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MEDIA REPORTS

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

This page was updated on: 01/26/10

2006

Human Development Media Report Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

DECEMBER 2006

LESSONS FROM 2004 TSUNAMI RECOVERY EFFORT MUST BE PASSED ON – UN REPORT
Former US President Bill Clinton has indicated that the two-year recovery effort after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has shown “examples of great new approaches, as well as decisions and programmes based on flawed assumptions that have caused us to lose time and beneficiaries to suffer.” He writes this in the introduction to the just-released Key Propositions for Building Back Better, a report highlighting major achievements and lessons learned during the two year recovery process from the tsunami. The report identifies 10 key lessons learned, including the need for: governments, donors and aid agencies to recognize that families and communities drive their own recovery; recovery to promote fairness and equity; and local governments to be empowered to manage recovery efforts.

Links to further information
UN News Centre, 21 December 2006
Key Propositions for Building Back Better
Much Done, More to Do: A 24 Month Update on UNICEF’s Work to Rebuild Children’s Lives and Restore Hope Since the Tsunami

NOVEMBER 2006

 

UN MARKS INTERNATIONAL DAYS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
“Poverty is both a cause and a product of human rights” affirmed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, which is celebrated annually on 10 December. Arbour also noted that, although the links between human rights and poverty should be obvious, poverty is still rarely seen through the lens of human rights.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is marked on 25 November, UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer noted progress made globally, particularly on the development and adoption of national laws to safeguard women’s integrity from domestic violence. Heyzer said the focus now should be on ensuring that countries have adequate national capacity to enforce adopted laws and measures and to monitor its implementation.

Links to further information

UN the Human Rights Day

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Daily News, 22 November 2006

 

2006 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT LAUNCHED, 2007 REPORT TO FOCUS ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

A global plan of action is urgently needed to resolve the growing water and sanitation crisis that causes nearly two million child deaths every year, leaves 1.2 billion people without access to safe water and 2.6 billion without access to sanitation, according to the 2006 Human Development Report released on 9 November 2006 in South Africa. The central message of the 2006 report is that the global water crisis is not one of physical scarcity, but rooted in poverty and inequality. The report assumes that water is a basic human right. It points out that few countries treat water as a political priority, the poorest often pay the most for water; and the international community has failed to prioritize water and sanitation in partnerships to achieve the MDGs.

UNDP has also announced that the 2007 Human Development Report theme will be Energy, Environment and Climate Change. According to Kevin Watkins, Director of the Human Development Report Office, the topic will provide an “opportunity to work better with various UN agencies and beyond to bring human development concerns to the centre of the “Beyond Kyoto” debate.”

Links to further information

2006 UN Human Development Report Homepage

2006 UN Human Development Report
Kevin Watkins’ announcement of 2007 HDR theme
 

HIGH-LEVEL PANEL RECOMMENDS REFORMING THE UN GENDER ARCHITECTURE
A major outcome of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on UN System-Wide Coherence was the recommendation in its report, “Delivering as One,” to consolidate the existing UN women’s agencies into a new organization. The report calls for combining the UN Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAG), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in a new organization for women’s issues.  The news was welcomed by women’s groups around the world, which had actively lobbied governments and Panel members for this outcome. They expressed hope that the agency would strengthen the UN’s capacity, leadership and resources to mainstream gender equality. 

Links to further information
UN Department of Public Information Press Conference, 9 November 2006
WEDO Press Release, 9 November 2006
Delivering As One Press Release, 9 November 2006

IFPRI RELEASES GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX

According to the 2006 Global Hunger Index, developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), of the 12 countries with the highest levels of hunger, nine were affected by civil wars or violent conflicts. The 10 countries that scored lowest are all located in Sub-Saharan Africa, but South Asia is also a hotspot of undernutrition. The index does not include highly industrialized countries, as well some developing countries where data are not available. While many of the lowest ranked countries are in Africa, there is a great deal of variation on the continent.
 

