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26 May 2011
Edition No: 538

World Environment Day

On 5 June, the United Nations Development Programme will take the lead in celebrating World Environment Day (WED), which this year focuses on "Forests: Nature at Your Service." Being a global day for positive environmental action, the day aims to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and to encourage political attention and action.
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Every nine seconds, a child dies from hunger-related causes
Source: Mercy Corps

That's about how long it took you to read this far. And if Congress cuts hunger programmes that make up less than one-tenth of 1 per cent of the budget, even more people will go hungry. This is a critical moment - urge Congress to protect programmes that save lives around the world.
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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

64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference, Bonn, Germany, 3-5 September: "Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens"

The Conference website was officially launched on Monday 16 May at. www.un.org/dpingoconference and provides the most comprehensive information about the Conference. Registration closes on Friday 12 August.
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UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS

On 8 - 10 June, the 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS will take place in New York. The meeting will provide an opportunity for Member States to review progress and to (re)commit to actions to guide and sustain the global AIDS response, including by adopting a new Declaration
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The Cage: The fight for Sri Lanka and the last days of the Tamil Tigers
Gordon Weiss

The Cage is a brilliant yet harrowing account of Sri Lanka's fall into darkness. From one of the most promising nation states of the post-colonial world, Sri Lanka descended into bitter civil conflict between a vicious and corrupt government and the equally barbaric Tamil Tigers. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of civilians were to pay the price. Gordon Weiss, a veteran journalist and UN official with two decades' experience in many of the world's hot spots, was firmly entrenched in the conflict as spokesperson for the United Nations in Colombo. He was a close observer as, in just four months in 2009, tens of thousands of civilians were killed as they were cornered alongside the last of the Tamil Tigers. This account unravels the compelling history which leads up to that horrific moment, peeling back the Sri Lankan government's cloak of silence to reveal the events of those weeks beat by beat. It offers a rare window into the reality behind the daily headlines: the inner workings of media manipulation and the plight of international aid workers struggling to provide humanitarian assistance to those caught in the crossfire of a deadly civil conflict.

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Senior Associate, Private Sector Engagement (application deadline 19 June, 2011)
Source: United Nations Foundation

Reporting to the Director of Private Sector Engagement for the Global Strategy, the Senior Associate will play a critical role in the team's efforts to generate new commitments to the Every Woman, Every Child effort through thinking up and pursuing innovative collaborations with a host of private sector actors. He/She will also be responsible for the management of key internal and external committees and relationships related to the Global Strategy.
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Director of Civil Society Strengthening (application deadline 11 July, 2011)
Source: Counterpart International, Afghanistan

Counterpart International is seeking a Director of Civil Society Strengthening for  the three-year  USAID funded Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS II). With direction from the Chief of Party and designated Counterpart HQ staff, the Director of Civil Society Strengthening  will be responsible for programmatic oversight of all organisational development (OD), training and capacity building activities.
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Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant (application deadline 15 June, 2011)
Source: International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the largest humanitarian agencies in the world providing relief, rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction support to victims of oppression and violent conflict. It is currently seeking a M&E Consultant for the ERD unit to support its goal of increasing incomes, improving the utilisation of resources and creating jobs in post conflict/crisis-affected communities. 
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Adviser - Civil Society (application deadline 5 June, 2011)
Source: World Bank

EXT 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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No Silver Lining to the IMF Cloud

European powers appear set on perpetuating their arbitrary "entitlement" to the position of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in the wake of the controversy that precipitated the resignation earlier this month of Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Despite claims from the IMF that the selection this time around would "take place in an open, merit-based, and transparent manner" as well as a longstanding commitment to open the position to nationals of all member states, most developed country representatives had expressed clear preferences for European candidates even before nominations opened on 23 May.

Their stances will do nothing to allay fears among developing countries and civil society that pledges to address unrepresentative governance at the Bretton Woods institutions are mere window dressing. They are in direct contravention of the explicit recommendation that resulted from extensive civil society consultations last year that the election should be conducted "without pre-selection by any sub-group of powerful countries". Particularly since the arguments being proffered in favour of European candidates fly in the face of reason and logic. In an act of collective amnesia, some Europeans have argued that their current economic woes demand a European at the helm of the Fund, having asserted that objectivity was necessary in the IMF's approach following the Asian economic crisis of the late '90s. This repeats the U-turn in logic that accompanied their shift to becoming net contributors from net recipients when these institutions were founded following World War II. It is somewhat ironic that the current front runner for the Managing Director's position is French, since France was the first recipient of an IMF loan.

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In Solidarity,

CIVICUS calls on world leaders to make countries accountable for failing aid commitments at OECD summit

World leaders should use the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 50th anniversary forum to press for concrete improvements in sustainable development and fighting poverty, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation said as the two day summit opened today in Paris.
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International community must end "double standards" and act in Syria

The United Nations Security Council decision to act resolutely in Libya and failure to issue a resolution on Syria smacks of double standards, says CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. The international community, and particularly the Arab League, should make clear to the Syrian government that it has lost its legitimacy as a member of the international community.
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G8 must not forget aid effectiveness, says group of over 1000 civil society organisations

CIVICUS joined the call for leaders of the world's richest nations to commit this week to improving the effectiveness and impact of development aid by sending a strong political message to the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness that takes place later this year.
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CIVICUS launches new website: civicus.org


This new website still has the latest civil society news, highlights from CIVICUS and access to all our civil society resources, but is more interactive and easier to navigate in order for you to find what you want.
Visit the new civicus.org and  send us your feedback.

