As the SDGs Falter, the UN Turns to the Rich and Famous

Amina Mohammed with Borge Brende, António Guterres and Klaus Schwab

The Sustainable Development Goals are in trouble. United Nations officials are concerned and say so publicly. Secretary-General António Guterres  joined in raising an alarm in mid-July when he introduced the most recent official UN report. “It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and … Read more

Big Holes in the UN Development Goals Are Exposed by New Studies

Serious flaws in the system for tracking progress on the Sustainable Development Goals have been uncovered in a newly published collection of stunning, provocative research by eminent developing policy specialists. They are finding that the lofty visions that produced the SDGs, now in their fourth year of implementation, have from the start been undercut and … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Unsafe Food, a Killer in Poor Nations, Needs Government Action

A World Bank report on foodborne diseases says food-safety regulations are most deficient in low-income countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which can result in early deaths, especially among children. A dried-fish market in Kathmandu, Nepal, above.

Poverty’s companions — hunger, malnutrition and recurring sickness — do not have to be the inevitable fate of people in low-income countries, the World Bank said in a recent report. But from national governments to farmers to market stallholders and their customers, making food safer has not been recognized and tackled as a major deterrent … Read more

Reform Clouds Darken the Future of the UN Development Program

As the first effects of Secretary-General António Guterres’s ambitious organizational reform plans become apparent, former and current officials of the United Nations Development Program see the future of the internationally influential agency as uncertain if not in peril. Fears center on aspects of the reform plan for development that would allow more political interference by … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Reviving Multilateralism on the Road to 2020

As humanity struggles with mass violence, mass migrations and the widening effect of climate change, the international system inaugurated nearly 75 years ago to manage such global problems seems to be crumbling. Over the last year, the United States has turned its back on the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Paris climate accord. Last … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

With US Funds Gone, UN Population Fund Faces Brutal Choices in Helping Women

It will soon be two years since the United Nations adopted a new 15-year development policy encapsulated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This sprawling, ambitious agenda was designed partly to address the shortcomings of the Millennium Goals, the most disheartening of which for women was the failure to meet promises of improved maternal health … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Warning: Too Much Reliance on Data Can Undermine the UN’s SDGs

At the United Nations, the buzz around a “data revolution” has taken the role of numeric indicators to new heights. Once thought to be a technical issue for statisticians, data questions were a recurring theme in conversations among the thousands of politicians, officials, activists and researchers who gathered in mid-July at the UN’s High-Level Political … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

How Can CUNY and the UN Revolutionize Education for All? By Working Together

An important meeting on global education with a dozen education ministers from across the world was held at the United Nations headquarters last week. As the meeting unfolded, we were sitting in our office a few miles away, across the East River in Brooklyn, at the New York City College of Technology, part of the … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

US Supreme Court Bars Discrimination Against Unwed Fathers, Rejecting Stereotypes

Unwed fathers and mothers may not be treated differently in determining whether their children born overseas can claim American citizenship, the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled. This means that all children born to an unmarried American parent, whether it is a father or a mother, must now be treated the same. The Court’s decision … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

One Advantage Women Have Over Men: They Live Longer

A male hang glider, above, takes off from a cliff in eastern San Diego County, California

With few exceptions, women across the world live longer than men. Globally, life expectancies of women at birth exceed men by more than four years. At age 60, women live longer than men by nearly three years. Globally, average life expectancy at birth stands at 72 years, with some 50 countries attaining levels above 80 … Read more

At the UN Oceans Forum in June, Will the US Play a Bit Part?

In just a few weeks, the United Nations is convening a world gathering to discuss the health of the world’s oceans and seas, with member states, government and nongovernmental organizations, corporations and members of the scientific community and academia signed up to take part. Yet while representatives from America’s private sector and academic community — … Read more

An SDG Fund: Supporting the 2030 UN Development Agenda

There is an ongoing process of change in the United Nations development system, albeit a slow one given the size of the challenges. At the country level, more UN country teams (UNCTs) are endorsing the principles of Delivering as One, which have spread from the original eight pilot countries. There is evidence of more joint … Read more

 

Why Would Anyone Want This Job? The WHO Prepares to Elect a New Chief

GENEVA — In late May by secret paper ballot, all 194 member states of the World Health Assembly that have paid their dues will cast their votes for one of three final candidates in the first-ever election of the planet’s top doctor: the director-general of the World Health Organization. The candidates are Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Message to Trump: The US Needs the UN and Vice Versa

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Strong American leadership at the United Nations would greatly enhance President-elect Trump’s foreign policy agenda. United States investment in the UN is an effective use of taxpayer dollars to serve the US military, diplomatic, economic and national security interests. UN peacekeepers, for example, cost one-eighth the expenses of US boots on the … Read more

In Hanoi, Families Finance Vietnam’s Entrepreneurial Women

HANOI — Michaela Walsh, a founder and the first president and chief executive of Women’s World Banking, and Lilia Clemente, the founder of Clemente Capital, an early investor in developing nations, went to Vietnam in early June to meet women and observe how they fared with their street carts, market stalls and shops under more … Read more

Failing Public Schools Spur Global Boom in Private Education

Chinese Children

While governments bask in data showing that the development goal of universal access to primary education has largely been achieved, attention is turning to what that really means in the classroom. Educators and human-rights advocates question whether acceptable standards are being met in many schools, as evidence mounts of the proliferation of private education in … Read more

 

At UN, Momentum Is Gaining to End Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking

Experts on human trafficking and slavery are calling for strong involvement by the private sector in tackling the enormous challenge of these abuses, particularly with girls and women. At the same time, the experts, who spoke at a recent panel discussion held at the United Nations, recognized the daunting task in asking industry to participate … Read more

The UN’s Support of Midwifery and the Serious Gaps That Remain

Midwifery is one of the world’s most ancient vocations, its practitioners playing a prominent role dating back to the Bible. In much of the world, midwives continue to play an important role in maintaining the health of women and newborns. It should come as no surprise, then, that investments in this occupation, according to the … Read more

Finding True Power for Women and Girls: The UN Goals’ Toughest Task

Challenged by the staggering agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to abolish most of the world’s ills within 15 years, research organizations, advocacy groups and objective demographers had begun to do the math well before the goals were adopted globally in September 2015. Success or failure rests on complex equations with interlinked or competing … Read more

Can the UN’s SDGs Live Up to the Hype?

When the United Nations’ member states gave final approval at a special General Assembly session on Sept. 25 to the new global development policy, they were making a commitment to the most wide-ranging and ambitious plan ever attempted by the organization. Now the hard part begins as experts struggle to decide how to measure the … Read more

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