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South Korean marines on board
an US helicopter during a joint
exercise. Photo: Ministry of
National Defense, Korea)

South Korea postponed last week at the last minute the signing of a major military agreement with Japan. Watchdog group Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice, focal point of Social Watch in the Republic of Korea, said it would help Japan's rearmament and pave the way for its troops to set foot on the peninsula, reported AFP news agency and several media.

Press conference in Cairo.
(Photo: CIHRS)

Seventeen human rights non governmental organizations launched on Wednesday officially launched their “Human Rights in 100 Days” campaign to pressure new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to follow through on rights of Egyptian citizens.

“Reclaiming Multilateralism: For People, Rights and Sustainable Development,” the latest United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) publication, is an analytical think piece that looks at the evolution of the multilateral system in the context of the various challenges posed by the global economic and environmental crises.

The publication, authored by Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger, seeks to engage all stakeholders – whether government, multilateral, regional, and sub-national institutions, civil society and social movements – in an open debate on a “new multilateralism” or rather what kinds of development and governance models the multilateral system should be endorsing that would balance and regulate the political, economic and social shifts brought by globalization and bring the promises of justice, equity and sustainable development to fruition.

Ellen Russell (CCPA)

Canada is not immune to the banking problems we see abroad, cautions “No More Swimming Naked”, a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) written by Ellen Russell, that examines how banks work, why they are inherently prone to instability, and how banking crises spread—even to banks and banking systems that appear to be stable. Russell warns that current regulations did not eliminate problems with risk-taking and overconfident behavior among banks.

Caterpillars of the cotton bollworm,
Helicoverpa armigera, feed on
many different plants and pose a
serious threat to cotton farming.
(Photo by Gyorgy Csoka)

Pests are adapting to genetically modified crops in unexpected ways, researchers have discovered. The findings underscore the importance of closely monitoring and countering pest resistance to biotech crops, reported Daniel Stolte on the web site UANews (University of Arizona Office of Communications).

Rio2012 closure ceremony.
(Mark Garten/UN Photo)

Governments show a reasonable satisfaction on the delicate balance achieved in the outcome document for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio2012). But many of them are also deeply disappointed with the lack of ambition in the section on the means of implementation, considered a step backwards by some negotiators, according to the analysis of the Third World Network (TWN).

Gro Harlem Brundtland. (Mark
Garten/UN Photo)

Women rights organizations expressed deep disappointment and outrage over “The Future We Want”, the outcome document approved by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio2012) held last week in Brazil, reported Inter Press Service news agency (IPS). “The omission of reproductive rights” is “a step backwards from previous agreements,” said former prime minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland.

According to IPS United Nations Bureau Chief Thalif Deen, the comparison with the 1992 Agenda 21 was inevitable.

Timo Lappalainen of KEPA,
International Development Minister
Hautala, Foreign Minister Tuomioja,
and Matti Kohonen of the Tax Justice
Network. (Photo: Eero Kuosmanen)

Tax evasion by multinational corporations causes difficulties to developing countries. The most common method for companies to avoid taxes is to abuse transfer pricing. Profits are transferred to tax havens or to countries with low tax rates. This issue was analyzed at a seminar in Helsinki organized by the Tax Justice Network, the Service Centre for Development Cooperation (KEPA, focal point of Social Watch) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs organised an international expert seminar in Helsinki.

Nomadic pastoralists in Kenia
(Roger Job/Veterinarians
Without Borders)

Professor Mirjam Van Reisen, director of Europe External Policy Advisors, insisted on the “urgency of the question of the coherence of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)” that remains unanswered, though the only solution to combine fair development, climate change curbing and biodiversity preservation should take place at the global scale.

European Social Forum in
Florence, 2002. (Photo: ESF)

The next edition of the European Social Forum (ESF) will be held in Florence, from November 8-11, ten years after the first one, that convened under the slogan "against war, racism and neo-liberalism" in the same Italian city. In November, this alliance of humanitarian and environmental movements, trade unions, non governmental organizations and other institutions committed with human rights and the world peace will dialogue in a very different situation.


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