Session A: Environmental Issues, NGO Networks, and Relief Services
Global Call to Healing: Ethical Imperatives for Sustainable Development
Rev. Dr. David W. Randle, President and CEO, WHALE Center.
Call to Global Healing came out of the collaboration of the UN United Religions
Initiative (URI) and the Utah URI in preparation for the URI Global Summit
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Call to Global Healing is a grassroots
effort to bring Faith Communities and NGOs of the world together to create
stronger spiritual, ethical, and value considerations in public policy
decisions and individual lifestyle choices, to support building a sustainable
society. This presentation will share the dimensions of the Call to Global
Healing, the story and process of its presence in both the URI Global Summit
in Brazil and the WSSD in South Africa, as well as further plans for its
implementation. The plans include collaboration with the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) on several strategies including the promotion
of cultural diversity and biodiversity, community awareness of sustainable
development issues as outlined in the UNEP GEO3 report, and the Earth and
Faith Leadership Development (EFLD). The EFLD, a collaborative program
of the WHALE Center and UNEP, received an award from the Salt Lake Olympic
Committee, and was funded in part by a generous grant from WANGO and IFFWP.
Participants gain insight into the relationship of personal and global
healing, the key ethical imperatives for building a sustainable society,
the contribution that NGOs can make to the process of Global Healing, and
specific opportunities for NGOs to participate in this initiative.
Relief Services: The Guyanan Experience
H.E. Yvonne Hinds, Chairperson, Guyana Relief Council; First Lady, Guyana.
Guyana, the Civil Defence Commission is the government agency mandated
to develop, implement and maintain a National Disaster Preparedness Programme,
incorporating Sectoral Services of the Central and Regional Governments.
Guyana is a developing country with a small population; hence it is necessary
for the citizenry to contribute through membership and volunteering in
NGOs such as the Guyana Relief Council (GRC), to complement the efforts
of the government.
GRC collaborates with other organizations locally and overseas to provide
relief services that make a positive difference in the lives of families
who are unfortunate or become so because of a disaster. Until relatively
recent times, most buildings in Guyana were constructed of wood, and fires
are an ever-present threat. The GRC provided relief assistance to 460 people
from January to August 2002, and fires caused 70% of the disasters. To
maintain the integrity of family units in the wake of fires, the GRC has
recently built a shelter to provide temporary accommodation to family units
and is currently raising funds to sustain this facility.
for a New Vision: A Global Common Society
Prof. Woon Ho Kim, Associate Dean and Professor, Graduate School of
NGO Studies, Kyung Hee University, Korea
first of its kind in Korea, the Graduate School of NGO Studies started
in 2000. The school specializes in social movements and future governance,
and seeks to develop an interdisciplinary program drawing widely from theories
of humanity, social action, and global communities. There are three concentrations
in the master's program: Civil Society, Global Governance, and NGO Policy/Management.
Kyung Hee University (KHU) administers the graduate program in NGO Studies.
KHU, which has a long-standing association with the UN, successfully co-hosted
“The 1999 Seoul International Conference of NGOs” alongside the Conference
of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CONGO), and the Executive
Committee of NGOs associated with the UN Department of Public Information
number of NGOs is growing rapidly, in line with the development of democracy
and diversity. Their role and influence is increasing dramatically, and
we witness NGOs in partnerships with governments and corporations. Even
if it is generally said that the raison d’être of NGOs is to contribute
to the realization of a better world pursuing the public interest, we cannot
be sure that NGOs share the same concept of a better world. In NGO graduate
programs, students are expected to analyse NGO phenomena as expressions
of humanity, and visualize concrete programs for governance as products
of collective social praxis. The school aims to contribute to the formation
of an epistemic community, and to the construction of a human-centred global
common society with global peace and co-prosperity. There is a key role
for higher education to explore with NGOs the prerequisites for a global
common society, such as common vision, common norms, and common goals.
Changing World: NGO and Interfaith Partnerships in Asia.
Mohammad Abdus Sabur, Secretary General, Asian Resource Foundation
is rich in natural resources, with religious and cultural diversity. Yet
30% to 40% of the people live under the poverty line. The majority of the
young are deprived of higher education. Poverty, unemployment and frustration
lead to drug abuse, risky sexual behaviour, and crime. Faith-based organizations
have traditionally been involved in welfare activities for the poor and
disadvantaged. Many of them have yet to adjust, and build their capacity
to deal with the changes taking place on the community, national, and world
levels over last two decades. Secular NGOs are now a very significant force
responding to humanitarian needs, poverty eradication, health care, environmental
degradation, human rights, and the rights of women and children.
