Local Solutions for a Global Economy


Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative

UNIOGBIS: United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau

Global Fairness Initiative visits Guinea-Bissau at invitation of SRSG

"09 September 2013- A mission from Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) is visiting Guinea-Bissau from 9-12 September at the invitation of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau, José Ramos-Horta, to look into the possibility of investment in economic projects.

Led by the GFI founder-president, Karen Tramontano, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former US President Bill Clinton, the mission includes representatives of potential donor organisations. It aims to meet with individuals and organizations to learn more about Guinea-Bissau’s short and long-term goals as well as its development challenges and opportunities, and to discuss with multiple stakeholders opportunities for partnership and investment.

On Monday 9 September, the delegation paid a courtesy visit on SRSG José Ramos-Horta, who had invited GFI to visit the country during a meeting held in Washington in May 2013. The SRSG is a member of the GFI’s board of directors, made up of various outstanding personalities, including former presidents, top private sector executives and leaders of non-governmental institutions.

On Monday, the GFI delegation met with the UN Country Team, which comprises representatives of the UN Integrated Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau, UNIOGBIS, and United Nations agencies that operate in the country. At that meeting, Ms Tramontano explained that GFI was interested in investment in initiatives that can have a major impact on the development of livelihoods.

The agenda of the GFI delegation further includes meetings with Guinea-Bissauan state officials, discussions with national private sector representatives, meetings with representatives of male and female farmers, fishermen and fisherwomen, textile weavers and traders, as well as visits to agricultural and other projects in different parts of the country."


Video: Development cooperation in Guinea-Bissau (Africa) 2014

Watch this three minute video on Guinea-Bissau to learn about the challenges the country and it's citizens face today. This video, on behalf of the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation, goes inside Guinea-Bissau to capture these challenges first hand and speak with representatives such as, but not limited to, His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau and Mr. Gana Fofang and UN Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator in Guinea-Bissau.


GFI leadership meet with Tunisian labor leaders

April 15, 2014 - Tunis
Today GFI Board Chair Dr. Danilo Turk and President Karen Tramontano met with Hassine Abbasi, President of Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT), Tunisia's largest Trade Union and a nominee for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. UGTT has played a significant role in strengthening the role of civil society in post-revolution Tunisia and have led efforts that contributed to the ratification of Tunisia’s new constitution, and the formation of a caretaker government tasked with seeing the country through to future elections. The focus of the meeting with GFI was to discuss the need for extending labor rights and protections into Tunisia's larger informal sector, and creating systems to help facilitate formalization. The discussion was centered around GFI's Tunisia Inclusive Labor Initiative (TILI), an ongoing multi-stakeholder program that has help develop a framework for transitioning Tunisia's informal workforce into the formal economy and strengthen social protections and services, the institutions responsible for them. Learn more about the TILI Program

Qatar World Cup: 1,200 Migrant Workers Dead

Qatar World Cup: 1,200 Migrant Workers Dead

A recent report from the International Trade Union Confederation indicates that 1,200 migrant workers have died while working on World Cup projects in Qatar. Migrant workers from India and Nepal have been traveling to the country for construction jobs in preparation for the 2022 games in Qatar since 2010. Lusail City workers have reported squalid working conditions, withheld pay, the confiscation of passports and unhealthy demands, including working in 122 degree heat with no rest nor food.

The Guardian has dubbed this migrant worker exploitation in Qatar "modern day slavery" while the ILO has called on Qatar to implement necessary reforms. The ITUC also predicts that 4,000 migrant workers will die by the time that the games begin. Most shocking, however, is the Qatari World Cup Committee's denial of the situation, claiming that the ITUC's statistics are both "incorrect and misleading." Efforts are reportedly being made to investigate the situation and institute reforms to end this offense to human rights.

Write-up By: Mersadies Burch, GFI Intern

(Photo via Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Tunisia – to hold elections and register 4.2 million voters in 2014

Tunisia to Hold Elections in 2014, Despite Delays

March 26, 2014

“Tunisia's presidential and parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned later this year despite delays in approving a new election law, authorities said on Wednesday.

No date has yet been set for the elections, the second ballot since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and the first since the adoption of a new constitution praised internationally as a model for transition to democracy.

‘The second elections after the 2011 vote will be more difficult because the standards will be tougher,’ said Chafik Sarsar, head of the Independent Election Commission (ISIE).

‘Elections should be held on time in 2014, despite all the difficulties,’ he said.

Sarsar acknowledged hurdles to overcome, including the fact ISIE does not yet have a headquarters and delays to the new electoral law meant to provide a framework for running the ballot.

Three years after its revolt, Tunisia is in its final steps to full democracy, with a new constitution adopted and more political stability than in Libya and Egypt, which also ousted long-standing leaders in 2011…”

Click on the link above to read the full article or visit: http://www.voanews.com/content/tunisia-to-hold-elections-in-two-thousand-fourteen-despite-delays/1879609.html

FILE - Tunisia's Speaker of the Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar casts his vote over the composition of an election commission that will oversee a vote later this year, Tunis, Jan. 8, 2014.

Informal Miners Block Roads in Peru on Fifth Day of Protests

Informal Miners Block Roads in Peru on Fifth Day of Protests

Around 3,000 informal miners took to the streets of Lima, Peru last Thursday to pressure the government to extend its deadline for registering mining activities, due to expire next month. On Monday, protestors blocked roads around the country, in total leaving at least 1 dead and 12 injured. The government, which has dispatched 5,000 police and 1,000 army troops in response, refuses to extend its April 19 formalization deadline and intends to press charges against 40 informal mining group leaders. Around 70,000 of the country's estimated 100,000 informal workers have signed a declaration committing to formalization.

Illegal and informal miners produced around 12% of Peru’s gold output in 2012, generating about $3 billion in annual revenue. However, debate over the issue is ripe, as unregulated gold mining is destroying the rainforest and causing mercury contamination of water and fishing sources. Miners, meanwhile, protest the legislation’s deadline, arguing that it could destroy the livelihood of thousands of small-scale miners and their families, and support a 2-year extension as well as a more integrated legal framework to sustain formalization.

Write-up By: Mersadies Burch, GFI Intern

(Photo via AP-Rodrigo Abd)