The E-Newsletter of

Vol. 3, No. 6, June 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 MDG6:
Mitigation of HIV/AIDS and Other Epidemics


The primary focus of this issue is MDG6: MITIGATION OF THE HIV EPIDEMIC. A secondary focus is one of the factors that contributes to spreading the epidemic: the HUMAN TRAFFICKING of women and children (mostly girls) for commercial sexual exploitation.

Adding "human trafficking" to my list of email alerts this month brought an avalanche of news items from all over the world. It is truly a global issue. Forcing women and children to be sexual commodities is big business. It is also dirty business. Eight year old girls working in brothels constitute a moral abomination.

There can be no doubt that human trafficking contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Nor can there be any doubt that gender inequality is the root cause of the HIV pandemic. Millions of people have died, entire countries have been destroyed. HIV/AIDS is a global holocaust, with victims being sacrificed to the idol of sexual domination.

We now can add MDG6 to the pattern of MDG analyses in previous issues:

  • 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)
  • HIV/AIDS is the result of abusing human sexuality, and band aids such as using condoms will not stop the epidemic until humans behave as humans, with mutual respect and full equality between men and women.
  • Extreme poverty, lack of education, abuse of human sexuality, child mortality, inadequate maternal health care, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic are mutually reinforcing, the reinforcement being fueled by gender inequality (MDGs 1 to 6)

In addition to MDG analysis, this issue includes a selection of recent news with heavy focus on human trafficking, a review of Mimetic Theory as the selected website of the month, an annotated list of new information content and websites recently added or updated, a brief reference to Wikipedia as a "knowledge subweb," and an the monthly reflection on prayer, study, and action.

There is also a reflection on how bad theologies lead to all manner of sexual abuse, a list of announcements about conferences and other forthcoming events that may be of interest, an a list of links to archived newsletters.

The invited article this month is Perils of Elite Pacting, by Patrick Bond. Professor Bond does a good job in challenging the legitimacy of current international development initiatives that are "politically viable" but lack in transparency, accountability, and concrete results.



1. News and Signs of the Times
2. The Millennium Development Goals
3. Analysis of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
4. Combined Analysis of MDGs 1 to 8
5. Review of the Mimetic Theory Website
6. New Resources on the Web
7. Knowledge Taxonomy and Links
8. Prayer, Study, and Action
9. Links to Archived Newsletters


Bad Theology and the Mistreatment of Women
Memorable People of the 20th Century
Hillary Clinton: Next President of the USA
Announcements and CFPs


Perils of Elite Pacting
by Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal,
Durban, South Africa

1. News and Signs of the Times

Good news are those that give glory to God and report something good for humanity. Every day, the media brings to us an unending stream of news. Local, national, and international news. Good news and bad news. Substantive news and trivial news. Often the news are about random events without major consequence. But sometimes there emerges a pattern in the news that is both good and persistent. Such patterns of good news are sometimes referred to as signs of the times, meaning that the merciful voice of God can be discerned in them, announcing a "new advent" of opportunities for human progress. Sometimes the "sign" is perceived in negative terms, as when some social evil becomes widely recognized as bad and is rejected as such by most people. Such changes in the collective unconscious take time but, if the "signs" are really from God, they never fail to be both good and persistent.

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 citations have been edited for brevity. Can we discern in them any sign of the times? Any pattern of news that is both good and persistent? Any pattern of news that reveal the global rejection of a mindset that had always been taken for granted?

