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The waste heat generated by large cities can affect temperatures in areas hundreds of miles away by changing wind patterns in the upper atmosphere, a study has found.

Scientists have estimated that the heat released into the atmosphere from buildings, cars and factories could play a significant role in the warming – and the cooling – of locations in other countries.

For more information please visit http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/wasted-heat-from-large-cities-affects-temperatures-in-distant-regions-8468955.html

Wealthy nations are still not meeting their Copenhagen climate finance pledges.  While we await the final numbers from a few contributors, reports submitted to the UNFCCC in May 2012 show that only two of the ten contributors committed their ‘fair share’ of fast-start climate finance, assessed on their capability and their responsibility for the problem. The United States, European Union and Iceland committed half or less than half of their fair share. The result is that only $23.6 billion has been committed, short of the $30 billion pledged. Only one-fifth of climate finance supports adaptation in developing countries, in spite of promises to ‘balance’ it with mitigation funding. Only Switzerland received a ‘pass’ grade in this year’s transparency scorecard. Less than half of committed funds are grants and only two per cent are flowing through the UN, where they could strengthen trust between contributor and recipient nations. It is past time to meet the long-agreed principles: new and additional, predictable, and adequate climate finance.

For Details please visit http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17141IIED.pdf

In response to paragraph 8 of World Health Assembly decision WHA65 (8), requesting the WHO Director-General to prepare a revised WHO Discussion Paper on the development of a comprehensive global monitoring framework, including indicators, and a set of voluntary global targets for the prevention and control of NCDs, the WHO Secretariat has prepared a revised WHO Discussion Paper (available at http://www.who.int/nmh/events/2012/discussion_paper3.pdf), which was published on 25 July 2012. (http://www.who.int/nmh/events/2012/ncd_discussion_paper/en/)The revised WHO Discussion Paper will be used as the basis for further consultation with Member States, through regional committees (September to October 2012) and a formal meeting of Member States following the regional committees (October/November 2012).

The proposed global monitoring framework, including indicators, contained in the revised WHO Discussion Paper is expected to be applicable across regional and country settings to monitor trends and to assess progress made in the implementation of national strategies and plans on NCDs. The suggested voluntary global targets will be measured in 2025 against a baseline in 2010. The proposed indicators are intended to be used to assess progress and achievement towards the
voluntary global targets.

The proposed global monitoring framework, indicators and targets included in the revised WHO Discussion Paper are based on a consultative process which included the full participation of Member States. The revised WHO Discussion Paper takes into account measurability, feasibility, achievability and WHO's existing strategies in this area.

The consultative process to date

  •    Recommendations of a WHO Technical Working Group on NCD Targets were posted on the WHO   website in July 2011 for a web-based consultation (Link)
  •     A first WHO Discussion Paper was posted on the WHO website from 20 December 2011 to 29 February 2012 (Link). An informal consultation with Member States and UN Agencies on the first WHO Discussion Paper was held on 9 January 2012. An informal dialogue with relevant NGOs was held on 15 December 2011.
  •     A second WHO Discussion Paper was posted on the WHO website from 22 March 2012 to 19 April 2012 (Link)
  •     Reports on the outcomes of the web-based and face-to-face informal consultations were submitted to the Sixty-fifth session of the World Health Assembly for consideration by Member States (Link a and Link b)
  •     The revised WHO Discussion Paper was posted on 25 July 2012 (Link), building on the first and second WHO Discussion Papers

This revised WHO Discussion Paper will be used as the basis for further consultation with Member States through regional committees (September to October 2012) (Link). Relevant global NGOs and selected private sector entities are invited to submit their views on the revised WHO Discussion Paper by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 19 October 2012.

To conclude the work, a formal meeting of Member States’ and UN Agencies on the revised WHO Discussion Paper will be held during the last week of October or the first week of November (exact dates to be announced). During the formal meeting, a summary of comments on the revised WHO Discussion Paper received during the regional committees will be provided by the WHO Secretariat, as well the views received from relevant global NGOs and selected private sector entities.

For more information please stay tuned with us.


On 31st July, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of United Nations announced the high level panel and asked this panel to prepare a bold, practical development vision on the global development agenda beyond 2015 – popularly known as Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Mr. moon is is expecting recommendations of panels on a global post 2015 agenda containing shared responsibilities for all countries and with the combat against poverty and sustainable development in its core. For this the member states has been called to have open, inclusive consultations – involving civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutions from all regions, in addition to the UN system – to advance the development agenda beyond 2015. The first meeting of the panel will be held in September, in the margins of the annual high level debate of the General Assembly. In the first half of 2013, findings of the meeting will be submitted to the member states of UN.

The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as agreed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO +20), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June. Rio+20 was attended by 100 Heads of State and government, along with more than 40,000 representatives from non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society, all seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection. At the end of the gathering, participants agreed an outcome document which called for a wide range of actions, such as beginning the process to establish SDGs. Mr. Moon said the process of the Sustainable development goal and post 2015 development agenda should be coherent each other.

The High-level Panels’ three co-chairs are: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom.

For further information of the post 2012 development agenda, stay tuned.

The 2010 Human Development Index is out.  It offers some good news for Bangladesh.   Though Bangladesh ranked 129 among 169 UN members states (out of a possible 192 states in the world), it ranked 3rd in terms of improvement since 1980 in its assessed Human Development Index, itself a weighted average of education, wealth and health statistics.

This means that out of 95 countries for which comparable data exists, its rate of improvement in the last 3 years has been amongst the most impressive.   Nevertheless, though within the panel of the low performing states its HDI has risen remarkably over that thirty year period, its objective ranking remains low.  Its HDI is still floundering within those countries to which the muddied definition of “low human development “applies.  Indeed, its HDI remains below the South Asia regional average.

The Human Development Index, a measure of development (social, human) progress that Pakistani economist Mahbub-ul Huq and Indian economist Amartya Sen devised, a measure that since 1990 has been operationalized since 1991. The measure has done much to uncouple the strongly held idea that wealth and human progress are causally related.   Richer countries are not necessarily those in which human welfare flourishes: consider the down trending of the U.S HDI over the past few years. Thus, the HDI’s main cut has been to map out different policy paths to achieve developmental goals and social progress, of which improvement in children’s development ranks with highest priority and greatest urgency, without handicapping economic growth.

Bangladesh has therefore made formidable in these measures, principally in terms of literacy and life expectancy. But it has tremendous room for improvement, including, of course, literally every index that makes up the HDI report.  It would be a remarkable achievement for this government and successive government to push and pull Bangladesh into a separate and higher ranked panel of countries, those considered medium develop countries (beat out Honduras or Namibia, without beggaring those countries).

The wrong move, the grossly incompetent and globally declaimed move, now would be to steer away from the path Bangladesh is on in terms of its HDI, a most commendable achievement.  It would be a catastrophe of the highest human order were any Bangladeshi government to engage in such moves that reduce Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi people to the level of misery that President Robert Mugabe has forced on the people of Zimbabwe, once the bread basket of Africa, that continents most promising country in terms of human welfare.  The current government and its opposition best beware.

Source: Human Development Report 2010. 20th Anniversary Edition. The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development. Published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

 

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