As the semester is closing in on us, we want to give the blog readers an update on what the International Committee (IU) has been up to during these last few months! IU is one of Spires four political committees, and our primary responsibility is to maintain contact and collaborate with our partners abroad. In practice, this responsibility entails a lot of different activities, from keeping in touch with international networks of social activists, planning and participating in events, developing new project ideas and planning for future collaboration. Some of the results of our efforts have already been put on display on the blog and on Facebook.
But there is a lot of other stuff going on as well! For instance, we met with two youth members of a Moroccan Human Rights Organization a month ago, as described below by committee member Momoka Tamura.
On 22nd of October, 2015, Spires International Committee met with two member of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH). We are in their blog post!
The AMDH is Morroco’s largest human rights organization. It has regional offices throughout the country as well as branches in other countries including some European countries.
The members who came to Norway belong to a central committee of youth in the organization. Exchanging our experiences, it became obvious that we work on a lot of similar issues. Although Spire does not necessary frame our efforts within a strictly defined human rights perspective, climate change and human rights are, of course, interlinked. Our objectives like food security, fair trade and climate justice is encompassed by the UN Human Rights charter, so our mutual desire to collaborate shouldn’t be too surprising!
For example, we learned that AMDH has worked to promote and defend the right to water among communities in the southern parts of Morocco. In this area, huge water resources are owned by big corporations, and they limit local communities´ access to water. This entails huge difficulties for farmers and households in general. AMDH has also participated in campaigns against aforestation processes in Khenifra, a process that involves land robbery.
We in Spire do not directly frame our projects as strictly human rights issues, but as issues of environment and development. On the other hand, AMHD’s work is based on human rights, and their activities are to defend human rights. But with these different approaches, I think we share what we think as a problem and what we need to work on and to make better.
In addition to this meeting, a few members of the International Committee have participated actively as a part of the annual campaign, The Climate Diaries. We were thoroughly impressed by how the campaign and the launch event on November 14th has come together, and we were moved merely by being in the presence of Kisilu Musya – what an unique source of motivation and inspiration! It’s so exciting to know that Kisilu and the campaign is going to Paris and COP21 next week – the symbolic and political value of a representation of the global south at the climate negotiations cannot be exaggerated.
And we were happy to see that IU’s mini-social media campaign was used during the event, this way bringing different dimensions of Spires work together, under an overall message that is #climateactionnow!
We have, in other words, been quite active. And as the year is slowly but surely coming to an end, we are reorienting our perspectives towards future work and future projects. This Monday – in addition to making a presentation during an Erasmus-event at Blindern, we had a brainstorming session, so to kickstart our creative flows, which we hope will spawn a lot of fun, inspiring and meaningful events for 2016. And we use this opportunity once again to invite you all to join our group, and to get busy taking climate action now!
Tekst av Hanne Krystad og Momoka Tamura, bilder av Hanne Krystad