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[Dhaka, 22 September 2013] Speakers told that the ICT Act (amendment) 2013 sharply conflicts with Bangladesh Constitution’s Article 39 and 43 which guarantee freedom of expression and right to privacy respectively. Terming it as a ‘black law’, speakers urged the government not to enact as a law. A press conference titled ‘ICT Act (Amendment) 2013: Challenges for Right to Privacy and Freedom of Expression’ was held by VOICE in the city’s national press club today while it was jointly collaborated with Bangladesh Manobadhikar Shangbadik forum, Campaign on Citizen’s Right to Information, Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum, Somewherein.net Blog, Online Knowledge Society, Shushashoner Jonyo Procharabhijan (SUPRO) and School of Communication and Cultural Metaphysics.
Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, CEO, Boishaki Television, Khairuzzaman Kamal, Executive Director, Bangladesh Manobadhikar Shangbadik Forum, Zakir Hossain, Executive Director of Nagorik Uddog and Convener of Campaign on Citizen Right to Information, Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana, Acting Managing Director, Somewherein.net Blog and, Farjana Akhter, Programme Coordinator, Voice spoke at the press briefing while Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director of Voice moderated the session.
Civil right groups EquityBD and VOICE have criticized United Nation High Level Panel (UN HLP) report on post 2015 agenda for development terming it "as lofty goal and empty bowl."
At a press conference held at National Press Club, leaders of these organizations said the report is far from meeting the needs of the transforming economies. The release of the UN HLP report on June 30 in New York was chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Indonesian President Dr. Susilo Bambang and Liberian President Alen Johnson Sirlef.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud spoke on the occasion.
They said the report has over emphasized the role of free market and private sector financing to attain the goals and in doing so it failed to strike a balance between private sector and public sector financing.
They said free market is responsible for producing poverty and global inequality and this in turn is only widening the gap between rich and poor. Private finance always looks for profit and it can't be used to establish equity and justice.
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.
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.
[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.
CSOs to Focus on Climate Finance Oversight in Bangladesh
Two day Workshop and a Seminar in South Asia Social Forum Sets the Tone
Dhaka, November 20: CSOs from different parts of Bangladesh converged at a two-day workshop jointly organized by Voice, EquityBD and Bank Information Center has decided to focus more on monitoring the flow of climate finance in the country, insisted the participation of communities at all levels of project planning, implementation and monitoring, and initiated to link with other climate justice movements elsewhere in South Asia to strengthen the movement in Bangladesh.
VOICE @ South Asia Social Forum, Dhaka; November 18-22, 2011
VOICE (www.voicebd.org) undertakes a number of programmes during South Asia Social Forum (SASF) to be held on 18-22 November, Dhaka, Bangladesh. These events will jointly be organized with different national and international networks including Aid Accountability Group, Bank Information Centre, Eurodad, NGO Forum on ADB, Privacy International etc, among others. Being one of the organizers in SASF, VOICE is calling global civil society actors, youths, women, human rights activists, political groups, organizations and concerned multi-stakeholders to join us aiming at building greater solidarity for new economic and social order. The details of the programmes (draft) attached herewith
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:
Dhaka, Apr 19: Thirteen right based civil society organizations led by Equity BD on Tuesday demonstrated, held rally and formed human chain in front of national press club to protest government’s move to take one billion dollar conditional loan from the IMF. They urged the government not to take the loan with condition of money contraction and VAT expansion which are anti-poor and against the nation.
The right groups are Arpan, Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Bangladesh Kishani Shova, Coastal Development Partnership, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Equity BD, Lead Trust, La via Campesina Bangladesh, Media Foundation for Trade and Development, On Line Knowledge Center, Pradip, VOICE and Uddipan.
Zaid Iqbal Khan of Krishok Federation mentioned that the government has already withdrawn bank ceiling on loan. This will reduce the loan flow for long term investment and thereby no new employment opportunity.
Subal Sarkar of Bhumihin Shamiti stated that in line with IMF conditionality government will have reduce subsidy in fuel and fertilizers ultimately which will create problem for farmers.
Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD said the country still has comfort level of remittance flow and export growth. Import cost has increased but even with WTO provision government can reduce import, thus government has no need of embark on IMF loan.
By Marwaan Macan-Markar
BANGKOK, Apr 6, 2011 (IPS) - The World Bank is facing mounting opposition from a broad network of green and grassroots activists over its role in a new global Green Climate Fund (GCF) aimed at helping developing countries combat the ravages of climate change.
"In spite of the climate and economic crises, the World Bank continues to finance fossil fuel projects at an alarming rate, promote false solutions to the climate crisis, and use funding instruments that increase indebtedness of developing countries," charged a coalition of nearly 100 local and international civil society organisations in a letter released here during on- going negotiations at the first of three U.N. climate change conferences to be held in the lead up to the Durban COP17 summit in late November.
"The World Bank is not suited to advise in the design of a fund that must ensure fair and effective long-term financing based on the principles of environmental integrity, equity, sustainable development and democracy," noted the two-page letter, whose signatories included global groups like Action Aid and International Rivers, regional groups like the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and local groups like the Bolivian Climate Change Platform.