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June 5, 1996 Joan M. Veon Istanbul, Turkey

Business woman/Free Lance Journalist


All Resources of the Earth to be monitored and eventually controlled

so as not to deplete the natural capital of "Mother Earth"

There is great activity here at the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements. On the United Nations side you have not only statements of position being made in the daily morning and afternoon Plenary sessions, but there are two main Committees with several working groups who are literally hashing out each word of the bracketed language of the more than 750 action items. The bracketed items represent language which was not agreed upon in the three preparatory conferences held in 1995 and 1996 in preparation for this meeting.

Although the main themes of this conference are idealistic. The opening paragraph of the Preamble states:

"We recognize the imperative need to improve the quality of human settlements, which profoundly affects the daily lives and well-being of our peoples. There is a sense of great opportunity and hope that a new world can be built, in which economic development, social development and environmental protection as interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development can be realized through solidarity and cooperation within and between countries through effective partnerships at all levels. International cooperation and universal solidarity, guided by the [purposes and] principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and in a spirit of partnership, are crucial in order to improve the quality of life of the peoples of the world." (emphasis added)

This whole document promises "that everyone can eat cake in their own home." There are very direct references throughout the document with regard to "transfer of wealth."

Still, after two days of discussions, world delegates still have many questions and confusion over the key word "sustainable" on which the whole document and future economic and environmental world infrastructure is and will be based on.

There are numerous all day conferences on "Global Unemployment," "Global Energy Needs," and "Global Water Needs." In every conference and press briefing, more UN agencies and commissions are present and numerous new projects and committees are revealed or to be set up.

There is a great deal of discussion with regard to the need for both the World Bank and the United Nations to get involved on the local, grass roots level--the city level--to consult and to finance various projects. There is also much emphasis on "countries decentralizing power" and putting it in the hands of the local citizens, whom they will help. The United Nations is concerned about all aspects of life--they are very far from the original mandate to be the "guardians of world peace" as they are now the first line of help for consultation, development, finance and construction at the national, state and local levels....their tentacles are reaching down from the global level to the local level. It is as if they are setting up "cells" for eventual control.

Press Release Joan Veon 6/5/96 Page Two

As with all other conferences--Cairo, Copenhagen, the UN50 in New York, and Beijing the countries come and give a statement as to implementation of the UN agenda.

With regard to the world view of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, the following are quotes from actual press briefings and questions and answer periods:

World Bank:

Questions to Mr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice President Environmentally Sustainable Development:

Question by JV: "Once everything is developed, what will you have in place? Is there a master plan? What is the end-result?"

Answer by Serageldin:

"There is no end-result, the human species will continue on earth. This will require [them to] adopt sustainability to make sure we don't destroy the global eco-system or the regional eco-system on which we depend and this requires changing the patterns of consumption and production in many parts of the world." (Note: The US in particular) Emphasis added.

"The traditional roles of almost everything we know is changing before our eyes. W are witnessing a dramatic and wrenching revolution. The state, the traditional view of the nation, the central government, has become both too big to deal with its individual citizens....We are witnessing within government a totally new phenomena. The UN is providing a forum where at different points in time people come together to share, debate, disagree/agree and at the end, generate a series of steps that have cast a common agenda for the next millennium. This is what has happened in all these conferences from Rio."

In a press release issued by the World Bank entitled, "Cities are the World's Future--Urban Problems are Solvable," the World Bank estimates that it has invested $25 billion in more than 5,000 cities and towns since 1972 and over the next five years, they plan to invest an additional $15 billion in urban programs. The Bank is urging cities to put their financial houses in order by delivering the services that people want and are willing to pay for. The following are their recommendations:

1. "Charge more realistic user fees, for water, electricity and public transportation

instead of subsidizing the rich and middle class.

2. Make better use of the other local sources of financing, such as the property tax and

special levies for neighborhood improvement programs,

3. Bring in the private sector into areas where they are more efficient in managing

and financing infrastructure; and

4. Improve the nuts and bolts of city management, such as budgets and capital investment

plans, to become credit worthy."

