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Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):7.The five-year Millennium review summit in September 2005 to speed up efforts aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the fight against world poverty has the support of cities and their associations around the world, including United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). While the MDGs and targets have been formulated at the global level, there is a need to bring them back home to our cities and demonstrate clearly how they can be applied at street level. With this objective in mind, the UCLG World Council met in Beijing during June 2005 to approve the UCLG Millennium Cities and Towns Campaign and the Local Governments Millennium Declaration. This campaign aims to reach thousands of cities around the globe and the declaration is testimony to our members’ collective commitment to the MDGs. Hand-in-hand with the United Nations, we are spearheading a worldwide movement towards localising the goals and targets in our cities and towns. UNHABITAT and UCLG have signed an agreement of cooperation, of which the localizing MDGs is a core component. (excerpt)
Global Task Team on Improving AIDS Coordination among Multilateral Institutions and International Donors. Final report.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2005 Jun 14. 32 p.The Global Task Team recognizes that the world must do more to effectively tackle AIDS in the years to come. Strengthening coordination, alignment and harmonization, in the context of the “Three Ones” principles, UN reform, the Millennium Development Goals, and the OECD/DAC Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, is essential for rapid scale-up of the AIDS response. National ownership of plans and priorities is the overarching rubric that efforts to harmonize and align must support and under which coordination efforts should occur. Within this rubric, the Global Task Team has focused primarily on ways UN system organizations and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria can rapidly improve the alignment and quality of their support to national AIDS responses, make money currently available work for people infected and affected by HIV, and ultimately support the scale-up of prevention and treatment programmes. The recommendations are presented under four main headings: 1. Empowering inclusive national leadership and ownership 2. Alignment and harmonization 3. Reform for a more effective multilateral response 4. Accountability and oversight. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):19.Leo Tolstoy famously wrote that all happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. If the same can be said about dysfunctional cities, we must be prepared to deal with the unique micro-realities of each ailing community. This can only be done practically by encouraging residents to engage in a form of therapy that begins with local self-discovery. This must be a central aim in monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In an economically pressurized world where more than 95 percent of all development decisions are made by members of civil society, each acting more or less in their own self-interest, central coordinative systems of governance are failing. Squatters and slumlords everywhere make their choices outside the world of plans and regulations, as do an increasing number of small-scale entrepreneurs. This self-interest promotes unsustainable urban development, inhibiting a cooperative vision for the future that the complex urban ecology demands. The collective future is no-one’s baby and in effect has become an orphan. (excerpt)
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)
International Migration Review. 1973 Summer; 7(2):189-190.A fact emerged from the 35th session of the Council of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) is the importance of the Refugee Migration, although a slight increase in the National Migration Programme is foreseen for 1973. As of November 30, 1972, 56, 368 Refugees had already been moved by ICEM to countries of resettlement and this number was close to 58,000 by the end of the year. A similar number of Refugee Migration movements is estimated for 1973. The ICEM Refugee Programme for 1972 and 1973 comprises: the Jews emigrating to Israel; they will be at least 36,000 in 1972 (32,000 from the USSR and 4,000 from other countries) and it is estimated that another 36,000 will migrate in 1973; the other Eastern European refugees emigrating to other countries; some 4,600 have departed or are being processed for resettlement in Austria and 3,300 in Italy. Movements in 1973 are estimated at about the same level as in 1972, but could be higher because of an increase in newly arriving refugees during the last quarter of 1972; the Cuban refugees from Spain; also more than 6,000 have migrated in 1972 (mainly to USA), another 25,000 are still awaiting resettlement overseas and some 1,000 new refugees continue to arrive each month in Spain. This influx represents a problem since it is foreseen that only 6,000 will depart to immigration countries in 1973; the refugees emigrating from the Middle East, mainly Armenians, whose number is about 1,000 per year for 1972 and 1973; the non-Europeans from the Far-East concern yearly about 3,000 refugees from countries in South East Asia, many emigrating to the USA. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2005 Jan 21. 