Asian Resource Foundation (ASF) supports the networks of NGO and interfaith
organizations committed to sustainable development, democracy, human rights
and peace. These networks can arrange parallel meetings during UN conferences
and international events. They contribute to greater understanding and
cooperation between NGOs, UN bodies and international institutions, despite
the limitations and tensions.
nation states in Asia face the need for greater participation and democratisation.
There are desires for regional autonomy and power sharing, and global communication
drives the aspirations of an E-generation. Terrorist attacks and counter-terrorist
efforts make the global picture more complex. Still, there is an opportunity
to bridge the gap of understanding between East and West, and between faiths.
A role exists for NGO and interfaith organizations to shape human security
and world peace. ASF supports capacity building for youth leadership, educational
change, cultural exchange, and intercultural dialogue.
Rivalries to Promote Healthy Networking between NGOs
Mohammed Bougei Attah, Executive Director, NGO Guide 2000, Nigeria
is a growing perception in both established and emerging areas of civil
society in the African Sub-Saharan region that the dream of “a global
village” is far from reality. Unhealthy rivalries among NGOs contribute
largely to the slow growth of meaningful development in the region. Rather
than having service to humanity as a core theme, the majority of African
NGOs, and particularly those in Nigeria, are selfishly enriching themselves,
and denying others the vital opportunity to grow and contribute to national
development. It is important to inform the international donor agencies,
policy makers and other stakeholders of issues that may undermine the global
attempt for peace and stability. Some areas of concern include the role
of poverty in the self-perpetuation of NGOs, the role of international
donor organizations in selective patronage and preferential treatment,
the competition for funds between NGOs and governments with the potential
for corruption that can ensue, and international scams.
problems are widespread within Africa, but there is little recourse to
help reform the system. A network NGO can use its leverage and establish
a process that can go a long way in answering some hidden questions.
and Environmental Protection
Bhaskar E. Avhad, President, Maharashtra Academy of Engineering and Educational
is the oldest environmental problem, perhaps as old as human history.
In whatever form and at whatever stage, life results in pollution of the
nature. It may be said that history of human development is history of
environmental pollution, and there may be hardly any scientific invention
that has not resulted in pollution. The problem becomes serious when environmental
exploitation exceeds natural replenishment. In today’s advanced world,
the problem has become so serious that it is directly threatening to cause
total failure of the ecosystem.
the environmental challenges that need to be addressed are the excessive
discharge of chlorofluorocarbons, which impact the ozone layer, the use
of pesticides in high doses, the various industrial chemical discharges,
acid rains, the alarming increase in the percentage of carbon dioxide in
the air we breathe, soil erosion, loss of forest land, desertification
in Africa, reduction of the water table, and so forth. Pollution of air,
water, land and even noise pollution is threatening the quality of life
on the earth.
is vital that pollution not be allowed to go to the extent of irreversibly
damaging the eco-cycle and thereby threatening the existence of life. The
beauty of this blue planet is the existence of life, which is an unique
and rare cosmic phenomenon. We are hoping that the legislatures and
governments of the world take the environmental issues most seriously and
preserve and protect the environment, ensuring the right to life and quality
of life for generations to come. But at the same time, change only at the
level of governments likely will not produce the necessary results and
we need NGOs to play a vital role. The non-governmental sector can,
in particular, play very effective roles in educating minds to be more
eco-friendly. The NGOs can also effectively work as pressure groups
on legislatures and executives. The experience in India shows that NGOs
can also play effective roles by moving judiciaries by means of Public
Interest Litigation. And above all we need to train and educate minds
in favor of protection of the environment and this can be best done by
Session B: Educational Issues and Health Care
Volunteers and Development
Alok N. Sinha O.B.C. (Belgium), Executive President, OISCA Foundation,
Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA)
was founded in 1961 in Tokyo. It is the first major international NGO to
emerge in Japan, and has 31 branches around the Globe. OISCA is based on
the idea that sound development is rooted primarily in agricultural and
rural-based industries. It stresses a spiritual component along with material
development. There is a strong emphasis on youth training. In the Japan
facilities, 6000 volunteers have been trained in practical skills appropriate
to rural development. A further 10,000 trainees have learned skills in
agriculture, fishing, and forestry in other Asian countries.
the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, OISCA adopted the Children’s Forest Program
a tree planting initiative. OISCA attended the Earth Summit in Johannesburg
and emphasized a better environment, healthy and good education for children,
and population control.
