Taller sobre el rol de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil y la cooperación internacional

Las presentaciones y los debates mantenidos en la Asamblea de Montréal  fueron muy valiosos  para apreciar las tendencias y realidades del nuevo marco global para la acción de las OSC en la cooperación internacional para el desarrollo, y en la Cooperación Sur-Sur (CSS) en particular.

Ese fue el tema del Taller organizado por la Asociación Civil Estudios y Proyectos de Argentina, que tuvo como presentadores a los Sres. Stanley Kao, Director General del Departamento de Asuntos Económicos y de Comercio del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Taiwán, y Osvaldo Elissetche, Presidente de EyP.

A partir de las experiencias de Taiwán y de Argentina, los expositores señalaron el rol de los gobiernos y de la sociedad civil en la CSS, sus características y ventajas, y destacaron cómo esta puede convertirse en una herramienta importante para contribuir a la paz y a un desarrollo sustentable en el mundo, brindando ejemplos de los avances logrados.

Respecto del rol de la sociedad civil, también se analizaron las demandas que surgen tanto de la visión tradicional como de su participación creciente en los ámbitos en los que se discuten las prioridades y los compromisos de la comunidad internacional en materia de desarrollo, así como las orientaciones y la efectividad de los flujos de cooperación al nivel global. Continue reading

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Of Youth and the Future We Want and Can Create

Early this month, I joined 100s of young people from across the globe attending the Civicus Youth & World Assembly in Montréal, Canada. This year’s assembly was themed ‘Defining a New social Contract.” There were engaging sessions on beyond 2015, Post Rio +20, Changing nations through citizens, Social innovation. Just to mention a few. The Youth Assembly took place during the first two days

There was something unique about the youth Assembly. It was fun, engaging but with lots of hard questions and moments of reflections. A mapping exercise in terms of age, education levels, internet access, developed, developing country, more of a reality check of whether we were representative of the all Youths and how to capture the needs and aspiration of those not represented. During the discussion on social media, there was a general consensus that new media was just a tool and we deliberated on how to reach out to those among us with no access to internet and offline activities to support our causes. There was a discussion on how to go beyond just opposing the existing systems to being part of building new social realities. And a tough session in which we had to reflect on whether why we were in it the allure of travel or being true to the causes that got excited and ignited in the first place.

I attended the assembly as a Youth blogger so one of my tasks was communicate the proceeding of the assembly through social media. Unfortunately I didn’t get to publish any of the blogs on the sessions I attended, majorly on Beyond 2015, Post Rio +20 and redefining global governance. I do apologize for that. Based on my interaction and work with youths, most of us cannot directly relate to the UN process and Initiatives even when our causes and project directly address what is captured in the Millennium Development Goals other developmental goals.
A case in point, for three years and counting I have been actively engaged in Activista International hunger free campaign, until I joined a research team I didn’t realize it was an MGD 1 campaign. But every year on World Food Day hundreds of young people from atleast 29 countries take to the streets to make noise on freeing the hungry billion, take part in policy discussion on agriculture financing, right to food as a constitutional right, biofuel in relations to food security to working with small scale holder farmers. For most of us on the campaign, it’s simple, a billion hungry people and a call of action to free them from hunger.

For a year as an Acumen East Africa Fellow, I had a chance to work with 18 amazing young people using social new innovation to serve the poor, by providing affordable clean energy economic Inclusion, asset leasing for rural farmers and so on. Touches on MDG 1 yet has very little to do with it. I also interacted with young subject to citizen ambassadors of the Africa Alliance of the YMCAs as they interrogated what it means to be citizens and their role as such. Young people utilizing technology to address pressing problems of our times, improving access and using it to better relations with each other, with governments, the examples are infinite.
It is hard to capture all this initiatives, the creativity, energy and at times unbridled enthusiasm into a UN process or NGO strategy paper and probably or definitely there is no need to. We may not all agree on the relevance and effectiveness of civil society and UN processes but we want be part in building the future we want, bringing our all into the collective efforts of such.
Where our all includes, the vibrant energy, creativity, frustration with the existing system as @alexjamesfarrow tweeted during the event: “#Youth are losing patience with this conversation. If we don’t change radically, #civsoc orgs today will be dinosaurs tomorrow.”, a determination to being part of building new social realities, as evidenced by the energetic youths who joined civil societies in in reflecting of their role in place in changing times, at a times a joyous smile and a simple language as captured by the Madagascan delegate presentation .

