Call for participating organisations in the drafting team for the energy consultation

Climate Action Network (CAN) International will be the lead agency for the new UN thematic consultation on Energy. Since energy is already part of the thematic consultation on environmental sustainability it makes a lot of sense for CAN-I to lead on the energy consultation as well.

If you would like to be involved in this process, please contact Pascoe Sabido from CAN-I at by 16 November 2012.

 

Call for coordinating CSOs on UN Post-2015 Thematic Consultations on Water and Sanitation

As many of you know, Beyond 2015 is coordinating campaign input into the consultations in order to influence the official UN process and to help us build our own civil society position on the content of a post-2015 framework. A new consultation has recently been added on water and sanitation.

At this stage, we encourage participating organisations who are interested in being the coordinating CSO which would bring together campaign input for the Water and Sanitation consultation to make Expressions of Interest in this role. Please ensure that your Expressions of Interest cover the following points:

• Why your organization would like to be the coordinating organisation on thematic input
• What expertise your CSO has on this theme
• How your organization would ensure that input represents the full range of civil society views
• Who would be the lead contact within your CSO

Please submit your expressions of interest by 19 November to

 

Call to join drafting team for beyond 2015 paper on population dynamics

Beyond 2015 is providing a platform for civil society to contribute to the nine thematic consultations being organized by the UN on the post-2015 framework. In this connection, the  Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association, Consortium of more than 360 Local and INGOs is  serving as the coordinating organization for the Beyond 2015 position paper for the UN thematic consultation on Population dynamics being organized by  UNFPA ( as the UN lead agency).
 
As with all global thematic consultations, this consultation will feed into the broader inter-governmental processes shaping the post-2015 agenda, including the work of the recently established UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel. We believe this consultation will provide a significant opportunity to ensure that population issues including:
•    high fertility and population pressure;
•    poor reproductive health facilities;
•    unacceptably high rate of morbidity and mortality;
•    severe pressure on ecosystems and natural resources;
•    older people who do not have minimum social safety nets and
•    Other crucial emerging factors related to population dynamics would  receive  a central place on the post-2015 development agenda setting.

 

Join a Facebook live chat on the global development agenda beyond 2015

Watch out for a live chat on DESA's Facebook page on the post-2015 development agenda on 20 November from 9:00 to 11:00am. This event offers a unique opportunity for the online community to share opinions, questions and concerns about the post-2015 process. Join the discussion and contribute to an ambitious development agenda!

Read more at the source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

 

The World Bank Launches Monthly Newsletter - "MDGs and Beyond"

The World Bank's Global Monitoring Report (GMR) Team recently announced the launch of MDGs and Beyond, a monthly newsletter focused on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and what comes after.

Read more at the source: The World Bank

 

Stakeholder Forum Project to Develop Network of National Councils for Sustainable Development

 The Stakeholder Forum has announced the launch of a new project in partnership with the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) to develop a Global Network of National Councils for Sustainable Development (NCSDs).The project aims to strengthen NCSDs and support them in   engendering sustainable development at the domestic level. The network is open to multi-stakeholder bodies set up by Governments as NCSDs, or other government related bodies working on issues of sustainable development.

Read more at the source: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development News

 

Voices of youth at the UN General Assembly

As the UN General Assembly's Third Committee opened its session on 8 October; voices and concerns of young people from across the globe were conveyed. With commitment and a huge amount of enthusiasm, UN Youth Delegates took the stage to deliver messages on education, employment and other issues of importance to youth. "This is one of the best moments in my life, because I represent youth at a crucial time," said Caesar Suarez from Mexico. He also underscored the importance of youth participation, and making the voices of youth heard. "Look to the youth and let us participate in a responsible and democratic way," he said.

Read more at the source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

 

Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future

Inequality in developing countries is twice as high among children as among the general population, as this report reveals, with new quantitative analysis of 32 countries. Born Equal assesses the effects of inequality on child development. Drawing on eight case studies from Brazil, Canada, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and the UK, it looks at which policies and interventions have reduced inequality and delivered better outcomes for children. The report concludes with four recommendations to seize the major opportunity presented by the year 2015, when a new global development framework will be established.

Read the report at the source: Save the Children

 

Make the post-MDG framework inclusive of persons with disabilities

The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) have recently drafted a position paper on the post-MDG framework. In the position paper, IDDC and IDA include a number of recommendations to be taken into account in order to create a more equitable and inclusive post-MDG agenda.

Read more at the Source, The International Disability Alliance.

 

High Level Group Reaffirms Commitment to Develop Framework to Fight Poverty

The panel tasked with advising on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), reaffirmed its commitment to work together on a framework to combat poverty in a High Level Panel Meeting in London. According to a news release, discussion among the Panel members covered human development, jobs and livelihoods, and how to reach the marginalized and excluded. The three-day meeting also allowed Panel members to gather input from international civil society, private sector representatives and global youth, answering Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's call for transparency and inclusiveness in its consultations.

Read more at the source, United Nations News.

