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Video on Nitin Desai's pioneering role in UN policies on sustainable development released


By Our Representative
A two-part video on Nitin Desai, a former Planning Commission member who played central role in defining the concept of Sustainable Development of the United Nation's, traces his journey as Planning Commission's head of the Project Appraisal Division, when he realized the fundamental connect between environment and development and the need for it to be sustainable, to becoming a top UN functionary.
The first video recalls his appointment to head the secretariat of the Brundlandt Commission on Environment and Development, which set the stage for him to flesh out the concept of sustainable development and his global involvement through the historic United Nations Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.
The result was, for the first time civil society, among other constituencies, became active consultants, resulting in policy impact on the UN System and its Agencies and the way of viewing the world an conducting its work. A new department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development got created into which the entire development side of the UN and its departments were merged. Nitin worked as Under Secretary General to head this huge entity.
The second video, which is to be released soon, tells the story of follow up to Rio, its Outcomes: Agenda 21, Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change, Forestry, Desertification and the creation of the Global Environment Fund. During the 10 years that Nitin remains its head many path breaking global conferences are held under its auspices: on habitat, population, women, small island states, ageing population, indigenous marginalized people and a Social Summit on social issues such as inclusion, livelihoods, health, etc.

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