April 2005

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April 2005

Contents

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Political & Civic Participation of Youth
Call for Applications: Youth Leadership Program in Kenya
 
 
 
 
 
 

Announcements and Events
 
Africa Democracy Forum Launches New Web Site and Newsletter
The Africa Democracy Forum (ADF), a network of democracy activists that was formed in 2000, launched its new Web site on March 31, 2005. The Web site allows the ADF to share information about its activities and contains various resources and publications for the African democracy community. The inaugural issue of the ADF's bi-monthly newsletter was also released on March 31. The newsletter aims to serve as a platform for intellectual discourse and leadership on human rights, democracy, and governance in Africa. Contributions are welcome. The ADF is affiliated with the World Movement for Democracy.
 
 
For more information about the newsletter, email: newsletter@africademocracyforum.org
 
Conference: "Democracy and Development: Challenges for the Islamic World"
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) will hold its sixth annual conference: "Democracy and Development: Challenges for the Islamic World" on April 22-23, 2005, in Washington, DC. CSID's conference will examine the common barriers to development, identify factors needed to ensure proper economic and political development, and focus on the inter-relatedness of democracy and development in the Islamic world. Also, this forum will examine how the classical concepts of shura (consultation) and ijma (consensus) lend themselves to the development of democratic institutions in today's modern world and how traditional views on gender roles affect women's participation in the political sphere.
 
To view the tentative program and to register for the conference, go to: www.islam-democracy.org or email the conference coordinator at: sein@islam-democracy.org
 
Conference Focusing on Reform Processes in South Caucasus
Some 60 political authorities, academics, and actors debated the reform process in three South Caucasus countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) and their prospects for European integration at a conference on March 18-19 in Tblisi, Georgia. The conference, "Constitutional/Political Reform Process in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan: Political Elite and Voices of the People," was organized by International IDEA and the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development. The policy and research papers presented at the conference will be published and shared with authorities and civil society representatives in each country for further policy decisions. The papers on Georgia, in particular, are intended to influence current constitutional policy debates.
 
 
Call for Nominations: Agfund International Prize
The Agfund International Prize for pioneering development projects is awarded annually by the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND). The prize honors projects in developing countries that work to alleviate human suffering and pain. Pioneering projects implemented by international or regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, or individuals are eligible for nominations. The nomination deadline is April 30, 2005.
 
 
New Edition: Guide to European Union Funding for NGOs
The European Citizen Access Service (ECAS) has released the 10th Edition of A GUIDE TO EUROPEAN UNION FUNDING FOR NGOs: ACCESSING EUROPE'S LARGEST DONOR. This newly revised and updated edition provides information about opportunities from the EU and other funding sources that are available to NGOs. The Guide also offers an important list of tips and contacts to help organizations identify sources and obtain funding.
 
 
World Movement Steering Committee Member Receives Medal of Freedom Award
The Mongolian Democratic Union awarded the President of the Education for Democracy Foundation (FED), Krzysztof Stanowski, with the Medal of Freedom on April 1, 2005. The FED, based in Poland, has been working with the American Federation of Teachers in Mongolia to hold 'train-the-trainer' programs and form a team of experienced local democracy activist trainers. Since 1997, the FED has conducted over 100 workshops for 1,200 Mongolian trainers, NGO leaders, teachers, and student and parent council members with the Center for Citizenship Education and the Democracy Education Center. It has organized several internships in Poland for trainers and teachers from Mongolia and published brochures in Mongolian on issues related to civic education and civil society. Mr. Stanowski is a member of the World Movement's Steering Committee.
 
 
Civil Society Strengthening
 
Conference: "Global Democracy: Civil Society Visions and Strategies"
The Montreal International Forum (FIM) invites participants to explore and share ideas at its international conference, "Global Democracy: Civil Society Visions and Strategies." Global Democracy 2005 will take place on May 29-June 1, 2005, in Montreal, Canada, and is open to everyone, especially representatives and actors from: civil society organizations, multilateral institutions, government, business, labor, indigenous communities, the academic world, and the media.
 
 
Asian Democrats Develop Strategies for Transitions to Democracy
On March 9-10, 2005, democrats in Asia came together for the second strategy workshop of the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA), entitled "Assisting Transitions to Democracy in Asia," in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants from at least 20 organizations discussed various strategies to assist the democratization processes in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan and Singapore. Upon the conclusion of the workshop, specific strategies were drafted by country presenters and participants to help promote greater freedoms of expression and association in each country. The workshop participants also issued a press statement addressing immediate concerns about current political situations in the region. The workshop was organized by the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA), and was part of a series of three WFDA workshops. The WFDA is a coalition of democracy networks and organizations in Asia working to advance a democratic agenda in the region, and was created, in part, to serve as a platform for World Movement participants in Asia.
 
