GREEN GROWTH

June 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Development, Earth, Financial, Globalization, Research | Leave a comment

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GREEN GROWTH CRITICAL TO ASIA-PACIFIC FOOD

AND ENERGY SECURITY, UN SAYS

unnews@un.org

New York, Jun 20 2011

GREEN GROWTH CRITICAL TO ASIA-PACIFIC FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY, UN SAYS

Mon, 20 Jun 2011

Asia-Pacific countries can cushion themselves against food and fuel price shocks and natural disasters by more efficient use of resources and energy, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said today.

The current “energy, resource and carbon-intensive” development pattern must give way to green growth to reduce wasteful use of resources and energy, Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, “http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2011/jun/g23.asp told 800 people from 25 countries attending the Global Green Growth Summit in Seoul, organized by the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Dr. Heyzer said green growth was particularly important at a time when the Asia-Pacific region faces triple threats from recurring climate-related natural disasters and soaring food and fuel prices.

“Green growth remains an essential and urgent task for enhancing the energy and food security of each country (in the Asia-Pacific region),” she said.

Latest estimates indicate that rising food and oil prices can keep an additional 42 million people in the region in poverty in 2011, according to ESCAP.

The region is also the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters, with its people four times more likely to be affected by nature’s wrath than those in Africa and 25 times more likely than those in Europe or North America, ESCAP said.

“Green growth, as one of the strategies to achieve sustainable development by improving the efficiency of the way we use our energy, resources, and in particular carbon, is no longer only an ecological conditionality but also an imperative to improve resilience of our economy against energy, food and resource price volatility,” Dr. Heyzer said.

“For Asia and the Pacific, a region whose efficiency in using energy and resources still remains low, improving the efficiency of our production and consumption will provide us with a new engine of growth,” the ESCAP chief said.

Representatives of some 52 countries endorsed an initiative on environmentally sustainable economic growth in Seoul in 2005.

Jun 20 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

CITIES ARE KEY TO GLOBAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE

CHALLENGES, BAN TELLS US MAYORS

New York, Jun 20 2011

CITIES ARE KEY TO GLOBAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHALLENGES, BAN TELLS US MAYORS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on United States mayors to help in the worldwide fight against climate change and other energy challenges.

http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=5359 Speaking to a meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Baltimore yesterday, Mr. Ban said: “The world needs the mayors of the United States to do their part to address our energy and climate change challenges.”

Mr. Ban told the representatives of some 1,200 American cities with a population exceeding 30,000: “Your efforts can have an outsize impact.”

“You know the potential catastrophe that lies in store if present trends continue: extreme weather, market disruptions, inundated coastlines,” he said. “You also know the role of cities in climate change – for good and ill alike.”

Cities consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for roughly the same percentage of global carbon dioxide emissions, he said.

Lauding American cities for “already making great advances towards energy efficiency in transit, infrastructure and street lights” and producing, clean, renewable energy, he said: “The smart money is on smart cities – resilient, energy efficient, poised to profit from new, clean, green innovations that will redefine the urban landscape of 21st century.”

“You have taken this challenge to heart, and you are finding it good for job creation and good for the health and happiness of your citizens,” he said. “The upgrades and efforts you are making save money and create well-paying local jobs. And they revitalize the economies of the cities where they are implemented.”

These initiatives forge new industries and claim market share,” he said. “I am sure that your cities have what it takes to join this movement, and stay out front instead of having to play catch-up.”

“For me the message is clear: the road to future peace and progress runs through the world’s cities and towns,” he said.

Jun 20 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

INVESTING IN FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY BRINGS RESULTS, GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEARS

New York, Jun 14 2011

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today stressed the need to protect development gains achieved so far despite the fiscal austerity measures undertaken in the wake of the global financial crisis, saying great social benefits arise from investing in poverty eradication programmes.

“In such a climate, we need to scale up those interventions that have the best chance to generate progress across the “http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml MDGs [Millennium Development Goals],” said Ms. Migiro in an “http://www.un.org/apps/dsg/dsgstats.asp?nid=280 address to the General Assembly’s Development Dialogue, taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“We must look for multiplier effects wherever we can. And none is more dramatic, none is more proven, than investments in the health of women and children,” she said.

The eight MDGs – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions. They have galvanized global efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest people.

Underlining the importance of reducing the levels of maternal, newborn and child mortality, Ms. Migiro noted said that healthy women delivered and brought up healthy children who then attended school and became part of a healthy workforce that created prosperous societies.