Link to further information
2006 Global Hunger Index Media resource

 

OCTOBER 2006

 

SECURITY COUNCIL SUPPORTS WOMEN’S ROLE FOR PEACE

The UN Security Council has underscored the role of women in promoting peace and security. The Security Council adopted a presidential statement on 26 October 2006, that underlines the vital roles of women in consolidating peace, stresss the need for protection of women rights in post-conflict societies, and encourages States to increase female participation in peacekeeping operations. The statement followed the remarks by UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer, who underscored the need to defend women’s rights in countries emerging from crisis and the call for more integration of women in peace and security issues at the national level made by the UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues Rachel Mayanja.

 

Links to further information
UN press releases, 25 October 2006 and 26 October 2006
The Boston Globe, 27 October 2006
 

WORLD HABITAT DAY CELEBRATED

A number of cities celebrated World Habitat Day with the support of the UN human settlements programme. The UN designated the first Monday of October as a celebration for the sustainable management of cities in the new millennium, in recognition of the fastest urban growth ever experienced. Under the theme, “Cities, magnets of hope,” UN-HABITAT marked the 2 October 2006 Day with facilitating events in Naples (Italy), Kazan (Russia), and Eldoret and Nairobi (Kenya). On the occasion, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka stressed that cities are a catalyst for national development, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged municipalities and governments to manage urban growth and migration sustainably. A representative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) emphasized the considerable ecological impact of urban growth, including the intensive use of natural resources, generation of waste and production of greenhouse gases.

 

Links to further information
UN-HABITAT press release, 2 October 2006
UN press release, 2 October 2006

 

SEPTEMBER 2006

 

UNICEF, BARCELONA FOOTBALL CLUB TEAM UP ON CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT

UNICEF and Futbol Club Barcelona have announced a global partnership to help children in the developing world. The partnership will include donations from Barcelona of at least €1.5 million per year, and Barcelona will feature the UNICEF logo on its 2006-2007 jersey, the first time ever that the club has featured a logo. The first beneficiaries of the partnership will be children in Swaziland who are affected by HIV/AIDS.

 

Link to further information

UNICEF press release (7 September 2006)

 

AUGUST 2006

 

UN-HABITAT URGES YOUTH ENGAGEMENT IN POVERTY REDUCTION

UN-HABITAT has underscored the importance of youth in tackling poverty. UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka marked the 2006 International Youth Day – Tackling Poverty Together, on 12 August, with an appeal to engage young people as key stakeholders and participants in the future of sustainable urban development. Tibaijuka called attention to UN-HABITAT’s Youth Strategy for Enhanced Engagement aimed at fostering inter-agency and partnerships with youth organizations, engaging youth at international level and helping formulate international understanding of pressing youth issues.

 

Link to further information

UN-HABITAT press release (11 August 2006)

 

JULY 2006

 

UN ANNUAL TREATY-SIGNING EVENT TO FOCUS ON MIGRATION

The annual exercise of seeking the signature and ratification of international treaties that takes place during the opening of the General Assembly session each September is set to focus in 2006 on human migration. The treaty event will take place from 13 to 15 September, alongside the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development at UN Headquarters in New York. The UN Office of Legal Affairs has made available for the event a collection of 30 treaties concerning refugees, stateless persons, migrant workers, human trafficking, food security and ecological migration.

 

Link to further information

UN News Centre story (24 July 2006)

 

JUNE 2006

 

UNEP LAUNCHES URBAN TRANSPORT PROJECT TO CUT CO2 EMISSIONS

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a project, funded by the Global Environment Facility, that aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100,000 tonnes a year in some of the most polluted cities on the globe. Announced on the day of the opening of the World Urban Forum III in Vancouver, the project aims to bring high-quality public transport to Concepción, Guatemala City and Panama City, and to lead to the creation of modern bus networks, cycle ways and pedestrian areas. The cities will work with others in the region through a new information network called “NESTLAC” –Network for Environmentally Sustainable Transport in Latin American Countries.

