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21 April, 2011
Edition No: 533

Advertise for World Press Freedom Day on 3 May: "What if their words had never been heard?"

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has launched a series of adverts for newspapers and news websites to commemorate World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.  This year's campaign, entitled "Silence kills democracy, but a free press talks", explores the link between a free press and freedom of expression, one of the essential ingredients in any democratic system.  
Help spread the word.
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Opinions sought on the Right of Peoples to Peace

The UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee is currently preparing a draft declaration on the right of peoples to peace. There is a short window of opportunity for civil society around the world to contribute to this process by completing a questionnaire and submitting it to the Advisory Committee by 2 May 2011. There is a strong need to make sure that the voices of civil society are heard in this process.
Access the questionnaire

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Don't miss the CIVICUS World Assembly: 10-12 September 2011, Montreal, Canada

The CIVICUS World Assembly is a key global gathering for civil society to meet with government, donors and the business community to discuss and find solutions to building a more just world. Join civil society practitioners, researchers, activists, concerned business leaders and representatives from development agencies to share ideas and experiences on strengthening citizen participation and engage with donors and government representatives under the focus theme of Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing It Better. Through plenary sessions, special activities, workshops, learning exchanges and social events, the World Assembly's strength is its ability to act as a forum where traditionally unconnected sectors engage in dialogue to act collaboratively towards the strengthening of civil society. Register by 30 May and get 40% off the registration fee
To register or find out more about the World Assembly, click here

Securely Exchanging Information Through Technology, Krems, Austria, 7-8 May
Source: EnCouragexChange

Join independent journalists, members of Human Rights groups, non-profit managers and
members of non-technical advocacy groups to learn how to use mobile phones, computers and
social media to communicate your message while remaining SECURE.
The workshop will be an interactive format over two days, 7 and8 May 2011 in Krems,
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Theory of the State
Francis Fukuyama

"This book has two origins," Francis Fukuyama writes in the preface to "The Origins of Political Order." "The first arose when my mentor, Samuel Huntington of Harvard University, asked me to write a foreword to a reprint edition of his 1968 classic, 'Political Order in Changing Societies.' " Its second inspiration was the decade that Fukuyama spent studying "the real-world problems of weak and failed states" and that inspired his 2004 book "State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century."

In discussing the origins of "The Origins, "Fukuyama is being modest, if not disingenuous. He is best known for the international sensation caused by the publication of his 1989 essay "The End of History?" in the foreign policy journal The National Interest and the subsequent book "The End of History and the Last Man." His thesis ignited a global debate: "What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the cold war, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the endpoint of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."
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For more book reviews, click here
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Coordinator: United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (application deadline 24 May, 2011)
Source: United Nations, Geneva

The Coordinator reports to the Interim Inter-Agency Support Group (IIASG) on the Service's budget and programme performance. He/She will exercise sound political judgement through all duties and responsibilities.
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Population/Health/Nutrition Officer (application deadline 30 June, 2011)
Source: USAID

The Population/ Health/ Nutrition Officer provides assistance to various field offices and its health, nutrition, family planning, water and sanitation, environmental health and nutrition activities. In particular, the officer provides technical advice and support to the management of the Health Transformation programme. Contracts are one year to start, renewable up to five years.
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Director, Travel Safety and Security (application deadline 20 May, 2011)
Source: World Vision

In this position you will develop, monitor and ensure compliance with World Vision U.S. safety and security procedures for staff, Board members and potential and current donors travelling internationally at the request of WVUS; communicate World Vision's Christian ethos and demonstrate a quality of spiritual life that is an example to others.
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Given all that has transpired since 2011 began, one would be forgiven for imagining that world leaders meeting in fora ranging from the Spring* Meetings of those august institutions, the World Bank and IMF, to the BRICS summit, might be at least exploring solutions that address the root causes of the crises that confront us. As food prices spiral beyond the reach of increasing numbers, nuclear power's viability is seriously questioned and revolution fueled by outrage at growing disparity and utter lack of freedoms continues apace, all we have heard thus far from those charged with 'leading' are more platitudes as this article, Emerging Markets Clash with Anachronistic Institutions, articulates. It speaks my thoughts.

Please read

In Solidarity,

*Spring in Washington DC at any rate!

