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19 May 2011
Edition No: 537

Nelson Mandela Week: Change the world for the better
Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation

In the lead-up to Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July, and the launch in June of Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Quotations Book, the Foundation will release a Nelson Mandela quote from the book every day from 14 May to18 July.
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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 2011 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 to address the challenges facing humanity. Register by 30 May and get 40% off the registration fee
To register or find out more about the World Assembly, click here

"Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens": 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference
Source: United Nations DPI/NGO

The 64th Annual United Nations Conference for Non-Governmental Organisations associated with the Department of Public Information will focus on the theme "Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens". The event will be held in Bonn, Germany from 3 - 5 September. Registration is now open.
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Globalization, Philanthropy, and Civil Society: Projecting Institutional Logics Abroad
Source: Indiana University Press

The essays in this book reflect pioneering efforts to study the global movement of ideas and institutions. They deal with topics of significant contemporary importance: initiatives to address the AIDS epidemic in East Africa; to protect the peoples and ecosystems of the Amazon; to advance the "truth and reconciliation" process in South Africa and in other areas of great conflict; to promote "civil society" in Eastern Europe and Central Asia; to advocate for environmental protection in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan; and to spread Rotary Clubs and encourage "social entrepreneurship" throughout the world. These essays highlight a wide range of research, paying close attention to the realities of particular situations and to current thinking about general processes.
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Adviser - Civil Society (application deadline 5 June 2011)
Source: World Bank

The World Bank is seeking an experienced and dynamic professional to lead the Bank's engagement with CSOs, and to head a small civil society team based in the Operational Communications unit (EXTOC).
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Community Online Fundraising Manager (application deadline 12 June 2011)
Source:  ACNUR (Spanish Committee of UNHCR)

ACNUR is seeking a Community Online Fundraising Manager for its Madrid office. The candidate will be responsible for the development of the online strategic direction and will carry out the implementation of the online marketing and fundraising campaign's initiatives.
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Head of Campaigns and Policy (application deadline 6 June 2011)
Source: World Development Movement

The World Development Movement (WDM), an innovative UK's campaigning organisation working for positive change for the world's poorest people, is seeking someone with a strong track record of developing campaign strategies and tactics, alongside solid advocacy and policy analysis skills in international development, who isn't afraid to take on tough issues and powerful voices.
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Home - isn't that the place where, when you have to go, they have to take you in?

Watching Palestinians commemorate the anniversary of the Nakba this week and facing violent reprisals against their attempts to protest the continuing violation of their rights to their homeland, I was reminded of Jamila, whom I met two years ago. It's unlikely I will ever forget her steadfast grace and dignity in circumstances where both are rare.

The words she inspired bear re-reading, I think.

Trapped, like Tibetans, Kashmiris and others, between rival fundamentalisms and clashing security interests, ordinary Palestinians - in Gaza, the West Bank and refugee camps across the region - endure daily indignities that dwarf their other deprivations. Despite growing global support, motivated as much by pragmatism as principle, their claims - moral and legal - remain unfulfilled.

In September, they plan to press the United Nations to remedy this long-standing grievance. Mahmoud Abbas presents their case with great eloquence and coherence.

Will they find solidarity from the many who have authored paeans to democracy and human rights, intervened militarily or mobilised in other ways to support the "Arab Spring"?

Additional reading: Why Jews need to talk about the Nakba

In Solidarity,

Are gay rights universal?

This week we paused on 17 May to mark global anti-homophobia day. With same-sex relationships criminalised in over 70 countries, CIVICUS’s Senior Policy Manager, Adele Poskitt, questioned if it was a day to celebrate.
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Press Release: Belarusian authorities must end suppression of citizens, says CIVICUS

The recent detention of 14 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists in Minsk is just one more incident in an on-going crackdown on civil society in Belarus, said CIVICUS today. The arrests came as local LGBT groups were gathering in Minsk to commemorate the International Day of Anti-Homophobia on 17 May.
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UN recommends climate services to combat weather losses

Source: The Boston Globe

A United Nations panel has recommended the creation of a $75 million a year UN-administered organisation to channel development aid to vulnerable countries to combat severe weather associated with climate change as a way to reduce tens of billions of dollars in annual climate-related losses.
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Burma begins releasing prisoners under new amnesty
Source: BBC

Burma has begun freeing thousands of prisoners and reducing sentences under an amnesty dismissed by critics as a gesture to improving its image abroad. Human rights activists said few of the country's 2,200 political prisoners were among those being released.
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Libya: How online mapping helped crisis response
Source: IRIN

Soon after the Libyan crisis broke, decision-makers and humanitarian workers faced a critical challenge: lack of information about events inside the country.
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Women break down barriers in heavy construction in Brazil
Source: IPS