 

UN CSD Education Caucus releases report from Rio+20

Through this summary report, the Education Caucus provides a detailed account of their many successes at the conference, lessons learned, and partnerships made.

Read more at the UN CSD Education Caucus

 

“Sustainable Lifestyles” Conference

In this 2 day highly interactive conference, the EU Sustainable Lifestyles Roadmap and Action Plan to 2050 will be presented for the first time. This conference is focused on actions for more sustainable living across Europe. It presents a unique opportunity for policy-makers, business, innovators, designers, civil society, citizens, and researchers to accelerate current work and activate new ideas within the Sustainable Lifestyles Roadmap Framework. For any questions, send an email to sonia[at]anped.org.

Read More at Spread Sustainable Lifestyles 2050

 

Rio +20 Civil Society Survey

Dr. Shannon Orr is running a study of Civil Society participation at Rio+20. Contribute with your thoughts on the Rio+20 meeting, and the role of organizations such as yours within the United Nations.

Take the Survey

 

Communiqué on the Secretary General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

This note provides a brief overview of the first meeting of the Secretary General's High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, on 25 October 2012. The High Level Panel is committed to an open, transparent, and inclusive process. We are particularly keen that stakeholders are kept up to date with substance and process of the Panel's work. To that end, we propose to send out regular updates in this form.

Read the Report

 

Millennium development goals – the key datasets you need to know

The UK hosted the first high-level panel last week on what comes after the millennium development goals (MDGs). Progress on the MDGs has been mixed, however, with persistent inequalities both within and between countries. We've pulled together the key data on the eight goals. Although the MDG framework may seem overly technical, with its dozens of time-bound, results-based targets and indicators, it's the product of very political negotiations, with some issues receiving more attention and prominence than others.

Read more and Source: The Guardian

 

CSOs and Social Movements from the South unite to form Campaign for Peoples Goals for Sustainable Development

Civil Society Organizations and social movements from the Global South have banded together and pledged to Campaign for Peoples Goals for Sustainable Development (CPGSD). According to the common statement released by the campaign initiators, governments must abandon the current dominant development model that grants rights and liberties to capital over the rights and freedoms of people and the protection of the environment. They vow to fight for a new development framework that is founded on the principles of human rights, equality, self-determination, and social, gender and ecological justice.

To join the campaign email pquintos[at]iboninternational.org on or before 8 Nov 2012.

 

How can the post 2015 process drive real change? The political economy of global commitments

What are the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals process? What has been their impact on aid and on decision making by national governments? This discussion paper seeks to inform the post-2015 debate by examining these questions. It argues that leverage over national governments and civil society involvement will increasingly eclipse leverage on aid as the determining factor of post-2015 success, and discusses how alternative international instruments can achieve such traction. This paper is intended to provoke reflection and debate, and does not represent Oxfam policy positions. It is a working draft, and the authors welcome all comments and suggestions.
Read the Report

 

Beyond 2015 Call for Inputs on Governance & Accountability in the Post-2015 Framework

This call for inputs opens the opportunity for all participating organizations in the Beyond 2015 Campaign to collaborate in the framing and content of our joint position paper on Governance and Accountability. Send your input to b2015governance[at]gmail.com by 16 Nov 2012. Be sure to include your organization's full name, country and a contact person in your submission.

 

CSOs Plan Input to Post-Rio and Post-2015 Sustainable Development Processes

At the meeting, titled "Post-Rio to Post-2015: Planning International Stakeholder Engagement," representatives of the Major Groups, including CIVICUS, and global stakeholders discussed the inclusiveness of Member States' negotiations to determine the post-2015 development agenda and create the new High Level Political Forum to replace the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Eessing concern that they have hit a "glass wall" now that these negotiations are taking place within the UN General Assembly (UNGA), stakeholders discussed their search for entry points to make their views and experiences heard.

Source and Read more: Sustainable Development Policy and Practice

 

CIVICUS Letter to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

To:
Margaret Sekaggya
Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office

17 October 2012

Dear Ms. Sekaggya,

I write to you from CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, an international alliance of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries. CIVICUS supports citizen’s rights and democratic freedoms across the globe, including the freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

We are gravely concerned by the growing number of attacks on activists campaigning for Women’s Rights in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan, especially in the districts of Swat and Kohistan. In particular, we would like to bring your urgent attention to the shooting of 14 year old Malala Yousafzai whose targeting by the Taliban in Swat, for standing up for her right to education, has appalled people around the world.

At the time of writing, all the private educational institutions in Swat remain closed, and 14 year old Malala remains in intensive care having had a bullet removed from her brain. Militant groups have stated that Malala remains a target.

 

Registration Open for Civil Society Dialogue in London with the High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda

Friday 2 November 2012
16:00 – 17:45
London

The UN Secretary General  has appointed a High Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons that will provide recommendations on the post-2015 development framework that will succeed the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The second meeting of the HLP will take place on 1 November 2012 in London, UK followed by a day of engagement with civil society on 2 November 2012.

