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Friday, November 30, 2012

Four Ways to Prepare for CSW 57

Commission on the Status of Women
4 - 15 March 2013
UN Headquarters


HERE ARE FOUR WAYS YOU CAN PREPARE FOR CSW 57:
  • Information about NGO participation at the UN is available at the UN Women website. Please click here.
  • A preparatory Stakeholders' Forum will be held 13 - 14 December 2012 in New York City. View all information here.
  • Applications for the NGO CSW Forum parallel events will soon open online at: www.ngocsw.org
  • View answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the NGO CSW Forum. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Survivor's Forum

I just got this announcement on a Survivor's Forum - And today was the last day - but i did get it to a couple of Aboriginal women's/organizations that might have submitted - on the Missing and Murdered Women and Children in Canada. Wouldn't it be good if someone was to go and speak on this issue?

Will let you know.



DO YOU HAVE A NOMINATION FOR UN WOMEN?

UN Women calls for nominations for the Survivors' Forum at the CSW 57 Stakeholders' Forum
13 December 2012
UN Headquarters, New York City

Survivors of violence against women and girls will share their experiences as change agents and leaders and how they influenced major national and international policies.

Please make sure your nominee is available and send a short bio with contact information to:

Brenda.Bakwesegha@unwomen.org before Friday, 23 November 2012.

Please view details by clicking on the following links:
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Copyright 2012 The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are an NGO CSW/NY member or you have participated in an NGO CSW/NY sponsored event

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Canada Eyes African Resources amid Shrinking Foreign Aid

Reprint |  
TORONTO, Nov 13 2012 (IPS) - With an initial focus on oil-producing Nigeria and mineral-rich Ghana, Ottawa is bolstering its trade strategy in Africa, but some within the international development and economic communities have expressed concerns about Canada’s approach.

The Canadian government was criticised for cutting foreign aid a few years ago, and in particular when Africa amassed some of the greatest hits.

The Canadian International Development Agency ended bilateral programming in countries where aid efforts are hindered by high operating costs, including Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Niger. The agency also decided to reduce and concentrate its bilateral programming in five states, including Mozambique, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Yet last month, after years of viewing the continent as mainly a foreign aid recipient, the Conservative government announced a trade mission slated for next January encompassing the extractive resource industries and the infrastructure sectors related to energy, power generation and mining.
The new-found attention is not that surprising, given that Africa appears to be in the midst of an upswing.

Between 1995 and 2010, Africa’s annual average GDP growth was 4.3 percent a year, making the continent one of the fastest-growing regions of the world, Rudy Husny, press secretary to Ed Fast, the Canadian minister of international trade, wrote in an email to IPS. Solid economic growth is expected to continue this year and in 2013, he noted.
Roughly 100 Canadian companies operate in Ghana, which offers a politically stable business climate and respect for the rule of law, according to the trade ministry. The two countries reported 321 million dollars in bilateral merchandise trade in 2011, a 61-percent increase over 2010, Husny said.

In 2011, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Nigeria, Canada’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and the continent’s most-populous state, equaled more than 2.7 billion dollars, a rise of 44 percent since 2010, the ministry states.

The fledgling Nigerian Canadian Business Association aims to assist Canadian and Nigerian companies in doubling trade to six billion dollars by 2015.

Is trade, not aid, the answer in Africa?

Without a doubt, there is growing attention on “the very interesting economic growth rates in Africa and also the wealth of natural resources that is very attractive for Canadian companies,” acknowledged Sylvie Perras, the Africa-Canada Forum coordinator at the Canadian Council for International Cooperation in Ottawa.

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shifting from aid toward trade, Perras told IPS, conceding that Canadian private sector development strategies for Africa are important but must be consistent with poverty reduction and the development goals of African countries themselves.

On the whole, she said, a developing country is constrained from enhancing the potential social, economic and environmental benefits of outside investment and trade and from minimising the potential damage that this funding may bring.

This is why, she said, her organisation is pushing for the inclusion of a human rights impact assessment in all trade and investment agreements Ottawa strikes with foreign governments.

