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  1. 1

    Health in Brazil and Latin America: The UN millennium goals and the role of nursing.

    Mendes IA

    2004 Nov-Dec; 12(6):847.

    The Millennium Goals were defined by the United Nations Organization in 2000 and approved by consensus during the Millennium Summit, a meeting that joined 147 heads of State. These goals reflect increasing concerns about the sustainability of the planet and about the serious problems affecting humanity. Constituted by a set of eight goals to be reached by 2015, they refer to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal access to basic education, gender equality promotion, infant mortality reduction, maternal health improvement, fight against HIV/Aids and other illnesses, guarantee of environmental sustainability and the establishment of a global partnership for development. Sustainability and development are closely linked to health and imply joint actions by States and civil society in the attempt to minimize the influence of the huge gap that exists between countries and persons. Thus, health and particularly nursing professionals' actions are paramount and can lead to local actions with regional, national and international impacts. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    The human right to the highest attainable standard of health: new opportunities and challenges.

    Hunt P

    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2006 Jul; 100(7):603-607.

    The health and human rights communities have much in common. Recently, the international community has begun to devote more attention to the right to the highest attainable standard of health (‘the right to health’). Today, this human right presents health and human rights professionals with a range of new opportunities and challenges. The right to health is enshrined in binding international treaties and constitutions. It has numerous elements, including the right to health care and the underlying determinants of health, such as adequate sanitation and safe water. It empowers disadvantaged individuals and communities. If integrated into national and international policies, it can help to establish policies that are meaningful to those living in poverty. The author introduces his work as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. By way of illustration, he briefly considers his interventions on Niger’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, Uganda’s neglected (or tropical or poverty-related) diseases, and the recent US—Peru trade negotiations. With the maturing of human rights, health professionals have become an indispensable part of the global human rights movement. While human rights do not provide magic solutions, they have a constructive contribution to make. The failure to use them is a missed opportunity of major proportions. (author's)
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  3. 3

    U.N. says $10 billion needed annually to fight AIDS.

    Population 2005. 2002 Sep-Oct; 4(3):8.

    The HIV/AIDS epidemic shows no sign of leveling off in the hardest hit countries and as much as $10 billion is needed annually to fight it effectively, according to UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot. Addressing the 14th international AIDS conference in Barcelona in July, Mr. Piot said that unless the global community provided more assistance to countries with high rates of HIV/AIDS, like debt relief, there could be catastrophic results. “The epidemic hit the world 20 years ago but we failed to contain the increase in HIV cases. The answers point towards politics, power and priorities. $10 billion is needed annually to combat the menace,” he said. Mr. Piot told his audience they must mobilize political support, scale up AIDS prevention and treatment, eliminate stigma, develop a vaccine and arrange funds to fight the disease. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    Building on the synergy between health and human rights: a global perspective.

    Tarantola D

    Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, 2000. 10 p.

    Before human rights, there was altruism and after human rights there is altruism—the unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Altruism has been and remains an integral part of the beliefs, behaviors and practices of public health practitioners. But altruism means different things to different people. What human rights does for public health is to provide an internationally agreed upon framework for setting out the responsibilities of governments under human rights law as these relate to people’s health and welfare. Human rights as they connect to health should be understood, in the first instance, with reference to the description of health set forth in the preamble of the WHO Constitution, and repeated in many subsequent documents and currently adopted by the 191 WHO Member States: Health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition has important conceptual and practical implications, as it illustrates the indivisibility and interdependence of rights as they relate to health. Rights relating to autonomy, information, education, food and nutrition, association, equality, participation and non-discrimination are integral and indivisible parts of the achievement of the highest attainable standard of health, just as the enjoyment of the right to health is inseparable from other rights, whether categorized as civil and political, economic, social or cultural. Thus, the right to the highest attainable standard of health builds on, but is by no means limited to, Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It transcends virtually every single other right. This paper highlights the long evolution that has brought health and human rights together in mutually reinforcing ways. It will summarize key dimensions of public health and of human rights and will suggest a manner in which these dimensions intersect in a framework of analysis and action. It will address these issues against the background of the progress being made by the World Health Organization towards defining its roles and functions from a health and human rights perspective. (excerpt)
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  5. 5

    International responses to drug abuse among young people: assessing the integration of human rights obligations.

    Estelle AS

    Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, 2000. 15 p.

