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29 September 2011
Edition No: 555

Support the Social Protection Floor Initiative
Source: Go Petition

Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank), it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens. Get involved: Sign the petition

Bolivia: Stop the crackdown
Source: Avaaz

On Sunday, Bolivian police used tear gas and truncheons to crack down on indigenous men, women and children marching against an illegal mega-highway that will slice through the protected Amazon rainforest. Only if the world stands with these brave indigenous people can we ensure the highway is rerouted and the forest is protected.
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Busan CSO pre-event; Register now
Source: Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness
Open Forum, BetterAid and KoFID are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Global Civil Society Forum: 26, 27 and 28 November 2011 in Busan, South Korea - just ahead of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) on 29 November to 1 December.
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eCampaigning Forum Europe, 3-4 November, Vienna, Austria
The eCampaigning Forum is a place for you to learn about e-campaigning in practice from practitioners. Within the open agenda you can share ideas and effective strategies with peers.
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Building Global Democracy? Civil Society and Accountable Global Governance

Jan Aart Scholte

Global governance bodies are "proliferating and growing in significance". However, unlike states, which are accountable to their citizens, the accountability of global governance bodies is uncertain. Jan Aart Scholte, Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Warwick, argues in Building Global Democracy? Civil Society and Accountable Global Governance that without being held accountable, global governance bodies will fail to achieve their purposes, generate limited support and undermine core societal values.
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Follow @civicusalliance on twitter and get the latest civil society updates.

Executive Director (application deadline 22 October 2011)
Source: PANOS, Caribbean

Panos Caribbean is a regional organisation serving the wider Caribbean region in the field of communications and development. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead a vibrant and innovative organisation and to help shape its future strategies and programmes.
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Regional Organisational Communications Officer (application deadline 9 October 2011)
Source: Greenpeace, South-East Asia

Greenpeace, one of the world's leading environmental campaigning organisations, is looking for a Regional Organisational Communications Officer. The Regional Communications Officer reports to the Regional Communications Manager and is in charge of developing and implementing communications strategies that will deliver targeted messages to key audiences, toward the achievement of the organisation's goals.
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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Consultancy (application deadline: 7 October 2011)
Source: Transparency International

Transparency International (TI) is inviting expressions of interest from highly experienced consultants to design a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework and supporting tool(s) to support the implementation of a wide-ranging Institutional Network Strengthening Programme, with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region.
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Trying to use a water pistol to stop a charging rhino

This week saw some of the world's largest and most powerful institutions host their annual meetings. At the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund global leaders conferred with each other and with experts and representatives from academia, business, media and civil society on the critical economic, social, political and ecological issues that loom ever larger.

You would imagine, given the urgency of the crises, that leaders would transcend short-term sectoral, national and ideological boundaries to find solutions bold enough to make some dent in the problems that confront us. What emerged was best described by Paul Krugman's words in a slightly different context: trying to use a water pistol to stop a charging rhino.

As those charged with governing our planet continue to prioritise those "too big to fail" over those "too small to count", the words of Laila Iskandar, Managing Director, Community and Institutional Development Group, Egypt, at the IMF-World Bank-civil society town hall meeting offered a refreshing change of tone. I hope you will find them as inspiring as I did. The video version is available here.

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In solidarity,

Ingrid Srinath

IMF-World Bank civil society town hall meeting

Remarks by Laila Iskandar, Chairperson, CID Consulting (a social enterprise in Cairo, Egypt), Board Chair, Spirit of Youth NGO in Cairo (situated in the garbage collectors' neighbourhood of Manchiyet Nasser), and Member, Global Recyclers without Borders Network

From the global CSO community we bring you news of our work with millions of people on six continents.  We have tested innovative approaches such as mobile banking and others.  We have documented best practice, shared it and been responsive to changing realities of real people in communities. We have professionalised our practice, modernised our methods and transferred our know-how across boundaries and regions.  We have formed global coalitions, adopted a unified vision, agreed on and advocated on global issues. 
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Joint letter to Secretary of State Clinton regarding Uzbekistan

