May 2005

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May 2005

Contents

Announcements & Events
Call for Applications: Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowships
Community of Democracies Meets in Santiago
Anwar Ibrahim Named Muslim Democrat of the Year
Panorama Center Holds 1st Ramallah Conference on Palestinian Authority
Short-Term Grants for Scholars Working on Policy in Eastern Europe

Civil Society Strengthening
Deliberative Polling in Zeguo Township of China

Economic Reform and the Business Sector
CIPE Articles: "State-Building: Capturing Lessons Learned" and "State-Building in Afghanistan: A Civil Society Approach"

Elections
VOTE-INDIA Campaign for Political Reforms Launched

Human Rights
Reebok Human Rights Award Program Seeks Nominations
HURILAWS Newsletter Returns to Publication
Recommendations on Khmer Rouge Tribunal and International Criminal Court
Amnesty's 12-Point Program for Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel Treatment

Internet, Media, & Freedom of Expression
World Celebrates Press Freedom Day
New Global Media Network Launches Partnership to Expand Access to Information Worldwide
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility Launches New Web Site

Labor Unions & Worker Rights
Chinese Labor Activist, Han Dongfang, Receives International Activist Award

Political & Civic Participation of Youth
“Young Antifascists" Launch Campaign

Political Parties & Political Leadership
National Front for Democracy in Bhutan Issues Statements on Draft Constitution

Transparency & Anti-Corruption
Fourth Global Forum on Fighting Corruption to Be Held in Brazil
Report: Anticorruption Efforts in Bulgaria
Kenyan Rights Group Urges Holding Ministers Accountable
Toolkit on Political Finance Launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Women’s Issues
Azar Nafisi Speaks on "Women, Culture, Human Rights: the case of Iran"
Workshop on Women's Access to Justice Held in Nigeria
Pakistani Women's Group Conducts Study on Violence against Girls
Paper on the Development of the Feminist Movement in Tunisia
Reflections on the International Women's Movement: 10 Years After Beijing

World Movement Participants Mentioned in this Issue
 


 
Announcements and Events
Call for Applications: Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowships
The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program at the Washington, DC-based National Endowment for Democracy welcomes applications from candidates throughout the world for fellowships in 2006-2007. Established in 2001, the program enables democracy activists, practitioners, scholars, and journalists from around the world to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change. The program is intended primarily to support activists, practitioners, and scholars from new and aspiring democracies; distinguished scholars from the United States and other established democracies are also eligible to apply. Projects may focus on the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural aspects of democratic development and may include a range of methodologies and approaches. A working knowledge of English is an important prerequisite for participation in the program. The application deadline for fellowships in 2006-2007 is Tuesday, November 1, 2005.

For more information, including the application, go to: www.ned.org/forum/reagan-fascell.html or email: fellowships@ned.org

Community of Democracies Meets in Santiago
The Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Democracies was held on April 28-30, 2005, in Santiago, Chile. The participants in the Nongovernmental Process for the Community of Democracies issued a final document, which outlines the priorities for improving democracy at the national, regional, and global levels and makes concrete policy recommendations to the governments of the Community of Democracies. In an effort to ensure effective civil society participation in the Community of Democracies, a series of regional civil society meetings were held over the past year during which participants discussed the major democratic deficits in their regions and developed proposals for how governments should address them. The recommendations were presented to the governments at the ministerial meeting.

Go to: www.santiago2005.org/archivos_pdf/Ingl%E9s4.pdf

Anwar Ibrahim Named the Muslim Democrat of the Year
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) named Anwar Ibrahim as its Muslim Democrat of the Year at its annual conference in Washington, DC. The conference, "Democracy and Development: Challenges for the Islamic World," was held on April 22-23, 2005. The Muslim Democrat of the Year award is given to one outstanding advocate for democracy in the Muslim world; particular attention is given to individuals who overcome hardships or challenges in his/her efforts to promote democracy. Former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim has been a democracy supporter since his days as a youth leader in Malaysia and South-East Asia. In September of 2004, he was released from prison after five years of being held under false accusations.

