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Canadian HIV / AIDS Policy and Law Review. 2002 Dec; 7(2-3):80-84.Health is a fundamental right, not a commodity to be sold at a profit, argues Irene Fernandez in the second Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture delivered on 8 July 2002 to the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona. Ms Fernandez had to obtain a special permit from the Malaysian government to attend the Conference because she is on trial for having publicly released information about abuse, torture, illness, corruption, and death in Malaysian detention camps for migrants. This article, based on Ms Fernandez presentation, describes how the policies of the rich world have failed the poor world. According to Ms Fernandez, the policies of globalization and privatization of health care have hindered the ability of developing countries to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic-The article decries the hypocrisy of the industrialized nations in increasing subsidies to farmers while demanding that the developing world open its doors to Western goods. It points out that the rich nations have failed to live up their foreign aid commitments. The article concludes that these commitments - and the other promises made in the last few years, such as those in the United Nations' Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS - can only become a reality if they are translated into action. (author's)
In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume I. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 77-123. (Population Studies, No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)The Secretary-General's commentary on the state of population growth, resources, and the environment examines the most important relationship. Conflicts in resource use and distribution and essential resources are identified: potential water and land resources for agriculture, availability of potential arable land, new technology, carrying capacity, capital needs, the imbalance between population and arable land, energy needs, agricultural modernization, nonfuel mineral resources, and energy resources. The relationship between rapid population growth and the environment may be one where man is indeed capable of reducing the environmental consequences to tolerable level through reallocation of resources. There a 3 sets of environmental problems: 1) those related to poverty and inadequate social and economic development; 2) those arising from the development process itself; and 3) those which could have a major impact on climate or environmental conditions and are not well understood. The environmental problems of developed countries pertain to high levels of energy use and the problems of affluence. In poor countries, environmental problems are caused by rapid population growth and urbanization, and poverty. Environmental destruction from mining and transportation are discussed along with the need for conversion to alternative forms of energy and reduction of polluting energy use. Developing countries' problems focus on water supply and waste disposal, the benefits of environmental improvement, and the global changes possible in climate, carbon dioxide emissions, and particulate matter in the atmosphere. "Hot spots" from fossil fuel combustion and nuclear fission are occurring; accurate data, improved analytical models, and international cooperation in monitoring and analysis is essential. Settlement patterns and the costs plus the internal organization of large urban areas are some of the problems examined. Rural development, rural-urban migration, and population redistribution are other issues of concern. Urban development and urban growth strategies reflect the potential need to curb urban migration and a new settlement system. Technology's impact on population, research gaps, and policy implications are revealed. Definitions of societal objectives are necessary before deciding what technology is needed.
[Unpublished] 1989. Presented at the Conference on Global Environment and Human Response toward Sustainable Development, Tokyo, Japan, September 11, 1989. 11 p.With the installation of Barner B. Conable as President of the World Bank, the Bank began to incorporate the environmental effects of development projects into its loan decisions. It has also augmented loans for environmental, population, and forestry projects. In 1988, >100 projects with important environmental elements (35% of all Bank and IDA projects) were approved, the majority of which were in agriculture. The Bank has expected the percentage of such projects to increase annually. Further, to assist the countries and the Bank in considering environmental concerns in the beginning stage of designing development projects, the Bank has developed Environmental Assessment Guidelines. The Bank has taken on a formidable task, however, since its primary purpose is to reduce poverty which often conflicts with protecting the environment. Its leadership believes that the 2 goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and, if they are to be achieved, the problems must be clearly defined and all the countries of the world must work towards solutions to benefit the global community. Additionally, the Bank has begun to encourage developing countries to switch to cleaner fuels, processes, and systems to curtail global warming. It also monitors research on carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbon emissions, all of which contribute to the greenhouse effect, and on climatic change. The Bank has recognized, however, that improvement in the environment cannot occur fast enough, at the rate the earth's population is increasing. Therefore it continues to fund family planning and health projects.
New York, New York, United Nations, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs [DIESA], Development Fund for Women, 1985. 195 p. (United Nations Publication ST/ESA/159)This report covers the activities of the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women--currently called the United Nations Development Fund for Women--during the period 1978-1983. The objectives of the projects included regional and national strategies for the promotion of development in developing countries. They dealt with poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, self-reliance, health and nutrition; they promoted employment and self-sufficiency and created import-substitution products; they included agricultural production, human resource development through education and training, and institution-building. The assessment affirmed that women do participate in the development process but that they participate under unequal conditions. The findings of the assessment were also in agreement with the view of the General Assembly that changes in the family division of labor are needed in order to secure the participation of women on more equitable terms. Another lesson drawn from the projects that provides guidance for future activities is that projects should preferably be multi-faceted, encompassing human development needs as well as technical subjects. The cultural and political environments in which projects were implemented and the traditions of societies, when properly taken into account, contributed to the positive impact of projects. An obstacle faced in project implementation in several countries was the outdated and thus inadequate preparation of extension workers to cope with the multi-faceted work of women. Institutions were critical elements of project viability. The existence of local and national women's organizations and agencies proved to be a necessary condition for project effectiveness. The Fund reached policy levels from several directions. Although the effectiveness of these approaches varies both by country and by region, an interim judgment is that effective field projects may be the best approach.
