Our Perspective

      • Post-2015 agenda: Reinventing global decision-making | Olav Kjørven

        17 Apr 2013

        For the first time in history, the United Nations (UN) are engaging people all around the world in shaping a global agenda: the next development goals. We are breaking new ground using digital media, mobile phone technology and door-to-door interviewers to include as many individuals as possible in the debate on the future anti-poverty targets that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). To date, close to half a million people have taken part in the ongoing “Global Conversation.” The discussion takes place on several platforms: close to 100 UN Member States are organizing local workshops with the participation of young people, vulnerable women, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups;  eleven global thematic consultations are taking place online through the World We Want 2015 website, where people can contribute their ideas on issues such as inequalities, food security, and access to water; and the MY World survey, available in 10 languages, invites people to vote for six out of 16 priorities for the future development agenda. I presented the voices from the conversation to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and to the representatives of Member States who will ultimately negotiate the next set of goals. OneRead More

      • Is it possible to provide health care without causing harm to the environment? | Suely Carvalho

        07 Apr 2013

        Is it possible to provide health care without causing harm to the environment? World Health Day 2013 reminds us that 12 percent of all deaths globally are due to high blood pressure. For centuries, doctors did not have a good way to monitor blood pressure until the introduction of mercury blood pressure meters in the early 1900s.  This advance in health care, however, has had a negative side. Every year, tonnes of toxic mercury from broken blood pressure meters are released from hospitals into the environment, causing serious harm to human health. A similar dilemma arises with infectious waste, a necessary byproduct of medical care. Single-use plastic syringes and disposable products prevent the transfer of infections among patients but increase the quantity of waste produced. Dumping untreated waste contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, while burning the waste in incinerators emits hazardous pollutants including highly toxic and persistent dioxins. Is it possible to provide health care without causing harm? The experience of King George’s Medical University (KGMU), a hospital for the poor in India, shows that it is. In 2009, the hospital generated 2.5 tonnes of infectious waste per day. Waste was dumped on the floor, collected by sweepers,Read More

      • MDGs 2015: Latin America needs equality and environmental sustainability | Heraldo Muñoz

        05 Apr 2013

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        Children in Uruguay, where a maternal and infant health programme has drastically improved health markers for children by providing the poorest populations with healthcare, nutritional training and food. (Photo: UNDP Uruguay)

        One thousand days from the 2015 target date, Latin America and the Caribbean is well on the way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Poverty has been reduced to the lowest levels in three decades. Child mortality has dropped and we are fighting diseases, with some countries spearheading innovation in universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care. The commitments made 13 years ago led the region to fine-tune some groundbreaking social policies which, along with rapid economic growth and job creation, helped lift millions from poverty while reducing inequalities. But Latin America and the Caribbean remains the most unequal region in the world—and the most violent. Moreover, too many women still die in childbirth and countries need to boost gender parity in employment and parliaments as well as access to education and reproductive health services. Sanitation must also be improved and more needs to be done to reverse forest loss. In addition, average MDG achievement for countries with historical inequalities is insufficient. In the Brazilian states of São Paulo and Piauí, or in the Mexican states of Nuevo León and Chiapas, MDG achievement rates are considerably different. To tackle such disparities, UNDP and other UN agencies have been partneringRead More