Choike Newsletter - 18 April 2008

A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Fri Apr 18 2008


-> 1. Events
-> 2. In-depth reports
-> 3. Updates
-> 4. Latest additions: Southern NGOs and other resources
-> 5. News
-> 6. Campaigns
-> 7. Books
-> 8. IFIs Latin American Monitor


->UNCTAD XII: 20 - 25 April 2008 in Accra, Ghana
The twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (known as UNCTAD XII) will be held from 20 to 25 April 2008
at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

-> World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings - Washington D.C., April 2008
This year the meetings were held over a 2-day period, from April 12 to
13, at the WB and IMF headquarters in Washington D.C. The event
consisted of a series of policy dialogue sessions, which brought
together WB and IMF staff, civil society organisations representatives,
and governments delegates.

-> IDB Annual Governors' Meeting - Miami, April 2008
The 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB took place
in Miami, USA, April 4-8. As in previous years, civil society
representatives participated actively in seminars and meetings with IDB
staff members.

-> All events

->The UN reform... and what about women?
It would seem that is not only necessary to incorporate the discussion
into the High-Level Panel but also that many more things should be
changed to be able to talk about equity.

All in-depth reports

A new era of agriculture begins today: International agriculture
assessment calls for immediate radical changes
The report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge,
Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), approved on 12 April
2008 by 54 governments in Johannesburg, is a sobering account of the
failure of industrial farming. It calls for a fundamental change in the
way we do farming, to better address soaring food prices, hunger, social
inequities and environmental disasters. The civil society groups that
have participated in the IAASTD process over the past six years may not
fully agree with some of the government-negotiated conclusions of the
report, but they respect the fact that this report reflects the current
consensus within the scientific community.
Source: Third World Network

Implementing the Paris Declaration: implications for the promotion of
women's rights and gender equality
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PD) aims to reform the
delivery and management of aid. Despite changes in how aid is delivered
to partner governments, civil society organisations contend that the
Paris Declaration remains an unjust and unequal framework for
understanding and implementing the aid effectiveness agenda. Among other
concerns, the Paris Declaration is gender blind, and as a result,
fundamentally flawed.
Source: CCIC
More informatioon in "Gender in economics":

Domestic and global policy linkages for enhancing the role of Middle
Income Countries in financing for development
The Development Alternatives with Women for A New Era (DAWN) welcomes
the Secretary General's Note of 14 April 2008 for the Special High-level
Meeting of the ECOSOC with the BWIs, WTO and the UNCTAD, in particular,
its references to large numbers of poor and continuing inequality as
major development challenges to middle income countries. From a gender
perspective, however, macroeconomic policies can do much more to reduce
various forms of inequities and inequalities, both at the national and
international levels.
Source: DAWN

How much does an office cost at the United Nations?
The appointment of the new director of the United Nations Development
Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has caused concern over the procedure of the
U.N., backed by its secretary-general, Ban Ki Moon. The communiqué said
that the selection process (which took seven months) was "exhaustive and
extensive" but that does not explain why it started as a process based
on merit and then results were not taken into account in the end.
Source: Third World Institute

Growing clamour against rape and sexual violence in the Congo
Despite the existence for seven years of another United Nations Security
Council resolution, number 1325, calling for women to be active
participants in all peace deliberations, there was no one at that peace
table directly representing the women, the more than two hundred
thousand women, whose lives and anatomies were torn to shreds by the
very war that the peace talks were meant to resolve.
Source: AIDS-Free World

Disappearing the poor
Their embarrassing presence evokes an archaic world, in which humanity
creates its own shelter out of industrial debris, scrapes a living off
the garbage heaps of abundance, recycles the discarded goods of others,
lives a pinched and frugal existence. In other words, the poor offer a
ghastly example of meagre resource-use and compulsory austerity in a
context where excess and extravagance are now the norm.
Source: Guardian
More informatioon in "Poverty":

Whose sexuality counts? Poverty, participation and sexual rights
Sexual rights are an important battlefield in our fight against poverty.
Our work for inclusion and for the realisation of the rights of excluded
people cannot be complete if we don’t consider sexual rights as a
necessary element that affects many other domains of development work.
Taking sexuality into consideration means to have respect for the people
that we work with and to treat them as citizens.
Source: Institute of Development Studies - IDS
More informatioon in "Sexual and reproductive rights":

