Human Development and the Environment:
Challenges for the United Nations in the New Millennium
2001, 160 pages
Edited by Hans van Ginkel, Brendan Barrett, Julius Court, and
In January 2000, in Tokyo, the United Nations University held the first major United Nations conference of the new millennium. This conference explored key international trends and showcased new ideas and fresh thinking on the challenges faced by humanity when dealing with global environmental problems, and on the relevance of the UN.
The new millennium sees humankind living in a vastly more complex, inter-linked and mutually dependent world. There are increasing numbers of actors in world affairs today, as private and public non-state actors jostle alongside national governments in setting and implementing an ever more crowded agenda. This situation is throwing up new challenges - in the fields of security, governance, development and environment - and will require innovative thinking and new forms of global governance. In this period of transition, the UN is the focus of many people’s hopes and aspirations.
This book looks at the problems, processes, and actors that constitute the milieu for human development and the environment in the new millennium. It charts some of the major trends affecting human development: globalization; population; urbanization; poverty; equity; education; health; climate change; biodiversity; desertification; international cooperation and institutions. The book contends that it is unacceptable for over a billion people to be still living in abject poverty and without the means to an adequate livelihood.
Moreover, the authors argue that environmental problems should no longer be viewed as the side effects of development but that a new approach needs to be adopted that promotes their integration. Good development involves conservation of the environment in a sustainable manner. We have had long enough to learn this lesson; we now need to start applying it.
The contributions in this volume outline productive ways in which the international community and the UN system can address the major challenges of eradicating poverty and reducing the rate of environmental deterioration. They conclude that amongst the existing global institutions, only the UN has the moral legitimacy, global credibility, and practical reach to mediate and reconcile the competing pulls and tensions associated with both the process and outcomes of globalization.
Hans van Ginkel is Rector of the United Nations University, Tokyo. Brendan Barrett is a Fellow of the UNU/Institute of Advanced Studies. Julius Court is a Programme Officer at the UNU. Jerry Velasquez is Academic Programme Officer and Co-ordinator of the UNU Global Environment Information Centre.
Table of Contents:
- Reflections on the Human and Environmental Consequences of Globalization
Part 1 - Human development
- Conceptual Challenges of a Globalizing Economy
- Into the 21st Century: Assessing Social and Political Concerns
- Policy Priorities for human development
- Poverty and Inequality in the era of liberalization and globalization
- The Future of Technology and the Implications for Society and the United nations System
- Institutions, Corruption and development and their Ramifications for International Cooperation
- The Future of Global Economic Governance
Part Two - Environment
- Urbanisation, industrialisation and Sustainable Development
- water in our Future
The Importance of tropical Atmospheric Chemistry in Global Change Research
- Energy Requirements for the Next Millennium
- Global Food Security for Tomorrow
- Global Governance of Biological Diversity
- Land Degradation: A Global Regional Problem
- International Environmental Governance, Its Impact on Social and Human Development
Karen van Wolferen
Rolph va der Hoeven
Giovanni Andrea Cornia
Ingvar B. Fridleifsson
Monkombu Sambasivam Swaminathan
A. Hamid Zakri