Choike Newsletter - 29 January 2009

A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Thu Jan 29 2009

Join us on Facebook:


-> 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


->World Social Forum 2009 - Belém, Brazil

-> Events

->The Gaza genocide
An international chorus of condemnation has blasted Israel over its
crimes against humanity in Gaza. Operation Cast Lead, which started on
27 December 2008, has claimed the lives of more than 1.400 Palestinians
-including at least 100 women and 311 children- and more than 5.000
injured. Israel claimed to be acting in self-defense against Hamas
rocket attacks from Gaza, but according to Oxford professor Avi Shlaim,
Israel's objective is the "eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in
Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking
care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and
of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza,
now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe."
Source: Choike

All in-depth reports

Time for Israel to be put on trial
The brutal and indiscriminate Israeli attacks on the Palestinian
population in Gaza during the last weeks have entailed numerous
violations of basic norms of international law, such as the principles
of proportionality and distinction (between civilians and combatants;
and between civilian and military targets). Military acts such as
intentionally targeting schools and other civilian facilities are
considered violations of international humanitarian law in relation to
which the state of Israel bears responsibility -- but they also
constitute serious crimes under international law (e.g., war crimes and
eventually crimes against humanity) in relation to which individuals
should stand trial.
Source: The Electronic Intifada
More information in "International Criminal Court":

WSF 2009 - Crisis as opportunity for "another world"
With the economy in free-fall, a more concrete debate will occur in
Belém on "the nature of the crisis" and the model of development,
according to Cándido Grzybowski, the head of the Brazilian Institute of
Social and Economic Analyses (IBASE) and one of the original organisers
of the WSF.
Source: IPS News
More information in "World Social Forum (WSF)":

The G20 and after: questions for Labour
The only surprise to emerge from the recent G20 Washington summit
–billed in advance as the launching pad for “a new global financial
architecture”, “Bretton Woods II” etc. – was the apparent surprise at
the meager results. International action to combat global economic
meltdown was confined to a vague commitment to "coordinated policy
response". And governments agreed to meet again some time in…spring 2009.
Source: IUF
Mor information in "The global financial crisis: implications for the

Lasantha Wickrematunge: And then they came for me
"No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives
for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In
the course of the past few years, the independent media have
increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print-media institutions
have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have
been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my honour to belong to
all those categories and now especially the last." Journalist Lasantha
Wickrematunge, who was murdered in Sri Lanka on January 8, 2009, wrote
this for his last editorial published in The Sunday Leader on January 11.
Source: The Sunday Leader
More information in "Media diversity under threat":

Present status on abortion legislation of Latin American and Caribbean
The prohibition or severe restriction of abortion has not hindered its
practice but instead it has forced high risk abortions that hit poor
women harder. Large part of the legislations in Latin America have tried
to solve the problem of abortion through prohibition, meaning grave
economic, social, health and social justice consequences for the women
living in these countries while there is no fall in the high abortion
rate that exists in the region. Because of this, it is essential to
review the laws that regulate induced abortion.

Obama repeals global gag rule
The Mexico City Policy also known as the Global Gag Rule prohibits any
foreign organization receiving U.S. family planning funding from using
its own funds or funds from other donors to perform legal abortions;
advocate for the liberalization or decriminalization of abortion in laws
and policies; or provide information, make referrals, or counsel women
about abortion. President Obama's decision to repeal the Mexico City
Policy frees organizations receiving U.S. funding to help women make
healthy decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, and allows
some of the world's best family planning programs to again receive U.S.
Source: Center for Health and Gender Equity

What role for the IMF?
Writing about the current and future role(s) for the IMF is like trying
to capture a moving target or a desert river bed fast transformed into a
raging torrent following a storm. In September 2008, the IMF looked
moribund. The only loans outstanding were to low-income countries, which
cost the Fund to service, rather than bringing in interest fees. By
November 15, 2008, the Fund was a phoenix. The G20 Summit, led by the
European Union members, has assigned it new roles, and called for
substantial new funding.
Source: New Rules for Global Finance Coalition

Implementing Paris and Accra: Towards a regional agenda in Latin America
and the Caribbean
FRIDE (Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo
Exterior) has released an analysis of the challenges and opportunities
of adapting the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in Latin America
and the Caribbean. Systematising the lessons in implementing the Paris
principles in six Latin American middle-income countries, the document
aims to feed into the design of a regional aid effectiveness agenda
which in turn could influence the global aid policies.
Source: FRIDE
More information in "Financing for Development":

Bridging the divide: a human rights vision for global food trade
Eradicating hunger is an obligation that governments must fulfil as part
of their international human rights treaty obligations. The human rights
framework provides many of the guidelines needed for undertaking this
mammoth task and for ensuring that governments and international
organisations respond with policies that put people at the centre.
Importantly, human rights require governments to prioritise the most
vulnerable groups, ensure no discrimination and pay attention to the
outcomes of policies. To date, governments have failed to consider human
rights obligations when they negotiate trade agreements.
Source: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
More information in "Agriculture and food sovereignty":