    Drug use and abuse among young people is increasing worldwide. Young people are starting to take drugs at younger ages and report use of a wide variety of drugs including heroin, cocaine and amphetamines. It is estimated that the entire illicit drug industry is worth US$500 billion per year, dwarfing the US$62 billion spent on development assistance per year. The health impacts of drug abuse are evident: dependency, addiction, overdose and sometimes death. The goal of this paper is to highlight the intersection of health and human rights with respect to drug abuse among young people. The paper argues two points. The first is that the failure of governments to respect, protect and fulfill human rights leads to less effective prevention drug abuse as well as to less effective treatment of drug abusers. The second point, which comprises the bulk of this paper, is that the international community, and international drug control bodies in particular, because of their focus on drug supply reduction, are in large part responsible for States’ human rights violations against young people who use and abuse drugs, as well those who are vulnerable to drug abuse. The paper is divided into four sections. The first will discuss why drug abuse is a human rights issue. The second will provide readers with some definitions that are central to this topic. The paper will then explore international responses to drug prevention and abuse among young people and suggest how governmental responses are shaped by international responses. The last section will provide the reader with recommendations for how the international response to drug abuse could be more effective in terms of the integration of human rights principles and obligations. (excerpt)
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  6. 6
    Peer Reviewed

    The Millennium Project: the positive health implications of improved environmental sustainability.

    Melnick DJ; Navarro YK; McNeely J; Schmidt-Traub G; Sears RR

    Lancet. 2005 Feb 19; 365:723-725.

    Ensuring environmental sustainability is essential to achieving all the Millennium Development Goals. Longterm solutions to problems of drinking-water shortages, hunger, poverty, gender inequality, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, maternal and childhood health, extreme local weather and global climate changes, and conflicts over natural resources need systematic strategies to achieve environmental sustainability. For this reason, the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Environmental Sustainability has concluded that protection of the environment is an essential prerequisite and component of human health and well-being. Economic development and good health are not at odds with environmental sustainability: they depend on it. One important dimension of environmental sustainability is the need to maintain ecosystem services critical to the human population. These services include providing food, shelter, and construction materials; regulating the quantity and quality of fresh water; limiting soil erosion and regenerating nutrients; controlling pests and alien invasive species; providing pollination; buffering human, wild plant, and animal populations from interspecific transfer and spread of diseases; and stabilising local weather conditions and sequestering greenhouse gases to contain climate change. A second and equally important dimension of environmental sustainability is the need to control water pollution and air pollution, including the emission of greenhouse gases that drive climate change. These so-called brown issues can have a severe effect on human health and ecosystem function. (excerpt)
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  7. 7

    HIV testing of specific populations: recruits of the armed forces. Issue paper: 3rd Meeting, UNAIDS Global Reference Group on HIV / AIDS and Human Rights, 28-30 January 2004.

    Jürgens R; Stoltz L; Patterson D

    Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2004. 6 p.

    In 2001, the United Nations Security Council established an Expert Panel to study the issue of whether the UN should institute HIV testing of peacekeeping personnel. This article, based on a 9 July 2002 presentation to the 14th International AIDS Conference, reports on the findings of a paper prepared for the Expert Panel by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. The paper examined whether it is permissible for the UN to implement mandatory HIV testing of its peacekeeping personnel, and whether HIV-positive UN peacekeeping personnel should be excluded or restricted from service on the basis of their HIV status or HIV disease progression. The article describes some of the court cases in which these issues have been considered; discusses the importance of analyzing such issues in the context of a human rights–based approach to the pandemic; and formulates a series of key principles for guiding UN decision-making. The article concludes that a policy of mandatory HIV testing for all UN peacekeeping personnel cannot be justified on the basis that it is required in order to assess their physical and mental capacity for service; that HIV-positive peacekeeping personnel cannot be excluded from service based on their HIV status alone, but only on their ability to perform their duties; and that the UN cannot resort to mandatory HIV testing for all UN peacekeeping personnel to protect the health and safety of HIV-negative personnel unless it can demonstrate that alternatives to such a policy would not reduce the risk sufficiently. In the end, the Expert Panel unanimously rejected mandatory testing and instead endorsed voluntary HIV counselling and testing for UN peacekeeping personnel. (excerpt)
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  8. 8

    U.N. Population. In population: proud achievements and challenges ahead.

    Fornos W

    Population 2005: News and views on further implementation of Cairo Program of Action. 2003 Sep; 5(3):4-6.