People with disabilities in Vietnam
People with disabilities are an important social issue in Vietnam.
According to government statistics, as of 2003, there were more than 5
million people with disabilities (PWD) in Vietnam, accounting for 6.3
percent of the total population. Nearly 8 percent of Vietnamese
households had members who were PWD and most of these households were
poor. A new research report conducted by the Institute for Social
Development Studies in Vietnam focuses on individuals believed to be
affected by dioxin from Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War.
Source: Institute for Social Development Studies

Uprooted and unstable: meeting urgent humanitarian needs in Iraq
A new report by Refugees International describes a vacuum of
humanitarian assistance created by the failure of the Iraqi government
and the international community to administer aid to civilians. During a
mission inside Iraq, researchers for Refugees International found that
Iraqi militias are creating a Hezbollah-like dynamic by becoming major
humanitarian providers of food, clothing, oil and other basic resources.
As a result, militias are recruiting civilians, including displaced
Iraqis, at a rapid pace.
Source: Refugees International
More information in "Iraq: the war and occupation":

Secrecy surrounds death penalty
At least 1,200 people were executed in 2007 and many more were killed by
the state, in secret, in countries including China, Mongolia and Viet
Nam. The figures come from Amnesty International's yearly statistics,
which say that at least 1,252 people were executed in 24 countries and
at least 3,347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. Up to
27,500 people are estimated to be on death row across the world.
Source: Amnesty International
More informatioon in "Civil and political rights":

Terrorism and human rights in the Philippines: fighting terror or
On the eve of the examination of the human rights record of the
Philippines under the newly established mechanism of Universal Periodic
Review in Geneva, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH),
in cooperation with its national member, the Philippine Alliance of
Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), and with the International
Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), make public a report
which highlights that torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial
killings are common practice in the Philippines in the context of the
“war on terror”.
Source: International Federation for Human Rights
More information in "The war on terror: a war on human rights":

Map on LGBTI rights in the world
The 2008 version of the map created by the International Lesbian and Gay
Association (ILGA) shows the legal status of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
trans and intersex (LGBTI) people in the world. It is release on
occasion of the association’s 30th anniversary. Founded in 1978, ILGA is
now a federation of over 600 groups in over 90 countries campaigning for
LGBTI rights.
Source: International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)
More information in "Sexual diversity and the law":

Energy integration and security in Latin America and the Caribbean
The energy integration of the region could be a decisive mechanism for a
better geopolitical position in the international arena. To achieve that
goal, it is fundamental to construct an adequate infrastructure, and to
have an institutional scheme to regulate the way in which said
infrastructure will operate. To be precise, the design of the technical
as well as institutional mechanisms for the development of a common
energy market is still a challenge to fulfilling the region's prevailing
political will.
Source: Americas Program - Center for International Policy (CIP)
More information in "IIRSA: infrastructure for the FTAA?":

In Southern Africa, women are changing the face of migration
Migration policies should take into account women’s changing role in
migratory flows, and reflect the needs and priorities of women migrants
in terms of mobility, access to employment, personal security, and
access to financial services.
More information in "Migrations":

Illegitimate debt: demanding justice beyond solidarity
The history of the struggle for debt cancellation is full with successes
and missed opportunities. For more than a decade, civil society
organizations, academics, and even government representatives and those
of multilateral bodies, have been discussing points of view, strategies
and alternative proposals with varying degrees of success in the attempt
to reach a consensus. Although we have already come a long way, much
still lies ahead before recognition of debt illegitimacy is fully
achieved. The way forward involves finding spaces for debating the
different conceptions and definitions surrounding illegitimate debt,
agreeing on common strategies, methodologies and indicators for the
analysis of such debt.
Source: Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización and Campagna per la
riforma Della Banca Mondiale
More information in "External debt":

