Our Perspective

      • How can we ‘walk the talk’ towards sustainable energy for all | Arun Kashyap

        05 Jun 2014

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        UNDP AND OTHER SISTER UN AGENCIES IN JAMAICA ARE USING SOLAR POWER FOR A GREEN ENERGY ENVIRONMENT. PHOTO: UNDP JAMAICA

        Jamaica is an inefficient user of electricity, according to a recent Worldwatch Institute report. High energy costs, including electricity at $0.42 per kilowatt-hour, are increasingly becoming a burden for Jamaicans, directly affecting the country’s development. Jamaican citizens as well as the Government, are demanding and encouraging lower energy costs through new alliances with businesses and institutions to implement energy conservation measures while boosting the use of alternative energy sources. We’re in this together. UNDP has supported the Government’s Energy Policy roadmap 2009-2030 to transform the sector through energy efficiency and diversification. It commits to a minimum target of 30 percent renewable energy in its portfolio by 2030, in line with the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.  We have also supported the National Energy Action Plan to improve energy efficiency and conservation. Energy affects us all, including our own UNDP bills. In line with what we preach, our office decided to “walk the talk” and pursue a clean energy path. This included applying a ‘cool roof’ technology in our UNDP Kingston office. Nearly 464 square metres of metal sheet roof were treated to cool down office temperatures by 5-10 degrees—greatly reducing the use of air conditioning. Additionally, over 600Read More

      • Boosting indigenous peoples' political representation is an urgent debt for our democracies | Alvaro Pop

        04 Jun 2014

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        Indigenous communities can be adversely affected by local and global development processes, since their distinct visions, concerns and ways of life can be ignored by policy makers. Photo: UNDP in Peru

        In recent times, indigenous peoples have questioned current development models and democracies in Latin America and beyond. The main tool for measuring progress remains Gross Domestic Product, which distorts the true meaning of progress and wellbeing. The damage to ecosystems and loss of biodiversity, not to mention the erosion of cultural and linguistic diversity, have all been excluded from this general assessment. What’s more, the low representation of indigenous peoples in politics and as part of our human development -- below national averages -- is a clear indication that Latin American democracies and the development model have not fully served their purpose. However, many indigenous peoples have taken steps to become more involved in current political affairs and question our societies, accusing the latter of being exclusive, racist, and unaware of their history (for example, they often deny the existence of indigenous genocide) while stifling the diversity and existence of social issues based on a different culture and world view. Paying close attention to such issues and implementing initiatives to enact real change is the challenge faced by democracies. I would like to urge the adoption of a new and rejuvenating approach to issues related to indigenous peoples and their values.Read More

      • The nightmare of violence against women, seen up close | Neus Bernabeu

        28 May 2014

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        HOY, MÁS QUE NUNCA, EL TEMA ESTÁ PRESENTE EN LA AGENDA PÚBLICA Y PROVOCA EL RECHAZO SOCIAL Y MOVILIZACIONES. FOTO: PNUD PERÚ

        Nothing is more powereful to raise awareness abour violence against women than experiencing this nightmare first-hand. We always think such things only happen to others, but current data shows that violence against women is horridly common, albeit in different forms and degrees of cruelty. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), one in every four women in the region experiences some form of violence from her partner. This is also the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged 15 to 49 -- killing more women than cancer, malaria, traffic and war-related incidents. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as “Convention of Belem do Pará.” How much have we advanced in the past two decades? Less than one third of countries in the region (28 percent) have a specific national plan to respond to this issue, and most (78 percent) approach it tangentially in other plans or national security policies. This is corroborated by our UNDP analysis  carried out in 32 countries in the region, which led to the study “States' Commitment: plans and policies to eradicate violence against women in LatinRead More