'Honour Killing' of teenage girl condemned as abhorrent - Amnesty, 2 May 07
Kenya: Why Do Men Suffer in Silence? - N. Kamau, The Nation, Kenya, 7 May 07
Looking at female domestic violence - Lori Ingham, The Citizen, 7 May 07
Hope, despair for world's child mortality rates - Celia Dugger, IHT, 7 May 07
Indigenous Women Last in Line for MDGs - Inés Benítez, IPS, Guatemala, 7 May 07
Malawi: SWAM in the Fight Against HIV/Aids - P. Msundwe, Chronicle, 7 May 07
Tutu slams African leaders on Zimbabwe - Michelle Nichols, M&G, 8 May 07
Missing the Millennium Development Goals? - IPS News, 8 May 07
Namibia: Victims to Recount Bashings - Petronella Sibeene, New Era, 8 May 07
Botswana: The Voice Launch HIV/Aids And Gender Policy - The Voice, 8 May 07
More Than 80 Million Women are Victims of Domestic Violence - COE, 9 May 07
Feminism Then and Now - Paula Rothenberg, CounterPunch, 9 May 07
Muslim author advocates multi-faith dialogue - S. Shefa, CJ News, 10 May 07
Human sacrifice cult battles with police - N. Squires, Telegraph, 10 May 07
Communicating for sustainability - BizCommunity, Cape Town, SA, 10 May 07
Peak Soil ~ Cellulosic and other Biofuels - Alice Friedemann, EROEL, 10 May 07
Women Living Under Muslim Laws - WLUML, 11 May 07
Confirmed: Deforestation Plays Critical Climate Change Role - CSIRO, 11 May 07
Pregnancy and the risk of HIV-1 acquisition - HIV&SRH, AIDS, 11 May 07
Slavery trial a first for Thailand - ASI, Thailand, 11 May 07
Muslims battle Christians in Egypt - Noha el Hennawy, LA Times, 12 May 07
The misery of male slavery - Subhatra Bhumiprabhas, The Nation, TH, 14 May 07
Say NO to trafficking in Women - UNIFEM Deutschland, 14 May 07
Gender equality is not only about women - Juan Ameen, Malta Ind., 14 May 07
UN Commission on Sustainable Dictatorships - Claudia Rosett, AINA, 14 May 07
All party meet on human trafficking case - Times Now, India, 15 May 07
Discrimination against girls 'still deeply entrenched' - Independent, UK, 15 May 07
Child Trafficking in India - WordPress & Boston Globe, 15 May 07
UNDP Sees Bigger Economic Disparity - T. Adelaja, Moscow Times, 16 May 07
Calling for action on girls' rights abuses - Alex Betti, AlertNet, 16 May 07
Many evils of child trafficking - Daily Sun Online, Nigeria, 16 May 07
Who pays for our impulsive consumption? - Beth Doherty, Eureka St, 17 May 07
Six Charged In Child Sex Trafficking Scheme - PRNewswire, Boston, 17 May 07
Demand for action against ‘sexist’ MPs - June Ramli, NST Malaysia, 17 May 07
Human trafficking case tied to Nashville - J. Allen, The City Paper, 17 May 07
Forty percent of world lacks clean water - Harvard Gazette, 17 May 07
The Struggle for Gender Equality in Iran - Spiegel Online, 17 May 07
Young people encouraged to report human trafficking - RadioJamaica, 17 May 07
Washington's AIDS hypocrites ousted - PlanetOut, 18 May 07
Education is key to development - Al-Thawra Daily, Yemen Times, 18 May 07
Notes on Vues d'Afrique film festival, Montréal, CA - Africultures, 18 May 07
Laval couple charged with human trafficking - CBC News, CA, 18 May 07
13 die in mosque blast, violence - CNN, Hyderabad, India, 18 May 07
The woman risking her life to end a modern slave trade - Herald, UK, 19 May 07
Uganda: Maternal Deaths Remain High - The Monitor, Kampala, 19 May 07
African leaders urged to promote gender equality - Citizen, ZA, 19 May 07
Patriarchy: The Next Generation - P. Goldsmith, OpEdNews, 19 May 07
Africa: Daily HIV/Aids Report - KaiserNetwork, AllAfrica, 21 May 07
U.N. Review of Efforts on HIV/AIDS Global Pandemic - Maxims, 21 May 07
Call for men to help tackle prostitution - J. Byrnoth, Sunday Herald, 22 May 07
U.N. reaffirms commitment to goals for fighting HIV - China Post, 22 May 07
Status of Women in the Roman Catholic Church - Regina Bannan, WJC, 22 May 07
Sustainability: New Driver of Innovation - B. Nussbaum, Business Week, 22 May 07
New Drugs, Better Care Can Beat Malaria - Forbes, 22 May 07
The growth rate of carbon emissions has tripled - J. Romm, Grist, 23 May 07
Globalisation's broken promise - Roselynn Musa, OpenDemocracy, 23 May 07
Corruption: Can Africa bounce back? - Thabo Mbeki, Business Africa, 23 May 07
Are We Guilty of the Sin of Sodom? - Douglas Cryer, Christianity, 23 May 07
The Root of the Problem - Lauren Garrison, Norwalk News, 24 May 07
New Report Links Gender Inequality to HIV/AIDS - AllAfrica, 25 May 07
Most Sex Trafficking in the U.S. Involve Black Children - BAW, 25 May 07
A rehabilitation plan for trafficking victims - Times of India, 26 May 07
Buddhism, Peace and Development in Sri Lanka - Asian Tribune, 26 May 07
Media often abets sex trafficking - D. Margolis, PWW, 26 May 07
Egypt Works As "Middle Man" In Human Trafficking - AHN, 26 May 07
Kids the target market for environmental sustainability - CP, 26 May 07
The human soul knows no gender - Zena Zorabjee, FE, India, 27 May 07
Church endorses 'holy water' and ARVs - IRIN, Ethiopia, 28 May 07
Big no to child wives - Daily News-TSN, Tanzania, 28 May 07
Good governance is difficult to achieve - New Nation, Bangladesh, 28 May 07
Innovation can beat poverty - The Gadget, ZA, 28 May 07
Life in prison for child sexual abuse - Makfax, Macedonia, 28 May 07
Brazil to Subsidize Birth Control Pills - AP, Wash Post, 28 May 07
Uniform Civil Code and gender justice - The Hindu, India, 29 May 07
Sex slave victim wins abuse claim - N. Craig, The Age, AU, 29 May 07
Child Prostitution In Thailand: The New Heroes - BwT, 29 May 07
Belfast hosts trafficking conference - Irish Times, 29 May 07
Ozone Diplomacy - Richard Benedick, Earth Portal, 29 May 07
Discrimination against women fuels HIV/AIDS - IRIN, ZA, 29 May 07
HIV/AIDS, Gender & Human Rights Issues - Sirajul Islam, CC, 29 May 07
World’s journalists demand gender equality - Davao Today, 30 May 07
Economists to decide benchmark for happiness - DNA India, 30 May 07
Gender equality ends at the pew - L. Scrivener, The Star, CA, 30 May 07
ISO standards will aid sustainable development - TheFishSite, 30 May 07
Stereotypes, harmful traditional practices - PressZoom, 31 May 07
Child Soldiers: New Evidence, New Advocacy Approaches - USIP, 1 Jun 07

Editor's Comment: The HIV/AIDS epidemic is certainly one of the great calamities of human history. God only wants what is good for us, so it would be irrational to think that the epidemic is some kind of "punishment from heaven." The HIV/AIDS paradox is that the growth of the pandemic is fueled by the misuse of the divine gift of human sexuality, God's double gift of life and love since the very beginning (Genesis 1:27-28). Misusing, or abusing, the gift of life and the gift of love always entails corrupting it by sexual behavior that values death at the expense of life and seeks domination at the expense of love (Genesis 3:16ff). And yet, in the midst of this enormous calamity, there is a pattern of good news that persists: men and women are meant for each other in mutual self-giving, the kind of self-giving that invalidates any form of domination or manipulation of either one by the other. This "new pattern" applies in all dimensions of human life, both secular and religious -- the time has come for gender equality in families, in communities, in social institutions, in religious institutions.

There are many forms of gender inequality and sexual misbehavior. A recent study estimates that as many as "100 million girls 'disappear' each year, killed in the womb or as babies." Domestic abuse is common even in the most civilized countries. Millions of girls still suffer genital mutilation. Millions of girls are not sent to school by their parents, which is a form of educational mutilation. Many social institutions still impose a "glass ceiling" on how far women can advance in the professions. Many religious institutions still refuse to have women in roles of religious authority, which is a form of vocational abortion. But perhaps the most disgusting expression of sexual abuse is the human trafficking of women and children (mostly girls) who are kidnapped, or otherwise forced out of their homes, to become sex slaves in far away places. So, what else is new? The "new pattern" that is gradually emerging is one in which most people recognize that such "commercial practices" are morally wrong and are, in fact, crimes against humanity that should be dealt with in national or international courts. Genocide is now commonly recognized to be wrong. Gendercide is next. These are, indeed, good news and signs of the times that will not go away.

2. The Millennium Development Goals

The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are helping to ensure that the phallocentric mindset is never again taken for granted. An enormous amount of resistance remains, but time is on the side of those who work for the advent of gender equality. It is a matter of removing obstacles, one by one. Gender equality will never be perfect, for the same reason that nothing human is perfect. But new horizons are visible and we should continue praying and working to remove obstacles, even though we might never enter the promised land. The following chart attempts to provide a synopsis of the eight MDGs.

