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14 July 2011
Edition No: 545




Catch the wind! Make a wish!

Kites are soaring through the skies with messages from citizens around the world! Watch the video : www.civicusassembly.org/makeawish and join in to make your own wish for a just world!

Africa: Food appeal for "worst humanitarian disaster"
Source: Oxfam

Oxfam this week launched its largest ever appeal in Africa in response to a massive food crisis facing more than 12 million people across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. The agency needs $80 million to reach three million people in dire need of clean water, food and basic sanitation.
"This is the worst food crisis of the 21st Century and we are seriously concerned that large numbers of lives could soon be lost," said Jane Cocking, Oxfam's Humanitarian Director.
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Input needed - Contribute to Rio+20 outcome document

In advance of Rio+20, significant progress has been made on the environmental and economic pillars, but the social pillar is lagging behind. Civil society organisations, member states and agencies have are being invited, until 1 November 2011, to provide inputs for this event. These inputs will help shape the compilation document that will be discussed at the third intersessional in New York, mid December.  This document will then serve to develop the zero draft of the outcome document that will be negotiated then 3 separate weeks in February, March and April in New York.
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Don't forget to follow our bloggers and take part in the discussions!
http://citizenshift.org/blogs/civicus

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

Check out the CIVICUS World Assembly programme and don't miss out on this great event! The programme includes 3 plenaries and 40 work sessions divided among four key thematic tracks: development effectiveness, climate justice, civil society and democratic space, and connecting people through technology. Don't miss this chance to join the discussion as we come together to find innovative ways to strengthen civil society and act together for a more just world - Register today!
Learn more

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4-6 June 2012
Source: UN

This Autumn, the Rio+20 Secretariat will be organising a number of social media activities with tools such as Facebook, Twitter and its dedicated Rio+20 website. Join the conversation:
on  Facebook and on Twitter and on the Rio+20 Website



Building Nations from the Bottom Up: The Global Rise of Democratic Society
Don Eberly

Global news is generally bad news. On the surface, the story is about war, poverty, ethnic and sectarian strife. Democracy movements advanced by the U.S. government seem to be stalled or even reversed. Yet just below the surface, more hopeful trends are brewing. A new global awareness of the people at "the bottom of the pyramid" is summoning forth an unprecedented response to human need and suffering. It involves a shift from vertical to horizontal power that official aid agencies are only beginning to comprehend.

Civil society, once the distinctive characteristic of American democracy, is now advancing across the globe, carrying with it new forms of philanthropy, citizenship and volunteerism. Tens of thousands of voluntary associations are prying open closed societies from within, solving problems in new ways and forming the seedbed for a long-term cultivation of democratic norms. Building Nations from the Bottom Up: The Global Rise of Democratic Society presents a sweeping overview of the forces now shaping the global debate, including citizen-led development projects, poverty-reduction strategies that substitute opportunity for charity, and electronically linked movements to combat corruption and autocratic rule.

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Follow @civicusalliance on twitter and get the latest civil society updates.




Consultant for CIVICUS-UNV Publication (application deadline 21 July 2011)
Source: UN Volunteers/CIVICUS

The consultancy contract will be managed by the Volunteerism Policy Advisor of UNV in Bonn, Germany. The day to day management of the consultancy will be by the CIVICUS CSI staff based in Johannesburg. S/he will develop a joint CIVICUS-UNV publication that further explores and defines how informal voluntary action can lead to citizen participation in governance and connects to other new forms of civil society and civic activism, and provides a resource to CSOs to explore this potential engagement opportunity.
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Attorney (Pretoria) and Candidate Attorney Programme (application deadline 27 July 2011)
Source: Lawyers for Human Rights

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) is a leading human rights organisation with a thirty-year track record of human rights activism and public interest litigation in South Africa. The Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme seeks a self-motivated admitted attorney with an interest in constitutional and public interest litigation.  LHR also invites law graduates with an interest in human rights litigation to apply for candidate attorney positions.
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Country Manager: HIV/AIDS Services Mapping Project (application deadline 19 July 2011)
Source: HOPE (Kyrgyzstan)

Project HOPE is recruiting a Country Manager to manage and coordinate all country-based activities under a regional HIV/AIDS services mapping project.   S/he will work with technical specialists based in the region and in the US to conduct a comprehensive country-level mapping exercise which will assess the availability of HIV/AIDS services to most at-risk populations (MARPs), including training data collectors and collecting data; reviewing and mapping existing demographic and HIV data for respective MARPs; as well as reviewing and mapping civil society organisations (CSOs) providing services to MARPs. 
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Human Resources Manager
Source: Friends in Global Health (FGH)

