Our Perspective

'Imagine all the people, living life in peace'

Sung – a member of the Mong tribe – had given birth to her child at home, with the help of her husband. A month after the delivery, she was back tilling the fields with her baby tied behind her back. UNDP Photo

Can an 18-year-old living in one of the world’s most remote places have a say in how the world is shaped? I met Sung Thi My during a field visit to the mountainous province of Yen Bai, where we were surveying people about the world they want in 2015 and beyond. The UN’s MY World survey is aimed at capturing people’s voices, views and priorities so world leaders can be informed, as they define the next set of global goals.... Read more

Romancing with Electronics: Love, Loss and Recycling E-waste in China

Typical E-waste dismantling operation in Guiyu, China. Photo by baselactionnetwork, CC BY-ND 2.0

When I was a kid there was a black and white TV in my house – I vividly remember the good times I spent by that TV, watching cartoons and shows that made me happy and informed my perceptions and knowledge about the world. This TV became my best friend until one day my parents brought home a big, new color TV. I wasn’t thrilled at first, as I was concerned about what would happen to my old friend – my father simply said someone would take care of it. One day an old man came to our house and took it away, and I said goodbye to my first TV. It was always a mystery to me where my old friend went – until I saw this picture in a newspaper.... Read more

In Paris this year, remember Vienna 1985

Thinking of the ozone layer as the the planet's sunscreen is a good illustration of how it protects the web of life. Photo by Thomas Hawk, licensed under CC2.0.

On September 16th this year, the world should take a bow. It was thirty years ago, on this day that the international community gathered in Vienna to agree on a common course of action to eliminate the industrial use of chemicals that were depleting the earth’s ozone layer. The Vienna Convention has since emerged as one of the most successful global treaties of all time. ... Read more

For innovation to work in development, keep calm and rock the boat


Stale ideas, like status quos, have strong survival instincts, rooted in our own limitations. It’s a tough fight. But make no mistake, it’s also the good fight. ... Read more

For Asia and Pacific, stronger civil society voices could be key to Post-2015 challenges

We need not only to help strengthen civil society’s capacities to deliver on the new SDGs, but to ensure that countries develop the right enabling environment for them to do so. UNDP Bangladesh Photo

Precisely because of civil society’s role in representing the interests of the poorest, most marginalised and excluded groups, its role seems more urgent than ever before in every aspect of a new agenda which seeks to ensure that no-one is left behind, whether in terms of access to health and education, a better environment and more effective action against climate change, and gender equality. ... Read more

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