international library for a responsable world of solidarity ritimo

Le portail rinoceros d’informations sur les initiatives citoyennes pour la construction d’un autre monde a été intégré au nouveau site Ritimo pour une recherche simplifiée et élargie.

Ce site ( constitue une archive des articles publiés avant 2008 qui n'ont pas été transférés.

Le projet rinoceros n’a pas disparu, il continue de vivre pour valoriser les points de vue des acteurs associatifs dans le monde dans le site Ritimo.

Reclaim the UN from corporate capture

We are very concerned about the growing influence of big corporations and business lobby groups within the UN, through government delegations, and in multilateral negotiations. As governments gather again in Rio this month, we believe it is time to reclaim the UN from corporate capture, and restore it as a peoples’ space!

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as the Rio Earth Summit. For 20 years governments have tried to agree on ways to save our planet - and ultimately our lives. As we are facing multiple global crises today, people around the world can no longer remain silent about the false solutions offered and the environmental injustices that remain unresolved – 20 years is enough!

The UN is the only forum we have to address global problems, in which all of the world’s 192 countries have an equal voice. However more and more we see that UN policies do not necessarily serve the public interest but instead promote the interests of corporations.

We are very concerned about the growing influence of big corporations and business lobby groups within the UN, through government delegations, and in multilateral negotiations.

As governments gather again in Rio this month, we believe it is time to reclaim the UN from corporate capture, and restore it as a peoples’ space!

Join our campaign. Send a letter to the UN Secretary General to stop the business lobby and reclaim the UN.

More information on Firends of The Earth

Occupy the Earth Summit Rio+20

initiative Rio+20 Portal

Who’s planet is it? It’s our planet!

In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine - The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law.

We Occupy Wall Street and thousands of other locations around the World, we are swarming, live streaming and communicating globally and in cyberspace, and we are in the hearts and futures of the 99% of the population that we represent. We are the people; business people, workers, farmers, the unemployeed, the homeless, the hungry, we are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, we are everyone and everywhere. We are here in the tradition of Martin Luther King’s 1976 Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. where thousands of poor people of all races set up a shantytown known as Resurrection City.

Why direct non-violent action? Why are we Occupying? It’s pretty simple. It works! It’s worked for millions of people. Non-violent direct action is what made the civil rights movement and Indian independence from the British possible. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” The spirit of the Martin Luther King Jr. Poor People’s Campaign has evolved into an All People’s Campaign. To protect the future of our planet and of our children and for generations to come we must act now to take back the power of the people and not allow the interests of global greed to remain in power. Our objective in this dialog is to initiate an open and true discussion about how things really are. The key issues facing the world have been obscured by main stream political dialog and corporate controlled media.

More information on the mobilizations here

No Fiscal Treaty

We need a different approach to tackle the crisis, and a different Europe

Spring 2012. Merkel and Sarkozy rush from summit meeting to summit meeting, in order to save the euro. The yellow press smears the people of Greece. The struggle over a solution to the crisis is intensifying dramatically: by early 2013, an authoritarian-neoliberal alliance of business lobby groups, the financial industry, the EU Commission, the German government, and other exporting countries, hopes to rush the ‛Fiscal Treaty that has just been concluded in Brussels through the national parliaments. The Fiscal Treaty prescribes an antisocial policy of cuts, and includes penalties for countries that oppose this policy. Thus the Fiscal Treaty restricts democratic self-determination even further. It is the momentary climax of an authoritarian trend in Europe.

We are fed up with these unsocial and antidemocratic policies, and with the racist slander campaign against the people of Greece. Instead, we should talk about the inhuman consequences of these policies. We should talk about Europe’s authoritarian turn, and low German wages as a cause of the crisis. We should talk about the untouched fortunes of the few, and the sufferings of the many. We should talk about our admiration for the resistance and solidarity among the Greek people. Let us demand what should go without saying: real democracy and a good life in dignity for everybody – in Europe and elsewhere.