    I further dedicate this award to those men and women who are active today in the population field - including, of course, those serving at the grass roots level in outstanding organizations throughout the world, such as the Family Planning Association of Kenya, this year's institutional winner -- as well as to those who will follow in our toot- steps. They need not be reminded that a few rays of light shining in does not mean that we have reached the end of the tunnel, While the current generation of leadership in the population field has focused on helping couples to have only the family size they want, the next generation must tackle issues growing in their enormity and importance -- issues including aging, migration, urbanization, and deadly diseases, The recent announcement by the United Nations Population Division that world population may now stabilize at 8.9 billion is welcome news. The projection attests to the fact that we know what works. It attests to the fact that where and when couples the world over have access to the necessary information, means, and methods to control their fertility, they are motivated to have smaller families. (excerpt)
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  9. 9

    Shaping population and development strategies.

    Nizamuddin M

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 189-210.

    This chapter addresses the full range of policies and programmes that bear directly on population patterns and trends and that guide and strengthen interventions in the broad field of population. While we will consider the impact of deliberate efforts to promote countries' adoption of national population policies, the adoption of formal population policies is but one facet of the much broader process of developing and implementing policies and programmes that guide and support population activities. (excerpt)
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  10. 10

    The Cairo imperative: how ICPD forged a new population agenda for the coming decades.

    Sai FT

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 113-135.

    The remarkable originality and achievements of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in September 1994, have sometimes been disregarded in the years since. Most fair-minded people acknowledge that ICPD succeeded in its main aims. But for those of us who participated in earlier population conferences and in the preparations for Cairo, it can be said to have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams -- in terms of its intent and programmatic content at least. In addition, it helped mobilize the population, health, women's rights and allied communities to shape a broad agenda for the population and related development fields for the next two decades. Of the three international conferences organized by the United Nations to help build world consensus on the need to address population issues, ICPD was by far the most successful, measured by numbers attending, levels and quality of delegates, international media attention, and the quality of the final consensus -- and an important watershed. After long preparation and vigorous debate, more than 180 countries agreed to adopt the 16-chapter ICPD Programme of Action. The 115-page document outlines a 20-year plan to promote sustainable, human-centred development and a stable population, framing the issues with broad principles and specific actions. The Cairo Programme of Action was not simply an updating of the World Population Plan of Action (WPPA), agreed to at Bucharest and revised at Mexico City, but an entirely fresh and original programme, calling for a major shift in strategies away from demographic goals and towards more individual human welfare and development ones. ICPD was the largest intergovernmental conference on population ever held: 11,000 representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies and intergovernmental agencies participated, 4,000 NGOs held a parallel forum, and there was unprecedented media attention. ICPD was not just a single event, but an entire process culminating in the Cairo meeting. There were six expert group meetings, and regional conferences in Bali, Dakar, Geneva, Amman and Mexico City. There were many formal and informal NGO meetings and three official Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings. Other crucial influences came from the 1987 Safe Motherhood Conference, the 1990 World Summit for Children, the 1990 Jomtien World Conference on Education for All, and the 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights. (author's)
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  11. 11

    Broadening partnerships.

    Weerakoon B

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 95-112.

    This chapter will seek to review and assess, both globally and nationally, UNFPA's experience thus far in encouraging and building partnerships, analysing and reflecting on some of the successes as well as on the constraints and challenges that exist in broadening partnerships. It will also attempt to explore some specific measures that may be taken to nurture and protect effective partnerships that will endure over time. (excerpt)
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  12. 12

    Fostering compliance with reproductive rights.

    Cook RJ

    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)
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  13. 13

    Population, resources and the environment: struggling towards sustainability.

    Hinrichsen D

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 175-188.

    This analysis looks at the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA's) work in the area of population-environment-development linkages. It then analyses the collective effects of 6 billion people, their consumption patterns, and resource use trends, in six different critical resource areas. (excerpt)
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  14. 14

    Implementing the reproductive health approach.

    Fathalla MF

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 24-46.