WTO: staying the course in the face of mistakes
Nothing has changed in the WTO since the failure of the abusive
"mini-ministerial" talks in July and it is irresponsible to order an
immediate agreement. To reach an agreement, there would have to be
concessions and the most inflexible party is the United States, which
has tried to maintain its level of subsides while prying open other
markets. In the meantime, the United States and the European Union are
in blatant violation of the General Agreement Toward Services (GATS) by
subsidizing their banks at astronomical levels.
Source: Americas Policy Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)
More information in "World Trade Organization - WTO":

Undocumented children in Europe: invisible victims of immigration
Even if all of the EU member states have ratified the Convention on
Rights of the Child (CRC), which includes basic principles and detailed
provisions that when implemented should ensure equal access to services
and education as well as equitable treatment and protection to all
children, undocumented migrant children most often remain invisible and
face a variety of barriers in accessing their rights.
Source: PICUM
More information in "Children's rights":

Fuelling exclusion? The biofuels boom and poor people's access to land
The policy debate about the merits and demerits of biofuels is growing
and changing rapidly, with concerns being voiced over their
effectiveness for mitigating climate change, role in recent food price
hikes and social environmental impacts. A new study by FAO contributes
to these debates through examining the current and likely future impacts
of the increasing spread of biofuels on access to land in producer
countries, particularly for poorer rural people.
Source: FAO
More information in "Agrofuels":

4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)
The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum is a non-governmental organization that
works to advance the goal of social, economic, cultural and political
rights of small scale indigenous fisher communities in Pakistan.

-> NGO directory

Human Rights

->Human Rights Watch 2009 World report
The report documents ongoing human rights abuses by states and non-state
armed groups across the globe, including attacks on civilians in
conflicts, political repression, violations by governments trying to
curb terrorism, abuses against women, children, refugees, workers, gays,
lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, among others.
Source: HRW

->Negotiations begin on outcome document for Durban Review Conference
Members of a working group established to negotiate and finalize a draft
outcome document for the Durban Review Conference, to be held in Geneva
in April, began formal negotiations on Monday.
Source: U.N.

->UN human rights body to send fact-finding mission to Gaza
The United Nations Human Rights Council today adopted a resolution
strongly condemning the ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza, and
decided to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights
violations committed in the territory.
Source: UN News Centre

Human Rights - World Peace and Security

->Sri Lankan military creates humanitarian disaster
The Sri Lankan military offensive aimed at destroying the separatist
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has produced a humanitarian
crisis for hundreds of thousands of people trapped by the fighting.
Source: World Socialist Web Site


->Gaza: IFJ plans investigation into violations of press rights
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has announced that it
plans to organise a wide ranging investigation into Israeli actions
against media during the current conflict in Gaza.
Source: International Federation of Journalists

Economy and Financial Affairs

->Civil Society consultation on the global economic crisis
The president of the United Nations General Assembly wants to hear the
voices of civil society on the global financial and economic crisis and
its impact on development.
Source: UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS)

->Participants of South Asian Workshop call for a resistance to the
anti-people policies of the World Bank, IMF, ADB and other IFIs
Around 50 participants from various organizations across different
countries of the region have taken part in the "2nd South Asian workshop
on International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the Debt Crisis". The
debt campaigners and activists have called for region wide resistance
movements against anti-people policies of the (IFIs).
Source: CADTM


->ILO: unemployment to increase dramatically due to global economic crisis
The global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in
the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed, working poor
and those in vulnerable employment, the International Labour Office
(ILO) says in its annual Global Employment Trends report.
Source: ILO

Natural Resources

->Ecuador: mining protests growing
Nation-wide protests over large scale metal mining called by the
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE)
demonstrated growing, broad-based participation.
Source: Upside Down World

Sustainable Development

->Tropical forests fight for survival
Current rates of deforestation suggest there will hardly be any tropical
forests left in 20 years. Sixty percent of the rainforests, which
survived for 50 million consecutive years, are already gone.
Source: IPS

-> All news


->Save Zimbabwe Now!
Zimbabwe has been in the midst of a serious political and economic
crisis, which has exacted a huge humanitarian toll on its population.

->Gaza: stop the bloodshed
Sign the petition calling for robust international action to achieve an
immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Source: AVAAZ

-> 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.

*** Subscribe to receive what's new on IFIs

-> Apply for a site to be included in the CHOIKE directory:

-> Use our search engine to find information in the civil society web sites

-> If you do not wish to continue receiving this information, reply to
this mail, putting UNSUBSCRIBE as the subject.


Choike-eng mailing list

Choike is a project of the Third World Institute | Contact | Avda. 18 de julio 2095/301, Montevideo 11200, Uruguay | Phone: +598 2403 1424