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UN Chronicle. 2001 Jun-Aug; 38(2): p..Thirty years ago, my predecessor U Thant transferred a small trust fund to the new United Nations Development Programme, said Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1999. "A small group of donors provided a small amount of money for the new fund's operations. Such were the modest beginnings of what we know today as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) -- one of the United Nations leading success stories of the last half-century." Today, UNFPA is active in 146 countries. As one privileged to participate in the success story of UNFPA, which reflects an evolution, not only of the Fund and the United Nations system overall but also an increasing awareness among people, I will briefly detail a few of the most relevant highlights. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], Bureau for Development Policy [BDP], Special Initiative on HIV / AIDS, 2001. 27 p.The devastation caused by HIV/AIDS is unique because it is depriving families, communities and entire nations of their young and most productive people. The epidemic is deepening poverty, reversing human development achievements, worsening gender inequalities, eroding the ability of governments to maintain essential services, reducing labour productivity and supply, and putting a brake on economic growth. These worsening conditions in turn make people and households even more at risk of, or vulnerable to, the epidemic, and sabotages global and national efforts to improve access to treatment and care. This cycle must be broken to ensure a sustainable solution to the HIV/AIDS crisis. The response to HIV/AIDS so far has focused, rightly so, on the challenge of containing the epidemic and preventing new infections through advocacy, information and education campaigns, behaviour change communication, condom distribution, programmes targeting groups that are particularly vulnerable to infection, and other key interventions. The other part of the response is focusing on treatment and care for people living with HIV and AIDS — efforts that are expected to intensify as new treatments become more accessible and affordable. Both prevention and treatment are top priorities in not only saving lives and reducing human suffering, but also in limiting the future impact on human development and poverty reduction efforts. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 2001.  p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/203)The present report has been prepared in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/55 of 28 July 1995, in which the Council endorsed the terms of reference and the topic-oriented and prioritized multi-year work programme proposed by the Commission on Population and Development at its twenty-eight session. According to the multi-year work programme, which was to serve as a framework for the assessment of the progress achieved in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, a new series of reports on a special set of the themes would be prepared annually. The Commission, in its decisions 1999/1 and 2000/1, decided that the special theme for the year 2001 should be population, environment and development, which is the topic of the present report. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2001. xii, 98 p.Financial Resource Flows for Population Activities in 1999 is the thirteenth edition of a report previously published by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) under the title of Global Population Assistance Report. The United Nations Population Fund has regularly collected data and reported on flows of international financial assistance to population activities. The Fund's annual Reports focused on the flow of funds from donors through bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental channels for population assistance to developing countries I and countries with economies in transition. Also included were grants and loans from development banks for population activities in developing countries. In light of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and, at the request of the Commission on Population and Development, UNFPA updated its reporting system and began collecting data on domestic resource expenditures in developing countries in addition to data on international population assistance. This report contains information on international assistance from 1990 to 1999 and domestic resource flows to population activities from 1997 to 1999. (excerpt)
Indian Pediatrics. 2001 Oct; 38:1129-43.Through the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration, the governments of the world officially accepted the principle of primary health care and promised to bring it into being in all nations within the next 22 years. The Declaration further stated that health is a fundamental human right and that the gross inequalities in health status are unacceptable. To fulfill its commitment of health for all, India's government developed a National Health Policy in 1983, laying down specific goals with quantifiable targets. This paper discusses the impact of the 1993 National Health Policy and its subsequent various policies and acts. Overall, it is noted that globalization and structural adjustment programs increased poverty, malnutrition, and child mortality. Privatization of medical care and education are also making health care inaccessible to the poor. In addition, irrational or useless drugs and diagnostic procedures increased the cost of health care. Moreover, the World Trade Organization is destroying public sector health services and the self-reliant pharmaceutical sector.
