Featured Posts

<< >>

Diversity enters into the Spanish Parliament (Finally!)

  The elections held in Spain on December 20th of 2015 brought about many changes in the Spanish political sphere. One of these changes came in the hands of Rita Bosaho, who became Spain’s first female black Member of Parliament . As The Guardian explains, the “election saw record number of women elected into lower

Sustainability matters: the Equator Prize 2015 and Shared Societies

  On December 7th, the Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony took place in Paris. This year the Price was awarded to 21 outstanding local and indigenous initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.Winning organizations come from Asia, Latin America and the Sub-Sahara Africa. Each winning initiative received US$ 10,000 and

Shared Societies Approach in Kenya

ENPP_booklaunch_Kenya

Member of the Shared Societies Project Expert Advisory Panel, the Kenyan lawyer and academic, Yash Pal Ghai, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hong-Kong and an expert when it comes to constitutional law and human rights.
With a life-time of study, scholarship, and experience, Ghai reports on past and current events regarding the themes of diversity and peace in his new book entitled Ethnicity, Nationhood, and Pluralism: Kenyan Perspectives.

Positive Peace and Shared Societies

GPI

The Shared Societies Project was represented at “From Theory to Practice: Inaugural Positive Peace Conference” held by the Institute for Economics and Peace at Standford University, California, USA, on October 5, 2015.

Cities Against Racism

census-1

The International Coalition of Cities against Racism is an initiative launched by UNESCO in 2004 to establish a network of cities interested in sharing experiences in order to improve their policies to fight racism, discrimination and xenophobia.

Diversity enters into the Spanish Parliament (Finally!)

RitaBosano

 

The elections held in Spain on December 20th of 2015 brought about many changes in the Spanish political sphere. One of these changes came in the hands of Rita Bosaho, who became Spain’s first female black Member of Parliament . As The Guardian explains, the “election saw record number of women elected into lower parliament” while “immigrants still make up only 1,2% of country’s representatives,” and composeapproximately 10%of the population.[1]

Bosaho has received much attention from the media following the elections, which has caught her off guard, as she tells EFE News Agency. “Why is it so striking that a black woman could end up in parliament? What does that say about us all being integrated?”

Born with Spanish nationality in Equatorial Guinea, Spain’s former African colony, and after three decades living in Spain, she doesn’t consider herself an immigrant, but is happy to have become such a symbol. As she explains, immigrants remain somewhat invisible in Spanish institutions. “It’s a structural problem that needs to be put in context, looking at the social panorama of Spain.”

According to an ongoing study called “Pathways to Power” led by several European universities,[2] which compares immigrant political representation among seven European democracies, says “in Britain or the Netherlands, between 8% and 11% of national deputies are of immigrant origin, in France and Germany these rates fluctuate between 3% and 4%, and in Italy it is 1.5%.”It’s not only about immigrants making it into parliament, “but about reaching all the institutions”, as the French and political scientist and sociologist Sami Nair says.

Rita Bosaho’s achievement seems like a positive step forward in bringing about true social integration through political representation, as well bringing attention to the percentage of political representation of immigrants in Spain.

While speaking to El País, Vladimir Paspuel of the Ecuadorian association Rumiñahuispoke about the immigrant representatives in government saying “it’s providing a real struggle, but little by little we’re starting to achieve political participation.”

The Club of Madrid has developed the Shared Societies Project, committed to achieve an integrated society. In this framework, it has developed 10 Commitments as key policy areas for leaders and governments.

With the first black woman ever elected in Spain, comes the opportunity to “encourage the creation of a shared vision of society” both locally and nationally, as Commitment VIII promotes. Including bringing new ideas into the political arena to build a society in which the needs and rights of all citizens are met and protected.

As Bosaho jokingly said, it’s about time someone like her reached the Spanish Congress.

 


[1]According to the InstitutoNacional de Estadística (INE), http://www.ine.es/inebaseDYN/cp30321/cp_inicio.htm

[2]Study led by the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Bamberg (Germany), University of Leicester (United Kingdom), and SciencesPo (France).

Sustainability matters: the Equator Prize 2015 and Shared Societies

Equator Prize

 

On December 7th, the Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony took place in Paris. This year the Price was awarded to 21 outstanding local and indigenous initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.Winning organizations come from Asia, Latin America and the Sub-Sahara Africa. Each winning initiative received US$ 10,000 and was supported to participate in a series of special events at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France in December 2015.

