CHOIKE - http://www.choike.org
A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Fri Oct 17 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
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->World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings - 11-13 October 2008, Washington D.C.
->Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness: 2-4 September 2008,
-> All events
2. IN-DEPTH REPORTS
->Durban Review Conference 2009
This conference will review progress and assess implementation of the
Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
--> All in-depth reports
Dirty is the new clean
The World Bank’s Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change,
a three-year ‘flexible’ framework for the Bank's institutions, makes a
strong case for urgent action on global warming. With this rhetoric, it
appears that the Bank really wants to address climate change. But the
Strategic Framework’s climate solutions suggest something different. In
the name of technological and political neutrality, the Bank does
nothing substantial to prioritize “new” renewable energy sources or
decentralized, locally-driven mitigation or adaptation efforts. The Bank
continues to stall on promises to account for its own greenhouse gas
emissions, and it continues to increase financing for fossil fuels.
Source: Institute for Policy Studies
More information in "Climate change":
Agrofuels and the right to food in Latin America
An increasingly greater proportion of so-called bio-energy is produced
from agricultural crops traditionally used as food and animal feed. The
production of nonfood crops for energy production also requires land and
water. This creates direct competition for resources needed to feed the
world population, of which around 854 million people suffer hunger and
malnutrition, the majority in rural areas. The possible impact of
agrofuels on the human right to adequate food for the most oppressed and
marginalised social groups must be considered prior to applying policies
and programmes that encourage the production, investment and trade of
More in "Agrofuels":
Contribution of the International Labour Office on Durban 2009
The ILO global reports have particularly highlighted the link between
poverty and racial discrimination and examined in detail the situation
of ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, people of
African descent, the Roma and religious minorities. The effects of
multiple discrimination, particular discrimination faced by women on the
basis of race and sex, were stressed.
More information in "Durban Review Conference 2009":
Work and/or life?
Within the framework of the European Social Forum 2008, Peter Waterman
analyzed the iniciatives put forward by trade unions and the labour
agenda. In a special document, he develops critical opinions on the
international union hegemons. Furthermore, he submitted his proposal "a
global charter movement" to develop a declaration or manifesto on
labour, relevant to all working people, under the conditions of a
radically transformed and highly aggressive capitalism, neo-liberalised,
networked and globalised.
More information in "Global labour rights":
Unmasking corporate complicity in international crimes
The International Commission of Jurists's Expert Legal Panel on
Corporate Complicity in International Crimes, which was established in
2006 to develop the legal and public policy meaning of corporate
complicity in the worst violations of international human rights and
humanitarian law that amount to international crimes, has concluded its
work and released its final report to the public.
Source: International Commission of Jurists
More information in "Corporate accountability":
A learning manual on human rights based development
A human rights framework not only offers distinctive strengths but also
specific tools for development work. It is therefore essential for
development actors to actively integrate human rights into development
planning. For this purpose, Dignity International has released a new
learning manual named "From poverty to dignity: A learning manual on
human rights based development" designed to be a guide, to encourage and
inspire facilitators who want supporting materials that can give them a
push in realising a good human rights learning programme.
Source: Dignity International
More information in "Economic, social and cultural rights - ESCR":
The FAO and its work on land policy and agrarian reform
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has a long
history of work in the field of land policy and agrarian reform, playing
a lead role in international co-operation from its founding up until the
1970s. But a lack of appropriate financial resources saw it gradually
eclipsed during the 1980s. From the 1990s on, the initiative in the
design and development of land policies and agrarian reform has been
taken up by the World Bank, with the FAO generally following its policies.
Source: Transnational Institute
More information in "Agriculture and food sovereignty":
EU-LA free trade agreements: an agenda for domination
The European Union is promoting "association agreements" or "cooperation
agreements" with Latin American countries. These agreements appear
weaker and more flexible than the equivalent agreements that the USA is
signing with countries in the region. But behind this affable facade the
EU is tough: it is insisting that the countries agree to extend
periodically what has been agreed and to undertake an undefined number
of legal, administrative, economic, technical and social reforms, the
objective of which is to grant European countries ever more favourable
conditions in all aspects of national life.