 
To read the statement issued by the WFDA, go to: www.wfda.net/news_detail.htm?id=25
 
Call for Applications: Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society International Fellows Program 2005
The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society is now accepting applications for its 2005 Fellows Program. The Senior International Fellows Program provides professional development training for Third-Sector practitioners from outside the United States who are at an advanced stage in their careers. The program is designed to help build Third-Sector capacity in the Fellows' home countries. Fellows are based at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Fellows attend weekly seminars, learn about the work of key agencies and foundations, meet with nonprofit representatives, and study U.S. and international community foundation models.
 
 
Knowledge Share Toolkit
Bellanet International recently launched a Knowledge Share Toolkit that contains tools designed to facilitate collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and expertise of peers, co-workers, and partners. The Knowledge Share Toolkit includes descriptions of methods and techniques for facilitating open transparent discussions at workshops and events and organizing activities and projects.
 
Conflict Resolution
 
New Publication from Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africa
The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa recently published a new book, PIECES OF THE PUZZLE: KEYWORDS ON RECONCILATION AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE. Addressed to citizens, activists, and scholars, PIECES OF THE PUZZLE is a practical and wide-ranging guide to understanding the key social, political, and cultural terms of transitional justice and reconciliation. South African and international experts offer concise and direct replies to some of the most common questions and problems that appear when nations wrecked by historical conflict begin the work of democratization and reconstruction.
 
For ordering information, email orders@blueweaver.co.za
 
To learn more about the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, go to: www.ijr.org.za
 
Economic Reform and Business Sector
 
Templeton Freedom Prizes Recognize Work in Asian Countries and Former Soviet States
The 2005 Templeton Freedom Prizes for Excellence in Promoting Liberty at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation celebrates the work and dedication of nonprofit organizations. The Prize program is organized by four separate categories: Ethics and Values, Free Market Solutions to Poverty, Social Entrepreneurship, and Student Outreach. The first place prizes were awarded to: Bulgaria's Access to Information Program, India's Centre for Civil Society, International Development Enterprises India, and the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. The New Economics School of Georgia received the second place.
 
 
Elections
 
IDEE Issues Final Report on 2004 Elections in Belarus
The Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE) recently issued its final report of its monitoring mission to Belarus. IDEE organized an independent observer mission consisting of 18 journalists from Eastern Europe to monitor the Belarusian elections on October 9 - 18, 2004. The observer group investigated the General Elections and the Republican Referendum on proposed amendments of the Belarusian Constitution. The final report contains what IDEE considers evidence proving how the elections and referendum were fraudulent. This report includes the individual monitors' reports, articles, and documents that provide specific and concrete examples of how the will of the Belarusian people was jeopardized.
 
For a copy of the report, contact, idee@idee.org
 
For more information about IDEE, go to: www.idee.org
 
Delegation of Iraqi Women Visits IFES
On March 7, the Iraqi Women's Democracy Initiative delegation, comprised of civic and government leaders, visited the headquarters of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) for a conversation about political development and IFES' assistance programs in Iraq. Delegates included the State Minister for Women's Affairs from Northern Iraq, a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a member of the transitional national Assembly, and an officer in the Iraqi Ministry of Planning. IFES' election assistance in Iraq was discussed, as well as IFES' Electoral Violence, Education and Resolution (EVER) Project in the country and possibilities for future cooperation.
 
 
Human Rights
 
What's Being Done on...Human Rights Networking?
This section of the World Movement for Democracy Web site focuses on four case studies highlighting different approaches to networking among organizations promoting and protecting human rights. In addition, the issue includes a list of various global and regional human rights networks around the world, a list of online resources, and a list of international intergovernmental human rights institutions.
 
Burmese Human Rights Group Criticizes Report to European Commission
On April 1, 2005, the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma) issued a statement urging the European Commission (EC) to reject the recommendations of a recent report on Burma. The report is said to argue in favor of revising the EU sanctions against Burma and engaging with the Burmese military regime. The report was scheduled to be presented at the European Commission conference on Burma Day, April 5, 2005. Altsean-Burma is critical of the report and offers responses to each of its 12 policy recommendations.
 
To read the statement by Altsean-Burma, go to: www.mizzima.com/archives/news-in-2005/news-in-april/01-April05-04.htm
 
For more information and other reactions to the report, go to: www.eubusiness.com/afp/050328080912.lnmyvwzz and www.fidh.org/article.php3?id_article=2335
 
Political Prisoners Released in Azerbaijan
Human rights groups in Azerbaijan welcomed the recent presidential decree that released 53 individuals detained as political prisoners. However, the rights groups expressed concern that some prisoners arrested on political motives still remained in jail despite the decree. President Aliyev issued the pardon in response to pressure from the Council of Europe. The Aliyev government has been facing increased criticism and international pressure to improve the human rights conditions in Azerbaijan.
 
