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.
Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, June 17, 2012
Civil society activists from across the world joined for a protest on Sunday inside the Riocentro convention center to push the messsage: “Our Future, Our Voice.”
The activists, part of the Rights for Sustainability campaign, taped their mouths and held placards before gathered media.
The protest was in reaction to a lack of voice for civil society at Rio+20; back-tracking on the Rio principles established at the 1992 Earth Summit; and the prioritizing of unregulated corporate interests over human rights and equity.
Paul Quintos of IBON International, which coordinates the NGO Cluster on Rights and Equity at Rio+20, and the Rights for Sustainability advocacy platform, said: “Civil society’s ability to promote the voice of the people it represents has been steadily eroded throughout the
process leading up to Rio+20."
“Instead of progress and solutions in negotiations, we are seeing back-tracking on commitments established in 1992. Principles that protect human rights and equity are disappearing, watered down or remain devoid of concrete means to implement them.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud is an activist and researcher, and executive director and founder of Voice
guardian.co.uk, Friday 15 June 2012 10.21 BST
To meet the development goals, a human rights-based approach, gender equality, decent work, and environment and ecological protection should be at the heart.
Since 1992, the global economy has become more accumulative and centralised, which goes against the principles of sustainable development goals. A series of crises such as climate, food, power, energy and financial emerged due to overexploitation of natural resources, overconsumption and the capitalist nature of the economy.
Most of the world's resources are in the hands of around 5% of the richest people. Thus, in the past two decades, marginalisation – the rich and poor divide – has increased. So, the development goals must assert social and economic equality, and environmental protection. The green economy cannot solve the problem until the current architecture is changed.
Bangladesh has made economic progress with constant GDP growth of 6% in the past few years, but the rich and poor divide has increased and climate change becomes an issue that makes life more vulnerable than before.
Fight for Our Future! No Price on Nature!
We are movements and organizations from Asia, waging struggles on various fronts and arenas to defend our rights, resist policies and projects that cause harm and destruction, and to fight for immediate priorities and demands, as well as profound transformation of our societies.
We envision a social and economic system:
• that is aimed at providing for the needs of people and aspirations for a humane, empowering and liberating life in a manner that respects the earth’s capacity to regenerate, and to sustain life based on the integrity of natural systems;
• that is based on and promotes equity, parity, solidarity and mutual respect among people and nations regardless of gender, race and ethnicity, culture, capabilities and class;
• that promotes sharing of land, water, forests, atmosphere, eco-systems and territories based on the principles of stewardship and not private ownership, and the rights of all people to equitable and responsible access to, and use of the commons;
• where there is equitable and democratic control of economic resources;
• where there is peace is based on justice and not the overcoming of conflict through the use of deception and military might;
A civil society group, who specially work on climate change, will hand over a memorandum to Finance Minister and all the MPs prior to budget session to press for integrating climate adaptation in the national budget, reports UNB.
Representatives of seven civil society right groups’ climate network and eight organizations announced this at a press conference at the National Press club on Wednesday.
The right groups consist of seven networks; BAPA, BIPNetCCBD, CCDF, CSRL, CFGN, EquityBD and NCCB and the organizations are: BKF, OKS, CGC, CDP, BKS, Humanity Watch, PRAN and VOICE.
The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.
Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation gave a welcome address. Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of Network on Climate Change in Bangladesh read out the memorandum.
The group proposed 11 priority points, which include construction of coastal embankment, long term steps to reduce river erosion, land zoning to preserve agricultural land, excavation of ponds and canals to increase reservation of surface water, inclusion of climate issue in all levels of education, extension of BADC up to upazila level to promote local seeds, innovation of alternative water source in hilly areas,
Green and right activists on Thursday demanded an end of World Bank’s role in the management of Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund by 2013.
They expressed their concern that the government was trying to extend the time by five more years to 2018 for management of BCCRF by WB and demanded establishment of an independent body to manage the fund transparently.
They urged to form a democratic ownership of all climate fund managements by enlisting representatives from both ruling and opposition parties, civil society groups, media persons and affected people.
The demands were raised at a press conference organised at the National Press Club in the city by 17 organisations that are vocal on climate change, environment and rights issues in the country.
Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment executive director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, who read out the written speech, said the government had earlier said the WB would help to build capacity in BCCRF management until 2013 in exchange of 1 per cent service charge out of the total grants.
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.
United Nations TD/463
United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development Distr.: General
20 April 2012
21–26 April 2012
Civil Society Declaration to UNCTAD XIII:
[Dhaka, 12th April 2012] Six civil society climate networks and eleven organizations has organized a human chain and rally in front of national press club on 12th April 2012 in Dhaka. They have demanded there should not be any more fiduciary management role of World Bank in Bangladesh climate resilience fund beyond 2013, they also demanded an independent institution with democratic ownership for all climate fund management. They have also express worries that there is a conspiracy going to extend present role of World Bank in resilience fund until 2018.
The networks and organization who have organized the rally are, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Climate Finance Goverance Network (CFGN), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Climate Change Development Forum (CCDF), Equity and Justice Working Group (Equity), Network for Climate Change in Bangladesh (NCCB), Arpon, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity (BBS), Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Centre for Global Change (CGC), Kishani Shoba, Manush Manusher Jonno, Media Foundation for Trade and Development (MFTD), OK Society, SDO, Sirajgong Flood Forum, Shurakka O Aggragoti Foundation (SAF) and Voice.
Speakers demanded privacy and data protection law in the national convention
[Dhaka, 11 February 2012] Speakers in the national convention on ‘Right to Privacy and Data Protection’ called the government to enact a privacy and data protection law to secure privacy rights and personal data. The convention was organized by rights based organizations VOICE and Privacy International, in association with Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum (BIJF) Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF), Campaign for Good Governance (SUPRO), Campaign on Citizen’s Right to Information, EquityBD, Media Watch and Somewhere in…blog at the CIRDAP conference auditorium on 11 February 2012.
Justice (Retd) Jolam Rabbani, presided over the convention while he stated, everyone wants to have the protection of their privacy. A fresh law has to be formed to defend privacy rights, assured by article 43 of Bangladesh constitution. He also mentioned that before making the law, the definition of personal information should be made more specific considering the national context and spirit. He also urged to form tribunal in all divisional cities in the country to protect people’s right to privacy and data protection.
Tribunal needed to protect citizen’s right to privacy
Justice (Retd) Golam Rabbani on Saturday urged the government to form a national tribunal to protect citizens’ right to privacy. “The tribunal should operate in every district in Bangladesh and collect anecdotal evidence from ordinary people, so as to form an effective policy to protect their rights to privacy,” he said during a ‘National convention on right to privacy and data protection.’
It was held at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital and organised by the non-governmental organization Voice, in association with Bangladesh ICT Journalist’s Forum, Campaign for Citizen’s Right to Information, Campaign for Good Governance, Privacy International, Media watch, Equitybd and somewhere in.blog
Justice Rabbani said the Right to Information Act 2009 emphasises that information that may endanger public security or impede the judicial process should not be disclosed.
“The problem is that many people remain unaware of the RTI Act. Everyone should become familiar with the concepts of privacy and disclosure,” he said.
Sayed Marghub Morshed, former chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said that protecting individual’s personal information has become more crucial than ever before.