Last December, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. In his official press release, the secretary-general declared, “We must not allow this to be another forgotten crisis.” Even though Typhoon Haiyan occurred three months ago, the reconstruction needed to move the country from a disaster zone to a disaster-resilient community will take years. Acknowledging this, the UN continues to urgently call for international support to keep the focus on the Philippines’ needs, as international attention shifts to other crises around the world.
The United Nations first devised its list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 1971. More than 40 years later, only three countries have graduated, which means that their Gross National Income per capita has exceeded $1,190 as of 2012, and they have attained other development and economic indicators.
On UN Day, the international community looks inward, celebrating the anniversary of when the United Nations Charter first took effect in 1945. Indeed it is a chance to reflect upon what the charter represents in terms of promoting social and economic progress, fundamental human rights and tolerance, and peace and security throughout the world. Yet more and more, the UN appears to be focusing outward as it tackles the world’s most pressing development issues.
The recent Social Good Summit, presented by Mashable and the United Nations Foundation, conveyed a technological call to action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) and create the post-2015 development agenda. To that end, the conference utilized the tagline and Twitter handle #2030NOW. The conference was streamed live worldwide, creating a widespread audience able to contribute to the dialogue, with forums readily available for expressing views and ideas.
At the closing session of the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level dialogue on migration and development recently, Italy’s UN ambassador Antonio Bernardini told delegates that migration must be included in the post-2015 development agenda. He was speaking a day after more than 300 Eritrean migrants perished when the boat ferrying them caught fire and capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The #2030NOW Twitter hashtag of this year’s Social Good Summit, held in New York during the UN General Assembly week, was meant to be a rallying cry for the international community. It succinctly raised the critical question of how current technology can create lasting societal impact. And it reflected the UN’s priorities of generating momentum for achieving the remaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while simultaneously emphasizing the post-2015 development agenda.
Before the country’s March coup, United Nations humanitarian workers embedded in the Central African Republic (CAR) had already taken to referring to the nation’s condition as a forgotten crisis. It’s shorthand to describe the infrastructural shortages, abysmal health indicators and lack of money to begin to solve those and the country’s myriad other problems.
Today, the United Nations is taking a fundamental step forward in mapping out successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the end of 2015. The UN’s High-Level Panel (HLP) has just released an essential report regarding the Post-2015 development agenda, focusing on everything from ending extreme poverty to promoting sustainable development.
Mali’s interim leaders have secured two major votes of confidence in less than a month: the approval of a United Nations peace force and global pledges of $4.2 billion (€3.5 billion) in development aid. Yet they now face the daunting challenge of delivering on promises to tackle the poverty and inequality that have fuelled the nation’s unrest.
Rescuers and salvage workers have concluded a frantic search for victims in Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza, an eight-story garment factory complex that collapsed on April 24, killing an estimated 1,127 people. Sadly, there will be no more miraculous stories of survival like that of Reshma Begum, the 19-year-old seamstress who was pulled from the rubble 17 days after the collapse. Instead, the United Nations and leading experts like Muhammad Yunus are urging the international community to address this catastrophe’s underlying causes.