ECHOES FROM AEFJN No. 5 - September / October 2013


1429 Reasons for Hope for Peace

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_1_Icons/Spiritualityimage.jpgThe resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations adopted on September 27 forces the regime of Bashar al-Assad to destroy all chemical weapons stockpiles. This resolution puts an end to a period of tension in which President Obama has suggested that the international community had a moral duty to invade Syria to release its population. Calling for justice for the victims is emotionally appealing, but at the same time there are thousands of victims of economic injustice.Read more



The Influence of Pharmaceutical Corporations on Health Policies


The Pharmaceutical industry – ‘Pharma’ in short - plays an important role in health policies. Through Trade Agreements they impact on the price of (and access to) medicines in developing countries. By lobbying national and regional legislators and regulatory agencies approving medicines, they influence health services and the quality of medicines; by suing governments they hamper the protection of public interests. Read more


Africa’s Hope and New Forms of International Trade

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Currently, trade agreements between Africa and Europe are conditioned by neoliberal economic policies which give little space for fairer economic growth in Africa. Europe imposes its economic and political models on the African regions and calls for free trade in goods, services and investments. The Alternative Trade Mandate (ATM) proposes a different trade policy that increases economic, social and environmental well-being and creates justice between countries. Read More

EU Agrofuels Policy: Fuel for Hunger and Deforestation


EU member states granted billions of taxpayer money to subsidize biofuels in order to attain the consumption targets set by the EU. However, this is a failing policy, which is driving up consumer food bills worldwide, stimulating land grabbing, worsening air quality round the globe and increasing hunger and poverty in Africa and other developing nations. Read more



Africa’s Contribution to the UN’s Peace-Keeping Action

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At the beginning of the 1960s, African countries contributed to the deployment of ONUC, the United Nations Operation in the Congo. Since then, some 40 states have provided military personnel for peace-keeping forces. West Africa, especially the English speaking countries, has been most committed. This participation shows both the will of Africans to play a part in peace-keeping on the continent, and also the economic interest in the 1,000 dollars every month that the state receives for each UN soldier. Read more


The Congo’s Oil Law, an Opportunity for Democracy

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The Congolese parliament is revising its oil law to regulate the new drillings, exploitation and oil revenue system. The new oil law should create a system of greater transparency regarding concessions for drilling as well as avoiding drilling for oil in natural reserves. Congolese civil society is carrying out a campaign demanding that the Congolese government submit the new legislation to public consultation. Read more


Compensating for the Carbon Emissions of the Rich can Seriously Damage the Health of the Poor

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The project to fight deforestation in Madagascar managed by WWF and GoodPlanet and co-financed by Air France is a threat to communities in forest lands.  Air France is hoping this project will improve its public image as the company would make an effort to make up for its emissions. The consequences for the local communities are dramatic as they would lose their farm land.  Read more



AEFJN UK Celebrates the 25th Anniversary

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“Love for the people of Africa has inspired the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network”, reflected Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald at Saturday’s Jubilee Mass in London to celebrate the Network’s 25th anniversary. The Missionary of Africa and former head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, with experience of working in Egypt, Uganda and Sudan, complimented the missionary congregations who formed the Network in 1988, saying they were inspired by seeing Africans suffering because of unfair trade, debt and the activity of multinational companies. “They realised the former colonial powers had particular responsibilities in relation to Africa” he said, “and greater awareness of issues affecting Africa had to be created amongst decision-makers”. Read more




Voice your Indignation about the European Union’s Promotion of Biofuels

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Voice your indignation about the European Union’s promotion of biofuels! Please write a letter to your national Energy and Environment Ministries who are currently discussing the biofuels policy in the European Council. Click here to find a model letter that you can adapt for your country and, if need be, translate.



EU Agrofuels Policy: Letters to MEPs


AEFJN, as part of a wide civil society coalition, is insisting that the European Parliament scrap the mandates for land-based biofuels.  An open letter to MEPs has been published and personal emails have been sent to MEPs stating our demands. However, the result of the vote in the European Parliament will increase the consumption of agrofuels in the EU.  Read more



Video: the Power of Tax

Tax funds schools and hospitals everywhere. Right now, tax dodging and tax breaks are taking billions of dollars away from vital public services every year. Watch the video and act now to make big companies pay what they should.


Oil Palm in Africa. Voices from the Communities

Witness declarations of people affected by industrial palm oil plantations in their vicinity. (7 min.)


Children in Burkina Faso Get Dirty Work of Digging Up Gold (9min)

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