Thousands displaced by Abyei clashes

Source: Aljazeera

At least 15,000 people have fled to South Sudan amid burning and looting as troops sent by Khartoum seize disputed border area.
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Egypt: Mubarak to face conspiracy charges in protest shootings
Source: Washington Post

Egypt's top prosecutor said Tuesday that ousted president Hosni Mubarak will stand trial in an alleged conspiracy to kill demonstrators in February's uprising and could face the death penalty if convicted.
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15 countries join UN Human Rights Council. Syria ousted
Source: News.com

Amongst the new countries joining the Geneva-based council are the Congo, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Benin, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Italy and Austria.
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Turkmenistan: Ashgabat to face United Nations review on use of torture
Source: Eurasia.net

Turkmenistan's dismal human rights record will soon be the subject of a review by the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT).
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Pakistan and India: A rivalry that threatens the world
Source: The Economist

Pakistan's dangerous fondness for jihads, the Taliban and nuclear weapons is rooted in its fears of India.
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Local, not global blamed for high food prices
Source: IRIN

Banu Bibi's shopping basket is becoming emptier. When she goes shopping in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she spends more than a year ago, but that money buys less. Read more

Targeted repression continues in Bahrain and Yemen
Source: HREA.org

In the past few days, the authorities have arrested more photographers and photo-journalists who had been covering the pro-democracy demonstrations taking place in Bahrain since mid-February.
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Amazon dams mean progress for some, lost livelihoods for others
Source: IPS

The Amazonian town of Mutum-Paraná, in the northern Brazilian state of Rondônia, is disappearing. Its last remaining buildings must be dismantled before it is flooded by the construction of the Jirau hydro-electric dam on the Madeira River.
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Inaction at Least Developed Countries summit hurting global development

It's time for a new international development paradigm for Least Developed Countries, writes David Kode, Policy Officer at CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

World Leaders and policy makers have a remarkable capacity to emulate progress without actually achieving anything. Earlier this month leaders of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), parliamentarians, UN officials and representatives of civil society descended on Istanbul for the high level LDC IV Summit, the agenda being to evaluate progress on the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) – a programme adopted a decade ago that explicitly outlined commitments made by the international community to help countries graduate from the LDC bracket.  Now, although the determination to make progress towards the goals of poverty eradication, peace and development is on paper, the stark reality is that the challenges and constraints that instigated BPoA remain ten years on. So where are we at?

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Religion, Politics and Gender Equality: Report

Source: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

This Research and Policy Brief explores how religion, as a political force, shapes and deflects the struggle for gender equality in contexts marked by different (i) histories of nation building and challenges of ethnic/religious diversity; (ii) state-society relations (from the more authoritarian to the more democratic); and (iii) relations between state power and religion.

Tajikistan: The changing insurgent threats
Source: International Crisis Group

This latest report from the International Crisis Group examines the deteriorating situation in Tajikistan and warns that the country is profoundly vulnerable socially, economically, politically and militarily.
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Development Cooperation Beyond the Aid Effectiveness Paradigm: A women's rights perspective
Source: The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)

This publication unpacks how women's rights advocates envision a development cooperation framework that takes into account gender equality and women's rights and that is truly inclusive, sustainable and just.

International Conference on Sustainable Development 2011: Call for papers

The conference, jointly presented by the International Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Law (ICIRL), the Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy (CRSJP) at Laurentian University and the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA) in Canada and Graduate School, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, invites paper submissions for its conference in Malaysia on 5-7 December, 2011. Submission deadline is 30 October.
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Nominations open for the 2011 Africa Prize for Leadership

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. Previous winners of this $100,000 prize are Nelson Mandela and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
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Call for Applications: West African Youth for Sustainable Development Regional Meeting 2011

As part of efforts towards promoting youth engagement in sustainable development issues towards Rio+20, Young People We Care together with its international partners are organising the West African Youth Meeting from 10-16 August. The role of West African youth in efforts towards sustainable development and the post 2015 development agenda will be key on our agenda for this meeting. Download application documents: Application Form & Background and Practical Information

Rural Voices of Youth Initiative: Call for applications
Source: UNICEF Rural Voices of Youth

Young people aged 18-25 are invited to apply to become National Focal Points for the Rural Voices of Youth (RVOY) initiative. NFPs work with the Rural Voices of Youth Coordinator to foster meaningful participation of marginalised children and adolescents in rural communities. Applications close 31 May.
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Use of ICTs and Social Media for Human Rights Work

Source: Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)

To be held from 15 June- 30 August 2011, this e-learning course is intended for staff members of human rights and social justice NGOs and inter-governmental organisations who are responsible for information and communication (i.e. information officers, web editors, communication specialists) within their organisation. Participants will be introduced to proven methods of using ICTs and social media to promote their human rights work.
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