More information in "Free Trade Agreements - FTAs":
Homophobic violence at first Sarajevo queer festival
The first Sarajevo Queer Festival took place between 24 and 28 September
2008. Organized by a non-governmental organization called Udruženje Q,
the festival of art and culture included exhibitions, performances,
public discussions and films. However, in the run-up to the festival,
some politicians and certain parts of the media in Bosnia and
Herzegovina unleashed a homophobic campaign. The threats issued against
the organizers of the festival culminated and materialized on 24
September, during the opening ceremony.
Unequal protection, cyber crime and the internet in India
In assessing cyber crime legislation, policy makers and gender and
development advocates must carefully consider the implications for
privacy and information security. As ICT blur the lines between personal
and public, the nature of the internet and cyber crime - including how
they affect human rights and social justice - must be questioned.
Source: Gender IT
More ifomation in "'Cybercrime' and human rights":
Another tourism is possible
The international debate on tourism and climate change needs to be
widened to include a human rights based approach. This is one of the
main messages to tourism leaders formulated by a group of civil society
organisations in a discussion paper on the occasion of World Tourism Day
2008. This year's World Tourism Day was celebrated by the World Tourism
Organization (UNWTO) on 27th September in Peru.
Source: Tourism Watch
More information in "Tourism":
Conference on adult education identifies new challenges
The Latin America and the Caribbean regional conference in preparation
for the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI)
took place 10-13 September 2008 in Mexico City. The final document of
the conference states that literacy is a starting point, but is by no
means enough, and that the region must put in practice a broader vision
of adult education that includes formal education at the same time as it
recognizes and validates acquired learning throughout life: in the
family, in the community, at work, through communication and the media,
social participation and by the very exercise of citizenship.
Goal to halt AIDS by 2015 recedes further
What if HIV/AIDS was just another chronic disease instead of a
widespread epidemic? This could be the case if the world community takes
serious action, according to Human Rights Watch and other activists. But
today, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on HIV/AIDS is nowhere near
More information in "AIDS: wealth before health":
The Bank of the South: the search for an alternative to IFIs
The current architecture based on the World Bank and IMF, among other
institutions, has been criticised for turning financing into a mechanism
for the imposition of economic policies on Southern countries. After
much social resistance and the arrival of left-wing governments to power
across Latin America, the necessary political momentum was created to
launch financial regionalisation. However, differences of opinion over
the direction of the Bank of the South may slow progress towards
developing an autonomous alternative to the World Bank and IMF.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
The Paris Declaration and the Right to Development
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PD), as a non-binding
document on ways to disburse and manage Official Development Assistance
more effectively, does not deal with any of the commitments spelled out
in Millennium Development Goal 8 (trade, finance, debt, increased aid)
but it can be deemed to indirectly contribute to them if its goal of
making aid more efficient is actually achieved. However, while
relatively minor gains in efficiency could be obtained from avoiding
duplications in delivery and simplifying reporting, the main causes of
aid inefficiency (i.e. tied aid and unpredictability of aid income) are
not properly addressed. There is a danger that the political momentum
around the PD might deviate attention from the need of building global
development partnerships around the still largely unmet commitments of
MDG8. Roberto Bissio
More information in "Financing for Development":
Civil society calls for better democratic ownership in aid policies
"The commitment to democratic ownership as found in the Accra Agenda for
Action continues to be flawed and unacceptable to civil society
organizations (CSOs). For us, it is critical for the Paris Declaration
to be harmonized with existing targets and measurements around core UN
conventions and summit outcomes in the economic and social fields, such
as on human rights, women's rights, labor standards and internationally
agreed development goals which are already being monitored by diverse
specialized agencies" said Gigi Francisco from Development Alternatives
with Women for a New Era (DAWN) at the kick off the the Third High Level
Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana.
Poverty is not decreasing as the World Bank claims
Progress in basic social indicators slowed down last year all over the
world and at the present rate it does not allow for the internationally
agreed poverty reduction goals to be met by 2015, unless substantial
changes occur. This is the main conclusion that can be extracted from
the 2008 figures of the Basic Capabilities Index (BCI), calculated by
Social Watch, a network of more than 400 civil society organizations in
Source: Social Watch
The Road to Doha
The richness of the multistakeholder discussions held at the United
Nations in New York under the auspices of Finance for Development office
has been a space for discussion of these and other themes with some
consensus as to what should change. The Doha challenge will be to have
Governments approve the issues and go forward into a new world order
rather than holding back to the memory of past power without taking into
account existing new actors and trends.