All representatives of civil society groups with an interest in the post-2015 agenda are invited to register for a Civil Society Dialogue with the High Level Panel that will take place on 2 November from 16:00 – 17:45 in London.

Attendance at the event will be strictly limited with registration open to only 200 people. Only one registration per organisation will be accepted. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. No funding is available to assist with attendance at this event.

Registration will be open from 12 noon (GMT) Wednesday 24 October to Thursday 12 noon (GMT) 25 October on the following website: http://www.bond.org.uk/pages/civil-society-dialogue-event.html.

The event will also be live streamed on www.worldwewant2015.org and opportunities will be available to contribute via social media as the meeting takes place. Details of this will be confirmed on the World We Want 2015 website closer to the date.

 

Reviewing the Role of Major Groups at Rio+20

by Jeffery Huffines, UN Representative for CIVICUS & Rio+20 NGO Organizing Partner

Introduction

In 1992 at Rio the leaders of the world agreed that the major cause of the deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable path of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, that aggravates poverty, inequalities and imbalances not just between countries but also within countries. Yet over the last twenty years, rights were created for corporations that far exceed the rights and commitments created for the people and the environment. What civil society said at Rio+20  is that it is time to rebalance those rights.

To address this democracy deficit civil society groups demanded at Rio+20 that governments undertake their responsibilities to act and implement their commitments made 20 years ago.  

Regarding the emergence of the BRICS countries and the shift in geopolitical dynamics at play since the financial meltdown of 2008, it is important to recall that this was the first sustainable development Summit called for by a developing country, Brazil. The G77 had originally tabled the resolution for a Rio+20 in November 2008, yet it took ten months before the European Union agreed to the Summit in late September 2009. They then sent middle range civil servants to engage in the crafting of the future we want.

Read more

 

CIVICUS, ANPED and Consumers International continue to serve as Rio+20 NGO Partners

CIVICUS together with ANPED and Consumers International have been asked by the United Nations to continue to serve as Rio+20 NGO Partners through the end of May 2013 when the 20th and final session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) is scheduled to take place.

The NGO Organizing Partners will communicate to the NGO Major Group through the following communications channels:

  • Regular updates on Post-Rio+20 developments through the ANPED-list of CSD/Rio+20
  • Facebook group on Rio+20
  • NGO MG Members for 2012 UNGA google group

UN DESA had a mandate to facilitate the Major Group engagement with CSD, but with the Rio+20 outcomes under the UN General Assembly (UN GA), DESA does not have that mandate and is not currently in a position to comprehensively facilitate and finance Major Groups involvement. Consequently, In the fast-moving context of post-Rio, the Major Groups Organizing Partners have engaged in a series of consultations organized by UN DESA to organize themselves to share information inclusively and transparently with their respective constituencies, to facilitate the development of advocacy positions, to track political developments within the UN processes established by Rio+20, and to mobilize & coordinate lobbying strategies to the extent possible at UN HQ and national levels.

 

CIVICUS' Katsuji Imata moderates CSO Townhall with Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

 

Joint letter requesting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to remove arbitrary restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association in Ethiopia

Joint letter requesting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to remove arbitrary restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association in Ethiopia

Read the letter.

 

The 15 Montreal commitments for a new social contract

French | Spanish

We're pleased to share our short summary report on the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly, which contains 15 key commitments for further civil society action towards a new social contract.

Please share it with your networks and tell us what you think. Is there something you will commit to doing differently to take forward one of the 15 ideas? If so, we'd love to hear from you, and to have your ideas about how you'd like to work with CIVICUS in future.

Les 15 engagements de Montréal pour un nouveau contrat social
Nous sommes heureux de partager notre court rapport de synthèse sur l'Assemblée Mondiale de CIVICUS 2012, qui contient 15 engagements clés pour poursuivre l'action de la société civile vers un nouveau contrat social.
Nous vous invitons à le partager avec vos réseaux et à nous dire ce que vous pensez. Vous engagez-vous à faire quelque chose différemment pour faire avancer l'une de ces 15 idées? Si c'est le cas, nous serions ravis d’entendre vos idées et la façon dont vous souhaitez travailler avec CIVICUS à l'avenir.

Los 15 compromisos de Montreal para un nuevo contrato social

Estamos encantados de compartir nuestro breve informe de síntesis sobre la Asamblea Mundial de CIVICUS 2012, que contiene 15 compromisos fundamentales para la acción futura de la sociedad civil hacia un nuevo contrato social.Le invitamos a compartirlo con su red y a decirnos lo que piensa de ello. ¿Se compromete a hacer algo diferente para hacer avanzar una de esas 15 ideas? Si es el caso, nos encantaría escuchar sus ideas y la forma en que desea trabajar con CIVICUS en el futuro.

 

Open Letter to the Commonwealth Secretary-General

When Commonwealth countries announced at the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia that Sri Lanka could host CHOGM 2013, they agreed to actively promote and uphold the fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth, including human rights and the rule of law. We therefore urge you to press for adequate and satisfactory human rights progress in Sri Lanka by CHOGM 2013. We believe that the failure of the Commonwealth and its members to do so would be contrary to the Commonwealth’s values and principles, and undermine its credibility.

