CHOIKE - http://www.choike.org
A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Thu Apr 03 2008
IN THIS EDITION:
-> 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
-> IDB Annual Governors' Meeting - Miami, April 2008
The 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB will take
place in Miami, USA, April 4-8. As in previous years, civil society
representatives will actively participate in seminars and meetings with
IDB staff members.
-> World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings - Washington D.C., April 2008
This year the meetings will be held over a 2-day period, from April 12
to 13, at the WB and IMF headquarters in Washington D.C. The event will
consist of a series of policy dialogue sessions, which will bring
together WB and IMF staff, civil society organisations representatives,
and governments delegates.
->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.
2. IN-DEPTH REPORTS
Fostered by the oil and climate crisis, agrofuel development has arrived
on the global stage amid warnings that the cure might be worse than the
All in-depth reports
Turning the tables: aid and accountability under the Paris framework
2008 is a critical year for evaluating how aid is helping tackle global
poverty and inequality. Three years ago aid donors and recipients signed
up to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness - An historic agreement
to improve aid quality. It is time to review progress. Have donors
performed on their pledges? And is aid becoming more effective and
accountable for impoverished people?
Source: European Network on Debt and Development
More information in "Financing for Development":
African agriculture and the World Bank: development or impoverishment?
The World Bank has played a prominent role in shaping agricultural
policy in Africa. Under structural adjustment conditionality of the
1980s, the World Bank’s prescriptions became largely mandatory for the
debt-ridden national economies of the continent. Its influence over a
country’s policies is now generally in direct inverse proportion to that
country’s economic strength. Thus, most African countries have to
greater or lesser degrees espoused and implemented World Bank
development policy for the last 25 years, and African agricultural
sectors, in effect, demonstrate through continuous low growth rates and
deepening rural poverty, the impact of World Bank policies.
More information in "Agriculture and food sovereignty":
Five years of war crimes
Five years of illegal and murderous Occupation, the Iraqi people
continue to endure an unimaginable suffering under the highest form of
tyrannical dictatorships. Credible surveys estimated at least 1.3
million innocent Iraqis (the majority of them women and children) have
been brutally murdered in cold blood, making the Iraq's Genocide the
biggest single mass murder of modern time. Almost every Iraqi family has
lost at least one close relative. The mayhem is continuing in an endless
genocide waged by the world's largest and most offensive military
machine, almost entirely against defenceless population.
More information in "Iraq: the war and occupation":
The Initiative of Return and Coexistence
The Palestinian Authority is planning to mark the 60th anniversary of
the Nakba (the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their land in
1948, which gave way to the creation of the State of Israel), by calling
on all Palestinians living abroad to converge on Israel by land, sea and
air. The plan, drawn by Ziad Abu Ein, Fatah’s Deputy Minister for
Prisoners' Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, states that the
Palestinians have decided to implement United Nations Resolution 194
(December 1948) regarding the refugees.
Source: Return and Coexistence Initiative
More information in "Israeli-Palestinian conflict":
The official commitment to terrorism
Countless examples of the U.S. commitment to terrorism exist, dating
back to the American Indian genocide, the invasion of Vietnam, the
funding and collaboration in the genocidal ethnic cleansing in Turkey,
US longstanding proxy military force in Colombia, the massacres of
hundreds of thousands of Indonesians through the Clinton years, and of
course, the current bombing of civilians in the illegal occupations of
Afghanistan and Iraq, which by our own Nuremberg standards, constitute
the gravest war crime of "unlawful aggression."
More information in "The war on terror: a war on human rights":
United States - Mexico: walls, abuses, and deaths at the borders
This new report by the International Federation for Human rights (FIDH)
is the result of an investigation conducted through 2007 from the
southern borders of Mexico to the U.S. states of Arizona and Texas,
investigating the rights of undocumented Central American and Mexican
migrants traveling to the United States. The report denounces the human
rights violations perpetrated against migrants by both the Mexican and
the U.S. authorities, in complete impunity. It criticizes both States
for enforcing incoherent national migration policies which openly
disregard their human rights obligations under national and
international law, including the right to life.
