The E-Newsletter of

Vol. 3, No. 5, May 2007
Luis T. Gutierrez, Editor

Newsletter Home Page


Violence is the main obstacle to human development. There is an intrinsic link between violence and religion, patriarchal gender violence being the most pervasive expression of religious violence. Mitigating violence therefore requires overcoming the patriarchal mindset, especially in religious institutions. The mission of this independent newsletter is to provide a digest on current research and emerging issues related to human solidarity, ecological sustainability, and both religious and secular non-violence. The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals are used as a point of reference.

Theme of this Issue:
Revisiting the U.N. MDGs, with focus on MGD5:
Improvement of Maternal Health


The focus of this issue is MGD5: IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH. There are four phases of maternal health care: before pregnancy, during pregnancy, childbirth, and after childbirth. If mothers cannot take care of their own health, it is unreasonable to expect that they will take care of their children's health and development.

An analysis of the requirements for maternal health improvement is presented, followed by a combined analysis of MDGs 1 to 8. Having covered MDGs 1 to 5, it is not hard to see the fundamental obstacle to all the MDGs: gender inequality and, inevitably, gender violence. But we shall revisit the combined analysis of MDGs 1 to 8 as we focus on 6, 7, and 8 in the following three issues.

Cartography makes it possible to visualize geographic distribution at all levels, up to and including the entire planet. The maps confirm that there is a significant correlation between extreme poverty, illiteracy, high fertility rates, and high child mortality rates. For each factor, the consistency between maps from different sources is remarkable. They consistently show that, whether for cultural or religious reasons (or, most probably, a combination of both) gender inequality is the common underlying reality in all the severely regressive areas. In brief:

  • Most poor women suffer both poverty and patriarchal abuse (MDG1)
  • The largest fraction of the poorly educated are girls and women (MDG2)
  • Fertility rates are higher in regions of virulent gender inequality (MDG3)
  • Child mortality rates are higher in regions where most of the poor are women, most of the illiterate are women, and most of these women experience sexual violence (MDG4)
  • Maternal health is poorest in regions where most of the poor are women, most of the illiterate are women, and most of these women experience sexual violence (MDG5)
  • Extreme poverty, lack of education, unprotected sex, and inadequate maternal health care are mutually reinforcing and strongly correlated with gender inequality (MDGs 1 to 5)

In addition to MDG analysis, this issue includes a selection of recent news, a review of Global Good as the selected website of the month, an annotated list of new information content and websites recently added or updated, a very brief update on our continuing attempt to manage knowledge and make it accessible, and an Easter meditation on prayer, study, and action.

There is also a reflection on the gift of life and the gift of love, short poems on the meaning of life and love, a list of announcements about conferences and other forthcoming events that may be of interest, an a list of links to archived newsletters. By the way, this is the 25th issue of this newsletter and it is, therefore, the second anniversary issue -- May 2005 to May 2007!

Editor's Note: The invited article this month is Global Governance Campaigning and MDGs, by Patrick Bond. This article is a bottom-up analysis of the MDGs from the perspective of a scholar-activist who is currently doing anti-poverty and human development work in Africa.



1. Digest of Recent News
2. Millennium Development Goals
3. Analysis of Maternal Health Care
4. Combined Analysis of MDGs 1 to 8
5. Review of the Global Good Website
6. New Resources on the Web
7. Knowledge Organization Update
8. Easter Prayer, Study, and Action
9. Links to Archived Newsletters


Reflection on the Gift of Life & the Gift of Love
In Memoriam
Person of the Month, Year, Decade
Forthcoming Events
Poems on the Meaning of Life & Love


Global Governance Campaigning and MDGs
by Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal,
Durban, South Africa

1. Digest of Recent News

Whether or not we are listening, the voice of God continues to resound in the events of history. The following is a sampling of recent news related to solidarity, sustainability, and non-violence, some specifically in the context of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Some of the titles have been edited for brevity.

Meet the Minimum Needs of All - Radh Achuthan, YouTube, 21 March 07
Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater - Martin LeFevre, S&O, 30 March 07
For the Common Good - Ronald Sider, Sojourners Magazine, April 07
       Comment: Excellent biblical perspective on the role of government.
Corporate Takeover of Science - M Klempner & C Siano, The Social Edge, April 07
Verdict could kill millions - Medecins Sans Frontieres, 2 April 07
New recipe to handle the Muslim World - Abdus Ghazali, Al-Jazeerah, 2 April 07
Fight Corruption & Safeguard Integrity - Themba Gadebe, BuaNews, 2 April 07
High Court Rebukes Bush on Emissions - Elizabeth Shogren, NPR, 3 April 07
What characterizes our Times? - Sam Carana, Humanities, Google, 3 April 07
How Giuliani Can Use Taxes .... - James Pethokoukis, USN&WR, 3 April 07
What President Hillary Clinton .... - James Pethokoukis, USN&WR, 4 April 07
Against Patriarchy Conference - Collin Sick, InfoShop News, 4 April 07
René Girard for Holy Week - Edward Oakes, First Things, 4 April 07
The Business of Global Poverty - Garry Emmons, Harvard, 4 April 07
No world peace if no peace among religions - Hans Kung, ENI, 4 April 07
        Comment: It is time to recognize religion as a force for good or evil.
We Must Imagine a Future Without Cars - James Kunstler, AlterNet, 4 April 07
What will it cost to attain the health MDGs? - A. Nordström et al, WHO, 4 April 07
Opportunities Offered By World Demographic Shift - WebWire, 6 April 07
Day of reckoning on abuse scandal - Timothy Lavin, The Tablet, 7 April 2007
MDGs to be achieved before 2015: Musharraf - The News, Pakistan, 7 April 07
The female face of divinity - Nicole Johnston, Mail & Guardian, 7 April 07
Underage marriages threaten maternal health - IRIN, Nepal, 8 April 07
Experts Weigh In On New Climate Change Report - ScienceDaily, 8 April 07
Jesus' cross contains life's deepest moral secret - Ron Rolheiser, WCR, 9 April 07
Selfish Interest - Sarah Anderson et al, IPS, 10 April 07
       Comment: This is another eye opener on corporate greed and power.
The Role of Women in Stabilization and Reconstruction - USIP, 10 April 07
Scholar talks equality - Zachary AbrahamsonYale Daily News, 10 April 07
Reform in public institutions - K. Anaroke, Vanguard, Nigeria, 12 April 07
Islam and Human Rights - Farhang Jahanpour, Oxford, TFF, 12 April 07
Cuban church magazine closing - W. Cancio, Miami Herald, 12 April 07
We Say No to a Medieval Kurdish Constitution - AINA, 13 April 07
Asia's Falling Fertility Rates - Thalif Deen, IPS, Asian Tribune, 14 April 07
Setting the Record Straight - Janice Crouse, Townhall, 14 April 07
UN PDC Urges Governments to Adjust Policies - WebWire, 14 April 07
Invasive Species Take To The Air - Oxford University & ScienceDaily, 15 April 07
La Iglesia de Fidel - A. Reynaldo, Nuevo Herald (Spanish), 15 April 07
       Comment: Another case of a Christian church dropping the ball.
Sudan agrees to UN peacekeepers - BBC News, 16 April 07
Controversial climate report paints dire future for poor - EurActiv, 16 April 07
Nuns come to blows over rights to convent - Ekklesia, 17 April 07
U.N. seeks help with Iraqi refugees - Eliane Engeler, Miami Herald, 17 April 07
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health - UNFPA, Tanzania, 17 April 07
Religion finds technology - Sheila Moorcroft, Shaping Tomorrow, 18 April 07
Third World Crops Get $37.5 Million Gene Storage Aid - ENN, 19 April 07
Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Environment Trends - 20 April 07
Woman bishop among nominees to head Canadian Anglican church - AP, 20 April 07
        Comment: This is a sign of hope! Let us pray for her and for her church!
The Oil Crisis Could Arrive Soon - R. A. Kerr, Science, AAAS, 20 April 07
        Question 1: Should gas at the pump be taxed so that the price is $100 per gallon?
        Question 2: If such taxing would be unfair, what rationing system would be best?
Human Rights & Globalization - Samir Naim-Ahmed, Counter Currents, 21 April 07
The MDGs: Broken promises - Jeffrey Sachs, Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, 22 April 07
Gender equality and the price of violence - Rayner Ngonji, IPP, 22 April 07
Human development indices vital - S. Malalasekera, Sri Lanka, 23 April 07
Human beings responsible for taking care of the earth - The News, PK, 24 April 07
Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) Meeting - PressZoom, 24 April 07
The End of Economic Growth - Adam Parsons, Global Research, 24 April 07
     Comment: The world needs a transition towards growth in solidarity
Cases of Forced Abortions Surface in China - Louisa Lim, NPR, 25 April 07
Taliban's use of boy in filmed beheading - D. Walsh, The Guardian, 25 April 07
Women still treated as male 'property' in Zimbabwe - Zimbabwean, 26 April 07
Call for sustainable development strategy - The Hindu, 26 April 07
Hunger is quiet violence: Amartya Sen - Rediff News, 26 April 07
Population and human development - The Tide, 26 April 07
Africa spends N512bn to import expatriates - Vanguard, 27 April 07
Child labor still common on W. Africa's cocoa farms - BBC News, 27 April 07
Saudi Arabia Claims Progress on Gender Equality - Benny Avni, NY Sun, 27 April 07
        Comment: "There are 3 kinds of lies: small lies, big lies, and statistics."
Understanding The Jihadi Mindset - Tariq Rahman, The Dawn, PK, 27 April 07
Vatican seminar on global warming gets heated - Carol Glatz, CNS, 27 April 07
Malaria prevention, NetsforLife focus - Episcopal Life, 29 April 07
The 'anti-woman' Pakistani woman - Rafia Zakaria, Daily News, 29 April 07
Confronting Calls for Change - Logan Cochrane, UNHCR, JHA, 30 April 07
Focus on religious difference widens the gap - T. Ahmed, Brisbane Times, 1 May 07
Open Access and the Progress of Science - Alma Swan, AmeSci, May-June 07
Comment: An excellent paper, by no means restricted to science. It applies to technology, natural resources, and all the ingredients required for sustainable development. Closed access leads to violence. Open access leads to solidarity, sustainability, and non-violence. Transparency. Visibility. Accountability. Openness. These are key words for the future of humanity.

