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Index April 2006

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WSF – The Karachi Social Forum and its international significance

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By Pierre Rousset, see on this site of the International Viewpoint – Europe solidaire sans frontičres / solidarity without borders (ESSF) participated in the World Social Forum in Karachi. The report which follows is not descriptive (number of seminars and so on.), but seeks to share some elements of analysis on this new experience and its significance – taking account of the fact that this was the author’s first visit to Pakistan.

The report is, then, “foreign” and does not claim to be based on a real knowledge of the country. It is on the other hand informed by the comparative experience of the preceding forums in Porto Alegre, Europe and India. A more detailed report will be drawn up later.

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Publications

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The bird flu and the poor peasant

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If the story writer La Fontaine would still be alive, he could have created a small text about a ghost named bird flu and the poor peasant.

In many poor countries the avian populations are the only guaranty for poors for a happy meal form time to time. They pick up the dirty rests on the ground, make practically no food expenses, give eggs, and when a fiesta comes they give a good meal.

And exactly this last cheap resource giving some independence to the lowest ones should be out?

I just cannot accept it.

It makes me so angry that every black conjuration theory about the handling of the poors and this matter is accepted.

Heidi.

AFGHANISTANs bird flu

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AFGHANISTAN: Deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu hits fourth province – KABUL, the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been detected in a fourth province of Afghanistan amid fears of further possible outbreaks of the virus among the country’s destitute communities, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) confirmed on Monday.

“According to the test results, the H5N1 strain of bird flu has been detected in the eastern Kapisa province,” Assadullah Azhari, FAO’s public information officer, said in the Afghan capital, Kabul. (Read the rest of this article on this INRInews site).

WSF Bamako … for global justice in Africa

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By Jean Nanga, see on this site of the International Viewpoint – In January 2004, the World Social Forum (WSF) was for the first time held outside Brazil: in Mumbai, India. This year the WSF has been organised in polycentric fashion, in Bamako (Mali), Caracas (Venezuela) and – a little late because of the recent earthquake in Kashmir – in Karachi (Pakistan). The objective of this mobility is to root the dynamic of the movement for global justice among other peoples also confronted with the aggression of neoliberalism.

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WSIS About open source software

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Open source software and development can push governments of developing nations ahead in the world, but only if they participate as producers of the technology themselves, United Nations University (UNU) researchers say. While they say developing regions such as China, East Asia, India, and South America are among the biggest markets for open source software, UNU officials worry that there may be too few open source developers in those regions.(Reade more on business.newsforge.com).

The UNU IIST is looking at the same issues of technical sustainability that we addressed in the WSIS CS declarations and which I discussed at the recent CRACIN workshop. In particular, IIST recognizes that open source alone is not sufficient, but that training for developers in these countries is key. Their take on this is to build corporate partnerships, says Bill McIver.

3 Websites

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In the Newsletter of weitzenegger@yahoogroups.com, (see their website) of April 2006 are presented the following 3 websites of the Month:

Research for Development portal: http://www.research4development.info/news.asp?articleID=175

and http://wireless.ictp.trieste.it/simulator/;

and also Proconsul system is for sale: http://www.proconsul.com/.


World Social Forum WSF Karachi – A short report

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By Farooq Tariq, see on this site of the International Viewpoint – Karachi World Social Forum ended with a closing rally addressed by mainly young activists from different countries. Over 35000 attended this unprecedented event in the history of Pakistan during the course of five days. Over 300 events attracted hundreds of activists from different walk of life. Activists from 59 countries participated in the event.

Held at Karachi Sports Complex from 24th March to 29th March, WSF Karachi brought together most of the movements in Pakistan on one platform, from peasants to fisher folk, from women rights groups to national liberation struggle groups, they were all there.