    The solemn commitment that was made in Cairo in 1994 to make reproductive health care universally available was a culmination of efforts made by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and all those concerned about a people-centred and human rights approach to population issues. The commitment posed important challenges to national governments and the international community, to policy makers, programme planners and service providers, and to the civil society at large. The role of UNFPA in building up the consensus for the reproductive health approach before Cairo had to continue after Cairo if the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) were to be achieved. UNFPA continues to be needed to strengthen the commitment, maintain the momentum, mobilize the required resources, and help national governments and the international community move from word to action, and from rhetoric to reality. Reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, is now one of three major programme areas for UNFPA. During 1997, reproductive health accounted for over 60 per cent of total programme allocations by the Fund. (excerpt)
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  15. 15

    [Toward a new international penal law: some general reflections at the end of the century] Vers un nouveau droit international pénal: quelques réflexions générales à la fin du siècle.

    Aznar Gomez MJ

    In: La protection des droits de l'Homme entre la législation interne et le droit international. Actes du colloque organisé par le Centre de Recherches sur la Coopération Internationale pour le Développement de la Faculté de Droit de Marrakech avec le concours de la Fondation Hanns-Seidel, les 21 et 22 janvier 2000. Rabat, Morocco, Revue Marocaine d'Administration Locale et de Developpement, 2001. 33-56. (Thèmes Actuels No. 26)

    In classic international law, since the individual is separated from the international sphere by the legal fiction of the State, while international law at the dawn of the twenty-first century no longer governs only co-existence among States or the pursuit of their common goals, but also collective interests proper to the international community as a whole, the protection of human rights today is no longer part of the domain reserved to States. At the present time, we find that the individual is the subject of rights and the State is the subject of new duty, namely the respect of human rights. It is possible to identify, through the practice of diplomacy and international jurisprudence, a few general rules, divided into those relating to substance and those relating to procedure. Among the rules relating to substance, it is possible to identify the principles of sovereignty and cooperation, the elementary rules of humaneness and the rule of individual criminal liability. In the area of international sanction mechanisms in international law, the first image we see is that of the courts of Nuremberg and Tokyo. The classic approach to the sanctioning of individuals has really changed only since the end of the 1980's. These sanctions had long been in the hands of the State. In all cases, at least on the normative level, they left in their hands the obligation to obey and to enforce international criminal law, which at the present time is conveyed, among other ways, through the action of international tribunals, bilateral cooperation through international criminal judiciary assistance and multilateral cooperation. Several humanitarian tragedies, such as those in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Rwanda, have called into question the effectiveness of these new enforcement and sanction procedures; however the participation of public opinion and non-governmental organizations (NGO's), the political and judicial action of the United Nations have reinforced it.
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  16. 16

    Female rites of passage: Cameroon and female genital mutilation; time for change.

    Tabe M

    Tampa, Florida, Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project, 2001 Dec 28. 4 p.

    This is testimony from a twenty five year-old woman who has elected to stay anonymous. She is today living in Douala where to cam a living she is a prostitute. Two national surveys carried out in Cameroon between 1988 and 1999 have shown that many girls and women have undergone one form of female genital mutilation (FGM) or the other and a lot more are at the risk of the practice. The negative effects of FGM on the health of women and girls have contributed to maternal morbidity and mortality, and traumatic psychological and psychosexual effects. (excerpt)
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  17. 17

    Adolescence: a time that matters.


    New York, New York, UNICEF, 2002. 39 p.

    Derived from the Latin verb adolescere (to grow into maturity), adolescence is a period when character crystallizes and identity forms. It is also a period when many adolescents are contributing to society in remarkable ways: as parents, workers, caretakers of young children and elders and as role models. There are no simple solutions, no single intervention that can respond to the multiple challenges facing adolescents today. They need access to information, skills and services. They also need to feel safe, supported and connected to adults in their lives. Society has an obligation to shepherd its young people through their adolescent years and to treat them with respect and understanding. When it assumes these responsibilities, the benefits multiply in ways never imagined. (excerpt)
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  18. 18

    Keeping peace and preventing war: the role of the United Nations.

    Renner M

    In: War and public health, edited by Barry S. Levy, Victor W. Sidel. Washington, D.C., American Public Health Association [APHA], 2000. 360-374.