“We can take heart from gains on the health MDGs. Last year, countries and a broad range of partners pledged more than $40 billion for the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. At its essence, the strategy is about taking what we know works for women and children, and bringing those efforts to scale,” she added.

She said the strategy has a special focus on information that requires that solid statistics be provided on health-related topics such as births, deaths and causes of death to make it possible to analyse policy across the MDGs. Not enough resources have, however, been invested on the information aspect of the Strategy, Ms. Migiro added.

Stronger accountability is another key feature of the strategy, she said.

“We have a framework that will tell us where the money is coming from, where it is going, and how effectively it is being spent. This ability to track resources and results is critical for ensuring that all partners deliver on their commitments, and that we are achieving tangible progress in achieving our goals,” said Ms. Migiro.

With the MDGs’ 2015 deadline approaching, Ms. Migiro stressed the need to consider what lay beyond. “Even a decade ago, we knew that achieving the MDGs would, in a sense, be only half the job. We knew that there would still be a vast backlog of deprivation.

“The time has come to look at those numbers – at those people – at all the men, women and children who will be barely touched by what we do by 2015, and who will therefore need our attention come 2016 and beyond,’ she said.

In his opening remarks, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss noted that the international community’s commitment to the achievement of the MDGs had gathered pace in recent months.

He highlighted the creation of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which he said has significantly increased the mobilization of financial resources for that cause. He also noted the agreement in May on a new 10-year agenda for the so-called Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which focuses on improving the productive capacities of those States.

“The ultimate goal is to transform economies and societies of these countries so that the category of ‘Least Developed Countries’ no longer exists,” said Mr. Deiss.

He also singled out last week’s high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS as another major achievement because the international community had collectively pledged to intensify efforts to combat the pandemic.

“The partners committed to implement a holistic approach, ensuring justice and social inclusion, and where the fight against AIDS is fully integrated into development programmes,” said Mr. Deiss.

He, however, stressed that despite the extremely positive developments in the global fight against diseases and poverty, it must not be forgotten that in many countries and in several sectors, the MDGs may not be achieved by their target date.

“Suffice it here to remind you that hunger still prevails far too often and that millions of children lack access to medicines and appropriate care and still die from diseases that can be avoided.

“This reality confronts us with the fundamental challenge of turning commitments into action and action into results. In making a tangible difference on the ground in the lives of the poor, we demonstrate that the UN is a reliable, credible and accountable.”

Jun 14 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

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DEVELOPMENT ISSUES: GLOBAL

June 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment

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SOCIAL INVESTMENTS DESERVE PRIORITY IN ECONOMIC

RECOVERY SCHEMES – UN REPORT

UNNews (UNNews@un.org)

New York, Jun 22 2011

A new United Nations reporthttp://social.un.org/index/ReportontheWorldSocialSituation/2011.aspx“finds that many governments did not pay enough attention to the social implications of the recent global financial crisis and urges that social investments be given priority in recovery programmes.

http://social.un.org/index/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=v0LQqd2FT3k%3d&tabid=1561 “The Report on the World Social Situation 2011: The Global Social Crisis, published today by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), explores the ongoing adverse social consequences of the 2008-2009 financial and economic crisis – the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

One consequence of the crisis is that unemployment rose sharply to 205 million people in 2009 from 178 million in 2007. The loss of jobs means not only a loss of incomes but also an increase in vulnerability, especially in developing countries without comprehensive social protection, notes the report.

It adds that various estimates suggest that between 47 million and 84 million more people fell into, or were trapped in, extreme poverty because of the global crisis, which occurred immediately after food and fuel prices had risen sharply. As a result, the number of people living in hunger in the world rose to over a billion in 2009, the highest on record.

The report states that the global economic downturn has had wide-ranging negative social outcomes for individuals, families, communities and societies, and its impact on social progress in areas such as education and health will only become fully evident over time.

“However, initial estimates show that the effects have been sharp, widespread and deep. Given the fragility of the economic recovery and uneven progress in major economies, social conditions are only expected to recover slowly.

“The increased levels of poverty, hunger and unemployment due to the global crisis will continue to affect billions of people in many developed and developing countries for years to come,” the report says.

It is essential, it adds, that governments take into account the likely social implications of their economic policies. Further, economic policies considered in isolation from their social outcomes can have dire consequences for poverty, employment, nutrition, health and education, which, in turn, adversely affect long-term sustainable development.