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Para Lograr hay que Soñar y Para Soñar hay que Creer

El día de hoy los ciudadanos nos unimos en una sola voz para entretejer nuestros conocimientos y desde nuestro poder como individuos continuar cambiando las naciones a partir de sus ciudadanos.

Durante estos tres días mas de 1.500 delegados de todo el mundo representando diferentes sectores, tanto públicos, privados y no gubernamentales, se reúnen en esta Asamblea a encarar los problemas que nos afectan a todos y a cada uno de nosotros. Personajes de opinión publica, jóvenes, y personas como yo, nos unimos en la hermosa ciudad de Montreal, Quebec, no únicamente para soñar con un mundo mejor sino para proponer herramientas que nos ayuden a lograrlo.

No te pierdas el cubrimiento especial que estaré realizando desde el Palacio de Congreso cubriendo el tema de “Cambiando Naciones a través de sus Ciudadanos” CIVICUS 2012.

Gracias por leer a todos los bloggers de este evento y compartirlo con sus amigos y medios sociales!

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Of Naked Kings and Queens

Kenneth Harry Msiska is the Executive Director of Young Advocates for the Advancement of ICT-related Development (Y.A.A.ICT-D).  Y.A.A.ICT-D is an outreach group which promotes the participation and recognition of youth in Malawi as innovators and agents of change in the area of ICT.

Lakshmi Puri from UN Women speaks at the 11th annual CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, Canada. September 2012, Tristan Brand Photography.

During the recent CIVICUS World Assembly I had the opportunity to attend a number of sessions, but none was as enriching as Boosting Women’s Voice and Participation in Governance. This was the only session at the World Assembly that focused solely on women. What made the session interesting to me was that it gave us, as activists, the opportunity to ask those powerful questions that could transform the way we have approached the campaign on gender equality. Isn’t it discouraging that since Beijing Conference on Women in 1995 we seem to grapple with the same issues.

I have had the opportunity to work in some rural areas in Malawi where women are still not given a chance to participate in the governance/decision making structures despite close to two decades of gender equality gospel. This begs the question:

What is not working?

My starting point is that the language we use creates the reality.

After the Beijing Conference in 1995 the forerunners of the campaign may not have done justice to the cause by alienating the men (as a target group) by the choice of language that was used. How often have we heard these statements: We are fighting for gender equality; we need women emancipation, the list goes on and on. In predominantly male chauvinistic societies such statements put the men-folk on the defence against any encroachment in their “comfort zones “.

Can we boost women participation by having more women tea parties? Joyce Muchena of ActionAid Kenya has a different view. “ We cannot continue to preach to a choir, we need to engage the men more” she said. Perhaps the starting point would be to examine how men are currently involved in the campaign to boost women’s voice and participation in governance.

Listening to presentations from speakers it was quite clear that a lot of effort has been made in the area. Institutions backed by statutory law have been established. Multi-million dollar projects have been implemented, but somewhere the efforts are lacking. This is where the notion of naked kings and queens is coming. We may think that we are doing the right things as activists but in the process not walking the talk.

Are activists immune from stereotypes?


What about this for a confession! Lewis Mwape, the lone male speaker on the panel confessed that whilst he was a campaigner of gender equality he had just realised that he was, in fact, a naked king. During one of his travels outside Zambia he decided to buy some stuff for children. He bought nice clothes for his son but when it came to his daughter he decided to buy a beautiful broom. The only explanation for this unconscious act is that it was written in his mind that his daughter belongs to the kitchen and is supposed to do the household chores.

