Our Perspectives

Governance and peacebuilding

Sustainable development and sustaining peace: Two sides of the same coin

20 Jul 2017 by Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support and Oscar Fernández-Taranco, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support

Just emerging from decades of conflict, Colombia sees the SDGs and an integral tool in its peacebuilding process.
More than 1.4 billion people, including half of the world’s extremely poor people, live in fragile and conflict-affected settings. The number is forecast to grow by a staggering 82 percent by 2030. Around 244 million people are on the move, with 65 million people in our world being forcibly displaced. You might assume that for countries in the cross hairs of these dynamics, the last thing on anyone’s mind right now is getting on track to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you did, think again. Sustainable development is key to sustaining peace and vice versa.  Sustaining peace, a concept endorsed by the UN General Assembly and Security Council, focuses on the importance of having a long-term, comprehensive vision in all responses to violent conflict, to end vicious cycles of lapse and relapse. Many countries in complex situations have embraced the SDGs as part of the solution. Afghanistan, for example, is presenting its plans at this year’s UN High-Level Political Forum, the global platform for SDG follow-up and review. At the same forum, Togo, a self-declared ‘fragile’ state, is showcasing its SDG initiatives for the second year running. And Colombia, one of the masterminds of the SDGs, considers them … Read more

3 lessons from Equator Prize 2017 winners

29 Jun 2017 by Martin Sommerschuh, Programme Analyst, Equator Initiative, UNDP

Children planting mangroveThe village of Bang La has been sustainably managing a 192-hectare forest that has shielded the community from devastating disasters and improved livelihoods through increased fish catch. Photo: Community Mangrove Forest Conservation of Baan Bang La
The Equator Prize recognizes innovative community initiatives that promote nature-based solutions for local sustainable development. In the past 15 years, the Equator Initiative has highlighted the successful contributions of indigenous and local communities to the environment, poverty and climate challenges. The initiatives we work with have taught us that action at the local level is essential to achieve sustainable development. Today, the Equator Initiative announces the winners of the Equator Prize 2017, recognizing 15 new Equator Prize winners. They will be honoured at an award ceremony in New York in September. Over the past three months, I have had the privilege of leading the inspiring and sometimes nail-biting selection process – a three-stage exercise in which an independent Technical Advisory Committee chooses the winners. I am sharing here a few key lessons we learned along the way: 1.   Investing in nature is an effective and efficient pathway to sustainable development Because its mangroves were intact, the village of Bang La in Thailand was largely spared the devastating force of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. To ensure the mangroves can protect them and future generations, the community formed an association to legally protect their mangroves, for only a fraction of what … Read more

Housing by people: rebuilding lives and neighbourhoods after conflict

28 Jun 2017 by Matthew French, Programme Specialist, UNDP Iraq

Children sit on a step outside their home while a man works inside.Children wait outside while repairs are made to their home in Fallujah, Iraq. Photo: Lindsay Mackenzie/UNDP Iraq
The fall of Mosul to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014 and the group’s quick advance across nearly one third of the country plunged Iraq into a deep political, social and security crisis. Almost 5 million Iraqis have fled their homes to safer areas in the country. Significant progress has been made to liberate towns and cities from ISIL, including the major cities of Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar and large parts of Mosul in Ninewah. As of June 2017, more than 1.8 million people have returned to their homes in liberated areas. Iraqis who have returned have found their homes and neighbourhoods in ruins. Collapsed roofs, smashed windows, and broken doors are common. Household goods were looted or destroyed, fixtures and fittings damaged, and walls punctuated with bullet holes. The damage is not only a practical problem and safety hazard; for many Iraqis, the damage is a very tangible reminder of their immense suffering over the past years and makes it difficult to have hope in the future of a post-ISIL Iraq. UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) supports the Government of Iraq to rehabilitate public infrastructure and facilitate returns as quickly as possible. The … Read more

Enfrentando la radicalización y el extremismo violento a través de la acción climática

14 Nov 2016 by Aliou M. Dia, Team Leader, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, UNDP Africa

El cambio climático y el extremismo violento serán dos de las mayores amenazas para la estabilidad de los Estados y sociedades en las próximas décadas. En muchos países africanos (Mali, Sudán del Sur, Nigeria, Somalia, etc.), el cambio climático ha incrementado la inestabilidad al poner bajo mayor presión las ya limitadas capacidades de los gobiernos para brindar respuestas efectivas. … Read more