2. Millennium Development Goals

"It’s incredible how long science has succeeded in keeping men’s minds off their fundamental unhappiness and its own very limited power to remedy their fundamental unhappiness. One marvel follows another — electric light, phonograph, motor car, telephone, radio, airplane, television. It’s a curious list, and very pathetic. The soul of man is crying for hope of purpose or meaning; and the scientist says, “Here is a telephone” or “Look, television!” — exactly as one tries to distract a baby crying for its mother by offering it sugar-sticks and making funny faces." Frank Sheed (Australia, 1897-1981)

In the January to April monthly issues we have analyzed in some detail MDGs 1 to 4, and the wisdom of Sheed's perspective is becoming apparent. Technological fixes may offer transitory help, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient to build a better future for our children and grandchildren. The U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come much closer to the kind of undertaking that is needed. Until someone comes up with a better plan, anyone who is honestly concerned about the well-being of humanity (which includes the integrity of the human habitat) should endeavor to understand the MDGs and should consider doing something to support the MDGs. There are eight MDGs:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (focus of the January 2007 issue)
2. Achieve universal primary education (focus of the February 2007 issue)
3. Promote gender equality and empower women (focus of the March 2007 issue)
4. Reduce child mortality (focus of the April 2007 issue)
5. Improve maternal health (focus of this issue)
6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

The following chart attempts to provide a synopsis of the 8 MDGs. In this issue, our focus is shifting from MDG4 to MDG5.

U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Millennium Development Goals:


The numbered circles stand for
the MDGs, 1 to 8
V stands for violence.
MDG5 is to improve maternal health.

Definitions and Resources:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Interested in more information?
Visit the following resources:

U.N. MDGs Home Page
Core MDG Documents
MDG Indicators
MDG Atlas
MDG Dashboard
MDG Slideshows
MDG 2006 Report
GEO 2007 Report
HDR 2006 Report
Children and the MDGs
Youth and the MDGs
Health and the MDGs
Other MDG-Related Sites

Clearly, violence avoidance and mitigation is crucial for any of the MDGs to be attained. This is especially true for gender violence; thus the centrality of MDG3, already analyzed in the March 2007 issue. The April 2007 issue was an analysis of how gender inequality induces high mortality rates in young children. It was shown how gender inequality (and the inevitable gender violence) leads to so many children dying before they reach the age of 5. The causal link is that gender inequality leads to many mothers who cannot take good care of their children because they cannot take good care of themselves. In almost every case, the mother cannot be blamed, because the mother is a victim of the patriarchal system. The next section of this issue is an analysis of the victimization of mothers who lack the essentials of maternal health care before, during, and after pregnancy.

It must be recognized that the U.N.'s MDG model is not beyond criticism. In fact, this month's invited paper by Patrick Bond identifies some of the concerns that must be resolved as soon as possible. Such criticism is useful to take corrective actions as the MDG projects unfold, but does not invalidate the MDGs as a working model for the journey. In fact, the U.N. sponsorship, and the collaborative support (at least in principle) of 191 nations, makes the MDGs the best initiative to support at the moment. Needless to say, neither the MDGs nor any other global initiative will work as long as there are so many broken promises. There has been a lot of "talking the talk" and very little of "walking the walk." The outlook going forward is grim as long as people and institutions in Europe and North America (including the influential religious institutions) are unwilling to overcome the triple addiction to extravagant consumption, controlling power, and worldly prestige.

3. Analysis of Maternal Health Care

Child well-being (MDG4) and maternal health care (MDG5) are like two sides of the same coin, so it is not surprising that the global geographies for children and maternal mortality risks are basically the same. This is clearly shown in maps such as WHO's World's Forgotten Children and Population Action's Reproductive Risk Map. Another excellent resource is maternal and newborn health care, Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), World Health Organization (WHO), 2007. See The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health - Invest, Deliver, Advance, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, 17-20 April 2007, for a recent meeting in which the mutuality of MDG4 and MDG5 were recognized at the level of political accountability.

Mercifully gone are the days when women could become pregnant during each sexual act. There are now technical means for artificial birth control that enable people to make a decision in conscience about how many children a couple wants to have. But the technology is merely a palliative; birth control decisions should not be reduced to the systematic use of birth control devices to enjoy sexual pleasure and avoid having children. The emotional and spiritual health of the couple requires a balance between sharing the gift of love and sharing the gift of life. In this regard, it is instructive to consider Mahatma Ghandi's views about sex, marriage, and birth control, such as:

  • He was concerned that "men and women would become 'mental and moral wrecks' if they embraced contraception."
  • He was concerned about "contraception in part because it was 'an insult to womanhood' and 'inconsistent with [her] dignity.'"
  • He "believed that refusing to be a slave to all one’s sexual temptations was a part of glorifying God."
  • He agreed that "there are hard cases. Else birth control enthusiasts would have no case."

There are four phases of maternal health care: before pregnancy, during pregnancy, childbirth, and after childbirth. There are published best practices for each phase:

The preceding list of resources apply to a "traditional" married couple. Maternal health care in cases of rape, genital mutilation, and other cases of sexual misbehavior are beyond the scope of this presentation. Likewise, it is not possible to cover here medical complications such as HIV+ mothers, congenital syphilis, etc. There are a number of excellent WHO publications that cover practically every case. Needless to say, the absolute best practice is for both men and women to use their sexuality according to God's divine plan in granting the double gift of love and life. This plan is wonderfully simple (not easy, but simple): responsible nuptial love and responsible care of children.

After a child is born, both parents are responsible for nurturing and teaching him/her the way to develop their full human potential and become everything God wants them to be. A number of resources were listed in connection with the analysis of MDG4, and will not be repeated here. Careful study of The State of the World's Children 2007, UNICEF, 2007, is a must for anyone concerned with children and human development.

4. Combined Analysis of MDGs 1 to 8

Now we have analyzed the nature and current trends pertaining to MDGs 1 to 5. The evidence increasingly make clear that MDG3 (promotion of gender equality) is the pivotal gateway to making progress toward all the MDGs. The good news is that, as this consensus becomes widespread, it will facilitate the transition from patriarchy to solidarity. The bad news is that gender equality is hard to measure and regressions to machismo are easy to disguise. This makes it imperative to analyze the MDGs as a group, in order to see where the most measurable advances and regressions occur, and then make a determination as to their linkage to gender equality.