The parting shot! It was unanimously agreed that women have played victims for a long time and its time they shrugged off the victim tag and occupy their rightful role as agents of change.

Follow us via Twitter @CIVICUSalliance #civWA or www.facebook.com/CIVICUS to continue participating in discussions related to defining a new social contract. You can also watch archives of plenary sessions and interviews with delgates and speakers from the 11th annual CIVICUS World Assembly via CIVICUS Live.

Posted in Building partnerships for social innovation, Changing nations through citizens, Defining a new social contract, Redefining global governance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How do you know what you know is what is real/true/complete?

Andreea-Loredana Tudorache is a member of the A.R.T. Fusion Association based in Romania. The goal of A.R.T. Fusion is to contribute to the process of personal development and competence improvement of children, teenagers and young people by using methods of participative arts.

Andreea is one of the 15 ambitious youth awarded with bursaries to come to the CIVICUS Youth Assembly. The gathering will take place between September 3-7, 2012 in Montreal, Canada. Andreea along with her peers will  help foster dialogue and contribute to creating a new social contract that includes the perspectives of young people.

I come from Romania where in the last months there was a lot of turmoil in the political scene (on which I have my own opinion and stand but this post is not about that) and what was really surprising for me was the way international and foreign media covered it (+ declaration of politicians from different countries). They were surprising because they were not neutral, objective and balanced (as they claimed to be) and in a way it frightened me that this is what is shaping the opinion of citizens in Europe (and around the world) and the public perception think that this is how it is.

(August 2012 – after referendum was canceled )

This is an example starting from a concrete point of view (mine- my country situation – where I knew for a fact that very easy to cheek issues were not included that could present a different light on the things) but this can just sadly reflect what is happening worldwide. People will say for good reasons that “hmm in EU such situation happens? – That could lead to “pretend not to see” aspects related to power abuse, human rights violation and democracy misuse?”

The universal truth is not to take anything for granted (no matter where you live and how you assess your own country actors).

I used to think that having internet is ensuring me to have access to lots of information that in another way I will not get. Is true but in certain frameworks and limits on which I am not that much aware anymore. The world is full of different dynamics, situations, issues, facts, etc about what which we should be informed and know about, but in same time our personal resources are limited and in the end we do end up to have some information which is more objective, biased or something that will be totally left out (the problem is that we will not know what is what in the information we get).

(CIVICUS Youth Assembly – Beautiful Trouble Session)

Participating in international meetings, as CIVICUS Youth/Worlds Assembly which is very much connected with my own field of work and interest (but not only) is beneficial from lots of reasons (networking, expanding knowledge and awareness, deepening understanding, developing new plans and strategies,  getting inspired and energized, etc) but also for some reality check/upgrade of what we know about the world we live in.

CIVICUS World Assembly brought me (beside the benefits mentioned before) the chance to get to know issues from different reality angles that guess what – sadly enough I didn’t know before. It was amazing to learn about the “Quebec spring” from some of students and people that were on the streets, to get to know information that I never had access to it ; also about the relation and situation of First Nations People; about young people campaigning/protesting on Rio20; about brilliant small projects with big impact from India and Kenya; about different ways of using same terms (for example volunteering) which can make a huge difference in a strategy development; about young people movements after the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt; about different actors (youth, leaders, business people, etc.) view and expectations about the world and future, etc.

 

(Youth Mentorship Meeting – CIVICUS World Assembly)

I consider myself a quite informed person – keeping myself updated to what is happening in the world but during CIVICUS discussions I had the impression many times that I know nothing and there so much in what I know that is not real, true or is incomplete …and I do need to have my “own mantra” from now on: make reality checks as often as possible, upgrade your knowledge with the network of people you know all over the world and

Don’t take anything for granted!

