Issue No 587 | 24 May 2012
statement of the nine Major Groups involved in the Rio+20 sustainable
development process was delivered to a special session of the UN
General Assembly this week by CIVICUS’ UN New York representative,
Jeffrey Huffines. The statement’s
eight key asks are to renew leadership; ensure non-regression; achieve
equity; enable inclusive participation; improve the governance of
sustainable development; establish sustainable development goals; base
decisions in sound science; and move beyond GDP as a measure.
2012: an action-packed programme!
The 2012 CIVICUS
World Assembly programme
is now available. The content is rich, the presenters are bringing a
great diversity of expertise, there are a thousand things for you to
accomplish... and your own participation is only a click away!
Please give us your views about the state
of the CIVICUS alliance.
answer two short questions in our online survey
CIVICUS global consultations - new dates
The CIVICUS alliance's series of global consultations
is coming to a locale near you. The output of these consultations will
help to shape the core work of the CIVICUS alliance for the next five
years. We invite you to share your experiences and perspectives on the
topic 'confronting the challenges facing humanity: a civil society
agenda for 2013 to 2017' in Helsinki, Finland; Maputo, Mozambique;
Johannesburg, South Africa; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Em Portugues: Consultas Globais da CIVICUS
- novas datas confirmadas
A serie de consultas globais da CIVICUS está chegando a
uma localidade perto de voce. Os resultados destas consultas vao ajudar
a moldar o enfoque do trabalho da CIVICUS para os próximos cinco anos.
Convidamos-lo a compartilhar suas experiências e perspectivas sobre o
tema ‘enfrentando os desafios que afectam a humanidade: uma agenda da
sociedade civil para 2013-2017' nos seguintes locais: Helsinki,
Finland; Maputo, Mocambique; Johannesburg, Africa do Sul; e Buenos
Weekly webinar: Finding common ground - a
global civil society alliance and faith based civil society, Wednesday
CSOs have the potential to harness the
energy and passion of people of faith and access large pockets of
social capital. At CIVICUS, we are seeking to build effective
partnerships with organisations that mobilise people of faith so that
we can achieve greater impact in areas of common interest together. In
this webinar, the latest in our weekly series, we will explore the
importance of interfaith dialogue at the grassroots level and the role
of faith-based organisations in peace-building, and we also hope to
examine critically the potential advantages and disadvantages of
working with faith-based organisations as development partners.
Hockey federation turns blind eye to human
rights by confirming 2014 championships in Belarus
CIVICUS, and eight human rights organisations in the
Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland are
deeply disappointed that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)
confirmed last week that the Republic of Belarus will host the 2014
IIHF World Championship. We believe that to hold these championships in
Belarus will serve to legitimise a regime that violates the human
rights of the people of Belarus and represses civil society.
'Fewer and fewer committed, independent
civil society activists are remaining' - interview with Sukhrobjon
Ismailov, civil society activist, Uzbekistan
Sukhrobjon Ismailov, founder and director of the Expert
Working Group, Uzbekistan, speaks to CIVICUS about the challenges of
being a human rights defender in his country. The Expert Working Group
is a network of independent Uzbek experts and researchers studying
issues related to law and public interest, human rights and fundamental
freedoms, rule of law, democratisation and liberalisation.
Protecting civil society: will India lead
the way in Geneva?
On 24 May, India underwent its Universal Periodic
Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. UPR has emerged
as a critical global process where all UN member states submit to an
evaluation of their human rights record by other governments. For
India, engaging substantively with the process is vital to enhance the
legitimacy of its aspirations to play a greater role in world affairs.
Protection of civil society should be at
the heart of World Bank’s social accountability initiative
CIVICUS welcomes the World Bank’s Global Partnership
for Social Accountability initiative. But to achieve the desired
results, the partnership should produce a framework for cooperation
between governments and civil society which guarantees an enabling
environment for civil society - just as is done in the case of
business. The Bank should unequivocally condemn restrictions on human
rights and democratic freedoms.
the Road to Rio
Use this interactive map to click on your
country and see how your government is preparing for Rio+20!