Read and sign the call here

"Stop Paraquat": call to end the production and ban the use of the highly toxic and harmful herbicide

The campaign “Stop Paraquat”, conducted by non-governmental organisations, trade unions, and scientists around the world, calls to end the production and ban the use of the highly toxic and harmful herbicide.

The critics’ main target is the agri-concern and leading distributor of paraquat, Syngenta. The company markets the herbicide in over 100 countries, usually under the brand name ‘Gramoxone’. Paraquat is regularly used on banana, coffee, palm oil, rubber, fruit, or pineapple plantations. Growers large and small use it copiously on their maize and rice fields. Many workers and farmers exposed to paraquat on a regular basis have serious health problems, and deaths caused by the high toxicity of the herbicide, which has no antidote, are not infrequent.

This website contains important information concerning the campaign (links on the right side), as well as many facts about the use of paraquat and various studies on the health problems associated with it (links on the left side).

Read more on the Berne Declaration

Let us all sign the Petition against evictions and for the right to housing!

The “Zero Evictions” campaign, which was inspired by World Assembly of Inhabitants, has been launched in Yaoundé by Réseau National des Habitants du Cameroun (RNHC) under the slogan, “Say no to evictions without rehousing!”

Everyone is invited to spread the word and support the campaign by signing the petition online!

Members of the local Promotions Committee for the Zero Evictions Campaign, traditional and religious authorities, and organizers of the Urban Network for Inhabitants of the 7 districts of Yaoundé took part in the campaign launch, which was covered by a number of radio and television stations, as well as local newspapers.

The agenda’s primary focus was on the petition, which serves as key document to the memorandum that will be presented to the government of the Republic of Cameroon- a memorandum which is testament to the determination of Cameroon inhabitants to put an end to all mass evictions where no adequate measures for rehousing are provided.

Read more and sign the petition on the International Alliance of Inhabitants

[Wanted: the Worst Corportations of the Year]

Call for Nominations for the «2012 Public Eye Awards»

Dear colleagues

The Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland are once again searching far and wide for corporations that pursue profits without regard for social and/or environmental harm. To succeed, we need your support and the critical eye of civil society!

Whether inhumane working conditions, reckless environmental sins, deliberate disinformation, or the disregard for human rights by corporations: In the run-up to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in late January 2012 in Davos, Switzerland, the worst corporate sins will appear on the 2012 Public Eye Awards short list. We thereby place corporate offenses in the international spotlight and help NGO campaigns succeed. A number of firms have already felt the considerable pressure from the unwelcome exposure in the media and the social Web! Over 50,000 people worldwide took part in the online voting for the People’s Award last year.

We are looking for corporations that have caused social and/or environmental damage in a well-documented case. Two awards will be given:

GLOBAL AWARD (selected by an internal expert panel) PEOPLE’S AWARD (selected by online voting at

Two awards, two opportunities: Tell us who you nominate and why the company deserves one or even both 2012 Public Eye Awards. The easiest way is to send us brief answers to the following questions, totaling no more than two A4 pages:

* What is the company? How big is it? Where are its headquarters? * Which of its activities do you find socially or environmentally irresponsible? * What concrete consequences do the firm’s activities have for humans and the environment? * What is the current status of things, or of your campaign? What are the next steps? * Where on the Internet can we find further information on the case you present?

It pays to participate: If the corporation nominated by your NGO wins, we will bring you to Davos in late January, where you will present your case at our international press conference.

Send nominations to Claudio De Boni, Public Eye Coordinator: DEADLINE: September 30, 2011.

Thank you for your participation and for telling your colleagues!

Good luck and best regards,

François Meienberg Michael Baumgartner The Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland

More information on Public Eye

EU: sanction Syrian oil now!

initiative Avaaz

For months, Syria’s brutal President Assad has paid henchmen to wage war on his own people. Governments across the world have condemned these atrocities, but key European leaders could cut off the cash flow that finances this bloodbath.