 

Follow us via Twitter @CIVICUSalliance #civWA or www.facebook.com/CIVICUS to continue participating in discussions related to defining a new social contract. You can also watch archives of plenary sessions and interviews with delgates and speakers from the 11th annual CIVICUS World Assembly via CIVICUS Live.

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Are we true activists in our daily life?

Andreea-Loredana Tudorache is a member of the A.R.T. Fusion Association based in Romania. The goal of A.R.T. Fusion is to contribute to the process of personal development and competence improvement of children, teenagers and young people by using methods of participative arts.

Andreea is one of the 15 ambitious youth awarded with bursaries to come to the CIVICUS Youth Assembly. The gathering will take place between September 3-7, 2012 in Montreal, Canada. Andreea along with her peers will  help foster dialogue and contribute to creating a new social contract that includes the perspectives of young people.

I met many people in my work all over the world that are promoting, working and claiming similar principles, values and mission as me. We are many involved in making a more just world, more clean and sustainable, more tolerant and intercultural, more fair and equal for all people in the world, more transparent and more ethical, etc.

Working in international field is always a pleasure to discover how many people out there work in same direction as I do and very often I feel that we are making a difference and our efforts (even if separate) are having impact among many people.

In the same time I face dilemmas of what I call the honestly and true integrity of what are we doing/practicing in our life- do we really walk the talk?

We talk about sustainability, environmental problems – and make concrete proposals for high level official on what to do in this sense BUT

  • We take a plastic/paper cup instead of a glass one when we have our coffee/tea!
  • We don’t check if what and where we throw in the garbage is/can be recycled!
  • We don’t use the paper on both sides when we take notes in conference and we don’t finish our book notes!
  • We don’t cheek much about the brands we are consuming, buying and their impact around the world!
  • We forget lights on, TV or computers in stand-by, or charges plugged constantly etc. during events/projects or in our house!
  • In our projects we print lots of papers (often only on one side), brochures, booklets and make sure we have more than enough always!
  • We travel so much by plane-became a reflex (even for shorter rides that could be done by trains)!
  • Do we really know what Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle means before promoting for others to do?

We talk about food shortage in the world, about strategies to fight hunger and high prices on food BUT

  • We leave food on our plates (even if we decided what and how much to put on our plates)!
  • We have our meetings in manny stars hotels with luxury conditions!

We talk about equality, tolerance, human rights, representation, and how to make people voice of all backgrounds heard BUT

  • We don’t have patience in our own meetings to listen to each other (with different accents, language ability, etc)!
  • We don’t make sure language differences or constraints are being respected/facilitated!
  • We already think about what our reply will be from the middle or beginning of what the other person is talking!
  • We talk about equality in general but in certain limits in our own contexts where our prejudices are strong!
  • Who do we really take/invite/have in our meetings when we talk about global issues?

For me observing these aspects is interesting, puzzling and sad and very often when I did open the discussion with the people around me about it most of the time I end up looking at patronizing, smug, condescending and irritating person.

I think that for most of us will be hard to accept that indeed, this acts reflects a lack of integrity and true internalization of the principles we promote but in the same time I think if we do lie to ourselves, if we do act like blinds to our own life, if we don’t start from ourselves is rather ironic to claim big, structural changes from big actors, and others.

How do we end up claiming changes from structures which are actually ruled and managed by people?

In fact we do want changes from people (even if strangely we are not truly aware of it) and we should be the model, example of what kind of changes we aim for!

 If everything we believe in will be reflected through all the things we do our message will be powerful, real and truly inspirational.

Therefore what kind of activist are you in your daily life?

 

Follow us via Twitter @CIVICUSalliance #civWA or www.facebook.com/CIVICUS to continue participating in discussions related to defining a new social contract. You can also watch archives of plenary sessions and interviews with delgates and speakers from the 11th annual CIVICUS World Assembly via CIVICUS Live.

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Why Montreal? An introduction to civil society in Quebec

This video was screened at the opening of the World Assembly and gives an overview of civil society in Quebec, and why it was relevant to have hosted the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal.

