CHOIKE - http://www.choike.org
A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Tue Dec 23 2008
This is our last edition of the year. We will be on holydays from
December 24, 2008 to January 6, 2009. Happy New Year to all our Readers!
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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
-> UN climate change conference - 1-12 December 2008, Poznan, Poland
-> Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development - 29
November - 2 December 2008, Doha, Qatar
2. IN-DEPTH REPORTS
-> The global financial crisis: implications for the South
The international financial system, its architecture and its
institutions have been completely overwhelmed by the scale of the
current financial and economic crisis. But what are the implications for
All in-depth reports
UN: General Assembly statement affirms rights for all
In a powerful victory for the principles of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, 66 nations at the UN General Assembly supported a
groundbreaking statement confirming that international human rights
protections include sexual orientation and gender identity. It is the
first time that a statement condemning rights abuses against lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender people has been presented in the General
Source: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
More information in "Sexual diversity and the law":
Defending the defenders: ethical commitment for Human Rights
December 10, 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The achievements in the past 60
years are by no means negligible. At the time of its adoption, the UDHR
was considered as a statement of principles to serve as a "common
standard of achievement" rather than a legal treaty having the force of
law. Nevertheless, the UDHR has not only set a standard of achievement
but earned an increasing moral, legal and political significance.
More information in "Civil and political rights":
Rights is the answer! says new report by major NGO network
The unusual combination of financial crisis, food crisis, energy and
climate crisis requires a new approach based on human rights, argues the
international Social Watch coalition in its 2008 report, launched during
the United Nations Conference on Financing for Development being held in
Doha, Qatar, from 29 November to 2 December. Next December 10, as the
report remembers, the 60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human
Rights will be commemorated and the title of the Social Watch Report
2008 is, precisely, "Rights is the Answer".
Source: Social Watch
More information in "Economic, social and cultural rights - ESCR":
Bridging the gap: financing gender equality
Jointly produced by NGLS and the United Nations Development Fund for
Women (UNIFEM), 'Bridging the Gap: Financing Gender Equality' examines
national budgets and planning processes, gives an overview of relevant
international commitments, comments upon the Monterrey Consensus and the
Paris Declaration, and provides advocacy tools to reposition gender
equality and the empowerment of women as central to development and its
More information in "Financing for Development":
The Financing for Development Process in the United Nations: a Gender
During 2008, many events took place in preparation for Doha Conference.
The current international context offers a unique historical opportunity
for a change to take place. The challenge to neoliberal model is no
longer coming only from the margins and civil society voices. With a
financial crisis of great proportions at the center of the debate, even
mainstream conservative voices in politics are now claiming that there
may have been too much liberalization in the global economy as we face
greater instabilities and inequalities.
Source: IGTN Global Secretariat
More information in "Gender in economics":
Minimal outcomes for gender equality
The joint action and advocacy of women’s rights networks and
organisations achieved some concrete commitments related to the
promotion of gender equality in the Accra Agenda for Action. The Doha
outcome document approved two weeks ago in Qatar goes beyond the
Monterrey Consensus in terms of measures and commitments on gender
equality, and that has been the result of the great advocacy and lobby
work by women’s organisations. In the coming year we will continue
working on the follow-up.
Source: WIDE Network
People's Statement on the Global Crisis
The people of the world suffer the greatest from the current economic
and financial crisis, the worst in a century. Supposed measures to deal
with the crisis further aggravate the hardship of the world’s poor and
flagrantly serve to bail out and perpetuate the oppressive and
exploitative system of monopoly capitalism. A radical overhaul is needed
and societies must be built that deliver livelihoods, incomes,
education, health and housing for the people.
Source: Institute for Political Economy
More information in "The global financial crisis: implications for the
Financial crisis is the focus of civil society forum in Doha
"Is the United States a ‘failed state’? Its financial mismanagement has
triggered a world wide crisis." Thus, Social Watch coordinator Roberto
Bissio challenged some 300 civil society delegates, who met at the
Ramada Plaza Hotel. The Civil Society Forum leading to the Financing for
Development Review Conference is addressing the international crises
that threaten our climate, development and social justice, developing
recommendations for change to carry into the official Conference.
Source: Social Watch
The WTO and other trade tales
Just when the WTO's Doha Round had faded into the back pages of
specialized trade publications, the G-20 has given it the kiss of life,
heralding it as the way out of the current global economic crisis. Talks
that had been given the last rites in July are today alive and
rosy-cheeked and, if some of the rumors from Geneva are to be believed,
close to completion. It sounds improbable that July's diplomatic
failure, reported as an unmitigated disaster, should so quickly have
been mitigated. Yet it appears to be true.
Source: Americas Policy Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)
More information in "World Trade Organization - WTO":
The weapon of the occupied
Shoes are a weapon of the masses. The fact is that most do not have the
means to defend against their foreign invaders equipped with superior
American-made weaponry. Shoes, like stones and most other projectiles
used by people under occupation are not about defeating or causing
physical damage to the enemy. It is a symbolic act, and one filled with
anger, like all of us at one point have thrown something during a fit.