Source: Observatorio Económico de América Latina - OBELA
The IMF, fiscal space and development programmes
Fiscal space refers to the amount of freedom governments have to control
both their revenues and their expenditures. At the mid-way point for
achieving the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), it is clear that
meeting them will require governments to undertake social spending that
makes use of both domestic revenue and foreign aid. Countries require
the space to develop appropriate fiscal frameworks to raise and allocate
revenue, but the IMF may be restricting their ability to do this.
More information in "International Monetary Fund - IMF":
4. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources
Intelectual Network for the South - INSouth
INSouth embodies an understanding, from a South perspective, of the new
and emerging issues in the international arena, and the challenges and
opportunities they pose for the South.
African Monitor - AM
The AM monitors the delivery of promises by donor and African
governments, as well as programme effectiveness at grassroots level in
order to advocate for accelerated delivery and programme effectiveness
based on evidence from the ground.
Alliance for Youth Development
The organization liaises with other individuals and other institutions
to offer scholarships to HIV orphans, street children, and needy
students to continue their education. Ghana.
Border Thinking on Migration
Migrants are commonly seen as both unwanted intruders and powerless
victims, but Laura Agustin own ideas work to break down this duality and
think about power in different ways. Laura Agustín writes as a lifelong
migrant and sometime worker in both nongovernmental and academic
projects about sex, travel and work.
Civil Society for Poverty Reduction - CSPR
Civil society anti-poverty advocacy network of over 140 organisation
working for pro-poor development in different parts Zambia.
Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust - COAST
Working in the southern coastal areas of Bangladesh, COAST Trust
provides services to people living in one of the world’s most dangerous
cyclone zones. Bangladesh.
Cooperation Committee for Cambodia - CCC
The CCC plays a major role in strengthening cooperation between
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Cambodia, to enhance the
development of the country. Cambodia.
Forum on the Future of Aid
The Forum is an online community dedicated to research and opinions
about how the international aid system currently works and where it
should go next.
Ghana Center for Democratic Development - CDD
It is dedicated to the promotion of society and government based on he
rule of law and integrity in public administration. Ghana.
Green Movement of Sri Lanka - GMSL
Organization concerned with Environmental Conservation and Awareness
Creation. It is a consortium with 153 non-governmental organizations,
community based organizations and other groups spread around the Island
involved in natural resource management. Sri Lanka.
It is an independent public interest organisation committed to promoting
sustainable democracy based on active citizenship, democratic
institutions, and social justice. South Africa.
Institute for Democratic Governance - IDEG
Research and advocacy organization that seeks to contribute to the
“establishment of a just and free society” in Ghana through policy
research and analysis, dialogue and advocacy, and capacity building
Integrated Social Development Centre - ISODEC
Promoting social justice and fundamental human rights, especially of the
poor and those without organized voice and influence. ISODEC currently
provides basic needs services (health, education and micro-finance) and
is also an advocacy organization. Ghana.
International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development - INFID
INFID is an open and pluralistic network of NGOs from Indonesia and
various member countries of the Consultative Group for Indonesia as well
as of international organizations and individuals with an interest in
and commitment to Indonesia.
Open Society Initiative for West Africa - OSIWA
It is part of the global network of 32 autonomous foundations founded
and supported by George Soros. These nonprofit foundations share a
commitment to the advancement of open society.
Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations - PIANGO
Regional network of NGO focal points or coordinating bodies known as
National Liaison Units (NLUs) based in 22 Pacific Island countries and
territories to facilitate and support coalitions and alliances on issues
of common concern, and to strengthen the influence and impact of NGO
efforts in the region.
Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific - PANAP
PAN AP’s work provides impetus to improve the lives of the marginalised
communities with the commitment to continue with its work programmes,
its campaigns, advocacy, research, training, mobilising, networking and
facilitating the strengthening of movements to truly empower communities
for change and advance food sovereignty, ecological sustainability and
Rights and Voice Initiative - RAVI
It is targeted at strengthening the voices of people living in poverty
and who are marginalised to engage with Government on fundamental human
rights issues. Ghana.