Thank you to Aude Leroux-Lévesque and Sébastien Rist from Bideshi Films in Montréal for their wonderful work. Although the World Assembly is over, the discussions do not have to be. There are many ways you can follow the work of CIVICUS online, and continue to participate in the debates via our social media networks.

Follow us via Twitter @CIVICUSalliance #civWA or www.facebook.com/CIVICUS to continue participating in discussions related to defining a new social contract. You can also watch archives of plenary sessions and interviews with delgates and speakers from the 11th annual CIVICUS World Assembly via CIVICUS Live.

Posted in Building partnerships for social innovation, Changing nations through citizens, Defining a new social contract, Redefining global governance | Leave a comment

Tejiendo desde la Lógica Un Futuro Autosostenible

“Cada mañana cuando ella se despierta grita ayúdame, ayúdame!: Cuando la Tierra es herida los Humanos también son heridos” así fue como Dominique Rankin, honorario líder Algonquin dio inicio a la primera plenaria de la Asamblea Mundial CIVICUS 2012 en la ciudad de Montreal, Quebec y quien además nos recordó que somos una sola nación.

La inspiración solamente pasa cuando la gente se reúne, y CIVICUS ha abanderado este principio desde sus inicios, siendo una red internacional de la sociedad civil que cuenta con mas de 1200 miembros organizacionales y individuos,  quienes creen en la necesidad de tener un nuevo contrato social. “CIVICUS ofrece espacio a las organizaciones para empoderarlas, reconociendo el respeto y equidad que debe de existir entre sus miembros y participantes,” agrego la representante del  comité ejecutivo de CIVICUS, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda.

El día de hoy cuando inició la primera sesión de la plenaria me preguntaba el qué podía hacer yo, un individuo quien desde pequeño a creído en los cambios locales para así lograr los cambios a mayor escala, o al menos tener impacto regional. La respuesta no es semejante a una fórmula matemática en la que la lógica conlleva a un resultado único, sino que se basa en el trabajo que se hace con los nodos locales en los que nos movilizamos y el cómo nos conectamos con otras personas quienes comparten visiones similares a las nuestras, ampliando así nuestro tejido humano y social; individual y colectivo.

Personajes como la Ex-Ministra del Medio Ambiente de Brasil, Marina Silva, entienden claramente que los movimientos sociales que sucedieron al rededor del mundo han sido el resultado de una era de crisis ambiental, social, política y de valores que puede ser únicamente solventada cuando reconocemos estas falencias de nuestra sociedad y nos unimos en pro de las soluciones. El activismo virtual ha cobrado mucha fuerza y este es únicamente posible si se brindan las herramientas necesarias para su implementación, manejo y uso. Ya no se trata únicamente de un activismo dirigido creado por sindicatos u organizaciones, sino del activismo de autor que parte de cada individuo y genera un cambio a partir de una necesidad que ha sufrido de un respaldo por parte del Estado. Al escucharle hablar salté de alegría, y me recordó que desde los 7 años empecé a escribir por primera vez cartas a quien entonces era la Ministra de Medio Ambiente de mi país, Colombia. Cecilia López Montaño jamás respondió a mis cartas, pero gracias al derecho petición del que gozamos los colombianos, recibí dos años más tarde (luego de más de cinco cartas) material educativo sobre reciclaje, y desarrollo autosostenible (que para mediados de los 90’s aun era un concepto manejado por muy pocos).  Por lo tanto me di la tarea, a partir de la frustración de no ser escuchado por parte de líderes políticos, a crear el primer club de amiguitos verdes en el colegio. Hoy, 16 años después, puedo decir que me siento identificado con el concepto del activismo de autoría .

Tambien se debe realzar que la experiencia que viene de diferentes generaciones es muy importante para la creación de proyectos. Se debe respetar, escuchar y trabajar mejor con personas de diferentes generaciones debido a que son ellas las que conocen en mayor detalle las razones por las cuales se debe cambiar, mientras que los  jóvenes nos encargamos de impulsar, promover y asumir un rol mas activo en esos cambios.

