Choike Newsletter - 29 August 2008

A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Fri Aug 29 2008


-> 1. Events
-> 2. In-depth reports
-> 3. Updates
-> 4. Latest additions: Southern NGOs and other resources
-> 5. News
-> 6. Campaigns
-> 7. IFIs Latin American Monitor


->Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness: 2-4 September 2008,
Accra, Ghana

-> Events

->Financing for Development
The opportunity that came up in Monterrey can turn into a road to
nowhere without an injection of political will.

All in-depth reports

The new geopolitics of trade and the collapse of WTO mini-ministerial
The collapse of the negotiations of WTO mini-ministerial (21-31 July
2008) reflects the new geopolitics of world economy. The emerging
economies, whose population – mostly women – is largely employed in
agriculture, have been at the heart of the negotiating processes. These
new actors place another way of approaching trade issues and
negotiations at the forefront. People’s livelihood was at the center of
decision-making in international trade negotiations and discourse.
Source: International Gender and Trade Network - Geneva Office
More information in "World Trade Organization - WTO":

Torture in international law: a guide to jurisprudence
The prohibition against torture in international law is, like that
against slavery or genocide, absolute. Torture is impermissible under
any circumstances, including war, public emergency or terrorist threat.
The prohibition is so strong and universally accepted that it is now a
fundamental principle of customary international law. This means that
even States which have not ratified any of the international treaties
explicitly prohibiting torture are banned from using it against anyone,
Source: Association for the Prevention of Torture - Center for Justice
and International Law
More information in "Civil and political rights":

Courting history: the landmark International Criminal Court's first years
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has made notable progress in
bringing justice for the worst crimes despite mistakes in policy and
practice, Human Rights Watch said in a report recently released that
assesses the court's first five years. Human Rights Watch urged greater
international support of the ICC to meet the political and financial
challenges ahead.
Source: Human Rights Watch
More information in "International Criminal Court":

Network questions global reform and review processes on gender equality
For DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era), a
highly-placed gender entity in the United Nations whose principal
function will be limited to acting as a watchdog for gender
mainstreaming and which will have very limited capacity to undertake
projects on its own will not close the existing gap between official
rhetoric and action on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In the
ongoing discussions, the location-position of women’s empowerment and
gender equality is unclear, particularly because it is often couched in
mainstreaming or cross-cutting language.
Source: DAWN

"Policy incoherence" frustrates funding for gender equity
In September 2008, in Accra, the commitments made in 2005 in the Paris
Declaration on Aid Effectiveness will be examined. This agreement
between governments and international cooperation agencies was aimed at
harmonising and improving development aid administration. One of the
crucial tasks that organisations and movements fighting for women’s
rights have set themselves is for international treaties and commitments
to include specific financial policies to bridge the gender gap.
Source: IPS News
More information in "Gender in economics":

The North will not provide the answers for the global development!
Representatives of African civil society and social movements meeting in
Nairobi, Kenya for the Pan-African Preparatory meeting to the IV
International Forum on Democracy and Cooperation from 15 to 16 May 2008
examined gaps in international democracy and cooperation with an aim to
develop innovative concepts and models that will lead to a Southern
driven paradigm shift in global development.
Source: Accord International
More information in "New Partnership for African Development - NEPAD":

>From poverty to power
"The history of development success shows that the crucible of change is
primarily national and local, but rich countries, societies, and
corporations carry a huge respon sibility. The deeply inequitable forms
of global governance must be overhauled so that global phenomena such as
climate change, capital flows, migration, conflict, or trade and
investment are managed in ways that reduce poverty, inequality, and
Source: OXFAM International
More information in "Poverty":

Getting out of the food crisis
While there has been widespread reporting of the riots that have broken
out around the world as a result of the global food crisis, little
attention has been paid to the way forward. The solution is a radical
shift in power away from the international financial institutions and
global development agencies, so that small-scale farmers, still
responsible for most food consumed throughout the world, set
agricultural policy. Three interrelated issues need to be tackled: land,
markets and farming itself.
Source: Grain
More information in "Agriculture and food sovereignty":

Mainstreaming disability in the development agenda
Disability experts from around the world with backgrounds in government,
international organizations, and civil society stressed the need to
mainstream disability in all development activities in order to achieve
equality for persons with disabilities.
Source: United Nations Headquarters
More information in "Rights of persons with disabilities":

Women, biodiversity and the gender action plan of the CBD
What happens if women do not want to participate in negotiations about
and enforcement of ´benefit sharing´ because they consider local
resources their own common property? What if they do not want their
livelihood resources and their knowledge to be integrated into the
mainstream of commercialisation and patenting? What if they want to
change the mainstream instead of participating in it? Does the strategy
of gender mainstreaming leave space for an alternative concept and for
needs, rights and interests that are not compliant with the mainstream?
writes Christa Wichterich from WIDE.
Source: WIDE
More information in "Biotechnology and biosafety":