Friends in Global Health (FGH), an affiliate of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) at Vanderbilt University, works in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Mozambique and Nigeria to expand HIV/AIDS Medical Care and Treatment services. S/he will lead HR international liaison to manage the domestic and international HR operations.
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Deputy Director, Development (application deadline 20 July 2011)
Source: Rights & Democracy, Montreal (Quebec), Canada

Rights & Democracy is a Canadian institution with an international mandate; this independent organisation promotes, advocates for and defends the democratic and human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. Reporting to the Director of Development, the Deputy Director, Development is responsible for managing the team charged with identifying and applying for external funding for Rights & Democracy's projects and programmes, for conducting strategic country analyses and for preparing project proposals relating to human rights and democratic development at the international level.
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Co-operation for effective development: Looking to Busan

Few areas of development spout as many euphemisms as aid does. The view that resource transfers from one country to another are in fact a form of justice for centuries of colonial exploitation, or, at least, mutually beneficial investments, has given rise to terms like "development co-operation", "partner countries" and the like in preference to words like "aid", "donors" and "recipients".

Judging by the continuing failure to meet pledges made and reiterated for three decades or more, the current attempts by some to justify further reneging on the basis of fiscal pressures and the push to transfer responsibility to countries referred to as "emerging", it would appear that many of the countries who committed to transfer resources to developing countries still view these as discretionary charity, to be delivered if and when domestic circumstances permit.

Beyond the few countries that have consistently honoured their promises, pledges are now subject to new threats. Some have chosen to simply default, citing economic woes. Others have blurred definitions and timelines to maintain a semblance of compliance. In many cases resources pledged to development have been re-directed towards trade or security ends. And the commitments to transparency, mutual accountability and predictability have, in the main, been thrown to the winds. The most recent statistics, presenting a somewhat exaggerated picture since they are uncorrected for inflation, are here.

Continue reading (and add your comments)

In solidarity,


Ingrid Srinath







Voices on the road to COP 17

Who should lead the fight on climate change? You should
Interview by: Elizabeth Hira, Human Rights Activist and Policy Unit Intern, CIVICUS

Mandeep Tiwana, Policy Manager at CIVICUS, discusses climate change, COP17, and why ordinary people need to lead the fight. This is the first in a series of conversations CIVICUS will host in the lead-up to the 17th Conference of the Parties on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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CIVICUS Webinar: Challenges facing women human rights defenders in Africa - building momentum for mobilisation


In the wake of CIVICUS' recent report on challenges faced by women human rights defenders in Africa, the webinar will be a space to learn about and discuss these challenges, to share experiences on improvements or gaps that have come to light since the study and to collectively identify areas for joint advocacy activities and mobilisation. The webinar will take place on 27 July at 3pm GMT.
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CIVICUS presents at 8th Regional Conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Speaking from Buenos Aires this week, CIVICUS' Convening Manager, Mariano De Donatis, said: "It is interesting to see in the programme that in almost all the panels there is a researcher using the Civil Society Index (CSI) findings as a tool to analyse the state of particular aspects of civil society in this region. The CSI proves once again its relevance as one of the unique global tools to assess our sector."
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CIVICUS holds joint press conference with Human Rights Watch on Syria

Last week CIVICUS partnered with Human Rights Watch to host a delegation of Syrian civil society and human rights activists who were in South Africa to garner support for a draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria calling for an immediate end to the violence in Syria. Since the pro-democracy protests began in March, Syrian security forces have killed more than 1,350 protesters and innocent bystanders; the use of torture has been widespread, including the use of electroshock devices.

Read reports:


From the CIVICUS blog


Don't forget Uzbekistan

Will Lasky, Eurasia Project Coordinator

After years of repression will the momentum of the Arab spring spread to Uzbekistan?
Read more

World Assembly first-timer. Should I be excited?
Lerato Pagiwa, Junior Communications Officer, CIVICUS

As a young person at the start of what I hope will be an empowering and successful career in the field of civil society and development, I find myself in a very unique position: being selected to attend my very first global gathering of civil society actors in Montreal.
Read more

Read more of this and other articles on our blog


From the CIVICUS World Assembly blog

Talking 'bout a revolution. Civil society? Um, not around right now...