Los panelistas Léo Bureau Blouin, Ex Presidente de la Federación de Estudiantes de Universidades de Quebec (FECQ) y Kamal Lahbib, Foro de Alternativas de Marruecos (FMAS) respondieron al tema del nuevo contrato social afirmando que la redefinición de éste se debe basar en el respeto y equidad de género. El apoyo, la solidaridad, la denuncia y la visibilidad deben existir para frenar las atrocidades que han sucedido antes, durante y después el despertar de la primavera Árabe. La opinión pública está empezando a utilizar los medio modernos de comunicación para dar a conocer esas atrocidades y estos medios alternativos han demostrado el poder que tienen.

Primera Plenaria y cientos de pensamientos que se cruzan por las mentes y corazones de personas que como yo, creen en el cambio desde el individuo y reunen fuerzas con los demas para hacer de nuestras realidades unas más autosustentables.

Repensémonos, entendámonos y creemos en la ciudadanía desde las diferencias que también nos conectan los unos a los otros.

No te pierdas los siguientes blogs!

Sígueme en Twitter 

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Audacious Rebels

Philippa Wheaton represented Enke: Make Your Mark at the CIVICUS Youth and World Assemblies this past September. Enke’s vision is, “To see young people connected across socio-economic and cultural barriers, working together as a new generation of leaders for positive change in Africa.”

For too long we’ve been trying the same approach to development: find problem, fix problem, leave.  Except very rarely have people gotten the “fix problem” part right.  Some people have even had trouble with the “find problem” section.  Lots haven’t worked out how to “leave” once their organisations or approaches have been shown to be ineffective or, in the rare cases when a solution has worked, have been made redundant.  To be clear: I’m not just talking about international development practitioners – I’m also talking about those working on issues in their own home countries and communities.

The point?  It’s time for a new approach.

Closing discussions at the CIVICUS Youth Assembly. Montreal, September 2012. Tristan Brand Photography.

Innovation has become a buzz word – just today I’ve seen it on a poster for the NYC subway information website, in a magazine ad for a washing powder and on the website for a major grant-making organisation.  It’s increasingly clear that we’ve fetishised the concept to the point that the word itself is next to meaningless.  However, there’s a reason why every organisation, every funder, every conference (including the CIVICUS World Assembly) and every ad executive is trying to use the word at every opportunity.  We need new solutions.

The Power of Connection session at the CIVICUS Youth Assembly. Montreal, 2012. Tristan Brand Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the summit last week I was part of a discussion at the youth assembly where we delved into the question: what makes young people well positioned to be innovators for social change?  The one line summary of our hour long conversation is simple: because young people are audacious rebels for sustainable change.

But what on earth is a young, audacious rebel?  We’re not afraid to try something crazy because, at worst, we’ll have a great story to tell.  We’re risk prone – the same thing that makes us drawn to the problem behaviour of sex and drugs (and rock’n’roll) is what makes us not shy away from the risk of trying a new idea (from a scientific perspective it’s caused by an under-developed prefrontal cortex).  We’re not afraid to challenge existing structures and institutions because we weren’t involved in their creation and have no personal investment in their survival.  We don’t have the experience to know when something should be impossible.

Paticipants at CIVICUS Youth Assembly. Montreal, 2012. Tristan Brand Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s people like Leigh Meinert from TSiBA, who at age 24 decided that she was going to set up the first free university in Cape Town, South Africa. Or the girl I met yesterday who wants to overthrow the Iranian government – but only once she’s got a solid plan and theory of change around how to transition to democracy.  It’s people like Louis Braille who, at age 15, developed the system of reading and writing for blind or visually impaired people and has been used for close to 200 years.  Or Siyasanga who is fed up with gangsterism and has mobilised his school and 5 others in his community to make it stop.