A historic day in Colombia

26 Sep 2016 by Martín Santiago, Resident Representative, UNDP Colombia

The Peace Agreement signed by the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP is of great significance for Colombia and for the world. Photo: UNDP Colombia
La familia de Betsaida abandonó su casa propia y un pequeño comercio en el puerto de Tumaco, en el Pacífico de Colombia, y se vio arrastrada en el camino de los desplazados que han tenido que seguir cerca de 7 millones de colombianas y colombianos como consecuencia del conflicto armado. Su historia, y la de millones de víctimas de la guerra, se encuentra al centro de lo que es y hace la Organización de las Naciones Unidas. Setenta y un años después de su creación, la aspiración universal de poner fin a la guerra, reafirmar los derechos humanos fundamentales y promover el progreso social continúa latente y más crucial que nunca. … Read more

Sauver la planète commence par notre assiette

12 Aug 2016 by Anissa Saudemont, Social Media Intern

Jeunes ou moins jeunes, nous sommes nombreux à nous demander si – à notre échelle – nous pouvons participer à la lutte contre le changement climatique. Éteindre la lumière en sortant d'une pièce, recycler nos déchets, supprimer l’usage des sacs plastiques, privilégier les douches aux bains … nous sommes déjà nombreux à avoir intégré ces petits gestes dans notre quotidien. Mais qu’en est-il de nos habitudes alimentaires ? Dans ce domaine également, nos choix ont un impact sur l’environnement. … Read more

Agenda 2030: un reto para los Estados y un reconocimiento para los pueblos indígenas

09 Aug 2016 by Álvaro Pop, Chairperson, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

A delegate speaks at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. To achieve the 2030 Agenda, indigenous peoples must have a seat at the table. UN Photo
Los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible no se pueden alcanzar sin reconocer que somos sociedades multiculturales. Dentro de este enfoque, el cumplimiento de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas es necesario e imperativo. Cumplir con los pueblos indígenas entraña enormes posibilidades para el avance de los ODS. Sus capacidades de seguir desarrollando sus propios sistemas de educación, salud, administración de justicia y alimentarios ancestrales permitirán potenciar los esfuerzos e inversiones que se hagan en cada país. Son más de 300 millones de personas que mantienen sus planteamientos como pueblos indígenas y hablan más de cinco mil idiomas. Esta es la auténtica riqueza de la humanidad. … Read more

Peacebuilding through parliaments

07 Jul 2016 by Nika Saeedi, Policy Specialist, Gender, Political Processes, Peacebuilding, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), UNDP

 Enthusiastic women parliamentarian candidates in Indonesia. Photo: UNDP
We look to our parliaments to represent us, adopt laws that protect our fundamental rights and freedoms, and distribute resources to those in need. In such ways, parliaments are uniquely positioned to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. So why is it that they are so often absent from discussions surrounding the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda and its implementation? The adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in 2000 acknowledged the inordinate impact war has on women, and the pivotal role women play in development, peace and security. Recent resolutions stressed the need for including women in peace talks, to prevent violent extremism and foster post-conflict reconstruction. We have learned that the probability of peace agreements lasting at least two years increases by 20 percent when women participate in the process. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals recognize the links between gender equality, strong institutions, peace and security. … Read more

La TICAD, un forum unique toujours d’actualité

05 Jul 2016 by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP

Nairobi, Kenya will host the sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) from 27 to 28 August 2016.
La sixième Conférence internationale de Tokyo sur le développement de l’Afrique (TICAD), qui se tiendra à Nairobi les 27 et 28 août prochains, devrait attirer plus de 6 000 représentants des gouvernements, des organisations internationales, de la société civile et des organisations du secteur privé. Créé en 1993 pour encourager et promouvoir les partenariats internationaux pour le développement de l’Afrique, ce forum a vu le jour au milieu des « décennies perdues pour le développement » du continent africain, lequel était alors aux prises avec les contraintes des programmes d’ajustement structurel et incapable de reprendre son souffle. En cette fin de guerre froide, les principaux bailleurs de fonds, à l’exception notable du Japon, s’interrogeaient sur la pertinence de l’aide au développement accordée à l’Afrique. … Read more

Burundi : Passer à la vitesse supérieure pour éviter une crise plus aiguë

11 Jan 2016 by Bruno Lemarquis, Deputy Director, Crisis Response Unit, UNDP

Young people in BurundiTo overcome the crisis once and for all, we must avoid short-term solutions and focus on youth and the employment of young people. Photo: Aude Rossignol/UNDP Burundi
La situation au Burundi est très préoccupante. Sur des problèmes de développement structurels vient se greffer une crise politique, avec un impact en terme de besoins humanitaires, de cohésion sociale et de situation des droits de l’homme, avec en fond un contexte historique connu, Ce qui est le plus visible du point de vue humanitaire pour le moment, ce sont les déplacés qui ont quitté le pays. Les déplacés internes sont beaucoup moins apparents car ils s’installent dans des communautés où ils se sentent en sécurité. … Read more