Read the full letter here

 

Exige al Gobierno de Venezuela retirar su decisión de separarse del Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos

¡Firma nuestra petición!


Nosotros, ciudadanos y ciudadanas de distintas partes del mundo, estamos profundamente preocupados por la reciente denuncia, por parte del Gobierno de Venezuela, de la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos (CADH), y por su futuro retiro de la jurisdicción de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. Pensamos que esta denuncia es una ofensa para todas aquellas víctimas de violaciones de derechos humanos de Venezuela, quienes verán ahora menoscabadas sus posibilidades de reclamar justicia, y que no representa la voluntad del pueblo venezolano.

La CADH es la base del más sólido sistema de protección de los derechos humanos en las Américas. La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CorteIDH) ha dado muestras suficientes de independencia frente a los estados signatarios y ha actuado fiel a su mandato de interpretar adecuadamente la CADH en sus decisiones.  El intento del Gobierno de Venezuela de evadir la jurisdicción de la CorteIDH tiene motivaciones políticas y responde a decisiones cuyo fin no ha sido otro que hacer al Estado Venezolano responsable de las violaciones a los derechos humanos, cuyas víctimas no han encontrado un sistema de justicia independiente e imparcial en Venezuela.      

Es imperativo, para la protección de los derechos humanos alrededor del mundo, que todos los estados, incluyendo al Estado Venezolano, se mantengan dentro de los sistemas internacionales de derechos humanos. Si retira su decisión, el Gobierno de Venezuela establecería un buen precedente y sería un ejemplo para otros estados de la región, particularmente en un momento en el que la membresía de Venezuela en Mercosur es objeto de análisis por los estados miembros, los cuales, como parte de este grupo sub-regional, han ratificado su compromiso con el fortalecimiento y respeto del Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos.

Ratificamos que los sistemas internacionales de derechos humanos están por encima de toda agenda política y que retirarse del Sistema Interamericano constituiría además una violación de la propia Constitución Venezolana.  ¡Esta no es una buena decisión!  Los mecanismos regionales de derechos humanos son clave para el fortalecimiento del marco internacional de protección de los derechos humanos y se constituyen en un factor externo de garantía de la vital separación de poderes, sobre todo entre el gobierno y el poder judicial.  Además, garantizan a los ciudadanos de la región, así como a la población venezolana, el derecho de elevar sus reclamos de justicia ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, para su posterior proceso a través de la CorteIDH.

Por lo tanto, urgimos al Gobierno de Venezuela a retirar su denuncia de la CADH y, más bien, a asumir un papel internacional de liderazgo como defensor de los derechos humanos, no como como evasor de sus deberes de garantía y respeto.

Defendemos y promovemos la causa de la dignidad de toda persona en cualquier parte del mundo

¡Firma nuestra petición!

 

Call to sign Petition condemning Venezuela denunciation of the American Convention on Human Rights

SPANISH

Venezuela’s government has recently denounced the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). It also plans to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This move is seen as political retaliation for the Inter-American Court’s support for human rights claims in Venezuela. Any decision to withdraw from the Inter-American Court’s jurisdiction would set an extremely regressive precedent and constitute a setback for the human rights of the peoples of the Americas.

CIVICUS urges civil society around the world to stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people and unanimously condemn these anti-people actions of the Venezuelan government through a global petition. Please urgently sign the petition by 1 October 2012.

 

Global civil society network CIVICUS announces new leader

Global civil society network CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is delighted to announce that it has appointed Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah as its new Secretary General.

The appointment was confirmed by CIVICUS’ Board of Directors in Montreal, Canada following CIVICUS’ annual global gathering of civil society, the CIVICUS World Assembly.

Danny joins CIVICUS from the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), a UK-based international civil society network with members and branches in more than 40 countries, where he has been Director General since January 2009. As the first non-British and youngest ever head of the RCS, he led a complete overhaul of the organisation and its profile. During this time, he was seconded to serve as Interim Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, the only intergovernmental development agency with a sole remit to support civil society, where he steered the organisation through a restructure. Previously, he was Deputy Director of influential think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research. Long recognised as an influential researcher and thinker, particularly on migration issues, in 2012 he was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

On hearing news of this appointment, Danny commented, “I’m thrilled to be taking the helm of CIVICUS, an organisation I have long admired. With the global political and economic landscape changing so rapidly, there’s never been a more important time to support citizen action. I look forward to working with CIVICUS colleagues to help civil society around the world to connect, mobilise and agitate for a fairer world.”

Danny is a true global citizen, hailing from Australia, of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage, long resident in the UK, and married to a Trinidadian. He will begin the process of taking up duties at CIVICUS in the coming months, and plans to move his family to Johannesburg, South Africa, where CIVICUS has its headquarters, early in 2013. He is the fourth Secretary General of CIVICUS, following in the footsteps of Miklos Marschall (Hungary), Kumi Naidoo (South Africa) and Ingrid Srinath (India).
 
