1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action
Rethinking Work for Human Development
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2. News, Publications, Tools, and Conferences
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3. Advances in Sustainable Development
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS FINAL REPORT 2015
MDG success springboard for new sustainable development agenda
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history and will serve as the jumping-off point for the new sustainable development agenda to be adopted this year, according to the final MDG report launched today by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 found that the 15-year effort to achieve the eight aspirational goals set
out in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 was largely successful across the globe, while acknowledging shortfalls that
remain. The data and analysis presented in the report show that with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate
resources and political will, even the poorest can make progress.
"Following profound and consistent gains, we now know that extreme poverty can be eradicated within one more generation", said Ban Ki-moon. "The MDGs have greatly contributed to this progress and have taught us how governments, business and civil society can work together to achieve transformational breakthroughs."
GOALS AND TARGETS WORK
The MDG report confirms that goal-setting can lift millions of people out of poverty, empower women and girls, improve
health and well-being, and provide vast new opportunities for better lives.
Only two short decades ago, nearly half of the developing world lived in extreme poverty. The number of people now living
in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015.
The world has also witnessed dramatic improvement in gender equality in schooling since the MDGs, and gender parity in
primary school has been achieved in the majority of countries.
More girls are now in school, and women have gained ground in parliamentary representation over the past 20 years in
nearly 90 per cent of the 174 countries with data. The average proportion of women in parliament has nearly doubled during
the same period. The rate of children dying before their fifth birthday has declined by more than half, dropping from 90 to
43 deaths per 1,000 live births since 1990. The maternal mortality ratio shows a decline of 45 per cent worldwide, with most
of the reduction occurring since 2000.
Targeted investments in fighting diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, have brought unprecedented results. Over 6.2
million malaria deaths were averted between 2000 and 2015, while tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment
interventions saved an estimated 37 million lives between 2000 and 2013.
Worldwide, 2.1 billion have gained access to improved sanitation and the proportion of people practicing open defecation
has fallen almost by half since 1990. Official development assistance from developed countries saw an increase of 66 per cent
in real terms from 2000 and 2014, reaching $135.2 billion.
The report highlighted that significant gains have been made for many of the MDG targets worldwide, but progress has been
uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps. Conflicts remain the biggest threat to human development,
with fragile and conflict-affected countries typically experiencing the highest poverty rates.
Gender inequality persists in spite of more representation of women in parliament and more girls going to school. Women
continue to face discrimination in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making.
Despite enormous progress driven by the MDGs, about 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and suffer from
hunger. Children from the poorest 20 per cent of households are more than twice as likely to be stunted as those from the
wealthiest 20 per cent and are also four times as likely to be out of school. In countries affected by conflict, the proportion
of out-of-school children increased from 30 per cent in 1999 to 36 per cent in 2012.
In the context of the environment, global emissions of carbon dioxide have increased over 50 per cent since 1990 and water
scarcity now affects 40 per cent of people in the world and is projected to increase.
NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
World leaders have called for an ambitious long-term sustainability agenda to succeed the MDGs. Building on the success
and momentum of the MDGs, new global goals will break fresh ground with ambition on inequalities, economic growth,
decent jobs, cities and human settlements, industrialization, energy, climate change, sustainable consumption and
production, peace and justice.
"The emerging post-2015 development agenda, including the set of Sustainable Development Goals, strives to build on our
successes and put all countries, together, firmly on track towards a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable world,"
concluded Ban Ki-moon.
The Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual assessment of global and regional progress towards the Goals,
reflects the most comprehensive, up-to-date data compiled by over 28 UN and international agencies. It is produced by
the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. A complete set of the data used to prepare the report is available at
mdgs.un.org. For more information, press materials and an inter-agency media contact list, see
Millennium Development Goals.
Source: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 6 July 2015
4. Advances in Integral Human Development
2015 Human Development Report
Launched 14 December 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ehiopia
From a human development perspective, work, rather than jobs or employment is the relevant concept. A job is a narrow concept with a set of pre-determined time-bound assigned tasks or activities, in an input-output framework with labour as input and a commodity or service as output. Yet, jobs do not encompass creative work (e.g. the work of a writer or a painter), which go beyond defined tasks; they do not account for unpaid care work; they do not focus on voluntary work. Work thus is a broader concept, which encompasses jobs, but goes beyond by including the dimensions mentioned above, all of which are left out of the job framework, but are critical for human development.
Work is the means for unleashing human potential, creativity, innovation and spirits. It is essential to make human lives productive, worthwhile and meaningful. It enables people to earn a living, gives them a means to participate in society, provides them with security and gives them a sense of dignity. Work is thus inherently and intrinsically linked to human development.
But it is important to recognize that there is no automatic link between work and human development. Nor does every type of work enhance human development. Exploitative work, particularly exploitation of women and children, robs people of their fair share, their rights and their dignity. Likewise, work that is hazardous - work without safety measures, labour rights, or social protection - is not conducive to human development.
More importantly, the linkages between work and human development must be seen in the context that over time the notion of what constitutes work has changed, areas of work have shifted and the modus operandi of work has evolved. What used to mean work three decades ago is no longer valid, and work is defined differently now. Now, some of these changes may contribute positively to various dimensions of human development, but some aspects of these new phenomena may have negative impacts for human development.
