International United Nations Watch Spokesperson Maya Garner submitted a letter of concern to Achim Steiner, the current Administrator of the United Nations Development Program. Garner emphasised IUNW’s mission and objectives, before expressing concern at the way in which the United Nations deals with questions of development, particularly as they relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“While the 2030 agenda seeks to eradicate poverty, hunger, and other social ills, it does not do so in a way that can ensure maximum social justice on the ground, as well as the democratic life of communities undergoing development projects,” wrote Garner in the one page letter.
“Overall, the UN must be more balanced in its approach.”
Garner wrote that although the UNDP has successfully attempted to use available resources to achieve development goals, such as abolishing world hunger, extreme poverty, and unsanitary drinking water, there has not been enough work done to balance the development needs of local communities, with a necessary subordinating of profitability considerations, along with political and economic ambitions, to the needs of local communities and underdeveloped states, as vocalised through the United Nations.
“It is critical for the UNDP to work towards fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, while also accepting that they will necessarily mean subordinating profitability concerns, on a wide scale, in addition to the narrow political and economic concerns of UN member states.”
“It is not possible for UN members to at once seek to achieve their own parochial ambitions, at the same time that the United Nations as a whole seeks to address global challenges with its core values in mind. The UN’s political goals must come first.”
Garner finished by reiterating IUNW’s position that economic development must take place at the same time as positive development of the democratic life of local communities, which can take many problems, as long as democratic life can prosper at the same time as society as a whole.
“Indeed, the UN should take a more active role, in ensuring that development projects take place in accordance with its values and stated objectives. It should also seek to develop local democracy, in both political and economic spheres, at the same time as addressing other problems of development.”
“It is our hope that UNDP moves towards a more effective model, of encouraging positive development all over the world. The SDGs require us to be bolder in both our vision and execution.”