from the grassroots to the planetary

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Our long time friend and EON Advisory Board member, Walden Bello, was awarded an honorary degree by Murdoch University
in Perth, Australia Feb. 19, 2013.

[Scroll down for videos of Dr. Bello’s inspiring report to a San Francisco audience on recent significant political progress in the Philippines.]

Excerpts from article below:
Is This Why the Pope Resigned?
“In his acceptance speech after bring conferred the degree by Terry Budge, Chancellor of the University, Bello told the assembled graduates and faculty members that he was proud to have participated in the passage of the historic Reproductive Health Act in the Philippines.

“The new law will not only advance women’s rights,” he noted. “It will also allow us to finally undertake rational population management for sustainable national development, an objective that the vast majority of our people have long desired.”

To much laughter in the audience, he took the occasion to “deny the rumor” that “the Pope decided to resign because the Philippines had passed a bill that gives poor women access to methods of artificial contraception.”

Bello said he was honored to have participated in the crafting of the historic Marcos Human Rights Violations Compensation Act, which “established the Philippines as one of the few, if not the only, government in the world to pass legislation to compensate citizens whose fundamental human rights were violated by its agencies.“

Australia’s Murdoch University awards Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello Honorary Doctorate for Advocacy on Social Justice and Human Rights

At its commencement exercises in Perth, Australia, on February 19, Murdoch University conferred a doctorate degree, honoris causa, on Akbayan Representative Walden Bello.

One of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning, Murdoch University was founded in 1970 and named after Sir Walter Murdoch, a preeminent Australian philosopher and advocate of free speech.

According to the university citation read by Professor Gary Rodan, “Dr Bello masterfully combines the roles of legislator, activist, humanitarian and professor in a career spanning almost five decades. He has harnessed courage, conviction and intellectual creativity in championing social justice and supporting others to the same end.”

“A member of the House of Representatives of the Republic of the Philippines,” the citation continued, “Congressman Bello spends much of his time crafting legislation and assisting the marginalized social sectors that comprise the constituencies of the political party Akbayan (the Citizens’ Action Party).”

“Dr Bello’s professional career,” concluded the citation, “has been remarkable for its sustained, diverse and inspirational leadership on behalf of those least powerful who are most in need of advocacy and support.”

In his acceptance speech after bring conferred the degree by Terry Budge, Chancellor of the University, Bello told the assembled graduates and faculty members that he was proud to have participated in the passage of the historic Reproductive Health Act in the Philippines.

“The new law will not only advance women’s rights,” he noted. “It will also allow us to finally undertake rational population management for sustainable national development, an objective that the vast majority of our people have long desired.”

To much laughter in the audience, he took the occasion to “deny the rumor” that “the Pope decided to resign because the Philippines had passed a bill that gives poor women access to methods of artificial contraception.”

Bello said he was honored to have participated in the crafting of the historic Marcos Human Rights Violations Compensation Act, which “established the Philippines as one of the few, if not the only, government in the world to pass legislation to compensate citizens whose fundamental human rights were violated by its agencies.“

The Akbayan Congressman devoted most of his speech, however, to urging action on climate change.

“Australia has honored its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and it is one of the few countries, if not the only country, that has passed a carbon tax,” he said.

“But you need to do more, since Australia still has one of the world’s highest per capita emissions of greenhouse gases,” Bello added.

Pushing for coordinated action on the climate front by the Philippines and Australia, he said that there is “a vital space that our two countries can fill in pushing forward the stalemated global climate negotiations.”

“Possessing moral authority because they are willing to do what it takes to save the planet would give the Philippines and Australia the power to punch above their weight. This partnership for an effective climate regime can be extended to the many other countries and societies that are dismayed by the reigning stalemate as the world burns and are simply waiting for bold new initiatives for decisive action,” said Bello.

Admitting that “my generation has not done a good job when it comes to meeting our responsibilities in addressing the climate crisis,” he concluded his address to Murdoch’s graduating class of some 1200 students saying, “It is left up to you and your counterparts in the Philippines and throughout the world to rise to the occasion and leave your children a better planet than that we are leaving you.”

This is Bello’s second honorary doctorate, the first coming from Panteion University in Athens in 2006. He was also the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, in Stockholm in November 2003 for his work in producing critical analyses of globalization and the Outstanding Public Scholar Award of the International Studies Association in San Francisco in February 2008.

The Murdoch citation noted Bello’s “prolific” output of 17 books and more than 1,000 articles in career as a public intellectual that began with his obtaining his PhD in sociology from Princeton University in 1975.

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Philippine Congressman Walden Bello reports on the significant and world precedent-setting bills just passed in the Philippines to a San Francisco audience Feb. 15, 2013 – EON photo by Mary Beth Brangan

An Evening in San Francisco with Philippine Congressman Walden Bello

Walden Bello Report – Pt. 1
This is the first of two segments of An Evening in San Francisco with Walden Bello, sponsored by Friends of Akbayan, U.S.A. and the Asian Pacific-American Labor Alliance. Dr. Bello, an internationally known political economist and university professor, is currently a member of the Philippine House of Representatives. He reports on the significant and world precedent-setting bills just passed in the Philippines to a San Francisco audience Feb. 15, 2013.

Walden Bello Report – Pt. 2
This is the question and answer segment of the program An Evening in San Francisco with Walden Bello, sponsored by Friends of Akbayan, U.S.A. and the Asian Pacific-American Labor Alliance. Dr. Bello, an internationally known political economist and university professor, is currently a member of the Philippine House of Representatives. He talks about reform accomplishments and opportunities in the Philippines.

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