    The momentum of human conflict in the 1990s is such that for the world's governments, the task of maintaining peace and security cannot simply be carried on in the future as it has been in the past--each nation fending for itself. Either a new mechanism of collective security will be firmly established and financed, or nations will find themselves increasingly embattled--and fractured--by challenges to their economic viability, cultural integrity, and sovereignty. The question facing the international community now is whether a strengthened UN peacekeeping system can offer a workable and affordable alternative to the use of force by national governments and their adversaries, and, more immediately, whether governments are prepared to vest the UN with the resources and authority to succeed in its difficult task. It is only realistic to assume that opportunities for peaceful conflict resolution will continue to be missed in the future, that diplomacy will not always be as effective as it could be, and that the antagonists may prefer to fight rather than negotiate. The international community needs to learn--by trial and error, at first--how to employ the tools of preventive diplomacy and peacemaking effectively. Unfortunately, in response to the difficulties encountered in Somalia and Bosnia, the United States and a number of other governments seem prepared to judge peacekeeping a failure and to pull the plug prematurely. The current era is a watershed. The question is whether the nations of the world are prepared to transform the United Nations from a peacekeeper of last resort to a peacemaker of first, and routine, recourse.(excerpt)
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  19. 19

    Public health and the Persian Gulf War.

    Hoskins E

    In: War and public health, edited by Barry S. Levy, Victor W. Sidel. Washington, D.C., American Public Health Association [APHA], 2000. 254-278.

    War has always been disastrous for civilians, and the Persian Gulf War was no exception. Yet the image that has been perpetuated in the West is that the Gulf War was somehow "clean" and fought with "surgical precision" in a manner that minimized civilian casualties. However, massive wartime damage to Iraq's civilian infrastructure led to a breakdown in virtually all sectors of society. Economic sanctions further paralyzed Iraq's economy and made any meaningful post-war reconstruction all but impossible. Furthermore, the invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War unleashed internal political events that have been responsible for further suffering and countless human fights violations. The human impact of these events is incalculable. In 1996, more than five years after the end of the war, the vast majority of Iraqi civilians still subsist in a state of extreme hardship, in which health care, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, and other basic services are minimal. As many as 500,000 children are believed to have died since the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, largely due to malnutrition and a resurgence of diarrheal and vaccine- preventable diseases. Health services are barely functioning due to shortages of supplies and equipment. Medicines, including insulin, antibiotics, and anesthetics, are in short supply. The psychological impact of the war has had a damaging and lasting effect on many of Iraq's estimated eight million children. (excerpt)
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  20. 20

    Conflict resolution and mediation for health professionals.

    Lewer N

    In: War and public health, edited by Barry S. Levy, Victor W. Sidel. Washington, D.C., American Public Health Association [APHA], 2000. 375-387.

    Health professionals may find special opportunities for engagement in conflict resolution and mediation within their own communities and at other sites at which conflict is occurring or threatening to occur. This chapter briefly reviews the history of unofficial conflict resolution and mediation since 1945, describes the process of mediation, and considers applications of conflict resolution and mediation from the perspective of public health professionals. It is not within the scope of this chapter to delve into the complex history of international and domestic conflict management and resolution mechanisms. Useful reviews of the development of conflict resolution in historical, political, and theoretical contexts can be found in the background readings given at the end of this chapter. (excerpt)
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  21. 21
    Peer Reviewed

    The postwar moment: lessons from Bosnia Herzegovina.

    Cockburn C

    Women and Environments International. 2003 Spring; (58-59):6-8.

    There are two main lessons that can be learned from the Bosnian experience. First, it is absolutely vital that a gender analysis from the very outset is placed at the heart of peacekeeping operations or postwar reconstruction. It should be main-streamed so that everyone, not just women, not just gender focal points, but everyone thinks about the gender realities of the war and of peace. Second, local women's NGOs must be consulted, befriended, made partners with the international community and have equal rights in the process. (excerpt)
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  22. 22

    Changing the focus.

    United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]. HIV and Development Programme

    New York, New York, UNDP, [2000]. 4 p.

    There is also a need for greater insight into why and how men and women enter into sexually-defined spaces and relations. For women, this may have to do with cultural imperatives which place high value on mother-hood and on the continuation of the lineage. Or the reason may have to do with economic imperatives, an inability to survive economically without the support of a man or except by commercial sex work. Or with a desire for the intimacy or companionship which a sexual relationship may give them or with a need for protection, a critical social role that men play. A women-centered analysis of desire and sexuality, of power and its impact, of relations of production and reproduction, of the social construction of kinship and gender, of the value of compassion and solidarity, that is, of the experience of being a woman, all contribute to a better understanding of why, for an individual woman, it may be so very difficult to remain uninfected. (excerpt)
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  23. 23

    [Statement of Chile] Intervencion.


    [Unpublished] 1994. Presented at the International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD], Cairo, Egypt, September 5-13, 1994. [5] p.