There are now several databases that make possible cross-MDG analysis. One of them is the set of databases and analyses by the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21):

Eradicate Poverty: Progress toward MDG1
Universal Education: Progress toward MDG2
Gender Equality: Progress toward MDG3
Child Mortality: Progress toward MDG4
Maternal Health: Progress toward MDG5
Universal Health: Progress toward MDG6
Environment: Progress toward MDG7
Global Partnership: Progress toward MDG8

Another is the set of databases and analyses available at the World Bank Portal on MDGs:

MDG1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty
MDG2: Universal Primary Education
MDG3: Promote Gender Equality
MDG4: Reduce Child Mortality
MDG5: Improve Maternal Health
MDG6: Combat HIV & Other Diseases
MDG7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
MDG8: Build Global Partnership

There is, of course, the U.N. MDG database. The entire database can be downloaded as a CSV file. Using the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) data, let's take a look at some MDG indicator trends:

Figure 1 - Trends for Selected MDG Indicators, 1990-2015
Source: Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21).
Note: the regional color codes and MDG indicators plotted are as follows:
SA - South Asia
SSA - Sub-Saharan Africa
EAP - East Asia and Pacific
MENA - Middle East and North Africa
ECA - Europe and Central Asia
LAC - Latin America and the Caribbean
MDG1 - Percentage of people living on < $1/day
MDG2 - Net primary enrolment rate (%)
MDG3 - Ratio of girls to boys enrolled in school (%)
MDG4 - Under 5 mortality rates (deaths/1000 live births)
MDG5 - Percentage of births attended by skilled personnel
MDG6 - Married women using contraception (%)
MDG7 - Percentage of forest area that remains
MDG8 - Countries with democratic governments (%)

Careful scrutiny of the MDG indicator trends reveals very slow progress during the 1990s, when the world economy was expanding. Notice that many of the indicator trends peak at the year 2000, when many economic and financial bubbles burst. From that point on, things again move slowly or actually stagnate. In many cases, it would take a significant slope increase for the trend to approach the 2015 target. This should not be a source of discouragement. On the other hand, it is clear that all the participating nations have their work cut out for them. Since MDG3 is increasingly being recognized as the most crucial of the MDGs, it may become the scapegoat if the MDGs are not attained: "old habits die hard, men need more time to adjust .... women with a patriarchal mindset need more time to adjust .... patriarchal gods need more time to die .... secular and religious patriarchs need more time to let go of wealth, power, and honor."

It is useful to consider these MDG trends in the total global context in which they are happening. This can be done in many ways. The best practice is to use independent data sources. Even though there might be minor discrepancies, we are looking for the dominant trends, which are usually insensitive to noise in the data. Let us compare MDG trends to economic freedom trends throughout the world. The Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) Index is rather comprehensive in the factors included. There is an interactive map of the EFW in the website of the CATO Institute. There are also free downloads of data for 123 countries. For each country, the EWF has a value from zero to one, zero absolute lack of freedom and one being absolute freedom in making economic decisions. The following graph shows a few examples for approximately 0.1 increments between the 2004 lowest (Zimbabwe, 0.3) and the 2004 highest (Hong Kong, .87). All the examples were selected from among the countries for which the time series data is complete from 1970 to 2004.

Figure 2 - EFW Index Trends for Selected Countries, 1970-2004
Source: Cato Institute and Fraser Institute, 2006Dataset.xls.
Note: The Index and Footnotes tabs of this xls file provide the list of factors,
data sources, and calculation assumptions for the EFW index.
The two-letter country codes are the standard ones (ISO-3166).

It is not hard to notice the congruence between economic freedom and progress toward the MDG goals. The USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and most European countries keep getting richer, though not necessarily happier (the truth that makes us free; money makes us miserable). The developed countries also keep getting resources from the poor and sending them back in the form of pollution. Africa is a terrible calamity, perhaps the worst in human history. Russia is struggling. Latin America is just tagging along. Asia is the great question mark, but China and India are waking up. The sun will keep rising from the East. May it bring new light to the West, and may economic freedom lead us to freedom from violence and freedom to nurture human solidarity and take good care of the human habitat. Gender solidarity (freedom from patriarchy) is the one and only way to start the transition.

5. Review of the Global Good Website

The Global Good website was launched April 20th in anticipation of the April 22nd Earth Day observance. As stated in the press release, it is a portal to the Episcopal Church's commitment "to carry out peace and justice ministries framed by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)." The entire press release is worth reading:

Press Release for the Global Good Website
Episcopal Life Online
April 20, 2007

New web site '' launched to emphasize MDGs, environment

[Episcopal News Service] Emphasizing the top mission priority set by the General Convention in 2006 -- to carry out peace and justice ministries framed by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- the Episcopal Church's Office of Communication announces the launch of '' preceding the observance of Earth Day April 22.

Launched on April 20, "should be viewed as a portal," said Daphne Mack, a communication specialist in the Episcopal Church's Office of Communication and site editor of '' "Visitors to the site will learn about the MDGs, find out what kind of work the Episcopal Church and other organizations are doing to address the urgency of the goals and the environment, and more importantly how they can get involved and make a difference."

Adopted by the United Nations in 2000, the MDGs seek to reduce global poverty by half by the year 2015. The eight goals include eradication of hunger and preventable illness, and achievement of environmental sustainability.

"Advocacy for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals represents one way the Episcopal Church is carrying out its mission of 'restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ,'" said Alex Baumgarten, international policy analyst in the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations. "For this advocacy to be successful, it needs to come from Episcopalians across America, and the new Global Good web site represents one exciting new way of engaging those voices." has been designed to provide a clear message coupled with ease of navigation. The links to organizations and current events have been categorized for general audiences and youth, as well as emphasizing environmental initiatives and opportunities for action.

"The new site is offered to support Episcopalians in helping to achieve the MDGs," said Canon Robert Williams, the Episcopal Church's director of communication. "Our hope is to widen collaboration locally, regionally, churchwide and internationally around the vision set by the Presiding Bishop and the General Convention, which the Office of Government Relations is helping Episcopalians carry out in partnership with Episcopal Relief and Development and other groups."

Contributions of stories, resources, and photographs are welcome from across the church, to this ever-evolving site and may be sent to Daphne Mack.

The website is delightfully simple and yet rich in content. The home page has links to the U.N. MDGs website, the Episcopal Relief and Development programs (with a report of a current project in Zambia), the groups and organizations that should get involved ( MDGs & You, MDGs & Youth, Church & The Environment), the Episcopalian ONE campaign to overcome poverty worldwide, and an article supportive of the MDGs by the Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori. There is also a video presentation by a church consultant for environmental ministries. This page dispels any possible misconception that Christians in the First World can live in splendid isolation from those who endure poverty, either at home or in the Third World.

The MDGs & You states: "If you thought one person could not make a difference, think again. Numerous organizations are educating and providing volunteer opportunities for involvement." This is followed by a selected list of initiatives and organizations currently involved in eradicating poverty. There is no need for great personal wealth, or academic credentials, or technical skills. These are groups and organizations that anyone can join. Anyone should have, and can have, a piece of the action in pursuing the MDGs.

Age is not a factor either: "Age is not a factor when you are trying to change the world. A number of organizations are educating and providing opportunities for youth to act on behalf of the MDGs." This is the introductory statement of the MDGs & Youth page. It is essential for children and young people who live in the "poverty of affluence" to experience first-hand the "poverty of misery." Experience confirms that those who are exposed to human suffering early in life will participate in alleviating the suffering at some point in adulthood.

"Christians continue to take the lead on caring for the environment and addressing the needs identified by the MDGs. These organizations work to educate and create opportunities for action." This is the introduction to the Church & The Environment page. A number of MDG-related or similar projects by several Christian churches are then identified. Peace and justice ministries are intrinsic to the missionary mandate of all Christian churches. Concrete examples are given in the Events & Stories page, which includes announcements about upcoming MDG-related activities.

May this website serve as a reminder to all Christians, and all Christian churches, that authentic Christian worship can never be divorced from service to humanity, locally and globally, and especially to those who are most vulnerable. This service ad gentes must go hand in hand with good stewardship of the human habitat (Genesis 2:15).

