UN Chronicle

A news reference publication published by the United Nations. Reports on UN actions and events as it addresses world issues.

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 1, March-May

'A Much More Livable Dar Es Salaam': Sustainable Urban Development. (the Chronicle INTERVIEW)
Wilson Mukama is City Director of the Dares Salaam City Council. Its Community Infrastructure Programme -- established in 1995 within the larger Sustainable Dares Salaam Project and aimed to build the City Council's capacity to plan and manage urban...
Another Conference, Another Plus Five: Together We Can Make a Difference
In 1996, when the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) was held in Istanbul, the world was suffering from conference fatigue. Everyone wondered whether another UN conference was really necessary. The success of the Istanbul...
Awakening of a Coastal Town: Localizing Agenda 21 in Essaouira
Founded in 1760 and located on a marvellous setting between the Atlantic Ocean and a dune forest, Essaouira has always been one of the most welcoming cities in Morocco, with diverse ethnic, religious and social groups coexisting peacefully. Growing...
Blossoms Struck by Indoor Lightning. (Moorings-The World of United Nations Peoples)
The April sun stood high in a powder blue sky. "All this to see flowers?" A young man trudged alongside his girlfriend and frowned at the line that stretched down Eastern Parkway for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's 20th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival....
Can Sources and Supplies of Small Arms and Light Weapons Be Traced?
The widespread availability and misuse of small arms and light weapons, particularly in regions of internal conflict and civil war, pose not only a serious threat to regional security and stability; but also cause human suffering of civilians, particularly...
'Combine Incentives for Research with Access to Medication for the Poor'
Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with six of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies on 5 April in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to agree on what further steps need to be taken to improve access of developing countries to better health care, and...
'Decentralization Promotes Cooperation': The Role of Local Authorities
Joan Clos is Mayor of Barcelona, Spain, and the current President of the World Associations of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination (WACLAC). This global alliance was formed in the wake of the Habitat II Conference, held in Istanbul in June 1996,...
Delivering the Messages: The UN Works for You!
I had the privilege of serving as Commissioner-General for the United Nations in EXPO 2000 held in Hanover, Germany. The United Nations joined 161 countries and 13 international organizations at this exciting, globally meaningful world event. From...
Drums of Hope. (Passing By)
Faces of Burundian refugee children drummers lit up as they were asked to line up to be greeted by Nelson Mandela during his recent visit to Lukole refugee camps in Ngara, United Republic of Tanzania. The 27th of February 2001 is a big day for Ngara-a...
Facing It Head-On. We Can. We Must. (from the Secretary-General)
This is a conference about Africa's future. The incidence of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases is higher on this continent than on any other. Of course, this fact is connected to Africa's other problems. Africans are vulnerable to...
Far More Than a Health Issue
Ten years ago, a handful of health professionals and leaders like Elhadj Sy asked, prodded and cajoled Governments and ministers to pay attention to a disease called HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome). "HIV/AIDS...
From 'Planning the City' to a 'City That Plans': The Experience of Dar Es Salaam
City planners are realizing more and more that urban development can only be sustained by involving all stakeholders. Residents generally know first which areas need upgrading, private investors frequently know better where and when to invest, community...
Gender Equality: Addressing Women's Concerns
The Habitat Agenda treats gender systematically. Practically every topic addresses women's concerns, and gender equality itself is one of the five commitments made by Member States. Five years on, it is time to take stock of whether a document like...
Global Campaign on Urban Governance Launched in Nigeria
Barely two years after Nigeria emerged from a decadelong military dictatorship, fresh vistas in democratic governance are opening up for Africa's most populous nation, which has teamed up with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS)....
'Heaven Lies beneath My Mother's Feet'. (Development Watch)
Just a year ago, approximately 900 representatives from 450 towns in 21 Arab countries met with scholars and donors in Kuwait at the First Scientific Symposium on Population Explosion in Arab Towns and Challenges of the Twenty-first Century, to discuss...
Housing Rights: A Kenyan Perspective
Bodewes, Christine In Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, there are over 100 slum communities that are home to 2 million people. The residents of Nairobi's informal settlements constitute 55 per cent of the city's total population, and yet they are crowded...
Local Experience with Global Expertise: The Best Practices Network
An increasing number of local initiatives around the world have successfully found innovative and sustainable solutions to a range of problems in human settlements development. Yet, for many local communities, a knowledge gap commonly proves to be...
Managing Water for African Cities
Pure water! Pure water!" scream street children who hawk small cellophane bags of water as a car crawls through the humid heat and congested traffic of Lagos-Africa's most populous city and the world's sixth, with more than 13 million inhabitants today...
Monitoring Implementation of the Habitat Agenda: The Global Urban Observatory
Monitoring progress in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda entails developing new and enhanced instruments to measure change. Following the Habitat II Conference, held in Istanbul in 1996, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS)...
New Ways of Working Together: The Cities Alliance
In May 1999, the World Bank and UNCHS (Habitat) launched the Cities Alliance as a global coalition of cities and their developmental partners, committed to making unprecedented improvements in the living conditions of the urban poor. Its membership...
'One Woman Every Minute'. (Health Watch)
