Source: Social Watch Philippines

Members of nongovernment organizations and urban poor groups today fixed up a Christmas Tree in front of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Quezon City in time for the Bicameral Conference Committee´s meeting to finalize the 2011 national budget.
"This is our Christmas Tree of Hope and Reform. We are decorating this with Christmas Balls expressing our call for the Bicameral Conference Committee members to give the poor people a merry Christmas by realigning lump sum items in the budget to increase the budget for pro-poor programs," said Marivic Raquiza, convenor of Social Watch Philippines (SWP) which organized the Alternative Budget Initiative, the network globally acknowledged for initiating Congress-citizens´ partnerships for alternative budget proposals.

The Forum, to be held on the 14th & 15th of December 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, is a valuable platform for minority representatives to contribute their knowledge and experiences to the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, and, indirectly, to the UN Human Rights Council. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for minority representatives, NGOs, state parties and UN officials to meet, mingle, share ideas and learn about important issues related to the rights of minority populations. The previous Session of the Forum was very successful; over 500 delegates were present and over 100 actively participated in the discussions!

Based on notes from Ian Percy*

The process of ministerial discussions around aid effectiveness that produced the Paris Declaration in 2005 and continued in Accra 2008 with the Accra Agenda for Action will have a new High Level Forum (HLF4) in Busan, Korea, in 2011. An intergovernmental Working Party (WP-EFF), with the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the World Bank acting as secretariat, is organizing the Busan meeting. Social Watch is part of the coordinating group of the BetterAid coalition, an alliance of civil society organizations (CSOs) that tries to influence this process and shift the discourse from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness.

Beijing/Berlin/Montevideo/New York/Uppsala, November 15, 2010 – Today, an alliance of civil society groups, networks and foundations, including Third World Network, Social Watch, DAWN, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Global Policy Forum, terre des hommes, and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, launched the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives. 

Introducing three new indices, the 2010 UNDP Human Development Report documents wide inequalities within and among countries, deep disparities between women and men on a wide range of development indicators, and the prevalence of extreme multidimensional poverty in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

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