In designating 2012 as the UN International Year of Cooperatives, the international community recognizes the cooperative business model, is now being revolutionized thanks to the development of information and communications technologies (ICT). A panel discussion on Wednesday, organized by the UN’s Division for Social Policy and Development and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, outlined some of the ways in which ICTs are impacting cooperatives around the world.
Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Thomas Teuscher, moderated a conversation among representatives from The Global Fund, The Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and the US Global Malaria Coordinator. They reported on the tremendous progress made over the past decade – child mortality has decreased from 1 million per year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa in 2000, to 500,000 today.
At a high-level meeting of sub-national government leaders and representatives from the World Bank and other institutions with a stake in Rio+20, delegates unanimously clamored for a more prominent role in sustainability and climate change talks.
“The media” is often presented as a monolithic, vaguely sinister entity that is as likely to exacerbate conflicts as it is resolve them. However, in presenting their upcoming Plural+ Film Festival, the United Nations Alliance for Civilizations (UNAOC) expresses confidence in the media’s ability to favorably shape global public opinion and policy.
Inspired by the UN Human Rights Council’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child, START seeks to heal, educate, and enrich the skills and opportunities of children in the poorest areas of the Middle East through art. With arts education programs at refugee camps and orphanages throughout Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, as well as workshops for special needs children in the UAE, START actualizes Art Dubai’s commitment to give back to the region.
Walking into the United Nations on International Women’s Day, the positive energy was palpable. A conference on “The Role of Business in Empowering Women” spawned a gathering of a geographically and experientially diverse individuals eager to advance financial inclusion, transparent corporate supply chains, and economic opportunities for women.
In the theater of environmental preservation, increasing the global poor’s access to energy is usually cast as a necessary evil because it comes at the expense of the environment. Yet, given the direct correlation between adequate access to energy and poverty indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and literacy rates, reducing poverty necessitates connecting the 1.6 billion people currently categorized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as “energy poor” to some source of power.
Afghanistan in the decade since 9/11 conjures images of the Taliban fighters, US-led coalition forces, competing warlords, corrupt government officials, and the international community’s failed attempts at “nation-building.” Often overlooked amidst this chaos is Afghanistan’s cultural vibrancy, a legacy of its rich ancient civilization at the crossroads of various Greek, Indian, Persian, and central Asian empires. One organization is striving to harness Afghanistan’s artistic traditions in order to spur sustainable development.
In June 2012 heads of state will convene in Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Recognizing the need for collaboration between the public and private sectors in order to achieve these goals 400 international business leaders exchanges ideas in advance of the summit.