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and quality education
Though the State remains the primary provider of education, the role of
nongovernment organisations (NGO) is significant. NGO and
community-based initiatives play an important role in education
provision in South Asia because, at present, agreed international
targets cannot be reached through the state system alone. Non-formal
programmes are an important alternative to formal schooling as they
address gaps of formal education.
Source: CRIN - Save the Children
More information in "Children's rights":

Holding health to ransom: GSS interrogation and extortion of Palestinian
patients at Erez Crossing
A new report by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel provides a detailed
description of the permits mechanism instituted by Israel and of the
growing restrictions placed by this mechanism on the access of patients
to medical care unavailable in Gaza. The report describes how patients'
access to medical care is conditioned on their collaboration with
Israeli intelligence.
Source: Physicians for Human Rights - Israel$File/full_report.pdf
More information in "Israeli-Palestinian conflict":

UN climate talks in Accra
The latest round of United Nations climate change negotiations took
place in Accra, Ghana, between 21-27 August. This meeting was part of a
negotiating process that will be concluded in Copenhagen at the end of
2009 to take forward work on a strengthened and effective international
climate change deal under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,
as well as work on emission reduction rules and tools under the Kyoto

HIV/Aids: a war on women
Public health policies and legislation are being introduced which are
not actually rooted in women's experiences. As a consequence, their
implementation is at huge cost to women, who in their role as primary
unpaid carers of their sick relatives, have in fact formed the backbone
of the Aids response in the most affected communities.
Source: Open Democracy
More information in "AIDS: wealth before health":

Sanitation: a human rights imperative
While there has been some progress on the recognition and implementation
of the right to water, the same is not true of sanitation services. The
current International Year of Sanitation presents an opportunity to
address the lack of attention paid to sanitation and hygiene in human
rights terms.
Source: COHRE
More information in "The water crisis":

Key feminist concerns regarding core labor standards, decent work and
corporate social responsibility
Reviewing the literature and discussions shows there is no unified
feminist position on the inclusion of labour standards in trade policy.
Feminists do, however, share common concerns around core labour
standards, decent work and corporate social responsibility. Those
policies need to explicitly address the situations, experiences and
wishes of women, and need to address the gendered nature of economic and
trade policies. Gender discrimination forms an integral part of the
market economy.
Source: WIDE
More information in "Global labour rights":

The Southern Bank: the result of the struggle of movements
Social organizations, NGOs and churches making up the debt movement in
the region have long been facing the logic prevailing within the
international financial architecture, the same which by means of
financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF has turned
debt policies into domination mechanisms against Southern countries.
Thanks to the impetus brought about by the International Jubilee Debt
Campaign at the end of the 1990s, it was possible to achieve three
results the Movement has rated as positive: the debt audit in Ecuador;
Norway’s debt cancellation in favor of three Latin American countries;
and the foundation of the Southern Bank.
Source: Latindadd
More information in "Southern Bank: An alternative to the IFIs?":

4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources

Somali Youth for Peace and Democracy (SYPD)
SYPD was formed specifically to build strategic networks of young,
social change leaders, development practitioners, and key
decision-makers. Somalia.

-> NGO directory


->Accra international women's forum programme
Here is the programme for the Accra Women's Forum to be held Saturday,
30th August 2008 to ensure women's participation at both the CSO Forum
and the HLF3 on Aid Effectiveness.
Source: AWID

->The costs of marital rape in Southern Africa
For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned
tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC
finally took that historic step.
Source: Independent

Sexual diversity

->Nigeria: gays hesitate at the closet door
Being gay in Nigeria is hard: homosexual sex is illegal, but there is
also the sanction contained in a rising tide of religious
fundamentalism, and with cultural traditions that generally abhor
same-sex coupling.
Source: PlusNews Global


->Draft law threatens to criminalise Ethiopian civil society
Under a draft law, Ethiopia could see severe restrictions on civil
society and even closures of organisations working on contentious
issues, such as human rights and governance.
Source: Civicus

Globalization - People - Society

->List of proposed activities at the European Social Forum
On 17-21 September 2008 the European Social Forum (ESF) is being held in
Malmö, in the South of Sweden. More than 20,000 people are expected to
participate in the forum, which is a meeting place for social movements
in Europe.
Source: ESF

World Peace and Security - Media

->Media criticise Gaza death ruling
Reuters news agency says the Israeli army has made reporting in Gaza
"almost impossible" after it cleared a tank crew that killed one of its
Source: BBC News

Human Rights - Gender - Media

->Ransacking of longtime women's news agency
The devastation and disorder of a burglary and violent vandalism at the
women’s news agency CIMAC (Women’s Communication & Information) offices
in Mexico City last weekend suggest that it was more than a common break-in.
Source: AWID