“There is renewed realization that social policy considerations, especially productive employment, must be given greater importance within economic policy,” said Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. “The disconnect between economic policies and their social consequences can create a vicious cycle of slow growth and poor social progress.”

The economic crisis is a reminder, he said, that it is essential for people to be healthy, educated, adequately housed and well fed to be more productive and better able to contribute to society.
Jun 22 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN OFFICIAL CAUTIONS AGAINST REDUCING ASSISTANCE TO SMALLHOLDER FARMERS

New York, Jun 21 2011

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with combatting rural poverty today cautioned developed countries against cutting assistance to smallholder farmers in poorer nations, saying most food producers across the world were small-scale growers.

“When people cannot afford to eat because they cannot make a decent living, they become desperate, which led to riots during the 2008 food crisis,” “http://www.ifad.org/media/press/2011/39.htm” said Kanayo Nwanze, the President of the UN International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), speaking ahead of the two-day Group of 20 (G20) agriculture ministers’ meeting, which opens in Paris tomorrow.

“The current food price increase has pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty, creating once again a volatile mix. During the last price increase, when smallholders were assisted in accessing markets for finance, seeds and fertilizers, they were able to benefit from higher prices and both poor producers and consumers were better off,” added Mr. Nwanze, who will address the meeting.

France holds the presidency of the G20, which is made up of the world’s largest economies.

The G20 agriculture ministers are tasked with developing an action plan to address price volatility in food and agricultural markets and its impact on the poor. Studies have shown that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth generated by agriculture is more than twice as effective in reducing poverty as expansion in other sectors.

Mr. Nwanze is expected to tell the ministers that the G20 has a comparative advantage in promoting the sharing of experiences of countries that have made significant progress in boosting agricultural production, and which have created an enabling environment for investment in agriculture, including Brazil and China.

In addition, the G20 can strengthen policy coherence and coordination, which is essential in dealing with sensitive issues in trade, biofuels and responsible investment in agriculture, he said.

“I take this message to the ministers on behalf of the smallholder farmers around the world: the development of rural areas is central to overcoming hunger and poverty, mitigating climate change, achieving energy security and protecting the environment, and it is the smallholder farmer that holds the key. But we must seriously start investing in their potential to support them to deliver.”
Jun 21 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN OFFICIAL STRESSES NEED FOR UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO ENERGY TO BOOST DEVELOPMENT

New York, Jun 21 2011

The lack of access to affordable and reliable energy is a major hindrance to human, social, and economic development, a senior United Nations official told delegates attending an “http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2011/unisous089.html” international forum that got under way in Austria today to discuss ways of ensuring universal access to energy.

“Without access to modern forms of energy it is highly unlikely that any of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved,” said Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Participants in the three-day Vienna Energy Forum – organized by UNIDO, the Austrian Government and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) – highlighted the wide inequality in energy access between rich and poor societies, pointing out that the poorer three quarters of the world’s population use only 10 per cent of global energy.

An estimated 1.5 billion people still do not have access to electricity, and around 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass and coal as their primary source of energy.

Demand for energy in developing countries is expected to grow dramatically, and the increases in population and improvements in living standards are adding to the scale of the challenges, according to delegates at the forum.

Mr. Yumkella noted that China, Peru and Viet Nam have significantly improved their citizens’ access to energy in recent decades, but across sub-Saharan Africa, and in parts of Asia, people still live without basic energy services.

Last year, the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which is chaired by Mr. Yumkella, called for the adoption of a target to achieve universal access to modern energy services, and for a 40 per cent reduction in energy intensity by 2030.

The forum coincides with the pre-launch of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), the most comprehensive analysis of the global energy system ever undertaken.

The GEA estimates that the global investments required to achieve the goal of universal access to energy are about $40 billion annually, a small fraction of the total energy infrastructure investment required by 2030.

Jun 21 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news 

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS JUNE 22 2011: US ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

June 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, USA, World-system | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 22 June now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Wed 6/22/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 22 June 2011

now available on the BIS website

Miguel Fernández Ordóñez: Presentation of the 2010 Annual Report

Mark Carney: Canada’s new polymer bank notes – celebrating Canada’s achievements at the frontiers of innovation

Erkki Liikanen: Economic and Monetary Union – lessons from the recent crisis

K C Chakrabarty: Challenges and opportunities in a trillion dollar economy

Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Innovative financing for transformation

Nout Wellink: Looking beyond the current reforms

Charles I Plosser: The US economic outlook and the normalization of monetary policy

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 22 June now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Wed 6/22/11 

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