They represent just seven percent of the workers building the Santo Antonio hydro-electric dam on the Madeira River, which cuts across the Amazon jungle in northwest Brazil. But the women workers total 1,200, and many of them have had to break down barriers to jobs seen as the preserve of men. Zenaide Pereira da Silva, 29, is one of them. She was the first woman to operate a gantry crane - basically a gigantic 20-metre-high crane on wheels that can lift up to 250 tonnes, to assemble the turbines and other enormous equipment in the construction of the hydropower station.
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Uganda: MP to persevere with anti-homosexuality bill
Source: IRIN

Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill and HIV Prevention and Control Bill are likely to be carried over to the new session of parliament, despite international and local pressure.
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Nigeria: At least 800 killed in post-election violence
Source: Associated Press

At least 800 people were killed in post-election violence that swept across northern Nigeria as it became clear that a northern candidate would not succeed in unseating the southern president, an international human rights group has said.
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Declaration of civil society on the LDC Conference
Source: LDC Civil Society Forum

Representatives of civil society organisations, who met in Istanbul on 7-13 May 2011 at the Civil Society Forum of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the LDCs, appreciated the opportunities to express their views on the challenges to LDCs and the development of the Istanbul Programme of Action and the Istanbul Political Declaration. However, it is with deep disappointment that, at the conclusion of this process, it is clear their voices have not been heard and reflected in the conference outcomes.
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Uganda: Treading a precarious path?
Rowena McNaughton

Typically revered for being one of the most politically apathetic people in Africa, Ugandan citizens are slowly coming onto the street to demand change. Why now?
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Film: Bitter winter in Belarus
Source: International Federation for Human Rights

The FIDH 7 - minute video Bitter Winter in Belarus denounces the violent repression exercised by the Belarus authorities against all the dissident voices that have protested against the rigging of the 19 December 2010 presidential elections.

Report: Stemming the Tide: Arrests of Students and Youth Continue in Efforts to Curb Potential Organising Power
Source: African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies

The report documents the continued arrest and torture of students and youth at universities throughout Sudan, and in Abu Shouk and Al Salaam IDP Camps in El Fashir, North Darfur.

Protection of Civilians in 2010: Facts, figures, and the UN Security Council’s response
Source: Oxfam

Worldwide, civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflict. In 2010, millions of men, women and children were threatened, injured, killed, raped, displaced, recruited by force or deprived of safe water and food.

Refugees and IDPs after conflict: Why they do not go home 
Source: United States Institute of Peace

This report reviews the challenges facing returning refugees and internally displaced persons after protracted conflict, questioning the common wisdom that the solution to displacement is, in almost all cases, to bring those uprooted to their places of origin, regardless of changes in the political, economic, psychological and physical landscapes.

Privileging asymmetric warfare? Defender duties under International Humanitarian Law
Source: New York University Law School

Scholarship and advocacy needs to bring defender duties to the forefront of any discussion and investigation of armed conflicts. The necessarily joint contribution of attackers and defenders alike to civilian harm must be recognised.

Interim human rights assessment of the events of 19 December 2010 in Minsk, Belarus
Source: International Youth Human Rights Movement

This report is an independent assessment of the events on 19 December in Minsk, Belarus, undertaken by the Special Rapporteur of the Committee of International Control (CIC) over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus. Neil Jarman, a well-known expert on police conduct and a head of the OSCE ODIHR panel of experts on freedom of assembly, was appointed Special Rapporteur specifically for the purpose of analysing the assembly in Minsk, the conduct of the demonstrators and the police from the viewpoint of international standards on freedom of assembly. The interim assessment based on available evidence basically concludes that there were no mass riots in the city centre on 19 December 2010.

SMK International Campaigner award

Source: Sheila McKechnie Foundation

The International Campaigner Award is for campaigners outside the UK, working to achieve social or environmental justice in their home countries. The award recognises campaigners working in many of the least developed countries of the global South. Nominations are now being accepted.
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Nominations open for the 2011 Africa Prize for Leadership
Source: The Hunger Project

The Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger honours African women and men from all sectors whose committed leadership has made outstanding contributions to the well-being of Africa's people. Founded in 1987 by The Hunger Project, this $100,000 prize has put an early international spotlight on pioneering individuals such as Wangari Maathai and Esther Ocloo, as well as on heads of state such as Nelson Mandela and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Nominations are now open, deadline is 31 May 2011.
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Nominations sought for "Connecting Women Mediators and Peacemakers in Africa"
Source: Vital Voices

Vital Voices Global Partnership seeks nominations for women leaders and activists in conflict engagement and economic progress from Africa to participate in the "Connecting Women Mediators and Peacemakers in Africa" programme to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 6-7 October 2011. All the travel and accommodation expenses of the participants will be borne by the Vital Voices Global Partnership during the course of the programme. 
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2012 Rotary Peace Fellowship
Source: Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation is now accepting applications for the world-competitive Rotary Peace Fellowship. The fellowship provides academic and practical training to prepare scholars for leadership roles in solving conflicts around the world. Application deadline 15 August, 2012.
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