This is more than just kids playing at changing the world.  These are serious solutions to the big issues.  The solutions might not work first time around, second time around, at all… but the old approach isn’t working as much as we’d like to pretend that it is.  It’s time to let the new generation take a shot at cleaning up this mess.  Anyone who wants to try that would have to be take some pretty bold risks.  They’d have to be willing to forge their own path and turn their back on the establishment.  In short, they’d have to be rebels, audacious rebels.

I think we need more of them.

You can see Philippa Wheaton speaking in the VOX POP of the Youth Assembly here. You can also watch numerous interviews and each plenary session that took place at the CIVICUS World and Youth Assemblies via our Livestream channel.  

Posted in Building partnerships for social innovation, Changing nations through citizens, Youth Assembly | Leave a comment

CIVICUS, mon armée de l’ombre. Mes moments forts à l’Assemblée mondiale

« Définir un nouveau contrat social – Construire l’avenir ensemble », tel était le thème directeur de  l’assemblée mondiale CIVICUS auquel la grande famille de la société civile a été conviée du 5 au 7 septembre dernier. L’agenda était chargé puisque durant trois jours, les délégués venus du monde entier devaient définir comment changer les nations par l’action citoyenne, bâtir des partenariats stratégiques pour l’innovation sociale et trouver comment redéfinir la gouvernance mondiale. Rien que ça !

Moi, très fière (lol), devant le stand de CIVICUS érigé au Café Citoyen

Parcourir le programme de l’assemblée mondiale m’a donné le tournis parce qu’il y avait tellement de sessions parallèles auxquelles je voulais assister, tellement d’experts que je voulais écouter et rencontrer, et tellement de concepts que je voulais approfondir que je ne savais plus où donner de la tête ! Mais il a bien fallu choisir et j’aimerais partager avec vous, pêle-mêle, quelques moments qui m’ont particulièrement marquée dans cette espèce de voyage vers l’au-delà que j’ai fait – dans un univers où les activistes sont écoutés et valorisés. Il faudrait au moins cent pages pour tout raconter, et ceci n’est qu’un aperçu de ce que j’ai vécu.

D’abord, il y eut le discours d’ouverture de Michel Venne qui m’avait déjà secouée par sa franchise et son dynamisme lors de sa première allocution, pendant l’assemblée jeunesse. Cette fois-ci, son ton se fit vindicatif, au lendemain des évènements qui avaient terni l’élection de la première femme première ministre du Québec, Mme Marois. « Le Québec, dit-il, est divisé, et le monde aussi. L’appât du gain et l’égoïsme l’emportent souvent sur l’altruisme et la générosité et devant l’injustice, la tentation est forte de partir en guerre, de désobéir aux lois et de prendre les armes. Mais, dit-il encore, il ne faut pas baisser les bras. Il faut continuer à croire au dialogue, et avoir confiance dans les humains que nous sommes, avec des objectifs plus grands que nous. » Que dire de plus, sinon que la limpidité et la noblesse de ces propos, qui illustrent si bien mes sentiments personnels envers les causes qui me tiennent à cœur, m’ont fait monter les larmes aux yeux…

Léo Bureau Blouin á l’Assemblée Mondiale de CIVICUS. Montréal, 2012.

Un peu plus tard, je fus épatée par la prestance de Léo Bureau-Blouin, ex-président de la Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec, qui venait d’être fraichement élu député (le plus jeune de l’histoire du Canada aussi) qui démontra que le fait d’être un activiste n’empêchait pas l’ambition ou l’option politique, même si certains considèrent ce « revirement » comme une trahison. Pour lui, l’enchainement est logique : revendiquer ses droits en tant que citoyen dans un premier temps, puis consolider ceux-ci (et ceux de ses semblables) au travers d’un mandat électif. Nombreux devraient en prendre de la graine…

 

 

Et comment ne pas parler de la lumineuse Marina Silva, ancienne ministre brésilienne de l’environnement qui est connue dans le monde entier pour ses actions en faveur de la forêt amazonienne ? Sa théorie sur l’évolution des formes d’activisme dans le monde (de l’activisme dirigé à l’activisme individuel, ou de l’auteur) m’a particulièrement fait réfléchir…et rêver !

