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United Nations independent experts today called on countries to ensure the post-2015 development agenda focuses on equality, social protection and accountability, noting that one billion people around the world are still living in poverty.

“The rise of inequality has severely undermined the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs,” the independent experts said in their message to Member States which will meet this week in New York to discuss how to a shape a new set of global development goals for the period after the 2015 deadline of the MDGs.

Developing countries stressed the importance of international economic factors and means of implementation in formulating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The third session of the United Nations General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals took place on 22-24 May in New York. The thematic clusters were food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought, as well as water and sanitation.

Magdalena Sepúlveda.

Interview with Magdalena Sepúlveda, Special UN Rapporteur for Human Rights and Extreme Poverty

What are the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights?

They are a set of human rights norms recently adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. They provide, for the first time, global policy guidelines validating specific obligations incumbent on States with respect to persons living in extreme poverty.

Alexandra Spieldoch.  (Photo:
Global food for thought.)

This publication analyses the role gender equality plays in the post-Rio+20 process for a new development agenda centered around a set of SDGs. It looks at proposals and efforts to integrate gender equality and women's rights into efforts to define the SDGs and argues that a new global women's coalition of committed advocates and women's rights activists to focus more aggressively on governance and policy reform in the post-2015 development agenda, particularly on macro-economic policy reform.

A conceptual discussion will precede the identification of specific Sustainable Development Goals as momentum picks up on the follow-up to the June 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference).

Two topics will be the focus of the second session of the United Nations General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will take place on 17-19 April at the UN headquarters in New York. The first will be on conceptualising the SDGs and the SDG process, and the second on poverty eradication.

This time it is Cyprus' turn to face bitter financial crisis as bank depositors get hit and capital controls are imposed. Will the lessons about these crises ever be learnt?

The Cyprus crisis has again shown that over-dependence on the financial sector and an unregulated and liberalised financial system can cause havoc to an economy.

The particular manner in which a financial crisis manifests itself may be different from country to country, depending on the ways that country became financially over-reliant or over-liberalised, and also on how ever-changing external conditions impact on the country.

"Illicit financial flows - generated from crime, corruption, embezzlement and tax evasion - represent a major drain on the resources of developing countries, reducing tax revenues and investment inflows, hindering development, exacerbating poverty and undermining the enjoyment of human rights," a United Nations independent expert has said.

In an interim report presented at the current twenty-second session of the UN Human Rights Council, Independent Expert on foreign debt Mr Cephas Lumina said that it is estimated that, on average, developing countries lost between US$783 billion and US$1,138 billion in illicit financial outflows in 2010.

The expert added that these flows have increased in real terms to 8.6 per cent over the period 2001-2010, suggesting that existing measures to tackle the problem have not had a significant impact.

In order to push forward a gender perspective on the international climate change negotiations (COP 16) that take place in Cancun Mexico during November 29 and December 10, 2010, women's groups are organizing a series of activities including events around the world and advocacy work within the conference. 

NEW YORK, 25 SEPTEMBER 2008 - Current development models and policies have completely failed the world’s poorest countries – the least developed countries (LDCs). The LDCs Group was established by the UN in 1971 in recognition of the specific needs and constraints facing the world’s poorest countries, and therefore the need for specific strategies for these countries. “The fact that the number of LDCs has increased from 24 to 49 presently is proof enough”, says Dr Arjun Karki, Chair of LDC Watch. According to UNCTAD, although LDCs are achieving record rates of economic growth this is not benefiting those living in poverty.

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