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Post-2015 MDGs: SBY urged to advocate for developing countries

By farjana - Posted on 27 March 2013

A world forum of civil society organizations is urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to push for greater state responsibility to ensure people’s welfare, especially in developing countries. 

Discussions on a global post- Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) still “lean to a market-based development approach, which means the expansion of the market that minimizes the responsibility of the state,” Sugeng Bahagijo of the international NGO the Indonesian Development Forum (INFID), said on Monday in Nusa Dua, Bali.

“The trend is for each country to recognize voluntary action in implementing the global development framework [which] is not binding and would be detrimental to the people. The responsibility of states must be laid out clearly through a binding universal mechanism,” Sugeng added. 

A 24-member advisory panel will meet on Tuesday after discussions on Monday between scholars, representatives of the public sector, civil society organizations and youth organziations. 

On Wednesday two of the three cochairs of the Bali High Level Panel, Yudhoyono and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will conclude the talks, while cochair UK Prime Minister David Cameron will participate by video conference. 

Tax emerges as crucial issue in post-2015 development talks

By farjana - Posted on 27 March 2013


Members of the UN high-level panel meet in Bali this week. Tax evasion is expected to feature in the discussions

 Tax evasion by multinationals and corrupt leaders has emerged as a key issue ahead of the third substantive meeting of a UN high-level panel to discuss a framework for development after 2015.

The theme of this week's meeting in the sweltering Indonesian resort island of Bali is global partnership, the orphan child of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Devoid of clear targets, MDG8 talks in general terms about an open, rule-based trading and financial system, dealing with debt burdens, providing access to affordable essential medicines, and increasing access to new technologies. Goal eight also mentions fostering links between the public and private sector to drive better development.

Yet momentum is building up among NGOs, poor countries and some rich countries to ensure that developing countries build up their tax base at a time when aid flows are under pressure, notwithstanding Britain's commitment to meet, this year, the UN target of spending 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) on aid.

Does private sector focus on real development in Bangladesh?

By farjana - Posted on 21 December 2012

A write up by Farjana Akter and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud questioning the real contribution of private sector in the development of Bangladesh. Authors conlcluded that private sector can only contribute in the real development in Bangladesh, if it maintains country ownership and bring effective development result for poor and vulnerable populations. Please find the source for full article:


Rio+20: A voice from Dhaka, Bangladesh

By farjana - Posted on 15 June 2012

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud is an activist and researcher, and executive director and founder of Voice, Friday 15 June 2012 10.21 BST

To meet the development goals, a human rights-based approach, gender equality, decent work, and environment and ecological protection should be at the heart.

Since 1992, the global economy has become more accumulative and centralised, which goes against the principles of sustainable development goals. A series of crises such as climate, food, power, energy and financial emerged due to overexploitation of natural resources, overconsumption and the capitalist nature of the economy.

Most of the world's resources are in the hands of around 5% of the richest people. Thus, in the past two decades, marginalisation – the rich and poor divide – has increased. So, the development goals must assert social and economic equality, and environmental protection. The green economy cannot solve the problem until the current architecture is changed.

Bangladesh has made economic progress with constant GDP growth of 6% in the past few years, but the rich and poor divide has increased and climate change becomes an issue that makes life more vulnerable than before.

Asian Movements’ Statement on the Green Economy

By farjana - Posted on 01 June 2012

Fight for Our Future! No Price on Nature!

We are movements and organizations from Asia, waging struggles on various fronts and arenas to defend our rights, resist policies and projects that cause harm and destruction, and to fight for immediate priorities and demands, as well as profound transformation of our societies.

We envision a social and economic system:
• that is aimed at providing for the needs of people and aspirations for a humane, empowering and liberating life in a manner that respects the earth’s capacity to regenerate, and to sustain life based on the integrity of natural systems;
• that is based on and promotes equity, parity, solidarity and mutual respect among people and nations regardless of gender, race and ethnicity, culture, capabilities and class;
• that promotes sharing of land, water, forests, atmosphere, eco-systems and territories based on the principles of stewardship and not private ownership, and the rights of all people to equitable and responsible access to, and use of the commons;
• where there is equitable and democratic control of economic resources;
• where there is peace is based on justice and not the overcoming of conflict through the use of deception and military might;

