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20-22 October - 2012

Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative Conference


The Iraqi Nonviolence Group, “La’Onf,” together with NOVACT, the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI), and other Iraqi and international partners will convene the Second Iraqi Nonviolence Forum this year in Basrah, in southern Iraq, on October 20-22. The second day of the Forum will include the Fourth Conference of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI).

More than 200 Iraqis, including peace and nonviolence activists, representatives of Iraqi NGOs, trade union members, members of the media, university professors, authors, and   intellectuals are expected to attend the Forum and participate in its working sessions. The Iraqis will be joined by activists from the Middle East, Europe and North America who will share experiences from their societies with the Iraqis while learning about current nonviolence and civil society activities in Iraq.

Building upon our previous Forum held in Shaqlawa, Erbil in 2009, the Second Iraqi Nonviolence Forum will present current information about nonviolence activities in Iraq, how nonviolence ideology and practice is developing, and the prospects for the future growth of a nonviolence movement in Iraq and the neighboring region. Our goals are:

  1. To provide strong support for nonviolent strategies to address problems that prevent effective state and community building in Iraq.
  2. To recognize the extremely high price the Iraqi people have paid due to the violence caused by foreign occupation and by the regime left in power after the occupation forces withdrew; to encourage peace-building projects and efforts to promote freedom so that this suffering is ended; and to reject violence as a tool for change or resistance.
  3. To acknowledge the political crises that Iraq is experiencing, especially the lack of productive dialogue and discussion about how to solve the Iraqi peoples’ and society’s problems. The Forum encourages all blocks and factions to pursue development and the creation of a better tomorrow for Iraq, by becoming active partners in building structures that promote dialogue, discussion, and cooperation with government authorities and other institutions.
  4. To affirm the important role that nonviolent tactics and strategies can play in advancing security, providing vital services, and ending corruption.
  5. To defend Iraqi civil society against forces that would limit citizens’ rights and freedoms, curtail the freedom of expression, or oppose trade unions and their right to organize.

In order to further these goals, to seek solutions to Iraq’s problems, to promote a peaceful gathering, and to defend Iraqis’ rights and freedoms, we convene the Second Iraqi Nonviolence Forum in Basrah. We come together to advance the following ethics, values and hopes:

We seek your support for all our work and invite you to register as individuals or organizations to participate in the Second Iraqi Nonviolence Forum. Internationals who need a visa for Iraq should register within the 10th of September. Fill in the registration form here: http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/basra-conference-oct-2012

More information on logistics and security conditions in Basra is available at the above address.

The Second Iraqi Nonviolence Forum is made possible by voluntary work. Even if you’re not coming, please consider providing financial support for the forum. Donate here: https://unponteper.fundfacility.it/index.php?campagna=100&secseg_rid=Contribution%20ICSSI

The organizing committee in Basra is willing to receive your suggestions and answer your questions. Please email in Arabic to forumbasra@gmail.com

or in English to icssi.project@gmail.com

The forum is supported by: Basra Cultural House, Barcelona Council, Fondation Assistance Internationale, Karibu Foundation



12-18 October - 2012

Karibu visit to the Philippines
Karibu staff to visit partners in the Philippines.  For more information on visit, contact tyler(a)karibu.no

16-18 October - 2012

Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) General Assembly
The EBF is a fellowship of bishops in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and the Roman Catholic Church.

The EBF is united by the common desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the particular context of the Philippines. Such service takes concrete form in providing pastoral guidance to the flock, especially the poor, deprived and oppressed, as to current socio-political, economic and cultural issues that confront the Filipino nation.

The EBF was inspired by the 1984 Ecumenical Conference on the Philippines against the backdrop of the human rights in the Philippines and the social ravages brought about by President Marcos Martial Rule

The EBF is concerned with the ecumenical movement and the struggle of the people for genuine freedom, justice and peace. At the core of the regular fellowship meetings are profound studies on the economic, political, social and ecclasiastical issues in the country.

The EBF takes on the important role of prophetic teaching ministry, in defense of human rights and in promoting the peace process as a viable means for peace and justice. Vigorously, it issues statements and ecumenical pastoral letters and joins hands with other organizations and agencies in advocating human rights.

The EBF committed itself to the continuing call for the resumption of the peace talks. At the same time, it calls on the clergy and people to stand firm and hold our ground defending human rights. We encourages on and all to remain vigilant and ever faithful to the truth of the Gospel – of Jesus drawing all people to Himself. We do all these through resolves to walk with the lowly, the marginalized and with the other faith communities.

15 October - 2012

Together for Peace in Colombia


Next week, the Colombian government and FARC-EP will meet in Oslo to begin negotions to find a solution to one of the world’s oldest armed conflicts.  To commemorate this historic event in Oslo, and to show support for the the peace building work taking place in Colombia, you are invited to "Together for Peace in Colombia," a celebration of the beginning of the peace negotiations. 

The event will take place on October 15 from 11 a.m to 5.15 p.m in Oslo. 

More information can be found here, or in the flyers below.

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Download Info Flyer:  English   |  Norwegian  |  Spanish

"Together for Peace in Colombia" is coordinated and hosted by the Colombia Forum in Norway, which includes the Karibu Foundation.


