Dr. Marco Tavanti, representing the World Engagement Institute (WEI) and its European counterpart, the Sustainable Capacity International Institute (SCII-ONLUS), critically reviewed of the values and challenges of fair trade as mechanism for indigenous rights and poverty alleviation in Latin America. The remarks were made during the International Roundtable on ‘Sustainable Economic Development, Fair Trade and the Law’ (Rome: February 20-21, 2013), organized by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministero degli Esteri). The event saw the participation of international trade and development experts from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the European Commission (EC), the World Bank, the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Fairtrade International (FLO) and Fairtrade Italia. Gen. Chuck Tucker, J.D., currently serving as Interim Director of Programming at IDLO, offered introductory remarks and international development legal insights in relation the initiative. The panel of international experts reviewed the challenges and opportunities for utilizing fair trade development initiatives for increasing food security and resources management in some of the most impoverished indigenous communities in Chimborazo, Ecuador. Delivering on the promise of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, IDLO has coordinated a legal empowerment development program in Ecuador establishing new partnerships to secure fair trade and more sustainable livelihoods. The follow up of this initiative is the publication of a Compendium of Innovative Legal Practices for Fair and Sustainable Trade. Read more on the initiative here.
The World Engagement Institute has launched The International Journal of Sustainable Human Security (IJSHS). This electronic annual publication collects special topic analyses in international human security practices linked to sustainable and systemic institutional capacity. The concept of sustainability and human security are integrated comprehensive frameworks developed for properly addressing complex and multifaceted problems. Sustainability in general, and sustainable development in particular, integrates institutional capacity development with economic, social and environmental factors. Human security provides a comprehensive notion for international practices promoting freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to live in dignity. In spite of various emerging efforts to bring the concept of human security in academia and international development community, there is still very little sharing of practical knowledge, applied research and critical analysis of cases that would instruct better practices for capacity development. Policy leaders, international development practitioners and engaged academics will benefit from contributing and learning from the selected articles and special topics of this journal. The journal aims at engaging the critical and analytical reflections of practitioners as well as applied research and policy analyses on issues and cases related to sustainable human security. The first issue of the journal (Summer 2013) will focus on anti-corruption in relation to international human security practices. Read more at http://www.weinstitute.org/journal.html
The World Engagement Institute, represented by Dr. Marco Tavanti and Ms. Liz Wilp, participated and presented at the World Bank Annual Conference entitled Law Justice and Development Week (December 10-14, 2012). The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) was a partner of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development and organized thematic working group sessions on the outcomes of Rio+20 entitled: Progress on Law for Sustainable Development. The conference was coordinated by the World Bank Group with events organized by the legal departments of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Highlighting the work of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto and ILD, this year’s forum explored how law and justice contribute to better development outcomes through opportunity, inclusion and equity. Dr. Tavanti proposed insights on social, legal and participatory rights for indigenous people in a presentation entitled Resources, Rights and Responsibilities: A social, indigenous and institutional integrated framework for community tenure rights. Based on his studies with Dr. Alfredo Sfeir Yunis integrating human rights with sustainable development, he suggested an indigenous human rights for sustainable development centered around the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) articulated in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 and reiterated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN-DRIPS). Ms. Wilp shared insights on indigenous Maya educational rights in a special session on Guatemala preparedness for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD+). She shared fundamental educational rights emerged in the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20) and reinforced by numerous documents and initiatives during the Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (UN-ESD). Read more about the conference here.
Eric Morse, World Engagement Fellow and Managing Editor at National Strategy Forum (NSF) contributed to the preparation of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO)'s report "Supporting the Peaceful Implementation of the New Constitution in Somalia. The project was financed by the Government of Italy. Chuck Tucker is currently assisting IDLO, an intergovernmental organization founded in 1983, to promote legal, regulatory and institutional reform to advance economic and social development in transitional and developing countries. IDLO has been assisting Somalia's Transitional Government in the Constitutional Reforms for the revitalization of the country. The adoption of the Provisional Constitution by the National Constitution Assembly on August 1, 2012 has marked a notable milestone. The report acknowledges the Constitution as a progressive document based on Islamic principles that contain key elements of the rule of law and lays out a vision of democratic governance.The report provides a framework for a regulatory system based on solid and democratic judicial and security systems. It recognizes that both a strong and independent judiciary, along with a feasible and accountable peace and security sector, are vital to the establishment of an effective and accountable democratic government. For more information visit the IDLO website at http://www.idlo.int
The World Engagement Institute is collaborating with the Somalia Strategy Forum and the National Strategy Forum in the preparation of a Conference bringing Somali women voices for good governance to a common table of dialogue. Somalia has a new democratically elected government. Surviving decades of conflict, this transitional federal government stands poised to implement their provisional constitution and begin drafting legislation to improve governance. The women of Somalia, both at home and abroad emerged from the shadows to this historic achievement overcoming the traditional role of exclusion from political decision-making relegated to them. Engaging Somali women helping them realize their dreams and giving them a platform for their voices to be heard provides a powerful tool to assist Somalia’s new government. In line with WEI's programming priorities for gender equality, the voices of women and civil society in diaspora will be an essential asset in the post-conflict and transitional justice of Somalia. Read more at:
On the eves of the historical Somalia presidential elections the Somalia Strategy Forum in collaboration with The House of Charity, two WEI partners, have shipped 4 containers of medical supplies and medical equipment to Somalia special Galmudug State. The House of Charity provided the medical supplies and medical equipment and Galmudug State diaspora residing in Chicago and Omaha paid the transportation costs for the shipping the containers to Somalia. Yusuf Maalin, Executive Director of the Somalia Strategy Forum and International Research Fellow for the WEInstitute stated: “This was only feasible with the endless support of the Somalia Strategy Forum and World Engagement Institute”. He added: "Somalia needs human resources - hence training for capacity development will be crucial in the upcoming years to make Somalia a country that sustain itself."