 
New Book on Human Rights Case in Paraguay
The Georgetown University Press announces the recent publication of BREAKING SILENCE, THE CASE THAT CHANGED THE FACE OF HUMAN RIGHTS by Richard Alan White. The book details the history of the famous international case of Filartiga v. Pena. The book gives a non-fiction account of the murder-torture of 17- year old Joelito Filartiga that took place in Paraguay in 1976 and his family's struggle for justice.
 
 
International Human Rights Academy to be held in South Africa
The International Human Rights Academy provides a human rights program organized every year in South Africa and in Europe by the Human Rights Center of Ghent University (Belgium), the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at Utrecht University, the Faculty of Law of University of the Western Cape (South Africa), and the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations (IFHHRO). The fourth annual Academy will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, on October 16-29, 2005. The various intensive courses that make up the Academy are designed to provide high quality legal education in comparative international human rights and in humanitarian law, with an emphasis on the practical aspects in the various fields. Scholars and professionals with knowledge of human rights law are invited to apply by June 1, 2005.
 
 
John Humphrey Freedom Award Seeks Nominations
The Montreal-based Rights & Democracy is currently accepting nominations for the John Humphrey Freedom Award, which is presented every year to an organization or person who has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of human rights and democratic development. The award consists of a grant of $25,000 as well as a speaking tour of Canadian cities to help increase awareness of the recipient's human rights work. The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2005.
 
 
 
International Democracy Assistance and Solidarity
 
Call for Action: Support Imprisoned Burmese Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
In celebration of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's 60th Birthday (June 19, 2005) and in solidarity with the Burmese democracy movement, the US Campaign for Burma calls on individuals and organizations around the world to take part in the following campaigns: "House Arrests" across the United States in solidarity with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; a birthday card campaign helping US Campaign for Burma collect at least 6,000 birthday cards by June 1, 2005; and protests at Burmese embassies around the world. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's democracy movement, has been under house arrest since May 2003. There are over 1,400 detained political prisoners in Burma.
 
 
Policy Brief: EU Democracy Assistance to Belarus
On March 24, 2005, The Pontis Foundation of Slovakia released a policy brief on "EU Democracy Assistance to Belarus: How to Make Small Improvements Larger and More Systematic." Following the fraudulent 2004 elections in Belarus, the EU pledged to support civil society and the democratization process. The policy brief details the results of the current process and outlines further possibilities for EU democracy assistance for Belarus.
 
To contact the Pontis Foundation, email pontis@pontisfoundation.sk or go to: www.pontisfoundation.sk/en
 
Internet, Media, & Freedom of Expression
 
Southeast Asian Centre for E-media Offers Technology Assistance to WMD Participants
The Southeast Asian Centre for E-media (SEACeM) is offering technology assistance to organizations participating in the World Movement for Democracy. SEACeM will offer the following services: (1) Free web and email hosting; (2) Content Management System that provides for easy updating and maintenance of Web sites; (3) a system for organizations to register new members, renew memberships, and receive donations online; and (4) an online advertising system that allows efficient banner management and provides statistics to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising. World Movement participating organizations interested in receiving these or other ICT services should contact SEAcEM directly.
 
For more information, go to: www.seacem.com
 
To submit your requests, contact: prem@seacem.com
 
Berkeley China Internet Project Launches "China Digital Times"
China Digital Times (CDT) is a collaborative news Web site covering China's social and political transition. CDT aims to use a new generation of participatory media technology to create a fully interactive network that will track and report news, facilitate conversations and debate, and share resources and knowledge in a virtual Chinese community. CDT is run by the Berkeley China Internet Project of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. The Project is directed by Xiao Qiang, a member of the World Movement Steering Committee.
 
 
Open Media Fund to Support Media in Middle East and North Africa
With the goal of supporting diverse media and improving the quality and plurality of news media in the region, Internews Network will provide grants to nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations and individuals in the Middle East and North Africa. Grants will be awarded to applicants that propose innovative projects related to monitoring information media, educating professionals and students, and supporting new media programs or publications designed to improve the situation of women and youth in the region.
 