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

The numbered circles stand for
the MDGs, 1 to 8
V stands for violence.
MDG6 is the fight against HIV/AIDS.

SSNV analyses of the MDGs:

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

Recommended MDG resources:

U.N. MDGs Home Page
MDG Core Documents
MDG Basic Indicators
U.N. Millennium Project
MDG Targets & Indicators
MDG Atlas and Dashboard
MDG Slideshows
MDG 2006 Report
GEO 2007 Report
HDR 2006 Report
Children and the MDGs
Youth and the MDGs
Health and the MDGs
State of the World's Children 2007
State of the World's Girls 2007

In the January to May monthly issues we have analyzed in some detail MDGs 1 to 5, and the analyses thus far clearly point to MDG3, Gender Equality as the pivotal MDG. MDG3 may be the gateway to all the other MDGs. Work pursuant to each and every MDG is important, but previous issues have shown objective evidence to the effect that progress toward MDGs 1 to 5 will be significantly hampered unless progress is made in the promotion of gender equality. It is not the intent of this series of analyses to show that the MDG model is the best one to use, let alone the only one. This month we have another invited paper by Patrick Bond, Perils of Elite Pacting. What can be more elitist than 50% of humanity presuming superiority over the other 50%? All forms of elitism are bad, and sexist elitism is the worst. This brings us to the focus of this issue: MDG6, the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

3. Analysis of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

A global view of HIV infection as of 2005is provided by the UNAIDS/WHO prevalence map, 2006. The UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic 2006 provides a wealth of supporting information and data. The numbers are beyond comprehension, and the social ramifications are incalculable. Globally, the approximate number of people infected with HIV is about 38.6 million, including 2.3 million children (0-14). In 2005, it is estimated that 2.8 million people died as a result of AIDS. In the same year, the estimated number of orphans (0-17) due to AIDS was 15.2 million. The timeline and geographic distribution of the epidemic is are follows:



Estimate of Cumulative Global HIV Infections (Millions)
Figure 1 - Timeline of the Global HIV Epidemic
Source: Global HIV/AIDS Timeline, Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004.

Figure 2 - Geographic Distribution of the HIV Epidemic
Source: Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS/WHO, 2006, Annex 2.

It is not possible to discuss here all the factors that contributed to the etiology of the epidemic, let alone those that contribute to the epidemic not being contained. A factor that is especially repugnant is the commercial human trafficking of women and children (mostly girls) for sex exploitation. Human traffic for any purpose (forced labor, military recruiting, etc.) is a crime. Human traffic for the purpose of commercial sex exploitation is a moral abomination; and it contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS because slave sex is almost always (practically always?) unprotected sex. There is ample documentation of the negative health impacts of slave sex, both physically and psychologically. The following is a selected short list of resources available online:

There is also a growing corpus of literature, including articles, booklets, and books. Some examples:

It is unfortunate that only the abstract is available (free of charge), for the March 2005 paper by Lucinda Peach. But just the abstract encapsulates the complexity of the secular and religious issues that intersect in sexual human trafficking:

"The global trafficking in women and children (primarily girls) for prostitution and sex work has become a multi-billion dollar industry in recent decades, especially in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Despite their common goal to eliminate or diminish the sex trafficking industry and assist the victims, the various entities engaged in anti-sex trafficking efforts have sharply disagreed about a variety of issues, including a basic definition of sex trafficking and the appropriate strategies for combating it. In this article, I examine one central area of disagreement, which revolves around the issue of the morality of prostitution and other forms of commercial sex work. This issue brings with it divergent, even antithetical, views regarding women's gender roles, self-identity and moral agency in relation to sex work. I show how the religious dimensions of this issue have been inadequately attended to by demonstrating how anti-trafficking discourse is devoid of non-Western religious perspectives. Since Thailand has been the centre for sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry in the Asia-Pacific region, where the greatest percentage of sex trafficking takes place, this article will discuss Thai Buddhist perspectives to illustrate how the anti-sex trafficking discourse has ignored cultural differences in its analysis."

Given that the geographic distribution for supply and demand of human bodies is no better in the East than in the West, it it doubtful that non-Western religions can be expected to influence the ethos of human trafficking anymore than Western religions. Most religions, either Eastern or Western, share the patriarchal mindset that makes them insensitive to the exploitation of women and girls. Money is the only idol that really matters. Only egalitarian (i.e., non-patriarchal) religions can influence sex-related business decisions to make them more responsive to ethics and the common good of humanity. Since "a picture is worth more than a thousand words," the following chart is an attempt to capture the horror of human sex trafficking:

Human Sex Trafficking is an Abomination
The human person is sacred
The human body is sacred
Human sexuality is
a divine gift
It is the gift of life
and the gift of love
To abuse this gift is inhuman
To abuse this gift
is a sacrilege
This gift is not for sale!
Not for sale!


The sexual trafficking of women
is an abomination
Women are human beings
with human rights
They are not sex objects
They are not commodities
Women are not for sale!


The sexual abuse of children
is an abomination
They are human beings
with human rights
Children are not commodities
Children are not for sale!


Source: GAATW Source: U.N. INSTRAW Source: WWSF

There are three phases in the process of human trafficking:

  • Supply - recruitment via deceptive job offers, kidnapping, or the purchase of human beings
    • At the moment, large sources include Brazil, Eastern Europe, Africa, and S.E. Asia - especially Thailand
  • Delivery - the physical transportation of trafficked persons from source to destination
    • Sometimes the deception continues during transportation, but always under very tight security to avoid escapes
  • Consumption - physical and/or psychological coercion to provide sexual services to customers
    • There have been credible reports of 8 year old girls working as sex slaves in brothels - what else is the to say?