India founded a Girls Vocational Training Centre in Delhi to provide training
to orphaned and poor girls. It now plans to develop a model village to
demonstrate the latest techniques in agriculture and related industry.
OISCA cooperates with partner agencies and local organizations.
and Personal Transformation
Prof. Roberto Anderson, President, IUPE, Brazil
Universal Institute for Research and Education (IUPE) recognizes that change
begins when people are motivated to find the human values that we each
have deep inside.
alone do not persuade people. Merely pointing to human virtues and natural
goodness is no longer convincing. Living examples of right behaviour are
needed. If the words spoken are not heartfelt, then they lack conviction.
There needs to be a perfect integration of our words, our attitudes and
our thoughts. This takes a personal transformation.
starts with dedicated self-preparation. IUPE guides each of our employees,
teachers and researchers. People from other NGOs, schools, institutions
and community leaders are given the same preparation. IUPE has developed
very simple techniques, and enjoyable ways to learn the techniques. There
have been fantastic results. Sometimes incredible changes happen with people
who are not even directly involved with the project but have contact with
those we have trained. We see transformations all time. This is the positive
energy irradiation that comes directly from the heart of each one of us.
The results we achieve, and the simple techniques we use, can be found
on the web-site (www.iupe.org.br).
Estonian Anti-AIDS Association - twelve years of activity
Dr. Ljudmilla Priimagi, Director, Estonian Anti-AIDS Association
Estonian Anti-AIDS Association (EAAA) is involved with the prevention of
HIV infection, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and actively promotes
healthy lifestyles. Volunteers created the NGO in September 1990, and at
that time there was no national organisation for HIV-prevention. The EAAA
participated in the development of a public health strategy for Estonia.
New methods of prevention, evaluation and quality control were implemented.
It was the first organisation in Estonia to introduce international information
about HIV/AIDS to key members of society, and to advocate a prevention
policy. The content of the EAAA program targets youth, and has developed
from a narrow prevention of HIV/AIDS or STD transmission, to the active
promotion of healthy sexual behaviour. More recent training sessions have
added drug prevention.
the last 5 years, EAAA has carried out 8 projects on HIV/STD prevention
and the promotion of safe sexual behaviour with adolescent students, schoolteachers
and army recruits. The projects were financed by PHARE programs of the
European Commission, the Soros Foundation, Family Health International
(USA), the Tallinn City Government and others. Training was received by
more than 3200 teens, 600 army recruits and 250 teachers and students from
Tallinn Pedagogical University. The workshops used interactive learning
techniques, small and whole group discussion, role-plays, brainstorming,
individual work, and video. Teens used drawing and composing for self-expression.
This innovative training material was distributed to teachers who participated,
available in both Estonian and Russian languages. Questionnaires demonstrate
the enthusiastic participation of young people, and showed an improvement
in their self-esteem. Teachers were interested in taking part in the workshop
and expressed their confidence in giving the same training themselves.
Since April 2002, we have begun a new project with school children, financed
by Family Health International (USA). In September of this year we shall
receive financing for a new project from the American Embassy in Estonia
for work with 1500 military personnel in the Estonian Defence Forces.
Response to HIV/AIDS in Cambodia
Pok Panhavichetr, Executive Director, KHANA, Cambodia
plays a lead role in the NGO sector response to HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. To
maximize the effort against the epidemic, KHANA has built very strong links
with government, NGOs, major stakeholders including donors, people living
with HIV/AIDS, and other actors working on HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. This strategy
helps reduce the rate of HIV transmission, and brings support to the Cambodian
people living with HIV/AIDS.
2002, KHANA is working with 35 local NGOs on a total of 43 HIV/AIDS related
projects. Of these, 12 are primarily prevention projects, 15 focus on care
and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and 16 projects integrate
prevention with care and support. KHANA's main goals through 2005 are:
play a major role in mobilizing community response to HIV/AIDS
to reduce stigma and discrimination within communities.
respond to emerging needs in service provision such as Voluntary Counselling
and Testing (VCT), Access to Treatment including ARVs and other relevant
medicines, and to the growing need for care and support for people living
ensure the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS work into all other processes of development
in Cambodia, including the integration of care and prevention into gender
and development activities
enhance KHANA’s profile at the national, regional and international level,
and become the leading agency for advocacy, documentation, and sharing
lessons on community action in HIV/AIDS.
