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A civil society dialogue on `Post2015 agenda : sustainable development and people’s priorities from the ground’ was held at Barisal, Bangladesh on 24 December 2012. The dialogue jointly organized by VOICE, Beyond 2015 Bangladesh Hub and Speed Trust, Barisal was attended by the members of the civil society and communities while it discussed about the ongoing process of post 2015 and drew priorities for post2015 development framework from the ground realities.
Speakers demanded to make post 2015 development agenda equitable through people’s participation considering the vulnerability and ground realities of the people living with poverty. They urged the UN and government to undertake special measures to ensure sustainable development goals putting rights based approach in shaping post 2015 development framework.
The international climate negotiation is not the only arena of our struggles for climate justice. But it is a critical one which now more than ever requires much stronger concerted efforts -- to counter moves by powerful governments, international institutions and global corporations that will bring more harm to people and planet, and to fight for global measures that will stave off catastrophic climate change and enable people to deal with present and future impacts.
To pave the way for more powerful collective campaigning - several organizations worked together on a call for a "Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice" that is directed at all governments and the international climate talks and effectively combines "inside" and "outside" actions.
The CIVICUS World Assembly was held from the 10th to the 12th of September, 2011, at the Palais des Congrès in downtown Montreal. Our Executive Director, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, was in town to participate in a workshop entitled "Beyond 2015: Shaping the Post-MDG Agenda." He was interviewed live on the official channel of the World Assembly, CIVICUS Live.
View the interview at the following link:
This year VOICE is helping to co-ordinate the selection process for NGO representation and we need your voice in Busan. It is vital for civil society to have a strong presence at this forum. The Fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) on Aid Effectiveness will take place in Busan, South Korea, 29 November - 1 December, preceded by civil society organisations' pre-activities forum the 26-28 November. Applications close on 8 May. Apply here.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Saturday called for rationalisation of distribution of aid that many donors allocate based on political, economic and strategic interests.
She made the call while she was addressing as co-chair an interactive policy dialogue on quality and quantity of ODA for LDCs and their debt problem in Lisbon, says a press release.
She also called for improving quality of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and rectification of the huge imbalances in terms of ODA per capita among the least developed countries (LDCs).
Dipu Moni highlighted the concern of gradual decrease in grant in the ODA mix and underscored the need for minimising transaction cost of ODA and making ODA disbursement and delivery flexible and predictable.
On external debt situation, she underlined that diversion of money from poverty alleviation initiatives and programmes to service debts has its own economic and social implications.
She stressed the need for full and comprehensive debt relief measures for highly indebted countries and for a case-by-case debt relief for countries like Bangladesh.
Conflicting views on role of foreign aid : Some economists say it benefits consultants, others favour it for achieving MDGs
The seminar brought into focus three sheds of opinion on foreign aid utilisation.
Some of the economists believed that it (foreign aid) leads to wastage of resources benefiting only consultants and officials of projects, who spend the money.
While others opined that even though there were some problems in the execution of foreign aided projects, such foreign aid was necessary for achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
However, there was consciousness of opinion that the foreign aid utilisation was beset with problems and should be streamed line through effective management.
Aid Accountability Group and Reality of Aid jointly organised the seminar on 'Context of aid and development effectiveness' in the auditorium of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific.
Noted economists at a seminar yesterday urged the government to pay more attention to utilising foreign remittance rather than putting emphasis on seeking foreign aid.
Speaking as the chief guest Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, said it is a matter of regret that we do not utilise foreign remittance amounting to 10 to 11 percent of our GDP but seek foreign aid.
The discussion titled "Joint cooperation strategy: Context of aid and development effectiveness" was organised by Aid Accountability Group at Cirdap auditorium in the city.
Kholiquzzaman said government officials while negotiating with foreign countries and organisations for aid and loans should be more efficient and careful about securing national interest.
He said government had to take several policies and decisions according to the prescription of donor agencies, for instance, the closure of Adamjee Jute Mills (AJM).
Kholiquzzaman suggested adopting plans and policies according to the reality and need of the country, not following prescriptions of foreign donors.
Former finance adviser to a caretaker government Mirza AB Azizul Islam differed with Kholiquzzaman about the closure of Adamjee jute mills saying it was shut due to corruption and mismanagement.
Foreign aid is still playing significant role in eradicating poverty though joint initiative with special emphasize on NGOs' transparency and accountability is essential to boost aid effectiveness, renowned economist Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said Monday, reports UNB.
"Our macro-economic indicators - investment, GDP and foreign exchange earning - show reduced importance of foreign aid but it is still essential for some areas… development funding is one of them. Foreign aid contributes over 40 percent of our ADP funding," he said.
The former finance adviser of caretaker government made the remarks while talking to journalists on the sidelines of a multi-stakeholders' consultation program titled 'Joint Cooperation Strategy: Context of Aid Development Effectiveness' held at CIRDAP auditorium.
Participants at a discussion meeting Monday underscored the need for ensuring the country's "economic sovereignty" by reducing aid dependency.
They said self-realisation about foreign aid use is "a must and aid money should be spent on development purposes, not be squandered."
The remarks came at a consultation programme organised by campaign grouping Aid Accountability Group (AAG) in the city.
PKSF chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the programme dedicated to 'Context of Aid and Development Effectiveness'.
Former finance advisor Mirza Azizul Islam said Bangladesh needs foreign aid but its effectiveness should be expanded.
He said overseas aid makes up half the country's development budget and the inflow of aid should continue until Bangladesh achieves self-reliance.
Mr Islam, a former UN economist, also said the country has received aid totalling $840 billion since 1972 and this large amount went to development projects.
He urged non-government organisations (NGOs) to use foreign aid in "a fair way" because they receive a large portion of the total inflow.
The nation itself should decide whether it takes aid or says goodbye to external assistance, he said.
Speakers at a roundtable called for enacting a rights law to protect the citizens’ privacy. They said that neither the government nor private companies had the right to infringe on individuals’ privacy on the pretext of security or economic reasons.
They said that these days the government as well as private companies demand too many information of citizens for providing passports, cell phone connections, voter ID. They also opposed phone tapping.
They said that the citizens in Bangladesh were often deprived of using new technologies, like facebook. In recent years, they said, mobile phone tapping and internet surveillance deprived the citizens’ privacy. They said that service providers often infringe into citizens’ privacy by demanding their voter ID cards, which contain too many of their details. They said that Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission was not at all an independent body as it is controlled by telecommunications ministry on the pretext of national security.