Germany, France and Italy are the three main importers of Syrian oil. If they move to impose immediate EU sanctions, Assad’s slaughter funds will dry up. Assad has ignored political appeals for him to rein in his assault, and EU leaders have discussed ramping up sanctions, but only a massive global outcry will push them to act urgently.

We have no time to lose — every day dozens of Syrians are shot, tortured or disappeared simply for calling for basic democratic rights. The EU can stop subsidising it now. Sign the petition to EU heads of state to immediately adopt oil sanctions on Syria.

Sign the petition on Avaaz

Stand with Aung San Suu Kyi

The future of Aung San Suu Kyi and her amazing movement for democracy in Burma is hanging in the balance this week, and we could make the difference.

Suu Kyi has bravely called on the military regime to free the thousands of monks and peaceful activists still held in horrific prisons, some in cramped dog cages. Unprecedentedly, thousands of Burmese have risked their own safety to join her call for freedom through an online petition! Yesterday, the regime issued an ominous warning to Suu Kyi – and the Generals may be deciding right now between dialogue or another brutal crackdown.

This could come down to us. Activists in Burma have appealed to the world for help, saying that pressure from the international community is crucial to preventing violence and freeing political prisoners. Let’s stand with Suu Kyi and the brave Burmese, sign on to their petition, and send it to the EU, India and other key governments who can press the regime.

Sign the petition on Avaaz

European fish week: fisheries must go "back to the future"

On 2 June 2011, OCEAN2012 will launch a photo and documentary exhibit at ZSL London Zoo Aquarium. The event is one of more than 100 being organized by the OCEAN2012 coalition to launch the second annual European Fish Week (June 4 – 12, 2011), which will engage citizens across Europe to call for an effective reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). These collective actions coincide with World Oceans Day on June 8 and the anticipated publication of the European Commission’s proposal for a reformed CFP in mid-July.

Most EU fish stocks are now overfished, many of them below safe biological limits. It was not always like this. In the recent past, stocks were healthier and fishing communities were wealthier, with more fish, boats, fishers and communities dependent on fisheries in Europe.

During this week of action, OCEAN2012 member groups are inviting EU citizens to witness the impact overfishing has had on the marine environment and learn how the EU’s CFP reform is an opportunity to go back to the future.

Read more on Nef

Support the Alternative World Water Forum : March 2012

The World Water Forum Marseille 2012, Istanbul 2009, Mexico 2006, Kyoto 2003, The Hague 2000, Marrakech 1997: Veolia… Suez… Saur… Public Private Partnerships… Price of Scarcity… Cost Recovery… Suez… Veolia… Big Dams… Desalination… Making the Users Pay… Bechtel… Veolia… Water is a Commodity…

Have you had enough of hearing the same arguments again and again ? Have you had enough of hearing the same voices, those of multinationals and the most powerful states again and again ?

Help us let other voices be heard ! Those of the peoples, those of public management, those of the right to water and democracy, those of the environmental movement, those of associations, those of women… Support FAME, the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille in 2012 !

Read more

Dakar Appeal against the land grab

We, farmers organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, unions and other social movements, gathered in Dakar for the World Social Forum 2011:

Considering that small and family farming, which represent most of the world’s farmers, are best placed to:

* meet their dietary needs and those of populations, ensuring food security and sovereignty of countries,

* provide employment to rural populations and maintain economic life in rural areas, key to a balanced territorial development,

* produce with respect to the environment and to the conservation of natural resources for future generations;

Considering that recent massive land grabs targeting tens of millions of acres for the benefit of private interests or third states - whether for reasons of food, energy, mining, environment, tourism, speculation or geopolitics - violate human rights by depriving local, indigenous, peasants, pastoralists and fisher communities of their livelihoods, by restricting their access to natural resources or by removing their freedom to produce as they wish, and exacerbate the inequalities of women in access and control of land;

