GFDD and FUNGLODE Will Present Panel on Sustainable Transport during the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development

April 22, 2010

On Monday, May 3, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE) will present the panel: “A Multidimensional approach to Sustainable Development and the Millennium Development Goals: The Santo Domingo Metro system as a model for Mass Sustainable Transport” at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The
activity will take place during the sessions of the Eighteenth Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18). The panel will be co-sponsored by InteRDom, the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, and the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management (CCRM) of Columbia University.

The program will take place from 1:15 pm to
2:45 pm in Conference Room 6. Individuals interested in attending who do not possess a UN Grounds Pass should contact Kerry Stefancyk at: by Tuesday, April 26.

The forum will focus on the ways in which the construction of the new Santo Domingo Metro System in the Dominican Republic is a multidimensional solution toward advancing the country’s sustainable
development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Officially opened in February 2009, the Santo Domingo Metro System was constructed to address Santo Domingo’s transport challenges, characterized by congestion and high vehicle emissions, consequences of an outmoded, fuel-inefficient public transport fleet and an increasing number of private automobiles in transit due to high national economic growth rates. It is only the second mass-transit system to be built in the
entire Caribbean.

The panel will feature key-note presentations by: Omar Ramírez, Executive Vice-President of the Presidential Commission on Climate Change and the Clean Development Mechanism for the Government of the Dominican Republic, Director of the FUNGLODE Center for Environmental and Sustainable Development Studies, and former Minister of the Environment, Dominican Republic; Leonel Carrasco,
Sub-Director of the Transport Reform Office (OPRET) of the Dominican Republic; Oneximo González, Project Manager of Transvial S.A., General Manager of Bunkermym S.A., and Honorary Advisor to the Transport Reform Office (OPRET) of the Dominican Republic; and Carl Allen, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Fellow and Public Policy & Urban Planning Ph.D. Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of
Government and Graduate School of Design and InteRDom Fellow with Presidential Commission on the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development of the Government of the Dominican Republic (COPDES) and OPRET. The event will be moderated by John R. Gagain Jr., Director of the FUNGLODE Center for Global Studies and Senior Advisor to the UN Global Compact in New York, and will include remarks by Ambassador Francis Lorenzo of
the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations; Yamile Eusebio, GFDD New York Branch Director; and Kerry Stefancyk, GFDD/FUNGLODE Representative to ECOSOC. 

Panelists will examine the social, environmental, educational and economic benefits of the metro that are already being felt. Presentations will outline gains associated with pollution control, congestion, time savings, public
safety, poverty alleviation, commerce and education, and the importance of mainstreaming sustainable transport within overall national development plans.

GFDD and FUNGLODE believe that the lessons learned and the experiences gained from the planning and construction of the Santo Domingo metro-rail system will be of value to the Commission on Sustainable Development, government representatives of developing countries and civil society entities invested in the areas of
sustainable transport and urban development. The Foundations believe that the Santo Domingo Metro can serve as a sustainable development model.

The organization of this panel is part of GFDD and FUNGLODE’s commitment to contribute to the United Nations’ work agenda. This year, in addition to submitting six high-level reports on Public Health prepared by GFDD and FUNGLODE’s Center for Public Health Studies to the Commission on Population and
Development, GFDD and FUNGLODE have also developed a report on the contributions of the Santo Domingo Metro System to sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

GFDD and FUNGLODE’s report on the Santo Domingo Metro System, prepared by InteRDom Fellow, Carl Allen, responds to CSD’s 2010/2011 Programme of Work, which is devoted to the thematic areas of Transport, Chemicals, Waste Management, Mining, and Sustainable
Production and Consumption. Mr. Allen’s comprehensive study is an analysis of the potential impact of the metro in Santo Domingo on poverty alleviation, congestion, pollution reduction and social and educational development. As an InteRDom Fellow, Mr. Allen interviewed key people in the area of transportation and conducted survey studies of Santo Domingo’s ridership. The outcome of his research is an extensive report on the effects of the metro on the nation’s
urban development, which includes recommendations for maximizing societal benefits.

The Harvard Kennedy School student was the first researcher to participate in the InteRDom Fellows Program. The Program, a division of GFDD and FUNGLODE’s internship and academic study program InteRDom, was developed in 2009 to respond to the Foundations’ desire to create a community of scholars that contributes to GFDD and FUNGLODE’s growing body of research
on matters of international concern that directly impact the Dominican Republic. The initiative complements GFDD and FUNGLODE’s overall mission to promote academic exchange, generate scholarship, and influence the creation of public policy related to economic and social development both at the national and international level. Through the Fellows Program, GFDD and FUNGLODE seek to develop scholarship on issues at the forefront of the United Nations agenda in order to give voice to
national and regional concerns and offer viable solutions to domestic and international challenges.

GFDD and FUNGLODE support the United Nations and its different agencies in carrying out their missions and achieving their goals. In 2004, GFDD and FUNGLODE were admitted to the United Nations System as institutions with consultative status, joining the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Department of
Public Information (DPI), the Global Compact Office (UNGC), and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Learn more about the InteRDom Fellows Program
See video on InteRDom Fellow Carl Allen