Own the Edge May newsletter: towards the
new third round of informals
May 2012 edition of 'Own the Edge' - the Rio+20 NGO major group
organising partners newsletter - is now available. It looks back on the
last round of negotiations, where delegates made some progress in
clarifying positions and finding compromise text, agreeing on 21
paragraphs. However, as this represented only a small percentage of the
text, which stood at more than 420 paragraphs, and recognising the
considerable work that still remains, an additional negotiating session
is now scheduled. This session will take place from 29 May to 2 June
2012, at UN Headquarters - registration
Schedule of side events at Rio Centro now
More than 500 Rio+20 side events organised by
governments, major groups, organisations from the UN system and other
international organisations, including CIVICUS, will take place in Rio
Centro during Rio+20 Prepcom III (13 to 15 June), the Sustainable
Development Dialogue Days (16 to 19 June) and the Summit itself (20 to
22 June). The preliminary programme is now available.
Announcement to newly accredited
organisations: deadline for registrations has been extended to 27 May
The extended deadline for registration to Rio+20 is
approaching quickly - 27 May. Registration is required for all
participants seeking to access Rio Centro, including speakers and
panellists for side events and those participating in the Sustainable
Development Dialogue days.
Organisational Committee of the People’s
Summit releases policy statement
Group organising People's Summit in Rio says, "One
month before Rio+20, peoples of the world don't see any positive
advances in the negotiation process going on within the official
conference. Indeed, neither the balance of agreements concluded in Rio
92 nor the ways to work on the crises’ causes have been discussed."
Brazil lowers exorbitant hotel costs for
delegates going to Rio+20
50,000 visitors are expected for Rio+20, a number which exceeds the
city’s current hotel capacity of just 33,000 hotel rooms. As a result,
average prices had jumped to $818 a night, exorbitant rates for which
the city’s hotel sector has been criticised. The government of Brazil
has recently stepped in to cut prices, which should now be at least 25%
Conference 2012: Labour Rights as Human Rights? Migration, Labour
Market Restructuring, and the Role of Civil Society in Global
Governance, Sweden, 30 May to 1 June 2012
This conference will bring together social scientists
and local stakeholders in labour rights and human rights to discuss
internationally coordinated policy alternatives for promoting migrants'
labour rights, and a more inclusive role of civil society.
Global Voices Citizen Media Summit,
Nairobi, Kenya, 2 to 3 July 2012
Global Voices Summit will bring together bloggers, activists and
technologists for public discussions and workshops about the rise of
online citizen media movements. The theme for this year's summit is the
cataclysmic rise of online citizen media over the past years, and
particularly in 2011. Can this be considered a global movement now? And
what should happen next?
New study on aid transparency and climate
Publish What You Fund and AidInfo’s new study addresses
between aid transparency and climate finance. Countries have started to
report on their climate funding and researchers have pored over these
results, seeking to make sense of the funding flows. Are pledges being
delivered? Is the money new and additional? Does it add up and how
should it be measured?
Southern voices on climate policy choices
Development and environment groups in Southern countries are having a
growing influence on government policy to tackle climate change, and
are helping get the concerns of the poorest and most vulnerable people
heard at national level, according to this new civil society report.
Released at UN climate talks in Germany, it contains examples from more
than 20 climate networks in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the
Pacific, showing how civil society is holding governments to account on
climate change commitments.
Call for submissions: taking
women's experiences and perspectives to Rio+20
partnership with the Women’s Environment and Development Organisation,
World Pulse is collecting personal stories from women around the world
outlining their experiences and recommendations on sustainable and
equitable development for presentation at Rio+20. Stories should be
submitted by 3 June 2012.
Civil Society News
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with thousands of subscribers! Email your civil society news for the
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Azerbaijan: authorities violently disperse
Azerbaijan’s government sent an ominous message about
its commitment to fundamental freedoms by violently dispersing two
peaceful protests, just before the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is due
to be held in the capital, Baku.
Human Rights Watch
Bahrain: one hundred organisations call for
an end to assault on freedom of speech
hundred CSOs, including CIVICUS, have called on the King, Crown Prince
and Prime Minister of Bahrain to immediately release all human rights
defenders and online activists detained solely for exercising their
right to peaceful free expression, whether online or during
Canada: Quebec suspends civil liberties in
response to students’ strike
In response to 15 weeks of student protests, a new law
has been introduced to curb the right to protest, apply heavy fines and
increase police powers. Meanwhile, the city of Montreal has even banned
people from wearing masks in public.
