Choike Newsletter - 12 February 2010

A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Fri Feb 12 2010

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->World Social Forum 2010
The World Social Forum 2010 will take place in a decentralized manner,
starting with a great event in the Greater Porto Alegre (Brazil), where
it was born.

-> Events

-> Goodbye Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who
was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and the author of the
seminal A People’s History of the United States, died on January 28 at
the age of 87 of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California.

-> See more:

After Copenhagen, the way forward
Two months after, the reverberations of the confusing clash in
Copenhagen are still being felt. Climate change is too serious an issue
to get lost in the confusion. Thus, the process for 2010 should get
sorted out so that the negotiations can resume. But on what basis?
Source: South Centre
More information in "UN climate conference – Copenhagen, December 2009":

Compendium of international legal instruments and other commitments
concerning core civil society rights
For the first time ever, CIVICUS has brought together all the
commitments made by national governments to protect the rights of
citizens and organizations to exist and take an active part in shaping
policies and practices of governments and institutions of their country.
The Compendium of International Legal Instruments and Other
Intergovernmental Commitments Concerning Core Civil Society Rights is a
dynamic tool to help protect the rights of civil society.
More informationo in "Civil and political rights":

Human Rights Watch Report 2010: Abusers target human rights messengers
Governments responsible for serious human rights violations have over
the past year intensified attacks against human rights defenders and
organizations that document abuse, Human Rights Watch said in issuing
its World Report 2010.
Source: Human Rights Watch
More information in "Civil and political rights":

The impact of trade liberalization on the realization of human rights:
Civil Society open letter to Pascal Lamy
In an open letter to WTO Director General, Pascal Lamy, civil society
organizations stated their concern about the persistent and obvious
contradictions between the rhetoric of complementarity between human
rights and trade liberalization (as it has been implemented so far),
given the real outcomes of liberalization for people and communities
around the world, especially in the developing countries.
Source: Social Watch Blog
More information in "World Trade Organization - WTO":

The China-Asean Free Trade Area: Propaganda and Reality
On January 1, 2010, the China-Asean Free Trade Area (Cafta) went into
effect. Touted as the world’s biggest Free Trade Area, CAFTA is billed
as having 1.7 million consumers, with a combined gross domestic product
of $ 2 trillion and total trade of $ 1.3 trillion. Despite the official
propaganda, the agreement will benefit China, but is likely to
disadvantage the Asean Countries.
Source: Transnational Institute
More information in "Free Trade Agreements - FTAs":

Africa, geology and the march of the development technocrats
Jason Hickel asks whether 'environmental determinism' – the theory that
Africa's development has been hindered as a result of 'the environmental
conditions that Africans inhabit' – accurately explains Africa's
poverty. While he commends its attempt to stop blaming underdevelopment
'on the presumed genetic inferiority of black people', he finds the
theory and motives behind environmental determinism to be seriously
lacking. Hickel asserts that environmental determinism is both
ahistorical and apolitical: 'Poverty is not a problem of nature, it is a
problem of power.'
Source: Pambazuka
More information in "Poverty":

Hope for an anti-biopiracy treaty in 2010
Prospects seem encouraging for a new international agreement to prevent
biopiracy and to ensure fair and equitable benefit sharing from the use
of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge. October
2010 is the target for this agreement to be adopted by governments that
are Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD), when the governments gather in Nagoya, Japan for the biennial
Conference of the Parties.
Source: Third World Network - Resurgence
More information in "Biotechnology and biosafety":

The FutureUN project: Global survey on the future of the UN Development
The FutureUN project intends to examine the future of the United Nations
Development System. The project has arisen from a recognition that the
30 agencies of the UN Development System have lived through several
decades of a fast-changing global environment and will need to adapt to
the new realities, challenges and actors. The project is being launch by
conducting a short global survey.
Source: The FUNDS Project
More information in "UN reform":

Uganda: Anti-homosexuality bill violates human rights
A group of organisations and individuals from South Africa appeal to
President Museveni and leaders of the National Resistance Movement, the
majority party in the Ugandan parliament, to urge that the NRM campaigns
for the proposed Bill be withdrawn and that consensual same-sex
relations be decriminalised in the Republic of Uganda.
Source: AfricaFiles

Urgency Required: Gay and Lesbian Rights are Human Rights
The book Urgency Required focuses on urgent issues of gay and lesbian
liberation, taking a historical perspective and reflecting worldwide
geographic diversity. Employing the term ‘LGBT-persons’, the acronym
used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, it explores concepts
and strategies for taking steps towards decriminalization and equal
rights and treatment regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
Source: Urgency Required - Hivos
More informatioon in "Homophobia":