Approaches to HIV/AIDS Prevention: A Critical Issue in Cameroon
David Kemzeu, President/Founder, NIRMA Foundation, Cameroon
associations the world over are seldom dedicated to discouraging people
from sex. Their indicators of performance are evaluated in terms of quantity
of condoms sold. With a strong financial base and powerful marketing they
push the condom message. In the Cameroon, as a consultant in the theatre
arts, I advised an organization in a program called "Peer Educators and
Promoters" and this work revealed many illustrations of the dominant social
message to use condoms. A criticism heard repeatedly from non-condom-oriented
NGOs and faith -based organizations is that the message to use condoms
advocates a mechanical solution to a behavioural problem.
NGOs exist who agree that condoms are not the ultimate solution to HIV/AIDS,
especially when it concerns adolescents. These NGOs strive to provide a
comprehensive message. They have alternative and innovative approaches
that propose changes in behavior. They use interactive education, character
education, and life skills education. These equip youth with the ability
to interpret and challenge the demands and pressures of daily life. This
education shows a commitment to young people to help them develop a clear
long-term perspective for their personality and character. The NIRMA foundation
is committed to support these NGOs and to develop funding for these programs.
Session C: Social, Political, and Economic Development
Change in Azerbaijan
Fuad Mammedov, President, Association of Culture of Azerbaijan
was founded in 1990 to support progressive structural change in the development
of Azerbaijan society. It plans programs and projects to strengthen the
values of democratic culture and civil society, to contribute to education,
to help foster a culture of peace, and create cooperation between nations.
It networks with 40 organizations and over 500 members. Many are experienced
specialists, who work in management, education and politics and bring top-level
decision-making skills. Simurg has held numerous seminars and conferences
on management and culture, and provided training in communication, consulting
and fund-raising. This is coupled with an active publications strategy
with books and articles on culture and society. A recent release is a book
on the culture of management in democratic society.
School of Civil Society Culture” is a current program to establish a school
in Azerbaijan for training in civil society and management culture, to
start cultural resource centres in the capital and regions, and to open
a centre for democratic elections. The program’s strategic goal is the
creation of a Civil Society Culture Forum to align the work of NGOs, government
and business organizations to support stable development, peace, and security
in the Southern Caucasus.
Individual Person is Integral to Development
Efrain Chacón, Director, CEDIG, Guatemala
Centre for Integral Development of Guatemala (CEDIG) started in 1989. The
founders were social activists working directly with the people in rural
society. The driving force of the organization is a belief that development
belongs to all people and is everyone's responsibility. Development cannot
be imposed; it must be based on attraction.
have been many attempts to counter the extreme poverty and underdevelopment
of Guatemala. CEDIG conceived an alternative method to initiate social
development, altogether attractive, practical and accessible. The process
helps the individual to recognize their reality, and analyse their position
in the context of their society. Social traumas are factors that break
integral development, and are inherited from generation to generation.
This is the first place to start. People are guided to analyse THE I of
their personal lives through behavioural exercises. The capacity of people
develops, and they are motivated to improve their standard of living. This
procedure breaks from traditional models, initiating a participative process
with responsibility and rights.
change is achieved through concrete and productive action, practicing cooperation
with self-determination. People work in groups, and collective projects
are initiated with their own resources and efforts, and this cohesion guaranties
the transparency and self-management of the group activities. The stimulus
of integrated groups is an example for the rest of the community to take
action in their own growth.
us remember that each generation has qualitative and quantitative seed.
The past is the link to the present, and the present will link to the future.
Today we have to visualize a more promising horizon for the future.
and Social Development in Cambodia
Nhek Sarin, Executive Director, STAR Kampuchea
Kampuchea, a Cambodian NGO, began in 1997. Its goal is to strengthen democracy
in Cambodia by strengthening civil society. STAR Kampuchea gives cooperation
and support, to civil society, and offers a channel for a common voice
so that civil society can advocate for a stronger democracy. In Cambodia
today, we, the people, must empower ourselves. In this struggle, advocacy
is an important tool. STAR Kampuchea has built up credibility with government,
civil society groups, the people, and donor agencies. It is now working
with 37 officially affiliated Cooperating Organizations (COs), 4 Provincial
Advocacy Networks (PAN), 6 union federations and 1 trade union.
Kampuchea has three main programs:
Advocacy and Information Program (AIP) organizes major events for people
to speak with Members of Parliament and local authorities, in order to
solve grassroots issues. AIP publishes a regular monthly newsletter, and
copies of the Constitution and other laws are distributed to people in
Phnom Penh and the provinces. Because of its advocacy position on new laws,
STAR Kampuchea is known as a centre for legal documents.
