DESA News for May 2012

Feature Articles

The voice of civil society at Rio+20

It has become something of a given that significant new national or international issues that are addressed by government must include a component of multi-stakeholder involvement. That multi-stakeholder model was invented at the United Nations’ 1992 ‘Earth Summit’ and formalized in Agenda 21. For Rio+20, Major Groups have been invited to present general policy inputs for the “zero draft” document. The extent of the role that various stakeholders would play was not fully anticipated in 1992, when the idea of active participation by the independent sector first was reflected in a document at the United Nations Conference on Environment and …

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Indigenous peoples and the right to food

Where data exist, they show that levels of hunger and malnutrition among indigenous peoples are much higher than among the non-indigenous population. Indigenous peoples and their right to food and food sovereignty will be one of the focus of the Eleventh Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), to be held at UN Headquarters in New York from 7 to 18 May 2012. Understanding what the right to food means to indigenous peoples goes beyond merely examining statistics on hunger, malnutrition or poverty. It encompasses indigenous peoples’ own particular conceptions of food, hunger, and subsistence. It has …

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Urban population to grow more than ever

The Population Division of UN DESA launched on 5 April the 2011 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects.  “Urban areas are expected to absorb all future population growth between 2011 and 2050. They will effectively have to cope with the equivalent of the world population of 1950 by the year 2050”, said Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. While the world population is expected to increase by 2.3 billion, the population living in urban areas is projected to gain 2.6 billion, representing the entire future population growth and even drawing some rural population into urban areas. “We …

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