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Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4): p..Over the past fifteen years, there has been increasing evidence of the advantages of involving “the beneficiaries” in the development process. From a relatively passive involvement as providers of information, this involvement has changed both quantitatively and qualitatively, so that it is now accepted that the stakeholders should be involved in all stages of the process from design to implementation and evaluation. Through such involvement, civil society, especially the poor, effectively become partners in the project and the development process. The Urban Management Programme (UMP), a joint programme of UN-HABITAT, UNDP and the World Bank, has extended this principle to other domains of governance, partly out of recognition that government alone is not able to decide on the priority issues and the future vision for the city. More significantly, bringing the civil society into the development process as partners provides more than just additional resources. The increase in commitment, knowledge and expertise plus the shared sense of ownership provide better chances for successful outcomes. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4): p..Initiated by the Huairou Commission, the local-to-local dialogues represent an innovative global strategy which is grounded in local action. It is a method by which organizations engage in an on-going dialogue with local authorities to forge sustainable development. The Huairou Commission publicized the project through its global networks, GROOTS International, HIC Women and Shelter, International Council of Women (ICW), Women and Peace, Women Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), International women and Cities Network. This was the means by which organizations interested in moving in this direction decided to combine their local efforts with this global initiative. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4): p..Since 1997, the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) has actively promoted gender equality through its international task force on Women in Local Government. The task force has been addressing the political and professional under representation of women in decision making positions, and has developed both gender mainstreaming, and positive action in local government policy development and service provision. The IULA policy paper and the Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government is a result of broad consultations with IULA’s inter governmental and UN partners. In the coming years the Global Programme should result in IULA becoming the worldwide source of key information regarding women in local decision making. The overall programme objective is to promote equal representation of women in local government decision-making and the mainstreaming of gender in local government policy-making and service-provision through awareness raising, training programmes for women officials and production of materials to support the advancement of women. (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2002 Jun-Jul; 4(2):15.Should the United Nations organize an international population conference in 2004, continuing the series of decennial intergovernmental events that began with the World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974 and continued with the International Conference on Population in Mexico City in 1984 and the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994? The three previous events were initiated by the U.N. Population Commission, now called the Commission on Population and Development. But this time around, the commission has not been able to make up its mind on whether a global event in 2004 will be useful or feasible. In addition to the usual arguments about “the conference fatigue” and the high costs of U.N. conferences, another argument is being advanced by those who are not in favor of a global conference in 2004. They fear that a global conference in 2004 may open up the debate on the concepts of reproductive health, reproductive rights and empowerment of women that were clearly defined and accepted at Cairo. (excerpt)
Keeping the promise: summary of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV / AIDS, United Nations General Assembly, Special Session on HIV / AIDS, 25-27 June 2001, New York.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2002 Jun. 33 p. (UNAIDS/02.31E; PN-ACP-799)At the meeting, Heads of State and Representatives of Governments issued the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. This Declaration describes in its preamble (paragraphs 1–36), the extent of the epidemic, the effects it has had, and the ways to combat it. The Declaration then states what governments have pledged to do—themselves, with others in international and regional partnerships, and with the support of civil society— to reverse the epidemic. The Declaration is not a legally binding document. However, it is a clear statement by governments concerning that which they have agreed should be done to fight HIV/AIDS and that which they have committed to doing, often with specific deadlines. As such, the Declaration is a powerful tool with which to guide and secure action, commitment, support and resources for all those fighting the epidemic, both within and outside government. This booklet simplifies and summarizes the text of the Declaration in an effort to make it more accessible to all and to encourage everyone to do his or her part to put it into action. Where possible, it pairs relevant paragraphs from the preamble with relevant sections from the body of the Declaration. The bold text in quotes is taken directly from the Declaration. Also included are quotes from some of the statements made by speakers at the meeting, as well as from people affected by HIV/AIDS. It should be stressed that the paragraphs in this booklet are simplified versions of those found in the Declaration. They should not be substituted for the full, original text when formal reference to the Declaration is needed. The original text is attached as an annex for easy reference. (excerpt)
Development Bulletin. 2002 Jul; (58):16-19.It is commonly accepted among development agencies that poverty and environmental degradation are intricately linked. All donor or development agencies have recently made that link explicit, and accepted a concept of poverty that is more than simply cash-based or economically defined. Like other development banks and development assistance agencies, the World Bank and AusAID have a policy focus on reducing poverty, which they define in terms of income generation, vulnerability and other aspects of livelihood or well-being. Marjorie Sullivan (2001) undertook a brief analysis of how the links between poverty and environment can be addressed through development assistance. She concluded that it is not possible to undertake an adequate poverty analysis as a basis for identifying project interventions without considering long term (post project) sustainability, nor without fully considering resource use. That analysis must include the explicit links between poverty and environment, and the more contentious issue of ecological sustainability (to address ecosystem services concepts), and how these can be incorporated into the management of development assistance programs. (excerpt)
