The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), in cooperation with Eurostep and CNCD-11.11.11, will arrange a delegation of human rights and development civil society organizations from about 10 Arab countries to visit the European institutions in Brussels, between 17 and 21 September. The meetings are to see exchanges between Arab representatives and European policy makers on issues of common concern.

Mirjam van Risen.
(Photo: Tilburg University)

The government of Liberia has honored Mirjam van Reisen, occupant of an endowed chair at Tilburg University, with a Golden Image Award, in recognition of her efforts to help women end conflict in Liberia and other countries. Van Reisen, also founder and director of Brussels-based Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA) and a member of the coordinating committee of Social Watch, has been instrumental in helping women leaders in Africa and other conflict regions demand their rights under UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

U Thein Oo. (Photo:

Despite the political reforms that include the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2010 and the multiparty by-elections last April, the Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC, national focal point of Social Watch) warns there has been little substantive change so far. Doubts on the sincerity of the transition to democracy persist.

Commission on Status of Women
opens its current session.
(UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

Bulgarian government lacks of bodies in charge of regulating and monitoring gender equality, warned this month the civil society delegation to the 52nd Session of the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The NGOs were represented by the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation (focal point of Social Watch) and the Gender Alternatives Foundation, with the support of the Alliance for Protection against Domestic Violence.

In its last regular session this month in Pretoria, the General Council of the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR, national focal point of Social Watch) took note of the worsening humanitarian, political and economic crises in the African country, and underlined that every effort should be exerted to bring about durable solutions for those who need protection.

Familiar agriculture in Lagoa
das Flores, Bahia, Brazil.

A recently published review paper compares the differences in greenhouse gas contributions between the industrial and agro-ecological production systems and finds that the first one contributes significantly to global warming, representing a large majority of total agriculture-related emissions, reported Lim Li Ching, of the Third World Network (TWN), on the Biosafety Information Centre web page.

A new study entitled “GMO myths and truths” challenges the conventional wisdom that “critics of genetically engineered food are anti-science”, reported Earth Open Source. The study produced by Dr Michael Antoniou, Dr John Fagan and Claire Robinson presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and other authoritative evidence of hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically engineered crops and organisms (GMOs).

Iraqi elections officers discussing
with UNAMI representative.
(Rick Bajornas/UN Photo)

As the Security Council is discussing the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq this month, concerns remain regarding political consolidation and reconciliation efforts. Women’s rights remain at risk, and their voices are still not adequately heard in the political realm. The issue was debated in the panel discussion held in New York on 9 July 2012 by Hana Edwar, Founder and Secretary-General, Iraqi Al-Amal Association and Ms. Raz Rasool, Founder, Kurdistan Business Women Association.

Photo: CAP

Visitors at the Penang Hospital learn about good eating habits when they stroll through the healthy lifestyle exhibition organized by the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) that ends on Friday 20. The event is aimed to raise awareness on the consumption of foods rich in sugar, fat, salt and chemicals that led to obesity among Malaysians. Some worrying trends: Malaysians are the eight highest sugar users in the world, they are getting used to keep awake till late and meat is fast becoming a staple food.

Protesters "embrace" a lake near
the Conga project. (Photo: Punto
de Vista y Propuesta)

The International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), transmitted on 11 July a communication to the Government of Peru to request urgent action to protect the human rights of people protesting the Conga gold mine in Peru after five people lost their lives in the week of July 3, on a wave of “disproportionate police repression”.



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