The old debate around ends and means usually deals with unacceptable procedures claiming legitimacy because of the intended results. Not any more. In the current international debate around development goals for the United Nations, the “ends” are set so low that no major effort is really required from anybody. “No means are needed if the goals are meaningless” commented report editor-in-chief Roberto Bissio at its launch.

The Social Watch Report 2014, launched on July 9th in New York during the ministerial meeting of the High Level Political Forum of the UN, is a summary review of fifty country reports and an analysis of global trends by civil society organizations. The report, titled “Ends and Means” and it monitors how government and international institutions are doing in implementing their solemn commitments to eradicate poverty, achieve gender justice and promote sustainable development.

Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi. (Photo:

"The primary role of the Investment Division of UNCTAD should be to provide to developing countries alternatives to the unbalanced provisions of international investment treaties" say 240 organizations from over 150 countries in a letter to Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary general of the UN body specializing in trade and development.
The signatories worry about "the growing restrictions on policy space resulting from the investment protection rules".

Fracking will have disastrous consequences for the environment, the population and the energetic sustainability of Latin America and this development cannot be allowed.

In connection with the World Day against Fracking (Global Frackdown) Latin-American civil society organizations have pointed at the irreversible impacts of fracking at the territories and populations of these regions by the exploitation of hydrocarbons.

“Making Sovereign Financing and Human Rights Work” is the title of a book recently published by Hart Publishing, Oxford (an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing) and that that I co-edited together with Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky. Our initial interest in this topic was sparked by the daily hardship of millions who indirectly suffer due to the realities of current global financial environments. After we started our research for this book project several years ago, we were surprised to find out that apart from some isolated academic articles almost nothing had been written on the issue of how sovereign financing affect the individual’s enjoyment of human rights. However, we have not only been interested in this relationship, but mostly in how to make sovereign financing and human rights work.

Students in Santiago.
(Photo: Hans Peters/Flickr/CC)

The proposed Budgetary Law 2015 does not contemplate significant changes in the current structure of the public financing of higher education, says an analysis by the Centre of National Studies of Alternative Development, CENDA, and the Institute of Sciences Alejandro Lipschutz, ICAL. These think-tanks worry that resources designated to "subsidize demand" have increased significantly but that doesn't change "the commercialization of education and the role of profit-making in it". Michelle Bachelet was elected president on a platform that included free high level education and therefore the study finds "surprising" that the proposed budget "repeats and aggravates exactly that process of privatization that generated the current situation".

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