Rural Reconstruction Nepal - RRN
RRN works with poor and marginalised people in rural areas across Nepal
to help them meet their basic needs, improve their livelihoods and build
their communities. Nepal.
Shan Women's Action Network - SWAN
They commit themselves to work for gender equality and justice for Shan
women in the struggle for social and political change in Burma through
community-based actions, research and advocacy. Thailand.
Society for Participatory Research in Asia - PRIA
It was founded in response to the realisation that grassroot’s realities
across much of India revealed that governments were unable to deliver
relevant or sustainable development programmes. At the same time, local
level initiatives were successful in raising awareness and mobilising
community to participate in different aspects of their own development.
Solidarity for African Women's Rights - SOAWR
Coalition of 30 civil society organizations across the continent working
to ensure that the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of
Women in Africa remains on the agenda of policy makers.
South Asia Parnership Pakistan - SAP-PK
It is member of South Asian civil society movement, is striving to
empower marginalized sections of society and working to influence
policies in favor of people. Pakistan.
Trade AID Integrated
They work on rural enterprises around the numerous indigenous
livelihoods to generate employment and wealth for the rural poor and
Ghana at large.
Water Aid Ghana
It works to help some of the poorest communities to gain access to safe
water, sanitation, hygiene education and seek to influence national
water and sanitation policies so that more people gain access to these
basic needs. Ghana.
-> NGO directory
Economy and Financial Affairs
->Meltdown could derail U.N. development
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was asked by reporters whether the U.N.'s
cash-strapped development agenda would survive the global financial crisis.
Source: IPS News
->NGO blames World Bank for global crisis
Activists believed that the developed countries, through the World Bank,
and their transnational companies had used the developing countries`
indebtedness to absorb as much as possible economic resources of these
countries leading to the current climate, financial and food crises.
Source: Anti-Debt Coalition
Women's Forum in Accra issues recommendations for action on development
On the 30th August 2008, more than 200 women’s rights organizations,
women’s empowerment organisations, gender advocates and experts from all
regions of the world attended the Accra International Women’s Forum to
discuss the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid
Effectiveness. The statement that emanates from the forum calls for
actions and recommendations for the 3rd High Level Forum and beyond.
Source: Better Aid
->Preparations for the Week of Global Action Against Debt and IFIs
Global hunger and the growing impact of climate change are dramatic
symptoms of the persistent problem of debt domination. In this sense,
the second edition of the Week of Action will place special attention to
the following demands: Food and financial sovereignty and climate and
Source: Debt Week
->Casino Crash: Critical radical thinking on the financial crisis
TNI has launched a new blog "Casino Crash" to provide a space for
critical analysis of the financial crisis. The blog hopes to answer some
of the core questions about the global financial crisis.
Source: Transnational Institute
->Joint Bretton Woods Project Update Nº62
BWP launched a special edition of its Update for the IMF/WB Annual
Meetings co-produced with Afrodad, the Bank Information Center, Choike,
Source: Bretton Woods Project
->Poverty is not decreasing as the World Bank claims
On the eve of a UN presidential meeting on poverty reduction the
mainstream consensus that globalization is reducing poverty around the
world was challenged today by Social Watch, a network of 400 civil
society organizations in 70 countries. The World Bank latest estimates,
announced last August, claim that extreme poverty has been reduced by
half in the last 25 years and that therefore the internationally agreed
goals for 2015 can be met.
Source: Social Watch
->Aid Effectiveness and the Forums in Accra
Three Forums on the issue of aid effectiveness were held in Accra, the
capital of Ghana, from August 30 to September 4 2008.
->Intervention of Social Watch coordinator Roberto Bissio at the Accra Forum
"If aid is to be efficient for development, it should contribute to the
available policy space of developing countries and not limit it by
introducing policy conditionalities through the back door" said Roberto
Bissio, coordinator of the Social Watch network at the Accra High Level
->The last push to an effective Optional Protocol to the ICESCR
The text of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) was adopted by the Human
Rights Council (HRC) on 18th June 2008. The next and last step towards
the final adoption of the OP will be taken in the 3rd committee of the
63rd session of the UN General Assembly.
