The United Nations is both a participant in and a witness to an increasingly global civil society. More and more, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society organizations (CSOs) are UN system partners and valuable UN links to civil society. CSOs play a key role at major United Nations Conferences and are indispensable partners for UN efforts at the country level. NGOs are consulted on UN policy and programme matters. The UN organizes and hosts, on a regular basis, briefings, meetings and conferences for NGO representatives who are accredited to UN offices, programmes and agencies. Database of CSOsUnited Nations Development Program (UNDP)
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals the world has ever agreed upon. These eight time-bound goals provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. They include goals and targets on income poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation and the Global Partnership for Development.
Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the MDGs are both global and local, tailored by each country to suit specific development needs. They provide a framework for the entire international community to work together towards a common end – making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. If these goals are achieved, world poverty will be cut by half, tens of millions of lives will be saved, and billions more people will have the opportunity to benefit from the global economy.United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect. List of Supporting OrganizationsNational Security Study Memorandum
Implications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (aka The Kissinger Report)
The report advocates the promotion of education and contraception and other population control measures. It also raises the question of whether the U.S. should consider preferential allocation of surplus food supplies to states that are deemed constructive in use of population control measures. The report advises, "In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion." Brief to Congress Against Population ControlGlobal Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility was established in October 1991 as a $1 billion pilot program in the World Bank to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmental sustainable development. The GEF would provide new and additional grants and concessional funding to cover the "incremental" or additional costs associated with transforming a project with national benefits into one with global environmental benefits. GEF Civil Society OrganizationsUnited Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Ecosystem Management: Scientific evidence shows that ecosystems are under unprecedented pressure, threatening prospects for sustainable development. While the challenges are daunting, they also provide opportunities for local communities, business and government to innovate for the benefit of communities, economies and the global environment. However, in order to secure the environmental conditions for prosperity, stability and equity, timely responses that are proportionate to the scale of the environmental challenges will be required. In creating such responses, governments, the international community, the private sector, civil society and the general public all have an important role to play. As the environmental programme of the United Nations, UNEP is working to articulate, facilitate and support appropriate responses.
Climate Change: Climate change has long-since ceased to be a scientific curiosity, and is no longerjust one of many environmental and regulatory concerns. As the United Nations Secretary General has said, it is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators. It is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, security, and other dimensions. Climate Change Factsheet (July, 2010)
World Conservation Monitoring Centre: The Centre has a mandate from the UNEP Governing Council to provide a range of biodiversity-related services to UNEP, the biodiversity-related conventions and their constituent party-states and other bodies in the non-governmental and private sectors
United Nations System-Wide Earthwatch: The Global Biodiversity Assessment measures the effects of human activities on biodiversity. They have increased so greatly that the rate of species extinctions is rising to hundreds or thousands of times the background level. These losses are driven by increasing demands on species and their habitats, and by the failure of current market systems to value biodiversity adequately. The Assessment calls for urgent action to reverse these trends.
Earthwatch and Agenda 21: Apart from the separate issues reviewed here, one significant broad result of the Rio process and Agenda 21 has been the growing recognition that all the different aspects of sustainable development described in its forty chapters are interrelated, and only integrated approaches will make it possible to approach sustainability. New evidence since Rio shows that these interrelationships also apply to the major environmental problems, such as those for which international conventions have been adopted. There are significant interactions between climate change, ozone depletion, desertification and biodiversity loss, for instance, requiring greater attention to synergistic effects between these problems, and integrated approaches to research, assessment and management.
UNEP and Agenda 21: Both UNESCO and the UNEP hold conferences regarding Agenda 21. The UNEP is hosting the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development: At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the international community adopted Agenda 21, an unprecedented global plan of action for sustainable development. Ten years later, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation was adopted highlighting concrete steps for better implementing Agenda 21. However, the progress has been slow in achieving internationally agreed goals, and challenges remain in achieving the goals of the three pillars of sustainable development, particularly in the context of the current global crises. The Conference will bring together a range of participants, including heads of State and Government, national delegates and leaders from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses and other major groups to focus the world's attention and direct action toward addressing difficult challenges our planet is facing, including reducing poverty, conserving our natural resources, overcoming financial and economic crisis.