6. New Resources on the Web


CLIMATE CHANGE 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, WMO/UNEP, 2007. The Summary for Policy Makers, 23 pages, dated 6 April 2007, is already available for downloading. Background: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It is currently finalizing its Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007". The reports by the three Working Groups provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change. The Synthesis Report integrates the information around six topic areas." Release of the final report is planned in early May 2007.

ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN EASTERN CONGO, WFR, Winter 2007. Summary: " In response to horrific reports of rampant sexual violence from the international NGO community and Congolese women themselves, Women for Women International launched a multi-tiered programme of direct aid and emotional support, rights awareness and leadership education, vocational skills training and income-generation support in the DRC in May 2004 to provide services to the socially excluded Congolese women who endured, witnessed and survived these atrocities."

FEMINICIDE, THE KILLING OF WOMEN AND GIRLS, CitizenShift, 2007. From the website: "Feminicide is the systematic and deliberate killing of women and girls and it's happening worldwide. It's the murder of women in Mexico, Guatemala and Canada. It's the practice of female infanticide and sex selective abortion in parts of Asia. It's dowry killing and bride burning in regions of Africa and the Middle East; and too often, it's the end result of domestic violence that occurs behind the closed doors of every neighborhood in every city in every country in the world. Filmmakers Alex Flores and Lorena Vassolo take us to the disturbing situation in Ciudad Juarez, where women and girls are being kidnapped, raped and murdered with what appears to be total impunity from the law."

2007 WORLDWIDE QUALITY OF LIVING SURVEY, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, April 2007. From the website: "The 2007 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting has found that four of the world’s five top-scoring cities for health and sanitation are in North America. Calgary ranks top with a score of 131.7, followed by Honolulu, which scores 130.3. Helsinki – the only European city in the top five – follows closely in the rankings with a score of 128.5. Ottawa and Minneapolis take fourth and fifth places with scores of 127.2 and 125.7 respectively. Scores are based on the quality and availability of hospital and medical supplies and levels of air pollution and infectious diseases. The efficiency of waste removal and sewage systems, water potability and the presence of harmful animals and insects are also taken into account."

GOVERNANCE FOR THE FUTURE: DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, UNDP, 2006, 372 pages. From the foreword: "Governance for the Future: Democracy and Development in the LDCs is the first United Nations Report to focus specifically on the challenges of governance faced by the 50 poorest nations in the world, collectively known as Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Jointly prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), this publication emphasizes that to achieve sustainable development, LDCs must build transparent, accountable and effective democratic governance systems. Building a strong relationship between the state and its citizens is key to successful development and to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015."

GENOCIDE IN DARFUR, USHMM, April 2007. From the website: "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has joined with Google in an unprecedented online mapping initiative. Crisis in Darfur enables more than 200 million Google Earth users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur, Sudan. The Museum has assembled content -- photographs, data, and eyewitness testimony from a number of sources that are brought together for the first time in Google Earth." Downloading and installing Google Earth is required before the Crisis in Darfur presentation can be viewed.

WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2007, IMF, April 2007. From the website: "The World Economic Outlook (WEO) presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects. It is usually prepared twice a year, as documentation for meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, and forms the main instrument of the IMF's global surveillance activities." Both the full text of the report and the supporting database are available for downloading.

GLOBAL MONITORING REPORT 2007 (GMR2007), World Bank, 13 April 2007. From the website: "The 2007 Global Monitoring Report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) assesses the contributions of developing countries, developed countries, and international financial institutions toward meeting universally agreed development commitments. Fourth in a series of annual reports leading up to 2015, this year's report reviews key developments of the past year, emerging priorities, and an assessment of performance drawing on numerous indicators. Subtitled "Confronting the Challenges of Gender Equality and Fragile States", the report highlights two key thematic areas —gender equality and empowerment of women (the third MDG) and the special problems of fragile states, where extreme poverty is increasingly concentrated." The entire report can be downloaded, as well as a 20 page overview. Make sure you browse the Online Atlas of the Millennium Development Goals.

REPORT ON THE SEXUALIZATION OF GIRLS, APA, 2007. This is a very important report, as it shows the harmful effects of the sexualized images of girls. These include eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. The APA website provides an Executive Summary (HTML), an Executive Summary (PDF), and the complete Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (PDF). There are separate web pages about What Parents Can Do, and a directory of media literacy resources for Empowering Girls. This is the bottom line for parents: "Parents can teach girls to value themselves for who they are, rather than how they look. Parents can teach boys to value girls as friends, sisters, and girlfriends, rather than as sexual objects."

OPEN EDUCATIONAL (OER) MOVEMENT, Report to The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Daniel E. Atkins et. al., OERderves, February 2007, 80 pages. See also the new OERderves website, from which the report can be downloaded in either PDF or DOC format. "Central to the report is the idea of 'The Brewing Perfect Storm' and the creation of an Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure." This is another educational horizon that ICT is making visible in conjunction with the process of globalization.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT BEST PRACTICES GUIDE, United States Conference of Mayors, January 2007, 82 pages. From the letter of transmittal: "The past few years have clearly illustrated America’s vulnerability to an uncertain energy future. Similarly, the emerging threat of global climate change, due largely to widespread fossil fuel use, has made it clear that business as usual, as far as energy use is concerned, is not sustainable. To remain competitive as the global economy expands and puts greater strain on traditional fuel supplies, the United States, in our view, must develop a comprehensive strategy of fuel diversity, and a combination of conservation, alternative forms of energy and modern energy technologies. Furthermore, rising energy costs and the threat of widespread blackouts here, and the unpredictability of energy supplies from abroad require leadership at all levels in attaining energy independence, security, and reliability." What about leadership in moderating consumption?

IDB SUSTAINABILITY REVIEW 2006, IDB, 23 April 2007. From the announcement: "The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) released its second Sustainability Review in April 2007. The review tracks the Bank’s progress in promoting social and environmental sustainability in IDB-financed projects in its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.... The IDB is the primary source of multilateral development financing in Latin America and the Caribbean, fostering sustainable economic and social development and reducing poverty in the region through its lending operations, leadership in regional initiatives, research, knowledge dissemination activities, institutes, and programs." The report is available online in English and Spanish.

HUMAN CAPITAL, OECD, 2007. OECD Summary: "The world's economy is changing. Globalisation means jobs move from country to country, while computers and advanced communications are changing the way business works - and the sort of work we do. Today, the value of skilled, complex and creative work is growing fast. As a result, economic success for countries and for individuals relies increasingly on human capital - our knowledge, skills learning, talents and abilities. How can societies raise human capital and ensure everyone gets the education they need at every stage of life, from early childhood to adulthood? Drawing on the unique resources of the OECD, Human Capital explains these issues using straightforward language and examples drawn from the real world. "Human Capital" - an essential introduction to a subject we're going to be hearing a lot more of in the years to come." Brian Keeley, OECD, 20 February 2007.

THE GROSS INEQUITIES OF GLOBAL IMBALANCES, Terry McKinley and Alex Izurieta, UNDP International Poverty Centre, Brasilia, Brazil, February 2007. "The huge size of current global economic imbalances is unprecedented. Such imbalances are both unsustainable and inequitable (see the IPC webpage on the State of the World Economy, e.g., Working Papers #12 and #23). A few rich countries are running large current account deficits. One in particular, the US, is running a deficit about 3.5 times larger than the deficits of all other OECD countries combined .... Current global imbalances not only pose huge dangers; they also cause a grossly inequitable distribution of global resources. Capital is 'flowing uphill' to rich countries—overwhelmingly to one rich country, the US."

MODEL FOR SELF-FINANCING ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABLE INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FOR THE WORLD’S POOR, T. E. Manning, Stichting Bakens Verzet (NGO "Another Way"), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1 March 2007. This is a planning model for "sustainable fully ecological poverty alleviation in rural and poor urban environments, incorporating an innovative package of social, financial, and productive structures, with basic services necessary for a good quality of life for all, a leading role for women, and numerous renewable energy applications." It can be downloaded and used free of charge. To download the model and instructions go STICHTING BAKENS VERZET. The Model leads you step by step through a programme for the drafting of your own self-financing, ecological, sustainable integrated development project. The basic texts for your project have been prepared for you. They need to be adapted where necessary to the requirements of your project area.

