Choike Newsletter - 7 August 2008

A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Thu Aug 07 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


->AIDS 2008 - Mexico D.F, 3-8 August 2008
The AIDS 2008 Conference takes place from 3 to 8 August 2008 in Mexico
City, Mexico.

->Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness: 2-4 September 2008,
Accra, Ghana
In September 2008, ministers from over 100 countries, heads of bilateral
and multilateral development agencies, donor organisations, and civil
society organisations from around the world will gather in Accra for the
Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

-> All Events

->Southern Bank: An alternative to the IFIs?
The Southern Bank is intended to be an expression of sovereignty and
financial independence from the international financial institutions
(IFIs) and their policies in Latin American.

All in-depth reports

The Doha round is dead: a new era for other world food policies out of
the WTO
The colapse of the negotiations of the WTO Doha round Doha constitutes a
victory for the organizations which struggled in Seattle, Cancún,
Hongkong, Geneva and at many other places against the WTO. The break
down of the negotiations is a victory for the farmers, men and women,
everywhere in the world who struggle against the liberalisation of the
markets and the commodification of essential products such as food,
water and seeds.
Source: La Via Campesina

Financing for Development from Monterrey to Doha
Ahead of the November 2008 Financing for Development (FfD) conference in
Doha, the South Centre calls on poorer countries to set up a post-Doha
agenda to foster South-South cooperation on FfD issues. Since the first
FfD summit in 2002, the international economic context has changed;
countries like China and India are emerging as key players in global
financial markets. South Centre doubts that richer countries will engage
in substantial dialogue at the upcoming meeting to address these shifts
in order to effectively deal with FfD issues.
Source: South Centre
More information in "Financing for Development":

HIV/AIDS: Time to base public policy on rights
Preaching abstinence to the young has not worked, nor has sex work been
eradicated. Experts gathered in Mexico City for the 17th International
AIDS Conference say it is time to put public policies under the
microscope and see why they have failed. Why do policies ostensibly put
in place to protect sex workers end up penalising them and why are
policy makers bent on sanitising them? experts asked. Why have drug
users been denied key HIV prevention services?
Source: By Zofeen Ebrahim

Truth and consequences under the Israeli occupation
"I am a Palestinian journalist from Gaza", writes Mohammed Omer. "At the
age of 17, I armed myself with a camera and a pen, committed to report
accurately on events in Gaza. I have filed reports as Israeli fighter
jets bombed Gaza City. I have interviewed mothers as they watched their
children die in hospitals unequipped to serve them because of Israel's
embargo. I have been recognized for my reporting, even in the United
States and United Kingdom, where I have won two international awards. I
have also been beaten and tortured by Israeli soldiers."
Source: The Electronic Intifada
More information in "Israeli-Palestinian conflict":

Third Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons - Draft
Since 2003, Member States have gathered every two years to consider the
implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and
Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its
Aspects, which was adopted in 2001. The Programme of Action contains a
number of measures to control the proliferation of small arms and light
weapons, including legislation, destruction of confiscated weapons, and
strengthening the ability of States to identify and trace those weapons.
The Third Biennial Meeting of States was held from 14 to 18 July at UN
Headquarters in New York.
Source: UN Office for Disarmament Affairs
More information in "Disarmament":

Optional Protocol on economic, social and cultural rights is adopted
The United Nations Human Rights Council approved by consensus an
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR) June 18, 2008. The momentous decision by the
Human Rights Council brings one step closer the possibility of an
international remedy mechanism for violations of the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The Optional
Protocol is the result of several decades of work by governments, civil
society, experts and the UN human rights bodies to remedy a long-term
gap in human rights protection under the international system.
Source: ESCR-net
More information in "Economic, social and cultural rights - ESCR":

Wetlands loss fuelling CO2 feedback loop
Wetlands are dangerous, scientists say, in the sense that they are
ticking carbon bombs best left alone. To help stave off extreme climate
change, existing wetlands should be enhanced and new wetlands created so
they could capture more carbon. However, wetlands, including peatlands,
continue to be converted to other uses around the world, resulting in
large emissions of carbon and methane, a potent greenhouse gas that has
21 times the warming impact of carbon dioxide. These issues were
discussed at the 8th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference held in
Brazil 20-25 July 2008.
Source: IPS