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Trainings and events

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In the Newsletter of weitzenegger@yahoogroups.com, (see their website) of April 2006 are published the following trainings and learning events:

Warning of threatening monetary turmoil

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The US dollar on reprieve, the Asian Development Bank warns of threatening monetary turmoil – The oil trade is uneasy about the increasing impossibility of reinvesting the petrodollars they are accumulating, whereas the bank world is pondering over the dollar’s real value. A downturn in trade has just begun on the stock exchanges of the Gulf, even as the Asian Development Bank was warning its members against a possible collapse of the US currency. What if the dollar was really no longer anything but fiat money? (Read the rest of this long article on the english website of Reseau VoltaireNet.org).

Economic Globalization and the Environment

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Linked with our presentation of Jason Morrison – USA.

And linked with our presentation of The Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Economic Globalisation.

The Economic Globalization and the Environment Program of the Pacific Institute studies the effects of the increasingly integrated global economy on the environment and society.

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Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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Linked with our presentations of the legual framework of op-icescr;

of Amnesty International and the op-icescr;

of the long article on CETIM;

and of more on op-icescr;

also of The justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights;

and of op-icescr – situation on April 2006.

ESCR-Net is actively working to facilitate information-sharing and collective work on issues related to women and economic, social and cultural rights. Women of all ages experience gender inequality within and outside the home. Women are denied access to basic health care, housing, education, and work.

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The legual Framework to the op-icescr

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You’ll find a Guide to the Legal Framework to the understanding of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on this link of the Center for Economic and Social Rights.

Amnesty International and the op-icescr

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Some good questions and answers you may find also on this site of Amnesty International about the ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (op-icescr).

Transnational Corporations (TNC) and Violations of Human Rights

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To understand the urge of the op-icescr (the optional protocol on the international covenant of economic, social and cultural rights), reaf also the long article on CETIM, Centre Europe – Tiers Monde.

an Indigenous Approach on Bridging the Digital Divide

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Linked with our presentation of KENNETH DEER – Mohawk Nation, Canada.

Linked also with our presentation of Mohawks pass into another millennium.

Towards an Indigenous Approach on Bridging the Digital Divide – A Roadmap to Tunis and beyond,
October 27th, 2003, by DEER Kenneth:

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Globalisation and Food Sovereignty

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The South Asian Network for Social and Agricultural Development (SANSAD) is organising a South Asian Seminar on Globalisation and Food Sovereignty on Wednesday, the 26th of April 2006 from 09:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Lecture Hall, India International Centre Annexe, 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi – 110 003.

Write to robin.f.stevens@gmail.com.

Food and agriculture are fundamental to all peoples, in terms of both production and availability of sufficient quantities of safe and healthy food, and as foundations of healthy communities, cultures and environments.

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towards helping women to fulfill their responsibilities

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Linked with our presentation of Netsanet Mengistu – Ethiopia.

And linked with our presentation of PROGYNIST.

Interviews with Development Workers on Practice, Participation, and Career Issues
Netsanet Mingistu

Ms. Netsanet Mingistu is the founder and Director of Progynist, an Ethiopian NGO, and Meklit, a local microfinance institution. Both organizations serve women and the poor.

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Fair Traide in Europe 2005 – and other Developments

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Facts and Figures of Fair Trade in 25 European Countries during 2005:

if interested, download this 92 pages report.

See also ANANCY, the Virtual Resource Center for agricultural and rural Development.

Or go to DFID, the Department for International Development of the British Government to fight against World Poverty.

About World Economy

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The world economy can be evaluated in various ways, depending on the model used, and this valuation can then be represented in various ways (for example, in 2006 US dollars). It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth, and is therefore somewhat of a misnomer, since, while definitions and representations of the “world economy” vary widely, they must at a minimum exclude any consideration of resources or value based outside of the Earth. (Read the whole introduction article about this matter on wikipedia).

World Economy – Tendencies and Tensions, by Eduardo Lucita, IV Online magazine : IV375 – February 2006: The attack on the Twin Towers on September of 2001 may be considered a turning point in the world both political and economic situation, which accentuates pre-existing tendencies but which also incorporates new elements.