To learn more about CSID, go to: www.islam-democracy.org

To learn more about Anwar Ibrahim, go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3618586.stm

Panorama Center Holds First Ramallah Conference on Palestinian Authority
On March 14-17, 2005, the Panorama Center and the Palestinian Strategic and Policy Studies Center organized the First Ramallah Conference: "Ten Years of the Palestinian Authority: Evaluation, Assessment with Prospects for Future Vision." The main objective of the conference was to evaluate, assess, and judge the Palestinian Authority's achievements and accomplishments. The conference was opened with a speech by Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and included 42 presentations and lively discussions among the participants. It was attended by representatives of the government, media, nongovernmental organizations, and members of the general public.

To learn more about the conference, go to: www.panoramacenter.org/conference_en.asp

To read the full conference report in English, go to: www.panoramacenter.org/first_ramallah/report_en.pdf

Short-Term Grants for Scholars Working on Policy in Eastern Europe
The East European Studies (EES) program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, is currently accepting applications for its Short-Term Scholar Grant Competition. These one-month grants to scholars working on policy relevant projects on Eastern Europe are available for U.S. academic experts and practitioners, including advanced graduate students, engaged in specialized research requiring access to Washington, DC. The deadline for this grant is June 1, 2005.

Go to: www.wilsoncenter.org/ees

 
 
Civil Society Strengthening
 
Deliberative Polling in Zeguo Township of China
On April 9, 2005, 257 randomly selected citizens of the Zeguo Township in China gathered to take part it what is known as a Deliberative Poll. Deliberative Polling, developed by Professor James S. Fishkin of the University of Texas at Austin, is a technique that combines deliberation in small group discussions with scientific random sampling to provide public consultation on public policy and electoral issues. Prior to the deliberation, participants in the Zeguo polling were surveyed on their views on 30 infrastructure projects affecting the future of the town. This was followed by carefully balanced briefings on each project and small group discussions with trained moderators. Questions generated during the small group discussions were later brought to two large group sessions with a panel of 12 experts. At the end of the day, participants completed the same questionnaire as the one they completed before deliberation to demonstrate the degree to which their views changed as a result of discussions.

For more information about the deliberative poll at Zeguo Township, go to: http://cdd.stanford.edu/polls/press/2005/timeasia.pdf and www.wmd.org/documents/may05-deliberative-poll0905.doc

 
 
Economic Reform and the Business Sector
 
CIPE Feature Articles: "State-Building: Capturing Lessons Learned" and "State-Building in Afghanistan: A Civil Society Approach"
In April 2005, the Center for the International Private Enterprise (CIPE) published two online articles as part of its Economic Reform Feature Service. In "State-Building: Capturing Lessons Learned," Dr. Francis Fukuyama of Johns Hopkins University discusses the importance of having a strong, efficient state and talks about the development agenda in light of his recent book, STATE-BUILDING: GOVERNANCE AND WORLD ORDER IN 21ST CENTURY. The article also looks at current challenges in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other post-conflict and failed states. In the second article, "State-Building in Afghanistan: A Civil Society Approach," Dr. Omar Zakhilwal of the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development argues that Afghanistan's reconstruction process has thus far been handled behind closed doors without transparency in communicating subsequent policies to the Afghan public. To ensure the success of the reconstruction process, Zakhilwal contends there is nothing more important than the support of the people, and this support comes from opportunities to participate in the process.

Go to: www.cipe.org/publications/fs/index_date.htm

 
 
Elections
 
VOTEINDIA Campaign for Political Reforms Launched
On April 15, 2005, a new campaign, VOTEINDIA, was launched in Bangalore. VOTEINDEA is a non-partisan people's movement composed of concerned individuals and civil society organizations across the country working to raise awareness of the need for electoral reforms in India. The campaign's goals include making changes to the system of proportional representation, instituting direct election of the heads of government, and increasing transparency and democratic functioning of political parties. VOTEINDIA is currently being launched in 11 cities, with plans to expand across the entire country.

To learn more, go to: www.voteindia.org or email: info@voteindia.org

 
 
Human Rights
 
Reebok Human Rights Award Program Seeks Nominations
The Reebok Human Rights Award Program seeks nominations of young human rights activists. Members of the international human rights community and nongovernmental organizations are urged to nominate young men and women to honor for their courage and contributions to further human rights. The award, which seeks to shine a positive, international light on the awardees and to support their work in human rights, provides recipients with $50,000. Candidates must be 30 years of age or younger; they cannot advocate violence or belong to an organization that advocates violence, and they must be working on an issue that directly relates to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All interested individuals are encouraged to make nominations no later than May 31, 2005.

