VOICE is a rights-based, activist organization working mainly on the issues of food sovereignty, aid effectiveness, economic justice, and the right to information and communication, both in Bangladesh and on a global scale. By building a broader constituency of alternative voices to the ‘mainstream development discourse’ through research and public education, VOICE is taking a stand against unjust and undemocratic practices.
Bali, a name of dream, it is also said that if you ask ‘a Balinese what heaven is like, he would say, just like Bali, without the worries of ordinary life. They want to live in Bali, to be cremated in Bali when they die, and to reincarnate in Bali’.
Only a few days in hand, while Asian Development Bank`s 42th Annual General Meeting is going to be held in Bali. In the eve of AGM there are hundreds of people including honourable Ministers, Government official’s social activist, women leaders, human rights activists, environmentalist and economist, around the globe are heading to Bali. Everybody has enormous curiosity around the AGM of ADB. It is known to all that ADB, a lending agency in the region, is criticised for their role and economic policy in Developing Member Countries also now recognized one of the main player for climate change!
NGO Forum on ADD, an ADB watcher, one of the renowned civil society network based in Manila, who is critically observing and monitoring ADB`s policies and projects. Every year during ADB`s AGM, Forum organizes its AGM. Likewise, from 28th to 30th April 2009 Forum is organizing its AGM in Bali. There are more than 75 participants from different organization are participating in the Forum general meeting.
Speakers at a discussion meeting on Wednesday strongly criticised the Asian Development Bank’s policies and projects for their ‘negative impacts’ on people’s lives and livelihoods.
They also lamented the Asian Development Bank’s Long Term Strategic Framework (LTSF) for 2008-2020 for its ‘anti-poor’ stand and demanded strong resistance against ADB’s policies that are biased toward private sector-led development.
The discussion was jointly organised by ‘Voice’, a research organisation, and NGO Forum on ADB in the WVA auditorium.
Civil society organisations’ members, trade unionists, farmers’ organisations’ representatives, NGOs, students, activist groups and civil society actors attended the seminar, moderated by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of the Voice.
Towhid Ibne Farid, coordinator of ActionAid Bangladesh, said that in the face of the global financial crisis and climate change, civil society actors should come together to fight the dominant role played by the international financial institutes including the ADB.
Highlighting the Southwest Integrated Water Resource Management Project, he alleged that ADB had not complied with its safeguard policies and thus violated the people’s right to development. He also demanded redesigning of the project in consultation with the affected communities.
VOICE participated in the 2009 Amar Ekushey Book Fair held in Bangla Academy, Dhaka that ended on February 28th after month long book fair. In the book fair VOICE participated with a number of 50 items of its publications including books, reports, newsletters, posters and other publications. It also keeps books and reports from national and international organizations whom VOICE has been closely working with. The participation of VOICE in the Book Fair helped disseminating information valued by VOICE, more specifically around the issues of globalization, trade, aid effectiveness, ICTs and information rights, climate change, IFIs, food and agriculture and of politics. Participating in the book fair, VOICE takes the opportunity for building wider constituency and raising critical awareness among the stakeholders including teachers, students, politicians, researchers, citizen actors, NGOs, activists, researchers etc, around the issues. VOICE also displayed slogans e.g. Resist Corporate Globalization and Climate Justice Now! Along with posters`display describing the injustice and domination of IFIs and global capitalism. These were put to promote its role against unjust global hegemony.
(Originally published on the UN Climate Change Conference Blog. Read the original post here)
Climate changes have massively influenced the life of millions of people all over the world. In South Asia Bangladesh is the most affected country. Increased rainfall, droughts, changes in the monsoon pattern, recurring floods and warm winters are all obvious syndromes of climate change. Past year terrible cyclone Sidr damaged 8.9 million peoples life in Bangladesh. Sea level rise over the last ten years has already eroded 65 per cent of the landmass of Kutubdia (250 square kilometers), Bhola (227 square kilometers) Sandwip (180 square kilometers) islands (NCCB).
In the negotiations Bangladesh has been trying to play a vital role as a disaster prone country. Bangladesh demanded to set-up an International Adaptation Centre in Dhaka under the UN framework. The main objective of the centre would be research on how to adapt to climate change.