VOICE @ South Asia Social Forum, Dhaka; November 18-22, 2011

By farjana - Posted on 14 November 2011

VOICE @ South Asia Social Forum, Dhaka; November 18-22, 2011

VOICE ( undertakes a number of programmes during South Asia Social Forum (SASF) to be held on 18-22 November, Dhaka, Bangladesh. These events will jointly be organized with different national and international networks including Aid Accountability Group, Bank Information Centre, Eurodad, NGO Forum on ADB, Privacy International etc, among others. Being one of the organizers in SASF, VOICE is calling global civil society actors, youths, women, human rights activists, political groups, organizations and concerned multi-stakeholders to join us aiming at building greater solidarity for new economic and social order. The details of the programmes (draft) attached herewith

Initiate district budget for rural development: Rights group

By farjana - Posted on 23 May 2011

Rights activists urged the government to initiate district budget in the national budget for the next financial year for the development of rural areas as well as achieving the Vision 2021 as envisaged.

They said that the present budget preparation as colonial top down process and there is no alternative to achieve Vision 2021without district budget.

They were speaking at a rally organised by 14 rights based civil society organisations led by EquityBD in front of the National Press Club on Saturday. The organisations include Arpon, Ahish, Online Knowledge Centre, EquityBD, Eso, SDO, MABS, Lead Trust, Prodip, BNNRC, Voice, Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Bangladesh Krihsok Federation and Sirak Bangladesh.

SM Saikat of Sirak Bangladesh said people have no participation in preparing the budget. Nor the people from district level have the means to monitor implementation of the budget. Absence of people’s participation in the process and implementation of the budget has given the rise of pervasive corruption.

Feroze Ahmed of Lead Trust said the top down process is basically responsible for growing trend of widening the gap of regional disparity.

Capacity and Efficiency of CSOs should be developed: Consultation in Mymensingh

By voice - Posted on 21 August 2010

Civil Society Engagement in Aid Effectiveness

Independent CSO Watch Group Should be Formed to Ensure Aid Effectiveness:
Capacity and Efficiency of CSOs should be developed

Mymensingh, Bangladesh, 21 August 2010

A day-long consultation on “Civil Society Engagement on Aid Effectiveness” was held at the District Council Auditorium in Mymensingh on 21st August 2010. Jointly organized by Aid Accountability Group (AAG) and The Reality of Aid Network, 70 participants along with the local government representatives, political leaders, social workers, women organizations, NGOs, human rights organizations, journalists and activists of greater Mymensingh region participated in the program. Upazilla Chairman of Mymensingh Sadar Mr. Faijur Raman Fakir was present as chief guest while Yazdani Quraeshi, President of Supro (Campaign for Good Governance-CGG) Mymensingh district presided over the meeting.

Privatization in power sector may lead to more public debts and poverty

By farjana - Posted on 06 July 2010

An opinion sharing meeting held at press club in the capital on Sunday organized by different network of rights group criticized government policy that have created space of investment for the private sector, foreign companies in power sector. They mentioned that in view of other Asian country experiences it may create more public debts and increase disparity in society. The meeting was jointly organized by Action Aid, EquityBD, Jubilee South, SUPRO, MFTD, Unnayan Onneshan and VOICE.

Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South narrated her experience from Philippines, and Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD gave analysis on Bangladesh situation in this regard. The meeting was moderated by Rashed Al Titumir of Unnayan Onneshan, while Md. Shamsuddoha of EquityBD, Faruque Ahmed from MFTD and Farjana Akther of VOICE spoke on the occasion.

Call for Observation: May 4, 2010, Asian Day of Action Against Privatization of Essential Services

By farjana - Posted on 04 May 2010


[Dhaka, May 3, 2010] VOICE, rights-based research and advocacy organization based in Dhaka called for solidarity to observe the Asian Day of Action against Privatization of Essential Services. The Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and the Campaign Network on the Right to Essential Services and Natural Resources (RTRS) declared May 4 as the Asian Day of Action Against Privatization of Essential Services while VOICE being its members called for strengthening civil society voices against blanket privatization of essential services including heath and education. The day of action coincides with the 43rd Annual Governors Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Taskent, Uzbekistan. The observation of the day aims at standing against the ADB’s role in privatizing water, power, and other essential services in the region.

Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE urges all sects of society to resist and oppose the imposition and financing of privatization of water and power and other essential services. He said that due to privatization process in Bangladesh, people have already been affected and the poor became the worst sufferers. He further added to stop financing private sector monopolization of
water, power, health and education sectors in Bangladesh.