ODA/Peace-building /UN reform
(source: "JVC Annual Report - 2008 report / 2009 plan", Mar 2010)
Last year, Japan had a series of international conferences and political events such as the African Develop-ment Conference (TICAD IV), the G8 Summit, and the inauguration of New JICA. There, everyone of us had good opportunities to think and act about global disparity, environment and peace. Taking advantage of such opportunities, JVC consolidated its operative relationship with other NGOs, both Japanese and international and various social movements. Especially, as the civil society in the southern countries became powerful, more progress of the local people in the south will be expected in the future. On the other hand, we the people in the north must think about our new responsibilities as we support them. JVC will seek a new relationship with the south and make efforts to conduct effective advocacy in this role and responsibility from our field sites.
Originally, the word advocacy meant "defense" or "assertion". Later, it came to mean the activities to solve social problems, through appeal to the government, the related organizations and the citizens to reform policies. There are various methods according to the object such as a direct dialogue with the government, a signature-collecting campaign and an educational campaign.
Summary of activities
1. Advocacy towards ODA reform
Japan spends nearly one trillion yen for ODA per year. Primarily ODA should be consistent with the needs of the people on the ground who are supposed to receive the benefit. But occasionally the people's needs are neglected due to exploitation based in the program which seek to benefit Japan or Japanese business interests. Many problems still continue to exist. JVC is working through the following three approaches, each of which is based on actual expe-riences and networking with other NGOs and NPOs. We are advocating to the government reforms to ODA which would optimize benefits to the people on the ground.
- Through participation and dialogue in gov-ernment committees and other regular
consultations we can give opinions as a voice of citizens.
- Through Citizen's forum and NGO network we enhance citizen's awareness towards ODA.
- Seeking to ensure people's participation in policy-making so that the accountability and transparency of ODA can be obtained.
2008 Annual Report
We participated on various occasions in regular consultations between NGOs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; committees for the establishment of environmental / social guidelines of new JICA, and we discussed how to enhance the quality of assistance. We also established the assembly of dialogue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the issue of Aid Effectiveness and provided occasions for civil society to participate in policy making. In September just before the inauguration of new JICA in October, we co-organized the "ODA Reform Public Forum" to look over Japan's ODA as a whole with the citizens of JAMC, Kansai' NGO councils, the Nagoya NGO Center. As panelists, we invited not only NGO members but also Government officials and popular singers so that we could discuss the matter of ODA from the widest viewpoint possible.
2009 Annual Plan
We plan to hold "ODA Reform Public Forum" in November as it was founded last year. Now the international society is confronting the severe prob-lems such as heat discussions on ODA Aid-effectiveness, climate change, struggle for resources and international financial crisis. We must evaluate ODA in the humanitarian and international viewpoint.Concerning each individual commitment within ODA we will strengthen monitoring how the people on the ground actually receive it.
2. Advocacy towards Peace Building
We plan to hold "ODA Reform Public Forum" in November as it was founded last year. Now the international society is confronting the severe prob-lems such as heat discussions on ODA Aid-effectiveness, climate change, struggle for resources and international financial crisis. We must evaluate ODA in the humanitarian and international viewpoint.
Concerning each individual commitment within ODA we will strengthen monitoring how the people on the ground actually receive it.
2008 Annual Report
For war prevention and peace building JVC thinks it necessary to re-shape the UN. From that viewpoint, JVC has held the "UN Reform Public Forum" in co-operation with several NGOs ever since 2005. In 2008, World-wide financial chaos caused serious global problems which oppressed the people of the developing countries even harder. In this crisis, we looked back at the discussion in the forum and read-justed ideas on the subject of UN Reform.
In July 2008, the G8 Summit was held in Lake Toyako, Hokkaido. We found that global problems became too complex and large-scaled to be underta-ken solely at the G8 Summit. In this respect, JVC participated in the group of "Human rights and Peace" at the NGO Forum of the G8 Summit and in cooperation with international NGO "Action aid". In addition we held workshops to evaluate and re-construct legitimacy of global governance from the viewpoint of human rights and peace.
2009 Annual Plan
UN Reform Public Forum
JVC will continue to take charge in problems concerning "development" and "peace building" and to promote civil participation in discussion of new international problems. JVC will focus on improving Aid effectiveness, improving financial and agricul-tural policy around the environment and development and the organizing peace building committee and protecting human security.
Middle East Public Forum
The "war on terrorism" that was born out of the 9.11 tragedy, is continuing to find itself in the chaotic societies of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The res-toration and peace building process is insufficient. It is necessary to keep questioning and reconsidering our roles and responsibilities as a duty-bearer of the industrialized countries that could not prevent the war. Our continuous efforts to secure a steady supply of medical assistance to the suffering hospitals may be regarded as a response of our duty. But we should show more clearly the duty of Japanese government as a member of the industrialized countries. This year JVC will continue to hold the "Middle East Public Forum" to keep dialogue with the people concerned and will provide study workshops and symposiums in order to share "the responsibility of the war" that we as a nation should shoulder.