JSAPMDD Participates in 11th South Asia Social Forum
As part of its continuing effort to contribute to the global movement for change, JSAPMDD participated in the 11th South Asia Social Forum (2011 SASF) held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from November 18 to 22. Under the theme "Democracy for Social Transformation in South Asia: Participation, Equity, Justice and Peace", the alliance and its members organized and participated in several events tackling various issues and challenges that confront countries in the South Asian region.
On November 20, JSAPMDD together with EquityBD, SUPRO, VOICE, INSAF, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), and All Nepal Peasants Federation (ANPFa) organized a workshop to primarily facilitate the sharing of experiences on water and power privatization in South Asian countries. Speakers of the workshop – Sayed Aminul Hoque of EquityBD, Saeed Baloch of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, and Farooq Tariq of Rabita Committee – discussed the water and power crises in their respective countries after more than a decade of implementation of privatization programs imposed by international financial institutions. They criticized their governments' solutions to address the situation, which is to open up domestic markets and further increase the role of the private sector in managing water and energy resources.
The next day, November 21, JSAPMDD organized another workshop entitled "Tax Justice & Internal Resource Mobilization for Development: A South Asian Perspective". The activity, which was attended by around 30 people, discussed the situation of various countries in terms of revenue mobilization as well as the role of the international financial institutions. JSAPMDD's framework for tax and fiscal justice was also presented and issues for research and campaigning were identified based on this.
On the same day, more than a hundred participants attended a workshop on climate justice jointly organized by JSAPMDD and SUPRO. The workshop focused on the challenges in the struggle for drastic reductions of GHG emissions by Annex 1 countries and the pursuit for sustainable pathways that enable communities to deal with the impacts of climate change. The speakers included Maria Lourdes Tabios Nuera of JSAPMDD, Uma Chowdhury of SUPRO, Golam Rabbani of Bangladesh Center for Advance Studies, Saroj Dash of Concern Worldwide and Dr. Saiful Islam of IWFM-BUET.
JSAPMDD also participated in various other workshops where its leaders served as resource persons. In the workshop on VAT and pro-poor resource mobilization held on November 20, Lidy Nacpil spoke about guiding principles in addressing tax and fiscal issues.
Lidy was also one of the speakers in the seminar on tax governance and essential services where she emphasized that taxes are instruments for equity and redistributive justice. Also during this seminar, Dr. Keshab Kadka from ANPFa discussed the experience of Nepal in campaigning for tax justice. Meanwhile in a plenary session on privatization of public services and entitlements, Willy D' Costa provided an overview of the JSAPMDD's perspectives and platform on the right to essential services.
On the last day of the 2011 SASF, JSAPMDD together with its members – EquityBd, Supro, Krishok Peasant Federation, Jatiya Sramik Jote, Voice, Unnayan, Community Development Library, INSAF, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Rabita Committee and All Nepal Peasants Federation joined a march rally of around 500 demonstrators. The rally, which was part of the Week of Global Actions for Climate Justice, raised demands such as reparations for climate debt, deep and drastic cuts on GHG emissions by the US and other Annex 1 countries and for the World Bank not to have a role in climate finance.