 

Link to further information

UNEP press release (19 June 2006)

 

STANDING GLOBAL FORUM ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed establishing a standing global forum on international migration and its links with development. On 6 June 2006, Annan presented the General Assembly with a report on “International migration and development,” underscoring the limited understanding of the advantages of migration. The UN Secretary-General then proposed a government-led consultative forum on migration and development that, without producing negotiated outcomes or recommendations, would encourage an integrated approach to migration and development at both the national and international levels, thus allowing governments to establish a common understanding on the areas of migration policymaking that have the greatest potential to contribute to development. The Secretary-General further called for focusing on the quality and safety of the migration experience and on what can be done to maximize its development benefits. A Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Peter Sutherland, is already engaged in preliminary talks with governments, leading up to a “high-level dialogue” to be held by the General Assembly on 14 and 15 September 2006. The dialogue will focus on the relationship between migration and development.
 

Link to further information
UN News Center article (6 June 2006)

 

UN-HABITAT LAUNCHES WORLD’S CITIES REPORT, SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH SRI LANKA

During the World Urban Forum III, the UN programme on human settlements, UN-HABITAT, has launched a major report and signed an agreement on slum upgrading with Sri Lanka. On 19 June 2006, UN-HABITAT unveiled its “The State Of The World’s Cities Report 2006/7.” This report provides an overview of a range of issues linking cities, slums and the Millennium Development Goals, highlighting how inadequate living conditions in slums have an impact of the Goals related to health, education and employment. The report also suggests that, as the world’s urban population is set to exceed rural dwellers for the first time in 2007, there are remarkable similarities between slums and rural areas in health, education, employment and mortality, thus demystifying some commonly-held beliefs about slum dwellers.

On 22 June 2006, UN-HABITAT and the Government of Sri Lanka concluded a Memorandum of Understanding targeting slum upgrading in the Asian nation. The agreement seeks to: promote the mobilization of domestic private sector capital and sustainable financing for slum upgrading, low income housing, urban and other shelter-related infrastructure; develop financial products with credit support enhancement for the poor; and establish city and national level guarantee funds and national policy frameworks to upgrade and increase low income housing in the country.
 

Links to further information
UN-HABITAT press releases (June 2006):

- New UN-HABITAT Report says urban dwellers badly off

- UN-HABITAT and Government of Sri Lanka sign agreement on slum upgrading

 

UNIFEM LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT

UNIFEM, other UN agencies and civil society groups have announced a joint partnership to tackle sexual violence in conflict and crisis situations around the world. The partnership will address not only the threat that sexual violence poses to life and livelihood of survivors, but also the longer-term impact on community and national development.
 

Link to further information
UNIFEM press release (19 June 2006)

 

MAY 2006

 

UN-HABITAT FORGES NEW PARTNERSHIPS
UN-HABITAT has recently concluded two new partnerships, with the Indian government and Action Aid. On 29 May 2006, UN-HABITAT (the UN Human Settlements Programme) and India signed an agreement to host the inaugural meeting of a new housing development forum for the Asia-Pacific region. The first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Human Settlements will be convened in New Delhi, India, at a date to be confirmed in November 2006. Under the agreement, the Forum is to provide a platform for developing common understanding among Asia and Pacific countries on issues of housing and human settlements, to enable Asia-Pacific countries to speak with one voice at regional and international meetings, such as the World Urban Forum, UN-HABITAT Governing Councils, the Commission on Sustainable Development and the UN General Assembly Sessions.

As well, UN-HABITAT and the international development agency Action Aid signed a cooperation agreement on 26 May 2006, to address the crisis of urbanization in Africa with specific emphasis on the implications for vulnerable groups. Under the agreement, UN-HABITAT will facilitate Action Aid International Africa's engagement in its global campaigns on secure tenure and urban governance.

Links to further information
UNIFEM Press Release:
India joins UN-HABITAT to establish new Asia-Pacific housing forum
UN-HABITAT and Action Aid sign cooperation agreement

UNFPA HIGHLIGHTS ROLE OF MIDWIVES

Recruiting midwives, especially in developing countries, would save the lives of five million women and prevent 80 million illnesses from pregnancy or childbirth by 2015, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). In a joint statement with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid called for steps to address the shortage of midwives through education, training and deployment to underserved areas. UNFPA and ICM are working together to strengthen midwife capacity worldwide.
 