Capacity Building Program (CBP) provides training in Decentralization,
Advocacy and Networking, Advocacy Analysis Issues, Persuasive Writing,
Networking, Media and Communication, Land Law, and the Impacts of the Globalization
on the grassroots. In addition, this program organizes field trips throughout
Cambodia and the region. The CBP aims to strengthen the capacity of the
COs and the PANs to address local issues.
Legislative Development Program (LDP) advocates for better and more appropriate
laws. By sharing draft laws, translated legal documents and analysis, LDP
facilitates the work of others who are active in the legal field. The material
is made available on a web-site. LDP also works to bring law drafts to
the people in the provinces to get their input. The comments from the grassroots
are presented to the lawmakers.
Projects in Southern Peru
Felipe Guardamino, President, Renacer Centre
is engaged in three areas of service: the health sector and nutrition,
the social sector to improve the values and ethics of the community and,
thirdly, economic development using micro-credits to finance local business
fish consumption in Southern Peru improves nutrition and promotes businesses
related to the fishing industry. The business model has a marketing plan
to reach 850,000 people. The overall goal is to match fish consumption
in Southern Peru to the national average. This will increase fish consumption
in the target market by approximately 250%.
social education project is designed to counter forces that undermine family
values and lead to family breakdown. It targets youth, families and organizations
and offers training in moral and ethical values. There are workshops on
parent/child communication and relationship-building techniques and skills.
The target group is approx. 2000 families but there will be an indirect
benefit to a larger community. The project expects to gain support from
the local business community, which should benefit from an improvement
in social cohesion and higher ethical standards.
micro-credit initiative benefits 5000 informal businesses, people who cannot
find financing in the conventional market. The project increases the income
of poor people, providing working capital for them to expand. A key element
is to extend trust, and build on the word and honour of the poor in society.
Creation of Comores-Espoir
Dr. Ahamada Msa Mliva, President, Comores-Espoir
understanding of the history, the society, the traditions, and the political
dimensions of Comoros is essential to clarify the role of Comores-Espoir's
work. Comores-Espoir (CE) supports medical and humanitarian initiatives
in Comoros and the surrounding region of the Indian Ocean. It is engaged
in ongoing health care and preventative measures for disadvantaged people
and those excluded from regular medical attention. The primary focus of
the health program is the care of mothers and their children. CE also provides
support, training, protection, schooling, and literacy skills to deprived
children, according to their age. CE introduces, implements and advocates
for DIJE a development strategy for young children. There is ongoing participation
in social development projects such as school construction, hospitals,
environmental protection, orphanages, sports facilities and cultural centers,
projects which have both a moral and substantive base. These efforts are
consistent with CE's goals to reinforce family and cultural values, as
well as support national reconciliation.
Session D: Peace and Conflict Resolution
Prevention in Europe and the Economic Dimension
Professor Mihaela Dimitrescu, Vice-President, Romanian Association
European Integration Democracy (RAEID), Romania
starts by asking why conflicts occur in transition countries and in poor
countries. Why does globalization affect social psychology, and increase
resentment towards neighbours or “those who are not like us”? What can
international organizations do in conflict prevention efforts to develop
an effective “working together” plan?
representatives of civil society we are all interested to be partner organizations,
to prevent, manage, or respond to such crises.
approach followed is to investigate the economic roots of conflict. This
covers financial crises, unsuccessful reforms in transition countries,
economic incentives, and trade and overseas investment. Also, to understand
the world context, that cooperation may not work because of ideological
confrontation, or religious conflicts in multi-ethnic countries, or land
disputes. There are also threats to security, and the detrimental effects
that may have on economies going through transition.
Tribal and Political Tensions in Ghana
Ebenezer Okroh Akutteh, Executive Director, Plan Peace International,
Peace International (PPI) was established to counter tribal and political
tensions among the people of Ghana. These tensions increase social problems,
hinder development, and influence the youth. The program targets migrant
youth who have resettled because of war and violence. PPI gives material,
moral and spiritual support, offers both formal and non-formal education,
and organizes self-development projects. There is also a marriage counselling
service, and conflict resolution training. All programmes and activities
are done in partnership with other NGOs.
youth PPI targets are primarily school dropouts. The education program
provides a remedy with basic skills in English, math, and vocational work
i.e. dressmaking, batik tie-dye, and catering. PPI selects promising youth,
who are trained and they in turn go back to their community to teach others.
