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Report on the Bellagio conference on urban health challenges for the 21st century, 9-13 October 1995.
URBANISATION AND HEALTH NEWSLETTER. 1995 Jun; (25):56-8.Delegates were invited from 13 developed and developing countries, as well as the World Health Organization, to attend a conference held at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center during October 9-13, 1995, to discuss the health challenges facing the world's urban areas in the 21st century. The goal of the conference was to identify and describe successful models for delivering health services to large urban populations and to share that knowledge. Conference themes were urban health care, the intersectoral dimensions of urban health, the delivery of integrated health care from selected developing countries, and resources for the sustainable growth and development of urban health services. Small group discussions were held in which a range of issues were considered and many recommendations developed for eventual release to the public. Conference participants were enriched by their experience.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1995 Nov-Dec; 27(6):254-8.This article is a reflection on the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995, including its preparatory meetings. Delegates from 187 nations negotiated and decided on the disputed passages of the draft Platform of Action, which comprised 40% of the 150 page document. The atmosphere prior and during the conference was not peaceful. The UN and China disputed over the location of the nongovernmental organizations' (NGO) forum that took place at the same time of the conference. The US and Chinese governments squabbled about China's detention of a Chinese-American human rights activist. The US First Lady attended the conference and the NGO forum, promoting human rights. Most delegates had decided that this conference would not be a retreat from the Cairo conference. In comparison to Cairo, the Vatican delegation had toned down its opposition. US based antiabortion groups and conservative women's groups arrived in greater numbers in Beijing than in Cairo, in hopes to reverse actions taken in Cairo. They had few victories. A contentious issue was parental rights and responsibilities, specifically adolescents' access to confidential health services. Compromise wording was worked out in two paragraphs. All other references to parental rights were deleted or there was a reference to the compromise wording. The Beijing platform was the first universal document recognizing the right of a woman to say no to sexual intercourse. The references in the Beijing document recognizing sexual rights as human rights were a major accomplishment. Debates over the issue of abortion took place: the proposed conscience clause and a call for the review of laws containing punitive measures against women who have had an illegal abortion. The vocal delegates from developing countries are silencing the accusation that radical Western women are thrusting women's rights on the rest of the world.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1995 Oct 7; 311(7010):891-2.Over the past 30 years a wide range of developing countries have successfully developed a model of primary health care promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO). It differs fundamentally from the primary care system in the United Kingdom, which relies more on technical and curative care than the community-oriented approach. In the 1950s and 1960s many developing countries faced a daunting task. A different model of care emerged, which recognized that the health of populations was determined by factors other than medical care and that these factors could be controlled by communities themselves, through collaboration with agriculture, water sanitation, and education in a spirit of self reliance. By the 1970s WHO had formulated this model and declared at Alma Ata that Health for All was achievable through primary health care by 2000. The West's reaction to this model was to support it in developing countries by giving aid but to reject it for the West's own countries. The medical model was powerful, and its proponents argued that populations would become healthier with more doctors and hospitals. The West's second reaction was political. Socialist countries such as China, Cuba, and Tanzania had fully adopted primary health care and the concepts of community participation. Such reforms resulted in dramatic improvements in health status in many countries. After the introduction of barefoot doctors, for example, in China mortality among children under five fell from more than 175 per 1000 live births to under 49. With the end of the Cold War, the receding threat of socialist expansionism, British and other Western governments are now discovering the wider determinants of health and the strength of community involvement. Some of the WHO's initiatives that have been so successful in developing countries, such as Health for All, use of health targets, and community empowerment, are now being pursued in Britain.
