Choike Newsletter - 21 Apil 2009

A Portal on Southern Civil Societies - Tue Apr 21 2009

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1. BLOG - Send your comments or reports to publish in our blog

-> IV People’s Summit of the Americas and Noth America's social
movements statements

-> Socialism has failed. Now capitalism is bankrupt. So what comes next?
By Eric Hobsbawm

-> New OECD tax havens list: the good the bad and the missing ones

-> Peter Waterman's books and articles on labour and global movements

-> Rwanda: the sins of the Church

See all entries on Choike's Blog

We kindly invite you to join us!

->The G20 Summit - 2 April 2009. London, UK

->5th World Water Forum - Istanbul, Turkey

-> All events

-> Durban Review Conference 2009
Scheduled to take place in Geneva from 20-24 April 2009, it is a
follow-up to the conference held in Durban in 2001.

-> The global financial crisis: implications for the South
The second half of 2008 saw unfold one of the most significant financial
crises in history that started in the United States and then spread to
Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. The response was just as historic.

All in-depth reports

Civil society perspectives on the financing for development agenda
The Economic and Social Council held a panel discussion on "Civil
Society Perspectives on the Financing for Development Agenda" on Monday,
20 April 2009, in the ECOSOC Chamber in New York. The panel discussion
was held in preparation for the ECOSOC Special high-level meeting with
the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to be held in New
York, 27 April 2009. Civil society representatives from Social Watch,
DAWN and the North-South Institute, among others, intervened in the
Source: Social Watch
More information in "Financing for Development":

Trading our way out of the financial crisis: the need for WTO reform
In the context of the deepening global crisis that is pushing millions
more women, children, and men into poverty in developing countries,
development should be the centerpiece of reforming the global financial
architecture. Pressing to conclude a World Trade Organization (WTO) deal
based on the current proposals in Geneva would be counterproductive,
according to a new Policy Brief by the Center for International Policy.
The Brief offers five policies toward reforming global trade that will
enable economic development and stimulate global demand during the crisis.
Source: Americas Policy Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)
More information in "World Trade Organization - WTO":

Transforming the world in crisis: Prague NGO declaration
Civil society groups from around the world gathered at The World in
Crisis conference on 1 April 2009 launched a declaration that calls on
international governments and institutions to take urgent steps to
address the bankrupt economic paradigm that has resulted in the current
economic crisis. The declaration, conceived at The World In Crisis:
Economies and Policies for Global Transformation conference in Prague,
lays out a set of “crisis steps” for world leaders gathered at the G20
summit in London.
Source: Prague global policy institute
More information in "The global financial crisis: implications for the

UN Commission on financial crisis issues recommendations
Experts commissioned by the President of the General Assembly are
proposing far-reaching changes in international finance structures, and
strong measures to overcome the current economic crisis in a set of
recommendations presented at the UN. Civil society representatives
working with the commission have expressed high encouragement with the
results that they see reflect many of their own recommendations.
Source: Choike

Labour at the 2009 Belem World Social Forum
This was the first World Social Forum (WSF) since the profound
financial/industrial crisis of capitalism, late-2008, the consequent
labour layoffs, and the desperate and extreme state measures to restore
capitalism – largely by throwing obscene amounts of money at the
financial institutions that were the immediate cause of the crisis.

The environmental food crisis
A new rapid response assessment report released by UNEP warns that up to
25% of the world’s food production may become lost due to environmental
breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken. Prepared by the Rapid Response
Assessment Team at UNEP/GRID-Arendal and UNEP-WCMC, the report provides
the first summary by the UN of how climate change, water stress,
invasive pests and land degradation may impact world food security, food
prices and life on the planet and how we may be able to feed the world
in a more sustainable manner.
Source: UNEP/GRID Arendal
More information in "Agriculture and food sovereignty":