In a similar way, the training of staff in marriage counselling is passed
on to local churches where Counselling Teams are trained to help people.
is planning to add more trades and skills training when appropriate funding
comes through. The strategy of duplication where trainees become trainers
has proved successful, and our intention is to expand to new settlements.
for Peace: People to People Contact
Dr. V. Mohini Giri, Chairperson, Women's Initiative for Peace in South
Women's Initiative for Peace in South Asia (WIPSA) identifies the major
obstacles to peace as poverty, illiteracy and fundamentalism. WIPSA has
developed some strategies to counter these obstructions. People to people
contact is a sure way to build public pressure for peace, and it becomes
hard for governments to ignore. The role of women in peace-building is
also emerging. Women are seldom heard in foreign policy decisions or war,
but their voice is critical to a decision for peace. Common history and
cultural and social roots can be explored as links to a shared understanding.
Distrust must be set aside in favour of more pragmatic choices, especially
to solve troubles in Kashmir. An approach can be what different actors
can contribute to a common South Asian identity. India has a vibrant democracy
with industrial, educational and commercial infrastructure. Above all there
is a need to dispel accusations of hegemonic and territorial designs. Peace
is the only choice for survival.
Apeadu Children’s Peace Centre
Dr. Nina Meyerhof, President, Children of the Earth.
Apeadu Children's Peace Centre is the first peace centre in Ghana, and
perhaps in Africa. This Centre provides young people with a refuge from
the demands of daily life in Africa and is a place of beauty and hope.
The Centre brings young people together to learn peace-building, peace-making,
peace-keeping, and most of all peace-being skills. In August of 2002 the
first international leadership conference of 50 young people from around
the world, 25 international and 25 local youth from Ghana, seeded the beginnings
of this Centre.
Centre is now only a beautiful piece of open land gifted by Chief Osei
BoakyeYiadom II as a tribute to her late husband who died in a UN peace
mission. Chief Nana Apeadu (her other name) is also known as the Peacemaker.
The spiritual leader of her community she has the full support of the local
people as well as the Ministry of Education of Ghana for this endeavour.
Centre will house 75 youth who come to be trained in peace-building and
conflict resolution skills, learn basic trade skills, be informed about
problems of war, poverty and gender issues, and self-esteem development.
Training programmes will be offered to youth from other African countries,
to children from the local area, and to international youth who want to
learn and offer their support to Africa. The Centre’s mission is to abide
by the pledges of the Manifesto 2000 for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.
this Centre, there is the hope that it will not stand alone, but be a blueprint
and a pilot for other Centres of peace education. The Apeadu Peace Centre
will serve as an example of youth learning together, and building a culture
of peace and non-violence.
calls us to fulfil a moral obligation if we are to recognize that we are
a global society and that all of life is interdependent.
for Peace: Fostering a Culture of Responsibility
Peter Coldwell, Exec. Director, Volunteers for Peace, Vermont, USA.
Voluntary Service programs emerged at the end of World War 1. The movement
now involves more than 100,000 volunteers every year. Volunteers for Peace
(VFP) serves on the Executive Committee of the Coordinating Committee for
International Voluntary Services, an international NGO created in 1948.
There are currently over 140 member organizations.
short-term service programs of 2-3 weeks are called international work-camps,
from several countries live together and work on local service projects
of the host community. They share and cooperate together, learning about
their different cultures. Work camps are a microcosm of the human family,
and decision-making is shared Volunteers learn to take responsibility for
the well being of others. All share the vision that international cooperation
through voluntary service is a means to ensure a lasting peace between
peoples. It promotes the ethic of working for the sake of others.
USA needs to invest in a pro-active program for peace. It only gives 0.1%
of GNP to foreign aid, a fraction of the 0.7% of GNP that the UN recommends
for developed nations. Though the US did recently rejoin UNESCO, it is
revealing that the UNESCO promotion of a culture of peace operates on a
budget of approximately 250 million dollars. Compare that with the $200
billion development of next generation US fighter aircraft, which is over
400x the budget of UNESCO. The US has not been investing in peace. It should
be no surprise that the horror of terrorism accompanies the widening gap
of rich and poor.