Go to: www.reebok.com/static/global/initiatives/rights/text-only/awards/application2.html

HURILAWS Newsletter Returns to Publication
After a three-year lull caused by logistical constraints, Human Rights Law Center's (HURILAWS) Newsletter has returned to publication. HURILAWS, based in Nigeria, is an independent, non-profit service, dedicated to providing public interest and human rights law services to advance the legal protection of human rights. Its newsletter is now available in an online format and has a broader focus that is more reform specific. Since the current edition of HURILAWS' Newsletter is a pilot, HURILAWS welcomes any comments and suggestions.

Go to: www.hurilaws.org

Recommendations on Khmer Rouge Tribunal and International Criminal Court
On April 17, 2005, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the genocide in Cambodia, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its two member organizations in Cambodia, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, issued recommendations concerning the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The recommendations were gathered from discussions on this subject that took place at an international conference in March 2005. The conference, "Articulation between the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the ICC: the Place of the Victims," gathered Cambodian civil society representatives and international experts.

Go to: www.licadho.org/news.php?id=24

Amnesty's 12-Point Program for Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel Treatment
In April 2005, Amnesty International issued the revised 12-Point Program for the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by Agents of the State. The program was originally issued in 1984. Amnesty International calls on all governments to implement the following 12-points program and invites concerned individuals and organizations to ensure that they do so. The 12 points include: (1) Condemn torture and other ill-treatment; (2) Ensure access to prisoners; (3) No secret detention; (4) Provide safeguards during detention and interrogation; (5) Prohibit torture and other ill-treatment in law; (6) Investigate; (7) Prosecute those responsible for torture or other ill-treatment; (8) No use of statements extracted under torture or other ill-treatment; (9) Provide effective training for all officials involved in the custody, interrogation or medical care of prisoners; (10) Provide reparation; (11) Ratify international treaties; and (12) Exercise international responsibility.

Go to: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGACT400012005?open&of=ENG-313

 
 
Internet, Media, & Freedom of Expression
 
World Celebrates Press Freedom Day
On May 3, 2005, organizations and citizens around the globe observed World Press Freedom Day. The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) chose "Impunity, Getting Away with Murder" as the theme for this year's World Freedom Day campaign to raise the public's awareness about the crimes committed against journalists and the fact that most of these crimes go unpunished. The WAN is offering a package of editorial and advertising materials, including interviews, essays, infographics, detailed cases of journalists killed and imprisoned, cartoons, photos, and advertisements. All of the materials are available for reprinting. The WAN encourages publications around the world to publish these materials. In addition, Internews prepared a Photo Essay in celebration of the day, and issued a statement honoring the journalists who have been persecuted or even killed for doing their job and saluting "the countless journalists around the globe who have not made the headlines themselves, who go to work every morning and simply report stories as professionally, accurately, and fairly as they can."

For free editorial and advertising materials from the WAN, go to: www.worldpressfreedomday.org

To view Internews' World Press Freedom Day 2005 Photo Essay, go to: www.internews.org/wpfd/2005/frame0001.htm

New Global Media Network Launches Partnership to Expand Access to Information Worldwide
On May 3,2005, 20 media development organizations from around the world came together to create an international partnership to foster the development of independent media globally. Announced on World Press Freedom Day, the new entity, the Global Forum for Media Development, also announced that its first international conference will be held at the Dead Sea in Jordan in October 2005.

Go to: www.internews.org/prs/gfmd/gfmd_20050503.htm

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility Launches New Web Site
The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), a Manila-based nonprofit organization promoting freedom of the press in the Philippines, recently launched a new Web site. The site serves as a comprehensive resource for freedom of press issues in the Philippines. CMFR is one of the recipients of this year's Templeton Freedom Prize for Excellence in Promoting Liberty, an award administered by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the United States. CMFR won the second prize in the "ethics and values" category for its work in protecting and strengthening freedom of press in the Philippines while promoting journalistic integrity and excellence. CMFR is directed by World Movement Steering Committee member Melinda Quintos de Jesus.