WORLD POPULATION PROSPECTS: THE 2006 REVISION, United Nations Population Division. From the press release: "The world population continues its path towards population ageing and is on track to surpass 9 billion persons by 2050, as revealed by the newly released 2006 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections." For more population data, including recent updates on international migration trends, see the Population Division Home Page.

GENDER EQUITY INDEX 2007: PROGRESS AND REGRESSION, Social Watch, 2007. From the website: "The Gender Equity Index (GEI) has been developed by the Social Watch Research Team to measure inequities in different areas of women's and men's everyday lives around the world. The 2007 GEI ranks 154 countries by measuring women's relative economic activity, education and empowerment. This year's GEI report additionally focuses on progress or regression in achieving gender equity over the 2004-2007 period. The relevant data have also been analyzed regionally. An analysis of the 2007 general values reveals first of all that the gender gap persists in all countries of the world!" See the geography of gender equity.

GLOBAL INTEGRITY INDEX 2006, Global Integrity, 2007. From the website: "The Global Integrity Index assesses the existence and effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanisms that promote public integrity. More than 290 discrete Integrity Indicators generate the Integrity Index and are organized into six key categories and twenty three sub-categories. Prepared by a lead researcher in the country and then blindly reviewed by additional in-country and external experts, the Integrity Indicators not only assess the existence of laws, regulations, and institutions designed to curb corruption but also their implementation, as well as the access that average citizens have to those mechanisms."

INEXCUSABLE ABSENCE: Why 60 Million Girls Still Aren't In School and What to do About It, Maureen Lewis and Marlaine Lockheed, Center for Global Development, December 2006. From the website: "The widespread neglect of the education of girls is one of the most distressing problems in the world today, which blights their future and damages the rest of the society as well. This is a very welcome report on an extraordinarily important problem, and I hope it will receive the attention it richly deserves." - Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate and Lamont university professor of economics and philosophy, Harvard University.

PROMISING DEMOCRACY, IMPOSING THEOCRACY: Gender-Based Violence and the US War on Iraq, MADRE, New York, 6 March 2007. From the online press packet: "MADRE has released a groundbreaking report on the incidence, causes, and legalization of gender-based violence in Iraq since the US-led invasion. Amidst the chaos and violence of US-occupied Iraq, women—in particular those who are perceived to pose a challenge to the political project of their attackers—have increasingly been targeted because they are women. Today, they are subjected to unprecedented levels of assault in the public sphere, "honor killings," torture in detention, and other forms of gender-based violence."

COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPMENT INDEX 2006, Center for Global Development, 2007. From the website: "Rich and poor countries are linked in many ways—by foreign aid, commerce, migration, the environment, and military affairs. The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) rates 21 rich countries on how much they help poor countries build prosperity, good government, and security. Each rich country gets scores in seven policy areas, which are averaged for an overall score." In terms of environmental performance, the overall rank shows Fargo, ND, to be the highest (best) and Detroit, MI, to be the lowest (worst).

COST OF THE WAR ON TERROR SINCE 9/11, Amy Belasco, CRS Report to Congress, 14 March 2007, 45 pages. The complete title of the report is: "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11." From the Summary: "With enactment of FY2007 appropriations, Congress has approved a total of about $510 billion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) covering Afghanistan and other counter terror operations, Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) providing enhanced security at military bases, and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Iraq."


WORLD DATABASE ON PROTECTED AREAS (WDPA), UNEP-WCMC PROTEUS, 2007. From the website: "The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is recognized by decision-makers and policy advisors around the world as a unique and valuable resource. The WDPA is maintained by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in collaboration with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) on behalf of a consortium of organizations. The System Design Specification, Data Flow, Project Plan, and Gantt Chart are available for download.

ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS: BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEBATES, Ethan Goffman, ProQuest-CSA, April 2007. From the introduction: "Economic activity that harms the environment creates present or future losses to humans in the form of damaged health, lower productivity, depleted natural resources, and reduced enjoyment of nature. Environmental economics seeks to quantify these losses and determine the most efficient way to reduce them, as well as to compare the cost of environmental damage to the cost of mitigation. To analyze the costs and benefits of reduced environmental damage, economists must compare changes in economic well being today with changes in economic well being in the future. This involves judging the extent to which future generations will have higher income and better methods for mitigating pollution effects." Includes a list of key citations, a list of resources, and a glossary. The table of contents is as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Using Economics to Regulate the Environment
    • introduction
    • marginal abatement costs
    • the real world
  • Ecological Economics: Altering Assumptions
  • Growth & the Environmental Kuznets Curve
  • The Kyoto Treaty & Environmental Economics

COUNTDOWN 2015, ICPD, 2007. According to the website, Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All is an initiative dedicated to assessing the progress and mapping the future for the key goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994." The website is available in English, Spanish, French, and Italian. It includes sections on news, resources, youth, European activity, and a directory of links to several websites with useful resource information and data, notably maps showing the global geographic distribution of reproductive risks. It is provides a gateway to the ICPD AT TEN report card and the supporting database of 133 countries. In the ongoing process of balancing practical priorities and sexual morality, this website provides a knowledge base for the practical facts of life.

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION, WHO, April 2007. This is a new website, recently launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide comprehensive information on the health impacts of female genital mutilation. According to the introduction in the home page: "Despite more than 25 years of efforts to curtail its practice, female genital mutilation (FGM)—defined by WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other nontherapeutic reasons”—is still a deeply rooted tradition in more than 28 countries in Africa and in some countries in Asia and the Middle East. In the world today there are an estimated 100 million to 140 million girls and women who have been subjected to the operation. Currently, about 3 million girls, the majority under 15 years of age, undergo the procedure every year."

IMITATION, MIMETIC THEORY, RELIGIOUS & CULTURAL EVOLUTION, April 2007. From the home page: "Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, the Metanexus Institute, and the Travis Research Institute of Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, this two year project brings together some of the world’s most prominent scientists, philosophers, and religious scholars in an attempt to explore current theories of human imitation and their converging implications for contemporary psychosocial, religious, and scientific thought." A mimetic analysis of the scapegoating mechanism used by a religious institution to neutralize a crisis has already been presented in this newsletter (March 2006 to August 2006). It is hoped that an improved mimetic analysis of the same process can be articulated as a result of new insights provided by mimetic theory.

IDEOLOGIES OF WAR AND TERROR, April 2007. From the introduction to the website: "What is the source of the power of ideologies? Why do people become attached to ideologies to the extent that they are willing to die and kill in their name? This Website seeks to explore the psychological roots of our attachment to structures of thought that generate destruction and self-destruction within societies and civilizations. Political violence occurs in the form of events that we call war, genocide and terrorism. Some people view these events as the consequence of consciously formulated plans or strategies. Others observe these events and see mindless rage or aggression. We propose that political violence occurs when people act upon or act out propositions contained within ideologies."

GLOBAL LEARNING PORTAL (GLP), upgraded April 2007. Summary: "The Global Learning Portal is a public-private partnership between AED, Sun Microsystems, and USAID. It aims at expanding the educational resources available to primary and secondary school teachers in developing countries. The collaborative Web site allows visitors to become members and benefit from a wide range of services. GLP has recently launched an online course tool. The tool—called Moodle—can be used to create and conduct different courses for its members. Moodle can be used in a number of ways to engage learners in self-paced lessons. It can also be used to create files that can be printed, or used on computers with no internet connectivity. For more information, please visit the Global Learning Portal (Summary by Thomas Bekkers, Development Gateway Communities, 10 April 2007).

PUBLISH OR PERISH, Anne-Wil Harzing, Professor of International Management, University of Melbourne, Australia. Her website provides resources and tools for researchers in international and cross-cultural management. One of these tools is Publish or Perish (the Windows version 1.7 was released 9 March 2007), and is available for downloading free of charge. The program installs easily and works like a charm. It retrieves and analyzes academic citations from the Advanced Google Scholar Search and, for a given author (or journal, or set of keywords) calculates the total number of papers, total number of citations per paper, and several indices of research productivity and quality. These numerical indices may be useful mostly for academic evaluations, but just getting a list of papers published (1000 max) is of great value for the online researcher who needs to find out quickly who has published what, when, and where in a given knowledge domain. Clicking on any citation brings up the Google Scholar listing, so one more click and you are reading the paper in your browser. It would be nice to have a similar tool for analysis of Google News.