    Chile's statement to the plenary session of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo refers to Chile's recent political history and the recuperation of democracy, which makes possible construction of a model of growth with equity. Chile participates in the international search for principles, values, and actions that guarantee human rights; improvement in living conditions; and commitment to the struggle for a better world, which will strengthen peace and international security. It is hoped that the Conference will lead to a political and operational recognition of the interdependence of population themes, sustained economic growth, and sustainable development. The persistence of poverty, inadequate satisfaction of basic needs, unemployment, and intolerance should be addressed by the Conference. Population measures adopted by Chile have their ethical basis in recognition of the family as the basic unit of society. Participation of women in decision making in all spheres of society is necessary if population goals are to be achieved. Chile's family planning policy is based on health and human rights. Chile subscribes to the concept of reproductive health but rejects abortion as a method of family planning. Chile supports sex education in the family and in the schools as a method of promoting responsible exercise of sexuality. Chile considers the struggle against extreme poverty to be a priority in the quest for a model of growth with equity.
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  24. 24

    A peace perspective on population and environment: people before weapons. Paz, poblacion y medio ambiente: el ser humano antes que el armamentismo.

    Arias Sanchez O

    Chicago, Illinois, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 1995. 16, 16 p. (International Lecture Series on Population Issues)

    Humanity's ability to continue to inhabit the earth is threatened by population growth and environmental degradation, and population and the environment are threatened by the ever-increasing militarization of the world. Developing countries spend $200 billion a year on armed forces and approximately $20.4 billion on arms purchases, whereas 4% of this budget would increase literacy by 50%, 12% would provide universal primary health care, and 8% would provide basic family planning services to all willing couples and stabilize world population by the year 2015. Weapons also destroy the environment, as seen in the case of Agent Orange in Viet Nam, in the Persian Gulf area after the recent war, and in areas of the world contaminated by nuclear testing. The arms trade flourishes despite the fact that most of the developing world faces no external enemy. Instead, 58 military regimes committed violent crimes towards their own citizens in 1992 alone. The atmosphere of violence spreads until arms are everywhere. In order to halt this cycle of death and destruction, a Global Demilitarization Fund must be established to distribute as a peace dividend voluntary contributions arising from reductions in military spending, and the UN Register of Conventional Arms must be strengthened. The US in particular must accept its role as a superpower and its responsibility to help the people of other nations. Thus, the US must stop using the sale of arms as a foreign policy strategy. Also, the US should increase its per capita amount of development assistance from its current disproportionately low level ($44 in 1991-92). In order to create a new world order, we need leaders who will use their power to improve conditions for mankind.
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  25. 25

    Critical juncture: the future of peacekeeping.

    Renner M

    Washington, D.C., Worldwatch Institute, 1993 May. 74 p. (Worldwatch Paper 114)

    A new principle of conflict resolution is needed if the world truly wishes to prepare for peace. Maintaining stability, while stockpiling arms, is no longer an acceptable way to achieve peace; treaties guided by arms control must be replaced by disarmament approaches, which seek to reduce or eliminate weapons. International treaties have imposed constraints on the deployment of nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic missiles. The 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty signed by Nato countries established equal numbers of conventions weapons, but does not limit production for sale elsewhere or modernization. The Third World accounts for about 60% of world arm imports. As a peace initiative, it is important to curb availability. The post-Cold-War era has brought with it the disintegration of states and ethnic conflict. The number of major armed conflicts, as determined by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), has declined, but stockpiled weapons could keep conflicts going for many years. The spread of conventional weapons is universal, and there are few constraints to the manufacture, trade, and use of these arms in conflicts. The challenge for the international community is to be ready when it is possible to resolve conflicts peacefully, and to develop effective tools of preventive diplomacy and peacemaking. The UN's ability to bring peace to Cambodia, Somalia, and the former Yugoslavia are a test which could bring greater authority or diminished respect. Letting acts of blatant violence occur, whether transborder attacks such as Iraq's or civil wars as in Yugoslavia, sets a dangerous precedent. There must be world recognition that collective security and human rights cannot be divided in order for effective machinery for peace to take place. Pools of experienced military observers, fact-finding personnel, and human rights monitors can be established now, while political forces are marshalled to revamp the UN to make it more effective. The challenge is whether the UN can be "transformed from a peacekeeper of last resort to a peacemaker of first, and routine, recourse."
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