Belarus: Ales Bialiatski wins 2011 Human
Rights Defenders Award
civil society activist Ales Bialiatski of Belarus and Uganda’s Civil
Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law have been
announced by the US Department of State as the joint winners of the
2011 Human Rights Defenders Award.
Korea: final statement of World Human
Rights Cities Forum
The World Human Rights Cities Forum met in Gwangju,
Korea, from 15 to 18 May 2012. Participants agreed to developing
guiding principles and implementation guidelines for what it means to
be a human rights city, and to promote and implement the Global
Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City as a tool to globalise
human rights from the ground.
Korean Human Rights
Nicaragua: civil society makes municipal
CIVICUS partner the Nicaraguan Network for Democracy
and Local Development (Red Local) has led a consultation process with
its membership, partner organisations and experts in municipal and
local development to produce a series of proposals for the Bill to
Reform the Law on Municipalities (text in Spanish).
Spain: Indignados, the original Occupy
Spain's 15-M movement, the first to occupy public
spaces in peaceful protest against leaders’ handling of the global
economic crisis, has marked its first anniversary. It has broad
public support, but there is little evidence of growing coherence among
its members, who share a desire for reform but differ on what it should
Uganda: civil society condemns World Bank’s
role in land grabs
The World Bank has come under attack after a new civil
society report has exposed how commercial projects funded by the Bank
are causing poverty and human rights violations in Uganda, sparking a
wave of criticisms.
USA: Nurses lead Chicago protest for ‘Robin
In the labour movement's main contribution to protests
at NATO's meeting in Chicago, a thousand members of the National Nurses
Union and several thousand supporters rallied on behalf of their
campaign to ‘heal America’. They urged governments around the world to
tax financial sector speculation, and use the proceeds to preserve and
expand government's role in reducing inequality, providing for health
and other public needs, and creating a healthy economy with full
In These Times
Yemen: struggling to get by
devastating suicide bomb in Yemen’s capital Sana’a grabbed
international headlines and highlighted security problems, but people
are quietly fighting daily battles to make ends meet. Three months
after Yemen’s new government took office, frustration is growing, with
people saying the pace of economic reform is not fast enough.
Zimbabwe: CSOs shocked at government ambush
of UN human rights meeting
have resisted attempts by Zimbabwe’s government to relocate their
meeting with the visiting UN Human Rights Commissioner to a state
building and invite other organisations with no record of working on
human rights in Zimbabwe.
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Arab civil society brings its message to
A group of Arab NGO Network for Development members and
partners visited Washington to express perspectives of CSOs from Middle
East and North Africa on US foreign policy towards the region. Twelve
activists and experts from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon,
Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen also seized the
opportunity to enhance space for dialogue between Arab groups and US
civic stakeholders and policy makers.
A global financial transaction tax, a human
rights imperative now more than ever
European Union Finance Ministers met on 15 May to coincide with the G8
Summit in Camp David, a group of UN independent experts urged the EU to
take the lead in promoting the adoption of a global financial
transaction tax to offset the costs of the enduring economic, fuel,
climate and food crises, and to protect basic human rights.
UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights
Equity the gateway to environmental ambition
Equity has become a major topic in the climate
negotiations at the UN Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCC). The
South Centre’s Executive Director Martin Khor calls for the recognition
and operationalising of the equity principle as a means of raising
environmental ambition, including in giving adequate support to
developing countries so that they can contribute more to global
mitigation efforts and meet their adaptation needs.
CSOs make joint submission on proposed EU
Platform for External Cooperation and Development
A group of CSOs has welcomed the intention to improve
the coordination of EU development and external cooperation actions.
However they have urged the Group of Experts for this initiative to
reflect on the key concerns that stakeholders have raised, and ensure a
proper evaluation is done of current operations before proceeding. A
preliminary decision must not be rushed.