GLOBALISATION FOR THE COMMON GOOD - This web site just launched and still under construction, but the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (started in Oxford, 2002), sounds like the kind of thing we need: "Committed to spirituality, compassion and respect for others, truly religious people must not allow their religion to be hijacked and abused in this way by exclusivist ideologues. We must make a stand together for peace, understanding, mutual respect, dialogue and justice. We must welcome religious diversity and concede that no single religion can claim a monopoly of Truth. Indeed, at this time in our history and journey- facing globalisation, global warming, aids and more- we need each other far more than in the past, and the future of our world demands that we teach to our students, parishioners and communities the value and benefits of dialogue, co-operation and interdependence."

KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY (KAM), World Bank Institute, 20 March 2007. From the website: "The KAM is a user-friendly interactive Internet-based tool that provides a basic assessment of countries' and regions' readiness for the knowledge economy. It is designed to help client countries identify problems and opportunities that they may face, and where they may need to focus policy attention or future investments, with respect to making the transition to the knowledge economy." The point of contact for more information is Faythe Agnes Calandra.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH WEB, a community website from IOP Publishing (UK). From the website: "This website is a resource to help scientists, policymakers and campaigners keep up to the minute with the latest news and views on environmental science topics. Basically, the site covers all aspects of environmental science, from climate change to biodiversity, from renewable energy to pollution, from economics to environmental legislation, and from health issues to sustainability." It is linked to the Environmental Research Letters (ERL), a new open-access journal serving the whole environmental science research community. Several points of contact are listed.

GEO-NETWORK OPENSOURCE, FAO, WFP, and UNEP, 2007. From the website: "GeoNetwork opensource is a standardized and decentralized spatial information management environment, designed to enable access to geo-referenced databases, cartographic products and related metadata from a variety of sources, enhancing the spatial information exchange and sharing between organizations and their audience, using the capacities of the internet. This approach of geographic information management aims at facilitating a wide community of spatial information users to have easy and timely access to available spatial data and to existing thematic maps that might support informed decision making." Plenty of documentation and tutorials at the home page, GeoNetwork opensource Community website.

7. Knowledge Organization Update

This is just a reminder that the newsletter home page now includes links to a growing number of resource directories:

Links are continuously being added, updated, or deleted as time permits. The knowledge organization model that has been chosen for The Pelican Web and the Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence newsletter is a variation of the knowledge map of Chaim Zins (click here to view Zins' web site) . There are already 1000+ links in the database. How this is to be maintained remains to be seen. If anyone knows about a web-based tool that could reduce the amount of busywork, please let us know.

8. Easter Prayer, Study, and Action

Christ is risen! During this Easter season, many prayers of thanksgiving come to mind. Christ is risen! For Christians, the resurrection of Christ is a certainty of faith and the sure hope that we are not alone in praying, studying, and working for a better world. The following prayer is proposed for this Easter season:

Christ is risen!

Lord Jesus Christ,
your mighty resurrection
A hymn by Kim Fabricius

Lord Jesus Christ, your mighty resurrection
fills us with overwhelming joy and fear,
as you begin your world-wide insurrection,
and lead the way as faith’s great pioneer.

Your cross proclaims the depths of our corruption,
your empty tomb the heights of grace sublime,
your risen power causes an eruption
of love exploding out through space and time.

You lived a life of challenge, trust and service,
you suffered death in doubt and agony,
you live again and stride ahead with purpose,
and bring your friends along for company.

As risen Lord, you call us all to mission,
embracing people, creatures, earth and stars,
you give to each a personal commission
to share your healing as we bear your scars.

Exalted Christ, the victim’s vindication,
we follow in the slipstream you release,
propelled by promise of the new creation
when the whole universe will be at peace.

Christ is risen!

Saving the Planet
By Maria Teresa Villaverde Trujillo

April 22nd marked another anniversary of Earth Day. This annual celebration began en 1970 as a series of national teach-ins in response to concerns about this planet's poor air quality and polluted waters.

Let us think about the following:

In 1827, French mathematician Jean-Baptist Fourier recognized that the Earth's atmosphere, like a glass vessel , traps heat from sunlight. That thesis was the one later became known as the greenhouse effect.

In 1896, while scientists were theorizing that industrial burning of fossil fuels could raise the Earth's temperature, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius became the first to quantify how much the Earth is warming due to carbon dioxide emissions and he wrote:


Not too long ago, in 1985, British and American scientists discovered a hole in the layer of ozone over the Antarctic. Other environmental disasters captured public attention in the 1980s and 1990s, as global warming becomes more prominent in mainstream politics.

Let us keep going:

1988 - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is created by the United Nations.
1990 - First IPCC report finds Earth has warmed 0.5 degrees Celsius in the past century.
1992 - The first global-warming treaty, the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), calls and set the goal of cutting emissions to 1990 levels by 2000.
1997 - The Kyoto Protocol is proposed. President Clinton signs the treaty but says it must first see meaningful participation from developing nations before ratifying.
2005 - Without U.S. participation, Kyoto takes effect in August, prompts debate over whether the unusually severe hurricane season is the result of global warming.
2006 - An Inconvenient Truth a documentary on Al Gore's campaign to draw awareness to climate change, is released.
2007 - A report of the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC) states: global warming is man-made and will continue for centuries and predicts: in the coming decades rising temperatures and sea levels will cause floods and mass famine.

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
Maria Teresa Villaverde Trujillo

Christ is risen!

The model to imitate is Jesus of Nazareth, the "Good Shepherd" willing to give his life for the sheep (John 10:7ff). Mary Magdalene, the first witness of the resurrection, went to tell the apostles (Mark 16:9-11). Mother Teresa of Calcutta spent her life caring for the "poorest of the poor." Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for racial equality. Millions have embraced the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom. This could become a long recitation about great men and women to who we owe much. For us, here and now, there is only one set of values that really matter:


And there are only three questions that really matter:


9. Links to Archived Newsletters

The following are links to previous issues of the newsletter:

V1 N1 May 2005: Cross-Gender Solidarity
V1 N2 June 2005: The Phallocentric Syndrome
V1 N3 July 2005: From Patriarchy to Solidarity
V1 N4 August 2005: Synthesis of Patriarchy and Solidarity
V1 N5 September 2005: From Solidarity to Sustainability
V1 N6 October 2005: Dimensions of Sustainability
V1 N7 November 2005: Analysis and Synthesis of Objective Evidence
V1 N8 December 2005: Solidarity, Subsidiarity, and Sustainability
V2 N1 January 2006: Synthesis of Solidarity and Sustainability
V2 N2 February 2006: Sustainable Human Development
V2 N3 March 2006: Patriarchy and Mimetic Violence
V2 N4 April 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions
V2 N5 May 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 2
V2 N6 June 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 3
V2 N7 July 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 4
V2 N8 August 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 5
V2 N9 September 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ September 2006
V2 N10 October 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ October 2006
V2 N11 November 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ November 2006
V2 N12 December 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ December 2006
V3 N01 January 2007: MGD1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty
V3 N02 February 2007: MGD2: Universal Primary Education
V3 N03 March 2007: MGD3: Promotion of Gender Equality
V3 N04 April 2007: MGD4: Reduction of Child Mortality

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Link to the Invited Article:
Global Governance Campaigning and MDGs
by Patrick Bond

The Pelican Symbol


The pelican is a legendary symbol of commitment to the service of others, especially those who are weak and most vulnerable to physical and/or psychological violence. See The Physiologus, The Symbolism of the Pelican, and the sermon by Rev. Sylvia Roberts. The following is an excerpt from the medieval hymn Adoro te devote ...

O thou our reminder
of Christ crucified,
Living Bread the life
of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then:
feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness
man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale
true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesus Lord,
in what thy bosom ran –
Blood that but one drop of
has the worth to win
All the world forgiveness
of its world of sin.

Thomas Aquinas, 13th century;
tr. Gerard Hopkins, 19th century.

