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Photo: Social Watch India

Central and local authorities’ failures are responsible for the gloomy performance of the health sector in Indian state of Chhattisgarh, according to the most recent report produced by the local Social Watch coalition. The governments must be held accountable for the fulfillment of this Constitutional and basic right, but the citizens also have the responsibility to monitor its implementation, activist said while they released the study.

Aung Htoo. (Photo: The Best
Friend International)

The names of some 2,000 people removed from a blacklist of foreign and Burmese nationals regarded as threats to the regime, among them Aung Htoo, former secretary of the Burma Lawyers Council (BLC, national focal point of Social Watch), was released by the office of President Thein Sein last week.

Leonor Briones. (Photo:
Freedom from Debt Coalition)

Social Watch Philippines is questioning some items in the 2013 budget submitted by the government to the Congress. The convenor of this national coalition of civil society groups, Leonor Briones, said there are lump sum appropriations called “special purpose funds”, which did not provide any breakdowns.

Photo: SODNET/Kenya

“Improving gender equity in itself may be a goal with clear, intrinsic value. However, a substantial body of research now suggests that gender equity and the achievement of other development goals, such as health, education, social and economic rights fulfillment, and even growth, are inseparable,” wrote expert Terra Lawson-Remer, of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), based on several statistical studies, including the Gender Equity Index issued by Social Watch.

The Great Depression. (Photo:
Heath School Social Studies)

For decades successive governments in the United States have resisted pressure to implement social assistance policies to help the sectors most in need, and this has serious consequences today. According to the Peruvian lawyer, sociologist and university professor Héctor Béjar in his latest column for Agenda Global, some 47 million of the USA’s 308 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, 15 million workers are unemployed and the prison population is 756 per 100,000 people.

The “Week of advocacy on policies and issues of cooperation and partnership between the European Union and Arab countries”, arranged by the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) in cooperation with Eurostep and CNCD-11.11.11, will engage civil society organizations from both regions. The meetings between 17 to 21 Sept in Brussels are to see exchanges also between Arab representatives and European policy makers on issues of common concern.

Nabeel Rajab. (Photo: Avaaz)

A petition was launched at the Avaaz web site to call on the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations to demand the dropping of all the politically motivated charges against activist Nabeel Rajab and his immediate release from prison in Bahrain.

Soy beans cultivation. (Photo:
Leonora Enking/Flickr/CC)

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) decision to give a green light to cultivation of Monsanto’s herbicide-tolerant soybean have been challenged by the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), the research firm Testbiotech, the Society for Ecological Research, Sambucus, the foundation Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection and the Foundation on Future Farming. These groups argue that EFSA didn’t carry out risk assessments as legally required.

Tetteh Hormeku of TWN-A.
(Photo: Transnational
Institute/Flickr/CC)

The Economic Justice Network (EJN), a Ghanaian coalition of civil society organizations working for socio-economic justice and equitable national development, was re-launched to deal with new policy threats affecting livelihoods, reported Ghana News Agency and AllAfrica news portal.

James Maina Mugo, a local member
of Social Watch, sent this letter to
the Kenyan authorities

Kenyan police did not pay due attention to the disappearance on March 31 of Agnes Wanjiru-Wanjiku, a 21-years old woman from a hotel in the town of Nanyuki. Her body was found on June 5 by a cleaner in a septic tank behind the hotel. Despite the pressure by relatives and civil society organizations headed by Social Watch, the authorities are responding very slowly to the growing clamor from the grassroots that accuse British soldiers and fiercely criticize military cooperation agreements between Nairobi and London.


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