Announcing the appointment, CIVICUS Board Chair David Bonbright said, “We’re delighted to welcome Danny to the CIVICUS team after an extensive selection process in which we’ve sought the best candidates from around the world. In a time of renewal for CIVICUS, with a new set of strategic priorities to take us into the  twentieth year of our existence, we’re convinced that Danny is the right person to lead our international team to new heights.” David added an appreciation of the outstanding job done by Acting Secretary General, Katsuji Imata, “By the time Danny is fully on board, Katsuji will have been Acting Secretary General for nine months. In that time CIVICUS will have raised the lion share of its budget for the next two years, successfully hosted a world gathering with nearly 1,000 delegates, completed a worldwide consultation process to refresh its strategy, and issued a number of significant reports. Thanks largely to Katsuji’s impeccable steward leadership, we are able to welcome our new Secretary General to an organisation that has never been stronger.”

 

For more information contact:

Mark Nowottny (), Coordination and Planning Manager, +44 7415 217002
Lerato Pagiwa (), Junior Communications Officer, +27 11 833 5959

 

An open letter to the 11th CIVICUS World Assembly from the Family of Nabeel Rajab, the Bahraini prominent Human Rights Defender

Prominent Bahraini Human Rights Defender, Nabeel Rajab, is facing extreme danger. Please intervene.

Dear all,

My name is Sumaya Rajab, the wife of a prominent Bahraini human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab. I write this letter in my name, and the names of our son Adam and our daughter Malak to appeal to you to support our call to the Government of Bahrain to help guarantee my husband’s safety and release from prison and to help support the Bahraini people struggle for freedom, democracy and justice.

The violent and brutal regime of Bahrain has been condemned numerous times by all international human rights organisations including the UN high commission for human rights for unleashing a cruel “sectarian apartheid” against the Shiite Muslim majority in Bahrain. In 2012, Bahrain was ranked 173rd by Reporters without Borders which made it one of the world’s 10 most repressive countries, because of its relentless crackdown on pro-democracy movements.

Since the beginning of the Bahraini uprising in Feb 2011, more than 100 Bahrainis were killed by the Bahraini and Saudi security forces, many of them were innocent children. Thousands were systemically imprisoned and tortured, electrocuted, raped, emotionally severed, some were even tortured to death. Thousands others were harassed and fired from their jobs just for participating in peaceful protests. Hundreds of Shiite villages and houses were raided and robbed at dawn by masked security forces, many women and children were subjected to humiliation and sexual harassment.

 

Show your support for imprisoned Ethiopian civil society activist Eskinder Nega

Today, please join your colleagues at the CIVICUS World Assembly in showing your solidarity for journalist, civil society activist and blogger Eskinder Nega, who is currently in jail in Ethiopia simply for expressing his fundamental rights of free speech.

In February 2011 Eskinder was detained and warned by the Ethiopian authorities for writing an article in which he called on security forces not to shoot unarmed protesters should democracy protests similar to those of the Arab Spring erupt in Ethiopia.

Eskinder was arrested in September 2011 after he published an article criticising the manner in which the government uses its 2009 anti-terrorism law to restrict the basic freedoms of Ethiopians. He was charged under anti-terrorism laws in November 2011.

In June 2012 Eskinder was found guilty of links with a terrorist group, and on 13 July 2012 he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for “attempting to incite violence by posting articles online.”

Eskinder has long been a victim of judicial persecution, having been arrested along with his wife in November 2005 and imprisoned for 17 months for reporting on demonstrations that followed controversial elections in Ethiopia.   

We ask all our members, partners and stakeholders to join with delegates at the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, Canada on Friday 7 September to show your support for and solidarity with Nasrin by sharing this information on your websites and Facebook pages, and by tweeting as follows:

Support Eskinder Nega: 18 years for inciting violence by posting articles online in Ethiopia: now a prisoner of conscience #freeEskinderNega

Thank you

More information: http://www.civicus.org/en/get-involved/take-action/civil-society-behind-bars/752-take-action-eskinder-nega

 

Call for immediate release of UAE human rights defenders

Appeal to the leadership of the United Arab Emirates

We respectfully appeal for the immediate release of human rights defenders Dr Mohamed al-Mansoori, Dr Mohamed Abdullah al-Roken and Salem al-Shehhi, arrested between 16 and 18 July.
Dr Mohamed al-Mansoori and Dr Mohamed Abdullah al-Roken have only engaged in the peaceful promotion of the rule of law and of human rights and their arrests are contrary to international law. this. The arrest of Salem al-Shehhi for his peaceful work as a defence lawyer is also contrary to international law.

The arrests of these men took place amid a wave of arrests of people who the Attorney General has said are investigated for “plans which jeopardize the security of the state” and ties with “suspicious foreign parties and organizations (statement reported by WAM news agency, 5 August 2012). According to media reports however, a number of them were engaged in non-violent political debate in the UAE. This in itself does not constitute a crime, and anybody arrested as part of the group the Attorney General referred to should therefore be released as well unless they are to be tried promptly on an internationally recognized criminal charge .