Perhaps there is nothing new that can be said, but there are things that bear repeating. One is the futility of expecting that the HIV/AIDS epidemic can be controlled by some technological fix. Surely, all technologies that can make sex safer should be made available. None of them is better than abstinence, but abstinence is of course irrelevant in a human trafficking scenario. Better financing of health programs to combat HIV can be helpful. But the only solution is to extirpate the root of the problem by recognizing that human sexuality is a divine gift to humanity, and one that should be used in a responsible way. This includes never using (or forcing others to use) the gift as a weapon of domination. And this is where most religious institutions are dropping the ball. Some of these institutions are perpetuating bad theologies that reinforce the patriarchal propensity to abuse women. Interested readers should download and study this document: Responding to domestic abuse: Guidelines for those with pastoral responsibilities, Church House, 2006, 64 pages. The most catastrophic example is the continued refusal, by some religious institutions, to have women in roles of religious authority (see, for example, Ordinatio scaerdotalis). Such refusal (which has been shown to be theologically irrational) contributes to domestic abuse and all other practices of sexual domination and exploitation; and it contributes, therefore, to the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Note: A synopsis of the Responding to domestic abuse document is published in the May 2007 newsletter of BASIC as Bad Theology Responsible for Mistreatment of Women, and is reprinted on the right-hand column of this issue.

4. Combined Analysis of MDGs 1 to 8

Having analyzed the nature and current trends pertaining to MDGs 1 to 6, it is becoming self-evident 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.

A good place to start is the report Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health Report, by Stan Bernstein and Charlotte Juul Hansen of the U.N. Millennium Project. The entire report is a free download. The section on Key Facts and Figures on Sexual and Reproductive Health: The importance of Sexual and Reproductive Health across all eight Millennium Development Goals is rich in content. The following is a summary in terms of the eight MDGs, as provided in the report (in quotes), followed by brief analysis remarks:

MDG 1: Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
"High fertility levels contribute directly to poverty, reducing women’s opportunities, diluting expenditure on children’s education and health, precluding savings, and increasing vulnerability and insecurity. In developing countries, 25-40% of economic growth is attributable to the effects of declining fertility and decreased mortality." This is possible if, and only if, men and women share a responsible use in the gift of life and the gift of love, in mutual self-giving (i.e., MDG3, gender equality).

MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
"Girls in developing countries are often pulled out of school to care for siblings and by early marriage and pregnancy. Girls in small families are less likely to drop out of school due to their mother’s pregnancy, or to be pulled out due to the costs of schooling or the indirect costs of foregone household labor if a child attends school." This is possible if, and only if, girls are valued as much as boys (i.e., MDG3, gender equality).

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
"Guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights ensures that girls and women lead longer and healthier lives. When encouraged and provided with opportunities, men seek out reproductive healthcare, thus increasing the possibility for better health outcome for themselves, their partners, and families." This is possible if, and only if, MDG3, gender equality, becomes a reality.

MDG 4: Reduce child mortality
"Maternal behavior and fertility are important determinants of child health and survival. In pregnancies spaced at least three years apart, infant mortality rates drop by 24%; and under-five mortality rates drop by 35%. Annually, pregnancy spacing could save the lives of 3 million children under age five." This is possible if, and only if, the sexual behavior of both men and women is guided by mutual respect and self-giving (MDG3).

MDG 5: Improve maternal health
"Women in developing countries are more than 45 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than women in the developed world. For every woman who dies in pregnancy or childbirth, approximately 30 others (15 million women annually) suffer injuries, infection and disabilities. Access to and correct, consistent use of family planning and emergency obstetric care can significantly reduce maternal morbidity and mortality." This is possible if, and only if, both men and women use the gift of human sexuality in a responsible way; which in turn requires (surprise!!!) gender equality -- MDG3.

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
"Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health would help combat HIV/AIDS by encouraging consistent and effective use of condoms; influencing sexual behavior through education, counseling and risk reduction; preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV; reducing the prevalence of STIs and helping guarantee women in malaria-endemic areas receive effective anti-malarial drug treatments during their pregnancy." The best prevention is abstention outside stable married covenants, and resposible family planning by mutual consent in married life. This is possible if, and only if, MDG3 is the pillar and fundamental point of reference for all married life.

MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
"The past century of population growth has put increasing pressure on natural resources as the scale of human needs and activities has expanded. By 2025, with the projected future population growth, between 2.4 and 3.2 billion people may be living in water-scarce situations." How this relates to MDG3 will be explored in the SSNV July 2007 issue.

MDG 8: Global partnerships for sustainable development
Global partnership is required to provide adequate financing for the effective provision of reproductive health drugs and supplies. New resource estimates indicate that US $36 billion per year is needed by 2015 to provide the necessary sexual and reproductive health services around the world. How this relates to MDG3 will be explored in the SSNV August 2007 issue.

Fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic is of course the first priority. However, there are other diseases that require attention, such as malaria. See, for example, Coalition Against Malaria and the The GlaxoSmithKline African Malaria Partnership. TB is a persisting concern; see, for example, The Call to Stop TB and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tubercolosis, and Malaria, and the very comprehensive Tubercolosis Web Site of the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO web site also provides a directory of links to resources on other important health and healthcare topics.

Globalization and Health:
Writing Straight with Crooked Lines

There is an old saying, that "God writes straight with crooked lines." One of the paradoxes of the process of globalization is that, while giving the rich and powerful an opportunity to increase the "space" where they can increase financial gain at the expense of the poor and vulnerable, it is also giving the poor and vulnerable a golden opportunity to help themselves. It is certainly bringing about a global awareness of critical issues such as gender equality. It is creating an international situation in which the U.N. MDGs can at least be formulated and pursued, albeit with the difficulties that inevitably emerge in any human endeavor. Cultures are being enriched by cross-pollination with other cultures. Religious "monopolies" are beginning to desintegrate as people become aware of options previously unkown to them.

With regard to health issues, organizations such as the UN/WHO and the Global Forum for Health Research (GFHR) have produced a number of studies and new perspectives such as the 90/10 gap:

The Global Forum believes that a systematic approach to gender issues must be a central part of its objective to help correct the 10/90 gap. It is estimated that more than 60% of the world’s poor are women. The health of these women is often adversely affected not only by their poverty but by the gender inequalities that continue to divide many of the world’s poorest countries.

The report Monitoring Financial Flows for Health Research 2006: The changing landscape of health research for development (free download) shows how the landscape of health and healthcare requirements is changing inboth developed and developing countries. With increasing volumes of migration, most diseases know nothing about borders. This includes diseases that originate in both developed and developing countries, such as HIV/AIDS. The GFHR statement Health Research for Equity in Global Health, Mexico City, November 2004, section 3, provides a good synopsis of the situation:

Achieving all the MDGs will require addressing health and its determinants in a comprehensive way and will necessitate further health research, of high quality, focused on the needs of developing countries and vulnerable populations. This research must encompass the spectrum from the biomedical sciences (such as affordable and accessible drugs, vaccines and diagnostics) to health policy and systems research, social sciences, political sciences, health economics and behavioural and operational research, and research into the relationship between health and the cultural, physical, political and social environments. It must be trans-disciplinary and inter-sectoral. It must give systematic attention to cross-cutting issues of poverty and equity, taking account of inequities based on gender, ability, ethnicity and social class/caste, among others; the needs of both the aged and the largest generation ever of young people 0-19 years; and the needs of other specifically disadvantaged groups such as migrants, refugees and those exposed to violent conflict.

