Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear  Available Now.


November 2018

November was a great month the University of North Carolina  confirmed me as an Adjunct Professor:

"Your appointment as an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health was approved by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, effective November 7, 2018  for a term of three years. This is a fixed-term appointment terminating November 6, 2021."

Attending and presenting at the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi in November. My paper written with Chris Tompkins was on the Blue Economy Investment Facility and was reflected as an idea in the outcome document  

Terry Waghorn conducted an interview with Chris and me in Inter Press ServiceAn on the idea 'Advocating for a 'Blue Economy Investment Facility'.

While in Nairobi I conducted a brown bag lunch on the topic of Accelerating Effective Partnerships for UN Environment to leverage transformative and impactful partnerships to accelerate the implementation of UN Environment Programme’s Medium-Term Strategy (2018-2021) and its accompanying programmed of work. The UN Environment Programme ensures partnerships are aligned with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. Partnerships have become a key priority for the UN Environment Programme as a whole


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October 2018

Helping to set up meetings for the leading equine welfare charities held meetings with member states, UN Departments and other civil society partners to establish a core team of UN Member States, networks and organisations to help champion the importance of horses, donkeys and mules to the livelihoods of 600 million people worldwide and the need to provide better support for their health and welfare. Ian Cawsey, The Donkey Sanctuary UN Ambassador, said: “This year advocacy teams at The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have worked together to show how the bold ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be assisted by working with communities to care for and protect their working animals. "We all want less poverty and less hunger but we are showing that improving the welfare of the working donkeys, mules and horses is not an optional extra but an integral part of making that happen.”

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September 2018

The first Bigfoot FEstival happened in Marion North Carolina on the 8th of September with over 6000 attending. Next year will be a big one with the SDG Challenge. This will be a Rat Race/Cannonball run from the OuterBanks where the Wright Brothers flew for the first time to Marion with a treasure hunt on the way. At this point, it will be a plane that Don is building with Felix as his partner and Mike and Dave in the Blue Zombie Response Jeep. It will be a sponsored event to raise money for a local charity that is engaged in ASG 5 on Gender and in particular, SDG target 5.2 eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. More details to come next year.

The second workshop of the Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development happened in partnership with UNDESA. It was focused on Advancing the 2030 Agenda: Lessons learnt from the first cycle of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)– reform or revolution?  Power points can be downloaded here and papers will go up by the end of November. 




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August 2018

In 2020 and 2025 23 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals will fall. What should be done to address this if anything? Working with two colleagues Jamie Bartram and Gaston Ocampo we have submitted a paper: Misaligned SDG targets: how to handle target dates before 2030 to the Journal of International Development. Looking forward to publishing in 2019. The summer was used to work on chapters for the new book Stakeholder Democracy in Policy-making and Partnerships Enhancing  (or Reinforcing or Sustaining)  Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear - should be out for the July High-Level Political Forum. 

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July 31st 2018

At the High-Level Political Forum, I spoke at a number of events.

The first was at the Partnership Exchange I had been asked to talk on ‘Building an Effective Monitoring Framework System for Partnerships. I published in my blog reflections on this in a blog called "Zombie Partnerships: Are we about to see the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Bubble Burst? Could we be seeing upto 84% failure?"

The second was "Addressing Resilience through the Nexus of Water-Food-Energy "; Cities as SDG Laboratories was organized by the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and the International Science Council and the UNC Water Institute. You can read my article on this on the Nexus: Water-Energy-Food Security Resource Platform


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June 2018

Juen saw an interview in Science X on how the science community has engaged in the UN processes over time. 

Could you tell us about the history of the Major Group for Science and Technology? Why was it created and what was it supposed to do? Was this a first in the UN system?

In the runup to the Rio Earth Summit (1992), Maurice Strong, who was the Secretary-General for the Summit, recognized that it was important to have ‘different stakeholder’ views – not only in developing Agenda 21, but also in helping to deliver it. This approach was a departure from the default model of grouping all NGOs together as “civil society”.  

The Earth Summit recognized nine stakeholders, including the Science and Technology Community. For the first time, science and technology were given a seat at the table to ensure that member states could hear the latest scientific evidence. But the new system also enabled women to have a chance to explain the gender aspect of policies. It ensured that the next generation – youth and children – and Indigenous Peoples would have a voice. It also brought in local government as a stakeholder, recognizing that in many cases they would be important partners in delivering the outcomes.

Most of these ‘stakeholder groups’ organized global conferences to develop input for the Earth Summit’s main outcome document. In particular, the scientific community gathered in November 1991 to develop input for the Earth Summit at the Vienna International Conference on an Agenda of Science for Environment and Development into the Twenty-first Century (ASCEND 21). The conference was organized by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

After the Earth Summit, as governments established their Councils of Commissions for Sustainable Development, nearly all of these started by engaging the national leaders of each of the Major Groups. These bodies then played a key role in the years after the Rio 92 conference in ensuring effective follow-up at the national level. The interview continues here. 

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May 2018

I had the change to be a respondent to the revised People First Principles for Public-Private Partnerships for achieving the SDGs at the UNECE meeting in May in Geneva. “Scaling up: Meeting the challenges of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through people-first Public-Private Partnerships”. A full copy of my speech is available here. 

The Principles:

Principle 1: Projects and Action Plans

Principle 2: Capacity Building

Principle 3: Improving Legal frameworks for People-first PPPs

Principle 4: Transparency and Accountability

Principle 5: Risk and de-risking

Principle 6: Procurement: Promoting, Value for People

Principle 7: Resilience and Climate Change

Principle 8:  Innovative Financing: Impact Investing

The outcome actions were in line with what I called for:

  • While recognizing a growing consensus in support of the Guiding Principles, the proposed changes on governance, better definitions, among others discussed should be incorporated.
  • UNECE also acknowledged the need for a strong, one UN perspective on PPPs and the SDGs.  Unified guidelines will be more powerful in assisting policy makers to develop PPPs that put people- first and achieve the ambitious outcomes of the SDGs.
  • Therefore, as a next step, the Guiding Principles will be sent to the other UN Regional Commissions to get comments and decide how to jointly implement them in countries. 
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