thursday the 21st of September in the appropriate surroundings of the wonderful New York Librarythe World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) was launched.
It is an initiative of AVIVA, the Index Initiative, the United Nations Foundation and the Business and Sustainable Development Commission.
It has already a growing number of allies including WWF, IDB Latin American Bank, Nordea, eat, Investec, WBCSD, and the Global Foundation.
The WBA will rank companies based on their sustainability performance and contributions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As the CEO of AVIAV said in his opening remarks it is appropriate to …

Is the Global Pact on Environmental Rights a good idea?

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Introduction The idea of a global pact on environmental rights presented last week at UN is clearly a bold idea and those associated with it should be commended for thinking outside the box. But having looked at what they are proposing I don't think it is the right direction to go and I worry it will absorb a lot of time and effort which could be focused on achieving real change. The proposal would also likely water down present agreements and I cant see the US, China, India and others signing up for it. Which some of them did actually say. Clearly, one thing that needs to happen is that present agreements need to be implemented much better than they are. 
There is a very good review of why the pact is perhaps not a good idea  in a paper by Susan Binaz called 10 Questions to Ask About the Proposed “Global Pact for the Environment” which you can read   here.  So, what is the Pact attempting to address? One of the critical issues is the fragmentation of the environment among lots of mul…

At last the UN-Habitat Executive Director's position has been advertised.- time for all good candidates to apply.

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The UN-Habitat Executive Director's position has been advertised. Please circulate this within your networks to all eligible interested parties. The call for expression of interest can be found here.  The post should go to a developing country candidate as UNEP has gone to a WEOG candidate and so to balance the senior management in Nairobi money must be on a developing country candidate. In March this year i made a number of suggestions - now that the position is open again let me remind you who they were. I have added Karla Šlechtová the Czech Minister of Regional Development. Developing Country suggestions

Ambassador Macharia Kamau the Kenyan Ambassador to the UN in New York and of course well known to all of us for the amazing work he did in co-chairing both the Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group and the negotiations for the 2030 Agenda.
In May 2016 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Kamau and Mary Robinson as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General …

Pam Puntenney RIP: A true loss for the education community

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On the eve of the Heads of State UN General Assembly, I heard that Pam J. Puntenney had died in June this year. In the crazy world of international sustainable development politics, there are some individuals that you remember and who make a serious contribution. Pam was one of them
There was seldom a UN meeting I went to that she wasn’t attended from 1996 to now and her focus on education. She was part of the Education Caucus that succeed in persuading governments to reject the report done by UNESCO on the implementation of the Agenda 21 chapter not once, not twice but three times.
Why was this important? The old Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) particularly in the first ten years was holding UN Agencies and Programmes accountable to the broader sustainable development agenda outside their own governing bodies. The fact was that UNESCO had not done much to implement chapter 36 of Agenda 21 Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training and the education community made…

What should we expect from the Heads of State in General Assembly

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The UN General Assembly Heads of State starts early this year with a High-Level event on Monday the 18th which will be chaired by President Trump on UN reform.

Reform is in the air with the process of reform started by the new Secretary General. His first report came out a month ago and there is now a process of consultation with governments, stakeholders and within the UN and the second reform package will come out in December and governments will discuss both formally in the UN Committee Two process in early 2018.

On Friday the 15th September Achim Steiner the new Administrator of UNDP presented his new vision for the organization. This was trialed out a couple of weeks before in an excellent power point presentation to the Member States. He throws out what was there and has a really impressive vision for UNDP which sits very well with the role it should be playign in the 21st century. He is giving UNDP a leadership it hasn't had throughout the last two Administrators and is su…

Rogue CNN 12: Turning Democrat

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((Rogue CNN exists in a parallel universe to ours where a property developer and reality TV star gets elected President))
Wolf:  In recognition of the political world that spins ever more deeply into an alternative reality, Welcome to a special alt reality edition of Rogue CNN. I am reminded of the British band the Vapors and their single Turning Japanese. Are we seeing President Trump turning Democrat? We have a great panel here today to explore this. Anderson, David Gergen, Mary Katharine Ham.  And I’d like to welcome the most alt reality guest of all, an icon in his own time (though that time actually ended 2 decades ago), the all-time gonzo journalist, the man who in many ways originated the merging of the political with the personal, the insight with the insult, the profound with the profane - former Rolling Stones Political Commentator and now a CNN Contributor, Dr. Hunter Thompson. The panel are here to discuss - Is Trump turning Democrat? If I can turn to David Gergen first who h…

Guest Blog: Reconstructing After The Hurricanes - The Caribbean Challenge

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Liz Thompson is a consultant, a former Minister of the government of Barbados and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. She is a recipient of the Champion of the Earth Award.After days of concern,
I received a short What’s App message from a friend in Tortola. He said simply that the island had been flattened, that he and his wife had lost everything, but they were grateful to have each other and to be alive.
Several of the islands in the Dutch, French and English speaking Caribbean, have been devastated by #Irma, which struck the Caribbean at Category 4 strength. Then, taking the leisurely time of a tourist on summer holiday in the tropics, she slowly wended her considerable, powerful, awe-inspiring mass, and destructive tentacles of wind, water, storm surge, and frightening spectacle of thunder and lightning, toward Florida. Luckily for Floridians, she reached them at Category 3/4 strength. The islands of the Caribbean were not so lucky.
Up North, people do not pay too…