Operation Cast Lead and the distortion of International Law
Israel's claim to 'self-defence' as the legal pretext for 'Operation
Cast Lead,' the latest and most destructive in a string of regular
large-scale military offensives against the Gaza Strip since 2006,
received widespread and often unconditional acceptance from the
international diplomatic community as justification for the Israeli
attacks. 'Operation Cast Lead' was not the first time that Israel has
cited Article 51 of the UN Charter as justification for military
operations or unlawful acts within or against the Occupied Palestinian
Territory (OPT); nor, in fact, the last.
Source: Al-Haq
More information in "War crimes in Gaza":

The politics of ending impunity
The pursuit of international justice for perpetrators of atrocity crimes
necessarily has political implications – from shifting the balance of
power within a country, to requiring other states to cooperate when
doing so may adversely affect their own interests, to confronting both
international and domestic actors with the undesirable task of weighing
the benefits of peace against the costs of impunity. Not all of these
issues are present in every case, but few, if any, international
prosecutions escape controversy. And the more closely international
investigations and indictments follow on the heels of atrocities, the
more likely they are to generate political challenges.
Source: International Crisis Group
More information in "International Criminal Court":

Death penalty in 2008
A new report by Amnesty International on death penalty in the world says
that in 2008 at least 2,390 people were known to have been executed in
25 countries and at least 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52
countries around the world. As in previous years, the five countries
with the highest number of executions in 2008 were China, Iran, Saudi
Arabia, Pakistan and the United States of America. Together these five
countries carried out 93 per cent of all executions carried out in 2008.
Source: Amnesty International
More information in "Civil and political rights":

Uruguay: investigate TV discrimination
The Uruguay authorities should investigate whether a decision by private
television stations not to run a public awareness commercial designed to
reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT) people is lawful, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to
the Uruguayan minister of education and culture and the Communication
Services Regulation Unit.
Source: Human Rights Watch
More information in "Homophobia":

World Bank climate investment funds undermine climate and gender justice
While the World Bank keeps multiplying dirty investments in fossil-fuel
generating projects, like coal in poor countries, the Bank has become
the custodian of rich-country supported Climate Investment Funds (CIFs)
created to help poor countries mitigate and adapt to climate change
Source: Gender Action
More information in "Climate change":

The looming GM sugar cane invasion
One of the most destructive developments in agriculture over the past
two decades has been the boom in soya production in the southern cone of
Latin America. The corporations that led that boom are now moving
aggressively into sugar cane, focusing on large tracts of land in
southern countries where sugar can be produced cheaply. If these
developments are not resisted, the impacts are likely to be severe:
local food production will be overrun, workers and communities will face
displacement and exposure to increased levels of pesticides, and foreign
agribusiness will tighten its grip on sugar production.
Source: GRAIN
More information in "GM food":

A new prescription
A Commission of Experts set up by the U.N. makes recommendations that
promise to address adequately the biggest crisis of capitalism since the
1930s. The very fact that this plan was prepared on behalf of the United
Nations with 192 member-states and would be debated at such an inclusive
forum makes it noteworthy. This in itself is an advance on the efforts
still under way to negotiate and formulate recovery plans in
self-constituted, unrepresentative, and, therefore, partly illegitimate
groupings like the G-8 and the G-20.
Source: FrontLine
More information in "The global financial crisis: implications for the

Alternative Water Forum declaration
The 5th World Water Forum held in Istanbul, Turkey 6-22 March 2009
failed to mention in its final declaration whether water is a human
right or a commodity to be traded like oil, gas or gold. This led to a
counter declaration by delegations from Bolivia, Uruguay, Spain,
Guatemala, Ecuador, Cuba and Chile recognising access to water and
sanitation as a human right. Civil society organizations and social
movements also gathered in the Alternative Water Forum and produced a
joint statement.
More information in "The water crisis":