"A rich man said: 'Tell us about giving.' And he answered, 'you only give a little because you give of your assets. It is when you give of yourself that you are truly giving!"' And "What is fear of poverty, if not poverty itself?" I would have liked...
Participatory Urban Governance: The Experience of Santo Andre
Social exclusion can be understood as the absence of basic rights compatible with a social minimum that allows the exercise of citizenship. Defined in these terms, the concept of exclusion is much broader than poverty; considering that the latter concept...
Partnerships with the Urban Poor: The Indian Experience
Earlier this year, Jockin Arputham, President of the National Slum Dwellers Foundation of India (NSDF), and I were invited to Nairobi to speak at various forums on urban governance and security of tenure. Common to our presentations was the argument...
Peacewatch
Democratic Republic of the Congo The President of the Security Council, James Cunningham of the United States, on 2 May said members hoped that the perpetrators of the murder a week earlier of six relief workers in the Democratic Republic of the...
Planning Cities for Less Cars
On the first Tuesday of every month, a group of L bicyclists take to the traffic-dogged streets of Santiago de Chile to advocate changes in the city's structure. This unlikely band of revolutionaries, the Ciclistas Furiosos, includes lawyers, doctors,...
Poor, or Excluded? Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean
Cities are expanding and so is urban poverty. However, emerging regional trends indicate that the profile of poverty is different today from what it was 10 or 20 years ago. These new trends have to be taken into account when adjusting human settlements...
Prostitutes in High Demand in Kosovo
More and more women from Central and Eastern Europe are being brought to Kosovo for prostitution, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). "We know of at least 30 women who have been trafficked, but we suspect that the numbers...
Restoring Property Rights in Kosovo: Post-Conflict Disaster Management
In the aftermath of conflicts or civil wars, the defeated parties often continue to be victimized through a loss of personal freedom, possessions and property. Such is the case in the Former Yugoslav province of Kosovo. In June 1999, following the...
Sustainable Cities in Tanzania
Launched in 1992, the Sustainable Dar es Salaam Project was one of the first demonstration city projects of the Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP), developed by UNCHS (Habitat) and the United Nations Environment Programme. Key to the project was the...
Sustaining People-Centred Disarmament. (DisarmamentWatch)
On 26 June 1945, just days before the first explosion of an atomic device and about a month before the use of this new weapon in war, representatives of the world's nations gathered to sign the UN Charter. This was a treaty that registered the determination...
The Emerging 'Urban Archipelago'. (Perspective)
The urban millennium has ushered in the era of globalization, which is increasingly shaping the world's ideas, economy and politics. Technological advances in communications are linking people's lives in ways never thought possible before. Today, it...
The Right to Adequate Housing Is a Human Right. (ESSAY)
Over the past decade, the right to adequate housing has been consistently reaffirmed as a distinct human right by various bodies in the UN system, numerous national constitutions and legislations, and civil society organizations across the world. It...
The United Nations Cyber Magazine
The UN Works Web Site, launched in March 2001, features interesting short stories that are easy enough for children to read and understand about real people around the world whose lives have benefited from United Nations work in ways never imagined....
Tribal Women Empowerment Is Theme of First Fellowship in Memory of Bhaskar Bhattacharji. (Mediawatch)
The First UN Visual Media Fellowship in memory of Bhaskar Bhattacharji has been awarded to Anil Vishram Revankar, a budding documentary film-maker from Pune, India. The guidelines for the Fellowship, instituted by the United Nations Developments Programme...
Under the Gun
In the last 10 years, 2 million children have been killed in conflicts alone where small arms have been used, 5 million have been disabled and 12 million left homeless. Many have been exploited as combatants, forced themselves to kill or be killed....
United Nations Chronicle
Rather than give an overview of the interrelated themes that guide a particular issue of the magazine, as is our usual practice, we thought it might be worthwhile to step back a moment and look at the publication itself--to share with you some of the...
Upgrading West Asia's Role in World Economy. (Mission Statement)
The objective of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), much as those of the other regional commissions, is to promote regional cooperation and socio-economic development in the region it covers, with a view to...
Volunteerism Is a Tradition. (System Watch)
Convinced that the need for volunteer effort is greater than ever in light of the myriad problems the world is facing, the General Assembly in 1997 proclaimed 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers (IYV). It also designated as focal point the...
Welcome to the Urban Millennium. (Cities in the New Century)
Whatever else this new century will bring us, one thing is certain--our future is linked to cities. Two hundred years ago, only 2 per cent of the world's population lived in urban areas. Five years from now, one half of the earth's 6 billion inhabitants...
What the World, and Its Un, Can Do. (UNconventional: A Point of View)
More than 36 million people worldwide are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 25 million -- nearly 70 percent -- of them Africans. According to The New York Times, 2.4 million Africans died last year from AIDS-related illnesses, nearly...
Wisdom, Resources, Commitment. (First Person)
On 28 August 2000, for the first time in UN history, prayers for peace from all the major religious traditions filled the UN General Assembly Hall, inaugurating the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. Secretary-General...
World Press Freedom Day
The United Nations observed World Press Freedom Day on 3 May with a focus on the relationship between racism and press freedom. General Assembly President Harri Holkeri said hate speech, such as hate sites on the Internet, were best countered not by...

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