The location of all arrested men should be disclosed immediately. Please also ensure they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, in accordance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the UAE has become a party on 19 July 2012. Lawyers of their choice and their families and relatives should be given access to them, and they should be provided with all necessary medical treatment.

 

Statement on behalf of imprisoned Palestinian activist Ameer Makhoul at the CIVICUS World Assembly, Montreal, Canada, 6 September 2012

Today, please join your colleagues at the CIVICUS World Assembly in showing your solidarity for Palestinan civil society activist Ameer Makhoil. He couldn’t attend the World Assembly in person as he is imprisoned in Israel, but his wife attended to make the following statement on his behalf.  

It is a great honour for me to be able to address you from the confines of an Israeli jail through my wife Janan Abdu, who is an ardent campaigner for the protection of human rights.

I have now spent 40 months out of the nine years in an Israeli jail.

Dear friends of CIVICUS, you are on my mind. Being a human rights defender is very costly for Palestinians under Israeli domination. Exercising my basic right to free speech and free expression, assembly and association by communicating with Palestinian refugees outside Palestine and with Arabs is considered a crime and an act of terror under Israeli law.

One of the most powerful feelings of a Palestinian political prisoner is the knowledge that one is not alone. I have received thousands of letters and postcards from concerned citizens and organisations all over the world, in different languages but with a common message, which says, “you are not alone.” It sounds the same; it feels the same. It is a language of solidarity. This is the language of CIVICUS.

 

Show your support for imprisoned Iranian civil society activist Nasrin Sotoudeh

Today, please join your colleagues at the CIVICUS World Assembly in showing your solidarity for human rights lawyer and civil society activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is currently in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran simply for doing her work as a human rights activist.  

Nasrin was arrested in September 2010, held in solitary confinement for around four months and charged with “acting against national security, propaganda against the regime and for being a member of the Human Rights Defence Centre,” a human rights civil society organisation in Iran.

In January 2011, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison and handed a 20 year ban from legal practice and from travelling abroad. On appeal, in September 2011, the court reduced her sentence to six years and the ban on legal practice from 20 years to 10.  

Nasrin is an advocate of women’s rights and has defended juveniles facing the death penalty and activists involved in protests calling for reforms.  

We ask all our members, partners and stakeholders to join with delegates at the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, Canada on Wednesday 5 September to show your support for and solidarity with Nasrin by sharing this information on your websites and Facebook pages, and by tweeting as follows:

Free Nasrin Sotoudeh! Jailed activist from Iran. Join the campaign! #civWA @freenasrin #freenasrin

Thank you

More information:
http://action.iranhumanrights.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=6840

 

2012 World Assembly mobile app

Plan each day in advance, read speaker bios, find meeting rooms and side events easily, exchange contact details on the go, share pictures on flickr, tweets on twitter and posts to facebook and find cool spots in Montreal at the push of a button - all with the CIVICUS World Assembly Ap

 Click on the logo below for more information.

For iPones, iPod Touch, iPads, Blackberry devices, Nokia devices, Windows phones and most mobile browsers
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This week in e-CIVICUS

  • Final countdown to CIVICUS World Assembly
  • A new low in Bahrain as Nabeel Rajab is sentenced
  • Cambodia: CIVICUS calls for unconditional release of detained activists
  • Debate sobre un Nuevo Contrato Social en Buenos Aires
  • Guest blog: towards global health justice at the CIVICUS World Assembly?
  • Thoughts on Rio+20 from NGO co-organising partner ANPED
  • Upcoming post-Rio+20 workshop in Argentina
  • Egypt: veil falls over media
  • Greece: UN body rules government failed to protect Roma people
  • Human Rights Day - 10 December

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CIVICUS announces winners of 2012 Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Awards

Global civil society network CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is pleased to announce the winners of its latest round of Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Awards.

The awards offer seed funding of US$5,000 to innovative civil society projects that follow up on the ideas of the CIVICUS World Assembly, our annual global gathering of civil society. In 2011, organisations from the Caribbean and Latin America were invited to submit proposals. The winning projects from Argentina, Haiti and Uruguay each receive a US$5,000 grant courtsey of the Inter American Foundation.

 An international panel of civil society experts selected three winning projects:

  • Monitoring and mapping the implementation of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’s recommendations in Argentina - Juan Martín Camusso, FUNDEPS (Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables), Argentina
  • Reinforcing local authorities’ accountability to improve local democracy in Haiti - Lucien Dossous, Action Communautaire de Solidarité et d’Intervention Sociale (ACSIS), Haiti
  • Strengthening grassroots organisations and women’s groups in Latin America, Analia Bettoni, Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD) and the Iniciativa Regional Rendir Cuentas, Uruguay.

 

CIVICUS denounces pussy riot verdict

Global civil society network CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is shocked at the two year sentence handed out to members of Russian band Pussy Riot by a Moscow Court.

