Our Perspective

      • Road to Rio: What should replace the MDGs? | Rebeca Grynspan

        01 May 2012

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        A worker of "Cooperative Café Timor", Timor-Leste’s largest employer, raises a handful of coffee beans (UN Photo/Martine Perret)

        The main objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are as relevant today as before: to free people everywhere from hunger and poverty, ensure that they can live healthy lives, have access to basic education, sanitation, and clean drinking water, and that men and women are guaranteed equal rights, placing human development at the centre of the debate. Much progress has been made, such as halving extreme poverty, reducing infant deaths by nearly 12,000 fewer children each day and increasing the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS 13-fold. But we are still a long way from achieving some of the goals and targets, including reducing maternal mortality and empowering women and girls.  Extreme poverty will only have been reduced by half as compared to 1990 levels, but not eradicated.  Achieving the MDGs by our target date must remain a top priority and the international community must not lose its focus and momentum on achieving the MDGs by the 2015 deadline.  In thinking about the post-2015 agenda, we must ensure that our approach reaches those left behind or at risk of being left behind: the poorest of the poor and those disadvantaged, stigmatized, or discriminated against because of their sex,Read More

      • Haiti: The key to recovery | Marc-Andre Franche

        25 Apr 2012

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        Haiti’s ability to successfully manage people and resources, establish and enforce norms, monitor and report progress, is foundational to its development. Photo: UNDP

        The difference in Port-au-Prince today is striking. The visible progress is testament to the limitless dedication of Haitians towards rebuilding their country. It also shows unprecedented support from the international community. As the humanitarian effort winds down, it is crucial to understand Haiti will continue to face humanitarian situations, but these must be integrated into medium and long-term recovery and development strategies.  The international community cannot forget Haiti and must scale up the quality and quantity of its support.  In particular, support should ensure Haitians are genuinely front and center of the reconstruction process.  For their part, Haitians and in particular the economic and political elites must revive the extraordinary sense of unity and solidarity which was so moving after the earthquake.  Urgent decisions on realistic actions plans that count on actual available resources are needed.  Agreements between the legislative and executive and between ministries regarding division of labor and issues of leadership are critical for any progress to materialize. Furthermore, improving the quality of aid requires new focus and investments to build durable Haitian institutions.  Haiti’s ability to successfully manage people and resources, establish and enforce norms, monitor and report progress, is foundational to its development. The government and theRead More

      • Road to Rio: The moral link to the global economic crisis | Olav Kjørven

        23 Apr 2012

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        Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, argues that a key underlying failure in recent decades has been the almost complete decoupling of economics and policy-making from moral and conscientious reflection. Photo: UNDP

        I was honored to host a discussion with Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in contribution to the post-2015 development dialogue on Friday in New York.  Our discussion, focused on the ‘ethos of inclusion’, took place as the global economy may be going through its worst crisis since World War II. What we have is a global, multifaceted crisis that brings to the fore existing deficiencies in policy making. It highlights the weaknesses of measuring progress only in terms of growth, as the 2011 Human Development Report stresses, and divorcing economic rationale from the social and environmental considerations of development. If these deficiencies are not addressed comprehensively and forcefully over an extended period of time, they threaten to reverse the impressive gains in human development the world has seen over the last few decades. But how did we get here and what can be done? Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, argues that a key underlying failure in recent decades has been the almost complete decoupling of economics and policy-making from moral and conscientious reflection. The framing of economics and economic policy as instruments to achieve broader human and social ends has been the subject of intense study by Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, JohnRead More