(Originally published on the UN Climate Change Conference Blog. Read the original post here)
The adverse impacts of climate change are already threatening communities around the world. Over the last century the level of carbon dioxide has increased by 25 per cent. Developed countries are mainly liable for the climate crisis. And this problem is devastating environment and biodiversity, damaging people’s life and livelihoods around the globe. Climate change victims are increasing in number every day. It is alarming that there is no obligation for states to recognize the international and external displacement of people due to climate change and other environmental issues.
A study shows that 95 per cent of deaths from natural disasters in the last 25 years occurred in developing countries. And $100 billion has been lost every year due to these natural disasters. The communities of the developing countries are trying to cope with disasters. And the governments of developing countries are generating money for adaptation and mitigation programmes within their countries.
“Stop harming, start helping.” December 9, the day has began with 0 degree temperature in Poznan. Who cares? People struggle for climate justice now! Oxfam International held a demonstration in front of the main entrance of the event's venue. It was excellent! They brought with them an ice statue, saying, "START HELPING."
During the first half of the day, two important contact group meetings were held. One is on delivering on technology and financing, including consideration of institutional arrangements. The second one is on enhanced action on mitigation and its associated means of implementation. Here are some of the things that were raised in the meetings:
In the discussion on technology transfer, Pakistan focused on the necessary flexible mechanism for technology transfer. Mexico demanded for creating cooperation on technology development and building capacity at the national and local levels.
Japan, on the other hand, urged to review the effectiveness of faster technology. The Turks demanded engaging with public-private sector on all technological development process and technological cooperation.
In the last two days, i.e. 7 and 8 December, the official negotiation was closed but there are still so many side events that have continuously been happening here in Poznan. Indigenous peoples community, business and industry sector, trade union, women, youth, environmental group and other network and civil society organizations organized many events to raise everyone's awareness on climate change and unite everybody’s voice to make a fair commitment in a common ground.
CSOs from northern countries stand side by side with groups from southern countries -- developing countries -- to make their voice meaningful and to make an immediate action from the climate change agenda. Delegates from a youth network from Europe, America and Southeast Asia, and from the rest of the globe, ask climate justice from the UNFCCC.
Speakers at a discussion on Monday said the government should immediately start working on developing a legal framework to protect the secrecy of the data about citizens, which were submitted to either the government or the commercial organizations.
The discussion styled ‘privacy and the protection of the citizens, consumers and economy’ was organised by a local non-governmental organization, VOICE at the National Press Club auditorium in the capital.
Ahmed Shawpan Mahmud, the executive director of VOICE, said that personal and family information of the Bangladeshi citizens were stored with the Election Commission and different telecom operators.
‘The data carry potentials for being commercially traded. So the sales or transfers of such data should be legally prevented,’ he suggested.
It is the responsibility of the government to assure the citizens that the secrecy of their information will be guarded by the government and the companies, before calling them to submit information about them, he pointed out.
VOICE has partners like the London School of Economics and Political Science and the UK-based Privacy International in this campaign.
Wednesday 19 November 2008
VOICE will organize a meeting to share research findings on `Water sector transparency and accountability in Mymensingh Municipality'.
Date: Wednesday 19 November 2008
Location: Muslim Institute Auditorium, Mymensingh
The objective of the dialogue is to identify the key features of water delivery system as well as draw attention to water sector transparency and accountability in the Mymensingh area.
The Mayor of the Mymensingh municipality will preside over the meeting.
This will involve municipality officials, local elected bodies, consumers, civil society including activists, researchers, academics, journalists, women groups, farmers' associations, local and national NGOs and members of professional bodies.
Please contact us for more information! (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: 01712-990078)
Aid, in the neo-liberal framework cannot be effective, and it can rarely put positive impact on the ground for which it is supposed to work for the development of the poor people in particular. It is also important that developing countries devise their own means to maximise utilisation of aid effectively denouncing the imposed conditions and at the same time hold lenders and recipient overnments accountable to the people. And for effective aid, there must be the real commitments to realise ownership, harmonisation, alignment and mutual accountability that have been emphasised in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, writes Ahmed Swapan Mahmud