Our Perspective

      • Helen Clark: Speech on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals

        29 Dec 2015


        Thank you for inviting me to address this Sustainable Innovation Forum. This is a huge year for sustainable development, with a big, bold new global agenda, Agenda 2030 and seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched by world leaders in September. It will be a great year for sustainable development if COP-21 here in Paris delivers a new global agreement on climate change. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without decisive action to adapt to and mitigate climate change. That’s why Agenda 2030 has a dedicated Goal, SDG 13 on taking “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”[1]. This Goal urges the international community to: “strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries”; “integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning”; “improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning”; and to implement the previous commitment by developed countries under the UNFCCC to the goal of mobilizing $100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020 Goal 13 also recognizes the need to build capacity for tackling climate change in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with a particular focus on women,  Read More

      • UNDP Administrator Helen Clark Statement on the Adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals

        28 Sep 2015


        I welcome this momentous decision by Member States to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals which will guide development for the next fifteen years, offering a chance to meet the global citizenry's aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous, and sustainable future. Sustainable development in the 21st century is not something which happens to somebody else, somewhere else. We all have a stake in it -- and every country has work to do to progress towards it.  The good news is that our world has more wealth, more knowledge, and more technologies at its disposal than ever before. The challenges we face are mostly human induced. We can tackle them, but not if we keep doing business as usual and expecting different results. Ours is the last generation which can head off the worst effects of climate change, and the first generation with the wealth and knowledge to eradicate poverty. For this, fearless leadership from us all is needed. If the global community collectively is prepared to step up to the challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, then there’s a chance of achieving sustainable development – and with it better prospects for people and our planet.     Read More

      • African Renaissance and the Rising South By Helen Clark

        24 May 2013

        UNDP Administrator Hellen Clark (left) meets with Brazillian President Dilma Vana Rousseff (right)

        By Helen Clark Fifty years ago, on 25 May 1963, leaders of independent African countries signed the charter founding the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The OAU sought to promote solidarity and unity among African states; to rid the continent of remaining colonization and apartheid; and to promote co-operation for development. Today, some of the world’s fastest-growing economies are in Africa. Overall the continent’s countries have averaged impressive growth of over five per cent annually since 2004. This trend looks set to continue. Many African countries have made significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.  Many more children, including girls, are getting an education than ever before. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty is falling.  The numbers of women elected to legislatures is growing, and the tide is turning on HIV. Thanks to targeted investments in the health sector, life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa surged by 5.5 years between 2000 and 2012, having stagnated between 1990 and 2000 - mainly because of HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, there has been an upsurge in trade, investment, and development cooperation with emerging economies, including South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, China, and India, which have themselves been successful in the fight against poverty. Over the past  Read More

      • It’s time to accelerate MDG attainment in Kenya

        26 Apr 2013

        The urgent need to address poverty around the world and the opportunity provided by the MDGs have made them the rallying call of a global partnership and the cornerstone of international and regional development policy.

        The urgent need to address poverty around the world and the opportunity provided by the MDGs have made them the rallying call of a global partnership and the cornerstone of international and regional development policy. For the first time in history, a diverse range of players across the globe agreed on a common platform of priorities for addressing the many faces of extreme poverty, hunger, joblessness, diseases, lack of shelter, gender in-equality and environmental challenges. With less than 2 years before the MDGs target date of 2015, development practitioners, including agencies of the UN are participating in consultations aimed at defining the contours of the post-2015 development agenda. The African continent continues to make steady progress on most of the MDGs. Even though it is unlikely to achieve all the targets by 2015, the rate of progress on several indicators including primary school enrolment, gender parity in school enrolment, lower HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and the share of women in non-agricultural wage employment is accelerating.  Strengthening attainment of off the target MDGs will require sustained policy adjustment at a measured pace that depends heavily on a country’s individual circumstances. In this case, pro-poor policies are needed to ensure that all members of  Read More

      • End of the Year Message From Helen Clark

        31 Dec 2012

        Dear Colleagues,   I wish you and your families the very best for these holidays. Thank you all for your dedication and hard work through this tumultuous year.   Happy holidays,   Helen Clark UNDP Administrator   Read More

      • Digital Technology can help solve Africa’s Development challenges

        20 Sep 2012


        Governance and political participation In the current digital era, political institutions, activities and relationships are increasingly mediated and shaped by the technologies of information and communication. This includes interaction between political institutions and players like political parties, political aspirants and the voters. The digital platforms such as twitter, Facebook and YouTube have provided political players a chance to share their messages and policies with their social media followers. This has enhanced political public participation and policy change. These online tools have influenced governments and democratic processes as witnessed in the Arab World where the internet was used as a means of rallying crowds to demand certain freedoms from their governments and leaders. We have also seen the massive impact of social media in elections campaign management in Europe, America and now increasingly in Africa.  We can therefore not ignore the role of social media in governance and leadership.    Increasing participation on democratic process The internet and social platforms have the ability to increase young voters’ participation during elections. The new media technologies can assist re-invigorate political campaigns and rallying the youth who constitute 70% of Kenya’s population and active in these platforms to participate in the election processes. The digital platform  Read More

      • Africa must consolidate gains in Democracy, Elections and Diversity

        29 Aug 2011

        Rural Women go through Civic Education through a UNDP supported project

        Gaborone, 17th October 2012… As deliberations at the ongoing 8th Africa Governance Forum entered its second day, delegates focused their interactions and discussions on the sub-regional trends of democracy, elections and diversity management in Africa.  In a very engaging and interactive manner, the forum observed that different sub regions in Africa have made varying degrees of progress in relation to democracy, elections and diversity management in Africa. The gains achieved so far need to be consolidated with countries leaning and sharing with each other, the forum emphasized. Speaking on Central Africa sub region, Mr. Lucien Toulou, Electoral Institute doe Sustainable Democracy in Africa, EISA-Chad, observed that only a holistic and more integrated approach of diversity management in democracy and elections can contribute to transforming the dynamics of competitive politics in Central Africa. He emphasized the importance of citizen participation in democratic and electoral processes, the stakeholders’ relationship in the electoral process and the nature of institutions involved in this transformative efforts.  Additionally, Prof. Gilbert Khadiagala, from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, noted the positive trends in some East African states acknowledging efforts by Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, countries which have put in place affirmative action measures for inclusion  Read More

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