In the Special Issue of Global Policy, 2019. Knowledge and Politics in Setting and Measuring SDGs. Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor and Director at the Studley Programs in International Affairs at The New School in New York, and Desmond McNeill of the University of Oslo point out the working of knowledge and politics in setting and measuring the SDGs and danger for too much reliance on indicators that can distort social norms, frame hegemonic discourses, and reinforce power hierarchies. 14 articles and 10 commentaries in the special issue is freely accessible by the following website: https://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/journal-issue/special-issue-knowledge-and-politics-setting-and-measuring-sdgs
NHK reported that Finland maintained its top position for the second consecutive year in the 2019 edition of the World Happiness Ranking and that Japan was downgraded 4 ranks to 58th. “Happiness” reflects a subjective feeling of people, and it does not reflect Japan’s such a low status in happiness. Japan should question the intention of the producer of the indicator. It is inappropriate use of indicators or the theme. The indicator “development” seems more appropriate than “happiness” of a nation.
An international group of MPs calls for a body to strengthen the democratic representation of the world’s citizens in global affairs and the UN’s decision-making, reports The Guardian, 6 March 2019.
The President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) welcomed nearly two years ago the appointment of Achim Steiner as the Organization’s new Administrator. UNDP then occupied still the central role in the UN development system. Today, former and current officials of UNDP see the possibility of Secretary-General António Guerres’s organizational reform may put UNDP as uncertain if not in peril.
Germany, Peru and the UK are co-hosting an Arria-formula meeting entitled “What’s next for Women, Peace and Security in the Middle East and North Africa: The Potential of National Action Plans” in Iraq and Lebanon.
Angela Merkel championed a global world order in her address at the World Economic Forum in Davos while Shinzo Abe declared that it was time to rebuild trust in free trade.
Speaking in English, he said “I call on all of us to rebuild trust toward the system for international trade. That should be a system that is fair, transparent, and effective in protecting IP (intellectual property) and also in such areas as e-commerce and government procurement.”
Asahi newspaper published an op-ed on Triangular Partnership by Takakazu Ito, Senior Programme Officer, Department of Operational Support of the United Nations on 10 January.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau along with several other heads of state and government listened as Merkel, Macron and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres spoke about the importance of the U.N. and other multilateral institutions to address global problems.
UN Security Council is meeting on the prospect of accommodations between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former deputy leader Riek Machar after they signed a peace deal at the IGAD summit meeting in Addis Ababa, Sept. 12, 2018.