22 p.Since February 2003, Darfur has been the scene of massive crimes against civilians of particular ethnicities in the context of an internal conflict between the Sudanese government and a rebel insurgency. Almost two million people have been forcibly displaced and stripped of all their property and tens of thousands of people have been killed, raped or assaulted. Even against this backdrop of extreme violence against civilians, several incidents in March 2004 stand out for the extraordinary level of brutality demonstrated by the perpetrators. In one incident, Sudanese government and “Janjaweed” militia forces detained and then conducted mass executions of more than 200 farmers and community leaders of Fur ethnicity in the Wadi Saleh area of West Darfur. In a second incident in neighboring Shattaya locality, government and militia forces attacked Fur civilians, detained them in appalling conditions for weeks, and subjected many to torture. To date, the Sudanese government has neither improved security for civilians nor ended the impunity enjoyed by its own officials and allied militia leaders. Immediate action including an increased international presence in rural areas of Darfur is needed to improve protection of civilians and reverse ethnic cleansing. International prosecutions are also essential to provide accountability for crimes against humanity and ensure justice for the victims in Darfur. The Sudanese government is clearly unwilling and unable to hold perpetrators of atrocities to account: a presidential inquiry into abuses recently disputed evidence of widespread and systematic abuses and instead of prosecutions, recommended the formation of a committee. The United Nations Security Council, following receipt of the January 25th report of the international commission of inquiry’s investigation into violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and allegations of genocide in Darfur, should promptly refer the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. (excerpt)
Reproductions. 2000 Apr; (3): p..THIS is with reference to the note on "Politics of Population and Development.” There is much evidence to suggest that population control figures as a major item in the agenda of governments and international agencies. Initiatives taken prior to Rio 92 conference and elsewhere indicate that the population question is emerging as a major question. In national reports prepared for UNCED, population dynamics was listed as one of the three major problems by more than 90 per cent of developing countries with reference to planning for sustainable development. As usual, they needed more funding and technical assistance to meet the increasing demands of population programmes and family planning services. (excerpt)
American Journal of Public Health. 2005 Jul; 95(7):1091-1092.In recent years the World Bank has become “the world’s largest external funder of health.” According to Ruger, this situation reflects the Bank’s increased sensitivity to poverty and its growing sophistication— beginning under the leadership of US Secretary of Defense turned World Bank President (1968–1981) Robert McNamara—about development theory and practice. Such an uncritical portrayal befits the World Bank’s own Web site (a major source for Ruger’s article), but Journal readers should expect more. Missing from this officialist version are discussions of the Bank’s undemocratic governance and decision-making structures; the untoward human effects of longstanding World Bank pro-privatization policies and practices, most notably structural adjustment programs (which have denuded the social welfare infrastructure of developing countries in areas such as housing, education, health services, subsidies, and family transfers); and the impact on health of the Bank’s newfound focus on the health sector. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., International Center for Research on Women [ICRW], 1998. 16 p. (ICRW Working Paper No. 6)How is it that 556 million women and girls throughout the world are illiterate, and this is not viewed as a violation of their right to education? When 600,000 women die annually as a result of complications of pregnancy, and an additional 18 million women suffer from pregnancy-related morbidities that go untreated, how is this not seen as a failure of governments to meet their obligations to promote, protect, and fulfill women's rights to the most basic attainable standard of health? How can the feminization of poverty be viewed as anything less than a violation of women's rights to an adequate standard of living, equal access to employment, credit, property, and training? These alarming statistics constitute the foundation of the literature on women in development (WID), and are generally referred to as "the state of the world's women." The time has come to call these realities what they truly are: human rights violations. It is fitting that the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights--adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly in 1948--comes at a time when a new discourse on human rights and development is emerging. This new thinking is especially important to the field of women in development, as it holds the potential of launching a revitalized effort toward ensuring gender equity and equality for the next century. This trend, however, has only recently begun to gain a sense of currency among WID researchers and practitioners. Until recently, the promotion and protection of human rights and the realization of sustainable development have been viewed as separate domains. Notably, development measures are rarely viewed as contributing to the realization of specific human rights--for example, the right to food--when that is precisely what such measures have done. (excerpt)
Forced Migration Review. 2005 May; (23):48-49.The conceptual apparatus in forced migration and population resettlement research is being continuously enriched. One important – but still relatively unknown – development was introduced recently into the resettlement policies of the World Bank, African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank. This new thinking is set out in the revised (January 2002) World Bank Operational Policy (OP) 4.12 on resettlement. This significantly defines the ‘restricting of access’ to indigenous and other people in parks and protected areas as ‘involuntary displacement’ even when physical displacement and relocation are not required. The justifying rationale is that restrictions impose impoverishment risks and these risks lead to severe deprivations. Significantly, this new definition has come from major international agencies themselves involved in instituting ‘restricted access’ regimes. As the definition has been adopted, the world’s major development agencies have moved towards policy consensus that restricted access is a form of displacement. (excerpt)
Good governance and good health: the role of societal structures in the human immunodeficiency virus pandemic.
