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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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Underestimated Influence: Un Contributions to Development Ideas, Leadership, Influence, and Impact

Underestimated Influence: Un Contributions to Development Ideas, Leadership, Influence, and Impact

Chapter:
(p.881) Chapter 52 Underestimated Influence: Un Contributions to Development Ideas, Leadership, Influence, and Impact
Source:
International Development
Author(s):

Richard Jolly

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.003.0053

The UN has played a bigger and more influential role in development thinking and action than often realized. In contrast to the Bretton Woods institutions, development approaches in the UN have been multi-disciplinary, focused on human concerns and, increasingly, linked to human rights. The UN's Global Conferences of the 1970s and 1990s mobilized worldwide attention to such central issues as environment, climate change, biodiversity, population, food security, employment, and the special problems of rapid urbanization. The UN has set some fifty goals for development, the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction and other human advances being the most recent. International, regional, and national action has been a consistent feature of UN analysis and policy recommendations—emphasizing actions to offset inequalities of economic and political power such as fairer trade and concessional aid flows. For the future, the UN certainly needs reform but to build on its unique legitimacy in global governance and the positive elements in its record.

Keywords:   United Nations, development goals, development ideas, human rights, human development

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