Monday Developments. 2001 Jun 25; 19(11):3, 16-7.This paper highlights the InterAction Annual Forum with the theme "Moving Towards Mutual Accountability: Striking a Balance on Accountability Among Donors, Practitioners and End Users". The sessions aim to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the policies and practices that enhance their ability to be accountable to one another for agreed upon actions and results. The sessions featured a plenary session, a multi-stakeholder panel, case studies, and a final session wherein various concrete tools were presented by representatives from the Evaluation Interest Group for assessing capacity and measuring mutual accountability in the international development. Issues relevant to the changing concept of accountability emerged from the discussions of the panelists. First, the evolvement of accountability from a top-down model into a multi-directional form. The stakeholders all contribute to the development of policies and practices. Second, the application of "mutual accountability" approach is limited to but a few countries, as some countries have unequal relationships and can hardly engage in "mutual" activity. Third, emphasis is given to the importance of giving a voice to those subjects the participants strive to serve. It is imperative that nongovernmental organizations and donor agencies work together to find mechanisms through which the poor can hold all institutions accountable.
Human Organization. 2001 Summer; 60(2):159-65.This paper draws on the experience of the World Bank in rural and urban development during the 1970s and 1980s to explain why neither predominantly top-down nor bottom-up approaches have succeeded--nor indeed deserved to--or can be expected to succeed in the future. It then proceeds through a selection of related innovations initiated in the latter 1980s and through the 1990s; notes their failure to promote significant breakthroughs to date; and suggests improved initiatives that blend top-down and bottom-up approaches and, beyond their general efficacy, would seem to be particularly suitable for confronting many of the principal problems in the Mexico-US borderlands. (author's)
UN CHRONICLE. 2001 Feb; 37(4):23-5.This article reviews the publication "The Future of Development Assistance: Common Pools and International Public Goods" by Ravi Kanbur and Todd Sandler with Kevin M. Morrison (Overseas Development Council, Policy Essay No. 25, 1999). The policy essay attempts to address some problems arising from the frequent failure of international aid programs to achieve their apparently unimpeachable aims. Problems include the direction of aid towards political rather than development objectives, most notably during the cold war, as well as lack of coordination among donors and a lack of participation or ownership by recipient states. Another problem is the sheer unreliability of economic dogma and aggregated economic information as a guide to the effectiveness of aid. In the essay, the authors reject several current dogmas of aid. The first is economic liberalism, which favors aid for those states that follow "sound" fiscal policies. In some cases economic liberalism has shown results in the form of improved aggregate growth, but it has signally failed to solve the problems of coordination and ownership. The second dogma is the currently fashionable, but hardly new, idea of partnership, according to which donors design programs in the light of recipients' national development strategies. A third dogma that has failed is that of country-focused but sector-wide strategies, in which all donors working in a particular area of aid coordinate their work. A radical approach is needed in which donors truly cede control to the recipient country government, advancing their own perspective on development strategy through general dialogue with the country and with each other, rather than through specific programs and projects.
UN CHRONICLE. 2001 Feb; 37(4):21-2.On the threshold of the new millennium, human development is at a major crossroads. Progress in human development has lost its momentum in most developing countries. This is evidenced by the sharp decline in living standards in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, faltering growth in East Asia and Latin America, slow growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and the emergence of new health problems. Extreme poverty poses further challenges and decreases the prospects for global integration, peace, and security. This problem may be resolved through coordinated and adequately funded international efforts. Several global initiatives demonstrate the importance of developing strategic alliances, such as the Joint UN Programme for HIV/AIDS; The Onchocerciasis Control Programme; Oxfam Global Action for Basic Education; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a SmithKline Beecham program. However, responsibility and accountability for poverty reduction and human development rest with the countries themselves. Strong political and intellectual leadership is a necessary condition to establish the foundations for economic growth and to reduce poverty, promote good governance and the rule of law. The international community, however, should remain effective catalysts for change, sharing international experiences and supporting countries to customize global standards for local situations.