|Greening the UN|
|The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)|
Posted: 5 May 2008
When the UN Secretary-General recently visited the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) he was impressed with the new "M" building (meeting facility) that has been generously given to the Vienna International Centre (VIC) by the host country. He was not only impressed by the modern look of the building, he praised its state-of-the-art environmentally friendly feat
ures - for example, sensors that adjust air temperature and flows depending on the number of people in the room, or the heating system that is based on steam produced from the city's incineration facility.
For some time, the United Nations Office at Vienna has been taking steps to make itself greener. Over the past few years, a major renovation has been carried out to remove asbestos from the buildings' walls. At the same time new energy efficient windows were put in - the savings are so great that the cost of their installation will be recovered in less than seven years. New energy efficient lights have been installed in every office (that last longer, provide more light with less energy, and are free of PCBs).
Energy savings have been introduced by turning off the lights automatically every evening and weekend, and putting computers, copiers, and printers to sleep mode if no one is using them.
Every day, VIC staff use 400,000 sheets of paper, and fill 15 big green waste containers with used paper. To save a few forests, printers and photocopy machines have been put on a double-sided default setting. At conferences, we have started to hand out conference documents on CD-ROMs and memory sticks, rather than reams of paper.
Waste separation is enabling the recycling of metals, plastic, paper and glass. Procurement has been directed to use environmentally friendly products and companies. For example, the latest bidding process for paper specified that only suppliers which use the least harmful production methods would be considered.
The Secretary-General wants all UN duty stations to be carbon neutral by 2009. This is a tall order, but we are trying, for example by reducing travel. Tele-communicating enables staff to work from home. Tele-conferencing allows us to keep in touch with field offices and institutional partners, without flying around the world at great expense and polluting the atmosphere.
Staff are being encouraged to bike to work, and to use public transportation. (I would love to bike to work, but I was discouraged for security reasons). Other initiatives are planned, with news ideas being generated by a growing group of planet-friendly staff.
The Vienna International Centre - or maybe we should call it the Vienna Ecological Centre - is often to referred to as UNO City. We are, indeed, a little city, and can all do more to keep it clean by following the "3 Rs": reduce, reuse, recycle.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:10|
- (3) The Mammon Prize for Outstanding Greed
- My Corner
- Drug Trafficking into West Africa
- Raping the Planet
- Birds of prey on Congo
- (1) A novel about politics, finance & crime
- The world’s deadliest drug trade: facts and figures Afghanistan gets 5% the world’s heroin money and 100% the blame International Forum on “Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge to the International Community”
|Aceh: Paradise Rediscovered|
Posted: 1 February 2013
Can you think of a region so poor that income is less than one dollar a day per person: that has gone through a war against the central government for 30 years (1975-2005); that in 2004 was submerged by a tidal wave (the tsunami) that killed 170,000 people out of a total population of 3 million (in other words 1 person out of every 20); that was later submerged by an avalanche of assistance personnel that pushed local prices beyond what locals could afford?
Well, let me help you.
The Aceh peninsula of Northern Indonesia, along the strategic Malacca Straits, is where I went on mission yesterday, with a delicate task: to determine the extent of drug production (cannabis cultivation); trafficking (hashish and methamphetamine); the associated crime and violence; the health impact (including the spread of HIV because of drug-injection); and, above what can be done to put an end to all this through development.
|Disrupt criminal markets, not just the mafias High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on transnational organized crime|
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the past quarter century, organized crime has gone global. It has reached macro-economic and armed dimensions to become a threat to the stability of nations. The report on The Globalization of Crime issued today by my office (the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) provides the first comprehensive assessment of global crime markets: drugs, arms, modern slaves, illicit resources, counterfeits, as well as maritime piracy and cyber-crime.
The threat is not just economic. The threat is strategic, as criminals today can influence elections, politicians and the military – in one word, they buy power.
Some governments are unable to resist, as they lack the resourcess. Some others would be able to contain the problem, but show a benign neglect -- and I have in mind some rich nations.