International migration policies and the status of female migrants. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on International Migration Policies and the Status of Female Migrants, San Miniato, Italy, 28-31 March 1990.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1995. xiii, 300 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/126)The first part of this UN expert group meeting report describes a meeting about migration policies, female migration, and recommendations that would improve the status of female immigrants. The second part includes Lin Lean Lim's views on the status of women and international migration and the UN Secretariat's views on measuring the extent of female international migration. The third part contains 9 articles by different authors on female migrants in developed countries. Specific attention is directed to female immigrants in France, the Netherlands, and Italy, and European and Asian female immigrants to Australia. The reintegration experiences of female returnees to Greece and Filipino and Korean female labor migration are described. The fourth and last part considers sex selectivity of migration regulations in southern and southeastern Asia, policies toward female migration to Arab countries of Western Asia, and the migration experiences of Sri Lankan women in Western Asia. Case studies of female migration are given for Bolivians in Argentina and migration to and from Nigeria. The overview stresses that the vulnerability of migrant women is a social construct that must be "deconstructed" in order to allow for women's capacity to adjust and engage in actively effecting change and to support through government policies the economic strategies of women and their families. The lack of language skills impacts on economic prospects and limits work to domestic services or piecework at home. The trend is for greater or lesser labor force participation among women depending upon the female participation rates in the country of origin. Women tend to work for economic reasons, and foreign women workers are generally paid the least. Economic rewards may accrue due to female migration, but female migrants most assuredly act as agents of change and are increasingly being recognized as important economic actors. Six general recommendations are made, along with 13 specific recommendations pertaining to social adjustment issues of migrant women, employment issues, return migration, female refugees, undocumented migration, and data improvement.
AIDS ANALYSIS ASIA. 1995 Jul-Aug; 1(4):2.The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has launched a study, "Progress of Nations," of standards of health, education, nutrition, and progress for women. It reveals that many rich nations have records on health, nutrition, and women's rights that are much worse than those of poorer countries. Economic growth does not necessarily result in a better standard of living for the majority of people. "Progress of Nations" uses specific indicators to gauge achievements, then ranks each country accordingly; it also states how much individual nations are contributing to the global aid budget, and where funds are being spent. A table lists countries chronologically in order of introduction of education about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Singapore (1986), Sri Lanka (1986), Japan (1987), China (1989), Thailand (1989), Hong Kong (1990), Malaysia (1991), and Viet Nam (1991) have done so. As of early 1993, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Lao Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines had not incorporated sex education into school curriculums. One section examines the fertility decline since 1963 in all countries and the unmet need for family planning. In Thailand and Indonesia, where population growth has been reduced dramatically over the last 30 years, 12% and 14% of married women aged 15-49 years want to stop having children or to postpone the next pregnancy for at least 2 years, but are not using contraception.
National perspectives on population and development. Synthesis of 168 national reports prepared for the International Conference on Population and Development, 1994.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 1995. viii, 112 p.This document highlights some of the most interesting and salient features of the 168 national reports prepared for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and illustrates the variety and complexity of situations encountered across countries and regions. Part 1 presents insights into changing perspectives on population issues, especially into the recurrent themes of 1) the interrelationships between population, development, and the environment and 2) the role and status of women. The evolution of political commitment to population concerns during the past two decades is also traced, and the challenges ahead are outlined. Part 2 deals with population dynamics issues through a discussion of the implications of population growth and structure, improving health conditions, influencing fertility, and internal and international migration. The statistics used in this document are those found in the national reports and complementary information forms. The UN geographic system of classification of countries is used, and frequent distinctions are made between developing and industrialized countries.
POPULI. 1995 Jan; 22(12):4-5.According to speakers from 45 countries, at a UN General Assembly debate (November 17-18), "a major mobilization of resources and effective monitoring of follow-up actions are needed" in order to implement the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Algeria spoke for developing countries in the Group of 77 (G77) and China; commended the Programme's recognition of the key role played by population policies in development and its new approach that centered on people rather than numbers; called for concerted international mobilization to meet ICPD goals for maternal, infant, and child mortality, and access to education; and, since G77 had agreed at the Cairo Conference that developing countries should pay two-thirds of the implementation costs of the Programme, asked industrialized countries to provide the remaining third from new resources, rather than by diversion of existing development aid. It was reported that G77 is preparing a draft resolution which will address distribution of ICPD follow-up responsibilities. Germany spoke for the European Union; commended the shift of focus from demographics and population control to sustainable development, patterns of consumption, women's rights, and reproductive health; and suggested that the World Summit on Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women, which will be held in 1995, could carry on the Cairo agenda (a point underscored by Thailand). It was reported that several Western European countries had already pledged substantial increases in population assistance. Indonesia and South Korea addressed increasing South-South cooperation in population and development. Nigeria and the Holy See noted the emphasis on national sovereignty in regard to law, religion, and cultural values. Many called for a global conference on international migration. To ensure a common strategy for ICPD follow-up within the UN system, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has asked UNFPA Executive Director Nafis Sadik to chair an inter-agency task force. All UN agencies and organizations have been asked to review how they will promote implementation of the Programme of Action.