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UN Chronicle. 2004 Dec; 41(4): p..The work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, such as Development as Freedom, suggests that studying development offers a fertile ground for investigation and training. The beauty of the whole idea is that this possibility transcends traditional divisions of the world into more and less developed, and lends itself to encompassing components of the emerging idea of human security. Thus, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be seen as a resource for education at various levels. Almost all States are committed to achieving the eight MDGs by 2015: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for health. Several studies on the MDGs and breakdowns of their attainment are emerging. (excerpt)
Report of a pre ICN workshop on Negotiating the Future of Nutrition, Johannesburg, South Africa, 18 September 2005.
Public Health Nutrition. 2005 Dec; 8(8):1229-1230.Good nutrition underpins good health. That reality has been shown in repeated studies and quantified most recently in the 2002 World Health Report of the World Health Organization (WHO). In that report, food and nutrition (their lack or over-consumption) accounted for considerable mortality and morbidity worldwide. Despite the compelling evidence of need, global action remains inadequate. Nutrition and food policy still receives considerably less attention in health policy and funding arenas than do many other lesser contributors to human health. Part of the reason relates to the lack of a strong coordinated voice for the broad area that is inclusive of all committed to and able to influence policies and actions for populations. (excerpt)
In: Missing links: gender equity in science and technology for development, [compiled by] United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Gender Working Group. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995. 55-81.This document is the third chapter in a book complied by the UN Gender Working Group (GWG) that explores the overlay of science and technology (S&T), sustainable human development, and gender issues. This chapter addresses the nature of indigenous knowledge systems, their potential role in sustainable and equitable development, and possible strategies for promoting mutually beneficial exchanges between local and S&T knowledge systems. The introduction notes 1) that local knowledge science systems differ from modern S&T because they are managed by users of knowledge and are holistic, 2) gender roles lead to differentiation in the kind of local knowledge and skills acquired by women and by men, and 3) sustainable and equitable development depends upon full recognition and reinforcement of local knowledge systems. The chapter continues with an analysis of 1) gender, biodiversity, and new agrotechnologies; 2) gender and intellectual property rights, especially in regard to biotechnological developments based on local knowledge; and 3) the work of governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local groups in the areas of S&T programs with women, general women's programs, and programs focused on indigenous knowledge (with an emphasis on research in gender and indigenous knowledge systems, women promoting diversity, the comparative advantage of indigenous knowledge, and the role of NGOs and information networks). Next, the chapter considers the work of the UN and its agencies through a review of documents containing S&T agreements; support for women's rights; and work in the areas of indigenous people, biodiversity, and intellectual property rights. The chapter ends by identifying areas of critical concern and research needs.
In: Change: threat or opportunity for human progress? Volume V. Ecological change: environment, development and poverty linkages, edited by Uner Kirdar. New York, New York, United Nations, 1992. 154-60.The most common global concerns are the threat to the earth's ecological balance, challenges originating from new technologies, and the ability of developing countries to respond to these changes in a way conducive to sustainable development. Creative learning means that political systems assimilate new information when making policy decisions. pathological learning implies that political systems prevent new information from influencing policies, eventually leading to the system's failure. Policymakers cannot ignore the new technologies and the changing environment. The UN University had identified the most important research gaps with regard to technological development. recommendations from this study are more research on the relationship between the effects of existing trends in the technological revolution and the formation of development strategies and the significance of identifying alternatives of technological development better suited to the actual needs and conditions of developing countries. For example, biotechnology may produce new medications to combat some tropical diseases, but a lack of commercial interest in industrialized countries prevents the needed research. Research in the Himalayas shows the importance of focusing on the linkages between mountains and plains, instead of just the mountains, to resolve environmental degradation. This finding was not expected. The researchers promote a broader, more holistic, critical approach to environmental problem-solving. Humans must realize that we have certain rights and obligations to the earth and to future generations. We must translate these into enforceable standards at the local, national, and international levels to attain intergenerational equity. Policy-makers must do longterm planning and incorporate environmentally sound technologies and the conservation of the ecological balance into development policy. sustainable development must include social, economic, ecologic, geographic, and cultural aspects.