BMC International Health and Human Rights. 2005 Apr 25; 5: p..Only governments sensitive to the demands of their citizens appropriately respond to needs of their nation. Based on Professor Amartya Sen's analysis of the link between famine and democracy, the following null hypothesis was tested: "Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence is not associated with governance". Governance has been divided by a recent World Bank paper into six dimensions. These include Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and the Control of Corruption. The 2002 adult HIV prevalence estimates were obtained from UNAIDS. Additional health and economic variables were collected from multiple sources to illustrate the development needs of countries. The null hypothesis was rejected for each dimension of governance for all 149 countries with UNAIDS HIV prevalence estimates. When these nations were divided into three groups, the median (range) HIV prevalence estimates remained constant at 0.7% (0.05 – 33.7%) and 0.75% (0.05% – 33.4%) for the lower and middle mean governance groups respectively despite improvements in other health and economic indices. The median HIV prevalence estimates in the higher mean governance group was 0.2% (0.05 – 38.8%). HIV prevalence is significantly associated with poor governance. International public health programs need to address societal structures in order to create strong foundations upon which effective healthcare interventions can be implemented. (author's)
Africa Renewal. 2005 Apr; 19(1): p..When a reporter first met seven-year-old Bongani in a hardscrabble shantytown near Johannesburg in 2003, it was evident the child was dying. He was too weak for school, stunted and racked by diarrhoea. There was little question that he, like his deceased parents, was infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. It seemed equally certain that he would soon lie in a tiny grave next to theirs -- joining the 370,000 South Africans who died from the disease that year. But when the journalist, Mr. Martin Plaut of the BBC, returned a year later, he found a healthy, laughing Bongani poring over his lesson book. “The transformation,” Mr. Plaut wrote last December, “was remarkable.” That transformation -- and the difference between life and death for Bongani and a growing number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa -- has resulted from access to anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) that attack the virus and can dramatically reduce AIDS deaths. For years high costs severely limited their use in Africa. The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that only about 50,000 of the 4 million Africans in urgent need of the drugs were able to obtain them in 2002. But with prices dropping in the face of demands for treatment access and competition from generic copies of the patented medications, the politics and economics of AIDS treatment have finally begun to shift. (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2004 Jun; 6(2):15.A conference titled, “Cairo and Beyond: Reproductive Rights and Culture” was organized by the Dutch government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on International Women’s Day, March 8th in Amsterdam. The event concluded with a pledge to “break the silence and taboos on culture and religion and their relation to reproductive and sexual health and rights,” by Agnes van Ardenne, Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation and Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA. They also promised “to establish a permanent dialogue on these vital issues.” Over 100 experts from around the world attended the event and participants agreed that although progress has been made in the ten years since the 1994 ICPD in Cairo, many substantial challenges still remain. The conference focused specifically on those challenges related to the interconnections between culture and reproductive rights. (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2004 Sep-Oct; 6(3):5.The Yangtze Declaration, adopted by the International Forum on Population and Development (Wuhan, China, 7-9 September), calls upon governments and international agencies to take all possible steps to fully integrate sexual and reproductive health and the HIV/AIDS program and to accord due importance to the integral relationship between reproductive health and poverty alleviation, in the context of the review of implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2005. About 400 participants from more than 50 countries met in Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, to mark the 10th anniversary of both the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) and the Partners in Population and Development, an intergovernmental alliance of 21 countries dedicated to promotion and strengthening of south-south collaboration in population and development. (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2004 Sep-Oct; 6(3):6-7.We, the members of an alliance of developing countries, Partners in Population and Development, composed of more than half of the population of the world and a fifth of its land area, and many other developing countries, attended the 2004 International Forum on Population and Development . . . to review the implementation of the Program of Action adopted at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD/PoA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in our countries, on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of both the ICPD and that of Partners in Population and Development (PPD). (excerpt)