In the context of all these changes, time has come to relook at the issue of work in its various dimensions and dynamics through a human development lens. Thus the 2015 Human Development Report (2015 HDR) will be on Rethinking Work for Human Development.
To be launched in December 2015, the Report will zoom in on the fundamental question – how work can be rethought for human development –– to enrich human development. Given this broader perspective, the focus of 2015 HDR will be based on five building blocks:
- Rethinking the linkages between work and human development identifying the positive intrinsic relationship between work and human development - Work provides livelihoods, income, a means for participation and connectedness, social cohesion, and human dignity - but also those situations where linkages are broken or eroded - child labour, human trafficking, etc.
- Revisiting the new world of work, where the notions of work, areas of work and modus operandi of work have changed and the implications for human development. ICT and mobile devices are revolutionizing work. People can work anywhere. There is an e-economy. We ask the question – are these changes enhancing human development? And how may they best be harnessed to promote equitable opportunities?
- Recognizing the worth of care work and its impact on human development. For instance care for those who cannot care for themselves is important in itself for human survival but there are other connections to human development: from an intergenerational perspective, care work is crucial for the cognitive development of children.
- Refocusing on the notion of sustainable work to be incorporated into the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This will include, among other issues, the environmental value of green and low carbon emission jobs and so on. And also the quality of work that can be sustained over long periods.
- Recommending policy options for reorienting, reinventing and reorganizing work so that it enriches human development
Several targeted issues will be taken up throughout the report– youth employment, gender aspects of work, agriculture and rural development, the informal sector, and work during crisis and in post-crisis situations. In realizing the post2015 international agenda it will be critical to enable youth, who make up 50 per cent of the global population, and women, holding up half the sky, to find work opportunities that enable them to participate constructively, creatively and equitably in society.
Source: Selim Jahan, Director of the Human Development Report Office, UNDP
5. Advances in Integrated Sustainable Development
6. Sustainability Games, Databases, and Knowledgebases
The nexus approach to the sustainable management of water, soil, and waste integrates environmental management and governance across sectors and scales. This approach requires a holistic understanding of the interlinkage of all related environmental processes, while also taking into consideration global change and socioeconomic aspects.
Exploring these interlinkages and advancing a nexus-oriented management approach requires integrated modeling tools. However, no single modeling tool is available or conceivable that can cover all processes, interactions and drivers related to the management of water, soil and waste resources.
To help overcome this challenge, the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) has developed an interactive Nexus Tools Platform (NTP) for comparison of existing modelling tools related to the water-soil-waste nexus. Currently, the NTP database consists of 60 models from around the world. The platform provides detailed model information and advanced filtering based on real-time visualizations, and will continuously grow with the input and feedback from model developers and model users.
For more information see the UNU-FLORES website and the Nexus Tools Platform.
7. Sustainable Development Measures and Indicators
8. Sustainable Development Modeling and Simulation
Threshold 21 iSDG Simulation Model
Millennium Institute, May 2015
Millennium Institute is developing models that will enable policy makers and planning officials at all levels of governance to understand the interconnectedness of policies designed to achieve the SDGs and test their likely impacts before adopting them. For more information about the model and to preview the demo version contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"C-ROADS is an award-winning computer simulation that helps people understand the long-term climate impacts of policy scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It allows for the rapid summation of national greenhouse gas reduction pledges in order to show the long-term impact on our climate." For more information, click
Click here to view a larger version of the video.
Visit Climate Interactive for updates and announcements.
9. Fostering Sustainability in the International Community
The scale of the global sustainable development challenge is unprecedented. The fight against extreme poverty has made great progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but more than 1 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty. Inequality and social exclusion are widening within most countries. With the world at 7 billion people and current annual GDP of US$70 trillion, human impacts on the environment have already reached dangerous levels. As the world population is estimated to rise to 9 billion by 2050
and global GDP to more than US$200 trillion, the world urgently needs a framework for sustainable development that addresses the challenges of ending poverty, increasing social inclusion, and sustaining the planet.
Under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, and in line with the recently launched High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was announced on August 9, 2012 and will provide global, open and inclusive support to sustainable-development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. The SDSN will work together with United Nations agencies, other international organizations, and the multilateral funding institutions including the World Bank and regional development banks, to mobilize scientific and technical expertise to scale up the magnitude and quality of local, national and global problem solving, helping to identify solutions and highlighting best practices in the design of long-term development pathways.
Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals
SDSN, 14 February 2014
"A new report issued today by a top-level United Nations knowledge network under the auspices of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lays out an action agenda to support global efforts to achieve sustainable development during the period 2015-2030.
"The post-2015 process is a chance for the global community to work towards a new era in sustainable development," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "The latest report from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the result of a collaboration between top scientists, technologists, businesses, and development specialists, is a critical input to the work we are doing to shape an ambitious and achievable post-2015 agenda." To download the report, click here.
Promotion of the Post-2015 Development Agenda
How the United Nations Should Promote the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Kara Alaimo, Center for Governance and Sustainability, University of Massachusetts - Boston
Sustainable Development Goals
The politics of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Dario Kenner, Why Green Economy?, June 2015