Human Rights - World Peace and Security

->An appeal from Azerbaijan NGOs about South Ossetia-Russia conflict
Current events in South Ossetia and Abkhazia became the logical result
of long years of passiveness of world community towards so called
"frozen conflicts" in Caucasus.
Source: Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan - CIVICUS

Human Rights - Economy and Financial Affairs

->Minimizing human rights risks
A new study finds that international project financiers, including the
leading international banks and the International Finance Corporation,
do not have a robust framework for minimizing the social risks posed by
their projects.
Source: Bank Information Center

Economy and Financial Affairs

->Ending aid dependence: a new book
The South Centre, an intergovernmental think-tank of the developing
countries, will be launching a new book at the CSOs parallel Forum in
Accra that cautions developing countries against endorsing the agenda
proposed at this meeting.
Source: South Centre


->WHO report says health is determined by social factors
Social justice is a matter of life and death. It affects the way people
live, their consequent chance of illness, and their risk of premature
death says the final report of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants
of Health.
Source: WHO

->Global agenda increasingly disease-driven
Despite the massive amounts of money driving current efforts, the global
health agenda is still in its infancy. Increasingly, experts say, the
kind of disease-focused model is defining the global health agenda.
Source: IPS

->WHO-linked centre lays patent claim related to bird flu virus
In a development that is likely to raise more pressing questions about
reform of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN), an
international patent application has surfaced in which the US Centres
for Disease Control (CDC) and US National Institutes of Health claim
ownership of Indonesian influenza genes.
Source: Third World Network

->Sex workers participate in AIDS2008 plenary session
Presentation by Elena Reynaga of the Women Sex Worker's Network of Latin
America and the Caribbean (RedTraSex) on sexual workers and human rights
at the 17th International AIDS Conference being held in Mexico. (doc).
Source: RedTraSex


->Updates on undocumented migrants in Europe
The last edition of PICUM's newsletter, released August 2008, focuses on
news items and policy developments concerning the basic social rights of
undocumented migrants in Europe. (PDF format).
Source: Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants

->Border thinking on migration, culture, economy and sex
Migrants are commonly seen as both unwanted intruders and powerless
victims, but Laura Agustín own ideas work to break down this duality and
think about power in different ways.
Source: Laura Agustín

Information and Communication Technologies

->Communication experts endorse alternative media
About 120 communication experts, meeting in Accra, have endorsed a blend
of modern information and communication technologies with traditional
and other alternative media forms to disseminate information for
development in the globalised world.
Source: Haayo-MediaTic

Sustainable Development

->Forests are more than carbon say NGOs in Accra
"Any agreement must be designed to stop deforestation and degradation,
not simply reduce or defer emissions" said Friends of the Earth
International at the UN climate change conference being held in Accra,
Ghana 21-27 August 2008.
Source: Friends of the Earth International

Natural Resources

->Behind world food crisis is a world water crisis
World water crisis is a key factor behind current global anxieties over
faltering food supplies and rising food costs said representatives of
civil society at the opening session of World Water Week in Stockholm.
Source: WWF

->Coca-Cola plant shut down in India
A community-led campaign had demanded the closure of the Coca-Cola
bottling plant in Sinhachawar in India because of indiscriminate
pollution by the bottling plant as well as illegal occupation of land.
Source: India Resource Center

-> All news

->Call to action for housing and land rights day 2008!
This campaign called "Act together housing for all" will be launched in
October 2008 and be completed in January 2009 with the World Social
Forum's activities in Belem, Brazil.
Source: HIC

->Iran: Stop the execution of teacher unionist Farzad Kamangar
Farzad Kamangar, a 33-year old teacher and former trade unionist from
the Kurdistan Province of Iran, is at risk of execution following the
ruling issued at an unfair trial.
Source: Education International

->ICC Universal Ratification Campaign: El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua
Write a letter to the President, Minister of Foreign Affairs or
President of the National Assembly in El Salvador, Guatemala and
Nicaragua to encourage them to accede to the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court.
Source: Coalition for the International Criminal Court

->Save the Sinharaja rainforest
The Sinharaja rainforest in Sri Lanka, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage
Site, is under threat due to the ongoing illegal construction of a hotel
that is being backed by the ‘eco-tourism’ industry.

-> All campaigns

7. IFIs Latin American Monitor

-> This initiative aims at contributing to the Latin American and global
IFI campaigns for reform of the Bretton Woods institutions by
translating key information, producing and disseminating news and
analysis, thus promoting dialogue and collaboration between key actors.
This project is possible thanks to the support of Mott Foundation.

*** IFIs Monitor is an active member of IFIwatchnet.

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