Peter Coolsen, member of the Board of Directors of the WEInstitute and of the National Association for Court Management, co-authored a publication emerged from the 4th National Symposium on Court Management. Summit papers and the emerged Ten Principles for Court Governance are essential insights for any court system that is concerned about effective management, good governance and open communication. Chief Justice Christine M. Durham and Dan Becker, State Court Administrator from Utah presented their paper on “A Case for Court Governance Principles” from the Utah perspective of a unified state court system with a constitutionally established judicial council. The dialogue was framed by a set of ten unifying principles required of effective court governance in any state, regardless of their organizational model. The unifying principles are: 1) a well-defined governance structure, 2) meaningful input in the decision making process from all court levels, 3) a system that speaks with a “single voice”, 4) selection of judicial leadership based on competency, 5) a commitment to transparency and accountability, 6) independent authority to allocate resources and spend appropriated funds, 7) a focus on policy, delegation to administrative staff and a commitment to evaluation, 8) open communication on decisions, 9) positive external relationships that foster trust among other branches and constituencies and 10) clearly established internal relationships throughout the state court system. Read more at http://www.ncsc.org/4thsymposium.
The World Engagement Institute, represented by Dr. Marco Tavanti, participated to the 5th Global University Summit in Chicago, Illinois, USA from April 29 to May 1, 2012. Held in parallel with the G8 Summit, the Global University Summit brings together leadership of major research universities and industry from across the world to deliberate upon critical issues facing higher education in the global challenges of society. The theme for 2012 is "Developing Talent to Drive Innovation in a Global Society." The Summit will be a unique opportunity to engage with presidents from more than 80 major, international research universities as well as senior industry leaders, to discuss critical collaborations affecting higher education globally in the 21st century. Higher education plays a critical role in defining the course of innovation in our societies. While technology and economic development have made it easier for unprecedented numbers of people to access education, we often grapple with educational quality issues and how to best harness our creative energies to create the necessary innovations to respond to the challenges of the 21st century. The 5th Global University Summit will provide a forum for exploration of these issues and for development of new partnerships among universities. In today's global knowledge society, truth, discovery, and understanding do not stop at the boundaries of an institutions or a country. The mission of the WEInstitute, in building partnerships and academia with international players complements the purpose of this summit. Higher education institutions can be transformational agents and catalyst for positive, inclusive and human rights based changes benefiting world societies. For more information on the purpose and expected outcomes of the summit see http://engagement.illinois.edu/globalsummit2012
The World Engagement Institute, in collaboration with the National Strategy Forum (NSF), and the Sustainable Capacity International Institute (SCIInstitute) has been supporting the Somalia Strategy Forum (SSF) in the preparation and coordination of the Chicago Conference for Somalia held on Saturday April 14, 2012 at Union League Club Chicago. This conference was timing with ongoing consultations for the constitutional reforms and the renewed engagement of the international community to this country devastated by more than 21 years of conflict. Indeed, Somalia is at a crossroads. The international community, headed by the Somali diaspora, has been at the forefront of developing a strategic agenda to build a prosperous and peaceful future for Somalia. The conference, attended by representatives of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), constitutional scholars and Somali experts drafted important suggestions for the good governance, peace-building, human security and sustainable social and economic development in the country. The Chicago Conference on Somalia was the first step toward a Somali-lead, long term capacity building and strategic plan for sustainable agricultural development, food security, rule of law, economic development, inclusive education, health care and governance capacity. The focus of the conference is on sustainable capacity development extending the conversations which began at the (February 2012) London Conference for Somalia. For more information see http://www.weinstitute.org/somalia-conference.html View some images and other reports here and get involved in the process through the SSF website at http://www.somaliastrategyforum.org/
The House of Charity (HOC), in collaboration with the Somalia Strategy Forum, two of WEI organizational partners, have facilitated a medical shipment initiative in Somalia. The beneficiaries of medical equipments and books are Somalia based university medical programs. In a country devastated by extreme poverty, major infections diseases and an ongoing conflict targeting medical graduates (see December 4, 2009 attack), supporting medical schools is a priority. Thanks to the coordination of The House of Charity, an experienced organization in international humanitarian relief, a 40 ft container was sent off to the United Nations support office in Mogadishu on March 28, 2012. The House of Charity, SSF and WEI recognize the importance of bringing healing and systemic solutions to impoverished and distressed population around the Globe. The shipment of Medical and Disaster Relief to Somalia's medical schools was coordinated by World Resources Aid under the Hospital Upgrading Program. Worldwide Resource Aid, an initiative of The House of Charity, is an extension service to the core mission of the 501(c)3 organization dedicated at providing high-quality life and education essentials and world-class medical and surgical care to improve the life and health of impoverished children and youth around the world. The Medical Missions Abroad Program of The House of Charity focuses on providing surgical and medical treatment to children and young adults in their home countries, training of local doctors and nurses, and supplying necessary medical equipment, furnishings and supplies to charitable hospitals. In extreme cases, if the treatment is not possible in the host country, The House of Charity brings the child to the United States for specialized medical care. All services and items provided by The House of Charity are absolutely free to the recipients. In the name of the Somali beneficiaries, the WEInstitute is particularly grateful to our associate Ms. Hashmat Effendi, Sitare e Imtiaz, Mr. Mohammad Adil “Mak” Khan-Qasmi for her leadership, support, collaboration and hard work that made this project possible.