Considering that investors and complicit governments threaten the right to food of rural populations, that they condemned them to suffer rampant unemployment and rural exodus, that they exacerbate poverty and conflicts and contribute to the loss ofagricultural knowledge and skills and cultural identities ;

Considering also that the land and the respect of human rights are firstly under the jurisdiction of national parliaments and governments, and they bear the greatest share of responsibility for these land grabs;

We call on parliaments and national governments to immediately cease all massive land grabs current or future and return the plundered land. We order the government to stop oppressing and criminalizing the movements of struggle for land and to releaseactivists detained. We demand that national governments implement an effective framework for the recognition and regulation of land rights for users through consultation with all stakeholders. This requires putting an end to corruption and cronyism, which invalidates any attempt of shared land management.

- We demand that governments, the Regional Unions of States, FAO and other national and international institutions immediately implement the commitments that were made at the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) of 2006, namely securing land rights of users, the revival of agrarian reform process based on a fair access to natural resources and rural development for the welfare of all. We ask that the elaboration process of the FAO Guidelines on Governance of Land and Natural Resources be strengthened, and that they are based on Human Rights as defined in the various charters and covenants - these rights being effective only if binding legal instruments are implemented at the national and international level to impose on the states compliance with their obligations. Moreover, each state has to be held responsible for the impact of its policies or activities of its companies in the countries targeted by the investments. Similarly, we must reaffirm the supremacy of Human Rights over international trade and finance regimes, which are sources of speculation on natural resources and agricultural goods.

- Meanwhile, we urge the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to definitively reject the World Bank principles for responsible agricultural investment (RAI), which are illegitimate and inadequate to address the phenomenon, and to include the commitments of the ICARRD as well as the conclusions of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) in its Global Framework for Action.

- We demand that states, regional organizations and international institutions guarantee people’s right to land and support family farming and agro-ecology. Appropriate agricultural policies should consider all different types of producers (indigenous peoples, pastoralists, artisanal fishermen, peasants, agrarian reform beneficiaries) and answer specifically to the needs of women and youth.

- Finally, we invite people and civil society organisations everywhere to support - by all human, media, legal, financial or popular means possible - all those who fight against land grabs and to put pressure on national governments and international institutions to fulfil their obligations towards the rights of people.

We all have a duty to resist and to support the people who are fighting for their dignity!

Read explanatory note and sign sign on on-line... The appeal will be open for the endorsement until 15 June 2011.

The Dakar Appeal, together with the names of organisations endorsing it, will be presented during the mobilizations against the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Paris on 22-23 June.

Call for the immediate suspension of debt repayment

Tunisia urgently needs to marshal all of its financial resources to meet immediate needs, including extreme poverty, benefits for the unemployed, improving workers’ material conditions, etc.

Meanwhile, we’re getting reports of foreign initiatives to develop an emergency “aid” package for Tunisia, including 17 million euros from the European Commission and 350,000 euros from the French state. The European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank are also preparing to lend Tunisia millions of euros.

We don’t need to add to our debt, because Tunisia already has sufficient financial resources to address the current social emergency, as proven by a statement on the part of Mustapha Nabli. The former senior executive of the World Bank, ex-finance minister under Ben Ali and, since January 15, 2011, governor of Tunisia’s Central Bank, has announced he intends to allocate 577 million euros from the country’s budget to service the 2010 external public debt!

We demand that the Ghannouchi government suspend this debt payment considering the exceptional situation in which our country finds itself and the enormous social needs. This demand is based on the legal argument related to the state of necessity, which allows states in financial difficulty to suspend debt payments unilaterally and give priority to the needs of the population. It is all the more necessary to suspend debt payments given that a significant portion of Tunisia’s external public debt is actually dictator Ben Ali’s private debt, a debt that did not benefit the Tunisian people. During the suspension of payments, an audit of Tunisia’s entire public debt (domestic and external) should be undertaken to determine what portion was illegitimate.

Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie is calling on all of the Committees for the Protection of the Revolution, as well as the political, social, labor and youth movements, to unite for the immediate suspension of debt repayment. This is all the more urgent because the Ghannouchi government plans to hand over a large portion of this payment – 410 million euros – by April 2011.

Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie proposes to form a collective that will decide on the collective actions to be taken to achieve this goal.

Suspending the payment of 577 million euros is preferable to entering into new loan agreements that will deepen Tunisia’s debt !

Suspending the payment of 577 million euros will not hurt Tunisia’s creditors; however, making the payment will worsen the already dire situation of the Tunisian people !

Tunis, February 22, 2011 Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie Fathi Chamkhi Phone +216.98.522.378 / +216.23.787.380 Email :

Translation: Karen Wirsig Correction: Elizabeth Bell


Peoples Climate Summit : Klimaforum09

Klimaforum09 is your climate summit, the global civil society counterpart of the official UN conference in the Bella Center.

With ten thousand daily visitors, participants from over 100 countries and a comprehensive programme of events, Klimaforum09 will be the biggest climate event in Copenhagen besides the official UN conference.

The programme features international guest speakers, over 150 open debates, 60 exhibitions, music, film and art.

Direct Action against Climate Change

As politicians meet for more climate talks in Barcelona, they continue to be fixated on measures like carbon trading that will only exacerbate the climate crisis. Fortunately the last year in the UK and worldwide has shown that direct action against carbon-intensive projects can deliver results. Read more

Sign to release Narmada activists, farmers and tribals

Ten thousand men and women displaced by Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar and other dams on the Narmada marched for their right to rehabilitation in alternate lands with the slogan "Give us land or give back our villages!"

The State of Madhya Pradesh, instead of providing alternate lands has brutally lathi-charged the displaced farmers and unlawfully arrested activists Alok Agrawal, Kailashbhai, Kalubhai and some other villagers. Sign Petition to release Narmada activists, farmers and tribals.

Read more about the rally.

Rights, not Guns for Zimbabwe

Dockworkers in South Africa have blocked a Chinese arms boat from reaching Zimbabwe... but the crackdown continues. As the ship moves up the Southern African coast looking for a new port—and China weighs whether to recall the weapons—African unions, citizen groups, and church organisations are launching a campaign to stop arms from fuelling the Zimbabwe crisis.

Avaaz is joining with them and a global coalition including Oxfam, Amnesty, and IANSA to build support throughout Africa and round the world. Stopping the arms is a concrete step leaders can take to help bring justice to Zimbabwe. Add your name below now—we hope to unveil the petition in Southern Africa before next week!

Put a stop to "blood diamonds"

« Blood diamonds » have been used by rebel groups to fuel brutal wars in Africa. These conflicts have resulted in over 4 million deaths and the displacement of millions of people in Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and now in Ivory Coast. These diamonds have been sold to international diamond dealers giving rebels profits to buy large quantities of small arms.

In 1998, the NGO Global Witness began a campaign to expose the role of diamonds in funding conflicts. As the largest grassroots human rights organization in the world, Amnesty International has been instrumental in educating the public about the problem, and pressing governments and industry to take action. Over the years, international pressure has increased from a large coalition of NGOs.

In 2003, the government-run Kimberley Process scheme was launched to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. Over seventy governments taking part in the process are required to certify that diamond shipments through their countries are conflict-free, and they are required to set up diamond control systems to ensure this is true. Governments must pass national laws implementing the Kimberley Process and they must only trade with other participants in the process.

The diamond industry agreed to police itself to support the Kimberley Process by tracking diamonds from mines all the way to retail stores - this is generally referred to as the « system of warranties » or the « system of self regulation ». But this isn’t fully implemented. Every company dealing in diamonds should have a policy in place to ensure their diamonds are conflict-free.

Amnesty International and Global Witness urge you to call for the governments to better enforce its diamond law and for all sectors of the diamond industry to develop a credible, independently-verified tracking system to make sure that conflict diamonds don’t enter diamond markets.

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