African 'wall of trees' gets underway
Three years after it was first proposed, preparations for an African
'wall of trees' to slow down the southwards spread of the Sahara desert
are finally getting underway. The 'Great Green Wall' will involve
several stretches of trees from Mauritania in the west to Djibouti in
the east, to protect the semi-arid savannah region of the Sahel (and its
agricultural land) from desertification.
Source: SciDevnet
More information in "Desertification":

Lack of access to therapeutic abortion in Peru
In Peru interrupting a pregnancy is legal in order to save the life of
the woman or to avoid serious and permanent damage to her health. In
practice there are significant barriers to accessing lawful abortions.
Legal "therapeutic" abortion is a vital public health service, and
denial of this service jeopardizes a broad range of fundamental human
rights of women and girls.
Source: Human Rights Watch
More information in "Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean":

Transitional justice in sexual and gender-based violence
It is now fashionable in academic and activist circles to speak of
transitional justice in normative, inflexible terms that suggest a
utopian certainty. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the
outset, we need to understand that transitional justice concepts are
experimental –good experiments to be sure– but that they do not offer us
tested panacea because they are essentially works in progress.
Source: Pamabazuka
More information in "Gender-based violence":

Stage of definitions on the Southern Bank
The Southern Bank is one of the three pillars of the new regional
financial architecture in South America, together with a Southern Fund
and a South American Monetary Unit. This fact was agreed upon by the
presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and
Venezuela in the Quito Declaration signed on May 3, 2007. This Bank is
intended to be an expression of sovereignty and financial independence,
as well as an entity which will finance another kind of integration with
emphasis on the energy sovereignty, food security and intra-regional
trade. After its creation, nevertheless, a series of facts and debates
have arisen which show that this path will not be so easy to take.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
More information in "Southern Bank: An alternative to the IFIs?":

Public debt: Who ows who?
The recent announcement of Brazil’s upgrade to the net external creditor
position was very welcome by the Brazilian Government’s financial
authorities as a triumph of our economic policy. According to the
government, for the first time and thanks to the high level of our
international reserves, we have sufficient resources to pay off the
external public and private debt if we wished to do so. That joy,
however, is justified only from a strictly political perspective, since
from a financial point of view the external debt is today a minor
problem, compared to the internal debt, and the payment of both still
represents an obstacle to progress on pressing social needs for the country.
Source: Rede Brasil - Jubilee South
More information in "External debt":

Critical conditions: The IMF maintains its grip on low-income governments
Faced with strong criticism for its expansive and erroneous use of
conditionality, and in the wake of a financial crisis, the IMF approved
in 2002 a set of guidelines to inform its use of structural
conditionality. The Conditionality Guidelines committed the Fund to
reduce the overall number of conditions attached to Fund lending.
However, the IMF’s own Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) issued a
study in January 2008 which concluded that the Fund dramatically
increased both the number of structural conditions and their
intrusiveness in recipient countries’ domestic affairs.
Source: Eurodad
More information in "International Monetary Fund - IMF":

4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources

Urgent Action Fund - UAF
Global women’s fund that exists to protect, strengthen and sustain women
human rights defenders at critical moments in time.

-> NGO directory

Human Rights

->Durban 2009 debate
The Human Rights Council held a general debate on racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance and on
follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of
Source: UN Watch

->Gaza organizations caught in the crossfire
According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza City, the
Hamas-dominated government has closed 179 institutions in Gaza,
including those providing services to women, children and people with
Source: Electronic Intifada

->UN General Assembly endorses new High Commissioner for Human Rights
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was “gratified” that his
nomination of South African judge Navanethem Pillay had been endorsed by
the General Assembly.
Source: UN News Centre

Trade and Regional Integration

->Developing countries' call to reassess Doha priorities after talks fail
In particular, they said that one major failure was that development
issues, concerns and perspectives were not taken into account at the
various meetings.
Source: Third World Network

Sexual diversity

->United Nations: defeat for discrimination, victory for inclusion
The decision by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
granting consultative status to two groups that work on sexual
orientation and gender identity is a victory in the ongoing struggle for
inclusion at the UN.
Source: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