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More about Global Economy

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Citizens can and should play an active role in shaping the future of our global economy. Currently, the rules of the global economy are written by institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. These institutions have written global policy with input mainly from multinational corporations and very little input from citizens. Here are some of the ways in which we can work together to reform global trade rules, demand that corporations are accountable to people’s needs, build strong and free labor and promote fair and environmentally sustainable alternatives. Our various campaigns seek to build alternatives to the economic status quo by linking global analysis with local action.

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The ABCs of the Global Economy

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An article, by the Collective of the Website Dollar & Sense, written on March 2000, but for me still valuable.

In the 1960s, U.S. corporations changed the way they went after profits in the international economy. Instead of producing goods in the U.S. to export, they moved more and more toward producing goods overseas to sell to consumers in those countries and at home. They had done some of this in the 1950s, but really sped up the process in the ’60s.

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any crisis?

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Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin of February (GEAB 02) revealed (excerpt) … the US Fed’s decision to stop the publication of a macro-economic indicator, one essential to assess the dollar’s and global economy’s health, the M3 indicator. Leap/E2020 analysed this information as a decision to monetarize the US debt and to hide the triggering of a dollar-collapse process. « This last week of March 2006 will be the turning-point of a number of critical developments, resulting in an acceleration of all the factors leading to a major crisis … the decision of the American Federal Reserve to stop publishing M3 figures will catalyse all the tensions, weaknesses and imbalances accumulated since more than a decade throughout the international system … with this decision, the United States is undertaking not to refund their debt, or more exactly to refund it in “monkey currency”». (Read the rest of this article on Europe 2020-Bulletin).

EU countries exposed for misleading aid claims

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Found in the April Newsletter of Weitzenegger – Excerpt: … NGOs provide evidence that a total of €12.5 billion of headline EU aid in 2005 did not result in additional money for poverty reduction but was spent on debt cancellation, housing refugees and educating foreign students in European universities …… Last year, European governments made an historic commitment to substantially increase their aid for the poorest countries and agreed to reach the UN target of allocating 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to fight extreme poverty by 2015.

In their briefing, NGOs praise a few countries like Sweden and Luxembourg for their high aid levels and minimal aid inflation.

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More on op-icescr

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To learn more about the op-icescr, go to this link.

The justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights

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The Daily Observer, Gambia writes on March 17, 2006, by Isatou Alwar Graham :

The realization of ESCR

The realization of the ESCR requires an interaction of policies in numerous sectors, institutions and entitlements. There is no one way to provide for the rights.

Co-Authors Women Writing Africa West Africa and The Sahel Vol (2

Thus, the right to education, as it is guaranteed in article 13 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is the most outstanding example of the ‘cultural rights’ category, it is implicit and flows from the right to life and that a child has a fundamental right to free education at the primary level.

  • - The question one needs to ask is, what are the main challenges to fulfilment of the right?
  • - Who has the obligation to protect or fulfil the right?
  • - In whom does the right inhere?
  • - Curbing corruption and promoting good governance & accountability.
  • - Long-term planning for the implementation of ESCR.
  • - Poverty eradication
  • - The ability of government to achieve meaningful development.
  • - The Notion of priority.

(Read the rest of this very long article on the Daily Observer, Gambia).

op-icescr – situation on April 2006

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Summary of the Open-ended working group session 2006 on an optional protocol on ESC rights, February 6- 17, 2006 in Geneva: go to the summary, written by choike.org.

The daily coverage of this 2-week meeting you’ll find here.

To repeat for your understanding the whole matter, go to in-dept sight of choike.org. From there you may access to many sub-links for explanations.

My personal comment: It is much worth to spend some time to learn this matter. This optional protocol is the only tool possible today to help individuals to claim to a law court their rights also in other matters than only privat or political rights. As ones may also claim any economic, social and cultural right, which is much more than only the so called privat and political ones.

Governments are not eager to sign this protocol without including first many exceptions, this other year only Brazil and Mexico were ready for.

As was argued exactly by the French delegate in one of a former meeting: “if we sign this protocol, any ‘Jean Ziegler’ waiting in the starting boxes will fill up our law courts with complaints, as not any country is respecting these rights”.

Ones can not say it better. Please read this sentence twice, or more.