IMF governance renovations: fresh paint while foundations rot
The shareholders of the IMF have squandered the political will for
governance reform of the institution by making marginal changes that
will fail to shift the balance of power. The Fund’s members have been
debating how to revamp the formula that sets voting rights at the
institution for more than two years. Much of the rancour has been
directed at Europe, which has been the obstacle to quicker progress. A
deal was finally approved by the IMF board at end March and sent to the
IMF board of governors for approval.
Source: Bretton Woods Project
More information in "International Monetary Fund - IMF":

Debt and health
People living in poor countries around the world suffer from a
scandalous and dangerous shortage of healthcare. Life expectancy for
many is less than 50 years – in some less than 40 – while life
expectancy in many rich countries is around 80 years. Meanwhile, the
rich world claims billions of dollars in debt payments from these
countries, often for loans that should not have been given in the first
place, putting the realisation of decent health services still further
out of reach.
Source: Jubilee Debt Campaign
More information in "Health and health services, goods for sale":

Food or fuel, that is the burning question
The difficult balancing act between fighting hunger, producing biofuels
and defending the environment is at the centre of the debate at the 30th
Regional Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) in the Brazilian capital where experts from 33 Latin
American and Caribbean countries, international agencies and non-
governmental organisations began their technical meetings from April
14-18, 2008.
Source: IPS
More information in "Agrofuels":

NGOs warn of World Bank's climate fund
The World Bank is holding a key two-day meeting in Washington DC (14-15
April 2008) to move forward plans to establish its proposed portfolio of
climate investment funds (CIFs). The Washington meeting is expected to
be followed by another session in May, with approval for establishment
of the new funds by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors
expected in early July in time for the G8 summit in Japan in July.
Environmental NGOs are concerned that the World Bank’s proposed
initiatives divert funds away from the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and Kyoto Protocol leaving
the majority of developing countries out of the negotiations.
Source: Third World Network

Right to education of afro-descendant and indigenous communities in the
In most Latin American and Caribbean countries, lack of access to
education for Afro-descendants and indigenous people is a significant
problem. Though their countries’ constitutions and membership in the
Organisation of American States (OAS) guarantees the right to education,
the majority of Afro-descendant and indigenous people have little to no
adequate primary or secondary education. Facing centuries-worth of
entrenched, government-condoned discrimination, very few, if any, in
these communities enjoy access to higher education.
Source: Inter-American Commission of Human Rights
More information in "Making literacy a priority":

ICT for development: beyond Tunis
The Beyond Tunis publication series was launched by Global Knowledge
Partnership (GKP) to highlight efforts to advance the use and
application of Knowledge and ICT for Development after the World Summit
for the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in 2005. Its first two
editions, popularly known as 'Flightplan 1.0' and 'Flightplan 1.5',
collated inputs from more than 40 authors - practitioners and thinkers
from across the globe. The latest issue, Beyond Tunis 2.0: Horizon, was
published as a companion to the GKP-organized Third Global Knowledge
Conference (GK3), held in Kuala Lumpur in December 2007.
More information in "World Summit on the Information Society - WSIS":

Science and technology for development: The new paradigm of ICT
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD)
Information economy report 2007-2008 analyses the contribution of
information and communication technology (ICT) to growth and
development. It argues that the remarkable rise in the use of mobile
phones could act as a "digital bridge" that would help many countries
reduce the connectivity gap. In Africa, a continent where the increase
in the number of subscribers and in the market penetration rate for
mobile telephony has been the biggest, this technology can improve the
populations's economy as a whole.
Source: UNCTAD
More information in "ICTD within the framework of the MDGs":

WIPO director general candidates respond to questions on IP policy
Fifteen candidates have been nominated for the election of the new WIPO
director general, to be held one year early. The WIPO Coordination
Committee, the executive body composed of 83 of WIPO's 184 member
states, will meet on 13-14 May to nominate one candidate to be appointed
by the annual WIPO General Assembly, scheduled for 22-30 September.
Intellectual Property Watch posed five questions on IP policy to the 15
candidates, which range from senior WIPO officials to journeyman
top-shelf diplomats to national IP officials, and which represent every
geographic region within the WIPO except China. April 2008.
Source: Intellectual Property Watch
More information in "Intellectual Property Rights":

4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources

All Women's Action Society - AWAM
Feminist organisation committed to improving the lives of women in Malaysia.