It is a clear and simple message from the people to the occupiers that
they are not welcome. And it is a message that the occupiers and its
media so arrogantly refuse to admit.
Source: The Electronic Intifada
More information in "Iraq: the war and occupation":
Slow-motion genocide in occupied Palestine
Imagine life under these conditions: living in limbo under a foreign
occupier. Having no self-determination, no right of return, and no power
over your daily life. Being in constant fear, economically strangled,
and collectively punished. According to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe,
Israel has conducted state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians
for decades and intensively in Gaza, where an humanitarian disaster is
Source: The Palestine Chronicle
More information in "Israeli-Palestinian conflict":
U.S. weapons at war 2008: beyond the Bush legacy
As the world marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, a new report from The New America Foundation finds that
U.S. arms transfers are undermining human rights, weakening democracy
and fueling conflict around the world.
Source: New America Foundation
More information in "Disarmament":
Ecological agriculture: climate change, food security and rural
livelihoods in Africa
Participants of a Conference on Ecological Agriculture: Mitigating
Climate Change, Providing Food Security and Self-Reliance for Rural
Livelihoods in Africa called for the promotion and implementation of
ecological agriculture in the continent. This is because ecological
agriculture holds significant promise for increasing the productivity of
Africa’s smallholder farmers, with consequent positive impacts on food
security and food self-reliance, as well as has environmental benefits,
including allowing adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.
Source: Third World Network
More information in "Agriculture and food sovereignty":
Break the silence: prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in and around
schools in Africa
A new publication by Plan International - West Africa presents a brief
overview of the various forms of sexual and abuse in and around schools,
and recommends priority actions for children, families, aid agencies,
and governments to help rid Africa of a major impediment to children’s
rights to protection, education and non-discrimination as set out in the
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Source: Plan International - West Africa
More information in "Children's rights":
Poznan Climate Talks: fiddling while the earth burns
The UN Climate Conference in Poznan, Poland failed to achieve any
breakthrough towards a global climate deal – a sign not merely of bad
timing, but of a fundamentally flawed system that takes no account of
climate justice. >From binding global emissions targets to the limits of
the carbon market, none of the main issues tabled at Poznan were
resolved – and the more pressing discussion on how to leave fossil fuels
in the ground went entirely untouched.
More information in "Climate change":
Guide on Climate Change & Indigenous Peoples
The severity of the impacts of climate change and mitigation processes
on indigenous peoples and the complex negotiating processes around
climate change compels us to have a basic understanding of climate
change and the policies and actions being taken to address it. This is
the biggest proof that the dominant development model is unsustainable
and therefore needs to be changed. International cooperation and
solidarity to support the indigenous peoples' adaptation initiatives and
to strengthen their contributions to climate change mitigation is crucial.
Source: Tebtebba Foundation
Poisoning the poor: electronic waste in Ghana
As the global market for electronic goods expands, and the lifespan of
many of those products gets shorter, there has been a rapid growth in
electronic waste (e-waste). The UN estimates that 20-50 million tonnes
of e-waste is produced globally every year.
More information in "Hazardous waste trafficking":
Alternative world health report calls for radical change
Civil society organizations and scientists from around the world are
calling for 'a new development paradigm' to address the toxic
combination of climate change, growing poverty and inequality and poor
health. The new report, Global Health Watch 2, says that unfair social
and economic policies combined with bad politics are to blame for the
poor state of the health of millions of people in the world.
Source: People's Health Movement
More information in "Health and health services, goods for sale":
Quick fixes or real solutions? World Bank and IMF responses to the
global food and fuel crises
The Bank needs to turn the crisis into an opportunity to learn that
finance can be granted without strings attached and no major drama
occurs, as long as the right fiduciary measures are in place and the
mutually agreed terms of the contract are respected. Time is also ripe
for the Bank to move away from advice that promotes unfettered
privatisation and liberalisation of the agriculture sector, and open-up
for developing country governments to be able to strengthen the
productivity of small-scale farmers and food sovereignty of poorer people.
More information "World Bank":
No credit due: the World Bank and IMF in Africa
The Bank and Fund have become greatly discredited, in Africa as well as
in other developing regions. The Fund has almost entirely failed to
deliver on its key promise of assisting adjusting countries to reduce or
eliminate foreign debt. Rather, the globalising policies of the Bank and
Fund (structural adjustment programmes, conditional loans, and other
policies that hurt the long-term growth and prosperity of the continent)
have tended to create or perpetuate massive national debts, as well as
social dislocation and disarticulation.
Source: Institute for Global Dialogue
More information "International Monetary Fund - IMF":
The Bank of the South
A year since the Bank of the South was launched, a number of key
structural and policy issues remain. And now the current financial, food
and fuel crisis may also threaten the availability of member country
resources for the project. As a result of these various hurdles, it
seems unlikely that the Bank will begin operations before even mid-2009.
As the 2008 global financial crisis has seen the loan portfolio and
influence of the IMF grow once again, the time is right for a regional
alternative to the IFIs. The Bank of the South is a powerful idea.
