Global Governance

From Conflict to Peacebuilding: UNEP's Role in Environmental Assessment and Recovery

"If people cannot find clean water for drinking, wood for shelter and energy, or land for crops, what are the chances that peace will be successful and durable? Very slim," says David Jensen of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), who describes UNEP's activities in Afghanistan, Sudan, and other areas of conflict. "UNEP seeks to ensure that countries rebuilding from conflict identify the sustainable use of natural resources as a fundamental prerequisite and guiding principle of their reconstruction and recovery."

ECSP Report 11: Reviews of New Publications

Experts review new publications:

Environmental Security: A View from Europe

We must reinvigorate the comprehensive—and reject the exclusively militaristic—definition of security, Margaret Brusasco-Mackenzie warns.

The United Nations and Environmental Security: Recommendations for the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change

As part of the UN Foundation’s United Nations and Global Security Initiative, the Environmental Change and Security Project
invited international experts to provide fresh intellectual insights into environmental security. Leading thinkers in the fields of water, climate change, and natural resources prepared three short policy briefs that seek to answer three questions:
• What is the link between environment and security?
• What can be done about it?
• What contributions can be made by collective action mechanisms such as the United Nations?

Burning the Bridge to the 21st Century: The End of the Era of Integrated Conferences

In June 2003, the United Nations General Assembly voted to end the automatic five-year review of UN conferences, moving instead to a system in which both the format and timing of these conferences will be decided on a case-by-case basis. The rationale is that these large events should be more strategic and less routine. It remains to be seen whether this significant change will increase the conferences’ efficiency and effectiveness, or instead make them more likely to be held hostage to the prevailing political winds.

ECSP Report 9: Reviews (Part 4)

Experts review new publications (Part 4):

The World’s Water 2002-2003: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources, by Peter Gleick, et al. (2002). Reviewed by Baruch Boxer.

State of World Population 2002: People, Poverty and Possibilities, by the UN Population Fund (2002). Reviewed by Tom Merrick.

Six Billion Plus: Population Issues in the Twenty-First Century, by K. Bruce Newbold (2002). Reviewed by Joseph Winchester Brown.

ECSP Report 9: Official Statements

Excerpts from recent official statements that prominently cite environment, population, health, and human security issues in the context of national and security interests. Featuring Kofi Annan, Andrew S. Natsios, Thorya Ahmed Abaid, Peter Piot, Colin L. Powell, Klaus Toepfer, James D. Wolfensohn, and Stephen Lewis.

Commentary: What Is To Be Done At Johannesburg?

Marking the ten-year anniversary of the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa has been viewed throughout its preparations with both great hope and pessimism. Some analysts, activists, and policymakers think the Summit is the last best chance for the world to balance the three pillars (economic, social, and environmental) of sustainable development. Others are looking past Johannesburg altogether, skeptical that it can accomplish much.

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