Reproductive Health Matters. 2005; 13(25):106-108.The year 2005 is a pivotal year for ensuring that sexual and reproductive health are fully addressed in the implementation and monitoring of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). When the MDGs were developed following the Millennium Summit in 2000, no goal was included on sexual and reproductive health, for reasons that are now history. Matters that have an impact on, or are components of, sexual and reproductive health were included – maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, gender equality and education – but sexual and reproductive health were left out. This year, however, there are real opportunities to redress the imbalance and to ensure that sexual and reproductive health are there for the rest of the time earmarked for the implementation of the MDGs, i.e. in the ten years to 2015. Targets and indicators were set shortly after the MDGs were agreed. As far as maternal health was concerned the target set was the reduction of maternal mortality by two-thirds and for HIV/AIDS of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, both by 2015. Whole other areas are not included, however, especially access to contraceptive services. There is an increasing trend among donor governments to tie development aid to the MDGs, and to use monitoring of implementation of the MDGs for this purpose. Hence, implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development 1994 would be more easily achieved if targets for achieving sexual and reproductive health were fully integrated into the MDG process. (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2003 Dec; 5(4):16.In July 2002, the United States government withheld $34 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). According to UNFPA, the withheld U.S. funds could prevent 4,700 maternal deaths, 60,000 serious maternal illnesses and more than 70,000 infant and child deaths. Without this crucial funding from the United States, UNFPA, with a budget of only $270 million worldwide, will struggle financially to adhere to women throughout the world. Jane Roberts of California and Lois Abraham of New Mexico both independently struck up the idea of a grassroots campaign to raise the $34 million that the U.S. withheld from UNFPA. The goal of the 34 Million Friends of the UNFPA campaign is to enlist 34 million Americans to send one dollar to UNFPA to show support for the organization’s important work worldwide. With the campaign in action for almost a year and a half, 34 Million Friends has raised over $1.5 million as of December 2003. (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)
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)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2003. 43 p.The right to the highest attainable standard of health was enshrined in WHO’s constitution over 50 years ago, and recognized as a human right in article 12.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This right extends to the underlying determinants of health; central among these are safe water and adequate sanitation. Yet we have entered the new millennium with one of the most fundamental conditions of human development unmet: universal access to water. Of the world’s 6 billion people, at least 1.1 billion lack access to safe drinking-water. The lives of these people who are among the poorest on our planet are often devastated by this deprivation, which impedes the enjoyment of health and other human rights such as the right to food and to adequate housing. Water is the essence of life and human dignity. Water is fundamental to poverty reduction, providing people with elements essential to their growth and development. Recently, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors the implementation of the Covenant, adopted General Comment No. 15 in which water is recognized, not only as a limited natural resource and a public good but also as a human right. The right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water, and it must be enjoyed without discrimination and equally by women and men. At the Millennium Summit, States agreed to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to safe drinking-water. We are pleased to issue this publication as a contribution to the International Year of Freshwater, celebrated worldwide throughout 2003 as an immense opportunity to highlight and promote the right to water as a fundamental human right. (excerpt)
[Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. A question of human rights] Saúde sexual e reprodutiva e direitos reprodutivos. Uma questão de direitos humanos.
Sexualidade & Planeamento Familiar. 2001 Nov-Dec; (32):45-52.There is currently an international consensus that reproductive rights are human rights. In the work, it is defended that, although the governments have taken some steps to guide and broaden the services in order to better satisfy the sexual and reproductive health needs of the populations, to advance equality and parity between the sexes and to promote reproductive rights, it is necessary to do much more to make health and reproductive rights a reality for women and men in the entire world. The UN Conference and the agreement about reproductive health (RH) and reproductive rights (RR). Any of the global Conferences that the UN holds in this decade - each one focusing on an important, different and particular question - amplifies the same common message: that to have success, the development efforts should be centered on the people. Ensuring human rights and satisfying the basic necessities of the people are the first critical steps in the resolution of global problems. The right to development itself included key elements such as broadening the access of the population to basic social services and sustaining means of life, balancing the interaction between people, resources and the environment and equitably reconciling the needs of the present with those of future generations. (excerpt)
RedAda. 1997 Nov; (25):20.All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated. So says the Platform for Action approved by the UN Fourth World Conference on Women. Their full enjoyment, on an equal footing, by women and girls should be a priority for the governments and the United Nations, and is necessary for women's progress. (excerpt)
[Report. Is sexual and reproductive health a key issue in policy proposals? The parties respond] Memoria. ¿Es la salud sexual y reproductiva un tema clave en las propuestas políticas? Los partidos responden.
[La Paz, Bolivia], Programa de Coordinacion de Salud Integral [PROCOSI], . 100 p.Sexual and reproductive health have a decisive influence on the entire population's quality of life. We felt it necessary to share this concern with the political parties that were presenting the country with all types of proposals structured around government plans. How could this issue not be dealt with? As a first step, we sought out political parties to provide them with oral and written information about this problem and motivate them to reflect on it. The second step was to invite them to present their opinions about the international progress made on sexual and reproductive health and about the agreements Bolivia has signed at worldwide conferences organized by the United Nations in Cairo (1994) and Beijing (1995). The third step was to encourage them to write up viable proposals to overcome the tragedy of high maternal mortality rates in Bolivia. These were ways to approach the issue, since covering it in all its extension is not possible. (excerpt)