Development Bulletin. 2002 Dec; (60):8-12.Land is the key to resolving many of the conflicts and problems of Melanesia. Solutions have to involve ways that will work for the majority of the people of the region. A characteristic of the Melanesian South Pacific is that control of the land and virtually all other natural resources is not held exclusively by the state. Only small percentages of the region’s land resources have been alienated to the state. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) it is less than 3 per cent; in the Solomon Islands about 12 per cent, and in Vanuatu all land was deemed to return to its customary owners at independence. These natural resources are held in various combinations of customary group rights and customary individual rights. These rights continue to operate within a range of customary land tenure and land use systems. National constitutions of these countries specifically recognise the validity of these customary systems within the modern state; the majority of citizens want them to continue. Such determination in the face of significant continuing outside as well as internal pressures implies that there is much about these customary tenure systems that is not appreciated by outside forces that try to undermine and destroy them. Why are these systems so important and how can other activities link up with such customary institutions? With these customary rights come expectations and responsibilities in value systems that channel and direct both social and economic behaviour patterns of people living within those systems. Over time the strong links between rights and responsibilities have begun to fade and integrated patterns of beliefs, values and behaviour have become less integrated and more diffuse. Critical areas such as leadership, for example, have taken on new characteristics, expectations and behaviour patterns to such an extent that many modern leaders act with virtual impunity within their ‘fiefdoms’, especially in dealings with natural resources. The conjunction between land, people and governance in Melanesia must underlie efforts to resolve Melanesia’s current problems and malaise. To speak constructively about ‘South Pacific Futures’ the critical importance of land in these societies must be addressed to find forward-thinking ways to resolve Melanesian dilemmas. (excerpt)
In: AIDS in Africa: Help the victims or ignore them?, edited by V. Lovell. New York, New York, Novinka Books, 2002. 1-21.Sub-Saharan Africa has been far more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. According to a December 1, 2001 report issued by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), some 28.1 million adults and children are infected with the HIV virus in the region, which has about 10% of the world's population but 70% of the worldwide total of infected people. The overall rate of infection among adults is about 8.4%, compared with 1.2% worldwide. UNAIDS projects that half or more of all 15 year-olds will eventually die of AIDS in some of the worst-affected countries, such as Zambia, South Africa, and Botswana, unless the risk of contracting the disease is sharply reduced. An estimated 19.3 million Africans have lost their lives to AIDS, including an estimated 2.3 million who died in 2001. UNAIDS estimates that 3.4 million new HIV infections occurred in 2001, down from the estimated 3.8 million new infections in 2000. Experts are cautious in suggesting that this decline might represent some success in prevention efforts, particularly since the adult infection rates continue to increase in a number of countries, including Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Moreover, they point out that 3.4 million new infections still represents a very fast and highly destructive rate of spread. AIDS has surpassed malaria as the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, and it kills many times more people than Africa's armed conflicts. (excerpt)
[Brazilian policy for the distribution and production of antiretroviral drugs: a privilege or a right?] A política brasileira de distribuição e produção de medicamentos anti-retrovirais: privilégio ou um direito?
Cadernos de Saude Publica. 2002 Jan-Feb; 18(1):213-219.This article focuses on the Brazilian National AIDS Program and its policy of distributing and producing antiretroviral drugs, emphasizing links between local decisions and global HIV/AIDS policies. Emphasizing recent developments in the Brazilian and international scenario with regard to access to treatment for people with HIV/AIDS, the article highlights the participation by the pharmaceutical industry, governments, civil society, and UN agencies in establishing responses to the pandemic. The author concludes by identifying transnational activism as a key response to both the power of pharmaceutical corporations and the law of the market (including patent laws), thus fostering global solidarity for people with HIV/AIDS. (author's)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 47-80.This chapter explains the various mechanisms for fostering compliance with different rights relating to reproductive and sexual health, and explores programming options for fostering such compliance. The chapter is not exhaustive, but exploratory; recognizing that much more discussion is needed to address this issue adequately. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2002 Dec. 50 p. (Afghanistan Vol. 14, No. 11)Recommendations sections immediately following and toward the end of the report set out in more detail how the process of promoting human rights, including rights for women and girls, can be put back on track. This report is based on more than 120 interviews conducted in Herat city and Kabul between September and November 2002. Names and identifying details of many of those interviewed cannot be printed here because of concerns for their security. After Human Rights Watch visited Herat in September 2002, Ismail Khan ordered his security forces to identify and interrogate people who spoke with us. We have also received reports that Ismail Khan’s forces have threatened women whom they believe spoke with us—an indication of the level of intimidation and repression in western Afghanistan. (excerpt)
Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. 2002 Oct; 5(4):13.This article reports the move of the Bush administration to cut off all US support for the UN Population Fund because it supported China's strict population-control policies. President Bush instructed that the $34 million involved be redirected to the US Agency for International Development.
Brussels, Belgium, International Crisis Group, 2002. 11 p.This paper reviews the HIV/AIDS crisis in Myanmar. It describes the extent of the crisis in the region, the government's response against it, as well as of the UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other sectors.
Monday Developments. 2002 Apr 8; 20(7):10, 15.With the death of rebellion leader Jonas Savimbi in February 2002, Angola now faces a challenge to put itself on the road to peace, prosperity, and democracy. The country's hope depends on grassroots organizations, which hold the key to citizen participation and attaining a transparent and accountable government. Angola confronts a critical stage that needs the support of the international community for its emerging organizations to advance towards democracy and prosperity. One of the small grassroots organizations to exemplify action against the government is the Coalition for Boavista Homeless. The coalition was established in July 2001 as a response to the government's policy of demolishing homes and taking over the land in Boavista. It distributed pamphlets about the government's action and circulated a petition in request to stop demolition. The coalition and other civil society groups were supported by international organizations like World Learning, which is committed in upholding democracy and human rights worldwide. Changes in Angola will not happen overnight, but are taking place with the effort of the civil society and with help of international community.