Religious Traditions

Unity in Diversity
of Religious Traditions

Jewish Tradition

"Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. According to their sacred literature, especially the Tanakh and Talmud, the religion of ancient Israel and their descendants, the Jews, is based on a covenant between God and Abraham (ca. 2000 BCE) and the renewal of the covenant with Moses (ca. 1200 BCE). It is one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths, and it is one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. The values and history of the Jewish people are a major part of the foundation of other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Islam, as well as Samaritanism and the Bahá'í Faith." Wikipedia

Christian Tradition

"Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. With an estimated 2.1 billion adherents in 2001, Christianity is the world's largest religion. It is the predominant religion in Europe, the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Philippine Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. It is also growing rapidly in Africa and Asia, particularly in China and South Korea." Wikipedia

Islamic Tradition

"Islam is a monotheistic religion originating with the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. It is the second-largest religion in the world today, with an estimated 1.4 billion adherents spread across the globe known as Muslims. Linguistically, Islam means "submission", referring to the total surrender of one's self to God (Allah), and a Muslim is "one who submits (to God). Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad and that Muhammad is God's final prophet." Wikipedia

Bahá'í Tradition

The Bahá'í Faith is a religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th century Persia. There are around six million Bahá'ís in more than 200 countries around the world. Essential elements: "The independent search after truth, unfettered by superstition or tradition; the oneness of the entire human race, the pivotal principle and fundamental doctrine of the Faith; the basic unity of all religions; the condemnation of all forms of prejudice, whether religious, racial, class or national; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of humankind is able to soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world tribunal for the adjudication of disputes between nations; the exaltation of work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship; the glorification of justice as the ruling principle in human society, and of religion as a bulwark for the protection of all peoples and nations; and the establishment of a permanent and universal peace as the supreme goal of all mankind." Wikipedia

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Call for Papers
This newsletter is now seeking scholars willing to write (pro-bono) short articles about the impacts of all forms of secular and religious violence on human solidarity and ecological sustainability, as well as critical reviews of this work from the perspective of various religious traditions, i.e., Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Bahá'í, etc.

Articles should be 1000 words minimum and 3000 words maximum, with no images. Please submit only material that has not been already published elsewhere. The author's CV should be submitted with the paper. The newsletter is published monthly, but there are no specific deadlines. Papers approved by the editor will be included as an "invited paper" when time and space allows.

Email your submission to the editor, Luis T. Gutierrez.


Millennium Development Goals:


1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Interested in more information and data? Click the map below:


For an atlas of the MDGs:


For the latest environmental facts and figures:


For the latest human development data:


For the latest MDG data and trends:


UNICEF World's Children 2007


A Reflection
on the Gift of Life,
and the Gift of Love

The two greatest gifts of God to humanity and the gift of life and the gift of love. It is well for humanity to receive these gifts gratefully and use them responsibly. Taking these gifts for granted inevitably leads to abusing them in every possible way: abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, rape, sexual abuse of children, prostitution, genocide, gendercide, secular patriarchy, religious patriarchy, all forms of slavery, all forms of gender violence, and so on, ad nauseam.

These kinds of abuse reduce human life and human love to animal existence and animal sex. These kinds of abuse can and do happen everywhere: family, society, religious institutions. They are the root cause for poverty, human underdevelopment, gender inequality, early child mortality, lack of maternal health care, calamities such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, mismanagement of the human habitat, adversarial human relations at all levels - local, regional, global. In fact, the objective of the United Nations' MDGs is to overcome (or at least mitigate) the nefarious consequences that follow from any devaluation of the gift of life and the gift of love.

As Naim Ateek has pointed out, "it is part of the genius of the Bible that it preserved a record both of the good and of the bad." The gift of life and the gift of love are good gifts but they are, very often, badly used. In particular, a good use of human sexuality requires the mutual self-giving in the context of a committed marriage covenant. This goes hand in hand with openness to sharing both the pleasure of sexual relations and the joy of engendering new life. In this regard, it must be stated, clearly and unequivocally, that the current popularity of "free and irresponsible sex" is nothing but a human aberration. These truths are clearly stated in the gospels (see, for example, Matthew 19:1-12, John 10:10) and in various ways throughout the Bible.

Authoritarian pontifications, such as Humanae vitae, are (a best) ineffective in bringing about a new awareness about the sacred nature of human sexuality as a divine gift of love and life. Experience confirms that this is true of people in general, and young people in particular. This is even more so if the "pontificator" lacks credibility; and who has credibility as a teacher of sexual morality as we start the third millennium of the Christian era? Nobody. Who is willing to cast the first stone? Nobody. Why? Because the essence of the issue is the absolute equality of men and women. Human sexuality, and therefore the divine gift of life and love, cannot be understood in isolation from honest and uncompromising gender equality; and such a mindset is till a rarity, especially in the context of patriarchal religious institutions.

Gender inequality is pervasive in human affairs since time immemorial (Genesis 3:16). Only a century ago, it would be unthinkable that this would ever change. But it is changing. The change may be slow, but irreversible. It is increasingly recognized that fostering gender equality is instrumental for the future of human civilization. It is certainly indispensable to reach a better understanding of human sexuality, so that people can learn to use well both jewels: the gift of life and the gift of love. The crucial question is, then, how to facilitate the unfolding of this maturation process, and how to do it in such a way that we keep what is good, and let go of what is bad.

How? There is no simple answer. Not resisting the advent of better relations between the two halves of humanity is something we all can do, and should do. Removing obstacles, especially in religious doctrines and practices, is critical. A massive educational campaign to teach the imperative of gender equality is surely needed. Gender equality education should start early and should start at home. In schools it should start no later than Kindergarten, and be better than what children see on TV. It is a matter of giving good example and imitating good example. Religious institutions should start having women in roles of religious authority, and sooner rather than later.

The universal mitigation of machismo is undoubtedly a sign of the times, and one in which the voice of God resounds with a resonance that is impossible to ignore. This is the reason that MDG3 (promotion of gender equality) is the most crucial of the MDGs, and a gateway to all the others. This is the reason that patriarchal religious institutions must overcome their inordinate attachment to phallocentric theologies and practices. It is the crucial issue confronting humanity here and now. In particular, it is the only way to overcome the "free and irresponsible sex" mentality. Let us keep praying and working for a better understanding of human sexuality, in the context of gender equality, for the glory of God and the good of humanity.

A poem on
the Meaning of Life

"Our task is to clothe nature…
to impose meaning on being...
Our task is the discipline
of standing against nature
when nature-within-us
counsels terrorizing...
Our task is to invent civilization."

Cynthia Ozick, The Meaning of Life,
LIFE Magazine, December 1988

A poem on
the Meaning of Love

A garden amidst the flames.
My heart has become
capable of every form:
it is a pasture for gazelles
and a convent for Christian monks,
and a temple for idols
and the pilgrim's Kaa'ba,
and the tables of the Torah
and the book of the Quran.
I follow the religion of Love:
whatever way Love's camels take,
that is my religion and my faith.

Ibn 'Arabi, The Meaning of Love,
Palestine & Iraq Blog, April 2007.

In Memoriam

Anne Frank

The ugly face of violence is unveiled in the well-known case of this girl, who in the midst of persecution could write things like this: "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God." Anne Frank is a personification of non-violence, a role model for those who try to answer violence with non-violence. For more information about Anne Frank:

Anne Frank - Wikipedia
The Anne Frank Center
The Anne Frank Museum
The Diary of a Young Girl

Person of the Month

Sheila Tobias
See her recent article:
Feminism's stormy history with religion

Editor's comment: In the midst of the "stormy story" between feminism and religion, Sheila Tobias offers an unbiased and fair perspective that should serve as a model for both feminist activists and religious authorities. Specifically, her three concluding sentences are a jewel.

Person of the Year

Wife, Mother, Lawyer
Senator from New York
Next President of the USA


A Woman in Charge:
The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton
a 650 page biography by Carl Bernstein
is scheduled to be released June 19th.

Person of the Decade

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Free immediately

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

& other 1400 Burmese political prisoners.

As of today Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for a total of:

11 years and 170 days

Aung San Suu Kyi is now serving her third term of house arrest. She was arrested on 30 May, 2003 after the regime's militia attacked her convoy and killed up to 100 of her supporters.

Forthcoming Events

Lancaster University, Friday 14th September 2007. This call for papers encourages the submission of diverse abstracts engaging with issues surrounding Law, Religion and Culture and aims to facilitate the following: a forum for setting an agenda within the broad field of Law, Religion and Culture; exploring the construction of the concept of religion and the religious subject; the implications of such constructions and concepts for the law; furthering emergent interdisciplinary dialogue. Please send abstracts of 250 words maximum from a wide range disciplines and a diversity of perspectives to: Dr. Sarah Beresford or Dr. Ian Bryan .