Source: International Federation of Human Rights
More information in "Migrations":
Women, commitments and impotence
The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women concluded its 2008 annual
meeting noting that "global commitments to achieve gender equality and
women empowerment have not yet been implemented." These commitments were
agreed in 1995 in a high-level international conference in Beijing, and
reaffirmed at every summit since then.
Source: Social Watch
Repositioning family planning on the development agenda
Family planning is a central component of reproductive health as defined
by the 1994 International Conference on Population and evelopment
(ICPD). But the Conference gave reproductive health a broad-based
character by linking family planning with the treatment and prevention
of sexually transmitted diseases, the reduction of maternal mortality
and the promotion of maternal health and sexual and reproductive health
of both men and women. March 2008
Source: IPS News
Paving the way for agrofuels: the EU climate change calculations
In the face of the climate change threat and the increasing scarcity of
fossil fuels, agrofuels are being heavily promoted as a means to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions. The EU is proposing a 10 per cent mandatory
target for agrofuel use in transport by 2020. Yet there is strong and
growing evidence that, far from reducing emissions, the rush to
agrofuels will significantly accelerate climate change, as well as
contributing to a range of other social and environmental problems.
More information in "Agrofuels":
Kyoto protocol targets stressed at UN meet
Negotiators from the developing world took on the world's richer nations
as the first round of talks began in Bangkok for a new pact to curb
global warming. The fate of the Earth's future lies in the actions of
the industrialised world, they say. Such a tone grows out of the concern
that the developed world, the major polluters of the planet's atmosphere
since the industrial revolution, will embark on another round of
delaying tactics than meet the initial commitments pledged under the
1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Source: Inter Press Service
Little progress in reducing global hunger says UN
Despite real advances in China, India, South Africa, and several Latin
American and Caribbean countries, overall there has been little progress
in reducing the number of victims of hunger and malnutrition around the
world, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Jean Ziegler said
in a report presented to the UN Human Rights Council, which is holding
its substantive seventh session from 3-28 March 2008.
Source: Third World Network
WIPO: NGOs discuss the new development agenda
In 2007 the World Intellectual Property Organization adopted a set of 45
ground-breaking proposals on how WIPO should reorient its operations to
foster economic and social development within its 182 Member States. The
Development Agenda proposals are intended to require WIPO to take a
broader approach to promoting creativity and innovation, instead of
focusing exclusively on maximizing intellectual property rights. Several
ngos have submitted proposals to WIPO in the framework of a series of
meetings on intellectual property rights.
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
More information in "Access to knowledge":
City of terror: painting Paraguay's 'casbah' as terror central
April Howard and Benjamin Dangl investigate the Paraguayan city Ciudad
del Este, known in the American press as a "Jungle Hub for World's
Outlaws", and a "hotbed""teeming with Islamic extremists and their
sympathizers". Despite a lack of evidence, Washington and the media are
asserting links to terrorism in the Tri-Border Area to advance their
agenda in a region that is increasingly shifting to the left.
Source: Toward Freedom
More information in "Media diversity under threat":
The plight of journalists in 98 countries reviewed
According to the latest annual report by Reporters Without Borders, more
and more journalists are being killed and last year's figure was the
highest since 1994. Harsh punishment was also meted out by some regimes,
with several journalists sentenced to death or facing the possibility.
Two journalists died in prison for lack of medical treatment and others
were given heavy prison sentences without being able to defend themselves.
Source: Reporters Without Borders
More information in "The right to communicate":
Software: free west Africa?
So as to play a part in the information society, free software could
drive the computerisation of West Africa. But although migration to free
software may be a development alternative, it first has to transit via
organising the world of developers and navigate through the interests of
governments and the private sector.
More information in "Software: Patents and copyrights":
San Salvador Commitment
During the Second Ministerial Conference on the Information Society in
Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in the city of San
Salvador from 6 to 8 February 2008, representatives of the Latin
American and Caribbean countries approved the eLAC2010 Plan of Action.
The aim of this ‘San Salvador Commitment’ is to build an inclusive and
development-oriented information society.
