UN Internet Governance Forum

In this post I will discuss what the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is. I will also summarize a Day 2 discussion from the Internet Governance Forum that focused on “The Future of Digital Identity and Human Rights.” This discussion focused on digital identity and the potential problems that accompany digital identity.

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Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

In this post I will be discussing the MDGs and where they fell short as well as how they were successful. I will also discuss the opportunities that global strategies and frameworks generate as well as the inherent limitations of these global strategies and frameworks.

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ICTs and Inclusive Sustainable Development – Digital Divides

In class we discussed Information Communication Technology (ICTs) and Inclusive Sustainable Development. ICTs play a major role in Inclusive Development, but for this post I will be discussing the role that ICTs play in sustainable development, how ICTs are integrated into the SDGs and finally what the ‘digital divide’ is and how it ties into sustainable development.

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Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Management (DRM)

In this post I will be discussing DRR and DRM in the context of inclusive sustainable development. I will discuss the Sendai framework as well as the Global Platform for DRR. All of these are ways in which the global community is working towards creating inclusive sustainable development for disaster relief.

This previous class we talked about inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM). Inclusive DRR and DRM means that people of all abilities, age, gender, race, and poverty level are equally protected when it comes to natural hazards. Often the casualties for these types of hazards are disproportionate for peoples with disabilities and people in poverty. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction writes that, “There are no such things as a ‘natural’ disasters, only natural hazards. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones, through an ethic of prevention.”[1] This is important for sustainable international development because natural hazards can happen anywhere at anytime, and if there are not proper structures in place to manage the risks, a lot of development work can be undone. Also if natural hazards disproportionally effect certain people, than that is not inclusive and thus a major problem.

A lot of the work being done on DRR and DRM comes from the Sendai Framework. The Sendai Framework was drafted at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The Sendai Framework outline seven targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks. The Four priorities are:

  • Understanding disaster risk
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  • Investing in disaster reduction for resilience
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.[2]

Overall the Sendai framework does a fairly good job of outlining the ways in which to help mitigate the damages done by natural hazards. While it does mention persons with disabilities, the Dhaka declaration does a much better job of addressing the problems that persons with disabilities face when it comes to Disability and Disaster Risk Management. The Dhaka Declaration states that countries must recognize that inclusive disaster risk management policies and relevant and appropriate laws and regulations are essential to create an enabling environment for reducing existing disaster risks, preventing new risks, building resilient communities, and facilitating effective local, national, regional and international cooperation to increase already incremental investment in inclusive disaster risk management.[3]

 

 

[1] https://www.unisdr.org/who-we-are/what-is-drr

[2] https://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/publications/43291

[3] https://www.preventionweb.net/english/professional/policies/v.php?id=47093

World Urban Forum (WUF9)

The World Urban Forum is a global conference that is dedicated to addressing urban issues. This was a forum that was founded by the United Nations under the UN Habitat and is set to host its 10th session in 2020 in Abu Dhabi. The objectives of the World Urban Forum (WUF) as noted by the UN are to:

 

  • Raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the general public.
  • Improve the collective knowledge of sustainable urban development through inclusive open debates, sharing of lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies.
  • Increase coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders and constituencies for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization.[1]

 

One of the major contributions that WUF9 has made is the creation of the Kuala-Lumpur Declaration on Cities 2030. The Kuala-Lumpur Declaration is a comprehensive document that contains thorough recommendations on how to ensure that moving forward, “Cities are for all ensuring that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.[2] Many different actors created the Kuala Lumpur document, ranging from national governments, to private sector, to local communities. This was done purposefully because only through collaboration will the building of inclusive cities be possible.

 

One entity that stuck out to me in the WUF was the inclusion of local governments. Many of the United Nation’s forums are filled with high-ranking officials and while that often is a great way to effect change at a high level, inclusive cities need a more refined approach. The session at the WUF9 that included mayors of cities was an important way for local officials to share ideas and challenges with each other. Implementing sustainable inclusive cities is an area in which local governments can really thrive. Mayors and local city counsels live and work in the same cities that they are trying to improve. The inclusion of a multitude of actors is part of what makes the WUF and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration different and more effective.

 

[1] UN Habitat for a Better Urban Future. “World Urban Forum.” 2012. Retrieved at https://unhabitat.org/wuf/.

[2] UN Habitat for a Better Urban Future. “Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Cities 2030.” WUF9. February 2018. Retrieved at http://wuf9.org/kuala-lumpur-declaration/