The ideal of "unity in diversity" (or, equivalently, "diversity in unity") is becoming a global imperative. Both "unity" and "diversity" must be rooted in non-violent, sustainability-enabling solidarity. We are all on the same boat. No country is self-sufficient. No country can stand in "splendid" isolation from the others. Figure 2 shows the KOF Index of Globalization for 98 countries, 1970-2004. Indeed, we are all going in the same direction, even though there is a huge equity gap between the richest and poorest countries. But why?

Figure 3 - KOF Globalization Index Trends for 98 Countries, 1970-2004
Source: Federal Swiss Institute of Technology, raw data for the KOFGI 2007.
Note: The Index and Footnotes tabs of this xls file provide the list of factors,
data sources, and calculation assumptions for the KOF Globalization Index.
The white-dotted line if the year by year average of the KOFGI for all 98 countries.

It is worrisome to note that, while we are all going in the same direction, the gap between the richest and poorest countries is not decreasing. The 98 trends plotted in Figure 2 may be a case "unity in disarray" (or "disarray in unity," with "unity" being forced by the irreversible dynamics of globalization) but it is hard to see in them a convergence toward either unity or diversity, let alone both unity and diversity. The objective evidence analyzed in this issue continues to suggest that this inequity is rooted in gender inequity. What else could be the root cause of the HIV pandemic?

"All the available evidence indicates that there can be no peace, security or sustainable economic development in societies that deny human rights, including the human rights of women. I want to believe that this will be understood by governments, especially in light of the fact that societies with the greatest gender equality have grown the fastest. This link shows that gender equality is critical to development, and that women's continuing marginalisation must therefore be reversed." (Roselynn Musa, May 2007)

Let us hope that this will be understood by religious institutions as well.

5. Review of the Mimetic Theory Website

The complete name of the web site is Imitation, Mimetic Theory, and Religious & Cultural Evolution. This web site is part of the Templeton Award Research Program (TARP), and is sponsored by The John Templeton Foundation, The Metanexus Institute, and Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. The web site is structured as follows:

The Welcome section is the home page, and states the purpose of the project: "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." This statement is followed by very instructive quotes from the works of René Girard (1978) and Susan Hurley & Nick Chater (2005).

The About the Project section is an excellent synopsis of the "state of the art" in applied mimetic theory. It starts by noting that "the role of religion in society and the human capacity for both immensely altruistic, as well as terribly violent, acts of social behavior are two of the most significant and pressing topics of our contemporary world." But the time has come to test the theory by empirical research: "It is now clear that investigations on human imitation are among the most profound and innovative areas of research contributing to the future of a more unified and coherent understanding of the cognitive and social sciences." This is a critically urgent undertaking as we face the realities of human behavior here and now: "The overall objective with this grant project is to initiate cross-fertilization of research findings between mimetic scholars and empirical researchers concerning the foundational role of imitation for human motivation, behavior, development, social & cognitive functioning, and religious & cultural evolution." In particular, after the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, it has become essential to understand the intrinsic link between religion and violence; and religious violence includes both physical violence and psychological violence. Furthermore, religious violence is ubiquitous in both secular and religious institutions (see the SSNV issues on patriarchal violence in religious institutions, dated March to August 2006).

The Participants section provides the name of the scholars involved in the project, with biographies and links to their work on mimetic theory. The list is very impressive: Mark Anspach, Warren Brown, Paul Dumouchel, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Vittorio Gallese, Scott Garrels, René Girard, Robert Hamerton-Kelly, William Hurlbut, Melvin Konner, Andrew Meltzoff, Trevor Merrill, Jean-Michel Oughourlian, and Elke Rechberger.

The 2007 Conference Program page shows the schedule and papers presented at the recent mimetic theory conference, Stanford University, 28-29 April 2007. Links to the papers are not provided. Hopefully, they will be added soon. Also missing is any capability for collaborative research, which is required if any convergence between theoretical and empirical research is to be achieved. Empirical research on the influence of mimesis in triggering and spreading the HIV epidemic would be very useful in formulating better preventive policies.

6. New Resources on the Web


STATE OF THE WORLD'S MOTHERS 2007, Save the Children, May 2007. From the cover: "In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is publishing its eighth annual State of the World’s Mothers report. The focus is on the 28,000 children under age 5 who die every day from easily preventable or treatable causes and the tragic fact that basic, lifesaving remedies still are not reaching millions of mothers and children in need. This report helps to bring attention to low-cost solutions that have the greatest potential to save lives. It also identifies countries that are succeeding in tackling this problem, showing that effective solutions to this challenge are affordable – even in the world’s poorest countries." This report should have been announced in the May 2007 issue on improving the health of mothers worldwide (MDG5), or even in the April 2007 issue on reducing child mortality (MDG4) . The report is very comprehensive, as indicated by the table of contents:

Key Findings and Recommendations
Reducing the Death Toll: 10 Million Children Don’t Have to Die Every Year
Child Survival Progress Ranking
Saving the Lives of Children Under 5: Low-Cost Solutions That Work
Report Card: 5 Ways to Save Lives Under Age 5
Changing the World by Investing in Children
Child Deaths in the Industrialized World: United States has a Higher Death Rate Than Most Other Countries
Take Action Now! Make a World of Difference for Mothers and Children
Appendix: Eighth Annual Mothers’ Index and Country Rankings
Methodology and Research Notes

SIX TRENDS TRANSFORMING GOVERNMENT, by Mark A. Abramson, Jonathan D. Breul, and John M. Kamensky, IBM Center for the Business of Government, Washington DC, April 2007. It is a good sign to see corporations like IBM becoming interested in how government institutions work and how they can be improved. The six trends analyzed in this report are the following:

Trend One: Changing the Rules
Trend Two: Using Performance Management
Trend Three: Providing Competition, Choice, Incentives
Trend Four: Performing On Demand
Trend Five: Engaging Citizens
Trend Six: Using Networks and Partnerships
A seventh trend is missing: the one in which promoting the principles of solidarity, sustainability, and nonviolence become high priorities (with responsibility and accountability) to government leaders at all levels, everywhere. At the moment, the United Nations' MDGs may well be the best conceptual framework to work with.