Women empowering themselves in Muslim contexts
There is a broad consensus on what the priorities are for achieving
women’s empowerment… Yet we are far from achieving these in practice and
there is little understanding of how to achieve them. Current research
relating to these issues is relatively ad hoc and anecdotal. What works
in one context does not appear to work in others and there is a lack of
analysis and synthesis across different empirical contexts drawing
together lessons learned.
Source: Women's Empowerment in Muslim Contexts - WEMC
More information in "Beijing +15 - Fifteen-year review of the Beijing
Platform for Action":

4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources

Musawah - For Equality in the Family
It is committed to promoting the rights of women within the framework of
Islam. Their principels are: a) The universal and Islamic values of
equality, non-discrimination, justice and dignity as the basis of all
human relations. b)Full and equal citizenship, including full
participation in all aspects of society, as the right of every
individual. b) Marriage and family relations based on equality and
justice, with men and women sharing equal rights and responsibilities.

Women's Empowerment in Muslim Contexts - WEMC
The overarching research concern of WEMC is to understand how women can
and do empower themselves in the face of disempowering forces that often
attempt to legitimise themselves through culture and religion.

-> NGO directory

Human Rights

->Guatemala: alarming increase in anti-union violence
The ITUC, its regional organisation the Trade Union Confederation of the
Americas (TUCA) and its Guatemalan affiliates CGTG, CUSG and UNSITRAGUA,
grouped within the Guatemalan Labour, Indigenous and Campesino Movement,
are seriously concerned at the alarming increase in anti-union violence
seen in Guatemala since the year 2007.
Source: International Trade Union Confederation

->Brazil: incorporation of the Right to Food to national Constitution
On February 3, 2010, the Brazilian Congress approved the Constitutional
Amendment Project (PEC in Portuguese) 047/2003, to incorporate the Right
to Food as a fundamental right in the national Constitution.
Source: FIAN International

->Mongolia announces moratorium on executions
Amnesty International has welcomed the announcement made by the
government of Mongolia on Thursday declaring an official moratorium on
executions in the country.
Source: Amnesty International

Human Rights - Indigenous Peoples

->Landmark decision rules Kenya's removal of indigenous people from
ancestral land illegal
In a landmark decision, the African Commission on Human and Peoples'
Rights has found the Kenyan government guilty of violating the rights of
the country’s indigenous Endorois community, by evicting them from their
lands to make way for a wildlife reserve.
Source: Minority Rights


->Haiti's women: mobilising to meet the challenges
In Port-au-Prince, the UN has set up 16 centers aimed exclusively at
distributing food to women. Men had been pushing women out of food lines
and stealing relief supplies from women leaving the distribution areas.
Source: Mama Cash

Sustainable Development

->UNFCCC receives list of government climate pledges
Following the conclusion of the climate change talks in Copenhagen, the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has received
submissions of national pledges to cut and limit greenhouse gases by
2020 from 55 countries (pdf).
Source: UNFCCC


->Kadhafi says Libya no place for 'civil society'
In a televised address to the General People's Congress (GPC), Libyan
leader Moamer Kadhafi said the idea of a civil society "is a bourgeois
culture and an imitation of the West that has no place here."
Source: Google News / AFP

World Peace and Security - Natural Resources

->New report urges UN to learn lessons on resource-fuelled wars
The lack of a coherent and committed international approach to tackling
the role of natural resources in conflict is costing lives and
heightening the risk of further unrest in Africa, according to a new
report from Global Witness.
Source: Global Witness

World Peace and Security - Economy and Financial Affairs

->To the governments and organizations gathered in Montreal on the
situation in Haiti
A large group of organizations reject the militarization of Haiti,
calling on governments and international organizations to immediately
and unconditionally cancel the country’s external debt.
Source: La Via Campesina


->Multiple activities throughout the world to mark the WSF's 10th
birthday celebrations
A countless number of activities and initiatives for 2010 has been
presented so far, among them thematic, regional and national world forums.
Source: World Social Forum

-> All news

->Uganda: Rights Not Repression
Gay Ugandans may be sentenced to death if legislation being debated
right now passes.

->Ratify Child Soldiers Treaty
Help us achieve universal ratification of the child soldiers treaty by
writing the ambassadors for key countries. Ask that their governments
help end the use of child soldiers and act quickly to ratify the treaty.
Source: Human Rights Watch

->Stop closure of LGBT group in Izmir, Turkey
The closure case that has been taken against Siyah Pembe Üçgen (Black
Pink Triangle) Izmir begins on the 9th February. Please write urgent
letters of support.
Source: Siyah Pembe Üçgen

->Drop Haiti's debt
As Haitian families search for survivors and relief rolls in, Haiti is
still staggering under $1 billion in old debts racked up by unscrupulous
lenders and unelected governments of the past.

-> 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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