Right of Ukraine to Call for Nuclear Disarmament
Yuriy Bugay, Board of Directors, Ukraine Peace Council
Former Vice Minister of Education, Ukraine
August 1991, Ukraine, which from the middle of the 17th century had been
controlled by the Russian Empire, became an independent state. In addition
to a large territory and a strategic location, Ukraine inherited the third
largest nuclear arsenal in the world. This consisted of approximately 4200
tactical nuclear warheads, 176 ICBMs with 1240 warheads, and 42 heavy bombers
with 300 warheads. The Chernobyl catastrophe occurred in 1986 and most
Ukrainians have a deeply negative attitude to all things nuclear. In 1990
Ukraine declared its intentions to be non-nuclear. It reinforced this declaration
the third largest world nuclear power to step away from nuclear weapons
as part of its national security is an unprecedented step. Ukraine took
this step fully understanding that nuclear weapons proliferation is one
of the most dangerous risks for peace and stability. Ukraine has followed
a consistent course to dismantle the nuclear arsenal according to a step-by-step
procedure. Ukraine kept its promises, however western powers, except for
the United States, did not honour their promises of financial aid.
and national peacekeeping organizations can unite their efforts in the
struggle for a world free of nuclear weapons. The collapse of the communist
empire and the Warsaw Pact did not make the world more peaceful. Armed
conflicts are still fought on our planet, and there is no complete guarantee
that such conflicts will not provoke a nuclear one. The only guarantee
to avoid such a catastrophe is to eliminate nuclear weapons. NGOs and others
social organizations should unite under one international structure to
campaign for nuclear disarmament. That international structure can tackle
other important questions about human life. Our hope should be that all
people have equal rights and the possibility for a calm and prosperous
life. The Holy Bible says that everybody must live in his or her own vineyard.
Session E: Women, Youth, the Elderly and Disadvantaged
& Child Trafficking – The Bane of Economic Development in the Third
with Nigeria as a Case Study
H.E. Chief (Dr.) Titi Atiku Abubakar, President & Founder,
Women Trafficking & Child Labour Eradication Foundation; Wife of the
Vice President of Nigeria
major indicator of economic development is national per capita income,
and it is one that relates to individuals, families, and the total aggregate
of the human community or nation. Women and children are one of the most
important active sectors of any society. Trafficking in them in whatever
form or means, besides the abhorrent nature of the activity, likewise will
lead to reduction in capacity building in the real sense of development.
Trafficking can be dated back to the pre-colonial era in the life of third
world countries, through the forceful purchase of people for economic activities
in other advanced nations of the world, particularly during the European
industrial era. Likewise, the old habit of slave trading, at the domestic
and international level among different communities and nations, continues
to be a problem in the activities of the present-day democratic and equitable
society in which we find ourselves. African nations lose a minimum of 128
million dollars per annum through trafficking in women and children from
their own nation to other countries without any correspondence of development
in their nation.
as a country, loses an average 38.3 million dollars yearly through such
negative activities of agents of destruction across the globe. These trafficking
activities are usually for forceful activities against the wish or desire
of the party in question, such as women being used for the undignified
purpose of the sex-trade, without any economic gain corresponding to the
hazard of being exposed to this by these so-called lords and feudal-masters,
who are kingpins who engage in the most illegal activities.
Nigeria, our Foundation continues to advocate for a new tone of dignity
for the women’s world and for freedom against child slavery and forced
labour. We continue to support initiatives such as counselling programs,
provision of micro-credits, and rehabilitation of women trapped by illegal
slavery. These and other programs continue to be the cardinal activities
of our operation, with the result of a significant reduction in such menace
in our nation today.
have been able to achieve over a 67-85% reduction of such activities to
what we experienced in 1999 in Nigeria. We will continue to spread this
principal gospel to other African nations through the African Submit against
Trafficking in Women and Children, to be held in the Federal capital city
of Nigeria. We continue to solicit support of the international community
to take more serious concern in reducing or eradicating this great malady
in our society, as well as the need for the United Nations to pass stronger
laws and treaties against these activities.
Wajeeha Al-Baharna, President, Bahrain Women Society
a globe where there is only dynamic transformation would allow no room
for nations opting to lag behind. Unfortunately Bahraini women lagged behind
for decades, for diverse reasons, some of them self-inflicted, some external.
During the recent era of democratic political reforms, the Bahraini women
had sufficient latitude to reassess their appalling status and make an
earnest endeavour to catch up socially, legally, economically and environmentally.