More information in "World Summit on the Information Society - WSIS":
A Marxist at the World Bank
The appointment of Justin Yifu Lin as World Bank Chief Economist and
Senior Vice-President for Development Economics is big news. This is the
first time this position is held by a citizen from the developing world,
but such a move was to be expected, since after all Lin is Chinese and
his country will have a bigger economy than that of the United States in
twenty years time. Yet the real surprise is that Lin is known for his
criticism of the Washington Consensus, and particularly of shock
therapies and mass-scale privatizations, two policies actively promoted
by the Bretton Woods institutions in the last two decades.
Source: Third World Network
More information in "World Bank":
South Bank: 90 days of silence
At the launching event for the South Bank, held in Buenos Aires on
December 9, 2007, the presidents of Bank member countries set a 60-day
deadline to define the structure and guidelines of the new South
American multilateral financial institution. In practice, the idea was
to set a deadline in order to eliminate the existing divergences among
members on the role of the Bank. However, the deadline expired on
February 9 without having made any progress.
Source: Instituto PACS
More information in "Southern Bank: A road towards a new financial
Changing IMF policies to get more doctors, nurses and teachers hired in
Mounting evidence in recent years suggests that the economic policies
promoted and enforced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may be
preventing developing countries from being able to spend more in their
national budgets, with important consequences for health and education
budgets being constrained at unnecessarily low levels at a time when
major increases are needed.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 57 countries, most of
them in Africa and Asia, face a severe health workforce crisis.
Source: Action Aid
More information in "International Monetary Fund - IMF":
4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Human rights organization dealing with the entire spectrum of human
rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied
Caribbean Regional Network (CRN) of People Living with HIV/AIDS
It is committed to empowering and supporting persons affected and
infected with HIV/AIDS through advocacy, research, partnership, capacity
building and resource mobilization. Trinidad and Tobago.
Help & Shelter
It was founded to work against all types of violence, especially
domestic violence and child abuse. Guyana.
NGO Forum of Guyana
Organization dedicated to promoting cooperation among Guyanese NGOs to
achieve sustainable and equitable national development through citizen
Noakhali Rural Development Society (NRDS)
Prime strategy of NRDS is to work with farmers groups, producer and
community organizations together to achieve sustainable livelihood and
social justice. Bangladesh.
Southeast Asian Press Alliance
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) is a non-profit,
non-governmental organisation campaigning for genuine press freedom in
Southern Africa Media Diversity Journal
The Southern Africa Media Diversity journal publishes analytical and
reflective content on media practice for those involved in media in
World Press Freedom Committee
The World Press Freedom Committee is an international umbrella
organization that includes 45 journalistic groups united in the defense
and promotion of press freedom in all media.
-> NGO directory
->Human rights defenders in the Arab World
In a report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council, CIHRS
calls for an end to the suppression of Human Rights defenders in the
Source: Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
->Tibet: call for an independent commission of investigation
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls upon the
United Nations to appoint an independent commission of investigation to
enquire on the current crackdown in Tibet.
Source: International Federation for Human Rights
Human Rights - World Peace and Security
->Extrajudicial slayings on rise in Colombia
Soldiers, under pressure to show progress in a U.S.-funded war,
allegedly are killing civilians and passing them off as rebels.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Human Rights - Economy and Financial Affairs
->Calls for World Bank to uphold human rights
As the UN human rights council hold its seventh session in Geneva in
March, a variety of reports calling for greater human rights
accountability of the World Bank have been published.
Source: Bretton Woods Project
Human Rights - Media
->Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action
Participants in a global conference on the right of access to public
information released the Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action to
advance access to information as a fundamental human right.
Source: The Carter Center
->Re-thinking the crime of abortion in Brazil
On March 12, Ipas Brazil and the National Feminist Network for Sexual
and Reproductive Rights and Health launched a new campaign calling for a
review of the law against abortion.
->Call of La Via Campesina for April 17th
The 17th of April is the International Peasant's Struggle Day,
established after the massacre of 19 landless peasants belonging to the
Landless Movement (MST) in Brazil on the 17th of April 1996 during the
second conference of La Via Campesina in Tlaxcala Mexico.
Source: La Via Campesina
Social Development - Economy and Financial Affairs
->ECOSOC NGO Forum
The ECOSOC NGO Forum will take place in the ECOSOC Chambers, United
Nations Headquarters in New York on 4 April 2008. The theme for this
year is "the Role of Civil Society in Promoting Sustainable Development
and the New International Aid Architecture".
