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Towards a new approach to development cooperation? – Global issues

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Statement by AH Monjurul Kabir (New York)Thursday, November 10, 2022Inter Press Service

NEW YORK, Nov. 10 (IPS) — We live in a world where both our bilateral and multilateral achievements, consensus on human rights and social justice, and our resolve for the common good are being tested like never before.

Now more than ever we must bring the values ​​and principles of the UN Charter to life in every corner of the world. Because of the powers enshrined in its charter and its unique international character, the UN is able to respond to the problems facing humanity, including:

• Maintaining international peace and security • Protecting human rights • Providing humanitarian assistance • Promoting sustainable development • Upholding international law

Considering my own background in human rights defense and development cooperation, let me focus on aspects of sustainable development and consider whether we need to change and apply a new approach to it in order to end extreme poverty, reduce inequalities and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to rescue ( SDGs) from exclusionary practices.

Development or sustainable development must be inclusive: Indeed, inclusion is at the heart of development cooperation. Inclusive development is the concept that every person, regardless of their identity, is instrumental in transforming their society.

Inclusive development processes produce better outcomes for the communities that engage with them. Established to promote the rights and inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented communities in the development process, the UN guides the UN’s response to the needs and demands of those in need and of young people.

Therefore, the UN carries out activities that combat stigma and discrimination, promote the empowerment and inclusion of marginalized or underrepresented groups, and improve the lives of populations in high-risk situations.

It is important that we also adopt this in institutional and managerial contexts: for example, the UN Asia Network for Diversity and Inclusion (UN-ANDI) recently conducted its first survey on racism and racial discrimination in five languages.

The survey was designed to collect data that reflects the Asian perspective in the UN system. It plans to issue a report on the survey findings to support and address many critical issues surrounding racism and racial discrimination. There are other networks that deal with different elements of intersectionality including but not limited to gender, disability, ethnicity, identity, etc.

The world and its challenges have thus become much more intersectional, which requires a robust and intersectional approach to development cooperation.

Intersectional Approach: An intersectional lens allows us to see how social policies can affect people differently depending on their specific “locations” and the unintended consequences certain policies can have on their individual lives.

By listening to the most marginalized and/or disadvantaged groups in a community, development organizations can help fight oppression at all levels of society and rebuild communities from the ground up.

Let’s take the example of people with disabilities. They are not a homogeneous group and our policy advocacy and communications should reflect this by considering intersectionality – the intersection of disability along with other factors such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, refugee, migrant or asylum-seeker status .

For example, a person with a disability also has a gender identity, may come from an indigenous group and may be young, old, a migrant or live in poverty.

In the UN system, it is time to adopt an intersectional approach in our development cooperation, political advocacy, programming, operational support, planning and budgeting. An intersectional approach considers the historical, social and political context and acknowledges the unique experience of the individual based on the intersection of all relevant reasons.

This approach makes it possible to recognize and remedy the experience of discrimination based on the confluence of the reasons involved. Using an intersectional lens to approach our practice of development means going beyond the use of single categories to understand people and groups, and embracing the notion of inseparable and interconnected sets of social “places” that change over time, from place vary to place and together shape a person’s life experience and actions.

This would greatly contribute to the Leave No One Behind (LNOB) principle of the SDGs. The new approach calls for revitalizing existing practices to make them more innovative, effective and efficient.

Innovation: We need to think about innovative approaches and tools to attract and channel new resources to fund our development efforts, as outlined in the 2030 SDGs now more than ever.

Reliable and well-managed development finance institutions with a well-defined mandate and a solid governance framework will continue to be an important vehicle for accelerating inclusive economic and social development.

They can create new channels to penetrate the private sector. In addition, they can play a catalytic role by generating new knowledge, bringing stakeholders together and providing technical support to build capacity in the private and public sectors. Mutual collaboration between and between the public and private sectors is essential to unlock the full potential of innovation and innovative approaches.

Let’s not forget the growing influence of new media on both inclusive participation and the use of innovative practices.

New Media: New media, including mobile and social media, could help demystify international institutions and encourage participation. The new media are also crucial to widen the breadth of accessibility for people with disabilities or those living in rural and/or remote areas that are difficult to access.

Alongside this, there could be more regular interactions between the leadership of intergovernmental organizations and multi-stakeholders, including civil society, organizations of people with disabilities and the media, and the creation of accessible databases of statistical and other information and knowledge about their work.

Despite the war in Ukraine, work at the UN goes on. The world body can and should continue to play a constructive role in development cooperation, crisis management, peace-building and post-conflict stabilization. It should continue to focus on crises from Afghanistan to Mali and Ukraine itself.

However, it must explore new and innovative and intersectional ways to support inclusive development, climate justice and resilience, peacekeeping and other key global and regional priorities.

Otherwise, the SDGs will be nowhere near their intended goal by 2030 or beyond.

dr AH Monjurul Kabir, currently Global Policy and UN System Coordination Adviser and Team Leader for Gender Equality, Disability Incl Pacific Trends.

For political and scientific purposes he can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at mkabir2011

This article is from a blog based on a speech by the author in his personal capacity at an event commemorating the 77th anniversary of the United Nations organized by UN-ANDI – a New York-based global network of like-minded Asian workers of the UN system who strive to promote a more diverse and inclusive culture and mindset within the UN.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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