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Two weeks before the United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro (Rio2012), 18 leading civil society activists and scholars from around the globe proposed concrete measures to effectively overcome the obstacles that prevent the world population to achieve a real sustainable development that enhances social equality and protects the environment. 

In its report, the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives “describes the root causes of the multiple crises” that suffers the planet, “reconfirms the framework of universal principles and rights, reconsiders development goals and indicators, and draws conclusions for the post-2015 development agenda.”

Mohammed Idris lead a protest
in Penang. (Photo: CAP)

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) warned that the beauty of this Malaysian state natural environment is slowly losing its shine due to the rapid pace of unsustainable development.

A National Civil Society Consultation on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio2012) was organized in Kathmandu by Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN, focal point of Social Watch), in collaboration with the National Planning Commission and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.

Seal of the EMMPE.
(Source: EACPE)

Despite the previous reservations, the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections held last week “can be described as fair and very close to conforming to international standards of transparency,” according to a broad alliance of civil society organizations and individuals that observed the polls, reported the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE), national focal point of Social Watch in that Arab country.

Can poverty be measured as the
World Bank does? (Photo: WB)

The World Bank has calculated that extreme poverty in the developing South fell by half in the period 1981 to 2008, but according to the Social Watch Coordinator Roberto Bissio, in an interview with Radio Nederland, this overall perspective conceals a worsening situation in many regions that is counterbalanced by data showing an improvement in China. Bissio explained that these studies, in which extreme poverty is defined as earning less than USD 1.25 per day, do not take account of the impact of recent disasters like rising food prices or the effects of the world economic crisis. 

Photo: EquityBD

Fifteen Bangladeshi civil society organizations urged the government to integrate climate adaptation measures in the national budget and to give thrust on self finance or local resource mobilization. In a press conference, the groups warned that it would be unwise to expect or depend on foreign aid in this regard.

Photo: HRITC

The Human Rights Information & Training Center (HRITC), focal point of Social Watch in Yemen, held this month a panel discussion in Aden about the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325, which focuses on putting an end to discrimination against women and promoting an agenda of peace and security.

Magdy Abdel Hamid, from EACPE.
(Photo: European Partnership
for Democracy)

The first round vote for Egypt's next president has been criticized last week by international and local election observers who say that restricted access for monitors and minor violations have undermined the overall transparency of the process, reported journalist Nadine Marroushi for the Egypt Independent news portal.

An examination of income inequality in North America reveals that Mexico is the only part of the continent where the middle class has been gaining from growth, according to a new study by economist Lars Osberg, Dalhousie University professor and CCPA Research Associate.

Demonstration after the elections
in Greece.
(Photo: Popicinio_01/Flickr/CC)

The economic crisis in Europe is deepening and may get worse, with worrisome effects on the rest of the world, warned Martin Khor, executive director of South Centre, in his most recent column for The Star, one of the leading Malaysian newspapers.


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