11 - 13 October - 2012

International Conference on Alternative West African Currencies
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON:
"AFRICAN COUNTRIES AND THE FRANC ZONE: REMAINING INSIDE THE TRAP OR OPTING FOR MONETARY INDEPENDENCE?”



Dakar, 11-13 October 2012
Novotel Hotel and Cheikh Anta Diop University


I) BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION
The CFA franc has been the subject of much controversy since the early independence of African member countries of the franc zone. Early on, voices have been raised to denounce the link between the CFA franc and French currency, seen as an instrument of domination or subjugation of African countries. This was the case of the late Joseph Tchundjang Pouémi who, in his remarkable book, said: "France is the only country in the world to have passed the extraordinary feat of circulating its currency and nothing but its currency in countries that are politically free"

This "feat" of France allowed it to perpetuate its control over the economies of African countries whose poor performance over the past five decades since their "independence" has contributed to amplify the controversy over the nature and role of the CFA franc. Indeed, the latter has not contributed to the development of productive capacities of African countries or promoted economic integration. On the contrary, the CFA franc has strengthened their dependence vis-à-vis France and other members of the European Union.

The euro zone crisis has exacerbated the controversy over the CFA franc and helped fuel rumors about its possible devaluation. This revived the debate on the need to replace the CFA franc by a sovereign African currency to serve as a true instrument of economic and social transformation.

Indeed, in modern economies, money plays a crucial role. It has an influence on domestic resource mobilization and investment through interest rate policy. It has also a great influence on relations with the rest of the world because of its impact on external trade and capital flows. Finally, money is a key tool in the management of economic crises, as seen in Western countries in particular. For all these reasons and many others, it is essential that African countries have their own money to put at the service of development.

In the absence of a sub-regional currency, some voices advocate delinking the pegging of the CFA franc to the euro. This demand is based on the huge differences of economic policies between the euro area and the CFA area, on the one hand, and the need to design endogenous development programs for African countries, on the other.

But the prospect for creating a sovereign currency instead of the CFA must be understood in the general context aimed at challenging the development model inherited from colonization in order to explore other avenues that are owned by African countries.

Rethinking development issues on the continent from the vision that African countries have of their future and relying primarily on their own strength: this is the challenge that African countries have to meet here and now. Everywhere in countries of the South, governments and their people seek to find their own path to development, thus increasing their distrust of the dominant model whose crisis of legitimacy continues to deepen.

Africa cannot remain on the sidelines of this movement of political and economic emancipation. The systemic crisis of capitalism and appeals to countries of the South to take control of their own destiny offer the opportunity to raise again the debate on the concept of development in Africa.

It is in this general context that will take place this International Conference on the CFA franc and the prospects for creating a sovereign African currency.




II) MAJOR OBJECTIVES
In addition to the inventory of the results of economic policies in Africa, this conference aims to achieve the two main objectives below:

• Demonstrate that the CFA is an obstacle to the development of African countries. Operating mechanisms of the franc zone and monetary policies imposed on the latter are largely responsible for the failure of the CFA franc to be an instrument of development of African countries. An illustration of this failure is reflected in their economic and social record, most of which are classified in the category of “least developed countries” (LDCs).
 
• Explore alternatives to the current system, either through bold reforms or by getting rid of the CFA franc. This alternative is consistent with the view that getting out of the trap of the franc zone and the creation of a sovereign currency is among the conditions that are necessary to promote the development of African countries.


III) SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
Among the specific objectives of the conference, we have the following:

• an analysis of the global context characterized by the systemic crisis of capitalism and the challenge to its legitimacy in several regions of the world, particularly in developing countries
• an overview of attempts at economic and monetary emancipation underway in other parts of the South, especially in Latin America, and the lessons that can be drawn by African countries
• A thorough review of the experience of the franc zone and its implications for the development of African countries, including the analysis of the economic and social record of the latter
• an analysis of the experiences of countries that have acquired their monetary sovereignty and the lessons they have for the creation of a West African currency


IV) EXPECTED OUTCOME
The meeting is expected to shed new light on the constraints inherent in the use of the CFA franc in particular obstacle that it represents for the development of African countries. In addition, the conference should strengthen the arguments of those who claim that a break with the CFA franc and the creation of a sovereign currency are essential to mustering the conditions for a genuine development of African countries.

Beyond the issue of the CFA franc, the Conference should make an important contribution to current debates on the need for African countries to seek ways of economic emancipation in light of the failure of models that have been externally imposed on them for more than five decades. In this regard, two issues should be discussed at the conference:
1) Is the liberal path adapted to meet Africa's development?
2) If not, what are the main alternatives?

Finally, the meeting would be an opportunity for in-depth discussions on the current crisis of capitalism and its implications for the African continent. From this analysis, it should help to strengthen the arguments on the need for Africa to free itself from the dominant model and take its own path to development.

PARTICIPANTS
Participants will be composed of researchers, representatives of sub-regional and continental institutions; social movements, parliamentarians and members of political parties and the private sector as well as civil society

The diversity of participants should generate analysis and lively and contradictory exchanges that will enrich the debate not only on the currency issue but on the issue of African development in general.

For more information on the International Conference on African Countries and the Franc Zone, contact Demba  Moussa Dembele at arcade.sen(a)gmail.com.



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