Showing posts from January, 2008

TICAD May 2008 -lots of NGOs involved

This May NGOs are expected to take on a crucial role in the TICAD IV -
the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

the Africa-Asia NGO network has blog with some info in English about thier priorities and what issues they hope to tackle.

the TNnet (TICAD IV・NGO ネットワーク - TICAD 4 NGO network) also has info on thier work but this is in Japanese only.

So if you do a bit of searching you will also find it info about the Africa 2008 campaign

Find out more:
What is TICAD?
TICAD Civil Society Forum
TICAD Exchange
Africa-Asia Business Forum

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

the more i include these in my workshops and talks - the more i realise how little people know and/or are aware of the whole thing. So here is some info:

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
* time-bound, quantified targets to be achieved by 2015

* 8 goals with #1 as the base
* 18 targets
* 48 technical indicatorsAnnual and biannual national reports based on official data, definitions, methodologies

* First global campaign against poverty including all sectors - bring together the responsibilities of developing countries with those of developed countries

* The Eighth Goal focuses on collaboration

* The Millennium Project recommends that private sector firms and organizations should contribute actively to policy design, transparency initiatives and, where appropriate, public-private partnerships.

Developing country governments =>
* craft and implement the MDG-based poverty reduction strategies in transparent and inclusive processes
* work closely with civil society organizations (CSOs), the d…

G8NGO Forum

More and more information is starting to appear on the NGO Forum website in E as well as Japanese. Platforms and reports from each group (poverty and development, human rights, and environment) are now posted in both langauges was well info on meetings and upcoming events.

Stay abreast of what is going on by visiting their site: G8NGO Forum

G8 updates

Some info from the upcoming G8 in Japan: The Japanese government updated their website: looks like the main themes of G8 summit will be as follows:Environment and Climate ChangePromote discussions at the UN process to create an effective framework beyond 2012Following the 'Cool Earth 50' proposed by Japan, G8 agreed that they will consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050 at the G8 Heiligendamm Summit in 2007.Japan attaches importance to the following three principles in establishing an effective framework beyond 2012: Participation of all major emitters including developing countriesFlexibility and diversityCompatibility between environmental protection and economic growth by utilizing energy conservation and other technologiesAhead of the G8 Summit, meetings such as the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Act…

From migrants to immigrants in Japan

there have been several articles in a number local papers these days trying to address the issue of the decline in population, immigration reform and the possibility of increased immigration in Japan.
Seems like this has been one of those areas where no has wanted to connect the dots until now when we know how few young Japanese people there are and there is no going back. Finally nonJapanese might be included in future plans of the country.

have a look at these:

Shaping the future as an immigrant nation

Japanese tax base dropping ?

I recently got an email about what I meant when I recently wrote that the Japanese tax base is declining. We have more and more people livening longer and longer. At the same time we still have a declining birth rate. Therefore, there will be fewer workers paying more taxes to support more people.

This is a critical year for Japanese ODA because from now on end many expect it to go down due to the increased local needs (in particular health care and social services for elders.) If Japanese aid is drastically reduced this will of course affect Japanese NGOS working in international development projects but it will also affect the visibility and power of Japan overseas.

You can even go on to the OECD webpage for reports on the fiscal impacts of the population imbalance in Japan. Some of the measures they write about are still not in place but some of the studies do show the need for a stronger civil society.

An area i will avoid going into but certainly part of this issue of decline is sex…

World Social Forum and the world economic forum

World economic forum is going on in Davos
items of concern/interest :
infectious disease?
collaboration ?
climate change?

Citizens all over the world are responding with local events.

The eighth World Social Forum in 2008 won't be organized at a particular place, but globally, which means by thousands of autonomous local organization.
website fior info
Japan events site:

Here is the schedule of Tokyo workshops and discussions:

World social form - day of global action on Jan 26
"The World Social Forum is not an organisation,not a united front platform, but "…an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo- liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a …

It's a big year in Japan for civil society organizations:

This Jan. => Japan takes over the G8 chair J tax revenue starts droppingNonprofit NGOs need to keep government focusHalfway point of MDGsICCPR review
May => TICAD meeting in YokohamaJuly => G8 in Hokkaido, G8 NGO forum Indigenous People’s Forum in Hokkaido
Expect to read more hear about what is going on!

Some things to work on in 2008

1. G8 NGO forum - need native English and Japanese writers for notes. reports, translation and possibly event preparation. I am not sure what my role will be may be coordinating a team of volunteers.

2. One Vote 08 campaign - the white band group in the US is working to press US candidates to support spending for poverty alleviation instead of war.

3. A big fundraising networking party on June 7:
I am coordinating a group of people for the development of a large (400-500 people) party next summer to support local organizations and hook them up with supporters. All are joining on a volunteer basis and planning in earnest starts at our Jan 25 meeting. We are looking for people for all committees - pr/outreach, sponsorship, financial mgt., logistics, food and drinks. Sorry - no website yet. we are looking for someone to do that too.

4. Monthly networking nights - see the TCN. Next ones will be 1/21, 2/17, 3/17 => I am looking for non…

Happy New Year!