Last month, Canada concluded an investment promotion deal with Tanzania, a country which will see increased Canadian investment in several sectors including mining, oil and gas and transportation. Ottawa has also forged trade and investment initiatives with Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tunisia, Zambia and Senegal.

As the Canadian trade minister and his delegation head to West Africa early next year to unearth opportunities in the extractive resource industry and infrastructure sector, the CCIC, Perras’ group, is also continuing to seek the strengthening of Canadian companies’ corporate social responsibility policies, especially in relation to African mining activities.
“This has very rarely been beneficial for African countries,” Perras argued. “We say that it creates jobs, or it creates revenue, but when we look at it more closely, it’s not necessarily the case.”

Mineral-heavy countries have not spurred economic development for their local populations, according to a CCIC backgrounder, as high unemployment rates, debt and poverty are widespread in mining communities.

According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development issued earlier this year, the drop in Canada’s overseas development assistance since 2011, as well as a decision to zero in on fewer countries that are predominantly middle income, “may undermine the support (Canada) has given in recent years to poor countries with weak capacity, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In 2011, Canada’s net overseas development assistance fell to 5.3 billion dollars, a decrease of 5.3 percent from 2010, states the peer review published by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee.

In the report, the OECD advised that Canada and other nations must ensure that development objectives and partner country ownership are key to the programmes it supports, and that there is “no confusion” between development aims and the promotion of commercial interests.

Moreover, Canada’s Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, which was enacted in 2008, directs that aid money should consider the perspective of the poor, human rights obligations and environmental standards, Perras added.

Although Canadian foreign aid is still extremely important to Africa’s funding of health, governance, education and NGO development, conceded Lucien Bradet, president and CEO of the Ottawa-based Canadian Council on Africa, “what we have neglected in the past is being part of the economic development of Africa in a sizeable manner”.
“We are not doing a good job,” Bradet told IPS.

Canada’s bilateral trade with Africa jumped from an annual two billion dollars at the beginning of the 21st century to 13 billion dollars, but it would be feasible to increase these numbers by 15 percent to 20 percent a year, he said.

In comparison, China, India, Turkey and Brazil are boosting by 25 percent to 40 percent a year their trade and technology relationships with Africa, he noted, with China’s trade growth dramatically leaping from 10 billion dollars a decade ago to 160 billion dollars.
Economic development offers an improved standard of living to developing-country populations through investment and trade, and allows locals to manufacture, export and establish their own enterprises, Bradet said.

The more Canada facilitates these activities, the more it will be perceived as a “significant partner in Africa, not only in aid but in economic development”, he added.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Registration is now Open!

Registration is now open to register for the 57th CSW to be held at the UN, in New York. Organizations, such as NCWC, with ECOSOC status can register up to 20 delegates. All delegates for NCWC will be responsible for their own costs. All delegates must be members of NCWC.
 
Registration is from 5 November to 23 January 2013

All participants must be pre-registered by 23 January 2013. Once all required information has been entered into CSO-Net, a letter confirming the participant's pre-registration can be printed and used in obtaining a visa, if necessary.

The address where the participant will be staying in New York during the session needs to be added in the system prior to onsite registration. Once this information has been entered, a grounds pass form can be printed. Participants will be required to show these forms at onsite registration in order to obtain a grounds pass. 

Please note that participants may need a secondary pass to gain access to open official meetings of the session. In such case, one or two secondary passes per organization will be distributed at or near the registration site.
The United Nations will not facilitate arrangements, or pay for any costs, such as travel, visa or accommodation expenses, for participants. Such arrangements and costs are the exclusive responsibility of the participants. The United Nations does not charge fees for participation in the Commission on the Status of Women sessions. 


Additional information about the session, its organization of work, meetings and documentation, will be shortly available at www.unwomen.org/csw/csw57 .

Friday, November 2, 2012

Opening remarks by Lakshmi Puri at a discussion on the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls

Opening Remarks by Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women at a discussion on “The Prevention and Elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls” convened by Ms. Rashida Manjoo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. The event was co-sponsored by OHCHR, UNFPA and UN Women 25 October 2012. 