There are several key words here, besides the Marxist/Leninist philosophy of transfer of wealth and global government. The World Bank is looking to set the price for the consumption of all of the world's resources--water, electricity and waste management. (2) They are dictating national taxing

policies, (3) bringing in the private sector---that is called "solidarity" in most of their information which is to be based on a new concept of "social capital" which is defined as 'the interaction between people-- solidarity, shared values which exist between them...the ability of a people to hold society

Press Release Joan M. Veon 6/5/96 Page Three

together." The World Bank does admit that they don't know a whole lot about social capital as they recently invited top scholars to the Bank to discuss the issue. They also point out that thirty five years ago, no one understood human capital which is now accepted (that which is associated with a person--education, health, etc.)

United Nations Department of Programmes:

UNDP has a budget of over $2B and operates in 137 country offices worldwide. With regard to Habitat, according to UNDP Director, Andus Wijkeman, " "We [the UN] must assume responsibility." (He emphasized this statement) He went on to say, "Human Development should be the END for all our activities." [emphasis added] He stated that the purpose of the UNDP is to

1. "Give advice, guidance, upstream dialogue with governments and with local governments and concentrating on capacity building. Very often governments/local governments lack capacity to identify problems and integrate strategies.

2. Develop pilot projects and demonstration projects. Know how important it is to demonstrate that things work. It is important to show that alternative schemes really are manageable.

3. Promotion of human rights, political, social and economic rights. Very, very important objective for unity.

4. Act as a bridge-builder, to be a catalyst between different actors. The agenda today is focusing on the role of civil society on one hand and the private sector. In order to involve both, in the least developed countries, it is important to try to assist governments to develop such growth strategies.

The role of government is very important at national and local. ...We believe in privatization where the government/local government has set up rules for behavior. We will concentrate on the least developed countries. If you look at accessible of capital and investments there is very little foreign direct investment channeled to the least developed countries. The Development Corporation has a very important role to play otherwise these countries will be left behind.

We will give specific focus on the new technologies to help the developing countries to have...

Poverty, what can we do? Our role is to try and give advice to governments on how to implement the Copenhagen Social Summit Agenda and how to develop strategies for reduction and eradication of poverty. We are working with more than 70 countries to try and assist them.

Also, to give local governments on how to run governments, that is how to de-centralize and bring about participation. We have two specific programs ongoing, our urban management Program and our Life Program. The Urban Management program is running in 30 countries and the Life Program in 14 countries and we deal with environmental, governance issues, city finance, poverty and infrastructure. Capacity building, assisting particularly local governments to deal with these issues.

Lastly, another representative from UNDP, defined "transfer of wealth" to include: "AID, INCREASING PRIVATE RESOURCE FLOW AND TRADE SUCH AS GATT."

The mandate from the UN and Governments is to coordinate activities at the local level.

We have tried to assist governments, local authorities, NGO's and so on to prepare and give their inputs. We have done that in close cooperate

We have as an organization identified a few key areas where we should concentrate. We are a grant giving organization. Human development should be the END for all our activities. The purpose of growth is to improve people's life. Need to look at Structural growth and the quality of growth. To go from quantitative perspective to qualitative perspective. This is very important. If you look at cities today, they are growing...GDP worldwide is 60% and takes place in cities.

Cities are growing

Habitat deals with the urban poor


Present policies in terms of growth are not sustainable We need an efficiency revolution--we must be more efficient in how we use energy, water and waste management. We have taken it upon ourselves to try and promote ecologically sound technologies particularly in the city areas. We will do it through something we call "public-private partnerships" whereby we bring together private companies which have the technologies and the public agencies to try and work as a bridge builder and catalyst. We hope in the next 5-10 years to start at least 50 concrete projects in water, energy and waste management in different parts of the world, using them as examples and then building on them. We don't have the money to invest in those technologies but our role will be the catalyst.

Thirdly, we are very much involved in Capacity Building through Capacity 21 which involves environmental understanding and awareness.

Shortly before or after Rio is when UNDP launched their activities.

To integrate environmental concern into everyday life, it requires a lot of de-learning and rethinking. It is not something you have to do like that. Still today, many of my colleagues, I am an environmentalist, still have difficulties to fully integrate but we are moving. Specifically on water, we have spent a lot of money on water projects with the World Bank, private donors and local governments but also loans in the past.