Our Perspective

      • The scarcity of women in peace negotiations | Roma Bhattacharjea

        06 Mar 2013

        Women in Liquica District in Timor Leste hold up their voter registration cards as they wait to participate in Timor-Leste's 2012 Parliamentary Elections. (Photo: Louise Stoddard/UNDP Timor Leste)

        Women are often disproportionately affected by conflict and violence; the time has come to give them a greater role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. I recently had the honor of visiting Washington DC to participate in the launch of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, & Security, an initiative focused less on women as victims and more on involving them integrally in peace-building and conflict prevention. I have worked on these issues for two decades—and these are exciting times. UNSC Resolution 1325, adopted in October 2000, marked a major evolution from a world in which peace negotiations have long comprised men with guns pardoning other men with guns for crimes all sides committed against women. In December 2011, US President Barack Obama issued a US National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security cutting across the executive and legislative branches of the US government, with the aim of accelerating and institutionalizing the women, peace, and security agenda. UNDP is a key player in advancing inclusive governance, inclusive economic recovery, rule of law and access to justice, notably for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. UNDP also works in some 80 crisis countries, where we advance women, peace, and security on theRead More

      • ICTs and MDGs: New opportunities on the development horizon | Raul Zambrano

        01 Mar 2013

        In Albania, 2,128 public schools were equipped with computer labs and 589,000 students were taught how to use them. (Photo: UNDP Albania)

        We must acknowledge the amazing and certainly unexpected growth in the use of mobile technologies and devices on a global scale. While at the beginning of the new millennium mobiles were practically nonexistent in developing countries, today almost 4.8 billion people use them. Experts have already pointed out that this is the first time in history that a technology spreads so fast in so many countries. We have also seen the rapid emergence of social media and so-called Web 2.0 platforms. Unlike the Internet of the 1990s, social media empowers users to generate their own content and distribute it in real time to billions of people at almost no cost. Mobiles and social media are linked in multiple ways. Just recall the recent “Arab Spring” revolutions which capitalized on both, mobilized millions and triggered political change. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are an integral part of the Millennium Agenda as reflected in MDG 8, target 18, which calls on bringing access to ICTs for all. While this is a  commendable goal, the real development value of new ICTs stems from their transformational potential. ICTs can provide new and innovative solutions to traditional development goals. They can not only increase the efficiencyRead More

      • Toward peace, unity and growth in Kenya | Modibo Touré

        28 Feb 2013

        Mr. David Ngige, the project coordinator of Nyeri Social Forum, carries out mock elections training at Gatitu Nursery school, a set polling station in Nyeri. (Photo: Ricardo Gangale/UNDP Kenya)

        Next Monday, in a crucial test of Kenya’s new political system, millions of voters will head to the polls to elect a new president and a host of parliamentary and local representatives. With the 2007/2008 post-electoral violence on everyone’s mind, it would be easy to forget how much progress the country has made over the past five years. 2008 ushered in a new government coalition and a peace deal, paving the way for the adoption in 2010 of a constitution that would transform the country’s political landscape. Opportunities under the new constitution offered a wide-ranging set of reforms designed to break the cycle of corruption and tribal violence, including a decentralized system of government, independent courts, a new citizens’ Bill of Rights and increased numbers of women in public office. UNDP accompanied the reform process from the beginning, supported the organization of a peaceful constitutional referendum and assisted the government in the creation of a country-wide platform that has helped communities to report and respond to violence. Kenyans are justified in the very high degree of confidence which they have in the neutrality and capability of the bodies which will oversee the forthcoming elections – in particular the Independent Electoral andRead More

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