 
 
Political & Civic Participation of Youth
 
Call for Applications: Youth Leadership Program in Kenya
A leadership training course for African youth, "Certificate in Youth Participation for Africa's Development Processes," will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, on June 6-17, 2005. This leadership training is being offered jointly by the African Youth Parliament and the Coady International Institute. The program targets youth leaders in Africa and in the African Diaspora to build on their existing skills, equip them with further leadership skills, and empower them with information and networking opportunities to effectively engage the African Peer Review Mechanism processes in their countries. Applications are open to all young Africans between 20-28 years of age who are in positions of leadership and are involved, or are interested in getting involved, in the African Peer Review Process at their country levels.
 
 
 
Political Parties & Political Leadership
 
Press Release: Drafting of Bhutan's New Constitution Excluded Civil Society
On March 26, 2005, the Kingdom of Bhutan announced the draft of its first constitution. Chief Justice of Bhutan, Sonam Tobgye, headed the constitution drafting committee. A copy of the constitution is available online in Dzongkha and English for review and discussion prior to the referendum later this year. However, the People Forum for Human Rights and Development (PFHRD) in Bhutan noted that the constitution is not available in Nepali language, which is spoken by 40 percent of the population in the southern part of the country. In addition, PFHRD has issued a press statement condemning the fact that the constitution was written by government officials without any involvement of pro-democracy civil society groups who have been calling for a constitution for over 10 years. PFHRD believes the constitution does not truly represent the will of the people of Bhutan since political parties, NGOs, and human rights groups were not involved in the drafting process.
 
To contact PFHRD Bhutan, email: skpfhrd@most.com.np
 
To read a copy of the new constitution of Bhutan, go to: www.kuenselonline.com
 
 
Research
 
NDRI Releases Latest Issue of Democracy Research News
The Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI) released the March-April issue of its quarterly e-newsletter, Democracy Research News. The newsletter provides information on the activities and publications produced by NDRI member institutes. The NDRI is a membership association of institutions that conduct and publish research on democracy and democratic development. It is one of several functional networks affiliated with the World Movement for Democracy.
 
 
 
Rule of Law
 
CIPE Articles: "Building Rule of Law: From Buzzword to Reality" and "Corruption: Concepts, Types, Causes, and Consequences"
In March 2005, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) published two online articles as part of its Economy Reform Feature Service. The first, "Building Rule of Law: From Buzzword to Reality," written by Jean Rogers, Deputy Director of CIPE, describes the essential framework of a functioning democratic society based on rule of law and highlights successful private sector-led approaches to building such societies. Rogers argues that a functional legal system is not only key in building economic foundations, it is also crucial in safeguarding democratic values. The second article, "Corruption: Concepts, Types, Causes, and Consequences," written by Boris Begovic of the Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies, highlights the many problems of corruption, as well as possible solutions, and argues that political will remains the most important prerequisite for an effective anti-corruption strategy.
 
 
Women’s Issues
 
Conference: The Role of Women in the Developing World
The Ditchley Foundation, located in the United Kingdom, will hold a conference on April 8-10, 2005, to address the role of women in the developing world. The conference, which is by invitation only, will address the role of women in development and conflict prevention, and identify priorities in gender issues for the next two years. The first plenary session will open with a presentation by Lesley Abdela who will share her experience in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq, followed by Zainab Salbi, President of Women for Women International, and High Commissioner Mabuza of South Africa.
 
For more information, contact the Conference Secretary, Jeannie Wise, at: confsec@ditchley.co.uk
 
To learn more about the Ditchley Foundation, go to: www.ditchley.co.uk
 
Women Peacemakers Network Formed in Pakistan
At the International Women's Day 2005 celebration event held in Jhang city, Pakistan, 28 women's groups from six rural districts of Pakistan signed a resolution forming the Women Peacemakers Network. The Women Peacemakers Network aims to work with others from the community to empower women to play a role in the promotion of peace in the family and society, as well as to equip women with conflict resolution skills. The first meeting of the network was held on March 10, 2005, and was organized by Anjuman Bra-e-Khawateen (Association of Women), one of the founding organizations.
 
For more information, contact the ABK coordinator: abkjhang@yahoo.com
 
Shan Women's Action Network in Thailand Launches New Web Site
Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN), a network of women in Thailand and along the Thai-Burma border, recently launched its new Web site. The site includes information about the SWAN's programs, publications, and networking efforts, as well as an Action Update. SWAN is a founding member of the Women's League of Burma (WLB), an umbrella organization comprising 12 women's groups from Burma.
 
 
Online Bulletin on Women's Political Engagement
Onlinewomeninpolitics.org, a network of Asia Pacific women involved in politics, governance, decision-making, and transformative leadership, recently released the newest issue of its Online Women Bulletin. The issue contains summaries of the information available on the Network's Web site, announcements of events, and women-focused news stories.
 
To request a copy of the Bulletin, contact: onlinewomeninpolitics@capwip.org
 
 
World Movement Participants Mentioned in this Issue