Marina Silva á l’Assemblée Mondiale de CIVICUS. Montréal, 2012.

 

Le deuxième jour, ma grande découverte furent les fameux Principes d’Istanbul dont j’avais vaguement entendu parler mais que je n’avais jamais pris le soin d’approfondir (what a shame!). Les huit symboles représentant ces principes ont été officiellement lancés dans la salle 519a du Palais des Congrès de Montréal, dans une liesse générale qui m’a elle aussi remplie d’émotion (décidément !). Même si l’application simultanée des huit principes constitue idéalement la clé du bonheur de l’humanité, il en est tout de même trois qui me semblent particulièrement prioritaires : Respecter et promouvoir les droits humains et la justice sociale, Se concentrer sur l’autonomisation des peuples, la propriété et la participation démocratiques, et Créer et partager des connaissances pour un apprentissage mutuel. Il faut prendre le temps de lire en détail les recommandations qui accompagnent chaque principe, car je suis convaincue qu’elles en valent vraiment la peine et qu’elles peuvent guider les sociétés civiles balbutiantes comme celle de Madagascar vers des chemins plus éclairés.

Autre moment qui m’a franchement plu : le message vidéo d’Aung San Suu Kyi, diffusé lors de la cérémonie de clôture, et duquel j’ai retenu cette phrase : « True changes in the society are not possible without political change ». En gros, cette figure emblématique de la résistance pacifique mondiale a souligné que les projets de la société civile en faveur de la justice sociale et du développement n’aboutiraient pas si elle continuait à ignorer la sphère politique. La population a le droit et même le devoir de s’impliquer dans la politique dit-elle. Il ne faut donc pas oublier d’œuvrer pour le changement politique, à travers la participation de tous, afin d’atteindre les objectifs dessinés lors de rencontres formelles comme les assemblées CIVICUS. Pour moi qui milite pour une plus grande participation politique des femmes et des jeunes dans mon pays, ces quelques mots résonnaient comme des paroles d’Evangile…De plus, je n’aurais jamais cru pouvoir approcher de si près cette icône qu’est d’Aung San Suu Kyi – même si ce n’était qu’à travers un écran…Il y avait une telle osmose dans l’air qu’il m’a semblé que ce message de deux minutes avait duré une éternité !

Dernière chose que je tiens à mentionner : ma rencontre avec LE boss actuel de CIVICUS, l’homme qui a signé ma lettre d’invitation aux assemblées de Montréal : Katsuji Imata. Notre conversation n’a duré que quelques minutes mais il a prêté une oreille attentive à mes doléances. L’homme est simple et tempéré, presque taciturne, mais ses collaborateurs ne tarissent pas d’éloges à son égard. Il est pour eux l’archétype de la personne engagée et le symbole absolu de l’altruisme dans toute son efficacité. Je lui réitère ici mes remerciements, ainsi qu’a tous ceux à qui j’ai pu parler pendant cette semaine de folie.

J’ai souvent la sensation que Madagascar ne fait pas partie du monde – pendant la Coupe du monde de foot par exemple ou lorsque les milliardaires font le tour du « monde » mais n’incluent pas mon pays dans leur itinéraire – mais, cette fois-ci, j’ai senti que Madagascar avait suscité l’attention des « autres », même pour de brefs instants…Je vous en suis tellement reconnaissante !

Katsuji Imata (à l’écran) en train de recueillir les impressions de quelques participants pendant la cérémonie de clôture de l’Assemblée mondiale

CIVICUS est une armée de l’ombre – comme je les aime – et j’en fais maintenant partie, au moins pour une année. J’espère être à la hauteur du challenge et promets de redoubler d’efforts pour faire triompher l’espoir !

A bientôt pour d’autres aventures!

Ketakandriana

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