CIVICUS joined Human Rights Watch and other civil society organisations to sign a joint letter to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the situation in Uzbekistan.
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CIVICUS at the UN: Human Rights situations that require the Council's attention

During the recent 10th CIVICUS World Assembly of (10-12 September) our members and partners on the ground asked us to bring to the UN Human Rights Council their strong concerns on Syria, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Yemen.
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Oral Report of the High Commissioner on the status of human rights in Belarus

This report was delivered on behalf of the Youth Human Rights Movement by Ana Dobrovolskaya at the 18th session of the Human Rights Council on 20 September.
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Adoption of the Universal Periodic Review Report on Sudan

This is a joint statement by CIVICUS, the Arab NGO Network for Development and the Sudanese National Civic Forum, the Human Rights and Legal Aids Network in Sudan, the Sudanese Gender Research Centre, the Child's Center in Sudan, and the Sudanese Development Initiative.
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Members' corner

Reduce military expenditure and invest in health, education and technology - Gumbonzvanda makes the call at UN
Source: Rozaria Trust

Founder and Chairperson of the Rozaria Memorial Trust, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, gave a strong and impassioned statement at a special event on Women and Children's Health during the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. She called on governments and partners to invest in women and girls, reduce military expenditure and end all wars. She addressed the meeting as the General Secretary of the World YWCA, representing the voices of civil society.
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Voices on the road to COP 17

Africa's energy future heading down a dark tunnel
Source: International Rivers

The Conference of Energy Ministers in Africa - a two-year-old institution recognised by the African Union and donors as the official voice of Africa's energy future – recently met for the second time and released a new declaration that can fairly be called double-speak. The first half of the declaration is so great, it could have been written by a Nelson Mandela of energy. It outlines the brutal reality of Africa's energy poverty and the goals for universal access to sustainable energy across Africa by 2030.
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Follow threats and take action to protect civil society - join Civil Society Watch at www.cswatch.org

Kenya's Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai dies

Source: AFP

Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has died of cancer aged 71, her family said Monday. "It is with great sadness that the family of Professor Wangari Maathai announces her passing away on 25th September 2011 at the Nairobi hospital after a prolonged and bravely borne struggle with cancer," said a statement issued via the Green Belt Movement she founded.
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Bolivia: Police repression of indigenous marchers in Yucumo
Source: Global Voices

It has been more than a month since a group of indigenous protesters from the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro SÚcure (TIPNIS in Spanish) started their 500km march with the goal of reaching the seat of government in La Paz to express their opposition to the planned highway construction through their land.
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Sentencing to prison of lawyer Moses Richards, a chilling message to the Gambian human rights community
Source: Africa News
On 19 September 2011, Gambian lawyer Moses Richards, former High Court Judge at the Special Criminal Division, who is known for defending victims of human rights abuses in politically sensitive cases, was convicted and sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labour by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrates' Court on charges of "sedition" and "giving false information" to a public officer. He was immediately arrested and jailed in Mile Two prison.
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'Secrecy Bill' a step backwards for Africa
Source: IPS News

Critics call it "the Secrecy Bill". And it comes at a time when several African countries are adopting promising new legislation on access to information. But campaigners say South Africa's draft Protection of Information Bill represents a step backwards. Intended to replace an apartheid-era law on official secrets, the Protection of Information Bill has faced severe criticism from opposition parties, journalists and ordinary citizens. They have challenged the broad powers initially granted government to classify information as secret and a vague definition of "national interest" that justifies classification.
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Saudi Arabia: Women to vote, join Shura council
Source: Human Rights Watch
King Abdullah's announcement that women will be able to participate in municipal elections in 2015 and become members of the consultative Shura Council is a long-overdue step toward greater participation of women in public life, says Human Rights Watch. In his statement on 25 September 2011, Abdullah made no reference to reforming other areas of discrimination against women, such as the guardianship system that authorises male control over women and the ban on women driving.
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Madrid: protest against tax havens, HSBC and Switzerland