->Rich countries negotiate secret treaty on intellectual property
Rich countries are coordinating actions to approve the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a secret intellectual
property enforcement treaty being negotiated behind closed doors with
serious implications for civil liberties and privacy rights.
->Violations against women’s rights in Nicaragua
Feminist activists condemn the Government of Nicaragua at the Americas
Social Forum in Guatemala.
Source: Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe (LACWHN)
->Lithuanian abortion vote looms beyond elections
Lithuania's parliament could soon vote on one of the most restrictive
abortion bans in Europe.
Source: Women's News
World Peace and Security
->US dropped nuclear bomb near Basra in 1991, claims veteran
An American veteran of the first Gulf War in Iraq claims that the United
States dropped a five-kilotonne nuclear bomb in 1991 in a deserted area
outside the southern city of Basra on the Iranian border.
Source: Media Center AdnKronos
->"Palestinians have been betrayed by the international community over
On the occasion of the eighth session of the Human Rights Council in
Geneva, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on Palestine and Other
Occupied Territories, addressed the council for the first time. Read the
following interview with Richard Falk.
Source: Transnational Institute
->EU stepping back from cleaning up
Most of the European Union's promised cuts in greenhouse emissions could
be undertaken outside the bloc under a proposal to be considered by
law-makers this week.
->New studies confirm nuclear unsustainable
New studies confirm that nuclear is not a renewable energy, and apart
from being extremely uneconomical and unsafe, it is highly unsustainable
in terms of savings on energy and greenhouse emissions.
->Women create food and jobs in Argentine wetlands
Tierramérica explored the effort behind preparing artisanal dishes made
from a declining catch of fish, an effort towards sustainability taken
up by the women of river communities in northeast Argentina.
->Learn without fear: a new report
Plan has released it's new report on school violence focusing on 3 major
areas: sexual violence, corporal punishment and bullying.
Source: Plan International
->Teachers speak out for decent work
Education International is joining with trade unions in 115 countries in
strong support of October 7, the World Day for Decent Work, and the
campaign launched by the International Trade Union Federation to demand
change in the world economy.
->CONFINTEA VI Preparatory Conference for Asia and the Pacific
This report is an information update of the Asia and the Pacific
regional conference on adult education held 6-8 October, Seoul, Republic
->Malaria: renewed fight against old killer
The key to a new multi-billion dollar strategy to eliminate malaria
deaths worldwide by 2015 is to widen availability of existing diagnostic
and preventative treatments.
->Women organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean issue
declaration on abortion
A public declaration of women's networks, coalitions, campaigns and
organizations in the region, in commemoration of September 28, Day for
the Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Sexual diversity - Gender
->Book: Sexuality, health and human rights
This ground breaking work provides a critical analysis of shifting
theoretical perspectives and activist strategies regarding
sexual politics and their larger geopolitical context in the
->SADC gender protocol to accelerate women’s empowerment
Approval of the groundbreaking Protocol on Gender and Development by 11
southern African countries after three years of negotiation is set to
accelerate the empowerment of women in the region.
Source: Southern African News Features
-> All news
->Urgent solidarity needed with women in Nicaragua
The attacks promoted by the Nicaraguan government against the defenders
of women’s human rights have not been limited to legal proceeding
against them, but are being expressed in ongoing persecution and direct
threats against their lives and the lives of their families.
Source: Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe (LACWHN)
->Stand up and take action against poverty and for the MDGs
Stand up and take action on October 17-19, 2008 to ensure governments
worldwide hear our demands to end poverty and inequality.
->Week of global action against debt and IFIs 2008
We urge you all to join the Week of Global Action against Debt and
International Financial Institutions - a week of various forms of
citizen's actions and mobilizations worldwide from October 12 to 19, 2008.
->Demand an end to official harassment of LGBT activists in Uganda
In what appears to be an all-out effort to silence the sexual rights
movement in Uganda, police have again arrested high profile members of
the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
->Sign the petition to end all executions of juvenile offenders
Implement the prohibition against the juvenile death penalty in law and
-> 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.
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