“Members of the band have clearly been victimised in what appears to be a blatant attack on free speech,” says Netsanet Belay, Policy and Research Director of CIVICUS. “The way in which the band members have been treated is designed to send a chilling message that democratic dissent is not welcome in Russia.”

The three members of Pussy Riot have been handed out harsh sentences of two years’ imprisonment on charges of “hooliganism” which the judge described as being motivated by “religious hatred.” The band drew the attention of Russian authorities on 21 February this year after standing in front of the altar of Moscow's main cathedral and performing a song in protest at President Vladimir Putin. The trio were arrested in March and subsequently charged with hooliganism, as their protest act was deemed to have seriously undermined public authority. The band members have already been held for five months in pre-trial detention in what is widely viewed as an act of political retribution.

CIVICUS condemns the harsh sentences handed out to the band members as an attack on internationally recognised freedoms of speech and assembly. Over the course of the last few months, a raft of restrictive laws have been hurriedly passed through Russia’s parliament to limit the key civil society freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

 

 

Building tolerant and inclusive societies through intercultural and interfaith dialogue – perspectives from the CIVICUS Youth Assembly and UN Alliance of Civilisations Summer School participants

A series of three virtual consultations hosted by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

  • Changing nations through citizens, Monday 20 August at 11am UTC/GMT
  • Building partnerships for social innovation, Wednesday 22 August at 2pm UTC/GMT
  • Redefining global governance, Friday 24 August at 2pm UTC/GMT

The three webinars aim to strengthen the role of young people in the development of cooperative, inclusive societies, by looking at how the good governance of cultural and religious diversity can be enhanced through: active young citizens’ participation; the development of innovative and alternative models of social partnership; and the reform of institutions of global governance.

The webinars bring together key CIVICUS Youth Assembly delegates in an intercultural dialogue with UN Alliance of Civilisations Summer School participants, relating to the three thematic tracks of the CIVICUS Youth Assembly and World Assembly, which will be held in Montreal, Canada from 3 to 7 September.

Each session is expected to last for 60 minutes, 25 minutes of which will be dedicated to an open discussion during which participants are invited to share their experiences and perspectives.

 

Civil society concern at ban of newspaper in Tanzania

3 August 2012

Article 19, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Committee to Protect Journalists, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, Legal and Human Rights Centre, Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition and the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Tanzania, are concerned about reports that, on Monday 30 July, the government of Tanzania indefinitely banned MwanaHalisi, a weekly Kiswahili newspaper.

At a news conference on Monday, the acting Director of the Information, Youth, Sports and Culture Ministry reportedly accused MwanaHalisi of publishing seditious material, and has used the powers under The Newspapers Act (1976) to ban the newspaper. The Newspapers Act grants the Minister of Information broad powers to prohibit publication of newspapers for the sake of the public interest, peace and good order. This law creates offences such as sedition intention, seditious offences and false news, which are often invoked against media houses.

Read the full statement

 

Drop all charges against Nabeel Rajab and unconditionally release him from jail

Nabeel Rajab_BOn 9 July 2012, Nabeel was sentenced to three months imprisonment after he was accused of libel and using social networking site twitter to "insult the citizens of Muharraq." These accusations stem from tweets he posted on 2 June 2012 in which he called on the Prime Minister to resign citing corrupt practices.

While in detention Nabeel has lodged an appeal against his three month-sentence which is expected to heard on 5 August 2012.

Nabeel Rajab is also facing other charges for "instigating demonstrations and participating in illegal gatherings without prior notification" on account of his peaceful human rights work. He is due to appear in court again on 26 September 2012 in respect of these charges.

CIVICUS believes that the charges against Nabeel are unwarranted and aimed at preventing him from carrying out his activities as a human rights defender.

Nabeel has been a prolific campaigner against the continuing and widespread human rights violations in Bahrain, taking place in the backdrop of demands for democratic freedoms since March 2011. A keynote speaker at last year's CIVICUS World Assembly, Nabeel has been the victim of judicial persecution in the past.

For more information on how to take action on Nabeel's case please see his profile at the CIVICUS Civil Society Behind Bars Campaign.

 

Global civil society network CIVICUS welcomes new Directors to its Board

Johannesburg, South Africa, 31 July 2012: Global civil society network CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Board members:

Antonella Valmorbida, from Italy, is the Director of the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA), which has promoted local governance and citizens’ participation in Europe and neighbouring countries since 1999. Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, ALDA also implements substantial civic participation work in Balkan countries. She also served as Chair of the Committee on Democracy and Civil Society of the Conference of the International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe from 2008 to 2011, and co-chaired the Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership in 2011.

Henri Rouillé d'Orfeuil was the first chairman of GRET – Professionnels du Développement Solidaire and has worked in the World Bank’s agricultural research unit. A French citizen, Henri has also worked for the French Foreign Office as a special advisor on agriculture and as the deputy director of technical and scientific international cooperation. He is the author of the books ‘The Third World’, ‘Economics and Awakening Citizens’ and ‘Non-governmental Diplomacy: Can NGOs Change the World?’