The Bahrain Women Society (BWS) was established with the vision of Bahraini
Women assuming their full rights, their full confidence, and a productive
and steering position alongside contemporary women worldwide.
vision is ambitious, the challenges are exigent, while the resources are
modest, and the support in a male-dominated culture is next to nil. Nevertheless,
BWS managed within one year to launch 4 high profile projects designed
to address several demanding issues, amongst them, Child Welfare, Women’s
Affairs, and the Environment. BWS investment in social concerns and the
frequent use of mass media to spread social awareness and environmental
attention earned BWS popular respect and identified it as the most active
social organization in the kingdom. In the project “Be Free- Anti-child
Abuse and Neglect,” the BWS launched a campaign to find an 11-year old
victim of child abuse who ran away. With the BWS distribution of 17,000
reward flyers in all of the kingdom’s newspapers, the media including all
the magazines published in Arabic and English picked up the story. This
applied significant pressure on the Interior Ministry to intensify the
search for the missing girl.
project, “Gender Mainstreaming,” is a means to uplift the Bahraini women's
awareness and self-confidence. It improves their participation in economic
development, and their productivity. This, in turn can contribute to overall
economic growth, efficiency and poverty reduction.
“Environmental Citizenship” project and the “Marine Environment Preservation”
project, together with the “The Earth Charter” campaigns are also in the
A Human Rights Issue
Srey Vanthon, Country Representative, Action on Disability and
is a UK-based development agency supporting development work with the disabled
in Africa and Asia. The vision is that all disabled can participate as
fully as possible in every level of society. ADD sees disability as a human
rights issue, and a social issue related to attitude, and resists definitions
which relate to the impairment of an individual, i.e. ADD embraces the
social model of disability as opposed to the medical model.
Cambodia started in 1995 and facilitated the formation of self-help groups
for the disabled. The process of group formation include field visits,
study of the situation of people with disabilities, counselling activities
to build up confidence, and facilitating informal group meetings until
the idea of group becomes clear from all sides. Self Help Groups (SHG)
at the village level raise the awareness on disability, build up the confidence
to speak about problems, conduct advocacy and influence activities at both
family and community levels. To date, ADD has facilitated 140 SHGs. Approximately
50 SHGs have been facilitated by other organizations following the ADD
SHGs can also work together in a federation to link the village level with
the regional and national disability movement. ADD has facilitated 3 federations.
needs of disabled women, which often cannot be raised or solved in the
group or national levels, are met through a local forum specific to women.
the national level, ADD is working closely with the national movement -
Cambodian Disabled People's Organization (CDPO). CDPO plays an important
role in training, raising awareness, and advocacy. The disability movement
has initiated and drafted disability legislation that is waiting initial
approval before it is submitted to the National Assembly.
Skills of Senior Citizens
Viola Davis, Ph.D., Chair of the Skills Bank Committee, Barbados
Association of Retired Persons
Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is now 10 years old with
a membership of 7,000 and growing. BARP objectives include:
the quality of life of its members
expressing and giving effect to the views of its members
financial resources to assist its members
and monitoring legislation and other measures affecting members
with other national and international bodies pursuing similar objectives
Skills Banks Committee is in the process of creating a database of members’
skills. This can facilitate the exchange of volunteer services, or services
at a reasonable cost. Consultant services to Government and other agencies
can also be provided. Helpful would be dialogue with fellow participants
on the challenges and opportunities of a Skills Bank.
Ruta Pels, President, People to People, Estonia
Estonian chapter of People to People (PTP) was started in 1993. There were
11 members, Estonians and Russians, men and women, and aged between 17
and 57. After one year of study, it was decided that the key areas of interest
for PTP in Estonia were mutual understanding and youth programs. PTP’s
first project was a combination of our interests: an International Youth
Conference “Living in a Multicultural Democratic Society: From Tolerance
to Mutual Understanding. The major outcome was the idea for a Democracy
School. In March 1995 PTP Estonia organized 10-day courses in 3 Estonian
cities and a 7-day course in Denmark. In August 1995 the next 7-day study
trip went to Sweden. Students visited a daily newspaper, the Swedish Parliament,
Stockholm and Uppsala Universities, and a school for immigrants. The trip
included a cultural program and a visit to the Stockholm Water Festival.
Based on the success of the program, PTP planned to continue the Democracy
School Project on an annual basis.
Democracy School has organized seminars in conflict resolution and mediation
techniques. The seminars included training in leadership development. The
projects slowly involved quite a number of young members. We concluded
that young people are interested in educational projects, communication
and having fun. Currently PTP is engaged in civic education, anti-AIDS
programs, human rights, and development. PTP held an Estonian Youth Summer
Camp with an ESL program in 2002, and plans a Civics and ESL summer camp
next year. Student exchanges with Germany, Russia and the USA are popular,
and PTP runs exchanges with chapters in France and the USA. There is also
a developing home stay program, and cultural exchange is popular.