Source: Halifax nitiative
More information "The Bank of the South: An alternative to the IFIs?":
4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources
Community Trust Fund - CTF
CTF endeavors to protect human rights, promote equality, assist the
poor, provide emergency disaster relief assistance, and help all people
affected by the ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka regardless of religion,
ethnicity, or cultural background. Sri Lanka.
-> NGO directory
->Israel denies entry to UN rights investigator
Israel denied entry to Richard Falk, special U.N. investigator who
planned to travel to the Palestinian territories to document human
->Call for papers on human rights of migrants and refugees
The Human Rights University Network - Sur and the UNHCR (United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees) invites all interested parties to send
in their contributions for the Special Issue of the Sur Journal on Human
Rights of People on the Move: Migrants and Refugees.
Source: Sur Journal
->Progress on human rights requires stronger institutions
Sixty years ago this week, the United Nations adopted the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the first international proclamation of the
inherent dignity and equal rights of all people. By Mary Robinson and
->Central America: trade unionists face deadly dangers
Central America has become the world's most dangerous region for trade
unionists, says a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
->A rights-based approach to fighting sexual exploitation of children
The protection of children from sexual exploitation must be placed in
the broader context of the promotion and protection of all children’s
rights, Bacre Ndiaye, Director, the Human Rights Council and Treaties
Division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR), tells participants of the World Congress III against Sexual
Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
->UN human rights chief calls for end to Israeli blockade of Gaza Strip
"By function of this blockade, 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and
children have been forcibly deprived of their most basic human rights
for months," said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Source: UN News Centre
->Uruguay: Signatures from around the world against the veto
"We hope the democratic system returns the rights your veto has violated
to all Uruguayans."
->President’s veto an insult to democracy
Human Rights - Sexual diversity
->Burundi: government moves to criminalize homosexuality
The National Assembly of Burundi passed a law on Friday November 21,
2008, making same-sex acts punishable for the first time in the history
of the country.
Economy and Financial Affairs
->Ecuador's debt default: Exposing a gap in the global financial
When the government of Ecuador failed to make a scheduled interest
payment on private bonds in December 15th, it wasn't even the first time
for Ecuador. But this default is different. For the first time in
history, the government's defense isn't based on an inability to pay.
President Rafael Correa explained rather that he was unwilling to
continue to pay debts that are "obviously immoral and illegitimate."
Source: Foreign Policy in Focus
->Doha Declaration on Financing for Development
The Conference adopted, by consensus, the draft outcome document of the
Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to
Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (pdf).
Source: UN Financing for Development
->The G20 committed to save the global economy at the cost of women
Issued from different organisations during the 11th AWID forum held in
Cape Town (14-17 Nov). Sign on is open until November 26.
Sustainable Development - Natural Resources
->Rich nations to blame for climate inaction and rejection of rights
After two weeks of negotiations, United Nations climate talks closed
with rich industrialized countries squarely to blame for failing to live
up to their obligations said Friends of the Earth International.
->Poznan statement from the Climate Justice Now! alliance
Members of Climate Justice Now! – a worldwide alliance of more than 160
organisations - have been in Poznan for the past two weeks closely
following developments in the UN climate negotiations.
->Native peoples out in cold at warming meet
Global efforts to combat climate change will lead nowhere as long as the
indigenous peoples' representatives have no say in discussions to lay
out future plans, say activists who are attending the international
conference on climate change being held in the Polish city of Poznan.
->Universal primary education goal not attainable without adult education
The EFA universal primary education goal could not be reached without
meeting the basic lifelong learning needs of youth and adults said the
International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) commmenting on the
UNESCO 2009 Global Monitoring Report on Education For All.
->Global call for action around the 30th anniversary of the Alma Ata
In 1978, at the Alma-Ata Conference, ministers from 134 countries in
association with WHO and UNICEF called for 'Health for All by the Year
2000' and identified Primary Health Care as the strategy to achieve it.
Unfortunately, that dream never came true.
Source: People's Health Movement
-> All news
Recent global campaigns
->Support UN General Assembly President Brockmann's call for BDS against
Petition in support of call by United Nations General Assembly President
Miguel D’escoto Brockmann for boycott, divestment and sanctions against
->People's Statement on the Global Crisis
The statement analyzes the roots and character of the current crisis, as
well as critical measures that must be adopted to provide relief and
alleviate the people’s situation.
Source: Institute for Political Economy
->HIV and mobility: civil society calls for a European response to end
Civil society calls for action to remove HIV related travel and
residence regulations for people living with HIV in time for the Vienna
World Aids Conference in 2010.
->A call to governments to act urgently in the face of economic and
The undersigned civil society organizations make this call to developing
countries’ governments to take these positions to protect their people
from the brunt of the crises and make a significant step in defending
Source: The Reality of Aid
->Stand with the people of Congo
The people of Congo are being terrorised, they need protection urgently.
But European and global leaders are delaying; call on them to act now.
-> 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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