 

CIVICUS calls for nominations to the Accountability Charter Independent Review Panel

CIVICUS is a member and signatory to the INGO Accountability Charter. The Charter requires members to submit annual reports on their performance, seeking to improve the accountability and transparency of INGOs, and these reports are reviewed by an Independent Review Panel. Now, the Charter is seeking to appoint new members to the Independent Review Panel.

As a member of the INGO Accountability Charter, the CIVICUS alliance is entitled to submit nominations. According to the guidelines:

  • Panel members should have a comprehensive understanding of the international NGO sector and sufficient time resources;
  • Candidates from the global South are particularly welcome;
  • A representative from a corporate sector would be welcome.

CIVICUS would like to submit nominations as an alliance, so please send any nominations to Mark Nowottny at , by Friday 24 August, and they will be consolidated and sent on to the INGO Accountability Charter secretariat.

Find out more about the INGO Accountability Charter or view CIVICUS' latest report covering 2011 including feedback from the Independent Review Panel.

 

This week in e-CIVICUS

  • Pakistan: government must protect civil society
  • CIVICUS launches youth video contest
  • Guest blog: caste based discrimination in Nepal
  • The post-Rio climate - reflections from the Vitae Civilis Executive Director, Marcelo Cardoso
  • The UN and the 21st Century
  • Unilever's CEO strongly advocates for sustainable growth in government and business policies
  • No arms for atrocities

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Entries Open for CIVICUS Video Contest

English | French | Spanish

ENGLISH -  CIVICUS is launching a video contest for youth aged 18-30 attending the CIVICUS Youth Assembly or the 2012 United Nations Alliance of Civilisations Summer School answering the following question: How would you like the CIVICUS World Assembly to help foster a new social contract that integrates intercultural and interfaith dialogue?

The winner will receive a US$500 cash prize as well as having your video featured at the closing session of the Youth Assembly. The video should be under 5 minutes and the deadline for voting is 30 August. Submit your videos to http://www.playkast.com/view-playkast?pk_id=1721 .
For more info contact

 

CIVICUS is deeply dismayed by bill that stigmatises civil society in Russia

CIVICUS is deeply dismayed by the actions of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, the Federation Council, to pass a bill that stigmatises civil society groups which receive foreign funding.

The bill approved on 18 July obligates civil society advocacy groups which receive foreign funding to register with the Justice Ministry as "foreign agents." The bill now needs presidential approval before becoming law.

CIVICUS believes that passing of this regressive bill violates Russia's constitutional and international law commitments to guarantee freedom of association.

Learn more about CIVICUS' actions on this issue:

CIVICUS Condemns Russia's Controversial NGO Law 

Urgent Call for Action on moves to muzzle NGOs in Russia 

Another setback for freedom of assembly hits Russia, say CIVICUS and Greenpeace Russia  

 

Act to end hate crimes targeting LGBT people, non-nationals and other marginalised people in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA FORUM FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY (SAFIS)
STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY, 18 JULY 2012

South Africa Forum for International Solidarity (SAFIS) takes the occasion of Mandela Day 2012 to remind our government, politicians of all parties, religious and community leaders that the South Africa we fought for and envisaged through our 1994 democratic transition was one where tolerance of difference and equality of all was fundamental to the transformation of the country from its racist, patriarchal past.

The country’s constitution adopted in 1996 prohibited many forms of discrimination including that based on gender, sex and sexual orientation. Various legislative instruments such as the Equality Act of 2000, the Civil Union Act of 2006 further affirmed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT)’s equal rights and status in South African society. In 2011, South Africa further successfully championed the first ever United Nations resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the Human Rights Council, risking the ire of its many of its peer states globally who oppose the equality of LGBT people.

 

CIVICUS Human Rights Council interventions on Israel and Serbia

CIVICUS' latest two interventions in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the UN Human Rights Council, which reviews countries' human rights progress, address the status of civil society freedoms in Israel and Serbia. CIVICUS raises a number of concerns regarding freedom of assembly and expression, the placing of legal and regulatory impediments on CSO activities, and the treatment of human rights defenders and LGBT activists. The submission on Serbia is made jointly with Serbian CSO Policy Center.

State of Israel: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

The Republic of Serbia: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

 

This week in e-CIVICUS

  • Belarus and Eritrea resolutions an important step towards accountability
  • Civil society behind bars: take action for imprisoned Bahrain activist Nabeel Rajab
  • Partnering for the future of development - remarks from CIVICUS Acting SG Katsuji Imata at the UN Development Cooperation Forum
  • International community must act against latest curbs on free speech in Ethiopia
  • The Rio+20 summit and its follow up
  • UNICEF and UN Women call for papers: addressing inequalities in the post-2015 development agenda
  • UN media interview with Jeffery Huffines, UN CIVICUS Representative, on the NGO Major Group’s reactions to the Rio+20 Outcome Document
  • World Assembly blog: 20 días después de Rio+20: el Futuro que queremos
  • Kyrgyzstan: UN human rights chief calls attention to corruption, discrimination and rights deficiencies

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