To visit the CMFR Web site, go to: www.cmfr-phil.org

To read about the Templeton Prize, go to: www.atlasusa.org/reports/2005%20TFA%20Press%20Release.html

 
 
Labor Unions and Worker Rights
 
Han DongfangChinese Labor Activist, Han Dongfang, Receives International Activist Award
On May 5, 2005, Han Dongfang, director of the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin and broadcaster for Radio Free Asia (RFA), received the 2005 International Activist Award. The biennial award, which Han will share with the founders of the UK-based group Global Witness, is given by the Gleitsman Foundation, a non-profit organization that recognizes and encourages leadership in social activism worldwide. During his comments at the award ceremony, Han said: "China's economic reforms have achieved many things, but social and economic justice for ordinary Chinese working people is not yet one of them-in fact, the lack of worker representation is probably the main source of instability in China today." Han will donate his US $50,000 share of the award to the China Labour Bulletin Legal Defense Fund, which supports the organization's workers' rights litigation program in China. Han Dongfang is a member of the World Movement for Democracy Steering Committee.

Go to: www.china-labour.org.hk/iso/press_release_details.adp?press_release_id=21

To read or hear some of Han's RFA reports (in Mandarin), go to: www.rfa.org/mandarin/zhuanlan/laogongtongxun

 
 
Political & Civic Participation of Youth
 
"Young Antifascists" Launch Campaign
In April 2005, the Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM), based in Russia, launched the "Young Antifascists" campaign to raise awareness about this subject among youth around the world, to promote the image of their cause, and to increase international youth networking against fascism. Everyone around the world is welcome to participate in the campaign through various actions, including: participating in street actions, spreading campaign materials and information, subscribing to the news-flash to receive campaign news, writing to the YHRM to express support for the campaign, and participating in the International Graphics Contest, "Unauthorized Persons are Welcome!" Submissions of stickers, posters, and web layouts for the contest are welcome and will be accepted until June 30, 2005.

For information on the campaign, go to: www.antifa.ynnet.org/index.htm

To learn about the Graphics Contest, go to: www.antifa.ynnet.org/contests.htm

 
 
Political Parties & Political Leadership
 
National Front for Democracy in Bhutan Issues Statements on the Draft Constitution
The National Front for Democracy in Bhutan (NFD-Bhutan) issued a press release on April 26, 2005, and a memorandum to the King of Bhutan on April 30, 2005, regarding the March 26 unveiling of the draft constitution of Bhutan. The statements emphasize that the "simultaneous unveiling of the draft constitution all over the kingdom is an achievement of the fifteen years long struggle of the people of Bhutan who aspire to true and vibrant democracy in Bhutan." The statements also reiterate the importance of ensuring that the Constitution does not exclude the rights, interests, and aspirations of the multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic Bhutanese society. The statements appeal to the King of Bhutan to create a politically conducive environment for instituting the constitution.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/may05NFD-pressrelease0426.doc

For more information, contact: bbparty@ntc.net.np

 
 
Transparency & Anti-Corruption
Fourth Global Forum on Fighting Corruption, Brasilia, Brazil, June 7-10, 2005
The Fourth Global Forum on Fighting Corruption, "From Words to Deeds," scheduled for June 7-10, 2005, in Brasilia, Brazil, will discuss practical and effective means of preventing and fighting corruption. Workshops and panels will explore issues such as international conventions, money laundering, public procurement, electronic government, corruption measurement, conflicts of interest, civil society, and corruption at the local level. The Global Forum is being organized by the Brazilian Office of the Controller General (CGU), an agency of the Presidency of the Republic, in cooperation with the International Committee, the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and "Transparência Brasil" (Brazil Transparency).

Go to: www.ivforumglobal.org.br

Report: Anticorruption Reforms in Bulgaria
The Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), an interdisciplinary public policy institute in Sofia, Bulgaria, dedicated to the values of democracy and a market economy, recently published a report, "Anticorruption Reforms in Bulgaria." The report provides an overview of the anticorruption reforms in Bulgaria since 1997 and analyzes the sphere of their implementation. It also defines the challenges of conducting these reforms, which have ensued from the pending accession of Bulgaria to the European Union. The report also explores various levels and dynamics of corruption in Bulgarian society.

To access this report, as well as other CSD publications, go to: www.csd.bg/artShow.php?id=5100

Kenyan Rights Group Urges Holding Ministers Accountable
In an effort to combat corruption in government, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) recently drafted its "Guidelines for Individual Ministerial Responsibility." The guidelines encourage public involvement in holding cabinet ministers accountable for their actions while in office. Maina Kiai, KNCHR chairman, says the organization is planning a series of public meetings to raise awareness on how to hold civil servants accountable and demand their resignations for wrongdoings.

