DESA News for Dec. 2010

Feature Articles

World’s largest minority needs to be included in the MDGs

Over 650 million people in the world have a disability; they make up approximately 10% of the world’s population and are the world’s largest minority. According to UNDP, around 80% of persons with disabilities live in developing countries. Worldwide trends, including the combination of population growth, population ageing and medical advances mean this group continues to grow. The commitment of the United Nations to the rights of persons with disabilities was codified into an international human rights convention in 2006. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted in 2000, call on all stakeholders to take action towards achieving eight key developmental …

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UN climate chief urges compromise at Cancún talks

The United Nations Climate Change Conference opened in Cancún, Mexico on 29 November, bringing together 193 nations and calling for a balanced and concrete outcome to meet one of today’s biggest challenges. Addressing the media, Christiana Figueres, Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said that “Cancun can launch a new era in the pace of global action on climate change, where each year brings increasingly effective answers to keep humanity on track to a safer future”. She added that Cancun will not solve everything and the outcome needs to be pragmatic, but Cancun also needs …

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Improving e-government through a citizen-centric approach

E-government is becoming the norm in countries around the world. Information and communications technologies, like the Internet and mobile networks, have evolved from being just an office tool to a transformation agent for the public sector. However, many challenges lie ahead. Governments must now shift their strategies from being supply-driven to focusing on the needs and demands of the end-users. The purpose of e-government is to meet citizens’ needs anywhere, anytime. It is intended to reach as many users as possible while integrating service delivery across the public sector. Ultimately, e-government programmes are intended to enhance citizens’ lives. However, many …

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