European Network on Debt and
South Centre Statement to the UN High Level
Thematic Debate on the State of the World Economy
The South Centre's Chief Economist spoke at the UN
General Assembly's two-day Thematic Debate on the State of the World
Economy. He states that international financial institutions and
groupings such as the G8 and G20 have proved to be ineffective in
resolving current economic difficulties, and therefore these issues
need to be pursued with greater determination and commitment in the UN,
and linked to a process of assessment and monitoring.
UN Women announces members of Global Civil
Society Advisory Group
UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet has
announced the members of her Global Civil Society Advisory Group that
will facilitate regular consultations and dialogue between civil
society and UN Women.
Make your actions count at Rio
Rio+20 is a great opportunity to show global leaders
what people care most about. Make your actions count by sharing your
story virtually. These testimonials will be showcased at the Rio+20
summit in June in a multi-media presentation. Over 70,000 actions have
been counted so far.
Global Common Statement for a Toxics-Free
Future initiative seeks your support
is one of the lead endorsing partners for the NGO/CSO Global Common
Statement for a Toxics-Free Future Initiative, led by IPEN, which
demands accountability and action by governments for a sustainable,
toxics-free future. On 11 June 2012, CSOs will meet at the Toxics-Free
Future Forum in Rio, and the statement will be released to send this
important message to the world’s leaders. We ask all CSOs across the
planet to join us in support of this common statement, and to spread
the word of this campaign to secure more than 1,000 CSO endorsements in
at least 80 countries.
UN Officer of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights: CSO input requested for 2012 Social Forum
The 2012 Social Forum, a subsidiary body of the UN
Human Rights Council, is scheduled to take place from 1 to 3 October
2012 in Geneva. The forum will focus on ‘people-centred development and
globalisation’, with themes including global governance in an era of
multiple challenges, promoting participatory development and democratic
governance, and enhancing a globally enabling environment for
development. As part of this, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
is consulting with CSOs to prepare a report to the forum. Submissions
should be made by 31 May 2012.
CIVICUS: Resource Mobilisation Consultant
(application deadline 31 May 2012)
The fundraising environment for civil society is
limited, and there are indications that civil society funding is
diminishing. CIVICUS therefore seeks to recruit a resource mobilisation
consultant to work for a period of six months, June to December 2012,
to identify new donor prospects and help raise funds to enable CIVICUS
to execute its work.
CIVICUS: Learning Exchanges (application
deadline 15 June 2012)
CIVICUS is proud to announce two United Nations
Learning Exchange opportunities, sponsored by Irish Aid, focused on
Strengthening the Voice of African Civil Society and human rights
defenders in the international human rights system. The positions will
be based at the CIVICUS UN Office in Geneva from the beginning of
to mid December 2012.
HelpAge International: Regional Programme
Coordinator (application deadline 31 May 2012)
HelpAge International seeks to appoint a Regional
Programme Coordinator - Southern Africa, based in Pretoria, South
Africa. The post-holder will play an important coordination role
between the Southern Africa regional office, the Regional Director for
East and West Africa, the UK Secretariat, Country Development
Programmes and affiliates and partner organisations. They will be
responsible for the implementation, monitoring and reporting of
programmes in the region, with a primary focus on the health and social
protection regional strategic programme funded by Irish Aid.
Save the Children: Head of Governance and
Rights (application deadline 10 June 2012)
The Head of Governance and Rights will lead
organisational thinking on rights and governance and promote child
protection through evidence based research, devising innovative policy
and leading international advocacy across Save the Children.
Transparency International: Programme
Coordinator (application deadline 10 June 2012)
The Programme Coordinator, Private Sector will provide
substantive and administrative support to Transparency International’s
(TI) Private Sector Team to ensure effective implementation of the TI
2015 Strategy. The Coordinator will contribute to TI policy
development, playing an active part in the Business Integrity
Transparency International: Director,
Middle East and North Africa (application deadline 15 June 2012)
The Director will lead and manage Transparency
International’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) programme team and
provide programmatic, organisational development, advocacy and
accreditation support to National Chapters. The Director will
stimulate, lead, oversee and support continuous enhancement and
improvement of the work, reputation and anti-corruption impact of MENA
chapters, emerging contacts and partners in MENA.
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