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June 02, 2006


Joan Russow

World Urban Forum: Report card on principles from 1976 Habitat I.
Joan Russow PhD
Author of Habitat II need to move beyond the principles of Habitat I
Global Compliance Research Project
1 250 2941339
June 1, 2006

The Global Compliance Research Project has been preparing a Report Card on the failure to implement the principles agreed to at the 1976 Habitat I Conference. The final report card will be circulated at the World Urban Forum, and the systemic constraints preventing the implementation of these principles will be delineated. In 2006 in Vancouver, from June 18 to June 23, the follow-up world Urban Forum will take place in Vancouver.

The time of empty rhetoric, and of vacuous promises has passed. We are living in the wake of years of government negligence.

Leading up to the World Urban Forum, the Global Compliance Research Project will do the following:

(i) Select a principle from Habitat I, and provide information on the principle
(ii) Comment on the non implementation of the Principle

In 1976, Habitat I took place in Vancouver, and a commitment to principles was made. In the most part the commitment to the principles remains unfulfilled [and was not fulfilled in subsequent conferences such as Habitat II in 1996].

At Habitat I, all states endorsed the Statement of Principles. One of the principles was the following:

"The waste and misuse of resources in war and armaments should be prevented. All countries should make a firm commitment to promote general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, in particular in the field of nuclear disarmament. part of the resources thus released should be utilized so as to achieve a better quality of life for humanity and particularly the peoples of developing countries "(12 Habitat 1)

Rather than implement this principle, most states, in 2006, have increased the military budget, and the most heavily militarized nations are currently even further away from promoting disarmament. The "peace dividend" has generally been abandoned. The obligations incurred by the Nuclear arms states under Article vi of the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty is disregarded. In addition what constitutes "security" has been equated with "military security" or redefined with euphemisms that support increased militarism. “Human security” and “responsibility to protect” are both notions that attempt to justified increased military expenditures, and increased military intervention in sovereign states in the name of so-called "humanitarian intervention"

(i) Lack of political will, and disregard for the rule of international law, and for the role of the International Court of Justice
(ii) Shortness of institutional memory. Perhaps the failure to comply is not intentional but is the result of the shortness of institutional memory: governments forget previous obligations, commitments and expectations.
(iii) International organs of the United Nations are not given the power to sufficiently and effectively inform states of precedents

Global Compliance Research Project

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Video Interviews

Studio 4 – Shaw TV
May 18, 2006
Opening (Windows Media - 3 MB)

Habitat JAM (Windows Media - 2 MB)

Objectives 1 (Windows Media - 1.6 MB)

Objectives 2 (Windows Media - 1.5 MB)

Outcomes? (Windows Media - 3 MB)

What Is The Commissioner General Role (Windows Media - 1.2 MB)

Why Vancouver? (Windows Media - 1 MB)

Full Interview (Windows Media - 14 MB)

OMNI Television
May 31, 2006
The Standard (Quicktime - 25 MB)