The streets of Tunis are vibrant. Sellers hawking cheap goods imported from China cram the sidewalks, an impossible scene pre-revolution. As I walked the streets this evening, my Tunisian friend working in human rights told me of the changes since the tumultuous events of January 14. Tunis NGOs are now free to operate in areas outside the city; within the city, they can now host workshops in venues such as hotels, an act that was previously prohibited.
Read more

Read this post and others from leading commentators around the globe on key civil society issues in the World Assembly Blog.



Follow threats and take action to protect civil society - join Civil Society Watch at www.cswatch.org





Israel Bans Boycotts Against the State


The Israeli Parliament on Monday passed contentious legislation that effectively bans any public call for a boycott against the state of Israel or its West Bank settlements, making such action a punishable offense. Critics and civil rights groups denounced the new law as antidemocratic and a flagrant assault on the freedom of expression and protest.
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US violated Egypt's sovereignty by offering funds to NGOs, says minister
Source: ALMASRY AL YOUM

The United States has violated Egypt's sovereignty by offering funding to Egyptian civil institutions, organizations and associations without properly consulting the government, said Egyptian Minister of Solidarity and Social Justice Gouda Abdel Khaliq on Wednesday. In a press statement, Abdel Khaliq said that his ministry has managed to track the flow of US funds to Egyptian groups in violation of Egyptian law. Abdel Khaliq warned civil society associations and NGOs against applying for foreign grants.
Read more

Rich nations risk breaking their pledges on farming aid, says anti-poverty group
Source: The Guardian

According to the ONE campaign, only a fifth of money promised in 2009 to the world's poorest countries has been delivered.
Read more

U.N. seeks controls on private armies
Source: IPS

Governments and NGOs are being urged to question the accountability of military spend.
Read more

Can we balance our books on the backs of the poorest?
Source: Village

CIVICUS' Ingrid Srinath spoke with Justin Kilcullen of Trocaire on the topic "If We Were Brave - Leadership Beyond Budget Cuts", looking at overseas development aid and the debate sparked by national healthcare cutbacks in Ireland.
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Political demonstration in Malaysia: Crackdown in Kuala Lumpur
Source: The Economist

The government's heavy-handed approach to a peaceful protest belies deep anxiety.
Read more


Feature

With a grave human rights situation in Belarus at stake, civil society activists make their plea to OSCE

From a country so repressed that a dissenting word against government will result in a prison sentence, Yuri Dzhibladze, Founder and President of the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights in Moscow, writes why the international community must not forget Belarus.
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The Millennium Development Goals Report 2011

Source: United Nations

The 2011 Millennium Development Goals Report was released on 7 July with a generally upbeat assessment accompanied by some caveats.
Download

Getting Away with Torture: Report
Source: Human Rights Watch

The Bush administration and mistreatment of detainees
Read more

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2011: Report
Source: Minority Rights Group International

Researchers analyse the state of the world's minorities and indigenous people and reveal some unsettling results.
Download





Call for Contributions: GCAP: "The World We Want" report

Source: The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)

By developing an annual World We Want Report and launching it on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, GCAP will provide a lobbying tool for civil society to present to political decision makers; a roadmap for achieving the MDGs and eradicating the structural causes of poverty and inequality - based on existing successes and knowledge of what works in transforming existing systems of exclusion. Deadline for contributions: 25 July 2011.
More information email: caitlin.blaser[at]whiteband.org

Call for Papers: Engendering Economic Policy in Africa
Source: Feminist Economics

This special issue, planned for online publication in 2014 and print publication in 2015, will bring together new research aimed at challenging and improving economic policies in Africa. The submission deadline is 1 September 2011.
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Positive change in action campaign
Source: 1001 Stories of Common Ground

Enter and submit your original article, photo or video showing positive change in the Arab world. The winning entries to www.1001cgstories.org will win a $500 grant. The deadline has been extended to 15 July 2011.
Read more

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CONTACT US


EDITORS-IN-CHIEF
Jessica Hume
Ingrid Srinath
P.O. Box 933
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South Africa
1425 K Street NW
Suite 350
Washington DC 20005

EDITORS
Oluwakorede Asuni
Rowena McNaughton
Margaret Fish

Tel: +27 11 833 5959
Fax:+27 11 833 7997
Tel: +1 202 331-8518
Fax: +1 202 331-8774