ONLINE EDUCATION: WHAT CAN IT DELIVER?, Development Gateway, 2006. From the website: "Seven of the world's largest distance education universities—where students and faculty alike all use some form of computer-assisted learning—are located in developing countries. For these communities, educational resources available via the Internet can offer cutting-edge applications of cyberspace. Yet, roadblocks—from inadequate national communications infrastructures to teachers reluctant to adapt to e-learning—exist for the full success of online education for higher education. Meanwhile, the use of online delivery in corporate training is predicted to overtake higher education usage in developing countries, becoming an estimated $150 billion industry by 2025." Some of the online education areas discussed in the report (which can be downloaded free of charge) are as follows:

Aid Effectiveness
Capacity Development for MDGs
Culture & Development
Gender and Development
Indigenous Issues
Youth for Development
Environment and Development
Urban Development
Food Security
Population and Reproductive Health
ICT for Development
Knowledge Economy
Open Educational Resources

COMPENDIUM OF INNOVATIVE E-GOVERNMENT PRACTICES, United Nations, New York, 2007, 282 pages. From the Executive Summary: "As information and communication technologies (ICTs) are dramatically changing the lives of people around the world, governments recognize that they must find solutions that will increase public value to their citizens. Drawing on the main message of the United Nations Global E-government Readiness Reports of 2004 and 2005, it is important to keep in mind that citizens should be viewed as the focal point of e-government development. Although many countries have implemented one-stop portals, introduced online transactions and experimented with e-participation initiatives, the process of developing public value through e-government is at the initial stages of conceptualization and implementation. As a result, not all e-solutions and e-services that governments provide necessarily meet the needs of the ordinary citizen. The main objective of developing the UN/DESA Compendium of Innovative E-government Practices as an ongoing project is to create a venue for promoting innovative e-government solutions, services and products developed by governments. The Compendium also enables South-South and North-South information-sharing of valuable experiences and innovative practices. In both cases, the focus is on hastening innovation and thus creating public value for the citizenry."

ILO 2007 GLOBAL REPORT: "EQUALITY AT WORK: TACKING THE CHALLENGE", ILO, 10 May 2007. From the announcement: "Provides a global picture of job-related discrimination, citing both progress and failures in the struggle to fight discrimination ranging from traditional forms such as sex, race or religion, to newer forms based on age, sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status and disability." The press release is very informative.

A DAY FULL OF LIGHT: ENDING COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOTATION, ILO, 10 May 2007. "The growth of human trafficking linked to sexual exploitation is of worldwide concern. Those who suffer sexism, racism, poverty, and homelessness, or who have been victims of domestic violence, rape, or incest, both domestically and globally, are terribly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE)." See also THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN: A Working Guide to the Empirical Literature, Richard Estes, University of Pennsylvania, 2001.

TRAFFICKING & ANTI-TRAFFICKING TRAINING MANUAL, ICMPD, 2007. "Trafficking-Anti-Trafficking Training Manual for EU Judges & Prosecutors, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, 2007: The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) released new training material for judges and prosecutors in EU member states and candidate states for accession with the framework "Programme for Elaboration and Implementation of Anti-Trafficking Training Modules for Judges and Prosecutors in EU Member States, Accession and Candidate Countries." The material contains information to raise awareness for judges and prosecutors, as well as serve as a guide for practitioners who come into contact with victims of trafficking." To request a copy email Elisa Trossero at ICMPD.

THE 2006 NGO SUSTAINABILITY INDEX, USAID, May 2007. Covering Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. From the USAID web site: "The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released the 10th edition of the NGO Sustainability Index, a key analytical tool that measures the progress of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Europe and Eurasia (E&E) region. The NGO Sustainability Index examines the environment for civil society, focusing on seven dimensions: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure and public image. Scores are measured on a 1 to 7 scale, with 7 indicating a low or poor level of development and 1 indicating a very advanced level of progress. Each country report provides an in-depth analysis of the NGO sector along with comparative information from earlier surveys." The entire report, or sections of it, can be downloaded free of charge. To request a paper copy, please send your name and address to NGOSI.

THE CHALLENGE OF INEQUALITY, IPC/UNDP, Brasilia, June 2007, 28 pages (free download). Summary: "Inequality is a major challenge for poverty reduction and a crucial obstacle for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. There are both intrinsic and instrumental reasons why inequality matters, such as social justice and morality, putting the poor first, growth and efficiency, political legitimacy, and public policy goals. This issue of IPC’s journal Poverty in Focus presents 12 articles summarising some of the most important recent research results on the extent of inequality in the distribution of wealth and incomes at both the global and national levels, on analytical aspects of causes and patterns, and on policy conclusions and recommendations." This is a high quality and very informative publication with excellent charts and graphics. See a list of other IPC publications.

EPIDEMIC OF INEQUALITY: WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND HIV/AIDS, Physicians for Human Rights, 2007, 203 pages (free download). From the Executive Summary: "Deeply entrenched gender inequities perpetuate the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Botswana and Swaziland, the two countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the world.10 The legal systems in both countries grant women lesser status than men, restricting property, inheritance and other rights. Social, economic and cultural practices create, enforce and perpetuate legalized gender inequalities and discrimination in all aspects of women’s lives. Neither country has met its obligations under international human rights law. As a result, women continue to be disproportionately vulnerable to HIV/AIDS."

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.


KOF INDEX OF GLOBALIZATION, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, 2007. From the website: "The KOF Index of Globalization measures the three main dimensions of globalization: economic, social, and political. In addition to three indices measuring these dimensions, we calculate an overall index of globalization and sub-indices referring to actual economic flows, economic restrictions, data on information flows, data on personal contact, and data on cultural proximity. Data are available on a yearly basis for 122 countries over the period 1970 - 2004. The data is available for download, and users can utilize the mapping and graphing tools that add an informative visual element to the data."

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA) NEW WEB SITE. From the announcement: "The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent US Government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers. On Monday, May 14, 2007, the CIA unveiled its newly designed public Web site: The new site is an extension of the CIA’s social contract with the American people. The new site is divided into seven distinct categories: About CIA, Careers, Offices of CIA, News & Information, Library, Kids’ Page and Contact CIA. The CIA plans to continuously enhance As new features are added, the CIA Web team will post articles in the Featured Story section describing the changes."

UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD TODAY. This web site has recently been updated with a number of new documents on Global Social Change , including Basic Guide to the World: Economic Growth, 1970 to 2007, with plots of several global/regional economic variables from 1969 to 2007 and Links to open source journals of social, political, and economic change.

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY RESEARCH GROUP (EGRG). This website has been completely overhauled and relaunched. The Economic Geography Research Group aims to foster research and its dissemination in economic geography by organising meetings, developing contact and cooperation among geographers and other social scientists, and promoting the publication of research. The website includes documentation of conferences and symposia, Working papers, book reviews, economic geography news, and links to key online resources.

CHILD TRAFFICKING DIGITAL LIBRARY. The library has been updated with a number of important documents, as follows:

Combating the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, ECPAT Europe Law Enforcement Group, 2006.
The Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Children who have been Commercially Sexually Exploited, ECPAT International, 2005.
The IOM Handbook on Direct Assistance for Victims of Trafficking, International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2007.
Manual For Social Workers Dealing With Child Victims Of Trafficking And Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Ministry of Women and Child Development India, 2005.
Southeast Asian Guidelines for the Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking, Asia Against Child Trafficking (Asia ACTs), 2006.
Combating the Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes, ECPAT Europe Law Enforcement Group, 2006.
Tackling trafficking through workers’ rights, TUC, 2006.
Reference Guide on Protecting the Rights of Child Victims of Trafficking in Europe, UNICEF, 2006.
Enhanced Protection for Children Affected by AIDS, UNICEF, 2007.

INTEGRITY IN SCIENCE DATABASE, Integrity in Science (IIS) Project, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), 2007. From the website: "The Integrity in Science (ISS) Project combats corporate influence on science and science-based public policy. We scrutinize more than 200 science-based federal advisory committees for undisclosed conflicts of interest, monitor the media and scientific literature for failure to disclose, and encourage the adoption of strong disclosure policies. ISS publishes the weekly Integrity in Science Watch e-Newsletter and maintains an open database of public records of scientists' ties to industry." Includes a searchable database of 4000+ scientists for conflict of interest research.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK STATISTICAL DATABASE SYSTEM (SDBS), Asian Development Bank (ADB), launched 16 May 2007. From the website: "The database, developed and maintained by ADB’s Economics and Research Department, contains data from 1988 onwards and will be a major resource and analytical tool for policymakers, academics, researchers and journalists interested in issues and challenges facing Asia and the Pacific. The launch of the online version of SDBS underscores ADB’s role as a key knowledge bank for developing member countries in the region. To help users in navigating the website, an easy access online facility has been developed. This internet version of SDBS contains data from 1988 onward. MDG tables of ADB’s developing member countries can also be generated from this database."

ANIMATED INTERACTIVE SIMULATOR OF CLIMATE DYNAMICS by the Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED) Program. From the website: "The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is increasing. The world is getting warmer. If this continues, the ecosystems and economies of the world will be dramatically altered. What can be done about this? This simulation (intended for 8-10 year olds) lets you decide the future of the planet. This simulation was designed in collaboration with The Sustainability Institute. The numbers that drive the graphs and the animation were calculated in a system dynamics model built by Dr. Thomas Fiddaman. His research can be viewed here."

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).

7. Knowledge Taxonomy and Links

The newsletter home page now includes links to a growing number of resource directories:

The knowledge organization taxonomies are being reworked to use the Encyclopedic Portal to Wikipedia as universal knowledge baseline (why reinventing the wheel?). A limited number of additional SSNV-specific links, such as links to U.N. MDG resources, will be retained as an annex to the Wikipedia portal.

8. Prayer, Study, and Action

The tripod of PRAYER, STUDY, and ACTION is a well-known and tested method of integral human development, which includes self-knowledge and the inner journey to the very center of each human being, where God abides. PRAYER, STUDY, and ACTION: each leg of the tripod is necessary, all three together are sufficient. PRAYER, STUDY, and ACTION: simple, but not easy.

May I be filled
with loving kindness.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful
and at ease.
May I be happy.

Tibetan Buddhist

Recommended book:

"There is no Crime
for Those
Who Have Christ:
Religious Violence
in the Christian
Roman Empire"

Michael Gaddis,
Univ of CA Press,



Plant a tree, clean your street, consume less, exercise more, anything you want but, do something!

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: MDG1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty
V3 N02 February 2007: MDG2: Universal Primary Education
V3 N03 March 2007: MDG3: Promotion of Gender Equality
V3 N04 April 2007: MDG4: Reduction of Child Mortality
V3 N05 May 2007: MDG5: Maternal Care Improvement

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Link to the Invited Article:
Perils of Elite Pacting
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

World Religions

The following are links to information about some of the major religious traditions and approximate numbers of adherents:

Christianity (2.5 billion)
Islam (1.4 billion)
Hinduism (1 billion)
Budhism (375 million)
Sikhism (23 million)
Judaism (14 million)
Bahá'í (7 million)

For more information, see World Religions, which includes global maps showing geographic religious distributions.

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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:


State of the World's Children 2007


State of the World's Girls 2007


The Earth Institute
Columbia University


Introduction to the MDGs

Slides for MDG 1

Slides for MDG 2

Slides for MDG 3

Slides for MDG 4

Slides for MDG 5

Slides for MDG 6

Slides for MDG 7

Slides for MDG 8

Bad Theology Responsible
for Mistreatment of Women

"Misguided and distorted versions of Christian belief have contributed to domestic abuse in Britain, says the Church of England. And the Church itself has not done enough to protect victims.

The report, which has been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says that domestic abuse is as “prevalent among Christians” as among other groups and identifies problem areas in Christian tradition. It warns clergy that the bride’s traditional marriage vow to “obey” her husband could be used to justify domestic violence as could referring to God as “He” and “Lord”. "Bad theology, such as using the Virgin Mary “to reinforce norms of female passivity and obedience”, has even been used to convince victims to forgive their abusers and not take action against them. “It is a tragic fact that bad theology, in this case a faulty understanding of God and human beings in relationship, can have the effect — whether intended or not — of betraying victims of domestic abuse and encouraging the actions of perpetrators”.