AIDS Free World
International advocacy organization committed to speaking up with and
for people affected by AIDS, and speaking out for more urgent and more
effective global action in response to the crisis.

Association of Zimbabwe Journalists in the UK
The association aims bring together journalists in the diaspora to work
together with help those at home to help expand the shrinking democratic
space in our country through establishing a vibrant, non-governmental
mass media.

Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child (CAPEC)
It works to identify and remedy the needs of children and youths,
especially the underprivileged in the rural areas through a
participatory approach. Cameroon.

European Network Against Racism - ENAR
ENAR is determined to fight racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and
Islamophobia, to promote equality of treatment between European Union
citizens and third country nationals, and to link local, regional,
national initiatives with European Union initiatives

Real world radio
Real World Radio (RWR) is a multilingual radio on the web, functioning
in the auspices of the communication area of the environmentalist group
Friends of the Earth International (FoEI).

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Its aim is to work for a society that is peaceful, free, equal, just and
sustainable by a process of empowering people and building a mass
movement to uphold human rights. Malaysia.

Terralingua is an international, non-profit organization that aims to
support the perpetuation and continued development of the world's
linguistic diversity by exploring the connections between linguistic,
cultural and biological diversity, through a programme of research,
information, applied work, and advocacy.

Women and Media Collective - WMC
The Women and Media Collective aims to bring about change based on
feminist principles for a society free from violence and militarization,
which would pave the way for a balanced representation of women in
decision-making and governance, and advocate for non-discriminatory laws
and policies.

-> NGO directory

Human Rights

->Gaza fuel cuts paralyze education, health and transport sectors
The PCHR is extremely worried about the continued Israeli ban on fuel
supplies required for civilian life in the Gaza Strip.
Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

->Trades unionists call for protection for bishop
Trade union activists have called upon the government of Guatemala to
protect Mgr Álvaro Ramazzini, the Bishop of San Marcos, because of his
support for landless peasants and Indians who have protested the
issuance of mining permits to a Canadian multinational corporation.
Source: Religious Intelligence

->Open letter to the members of the UN Security Council
FIDH and FHRI urge the Security Council to respect the independence of
the International Criminal Court and protect the integrity of the Rome
Source: International Federation on Human Rights

->Counter-Terror bill will undermine democracy and human rights globally
Kumi Naidoo, CIVICUS Secretary General, has expressed deep concern about
the UK Counter-Terrorism Bill, which had its second reading in
Parliament on Tuesday 1st April.
Source: Civicus

->Access to international justice for victims of economic, social and
cultural rights violations
See the update on negotiations on the draft text provided by NGO
Steering Committee on the Optional Protocol (doc).
Source: Dignity International

Human Rights - Sexual diversity

->Archbishop Tutu speaks up for human rights for LGBTI people
Comparing the importance of speaking up for human rights to the basic
act of breathing, Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave an historic speech to the
lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) community in
San Francisco.
Source: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)


->Will migrant workers pay the price of their exploitation?
Ahead of the Justice and Home Affairs European Union Council on 17-18
April, ENAR, PICUM, Solidar, and a number of other organisations remind
EU Ministers of the crucial need to follow a human rights-based approach
in taking forward the proposed EU Directive providing for sanctions
against employers of irregular third country nationals.Pdf.
Source: European Network Against Racism - ENAR


->NGOs positions on UNIFEM appointment
NGOs and Networks' statements on the last UNIFEM appointment and the low
weight given to women's voices from the global South.
Source: NGOs and networks

->United States Senate Committee hearing on rape as a weapon of war
The focus of the hearing was sexual violence as a weapon of war in
Democratic Republic of the Congo, with testimonies from Lisa F. Jackson,
Karin Wachter, Dr. Kelly Dawn Askin, and Dr. Denis Mukwege.
Source: Feminist Majority Foundation

->30 Years on: are Latin American women riding the political wave?
This report finds that, although the number of women in politics has
improved overall, real progress is highly uneven and limited to only
some countries. Indeed, even within these countries progress is largely
confined to only some elected offices.
Source: IDEA

Social Development - Gender

->FAO’s gender position
This public statement is important to ensure that for 2009 FAO (Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) regional office declares
the Gender Position as permanent, well resourced and strong mechanism
for FAO.