Go to: www.ipsnews.net/africa/print.asp?idnews=28169

Toolkit Launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Political Finance
In February 2005, a group of political finance practitioners in Bosnia and Herzegovina introduced a new auditing and enforcement training program: Training in Detection and Enforcement (TIDE). This program was developed and put into practice by IFES' Center for Transitional and Post-Conflict Governance. It matches political finance practitioners with development experts to increase the level of auditing and detection of potential violations, which enhances the ability to investigate them and to ensure that appropriate sanctions are issued and problems resolved. TIDE can be used to identify weaknesses in the system, reform laws and regulations, enhance or reform enforcement bodies, and exchange best practices.

Go to: www.moneyandpolitics.net/tide_program.html

 
 
Women’s Issues
 
Azar Nafisi Speaks on "Women, Culture, Human Rights: The Case of Iran"
Azar Nafisi, an Iranian scholar and a best-selling author of READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN, addressed the topic, "Women, Culture, Human Rights: The Case of Iran," at the second lecture of the New York Democracy Forum (NYDF) held at Hunter College, New York, on April 20, 2005. The New York Democracy Forum is a joint venture of the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which aims to bring to New York audiences key figures in the global democracy movement who are leading the way in the advancement of democratic values and institutions around the world.

Go to: www.ned.org/nydf/azarNafisi05.pdf

Workshop on Women's Access to Justice Held in Nigeria
An international workshop on Women's Access to Justice was held on April 10-13, 2005, at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria. The workshop was co-organized by the Centre for Law and Social Action (CLASA) and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ibadan (UI-LAW) for the Consortium for Development Partnerships (CDP). Scholars and activists from Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, the United States, and The Netherlands participated. The workshop served as a planning stage for a CDP project that aims to establish a law clinic at the University of Ibadan's law faculty to provide pro bono legal services to women and research on women's access to justice in south-western Nigeria.

For more information, email: nobiorah1@yahoo.com

Pakistani Women's Group Conducts Study on Violence against Girls
Anjuman Bra-e-Khawateen (ABK), a women's organization working in the rural areas of the Province of Punjab for the rights and empowerment of women in Pakistan, recently conducted a study, "Violence against Girls through the Educational System in Pakistan." The study was conducted in government and private schools and features interviews of students, parents, teachers and religious and political leaders.

To receive a copy of the study, email the ABK coordinator: abkjhang@yahoo.com

Development of the Feminist Movement in Tunisia: 1920s-2000s
Khedija Arfaoui of the Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development, presented a paper on the "Development of the Feminist Movement in Tunisia: 1920s-2000s" at the Sixth Mediterranean Social and Political Research (MSPR) Meeting, which took place on March 16 - 20, 2005, in Florence and Montecatini, Italy. The paper examines how a feminist movement could emerge in a society that secluded women in the domestic sphere, forcing them to hide their body and face by wearing a veil, and prohibiting any contact between unrelated males and females. The conference, organized by the Mediterranean Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), brought together 250 scholars from the Middle East & North Africa, Europe, and elsewhere.

For a copy of the paper, contact: khedija.arfaoui@positiftunisie.com

For full program of the conference, list of papers presented, and ways of accessing them, go to: www.iue.it/RSCAS/Research/Mediterranean/mspr2005/Index.shtml

For other publication and papers from previous years, go to: www.iue.it/RSCAS/Research/Mediterranean/Publications.shtml

Reflections on the International Women's Movement: 10 Years After Beijing
Four leading international women's rights activists will present an intercultural dialogue on the status of women in a fast changing world at an event cosponsored by the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center and Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP). The panelists-- Mahnaz Afkhami (Women's Learning Partnership), Joanna Kerr (Association for Women's Rights in Development), Jacqueline Pitanguy (Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação), Zenebeworke Tadesse (Association of African Women for Research and Development) -- will discuss the challenges presented by new technological, economic, cultural, and political realities, and the current status of women globally and the international women's movement in light of the tenth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The event will take place on May 10, 2005, at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Books will be available for signing. There will also be a live Web cast of the event.

Go to: www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.event_summary&event_id=117429

World Movement Participants Mentioned in this Issue