One serious example, the report notes, is how the theology of self-denial and redemptive suffering in the Crucifixion of Jesus has “undermined people’s recognition of the evils being done to them and implanted masochistic attitudes of acceptance, or even celebration, of their afflictions”. It calls on the Church to distinguish between submission to abuse and self-denial.

"The report highlights particular problems in the Old Testament, where the attribution of violent actions and attitudes to God required “careful interpretation with reference to the historical and theological context”. Entitled Responding to Domestic Abuse, the report was written by a group set up by the Archbishops’ Council and contains new guidelines for clergy on how to deal with the problem. The report calls for training for all clergy on how to spot and deal with domestic abuse."

Source: Bad Theology Responsible for Mistreatment of Women, BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) Newsletter, May 2007.

Memorable People
of the
20th Century


On all these shores
there are echoes
of past and future;
of the flow of time,
obliterating yet containing
all that has gone before -
of the stream of life,
flowing as inexorably
as any ocean current,
from past to unknown future.

Rachel Carson

For more information about
Rachel Carson:

The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
The Rachel Carson Homestead
The Rachel Carson Institute
Rachel Carson (Wikipedia)
Ecology Hall of Fame
New York Times Obituary

Hillary Clinton

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

Want to know why I think Hillary is
the best choice for president?
Click the banner:



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


JUNE 5, 2007

Melting Ice: A Hot Topic?
Meltdown Poster
Sponsored by UNEP

NOVEMBER 19, 2007

Women's World Summit Foundation
Sponsored by WWSF

Sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). January 16-18, 2008. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W., Washington, DC 20001. Focus on Climate Change: Science and Solutions Resources. Please direct questions on NCSE's next conference to NCSE 2008 Conference on Climate Change.

A symposium on "Gender and Well Being: The Role of Institutions from Past to Present." Madrid, Spain, 25th-27th June 2008. From the CFP: "There are fundamental questions about the origins and nature of individual and social well-being in Europe, as well as on its sustainability. The symposium's aim to develop a new concept of well-being, examining the socially gendered indicators, actors and processes affecting the production and access to well-being across the life-course. This reflexion is meant to be conducted at a crossroads between history, social science and economy." Call for papers opened till 20th September 2007. Send abstracts to Paloma de Villota with copy to the Secretary by this Form. Selection of abstracts will be made by the end of October 2007 and will be communicated to authors before 15th November 2007. Papers must be sent by e-mail no later than 26th May, 2008.

The aim is a cross-cultural dialogue imagining a political and symbolic world based on life not death: mercy not sacrifice. "A multi-disciplinary event, we aim to bring diverse approaches to our deliberations under the following headings: Theory, Resistance, and Theology. Priority will be given to those taking a multi-disciplinary synchronic perspective, and imaginative approaches to presenting that maximize pre-event preparation (making papers available in advance) and interactive modes of engagement with participants. We also hope to balance incisive critique with concrete strategies for practical action." Venue: Trinity College, Dublin. Date: 2-4 November 2007. Sponsors: Institute for Feminism and Religion and Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. Please address questions to Mary Condren.

Call for Papers on Tactics of Resistance: Limitations & Possibilities for an interdisciplinary graduate conference to be hosted by the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, University of Western Ontario, Canada, October 12-13, 2007. "We are looking for papers addressing alternative conceptions and frameworks of resistance, and their potential for revolutionary change. We welcome students, professors, artists and activists to re-think resistance through an interdisciplinary alliance." For more information, email the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism.

International Conference on Peaceful Coexistence, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 23–24 November 2007. The need for peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims within and between nations has long been recognized. The much publicized failures in relations in recent years, which are both a cause and effect of the situation in many parts of the world – not just the Middle East – should spur all right-minded people to re-double their efforts to sustain the hope for peaceful co-existence. For further information please e-mail: Peaceful Coexistence or visit the Peaceful Coexistence Conference web site.

Religion has the capacity to form intentional groups and communities as well as to mobilize agents to work for certain goals. This formation of communities and mobilization of resources to achieve goals is actually consonant with the term "formation of publics" as used by C. Wright Mills. This conference will explore the new publics of the 21st century. Publics here may be individuals and/or groups who attempt to create knowledge and/or achieve certain actions using religious ideals, beliefs, and/or symbols. Venue: University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Date: 23-26 January 2008. Deadline for abstracts: 21 July 2007. Enquiries: Esmeralda Sanchez.

An international symposium organised in collaboration between the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) and Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. Dates: 28 & 29 June 2007. For more information see the symposium website. Point of contact: Alberto Corsín Jiménez.

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 .

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 .

Call for Papers: "The Biology of Religious Behavior: A Human Ethology Perspective on Religion." Care to spend time in Italy studying psychology and religion? Then consider submitting a paper to the International Society for Human Ethology meeting in Bologna, Italy, July 14-18, 2008. Better yet, there is a possibility for funds to support your travel to Bologna for the conference. Sposored by the Society of Human Ethology. Bologna, Italy, 14 – 18 July, 2008. The deadline for abstract submission is 1 March 2008. For more information visit the ISHE2008 conference website. Points of contact are Marco Costa, University of Bologna, Italy and Luca Tommasi, University of Chieti, Italy. See also the PsyRel blog of Jay Feierman.


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.

CFP by the St. Antony's International Review (STAIR), a peer-reviewed academic journal of international affairs based here at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford. A forthcoming issue of STAIR will focus on the theme of human trafficking. Abstracts due August 30, 2007. Papers due December 30, 2007. A copy of the CFP and other information can be obtained via email to Ms. Heidi Stöckl, Associate Editor, St. Antony's International Review (STAIR).

This will be the 5th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Congress theme: "Best Evidence Based Practices on Prevention, Treatment and Management of Violence at the Individual, Institutional and Governmental Level." 25 - 27 October 2007, 0, Amsterdam. From the invitation: "Violent and aggressive behaviour is a complex phenomenon of great importance in society as well in clinical psychiatry. Violence has become a global problem crossing borders, work settings and occupational groups. Within clinical psychiatry, violence is one of the major obstacles for effective treatment and rehabilitation, and with regard to health care workers, violence is the major occupational health hazard. Therefore a comprehensive institutional approach to this problem at all organizational levels is needed." See the conference website. Point of contact: Nico Oud.

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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"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for
among old parchments or musty records.
They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume
of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself;
and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

— Alexander Hamilton

In The Farmer Refuted, published 1775


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Copyright © 2007 by Luis T. Gutierrez


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