The United Nations "Habitat" Conference opened in Vancouver, Canada, on Monday (31 May), and among the speakers at the first session were the U.
The United Nations "Habitat" Conference opened in Vancouver, Canada, on Monday (31 May), and among the speakers at the first session were the U.N. Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, and the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Pierre Trudeau.
Dr. Waldheim said that the statistics on the plight of more than one billion of the world's population presented to the conference, showed the need for an additional dimension of human solidarity. He called for new global strategies based on the interdependence "not only among peoples, but the interdependence of the problems they confront".
The Conference is the largest gathering ever staged by the United Nations, and its aim is to tackle basic human problems, such as housing shortages, starvation and polluted drinking water. However, the 130 countries which are taking part may have to tread warily to avoid becoming embroiled in such controversies as the gap between the rich and the poor nations, opposing government policies on land ownership, and the Palestinian issue.
Prime Minister Trudeau outlined the hopes of the conference at the opening session, and said that no nation could afford to isolate itself in self-contemplation, "clasping to its breast its possessions in denial to others". He said the human race had entered an era of community interest which was vital to the survival of the species.
SYNOPSIS: The first session was addressed by the United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim.