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A resolution was adopted in the UN Human Rights Council on June 26 that will begin the process of elaborating an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights. Despite strong opposition from the EU and US, the resolution received affirmative votes from 20 member States on the Human Rights Council, while 13 States abstained. France, Germany, Italy and Ireland were also among the 14 opposing countries.

This victory in the promotion of human rights was welcomed by the Treaty Alliance, a group of networks and campaign organizations collectively working to organize advocacy in support of developing binding international regulation to address corporate human rights abuses. A statement calling for an international legally binding instrument has been signed by 610 civil society organizations and social movements and 400 individuals from 95 countries. Additionally, the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament and the Vatican have made statements supporting the creation of such an instrument.

The Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus was born in 2013 as a cross-constituency coalition of development, environment, trade union, feminist and human rights organizations worldwide to lay out a roadmap for embedding human rights into the core of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. As the Open Working Group’s (OWG) efforts near completion and the full-blown political negotiations begin, the Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus has developed this Litmus Test to be used to evaluate whether proposals for the post-2015 framework respect and reflect pre-existing human rights norms, standards and commitments, in line with the Rio+20 agreement that sustainable development goals be “consistent with international law”. This series of questions and criteria not only clearly articulate our bottom-line expectations for the outcomes of the post-2015 sustainable development process, but also provides a unique tool for all those involved to more objectively assess whether post-2015 proposals truly encapsulate what the UN Secretary General envisioned as “a far-reaching vision of the future firmly anchored in human rights.”

The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) is glad to announce the launch of the call for applications of the eighth edition of the ICAE Academy of Lifelong Learning Advocacy (IALLA), that will be held in the Arab Region, from October 13 to 26, 2014 in Madaba, Jordan.

In 2000, the United Nations announced eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty worldwide.

As the goals “expire” next year, new goals are being defined in UN assemblies and corridors.

Some doors in the UN will be shut to public scrutiny but wide open to corporations.

“This issue will determine the future of the UN as such,” recently commented a member of the Brazilian delegation to the UN, Guilherme Patriota.

Photo: WHO/V. Martin

The premier international conference on public health policy is the World Health Assembly, organised by the World Health Organisation, which attracts Ministers of Health and other top health officials as well as non-governmental organisations to Geneva every year.

This is where the latest trends in public health problems are presented and debated, and action plans for solutions are adopted.

Before the world economy has been able to fully recover from the crisis that began more than five years ago, there is a widespread fear that we may be poised for yet another crisis, this time in emerging economies (EEs).  Once again, most specialists on international economic matters have been caught unawares.  In fact, the signs of external financial fragility in several emerging economies have been visible since the beginning of the financial crisis in the US and Europe.  The South Centre has constantly warned that the boom in capital flows that had started in the first half of the 2000s and continued even after the Lehman collapse is generating serious imbalances in the developing world along with the danger of a sudden stop and reversal.

The undersigned organizations condemn the security forces storming of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, Alexandria Branch, and note that such attack is an expected escalation, amidst the growing incitement in the media, and defamation campaigns, which have been targeting human rights organizations and human rights defenders in Egypt.

Egyptian security forces, alongside security personnel dressed in civilian attire, raided the Alexandria Branch of The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, arresting 15, including two minors, and two ECESR staff, and confiscating several computers and documents. The arrested were taken to the Alexandria Security Department where they were held, until released hours later.

Following the non-renewal of the contract of Anita Nayar as head of the Non-Governmental Liaison Service of the United Nations, the Coordinating Committee of Social Watch expressed its concern. See the letter below.

The European Parliament has just released a major report with a clear message for all those engaged in the growing debate about the role of external private finance in development: quality matters far more than quantity. As the post-2015 debate on financing development continues, and the UN gears up for a major Financing for Development conference in 2015 or 2016, this timely paper – co-authored by Jesse Griffiths and three other experts - gives clear recommendations on how European governments can ensure that fighting poverty stays at the heart of this agenda. 

The World Bank is a structural driver of the land grabs that is dispossessing and impoverishing rural communities across the globe. It is a central player that is using its financial and political might to force developing countries to follow a pre-prescribed model of development, based on the neoliberal principles of privatization, deregulation, low corporate taxation and ‘free market’ fundamentalism. Evidence clearly shows that this model overwhelmingly favors large agribusiness interests at the expense of smallholders, and is designed to extract the maximum value from developing countries’ natural and human resources.

Join us to tell the World Bank that it has no business in ranking countries and opening them up to foreign corporations thirsty for the extraction of their resources and the exploitation of their work force.

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