8th World Forum of Cities Against Poverty
On February 20th, Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice participated in a plenary session of the 8th Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty. Dublin City Council hosted the conference along with the UNDP and in partnership with UN Women and UNITAR. The key theme of the conference was ‘Building Smart, Safe, and Sustainable Cities”.
Ms Robinson was joined in the plenary session by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide.
Over half of the world’s population now currently reside in cities, and with that expected to increase to 80% by 2050, it is not surprising that cities have become the focus of the international sustainability effort. Cities only occupy 3% of total land surface, yet they produce 50% of all global waste, 60-80% of Green House Gases, and consume 75% of natural resources.
The world population will rise by 50% by the year 2050, to over 9 billion. Most of the population growth will take place in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia – areas which are already vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition.
Speaking at the event Mary Robinson said “Developing world cities, which are growing much faster than their developed world counterparts, are particularly vulnerable to lack of resources, poverty, inequality and vulnerability to climate change”.
Ms Robinson also urged the conference to ensure that economic considerations do not over-ride environmental and social concerns as they have in the past – and to ensure that development post 2015 is rights based agenda. “This is something my colleagues and I strive for through climate justice; an approach which links human rights, climate change and development to achieve a people-centred response.”
The conference also saw Dublin become the first city in the developed world to become a member of UN Women’s Safe Cities for Women Programme - a programme that aims to make women and children feel safer in their local neighbourhoods, while improving their quality of life.
Mary Robinson delivers keynote speech at 13th Statutory Congress of European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Paris on 1 October 2015.
Brave Capital: Philanthropists look to reach vulnerable communities that traditional development assistance cannot
Amidst the buzz of the Sustainable Development Summit, philanthropists, development specialists and government officials met in New York last week to discuss opportunities for the philanthropic community to support the new development agenda.
The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted during the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda in New York on 25 September 2015.
Roosevelt House in New York, once home of human rights champion Eleanor Roosevelt, played host to the 6th annual Mary Robinson Speaker Series on Business and Human Rights titled “Business and Climate Justice: Human rights from the frontlines to Paris”.