Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 6 - May 2013 عربى
Advocating Solutions
The habitat field is replete with “wicked problems.” They are often, at once, economic, environmental, social and political. Who holds the key to a solution? Economist Milton Friedman famously remarked: “The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.” The earlier essayist Henry Louis Mencken, a skeptic of economic theory, is attributed More
Regional Developments
Land Forum IV: Toward a New “Social Land Watch”
The Habitat International Coalition’s Housing and Land Rights Network organized its 4th Land Forum for the Middle East/North Africa, in Tunis, 26–28 March 2013, under the title: “From Broken Promises to People’s Solutions.” The participants shared a vision of future collaboration to translate human rights as a theoretical foundation into as new stage of specialized More

Land Day 2013
Palestine Land Day 2013 was not substantively different from the first Land Day in 1976. That was the conclusion of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, the umbrella organization that unites most political parties and movements of the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel’s occupied territories. This year, the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee repeated its demand that Arab More

Diagnosing Housing Rights Conditions in Israel/Palestine
When the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Raquel Rolnik (Brazil) addressed the UN Human Rights Council’s 22nd session in March 2013, she reported on her 2012 mission to Israel and Palestine. Her report described the evolution of the State of Israel’s housing policies from massive public investment in housing through the construction of some More

Egypt at CESCR
Egypt’s performance under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is the subject of this year’s review by that treaty’s monitoring body, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). This will mark the first such review in 13 years, since the last round in the year 2000. States party to the Covenant More

UN Human Rights Council on Colonizing Palestine: The Glass Half Empty
In exercising its mandate as the principle human rights policy-making body of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, in its March 2013 session, addressed the illegal Israeli settler colonies in occupied Palestine by adopting two strong resolutions. Or were they? The general resolution on “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, More

Conflict in Syria: Indiscriminate Shelling and Destruction of Property
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published its 22th humanitarian situation report amid increasingly widespread violence. So far, nearly 1.2 million homes have been damaged in the conflict. Of that number, 400 thousand have destroyed completely, 300 thousand have been partly destroyed, and the destruction of infrastructure has affected half a More

MENA Regional Consultations-FAO-VG
The FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, reported on in a previous issue of Land Times, were officially endorsed by Committee on World Food Security on 11 May 2012. The Final draft of the guidelines are available in all official languages: More

Fisheries Agreement, Natural Resources of Western Sahara
As with any occupation, the prime target is economic gain primarily manifested through the exploitation of natural resources. With rich mineral and maritime wealth, Morocco has gained economic benefit from the illegal occupation of Western Sahara since 1975. The extraction of natural resources has perpetuated this occupation and has been the More

Evaluating World Bank Performance in Egypt
One significant partner the Government of Egypt (GoE) has had in the development of Egypt`s built environment has been the World Bank, which has invested heavily in infrastructure projects such as electricity, waste water and natural gas, as well as in transportation and affordable housing. These investments come along with the Bank’s policy recommendations and More

International Developments
Studying the Global Tenure Insecurity Crisis
At the core of debates over what housing is formal or informal, planned or socially produced, authorized or “illegal” lies the criterion of secure tenure, which the SR HRAH alerts is a crisis of global proportions. One indicator of the hazards of this crisis are the forced evictions that victimize millions of people annually. The More
Sanctuary in the City?
The humanitarian sector has long confronted urban displacement and the special challenges faced by both displaced persons and host communities, including local authorities. The necessary debate on how aid should adjust to these circumstances has challenged the putative distinctions among various approaches, whether the emergency, humanitarian assistance approach, the development approach, or the human rights More

Russell Tribunal on Palestine Concludes Deliberations toward Action
The fifth and concluding session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) convene in Brussels on 16–17 March 2013 to consolidate the findings of the four thematic sessions at London, Barcelona, Cape Town and New York since 2010. The Russell Tribunal pursued its historic mission, as it has previous investigated the Vietnam War and dictatorship More

First Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples Forum
“We, the indigenous peoples of Asia, Africa, Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, still conserve our diverse identities, cultures and spiritual traditions. The ecosystems within our territories are still relatively intact, and we continue to be the custodians of biodiversity. Our diverse knowledge systems and livelihood practices have the potential to contribute and inspire new More

World Social Forum: Pursuing Practical Outcomes
The first post-revolutionary edition of the World Social Forum (WSF) is now a noisy memory for those who gathered in Tunis in the week of 26 March 2013. The biennial event took on a special emblematic significance at the starting point of the political upheaval that coincided with the previous WSF at Dakar, in 2011. The More

World Bank Safeguards Update
The previous issues of Land Times reported on the review of the World Bank safeguards for involuntary resettlement.  Inclusive Development has been spearheading the efforts of organizing a critical response to the process and ensuring that civil society is involved in reformatting these guidelines. HLRN, in coordination with Inclusive Development, Bank Information Center and the More

International Food Security and Nutrition Civil Society
The Zero Draft of the FAO Committee for Food Security principles for responsible agricultural investment (RAI) is now available in English. The principles are accompanied by a background document, providing guidance and more detail for each of the 12 principles.  The RAI Open-ended Working Group (OEWG ), which includes civil society, will have a chance to provide feedback and More


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