The pope is living on the moon
"The Pope is living on the moon," said Stephen Lewis, who heads a
foundation supporting groups that alleviate the deadly effects of
HIV/AIDS. Aboard an aircraft headed to Cameroon for his first papal
visit to AIDS-devastated Africa, Pope Benedict's XVI said the virus was
a tragedy "that cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On
the contrary, they increase the problem." The statement inflamed not
only anti-AIDS activists, but some liberal Catholics.
More information in "AIDS: wealth before health":

Global coalition backs new U.N. gender body
An international coalition of over 300 women's organisations and human
rights groups, representing more than 50 countries, is lending its
support to a proposal aimed at creating a strong new women's body at the
United Nations.
Source: IPS News
More information in "The UN reform... and what about women?":

Two stops in today's new Global geographies: shaping novel labor
supplies and employment regimes
Across the centuries, the international division of labor has included a
variety of translocal circuits for the mobility of labor and capital. These
circuits have varied considerably across time and space, shaped at least
partly by the specific constitution of labor and capital. Many of these
older circuits continue to exist today. But there are often new dynamics
that feed them. And there are new types of circuits as well. One outcome
is the emergence of novel global geographies, which cut across the old
North-South divide.
Source: Woman and Development - ECLAC
More information in "Gender in economics":

Latin America: Return to the IMF or reinforce alternatives?
Today Latin American countries are faced with the option of returning to
international and regional financial institutions - IMF, World Bank and
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) - or rejecting the failed recipes
of the 1990s in order to build and reinforce alternatives that allow
them to face the current crisis.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
More information in "International Monetary Fund":

5. LATEST ADDITIONS: Southern NGOs and other resources

African Journal of Political Science and International Relations
It is an open access journal and all articles published are available
online without restriction to researchers in the public and private
sectors, government agencies, educators and the general public. The
journal also provides a medium for documentation and archiving of
research articles. AJPSIR papers are exposed to the widest possible

Fairfood International
Fairfood is an international non-profit campaign and lobby organisation,
which encourages the food and beverage industry to make its supply
chains more sustainable. In this way Fairfood contributes to the fight
against global hunger and poverty.

Huairou Commission
Global coalition of networks, institutions and individual professionals
that links grassroots women's community development organizations to

The organisation Mukomeze tries to achieve to improve the lives of women
and girls who survived rape and other forms of sexual violence arising
from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Responsibility to Protect - Engaging Civil Society
The Responsibility to Protect - Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS) project
works to advance Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and to promote concrete
policies to better enable governments, regional organizations and the
U.N. to protect vulnerable populations.

-> NGO directory


->A Development-blind G20 outcome that empowers an unreformed IMF
"The G20’s decision to channel funds predominantly through the IMF,
rather than a more diverse allocation of funds, is a narrow mechanism
through which the developing countries may be imposed with the same type
of procyclial and contractionary policies that contributed to creating
the crisis" writes Bhumika Muchhala from the TWN.
Source: BanglaPraxis

Economy and Financial Affairs

->United Nations Conference on the world financial and economic crisis
and its impact on development
Briefing paper by the United Nations Non Governmental Liaison Service
(NGLS) that includes background information on the upcoming UN
Conference which will take place from 1 – 3 June at UN Headquarters in
New York, as well as an overview of the main recommendations of the
"Stiglitz Commission".
Source: UN-NGLS

->Transforming the world in crisis: Prague NGO declaration
Civil society groups from around the world gathered at The World in
Crisis conference today launched a declaration that calls on
international governments and institutions to take urgent steps to
address the bankrupt economic paradigm that has resulted in the current
economic crisis.

->50th IDB Annual Meeting: Notes from Medellín
The 50th Annual Governors' Assembly of the Inter-American Development
Bank (IADB) took place in Medellín, Colombia, 27-31 March 2009. This
year civil society organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean
organized a counter-Assembly to visualize the human and environmental
costs of the failed "development" policies of the bank.