Economy and Financial Affairs
->The IMF in Argentina: the search for relevance
The IMF is still trying to influence Argentina despite the government’s
critical position toward the institution and its public opposition to
any new cooperation agreement. Since Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
assumed the Argentine presidency the Fund has been involved with the
renegotiation of national debt with the Paris Club and a controversy
over official statistics.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
->Workers will pay the costs of global crisis
International union leaders warned representatives of governments and
employers, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, that the burden of
the current financial turmoil will fall on the world’s workers.
->Financial system on the brink of a tsunami
In the past ten days, the United States’ financial system has been going
through tumultuous times, with one major problem or crisis following
another. Because US finance is so large, with tentacles throughout the
world, a tsunami-type situation may be building up in the global
financial system as well.
Source: Third World Network
Trade and Regional Integration
->One last spurt for the WTO's Doha talks
The WTO is making one final push to conclude its Doha Round, whose main
‘modalities’ must be concluded in the next few weeks. But it is
difficult to get a good deal done in time. By Martin Khor.
Source: Third World Network Features
->Canada foils UN water plan
Canada emerged as the pivotal nation behind recent manoeuvres to block
the United Nations Human Rights Council from recognizing water as a
basic human right, according to international observers.
Source: The Star
->Organizations from Over 30 countries reject agreement of water companies
Nearly 130 social organizations from around the world that work on the
human right to water sent a letter to the UN Secretary General, Ban
Ki-Moon, rejecting the so called “The Chief Executive Officers (CEO)
Source: Real World Radio
->Climate change deepening world water crisis
When UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki moon addressed the World Economic Forum
in Davos, Switzerland last January, his primary focus was not on the
impending global economic recession but on the world's growing water crisis.
->UN: No agreement on liability regarding GMOs, another meeting planned
Negotiations under the UN Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to establish
an international regime for liability and redress for damage caused by
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) failed to conclude as mandated.
The fifth meeting of the Working Group on the liability regime was held
in Cartagena on 12-19 March, in the city in Colombia that gave its name
to the Biosafety Protocol.
Source: Third World Network
->Biodiversity and land reforms: a neglected linkage
Agricultural biodiversity was a key item on the agenda of the just
concluded meeting in Rome of the scientific and technical advisory body
(SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and yet this
meeting too sidestepped the critical issue of reforming the agricultural
land tenure as a means to enhance agrobiodiversity
->The genetically modified food gamble
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
Applications (ISAAA) this year once again highlighted that land grown
with genetically modified (GM) crops have increased and claimed that
these crops are the answer to reducing world hunger and poverty.
->Asia: Report faults gov't complacency on AIDS
Nearly five million people are living with HIV in Asia, with 440,000
people dying each year, and an additional eight million people will
become newly infected by 2020, warns the first report by the Commission
on AIDS in Asia, "Redefining AIDS in Asia".
->Recent Thai compulsory licenses and the aftermath
In the past two weeks, the Thai government has continued to come under
pressure from the United States administration and the European
Commission for its move to retain the compulsory licenses for
anti-cancer drugs that the previous Health Minister had initiated.
Source: Third World Network
->Slowing of progress in efforts to combat tuberculosis
The pace of the progress to control the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic
slowed slightly in 2006, the most recent year for which data were
available, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday.
Source: Third World Network
->Global action week on education for all
The Global Campaign for Education organises Global Action Week that will
take place from April 23-29, 2008. The members of the GCE include a
broad spectrum of NGOs and trade union organisations active on education
-> All news
->Campaign for a complaints procedure under the CRC
An international call to strengthen the enforcement of the UN Convention
on the Rights of the Child by the drafting and adoption of an Optional
Protocol to provide a communications procedure.
->Global AIDS week of action 18-24 May, 2008
Take action in your country and show solidarity globally. Join a
groundswell of civil society voices from across the world during the
week of 18-24 May to demand urgency, accountability and more resources
in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
->Coca-Cola: close bottling plants in Kala Dera and Mehdiganj
Support the communities of Kala Dera and Mehdiganj by sending the free
fax below to the CEO of Coca-Cola and join the growing community
resistance in India.
Source: India Resource Center
-> 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. See
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