SDGs

The Pursuit of Happiness: paying greater attention to Mental Health

Sunday marks the United Nations’ 5th International Day of Happiness. Few people are against the pursuit of happiness, but many argue that governments – and international organisations for that matter – have no business in setting happiness as a public policy goal. And yet leaders around the world, from France to Japan, Italy to Qatar, are increasingly paying attention to it. Bhutan has long advocated for the use of a Gross National Happiness Index to provide a fuller assessment of national development progress than what is captured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the US Surgeon General sees happiness as a part of the country’s public health agenda.   Economists and statisticians recognise that measuring happiness – or subjective wellbeing as it’s more accurately called – ...

Unpaid care and domestic work – a global challenge with local solutions

Read this very interesting blog by Clare Bishop, Senior Consultant for the OECD Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment, on OECD-Development Matters and learn more about the challenges of unpaid care and domestic work nowadays: https://oecd-development-matters.org/2018/03/14/unpaid-care-and-domestic-work-a-global-challenge-with-local-solutions/

10 Things We All Should Know About Indigenous People

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. To mark the occasion, the President of the UN General Assembly has convened a high-level event to take stock of progress and discuss what more needs to be done. It’s a good time for all of us to consider why it’s important to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. Here are 10 things we all should know about indigenous people. 1. WHEREVER WE LIVE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE OUR NEIGHBOURS. There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. Indigenous communities are present in all geographic regions and represent 5,000 different cultures. 2. INDIGENOUS PEOPLE SPEAK AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S 7,000 LANGUAGES. Indigenous languages ...

Working with African judges to protect rights of people living with HIV

  The third Judges’ Forum was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in June. Photo: UNDP Africa More than 30 judges from 14 African countries convened in Johannesburg, South Africa 15­–17 June this year for the third annual Regional Judges’ Forum to discuss HIV and tuberculosis (TB)-related jurisprudence as part of an ongoing initiative to sensitise senior judges and uphold the rights of people living with HIV in Africa. “The judiciary must be available for the minority, and in adjudicating cases on minority issues, we must be guided by information, by science, by law, by consideration of justice. If we do so, then we shall have served our purpose”, said Botswana High Court’s Justice Key Dingake, one of the participants at the UN Development Programme (UNDP)-supported meeting. Duri...

Poverty isn’t permanent.

What is poverty? Is it increasing or decreasing?   Camila Gonzalez, 9 years old, studies at home on a computer she received through Uruguay’s “One Laptop per Child” programme. Enrollment in primary education, one of the surest means of reducing poverty, has increased significantly since 2000. The enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015. Photo: Pablo La Ros/UNDP We challenged people in New York City to rethink what they know about poverty. Here’s what they had to say: Despite common misperceptions, poverty isn’t permanent! The world is making headway in the fight against poverty. Since 1999, we’ve reduced the percentage of people around the world who live in extreme poverty from 28 percent to 11 percent. That’s about 250,000 people worldwide who climb out of pov...

Closing gender gaps throughout the life course

Our choices and opportunities, from childhood to older-age, accumulate over the life course. Breaking patterns of inequality requires us to consider the full cycle of life and identify critical intervention periods and cumulative deprivations. Children who do not have access to early childhood education may not learn as efficiently later. Youth who have a limited education, may resort to informal work or be unemployed, which can later lead to an insufficient pension. Older people may suffer illnesses and disabilities brought on from past physical labour or insufficient preventive health care. Recent Human Development Reports have experimented with presenting data in a way that highlights the gaps in capabilities and opportunities between women and men from childhood through older age. The ...

Protecting Our Planet’s Lungs

By UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN CLIMATE CHANGE, INDIGENOUS & RAINFOREST The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) initiativeis a partnership between FAO, UNDP and UNEP. “We cannot live without our land,” says Cirila Tete, an indigenous leader living in the last refuge of the Harakmbut Amazonian people: the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. As a member of Boca Isiriwe, one of the 10 native communities in this protected territory, Cirila defends the largest, most intact primary forest in Peru’s Southern Amazon region. The area is the source of livelihoods for more than 1,700 indigenous people, and Cirila is one of its stewards, protecting it from the ravages of mining and illegal logging. Because they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, t...

Human Development that “cares”

In a recent dialogue, members of civil society and governments explored the practical and political steps to leave no one behind through the experiences of those who are excluded. Sarah, a 16-year-old from Chicago, USA, asked the decision makers around the table how it was possible that she and her siblings were abandoned and suffered physical violence for six years without anybody raising the alarm to help them. They were neglected by the (under resourced) social services, the government, the neighbors, the hospital employees and even their own family. She was “left behind”. To her, what is even harder than the five years of lost schooling or the trauma caused by the abuse, is trying to understand why nobody cared. The 2016 Human Development Report (HDR) recommends putting in place “natio...

Human security and natural disasters

The last few months have seen many natural disasters across the world, raising global attention on disaster risk reduction. In August, unusually heavy rainfalls flooded South Asia, killing over 1,200 people and displacing at least 2.5 million in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. On 7 September, the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century killed 98 people, affecting 1.5 million in the state of Chiapas. Twelve days later, another major earthquake rattled Mexico City, killing over 300 people and injuring over 4,600. Three devastating hurricanes battered the Caribbean and the United States in August and September 2017, killing hundreds of people, displacing over 2 million and costing hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses. Two of these were Category 5 hurricanes, an exceptional ...

Life does not end after 60 and neither should the data

Our world is rapidly ageing. By 2050, our planet will be home to twice as many people aged 60 or more than there are today. At the same time, the population aged 80 or more will triple in size, according to UN Division for Economic and Social Affairs’ 2017 Revision of the World Population Prospects. Even sub-Saharan Africa, a region better known for its youthful populations, is experiencing population ageing, with an expected tripling of its population 60 years and over from 64 million older women and men today to 220 million by 2050. These trends will have a profound impact on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development globally and even more so in sub-Saharan Africa. The world’s integrated efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure quality healthcare and reduce gender ine...

Niue to create large-scale marine protected area

Area will encompass 40% of Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone, second largest in the world in terms of proportion of EEZ protected Ridge to Reef Concept for Biodiversity Conservation and for the Enhancement of Ecosystem Services and Cultural Heritage in Niue. A boy swims underwater near a shell of giant clam at Beveridge Reef area, Niue. © 2016 Vlad Sokhin. All Rights Reserved. The tiny Pacific island country of Niue is now in the global big leagues of marine conservation. At the Our Ocean Conference in Malta on 5 October, the government of Niue announced its decision to create a large-scale marine protected area (LSMPA) encompassing 40 percent of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).The LSMPA of about 127,000 square kilometres will include the coastal waters of Niue and nea...

Measuring Human Development in the Future

Each year, the Human Development Index (HDI), the signature index of the Human Development Reports (HDR), captures headlines across the globe, as countries track their progress in education, health and income. Although the HDI is not a comprehensive measure of human development, it is a broader assessment of human well-being and it shows how, human development measures have become a touchstone in assessing progress over the last 25 years. The HDI, which was introduced in the first Human Development Report (1990), has been pioneering in the field and remains one of the – if not the – most influential of indices in development debates. Other human development measures and indices have been progressively introduced to the reports. And today HDRs include a family of composite indices and indic...

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