The Equator Prize was established in 2002 and there are now 87 winner organizations from 70 different countries. The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development. The Prize is part of the action plan of the Equator Initiative, a partnership that brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses, and grassroots organizations to build the capacity and raise the profile of local efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Other initiatives include the so-called Equator Dialogues and Equator Knowledge, a research, documentation and learning program.

In this regard, the Club de Madrid has established a working group to examine the link between Shared Societies and Environmental Sustainability. The Shared Societies Project contends that the common basis for sustainable development is a socially inclusive process based in the achievement of Shared Societies. The Post-2015 Development Process has given the debate impetus, as the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require a reorientation of all aspects of development

We, at the Club de Madrid, believe that the common basis for sustainable development is a socially inclusive process based on the achievement of Shared Societies. For this reason, the Club has convened a working group to examine how a more inclusive participative and shared society can provide the framework in which social,economic and environmental wellbeing can be realized for all.

 

Shared Societies Approach in Kenya

ENPP_booklaunch_Kenya

Member of the Shared Societies Project Expert Advisory Panel, the Kenyan lawyer and academic, Yash Pal Ghai, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hong-Kong and an expert when it comes to constitutional law and human rights.

With a life-time of study, scholarship, and experience, Ghai reports on past and current events regarding the themes of diversity and peace in his new book entitled Ethnicity, Nationhood, and Pluralism: Kenyan Perspectives.

This book marks the culmination of ten years of research and assessment of national sentiments on the acceptance of various cultural groups in Kenya. All of this occurs within the context of the country’s new constitutional commitment to becoming an inclusive society. An intriguing comparison and analysis of Canada is made in order to demonstrate 1) that achieving a pluralistic society is possible, and 2) how a country can bring diverse communities together to ultimately create a peaceful and prosperous society. According to Ghai, “a commitment to pluralism requires systematic effort across all sectors of society” and “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pluralism.” With all of this in mind, he demonstrates that the 2010 constitution is an indicator that Kenya wants to embrace meaningful social inclusion, however it needs to do more.

Educated at Oxford and Harvard, Yash Ghai, has served as an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania. His primary interests now are constitutions arising out of conflict and political and constitutional issues of autonomy in the context of China. Some of his principal writings have been published in non-legal journals. He has been consulted on constitutional matters by a number of countries, including Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Seychelles, Afghanistan, Maldives, Cambodia, and East Timor. He chaired Kenya’s constitutional review from 2001-04 and facilitated various consultations in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and advised the Tibetan Government in Exile. In September 2006, he became UN Special Representative for Human Rights to Cambodia.

The Project values Professor Ghai’s support and wise counsel, as these issues are critical in building Shared Societies

Positive Peace and Shared Societies

GPI

The Shared Societies Project was represented at “From Theory to Practice: Inaugural Positive Peace Conference” held by the Institute for Economics and Peace at Standford University, California, USA, on October 5, 2015.

The Institute for Economics and Peace has sought to better understand the drivers of peaceful societies through the development of an empirical framework that identifies the optimum environment in which peace can flourish. This is termed Positive Peace. The main contribution has been the development of a framework of inter-related factors or Pillars of Peace, identified by analyzing over 4,700 different indices, datasets and attitudinal surveys. Countries with higher levels of Positive Peace are less likely to slip into major conflicts, are more likely to experience less violence, and are better equipped to bounce back from internal or external shocks caused by economic conditions, societal disagreements and natural disasters.

During the Conference’s session “Positive Peace and Systems Thinking”, aimed to examine positive peace through the lens of systems thinking, Necla Tshirgi, Professor of Practice, Human Security and Peacebuilding at the University of San Diego and and member of their Project Expert Advisory Panel, participated on behalf of the Shared Societies Project.

Necla Tshirgi spoke about the fundamental interrelationships between positive peace factors and Shared Societies. See copy of her presentation here

Cities Against Racism

census-1

The International Coalition of Cities against Racism is an initiative launched by UNESCO in 2004 to establish a network of cities interested in sharing experiences in order to improve their policies to fight racism, discrimination and xenophobia.

In times of growing globalisation and urbanization, municipalities are a key factor in ensuring that all their citizens, regardless of their nationality, ethnic, cultural, religious or social origin can live in dignity, security and justice. The initiative is expressly supported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the world’s largest organisation of municipalities, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

On December 10th 2004, the “European Coalition of Cities against Racism” was established in Nuremberg, and a “Ten-Point-Plan of Action” was adopted. In order to take into account the special conditions and priorities of different regions of the world, further regional coalitions have been established in the two following years and have worked out their own action plans.