In: Population, resources, environment and development. Proceedings of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development, Geneva, 25-29 April 1983, [compiled by] United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 223-40. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)Human beings have increased in numbers and in technological capability and consequently their impacts on their own evironment have become more pronounced. A clearcut example of the enviornmental effect of population growth is the increase of the area of agricultural lands during the last 120 years when the world's human population increased by more than 3-fold. Throughout most of this period, food yields per unit area of cultivated land changed very slowly, and growing populations could be fed only by plowing more land. Between 1860-1920 more than half of the increase in farmland occurred in the developed areas, and these regions also produced more than half of the worldwide growth in population. Population growth increased markedly between 1920-78, being between 4-5 times that in the previous 60 years. On a worldwide basis, and to a large extent within regions, the decrease in farm area per person as time passed reflected in part increases in crop yields per hectare resulting from advances in agricultural science and technology, and in part increases in irrigated areas which allowed the intensity of cultivation to increase as well as allowing growth in crop yeilds. During the last 10 years, the rate of increase of arable land for each additional person has markedly diminished, being only 0.06 hectares per person on a worldwide basis. From the data given by Richards, Olson, and Rotty, it is possible to compute the areas of different natural ecosystems cleared for agriculture between 1860 and 1978. On a worldwide basis, 7.6% of the total forest lands existing in 1860 had been converted to agriculture by 1978. Woodland, savanna, and grassland conversion amounted, respectively, to 7.9%, 6.1%, and 10% of the areas in these categories in 1860. About the same percentages of the areas of swamps and marshes in 1860 were drained for agriculture during the subsequent 118 years, but less than 1% of desert lands were brought under cultiviation. Considerations of the carrying capacity of the world's actual and potential agricultural lands are far less important than the social, economic, and political conditions which now keep so many of the world's population in poverty and malnutrition.
In: Ghosh PK, ed. Health, food and nutrition in Third World development. Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 1984. 87-124. (International Development Resource Books No. 6)The global food problem is delineated, and a set of concepts for analyzing the world food system is provided and used to critically examine the food system. The global food problem consists of an interrelated set of elements which affect countries differently. These elements are 1) the food shortage threat; 2) instability in the food supply stemming from price fluctuations, unpredictable markets, and an undependable trade flow; 3) an unpredictable supply of food for importation; 4) low agricultural production in developing countries; and 5) malnutrition. The global food system consists of production centers, consumption centers, and distribution channels. Conditions that characterize the system are the result of regimes, i.e., the rules and norms which control the system at any particular point in time. A regime can be identified by 1) observing transaction flows, the allocation of resources, and food diplomacy patterns; 2) by examining the agendas of food issue forums; and 3) by listening to the arguments used to bolster or criticize specific food policies. The global food system created by the current regime, which has been in existence since the 1940s, is a system which divides the countries of the world into surplus and deficit countries and has 2 distributional channels. These channels are 1) commercial sellers and buyers and 2) concessionally linked donors and recipients. The regime which created this system was imposed primarily by the US government. The regime is characterized by 1) a belief in the free market system, 2) a willing to provide famine relief but a refusal to address the chronic malnutrition problem, 3) the conditional acceptance of the distribution of food, in the form of food aid, outside the market system; 4) the promotion of the flow of technological information; 5) respect for national sovereignty, which has the effect of preventing aid from reaching the poorest segments of the population of developing countries; 6) assignment of a low priority to the development of self-reliance in developing countries; and 7) a willingness to accumulate a grain surplus for distribution to countries with shortfalls. The activities of multinational agribusiness tend to reinforce and support this regime. The international food network, consisting largely of UN agencies, can modify the food regime by 1) encouraging governments to confront critical food issues, 2) collecting and disseminating information about the food problem, 3) providing services which governments are unable to perform because of political considerations; and 4) legitimize policies via multilateral sanction. The system supported by the present regime promotes the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy and ignores the need for distributive justice. There are some indications that a new regime is in the process of being developed as evidenced by the new international economic order.
Survey of economic and social conditions in Africa, 1979-1980: summary. General discussion of international economic and social policy, including regional and sectoral developments: regional co-operation.