It is a real pleasure to be here today, on behalf of UN Women. I would like, first, to thank the Special Rapporteur for convening this important event and for her last report, which has placed a thematic emphasis on violence against women and girls with disabilities – an area of particular concern.
The elimination of violence against women is one of the main focuses of UN Women’s assistance and will be the priority theme of the Commission on the Status of Women 57th session, which will be held in March 2013.

Violence against women is the most severe expression of discrimination and disempowerment of women and girls. As many as 7 in 10 women around the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. This universal phenomenon is a threat to democracy, peace and security, an obstacle to sustainable development and an appalling human rights violation. It not only weakens social cohesion but also foregoes social justice and constitutes a heavy burden on national economies, with some countries estimating the annual cost of such violence to $33 billion United States dollars.

From sexual harassment to rape, from honour killings to child marriage, many forms of violence against women exist. But the most pervasive form of violence is intimate partner violence. In the form of domestic violence, it leads to serious physical injuries and psychological consequences, and sometimes even results in death. It happens behind the walls of the home, in the kitchen and in the bedroom, and it is hidden under a cloak of silence and impunity. 

Violence against women is complex, deeply rooted in structural inequalities and requires a holistic approach in the areas of legislation, policies, prevention, responses and protection, research and data collection. 

There are clear inter-linkages between prevention of violence against women and responses and protection of victims. Comprehensive legal frameworks and multi-sectoral services should be available and accessible in every country to protect women and girls and to send a clear message to society that such violence is not acceptable. 

Effective prevention strategies usually lead to more women and girls seeking protection and support and are necessary to stop violence at its roots, but also to raise awareness amongst the community. Prevention must address the root causes of discrimination and gender inequality. Although this is an emerging area, there are many promising practices, in both developed and developing countries, which extend beyond awareness-raising to include educational programmes and the engagement of men and boys, as well as traditional and religious leaders. The next session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be a good opportunity to collect those practices. 

Efforts have mainly focused so far on responses to the needs of victims/survivors in the aftermath of violence. However, many gaps and challenge remain, such as availability of services and access of women and girls to protection. It is therefore essential to carry on the efforts to meet the needs of victims/survivors to immediate protection after violence, including shelters, health, legal and social services, but also to ensure their longer-term protection and empowerment to avoid re-victimization.
Violence against women perpetuates the vicious cycle of inequality, exclusion, and marginalization. Instead, we must create a virtuous cycle by changing mindsets and stereotypes that are at the root of violence. We must provide women with access to economic opportunities, ensure their equal participation in public and political life, repel laws and practices that continue to discriminate against women, and ensure that environments are safe for women and girls, including schools and streets.
UN Women supports States to develop holistic approaches to addressing violence against women. Over the past two years, UN Women supported the development, revision and implementation of laws, national action plans and improved service-delivery standards in more than 30 countries. Our entity coordinates the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women which, by the end of 2011, was supporting 96 active projects valued at over $US 61 million dollars. 

Together with UNICEF and UN-Habitat, UN Women also supports the Safe Cities programme in 14 cities to prevent and reduce violence in urban public spaces. Through the Secretary-General’s campaign UNITE to End Violence against Women and our online platform “Say NO-UNiTE”, we have mobilized and obtained the commitment of Heads of States, Ministers and parliamentarians from over 70 countries to do more to eliminate violence against women.

Today, I seized the opportunity to introduce the new Handbook for National Action Plans on Violence against Women which complements a series of handbooks, such as the Handbook for legislation on violence against women and its supplement on “harmful traditional practices”. Their aim is to provide States and other stakeholders with guidance on the development of legislation and national action plans addressing violence against women. They include promising practices and examples of such legislation and plans from different countries around the globe.

In conclusion, I would like to stress the importance of intergovernmental processes, such as the General Assembly and the Commission on the Status of Women, in setting global norms and standards for the prevention and protection of women and girls from violence.
Ongoing negotiations on the General Assembly resolution on intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women are critical to strengthen the international normative basis. Also, the agreed conclusions of the CSW next year hold the potential to have greater international standards for the elimination of violence against women.

