UN Chronicle

A news reference publication published by the United Nations. Reports on UN actions and events as it addresses world issues.

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 1-2, March-June

Addressing the Sustainable Urbanization Challenge
Over the last two decades, demographic and economic changes have propelled cities and urban centres to become the principal habitat of humankind. Cities are not only where rapid improvements in socio-economic and environmental conditions are possible,...
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Bringing Star Power to Earth
GREEN TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The international community is threatened by a global energy crisis, climate, and ecosystem changes due to global warming, as well as water and food contamination. The whole world faces tremendous challenges...
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Civil Society and Rio + 20
The 20 years following the original Rio conference in 1992 have not raised high hopes for the Rio process. Priorities have shifted back to business as usual, environmental goals, and the implementation of Agenda 21 are advancing too slowly, economic...
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Feeding the World Sustainably
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro was memorable for its landmark agreements to guide sustainable development worldwide. The first principle of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development states: "Human beings are at the centre of...
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Floods and Climate Change: Sustainable Development and Other Imaginations
Soaked as we are in anxieties about climate change, the great flood in the Book of Genesis offers a defining metaphor. Nature, in this mythological account, plays out as vengeful disaster. The Ark, on the other hand, is a technology that can mitigate...
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Gender Equality and Sustainable Development
Championed by a wide range of stakeholders from civil society and the Women's Major Group, to Governments and United Nations agencies, the Rio+20 Conference in June will no doubt include gender equality in several places of its outcome document. What...
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Health and Food Security Benefits from Climate Change Mitigation
Societies must find a way to stop the rapid growth in carbon dioxide ([CO.sub.2]) emissions to avoid a disastrous future for our planet. As the greatest contributor to global warming, [CO.sub.2] is the natural focus of current climate negotiations....
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Hunger: A National Security Threat
Although the term food security was coined only 16 years ago, humanity has been striving against famine and hunger since ancient times. Agreement at the 1996 World Food Summit, based on the concept that food security exists "when all people at all...
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Involving the Forgotten: Widows and Global Sustainable Development
Four years ago, the UN Chronicle offered me a forum to propose, and give reasons for, the proclamation of an annual International Widows' Day. That idea has become reality with the United Nations General Assembly declaring 23 June as International...
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Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters
The Fourth Assessment Report (A R4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was completed in 2007 stated that: "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average...
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Managing the Water-Land-Energy Nexus for Sustainable Development: The "Great Acceleration"
We live in the Anthropocene (1) in which humans have become a major force shaping the environment. Rising incomes and reduced poverty have coincided with the growing demand for goods and services, such as food and energy, which in turn has increased...
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Objectives and Vision for Rio + 20
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, also known as the Earth Summit, was a landmark event. It adopted the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, otherwise known as the Rio Principles,...
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Ombudspersons for Future Generations: Bringing Intergenerational Justice into the Heart of Policymaking
National and international policymaking is inherently constricted to short-term thinking by electoral cycles, and waylaid from a sustainable path by the obsession with profit margins. Heads of Government spend so much of their time defending their...
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Sustainable Energy for All: Towards Rio+20
Energy powers human progress. From generating employment to creating economic competitiveness, from strengthening security to empowering women, energy is the great uniter. It cuts across all sectors and lies at the heart of all countries' core interests....
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The Link between Disarmament and Sustainable Development
Twenty years after the 1992 landmark Earth Summit, (1) the world is getting prepared for another conference of the same magnitude, hopefully with increased positive results. Building on commitments adopted by the international community over the last...
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Vision Needs a Seat at the Negotiating Table
When American theorist Buckminster Fuller said, "[we] are called to be architects of the future, not its victims," he may not have known how difficult a challenge that would become in the years following his death. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the...
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Vulnerable Countries Should Take Centre Stage at Rio+20
As the world's attention turns to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20 in June 2012, we are all reminded of the multiple crises which continue to bedevil the globe. These crises are all the more evident in resource-strapped...
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Why Water Management Starts at the Local Level
Water is ubiquitous: it is essential for all forms of life and virtually all economic activities. The United Nations has declared that a human right exists for reliable access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation which, along with other...
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Working towards a Sustainable UN
Reputation is a key asset for any organization, and the United Nations is no different. That is why it is critical that the organizations that make up the United Nations system clearly demonstrate that they adhere to the same principles that they promote....
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