New York, UN, 1981 Jun 15. 23 p. (E/1981/76)This summary of economic and social conditions in Africa covers the international economic situation during the 1970s, progress in the implementation of the new international economic order, and economic development in the region of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), including growth, domestic savings and fixed capital formation in developing Africa; agriculture; manufacturing; monetary fiscal and price developments; resource flows and external debt; external trade and balance of payments; trends and structures in social development in Africa; demographic trends and policies; transport and communications infrastructure; and the world energy situation in an African perspective. The decade of the 1970s was marked by a slow-down in rates of growth of real output in the developed countries, which adversely affected African exports by high rates of inflation and unemployment, by rises in the prices of crude oil and imported capital trade, by slow growth of agricultural and food production, by large fluctuations in export commodity prices, and by a massive increase in liquidity, both domestic and international, which led to instability in world and domestic capital markets. Dissatisfaction with the function of the present international economic system led to the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration and Program of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order. The new system calls for more equitable distribution of wealth and opportunity between the developed and the developing nations, equitable commodity price relations, more cooperation among the developing countries, and specific arrangements in the fields of energy, trade, finance, technology, shipping, international corporations, and the special problems of the least developed countries. According to ECA statistics, gross domestic product in developing Africa as a whole increased by about 5% at constant prices in 1979, compared with 5.4% and 4.8% in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Over the 1970s the gross domestic product grew by 5.2% per annum, but the averages conceal wide differences in performance between the major oil exporting and the nonoil exporting developing African countries. The former group grew at an average of 8.1% between 1970 and 1979, as compared with 6.9% in the 1960s, but the latter stagnated at about 3.8% growth over the past 2 decades. Growth performance, although erratic, seems to vary directly with the level of per capita income in 1970.
Washington, D.C., Office of Technology Assessment, 1982 Apr. 120 p. (OTA Report OTA-R-165)Global models, as tools of policy formulation, have been used to evaluate or promote alternative actions and programs that might bring about different or more favorable world futures. This report surveys the assumptions, findings, and recommendations of 5 major global modeling studies. It also considers the use of global models within the US government, such as the World Integrated Model (WIM) that is being used by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The report presents strategies that have been suggested for improving the quality and relevance of the Government's modeling capability. Of particular interest in this connection is the newly created White House "national indicators system." Appendixes provided detailed comparative analyses of the models' projections of population, agriculture, and energy trends. Global modeling studies have varied widely in their purposes, techniques, findings, and prescriptions. Specific quantitative results have differed, but the studies have generally identified the same problems and seem to have arrived at roughly similar qualitative conclusions about the present state of the world and its plausible futures. As a tool of analysis, global modeling is neutral, yet it can be designed or used inappropriately. Global modeling is used by a variety of organizations. Global models offer several methodological advantages over traditional techniques of long range analysis and policy development: longer time horizon; comprehensiveness; rigor and accessibility; logic; and flexiblity. Global models are subject to several limitations that can constrain their accuracy, reliability, and usefulness: methodological, theoretical; and data constraints. Frequently cited institutional barriers include: poor communication between modelers and potential model users; narrow specialization of interests and responsibilities; lack of understanding, confidence, or support for modeling among top level policymakers; and lack of interest in longterm global issues on the part of the US Federal agencies, US Congress, and the general public. Proposed initiatives for improving the government's modeling capabilities usually reflect 4 fundamental priorites: correct existing deficiencies; coordinate existing capabilities and activities; support technical improvements in the government's capability and the state of the art; and link foresight with policymaking. The 5 global modeling studies addressed in this report demonstrate at least 3 fundamentally different "predictive styles"--World 3 model and Global 2000 examine what might happen if current trends continued, while the Latin American and UN world models examine the goals that might be realized through broad changes in those trends, and the WIM examines the policies and action that might bring those changes about. The models also vary significantly in their more specific purposes, assumptions, and methodologies, but they do display a limited consensus about the nature of the world system and the identity of the problems facing it, as well as some of the steps that must be taken to address them. Discussion examines the areas of general agreement or disagreement that emerge from these 5 studies.
Ottawa, Canada, IDRC, 1982. 384 p.The 1115 projects listed in this publication represent 10 years of research activity supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), from the 1st year of operation in 1971 to March 1981. In another sense they represent an account of the growing human resources competent to contribute to science and technology in developing countries--an illustration of how technology and skills are acquired in the process of securing a measure of well-being for the world's poor. The subject/area index lists projects according to their specific subjects or field of research and according to country of geographic region. Projects have been indexed using the IDRC Library Thesaurus, which is based on an internationally accepted controlled vocabulary of descriptors used to index and retrieve information about development. A brief project rationale and statement of research objectives is given for each project. The expected duration of the research is given in months, followed by a notation of "active" or "completed". A project is deemed to be completed when the initiating program division is satisfied that the work undertaken during the course of the project is finished. The project recipient organization and location is included, as well as a grant figure representing the IDRC contribution to the research. Program areas within IDRC include agriculture; food and nutrition sciences; cooperative programs; information sciences; social sciences; communications; projects of the Office of the Secretary; Special Governing Board Activities; and those of the Office of the President. Precedence for projects is given to requests from developing countries.