Philippines: CIVICUS takes the lead in development effectiveness
"In the midst of grave dangers and attacks on our rights, our resolve to serve the marginalised sectors of society will not wither away but will only grow stronger in time."  That was the united statement of the 24 national and regional organisations who participated in the recent nationwide thematic consultation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in situations of conflict held in General Santos City on 1-2 April.
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CIVICUS' Open letter to Iranian parliament
CIVICUS calls on the Iranian government to stop its Establishment and Supervision of NGOs Bill. If passed the bill would "pose a major threat" to independent civil society in Iran.
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Syria: CIVICUS calls for immediate release of journalist Fayez Sara
"Arbitrary arrests, detentions and intimidation of activists, journalists and political opponents in Syria by security forces and members of the intelligence unit is no way to respond to legitimate calls for reforms by citizens in Syria," said Netsanet Belay, Policy and Research Director for CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation.
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Civil Society stands in solidarity with people of Swaziland
International and South African civil society groups strongly condemn the brutal crackdown by Swaziland security forces on anti-government protestors.
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Follow threats and take action to protect civil society: www.cswatch.org

Syria to lift emergency rule after 48 years - but violence continues

Source: The Guardian

Syria's government has approved the lifting of a draconian, decades-old emergency law in the most important concession yet made by the embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, after a month of unrest
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Developing Nations protest move to slash U.N. budget
Source: IPS

The Group of 77 (G77), the largest single coalition of developing countries, has issued a strong letter of protest against a proposal to cut some 155 million dollars from the UN's 2012-2013 biennium budget beginning next January.
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Libya death toll 'reaches 10,000'
Source: Al Jazeera

Libya's opposition leaders have said that at least 10,000 people have died since the start of the conflict in February
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MSF says new malaria treatment could save 200,000 lives annually
Source: Reuters

Data from recent medical trials in Africa show that the lives of nearly 200,000 people could be saved annually if countries with high rates of malaria treated patients with a pricier, yet more effective drug.
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Cuba's dissidents, labour activists unifying as failed regime acknowledges crisis
Source: Democracy Digest

Leading Cuban dissidents have dismissed Raul Castro's call for term limits on future presidents as a cosmetic gesture designed to prolong Communist rule after the end of the Castro dynasty.
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What in the world? China calls out the U.S. on human rights
Source: Opinion, CNN

Earlier this month the U.S. State Department released a report on the state of human rights around the world, as it has done annually for the past 35 years. The response from China? A report of its own.
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Climate change: Agenda for Durban on the table
Source: IRIN

Poor countries and small island states have used their combined muscle to keep debate at the UN climate change talks in 2011 focused on steps to ensure global temperatures do not increase more than two degrees by the turn of the century.
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China puts its mark on Malawi
Source: IPS

Driving through Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, it is difficult to miss the imposing building under construction in the city centre. It's the country's first five-star hotel, 90 million dollars worth of well-appointed rooms, a state-of-the-art conference centre and 14 opulent presidential suites.
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Multinational companies avoid tax
Source: New York Times

General Electric, the nation's largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None.
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Actor/Activist/Sra./Israeli: Juliano Mer Khamis (29 May 1958 - 4 April 2011)
Sarika Arya

"Juliano is dead.  He was shot in the head five times."  These were not the words of a news anchor on TV or a reporter in the paper; this was my friend chatting to me online yesterday morning.  Our boss from the summer of 2008 had been murdered, and in extraordinary circumstances.  But then again, our job that summer was far from ordinary.  We worked in Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank at a place called The Freedom Theater, established and run by Juliano Mer Khamis.  To know Juliano and the work of the theater is to understand that his murder was an assassination and that even in death he will continue to give voice to pro-peace Palestinian and Israelis.
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Freedom on the net 2011: A global assessment of Internet and digital media
Source: Freedom House

Cyber attacks, politically motivated censorship and government control over internet infrastructure are among the diverse and growing threats to internet freedom, according to a new report.

A critical assessment of security challenges in West Africa: Report
Source: Institute for Security Studies 

This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990.

Turkmenistan: Dashoguz women's prison colony: Report
Source:  Norwegian Helsinki Committee

This report gives a unique look into everyday life in the prison colony, where over 2000 female inmates serve their sentences under very harsh conditions, some of which amounts to ill-treatment and torture. While Turkmenistan remains completely closed to international human rights monitoring, its human rights record is also one of the worst in the world, placing it at the very bottom of all indexes on democracy and basic freedoms.

Open Forum Newsletter - April Issue

The latest issue of the Open Forum newsletter is now available. It contains new updates, interesting interviews and interactive links about the activities and events around CSO Development Effectiveness, including CIVICUS highlights around the World Assembly.
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Help civil society make its voice clear at this year's High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, Busan, South Korea

This year CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is helping to co-ordinate the selection process for NGO representation and we need your voice in Busan. It's vital for civil society to have a strong presence at this forum. The Fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) on Aid Effectiveness will take place in Busan, South Korea from 29 November - 1 December, preceded by civil society organisations' pre-activities forum from 26-28 November.
Applications close on 8 May.
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WTO Public Forum 2011: Call for proposals
Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The 2011 Public Forum will provide an opportunity for the public at large to identify the principal trade challenges at the global level that impact on the multilateral trading system and identify solutions to ensure the WTO effectively adapts and responds to our fast-changing world. Civil society representatives interested in organising a session during the 2011 Public Forum should fill out the Call for Proposals Form by 6 May 2011.
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Ingrid Srinath
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