Link to further information
UN press release (8 May 2006)
 

UNIFEM JOINS AFRICAN UNION�S COMMITTEE IN DARFUR

The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has announced its participation in the African Union�s newly established Committee of Inquiry on alleged sexual violence by forces in Darfur. The Committee will establish the veracity of documentation, identify those responsible for violations and make recommendations on appropriate sanctions, in conformity with the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women. UNIFEM is already partnering with the African Union to support Darfurian women's participation in the peace talks, and restore security and dignity to the war-affected women and children of Darfur.
 

Link to further information
UNIFEM Press Release (May 2006)

 

APRIL 2006

 

PARTNERSHIP FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS ANNOUNCED

UN agencies and other partners are to create an International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics. The UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), National Democratic Institute, and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance announced on 11 April a new partnership to create a network called �iKNOW Politics� to increase women�s participation and effectiveness in politics. The network will provide a forum to stimulate dialogue, share knowledge and experiences on women's political participation, and provide access to critical resources and expertise. The network and its website are expected to be launched later in 2006.
 

Link to further information
UNIFEM website

 

UN-HABITAT, RUSSIA SIGN AGREEMENT

UN-HABITAT and the Russian Federation have signed a new cooperation agreement aimed at the sustainable development of human settlements, implementation of the Habitat Agenda and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Under the agreement, which was signed on 11 April 2006, Russia will provide US$400,000 annually for cooperation in the areas of sustainable urban planning and development, accountable urban governance, the protection of citizens� housing rights, and capacity building for local authorities and effective decentralization. One of the long-term objectives of the agreement is to establish in 2008 a UN-HABITAT regional office in Russia, to coordinate cooperation projects in the country and possibly other members of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), subject to an agreement with interested CIS countries. The agreement replaces an earlier one signed in 1992.
 

Link to further information
UN-HABITAT website

 

MARCH 2006

 

UN-HABITAT PARTNERS WITH THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK ON URBAN WATER AND SANITATION

UN-HABITAT and the African Development Bank (ADB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate to facilitate safe water supplies and sanitation in African cities and small urban centers, providing grants to the value of about 217 million US dollars over the next five years. The cooperation is expected to lead to additional opportunities for follow-up fast track loans from the Bank of about 362 million dollars. According to the memorandum, the Bank and UN-HABITAT will collaborate in: raising political ownership, advocating resource mobilization in urban and peri-urban pro-poor activities for water and sanitation schemes, security, gender and environmental activities; building local capacity; and sharing and disseminating information and experiences between the two institutions as well as among the participating countries. The memorandum was signed on 19 March 2006, during the Africa Regional Day at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City, Mexico.
 

Link to further information
UN-HABITAT press release

 

UN URGED TO DO MORE ON GENDER EQUALITY

The UN�s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa has called for an international women�s agency and highlighted the need for the world body to step up its work on gender equality. Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General�s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, has called for an agency on the scale of the UN Children�s Fund (UNICEF). While arguing that the current agencies dealing with women�s affairs, such as the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), are performing well, Lewis has called for a larger organization to address the �terrifying� HIV prevalence rate among women in Africa as well as other gender issues. Lewis also called for steps to address gender issues within the UN, noting the appointment of only two women to a 15-person High-level Panel examining the issues of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment.

 

Meanwhile, an open letter on women and UN reform from the non-governmental community at the recent 50th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women has lamented the lack of attention to gender equality in the proposed UN management reforms, and the limited number of women in high-level UN positions. In particular, the letter noted the all-male shortlist of candidates for the position of Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.  

 

Link to further information
UN News Centre report, 17 March 2006

Center for Women�s Global Leadership press release, 6 March 2006

 

FEBRUARY 2006

 

UN-HABITAT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION STRENGTHEN RESEARCH LINKS

UN-HABITAT and the European Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their collaboration on research for sustainable cities. The aim of the agreement is to support researchers addressing urban planning and governance, housing, water management, sanitation and land use. A database of more than 250 projects financed by the EU�s Research Framework Programme and UN-HABITAT will make research results available to experts and policy-makers, and is expected to be operational in mid-2006.  

 

Link to further information
UN-HABITAT announcement, February 2006

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