On 23 September, the movement 15-M in Madrid protested against tax havens and the secret accounts of the Spanish rich in Switzerland. The working group of Economics of the "indignants" movement 15-M and other associations have protested outside the headquarters of HSBC bank in Madrid to request that it identifies the 659 persons of Spanish nationality who hold secret accounts in Switzerland.
Read more (In Spanish)

New Cambodian law cracking down on NGOs
Source: ABC News

NGOs are lobbying the Australian Government to help stop Cambodia from implementing the law that they say will restrict their activities and freedom of speech. The Cambodian government has completed a third draft of its new law which would make registrations mandatory for NGOs with no transparent appeals process.
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Conflict risk alert: Stopping the spread of Sudan's new civil war
Source: International Crisis Group

Civil war is spreading in Sudan, and concerted international action is needed to stem the violence and prevent it from engulfing the entire country and the wider region. Khartoum's most recent military offensive - this time in Blue Nile state - adds to fresh fighting between government and opposition forces in Southern Kordofan and recent hostilities in Abyei. With hundreds of thousands of people displaced, at least 20,000 of whom have fled into Ethiopia from Blue Nile in recent days, the growing war on multiple fronts poses serious dangers for the country, for its future relationship with the Republic of South Sudan and for the stability of the region as a whole.
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A  tribute  from  Cyril  Ritchie,  after  36  years  of  friendship  with  Maathai*
Cyril Ritchie

The  world  is  today  a  poorer  place,  following  the  immensely  regretted  death  of  Wangari  Maathai,   an  outstanding  woman,   an  outstanding  humanist,   an outstanding  innovator,   an outstanding  civil  society  activist,   an  outstanding  leader.   And  an  outstanding  mother   to  outstanding  children,  to  whom  I  convey  my  emotional  solidarity  and  support.
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Towards a New Republic of Sudan
Source: Zunia

This report originates from a view shared by the authors that the myriad challenges facing the future Republic of Sudan require a more comprehensive and holistic approach, to be adopted by both Sudanese and the international community.

"Aid Effectiveness 2005-2010: Progress in Implementing the Paris Declaration"
Source: OECD

The report "Aid Effectiveness 2005-2010: Progress in Implementing the Paris Declaration", released yesterday by the OECD, finds that donors have made less effort and less progress than developing countries in implementing aid effectiveness commitments since 2005, even though the commitments demanded less from donors.

Civil society involvement in ICANN: Strengthening future civil society influence in ICANN policymaking
Source: Association for Progressive Communications

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) occupies a unique role in that it manages a global public resource (the Internet's domain name addressing space), but it shares this responsibility between businesses, governments and civil society participants from many nations. It represents a unique blend of "multi-stakeholderism" governance. This paper investigates ICANN's processes, the role of civil society within decision-making and highlights lessons learned from this multi-stakeholderism experiment as well as recommendations for future similar initiatives.
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Call for Proposals: Joint MFS II evaluations

Source: WOTRO Science for Global Development

On 19 September 2011 NWO-WOTRO launched three international calls for proposals concerning the joint MFS II evaluations. MFS II is the 2011-2015 grant framework for Dutch co-financing agencies (CFA's) directed at achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development. The respective deadlines for submission are 31 October, 1 November and 2 November 2011.
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Call for applications: Global south scholars-in-residence and global south workshop

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, is pleased to announce opportunities for researchers and professors from Southern Universities through the Global South Scholars-in-Residence, occurring in spring 2012 in Geneva (Application Deadline: 1 October 2011). The programme is dedicated to young university teachers from Africa, Asia and Latin America working in disciplines related to international and development studies.
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Jessica Hume
Ingrid Srinath
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