Health - Sexual diversity

->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

->Africa: homophobia fuelling the spread of HIV
The persistent and increasing outbreaks of violence against members of
the gay community in Africa are jeopardising efforts undertaken to
combat HIV, both within this group and across the population as a whole,
AIDS activists warned at a recent meeting in Limbé, Cameroon.
Source: IRINNews


->Indigenous people speak out clearly on AIDS
At the multi-coloured Global Village, a huge tent next to the Centro
Banamex, where the international conference is taking place, indigenous
groups have a presence among the civil society organisations dedicated
to the fight against AIDS.
Source: IPS

->Doctors without borders warns of health care worker shortages in AIDS
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hosted a satellite meeting on August 3,
2008 at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City on the
impact of the health care worker shortage on access to HIV/AIDS
treatment and lessons learned from clinicians and advocates working on
the ground to overcome this gap.
Source: MSF


->Course on lifelong learning advocacy
The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) announces the
fourth edition of the ICAE Academy of Lifelong Learning Advocacy (IALLA
IV) that will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from October 27 to
November 12, 2008.
Source: ICAE

Information and Communication Technologies

->Kenya: inside Nairobi, the next Palo Alto?
Nairobi is home to a digital brew that invites optimism about its
chances for creating unusual innovations. The city has relatively few
wired phone lines or networked personal computers, so mobile phones are
the essential digital tool.
Source: Pamabazuka

Sustainable Development

->Asian civil society groups call for climate justice
Over 170 activists who gathered in Bangkok from 12-14 July harshly
criticised governments and corporations for their failure to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. They called for climate justice and a
"fundamental departure from the current global order" to solve the
climate crisis. Conference participants included fishers and farmers,
forest and indigenous peoples, women, youth, workers and non-government
activists from 31 countries.
Source: WRM

->Towards a new green deal
Local activism is an important contribution to a struggle for a just and
sustainable planet, but the scale of the climate crisis is such that
only long-term, legally binding commitments can make a change. We need a
new Keynesianism for the environment, writes Susan George.
Source: TNI

Natural Resources

->People’s tribunal on European multinational companies and neoliberal
A People's Tribunal held in Lima in May 2008 examines the record of 21
multinational companies’ work in Latin America revealing systematic
violation of human rights and destruction of the environment.
Source: TNI


->AWID new website
AWID has launched its new website that provides ccess to information in
English, Spanish and French, articles on a wide range of women's human
rights issues, in-depth analysis and practical tools to support women's
rights activism.
Source: Association for Women`s Rights in Development (AWID)


->World Bank, IMF blocking better antiretroviral rollout - say campaigners
A wage-bill imposed by international donor institutions on poor country
is complicating the roll-out of an effective antiretroviral treatment
plan to reach millions of needy recipients, Médecins Sans Frontière
(MSF) has said.
Source: allAfrica

Economy and Financial Affairs

->"The World Bank as a knowledge producer"
A book by Indian NGO Manthan Adhyayan Kendra examines how WB promotes
and justifies policy prescriptions. The author, Shripad Dharmadhikary,
examines why being a knowledge provider is so important to the World
Bank, and how the Bank uses its research and knowledge services to
intervene in the policy making of borrowing countries.
Source: Bank Information Center

->African solutions to African problems
In a bid to develop domestic, regional and continental institutions to
mobilise resources for the economic development, the African Union (AU)
will establish a financial institution under the name of African
Monetary Fund (AMF).
Source: Eurodad

-> World Bank criticizes its own policy of environmental sustainability
The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), the World Bank’s internal
watchdog, released its newest assessment of the Bank’s record on the
environment. The evaluation analyzes the effectiveness of the World Bank
Group in addressing the environmental sustainability of its programs in
developing countries.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor

-> All news

->Stop IADB funding agrofuels in Guatemala
According to Rights Action, the government of Guatemala acts in
complicity with large landholders and agribusiness to illegally obtain
land belonging to indigenous communities using paramilitary violence or
State security force to evict communities.

->Turkey urged to respect LGBT people's right to freedom of association
A local court in Istanbul ordered the closure of the Turkish lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender solidarity organization, Lambda Istanbul.
Source: Amnesty International

->Uganda: condemn the arrest and torture of LGBT human rights defender
IGLHRC calls upon its partners and friends to condemn the arrest and
torture of Mukwaaya and the violation of LGBTI human rights in Uganda by
the government and its agents.
Source: IGLHRC

-> 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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