African Descendants

->Preparatory Committee on the Durban Review Conference
The Durban Review Conference will hold the 2nd session of its
Preparatory Committee on 21 April – 2 May 2008 and begin consideration
of substantive issues.
Source: OHCHR


->Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities
The Republic of Ecuador deposited its instrument of ratification for the
Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This in turn
triggered the entry into force of the Convention which will occur in 30
days on May 3, 2008.
Source: DPI

Economy and Financial Affairs

->Review session on Chapter V of the Monterrey Consensus, "External debt"
This Review Session focused on progress and setbacks in the
implementation of Chapter V of the Monterrey Consensus, including
lessons learned and the role of external debt sustainability frameworks.
Source: UN-NGLS

->Food price crisis draws attention at IMF/World Bank meetings
The institutions are doing well to try to focus the attention of the
world on the desperate situation that is rapidly introducing new
instability to already-vulnerable countries. It is also possible,
however, to deduce that the institutions are working hard to be seen as
part of the solution.
Source: IFIwatchnet blog

->Record 2007 IDB lending comes at expense of environment, communities
As the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced record lending of
$9.6 billion in 2007, environmental and human rights groups warned that
the milestone had come at the expense of the environment and communities.
Source: Bank Information Center

Sustainable Development

->Bangkok talks conclude with 2008 work programme
The Bangkok climate talks under the UN Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) ended after midnight on Friday 4 April by adopting two conclusions.
Source: Third World Network

->World Bank "playing both sides of climate crisis"
A new study released by Institute for Policy Studies casts further
doubts on the World Bank's ability to stay neutral in the global
politics of climate change. "It is making money off of causing the
climate crisis and then turning around and claiming to solve it," said
Janet Redman.
Source: IPS

->Climate change: will societies bend, or snap in the storm?
A new risk-analysis of the negative consequences of climate change warns
of potential "devastation and violence (worldwide) jeopardising national
and international security to a new degree."
Source: IPS

Natural Resources

->Coke's liabilities increase in India, shareholders told
Coca-Cola shareholders should be extremely concerned that the Coca-Cola
company continues to increase its liabilities in India by engaging in
unethical practices, shareholders were told at the Coca-Cola annual
general meeting.
Source: India Resource Center


->World health day 2008: communities uniting against environmental
Designated by the World Health Organization, this year the theme of
climate change aims to address climate change as a public health issue
and the public health threats that arise from "ever growing threats to
global public health security".
Source: People's Health Movement


->Latin American regional meeting on education in prison
The regional scene of education in prisons, the exchange of experiences
between participants, making UN agencies aware and getting them
involved, and preparing recommendations for the 6th International
Conference on Adult Educaton (CONFINTEA VI), among others, were some of
the main goals of the meeting that took place in Brazilia, 27 and 28
March, 2008.
Source: ICAE


->Australia: aboriginal radio holds its own
When the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (BIMA) applied for a
community radio license 15 years ago they had to compete with a
Christian group which argued that there were more Christians than
aborigines in Brisbane and thus merited a license first.
Source: IPS

->Is Google keeping the gate In America?
Blogspot has notified Case Wagenvoord, who writes a dissenting blog,
that the blog "has been identified as a potential spam blog".
Source: Counter Currents

-> All news

->Colombia: demand investigation into murders of trans women
On March 23, 2006, 19-year-old Darlyn Acevedo Ramirez was murdered in
the city of Santiago de Cali, Colombia. This is one of 13 unsolved
murders of trans women that have taken place in the past two years.
Source: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

->Congolese Women’s Campaign Against Sexual Violence in the DRC
Every day, 40 women are raped in the Eastern Congo. It's well known
reality that has been documented and reported by media, NGOs,
international institutions and States. But nothing changes, sexual
violence is still widespread. So what more can be done?

-> All campaigns

-> Recovering internationalism, creating the new global solidarity -
Labour, Social Movements and Emancipation in the 21st Century
A new book by Peter Waterman, a veteran activist-researcher in and on
labour and social movements, presents a collection of papers on
labouring people, unions, women and feminism, communication, culture,
the global justice movement and the World Social Forum.

-> All books:
8. 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. See

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