The “Welcoming Cities – Keys for an anti-racist culture” General Conference was held in Karlsruhe, Germany, October 8-9, organized by the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism. In these intense two days, representatives of European Cities identified and shared good practices to fight against racism, promote social inclusion and improve the efficiency of the public services offered to migrant and refugee’s population.

The Club de Madrid Shared Societies Project has decided that involvement with local activities has a number of advantages; promoting social inclusion at this level may be possible when national governments are not ready to engage with issues of inter-group relations at the level of national policy. To develop this area of work, the Club de Madrid has developed a publication to emphasize the role of Shared Societies at the local level with dedicated materials based on the existing Shared Societies Project documents and made specifically relevant to local contexts. The English and French versions of the publication, “Local Government for Shared Societies”, was disseminated during the Conference in Karlsruhe.

Benedetto Zacchiroli, ECCAR President and representative of the City of Bologna, gave the keynote speech focused on the challenges of the recent refugee crisis in Europe. He stressed that “the Mayors of European cities are in the forefront of receiving the requests of help for immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, to facilitate their acceptance and their integration.”

Turning to the issue of migration, Frank Mentrup, Mayor of Karlsruhe, stressed that “the exchange of best practices is the best tool to combat racism and discrimination.” The Mayor also explained how the City of Karlsruhe is undertaking special measures to promote a culture of anti-racism through cooperation with civil society organizations and actions in public spaces of the city.

Club de Madrid staff officer, Rafael Moreno, and representatives of the ECCAR Secretariat and UNESCO held bilateral meetings in order to discuss further cooperation on initiatives to promote social inclusion and diversity at the local level.

Tracking the Post-2015 debate

Rio20_noti

The process of creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals, is coming to fruition with the Summit during the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

It has been difficult to keep track of all the meetings, reports and conferences on the topic that have taken place I the last few. They have been important not only as contributions to the drafting and adopting of the goals but in the years to come they will continue to be important in reminding us of key issues and approaches that can inform the implementation of the new set of Goals.

The Post-2015 Development Process has become a defining focus for the global debate on social development, bringing together economic, social and environmental concerns.

The Club de Madrid, mainly through its Shared Societies Project, has made its own contribution to the debate, particularly addressing the issue of the continuing marginalization of many groups on grounds of identity. The Members have contributed to High Level Panels, and listed below are their various statements, making the argument that an inclusive Shared Society is more likely to be able to meet environmental, economic and social goals, and therefore it is a foundation for achieving the SDGs.

Back at the beginning of the Process, Members of the Club de Madrid presented the Global Shared Societies Agenda to Promote Long term Inclusive and Sustainable Growth. The event “Sustainable Development in an Unequal World” took place on June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, addressed different facets of the event’s overarching message on the state of national and global inequalities and their relationship to sustainable development and growth.

Hörst Kohler, former Chancellor of Germany and Member of the Club de Madrid was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons, which produced the report “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty And Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development”.

The SSP Project was involved during the work sessions of the Open Working Group (OWG) of the UN General Assembly on Post 2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals to retain a Shared Societies perspective in the outcome document and published “A Shared Societies Perspective on the Post-2105 Development Agenda”. Cassam Uteem, former President of Mauritius, and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, spoke at an OWG session in February 2014 and the Project circulated a statement from the Second Global Shared Societies Forum in Baku. After the OWG published its report, a further paper was circulated: “Response to Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Outcome Document”.

During the final phase of negotiations from the beginning of 2015, the Project has kept in touch with the process and in the lead-up to the Financing for Development Summit in July 2015, the SSP Project team Co Chairs issues a paper.

In addition, Club de Madrid members Roza Otunbayeva, former President of Kyrgyzstan, Zlatko Lagumdzija, former Prime Minister of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Abdurrahim El-Keib, former Prime Minister of Libya, were keynote speakers at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Annual Ministerial Review of the Millennium Development Goals. The participation of the CdM members took place from 8 to 10 July, 2015 in New York just days before the Financing for Development Summit.

For further information the website Post2015.org “What comes after the Millennium Goals” and its twitter account, @post2015, has been collecting relevant material on the Post-2015 agenda coordinated by the British think thank Overseas Development Institute.

The website is focused on the debate on what should follow the Millennium Development Goals when they expire this year 2015 emphasizing that “there is a new meeting, report or conference on the subject somewhere in the world almost every day, although trying to keep track of what the key players are thinking, writing and saying is becoming increasingly difficult.” The post2015.org website brings together the key documents, reports and ongoing research on the post-2015 agenda, with regular updates on events and briefings about the emerging agenda.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: