Showing posts from March, 2018

John Bolton Is Wrong About the UN: And Bret Stephens Is Wrong About John Bolton

By Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss Monday the 9th of April John Bolton will take up his post as National Security Advisor.
As this carnival roller coaster ride that is the Trump Administration has veered further and further off the rails, those few ‘moderate’ Republican backers who haven’t completely abandoned him have felt more and more hard pressed to figure out strategies with which to defend his chaotic actions. Columnist Bret Stephens – whose own recent hiring by the New York Times was met with stunned acrimony by many loyal Times readers – pulled out a reliable right-wing trope to defend, or perhaps to distract from, Trump’s latest disaster in the making, the announcement that his third National Security Advisor would be John Bolton. He attacked the United Nations. [“JohnBolton Is Right About the UN”; March 23, 2018]. In doing so, he presented a laundry list of accusations about the U.N.'s actions and responsibilities. Much of it – like most effective propaganda – is based on a …

Guest Blog: Australia’s failing to meet the SDGs—here’s how it can change that

Guest Blog by Vaidehi Shah, Monday 19 March 2018
This post was originally published by here
As Australia prepares to unveil a progress report on how it is faring on delivering the SDGs, experts at a recent event in Sydney said that policymakers are failing to address critical shortcomings in its progress against the goals.

Speakers at the 'Sustainable Development Goals: Words to Action' event, organised by the United Nations Association of Australia in Sydney. Image: UNAA NSW Facebook Australia has slipped lower on the global ranking of how countries are progressing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the country’s government needs to accelerate action to meet the goals, said non-government and private sector experts at a recent event in Sydney. 
Speaking at a seminar titled Sustainable Development Goals: From Words to Actions and organised by the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) on February 27, leaders from civil society and academia sai…

New UNEP Publication Perspectives Paper 30: Now Out People and Pollution’ Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue at the United Nations Environment Assembly 3

I served as the moderator for the dialogue, which represents part of UN Environment’s commitment to deliver on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development outcome document: ‘The Future We Want’. This document calls for “the active participation of all relevant stakeholders, drawing on best practices and models from relevant multilateral institutions and exploring new mechanisms, to promote transparency and the effective engagement of civil society” within the framework of its decision to strengthen the role of the United Nations Environment Programme as the
leading global environmental authority.
Stakeholder engagement has been an important component of the development of UN Environment since its inception at the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment. The concept of ‘Major Groups’ was pioneered by the first UN Environment Executive Director, Maurice Strong, when he was Secretary-General of the Earth Summit in 1992. He recognized that categorizing all  nongovernment…

European Court of Auditors (ECA) new report on “Public Private Partnerships in the EU: Widespread shortcomings and limited benefits"

There is a lot of discussion about the role of PPPs being used to advance the implementation of the SDGs. This report should inform that discussion and the need for a set of Principles and Guidelines to be developed by the UN Finance for Development Forum for the promotion of the use of PPPs for implementing the SDGs. The work of UNECE in this area is a first step but it needs to be a system wide approach. How can it be that the same governments that are supporting the development of Principles for PPPs in the UNECE are opposing the development of them at the UN in New York?
The ECA assessed whether EU-funded Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects had been effectively managed and provided adequate value for money, account being taken of the trend towards more intensively leveraging public funds with private finance through PPPs.
The auditors assessed 12 EU co-financed PPPs in France, Greece, Ireland and Spain in the f…

Nexus Conference April 16-18th draft outcome available for comment and input

Message from the Nexus Conference
The draft outcome Message from the Nexus Conference is available here for you to read and send us focused comments and suggested changes.
Please submit all comments by April 1, 2018.
A new version will be produced for the conference to have available and a final version after the conference will be circulated to the Member States for their consideration when they are preparing the Ministerial Declaration for the UN High-Level Political Forum.
We would appreciate it if you sent any changes to the text as track changes to
Any comments should be sent to the same address.
Registration for the April 16-18th Conference can be done here. 

About the Conference
The “Nexus” approach is the one that focuses on overlaps across sectors while respecting sectoral expertise in order to make better plans by understanding interactions.(Stockholm Environment Institute, 2017)The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to…

some changes in UN DESA and more to come

There have been some changes in New York which might interest you.
After a LONG time UNDESA have at last appointed their Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Economic Development Elliott Harris. Elliott was ASG for UNEP and  Director of the New York Office and of the Secretariat of the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) in September 2013.
Prior to joining UN Environment, he worked as an Economist in the IMF from 1988 to 2013, gaining extensive policy and programmatic experience in African and Central Asian countries, as well as in the Fiscal Affairs Department on public expenditure policy issues.the ASG for UNEP in New York and formally with the IMF.
The new Director for the Finance for Development Office  (FfDO) is Navid Hanif who was the Director of the ECOSOC Support Office and Coordination (OESC) and prior to that in the Division for Sustainable Development. Navid was also when he was in the Pakistan Mission one of the three authors of the GA resolution th…

Guest Blog: The fiscal costs of PPPs in the spotlight

First published on the UNCTAG blog here. Ms. María José Romero, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Publicly-Backed Private Finance, the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad)
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly being promoted as a way to finance development projects. To pave the way for PPPs, donor governments and financial institutions, led by the World Bank Group, have set up multiple donor initiatives to promote changes in national regulatory frameworks, to provide advice and to finance PPP projects.The value of PPPs in the developing world has grown rapidly since 2004 - over an eight-year period, investments through PPPs increased by a factor of six, from US$25 billion to US$164 billion.[1] Since then, the trend has been more volatile - although investment in PPPs fell in 2013, they picked up again and continued to increase in 2014 and in 2015 (US$104 and US$118 billion, respectively).[2] 2016 saw another fall - to US$70 billion - due to declining investment in…