Women & Public Life: Empowerment & Participation in Social Studies & Research, July 2007. A round-table to be jointly organized by the Middle East Research Competition (MERC) program in Tunis and the Organization of Arab Women in Cairo. The seminar scheduled for July 2007 in Syria falls within a topic of interest to the two organizations, focusing on research in the area of empowerment of Arab women in the public sphere. For more information write to: Please write to, Organization of Arab Women, Cairo or MERC, Tunis.

An expert meeting on gender equality in the enlarged European Union is underway (between July 2006 and September 2007) as part of a current research project on gender equality in the enlarged EU. It is being carried out as a cooperation between Social Change and the Institute of East-European History. The aim is to examine the possibilities, chances and obstacles for the future gender equality policy on the EU level. The discussion in this interdisciplinary and transnational forum will focus on the implementation of the EU’s gender equality regulations, on independent national policies, on the history and role of the women’s (rights) movement and the current situation of women, especially in the new member countries Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria, but also in the "old" member states like Germany, France, and Austria. Points of contact: Petra Ziegler and Verena Kaselitz at the Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte der Universität Wien, Social Change Institut für Innovation in der Genderforschung und Gewaltprävention.

The 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights will take place 29th to 31st October 2007, Hyderabad, India. The conference will provide a platform for people with diverse perspectives, expertise and experience to exchange ideas, discuss and debate issues of concern, and learn from each other about sexual and reproductive health and rights, with specific reference to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD, 1994). The theme of the Conference is "Exploring New Frontiers in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights". For more information, please visit our website, 4APCRSH.

At the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics & Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, 3 - 5 September 2007. Call For Papers: Abstracts are encouraged from activists, practitioners and policy-makers as well as from academics from relevant fields (including cultural studies, sociology, politics, philosophy, law, history, religious studies and history). Graduate submissions encouraged and integrated fully into the programme. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words and be emailed by 15 June 2007 to Nicki Smith or Heather Widdows. For more information visit the conference website and the website of the Global Studies Association (GSA).

Annual Symposium on Globalization, Global Value Chains and Global Production Networks, 6-7 June 2007 at the University of Sussex. This event is sponsored by the Economic Geography Research Group (EGRG) at the University of Sussex. EGRG research activities are related to the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the Sussex European Institute (SEI), and the Centre for Global Political Economy (CGPE). Anyone who wishes to attend on either or both days is welcome to do so, but should email Mick Dunford to be added to the list of participants.

From the announcement: "Pax Christi USA is pleased to announce this year's conference, The Pursuit of Peace in a Culture of Violence: A National Catholic Conference on Peacemaking, to be held August 10-12, 2007, at Seattle University in Seattle, WA. The conference is being co-sponsored by Seattle University's Department of Theology and Religious Studies, the Office of the Vice President for Mission and Ministry, and the Graduate School of Theology and Ministry." The announcement is posted in the conference website, with links to detailed conference information. There is also a very informative conference brochure.

Digital Earth is a visionary concept, popularized by former US Vice President Al Gore, for the virtual and 3-D representation of the Earth that is spatially referenced and interconnected with digital knowledge archives from around the planet with vast amounts of scientific, natural, and cultural information to describe and understand the Earth, its systems, and human activities. Join world-class representatives from industry, academia, government, and NGOs in an unparalleled exploration and exposition into the future of Digital Earth at the ISDE5 from June 5-9, 2007, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Online registration: ISDE5. More info: Dr.DigitalEarth.

The Gender Research Network in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester is pleased to invite you to our launch conference on the theme Engendering Policy and Politics: International and comparative themes and issues, to be held at the University of Manchester, 21st-22nd June 2007. Please see the conference website for details. The point of contact is Dr. Kirstein Rummery.

ECEM 2007
The 6th European Conference on Ecological Modelling, ECEM'07, "Challenges for ecological modelling in a changing world: Global Changes, Sustainability and Ecosystem Based Management" will be held in Trieste, Italy, on November 27-30, 2007. Particular attention will be devoted to themes related to Global Changes, Sustainability and Ecosystem Management. ECEM'07, however, will cover ALL topics in the area of ecological modelling and participants are invited from ALL areas of research, development and application of ecological models. The abstract submission process will close on May 31, 2007. Point of contact: ECEM'07 secretariat.

The 2007 International Symposium on Wikis. October 21-23, 2007, Montreal, Canada. The theme this year is "Wikis at Work in the World: Open, Organic, Participatory Media for the 21st Century." For more information see WIKIMANIAS. Questions should be directed respectively at (research papers and practitioner reports), (workshops and panels), or (posters and demos).

Announcing the First International Education for Peace Conference-2007: Strategies for Building a Civilization of Peace at Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C., Canada (14-17 November 2007). The primary goal of the conference is to contribute to the worldwide efforts to create a civilization of peace. Essential to this undertaking is life-long peace education at home, in schools, and in the community, with its focus on the integral role of all members of society-children, youth, and adults-and with the equal participation of women and men in the administration of human affairs. Point of contact: Stacey Makortoff.

Blaise Pascal Instituut, Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit July, 4-8, 2007. This is the annual meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, a scholarly society focused on the exploration, criticism, and development of René Girard's Mimetic Theory. See the conference website for subthemes, deadlines for abstracts, etc. For more information, contact Thérèse Onderdenwijngaard.

11 Nov 2007 - 15 Nov 2007, Rome, Italy. The World Energy Congress is the most authoritative international energy meeting held by the World Energy Council (WEC) every three years. Papers and posters are accepted in either of the WEC official languages: English or French. Deadlines: Submission of papers and posters: from 1st June 2006 to 31st December 2006. Notification of acceptance: by 31st May 2007. Contact: Organising Secretariat

the 2007 conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) will take place at the University of Bremen, Germany, September 23-27. It will be a joint conference of the EASR and the DVRW (Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft). The conference title is "Plurality and Representation. Religion in Education, Culture and Society". For the conference concept and call for papers please take a look at the conference website. Proposals for panel sessions and individual papers may be submitted directly through the conference website.


Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3-6 July 2007. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in the fully refereed International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for review and possible publication in the journal, and provide access to the online edition of the journal. For more information visit the conference website.

April 11 - 14, 2007 in Toronto ON Canada. Call for proposals due October 6. Convened by the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH). For information about being a conference cosponsor, exhibitor, advertiser or supporter, contact Shelly Tolo, CCPH Conference Manager by phone: (206) 962-0012 or e-mail:

NWSA 2007
The National Women’s Studies Association, 28th Annual Conference, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, Illinois. June 28-July 1, 2007. Theme: PAST DEBATES, PRESENT POSSIBILITIES, FUTURE FEMINISMS. Featured Conference Speaker: SANDRA CISNEROS. For more info:

Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, Charleston, South Carolina, July 8-11, 2007. The 2007 conference will be focused on the ways that technology shapes and is shaped by the multidimensional phenomenon of globalization. Proposals should be made electronically to Joseph Pitt, Program Committee Chair.


University of Granada, Spain, 10-13 July 2007. The conference will examine the nature of disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices across the social sciences, as well as the relation of the social to the natural sciences, applied sciences and the professions. The focus of papers will range from the finely grained and empirical (research practices and results exemplifying one or more disciplines), to wide-ranging multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary practices, to perspectives on knowledge and method. The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 22 October 2006. See the conference website for other details.


The XV International Meeting of the Society for Human Ecology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 4-7, 2007. Some preliminary proposals for sessions include themes such as: Biodiversity, Coastal Management, Cultural Diversity, Education, Philosophy, and Traditional Populations, among others. This is an invitation to submit proposals for sessions, symposia, and roundtables that we can incorporate into the early stages of meeting planning even before we issue the formal call for papers. If you have ideas, please contact Alpina Begossi, President, Society for Human Ecology, or


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"One revolution is still necessary:
the one that will not end with the rule of its leader.
It will be the revolution against revolutions,
the uprising of all peaceful citizens
who will become soldiers for once,
so that neither they nor anyone else
will ever have to be a soldier again."

José Martí, Cuba, 1853-1895


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