Protap Mukherjee on Social Cohesion, Social Inequality and Social Participation in India, at the Shared Societies International Workshop held in Maastricht(May 2012).
Protap Mukherjee is Research Associate at National Population Stabilisation Fund
Another generational one in a lifetime summit has drawn to a conclusion, the Rio + 20 ‘The Future We Want’ has come and gone – however, twenty years on since the original 1992 Rio Earth Summit, can we conlude that the world is today a better place?
The Guardian, in collaboration with Kiln, this week brings you brings you an interactive guide to help better inform you on the progress made towards global sustainable development over the course of the last 20 years.
Take a moment to click below and review for yourself the the evidence on a range of factors including population, life expectancy, child mortality, ecological footprint, poverty, hunger, food production, GDP, social change, life satisfaction, battle deaths and biodiversity.
Judge for yourself whether collectively we’re making the world a better place for all!
2011 goes down in the annals of history as globally, one of the must tumultuous on record over the course of the last 50 years. The Arab Spring and an economic crisis reverberating across the planet’s continents typify this upheaval, which has had profound implications for social cohesion worldwide.
New UNHCR data also reveals that in 2011 alone 800,000 new refugees were displaced worldwide. 2011 marks a record upsurge in the number of people forcefully displaced, with more people becoming refugees than at any time since 2000. This week, The Guardian’s Global Development team provided a digital and interactive breakdown of the above mentioned UNHCR data, a sample of which is provided below, along with a link to a map through which you can explore in greater detail these findings.
The Club de Madrid’s official side event in Rio+20 is an opportunity to unveil the Global Shared Societies Agenda, a joint initiative Club de Madrid, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Center of Concern aimed at promoting long-term inclusive and sustainable growth developed during a seminar in April 2012 in the context of the Spring meetings of the IMF/World Bank, in which representatives of different international organizations took part.
There is a growing concern about current levels of overall inequality and theirnegative impact on economic performance. Equally Shared Societies are not only inherent desirable but they too offer an economic dividend. The costs of social divisions, and of missing out on the Shared Society dividend may be significant and the ultimate consequences for the sustainability of human economic and social life, devastating. The Global Shared societies Agenda is intended to guide on what policy options provide the best opportunities to encourage greater equality, inclusion and sharing and thereby facilitate the creation of a more effective, efficient and sustainable economic system.
Catch on the Huffington Post the latest epistle on current trends in international development from Marcelo Giugale, the World Bank’s Director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programmes for Africa.
This time round, Mr Giugale asks his readership, ‘What have economists learned about indigenous peoples?’ UNESCO estimates state that some 350 million people globally qualify as being officially ‘indigenous’.
According to Mr Giugale, indigenous peoples account for 5% of the world’s population, yet staggeringly constitute 10% of the World’s poor. Take a look at the below posted discussion to see how collectively, the international community can seek to reverse these trends, and delve further into the debate by reviewing World Bank policy brief on the economics of indigenous communities.
The central message coming from the Club de Madrid official high-level side event “Sustainable Development in an Unequal world” in Rio+20 is that environmental justice requires social justice and social justice cannot be achieved without greater equality of income and wealth between countries and within countries. The event focused on the relationship and interdependence between the economy, social justice and the environment. It addressed the high and increasing worldwide inequality between those who pollute most through wasteful use of natural resources, and those who suffer the effects of pollution. It pointed to the fact that the world´s most affluent one billion people have a lifestyle which negatively affects and pollutes the other six billion´s air, water, land, foodstuffs and undermines their right to a decent life.
Daniel Hyslop on Violence Containment Industries in the United States, a theoretical taxonomyto conceptualise economic activity related to violence, at the Shared Societies International Workshop held in Maastricht (May 2012).
Aldo Caliari (Center of Concern) on why do Shared Societies make economic sense (Three theoretical approximations) at the Shared Societies International Workshop held in Maastricht (May 2012).
This week Project Syndicate published a sober analysis and assessment of the increasing religious and political problems in Tibet. All too disquietingly, some 37 immolations of Tibetans have occurred since March 2011. Such acts are borne out of a sense of frustration and deep desperation at what are perceived to be increasingly heavy controls that China’s government in Beijing has imposed on Buddhist religious practices. Have we reached a stalemate and an impasse over the Tibetan-Chinese relations?
Given the Shared Societies Project’s commitment to fostering more and more inter-community development, news of this latest swelling unrest over Tibet leads this blog to call for and advocate a global re-assessment of our approach to reducing tension and hostilities between Tibetans and Chinese and building a greater consensus upon how best we can go about promoting respect, understanding and appreciation of diversity.
This last week, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton addressed the European Parliament:
“The EU calls upon the Chinese authorities to ensure that the human rights of the Tibetan people are respected, including their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as well as to enjoy their own culture to practise their own religion and to use their own language.”
So far, Brussels has tentatively sought to address the plight of Tibet in discussions with Beijing. The below listed op-ed, ‘The Fire in the Monastery’, highlights how crucially the international community must commence a frank new round of dialogue with China, urging it to guarantee freedom of religion to all of its citizens in accordance with its international obligations – and its own laws. Do read on below…
The 25th NATO Summit Meeting (20 – 21 May 2012) has come and gone, and already the international community and major donors has one eye firmly fixed on the next round of discussions when they reconvene in Tokyo, Japan in July of this year.
What is apparent is of paramount concern is that Afghanistan is not abandoned to the fate it was at the outset of the 1990s following the Soviet withdrawal. First and foremost, clearly efforts have to be redoubled to ensure that marked investment is made in ensuring sustainable development, guaranteeing people’s basic needs and redoubling efforts to ensure frameworks are out in place to protect civilian and human rights.
Michael Keating, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Afghanistan, with responsibility for Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction (RRR), notes in an op-ed piece penned in The Guardian that the bedrock of longer-term security and stability in Afghanistan is sustained improvement in the quality of life, authorities that are accountable, institutions that function, and jobs.
Staggeringly, five million Afghans still live as refugees or undocumented migrants in the country, and despite a decade of progress in areas as diverse as freedom of expression and political participation, infrastructure and mine clearance, healthcare and girls’ education, Afghans remain increasingly anxious about the future and a post-ISAF era.
Plainly, there is plenty to mull over in the run up to the Second International Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. Michael Keating’s piece below sheds plenty of light on the renewal of efforts to constructing a securer shared society in Afghanistan. Likewise, two additional links pour further light on Afghanistan’s development challenges and the upcoming Tokyo summit.