I call on all Member States to give their full support to these intergovernmental processes and reassure them that UN Women will stand ready to support them. Thank you for your attention.
 
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Deadline for Statements - November 15, 2012

The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York
 

Alert!
 
The deadline to submit written statements for CSW 57 is 15 November 2012
 
 Observe Guidelines:
  1. All sponsors listed must have ECOSOC accreditation
  2. No footnotes
  3. Make recommendations 
 
There are more rules and restrictions on formatting the document; for more information please go here: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/NGO.html

Cameras for firearms

This is such a great idea to get guns off our streets!

Police, Henry's partner up for gun amnesty

You will be able to point and shoot pictures instead of bullets if you turn in any working firearm during November.

Dubbed Pixels for Pistols, the 30-day initiative is a partnership with Winnipeg police, photo retailer Henry's and Panasonic.
"I'm so excited and so proud," of the exchange program, Ian Landy, president of Henry's, said. "What better way to give back to the community than offering a gun-exchange program."

Any Winnipeg resident who turns in a working firearm during November will receive a gift card for a digital Panasonic point-and-shoot camera from Henry's worth $240.

Gift cards of smaller value will also be given for inoperable firearms, ammunition and other ballistics considered worthy by police.

"As a community, it is important that we work together to ensure the safety of our citizens," acting police Chief Devon Clunis said. "This initiative is a practical way for citizens to help police keep guns out of the hands of criminals, making Winnipeg a safer community."
Landy said the program is aimed at getting old and unused weapons out of people's basements, adding former Ontario attorney general Roy McMurtry said at the 2008 event in Toronto that 30 per cent of firearms used in crime had been stolen from law-abiding citizens.
"We're not Pollyannas, we don't believe criminals are going to contact the Winnipeg police and say, 'Hey, take my gun and give me a digital camera.' "

Landy said the program is aimed at individuals who have firearms that used to belong to a grandparent, or a relative who had a service weapon left over from an armed conflict or a hunting rifle no one is using.

"To be honest, they may not know what to do with it and here's a wonderful opportunity that can make a meaningful contribution to the future safety of Winnipeg."

Landy said he hopes this will turn into the most successful gun exchange in the city's history.

The idea for the firearm exchange originated in 2008 when a Henry's store in Toronto was robbed by a gun-wielding man.

Landy said he realized Henry's could make a lasting gift to Toronto by financing a firearm exchange, which turned out to be Toronto's most successful. The Toronto Police Service received almost 1,900 firearms, more than 300 replica firearms, 58,000 rounds of ammunition and almost 1,500 boxes of ammunition.

A similar exchange was conducted in Halifax in 2009 and it resulted in the most successful campaign in that city's history.

"We don't have a target for Winnipeg," Landy said. "We just hope we can do better than has been done here in the past."
Landy said Henry's and Panasonic are picking up the cost of the cameras, gift cards and advertising. The police service is responsible for collecting and storing the turned-in firearms and ammunition.

A spokesman said the police service doesn't expect to incur any additional costs because of the exchange.

This is the first time police have partnered with a private business in a gun-exchange program. The police service has been involved in four provincewide amnesty programs that date back to 1994.

Landy said Winnipeg was chosen for Henry's third firearm exchange to thank residents for embracing its three retail outlets. "What better way than to take this program to the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police Service," Landy said.

Landy said Henry's approached the police service about the offer.
aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Pixels for Pistols
Turn in any working firearm (real or replica) in November to the Winnipeg Police Service and you will receive a Henry's gift card redeemable for a Panasonic Lumix digital point-and-shoot camera.

Turn in ammunition or an inoperable firearm and receive a Henry's School of Imaging gift card.

Individuals who surrender firearms under the exchange will not be subject to criminal firearm possession charges.

The exchange period is from today to Friday, Nov. 30.
Exchange is open only to Winnipeg residents.

Firearms cannot be taken to any Winnipeg police facility.
Firearms cannot be taken for exchange to Henry's locations.

To arrange for a firearm exchange, contact: Sgt. Geordie Mackenzie; 204-986-7598 or 204-986-6222; email: GMackenzie@winnipeg.ca