The Marrakech Process: The Marrakech Process is a global process to support the elaboration of a 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on sustainable consumption and production, as called for by the WSSD Johannesburg Plan of Action. UNEP and UN DESA are the lead agencies of this global process, with an active participation of national governments, development agencies, and civil society.
Transitioning to more sustainable patterns of consumption and production is at the heart of sustainable development, and international co-operation is essential to effect that transition. Recognizing this, governments at the Johannesburg Summit in 2002 called for the development of a 10-year framework of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives to accelerate the shift towards sustainable patterns of consumption and production that will promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems. The draft input to the 10YFP from the Marrakech Process is now available for public comment.UN Economic and Social Council (UNESCO)
Division for Sustainable Development: The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership and is an authoritative source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development. It promotes sustainable development as the substantive secretariat to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and through technical cooperation and capacity building at international, regional and national levels. The context for the Division's work is the implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Barbados Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.UN Habitat
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, Habitat Agenda, Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and Resolution 56/206
UN-HABITAT's Sustainable Cities Programme and a project known as Localising Agenda 21, help cities get the most out of their vital role in social and economic development by promoting better environmental policies and programmes, aimed at reducing pollution, and improving urban environmental management.Global Marshall Plan-Global Marshall Plan Initiative
Al Gore states: "The model of the Marshall Plan can be of great help. For example, a Global Marshall Plan must focus on strategic goals and emphasize actions and programs that are likely to remove the bottlenecks presently inhibiting the healthy functioning of the global economy. The new global economy must be an inclusive system that does not leave entire regions behind. The new plan will require the wealthy nations to allocate money for transferring environmentally helpful technologies to the Third World and to help impoverished nations achieve a stable population and a new pattern of sustainable economic progress. To work, however, any such effort will also require wealthy nations to make a transition themselves that will be in some ways more wrenching than that of the Third World."
In order to further the idea of a GMP and to coordinate the various initiatives, NGOs, scientists, activists and groups in the field of development cooperation and global social justice the Global Marshall Plan Initiative was founded by members of the Club of Rome, the Club of Budapest, the ATTAC and other organizations in Frankfurt, Germany in 2003. The two main objectives are to find new ways and sources of financing in development cooperation, predominantly pursuing the Millennium Development Goals of the UN and the worldwide propagation of the eco-social market economy, which is considered to be one of today's key strategies of initiative.The Earth Charter
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action.
The Earth Charter is centrally concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and sustainable human development. Ecological integrity is one major theme. However, the Earth Charter recognizes that the goals of ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development, respect for human rights, democracy, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides, therefore, a new, inclusive, integrated ethical framework to guide the transition to a sustainable future.
The Earth Scouts: Earth Scouts is a new national program developed by Earth Charter U.S. that inspires the above qualities in boys and girls from 3 to 17 years of age and engages them in actions. Earth Scouts themes are derived from the Earth Charter: A Declaration of Interdependence. The Earth Charter calls for a caring, sustainable and peaceful world. It was written by thousands of people from 78 countries over a period of 10 years and launched at The Hague Peace Palace in 2000.
Earth Scout Merit Badges: Participatory Democracy Badge, Human Rights Badge, Peace & Nonviolence Badge, Respect for Nature Badge, Economic Justice Badge, Earth Scouts Logos PatchThe Alliance for Climate Protection: This is a psychologically clever website of an NGO owned by AL Gore. This website cleverly uses peer group principles of identification. A sense of 'belonging' and 'participation' are very important during childhood formative years, and this website is powerfully designed to capitalize on these psychodynamic principles.