Human Rights

->Aid rots outside Gaza
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is
piling up in cities across Egypt's North Sinai region, despite recent
calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the
embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.
Source: IPS

->The men who killed me
Fifteen years after the Rwandan genocide, "The Men Who Killed Me"
features testimonials from seventeen survivors. Through their narratives
and portraits, sixteen women and one man bear witness to the crimes
committed against hundreds of thousands of others.
Source: Men Who Killed Me

->Child marriages mock laws, UN Conventions
In many parts of Pakistan, in keeping with medieval customs and in
complete negation of the principles of Islam that has accorded women
many basic rights, men in many parts of this country still consider
women as property.
Source: IPS News

->Statement of the African Women's Caucus at the 53rd. Session on the CSW
Representatives of civil society organizations attending the United
Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2009 urge
Governments, donors, international financial intitutions and civil
society organizations. Pdf format.
Source: 53rd. CSW

Sexual diversity

->IGLHRC asks the Iraqi government to protect LGBT people
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has sent a
letter to the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights, Wijdan Salim, requesting
that she takes specific measures to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) Iraqis and prevent hate crimes against those
perceived to be gay.
Source: IGLHRC

->Senegal gay convictions quashed
Senegal's court of appeal has quashed January's convictions of nine men
for homosexuality and ordered their immediate release.
Source: BBC News


->Health tourism growing in Costa Rica
With traditional tourism hit hard by the global recession, Costa Rica is
seeking to draw foreign visitors by offering low-cost, high-quality
health care – especially targeting people from the United States, where
the same medical procedures can cost up to four times more.
Source: IPS

->Position statement by UNAIDS, UNFPA and WHO on Pope's remarks
"The male latex condom is the single, most efficient, available
technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually
transmitted infections."
Source: UN AIDS

Natural Resources

->Troubled waters hard to bridge
The 5th World Water Forum (WWF) held in Istanbul ended Sunday with wide-
ranging differences among governments and groups with an interest in
water. A counter declaration recognising access to water as a human
right was signed by several country delegations including Bolivia,
Uruguay, Spain, Guatemala, Ecuador, Cuba and Chile among others.
Source: IPS

->Big dams: a flood of risk, says International Rivers Network
"Expect increased global warming, earthquakes, poverty, and debt if
world leaders push big dams at the Fifth World Water Forum" says the
International Rivers Network.

Sustainable Development

->Ecuadorian government closes down Acción Ecológica
In a clear act of censorship, the Ecuadorian government has closed down
the NGO Acción Ecológica. They believe the only reason for taking this
decision is Acción Ecológica’s position against mining which is
apparently supported by the government.
Source: World Rainforest Movement


->International Civil Society Forum on adult education
The International Civil Society Forum (FISC, for its Portuguese acronym)
is an international event on Youth and Adult Education, to be held in
Belém, capital of the state of Pará, Brazil, between May 16th and 18th,

->Global Action Week on education in motion
The Global Action Week (April 20 to 26th), organized by the Global
Campaign for Education is now in motion. This year the focus is on Youth
and Adult Education and "The Big Read" is the action planned on this

United Nations

->Election of new UNDP administrator lacked transparency
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Helen Clark of New
Zealand as the next Administrator of the UNDP. Throughout the selection
process and following the appointment, the Secretariat declined to
provide information about candidates and the selection panel, suggesting
an entrenchment of Ban's practice of opaque hiring processes that place
"privacy" concerns over accountability.
Source: UNelections Monitor

-> All news

->Colombia: protest the murder of LGBT human rights defender
On March 6, 2009, unknown men killed the human rights defender Álvaro
Miguel Rivera in the city of Cali, Colombia.
Source: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

->Stop the World Water Forum and World Water Council
Sign this petition to show your opposition to the harmful policies of
the World Water Forum and the World Water Council.

->Speak out to stop the displacement of 1500 Palestinians from East
Without a vocal international response, the world will continue in its
neglectful slumber, allowing the Israeli authorities to proceed with
their development of an Apartheid state.
Source: Joint Advocacy Initiative

-> All campaigns

8. 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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