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The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND, member of Social Watch), together with 42 civil society organizations from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and other Arab countries, sent a letter to European Union institutions, concerning the EU trade and investment strategy for the Southern Mediterranean.

Oikos–Cooperação e Desenvolvimento, Terre des Hommes and The World Future Council launched this week an online petition for signatures demanding world leaders to support the call for Rio+20 to establish Ombudspersons for Future Generations. The form is available in five languages at http://bit.ly/xw1BQW.  

Ahafo Mine at Kenyasi, in Asutifi
District.
(Photo: Ghana’s Mining Portal)

Three months after the announcement of an increase in corporate tax for mining companies from 25 to 35 percent in Ghana, the raise is yet to be implemented. The tax may not be collected until 2013, according to TV3 television channel. “The attitude of government gives reasons to believe that it will yield to pressures from the industry,” wrote Alhassan Atta-Quayson, expert of Third World Network-Africa (TWN-A).

A slum in Nairobi, Kenia. (Photo:
khym54/Flickr/CC)

In spite of international commitments, 1,600 million people all over the world are living in deficient housing, and in the developing South 828 million lack adequate water and sanitation services. In the Social Watch Report 2012, experts warn that these problems are aggravated by inequalities between and within countries, privatization, the disappearance of communal property, migration, forced eviction, land speculation and climate change.  

President Sata talks to new Inpector
General of Police Stella Libongan.
(Photo: Thomas Nsama/State House)

Women for Change (WfC, focal point of Social Watch) and the Non Governmental Organizations Coordinating Committee (NGOCC) hailed the appointment of Ms Stellah Libongani as Inspector-General of Police.

Photo: Tunis-Afrique Press

The situation of media in post-Revolution Tunisia and ways to promote it were discussed at a meeting attended by National Constituent Assembly (NCA) members, representatives of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the National Independent Council for Information and Communication and the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH, member of the Social Watch national coalition).

Photo: gromgull/Flickr/CC

Penang-based Consumers Association of Penang has urged the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism ministry to immediately enforce the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2010 on eateries charging excessively for plain water.

The international research centre CARDET, focal point of Social Watch in Cyprus, and the consultancy firm InnovADE launched the Mediterranean Migration Network (MMN), with the aim to promote collaboration and exchange of good practices among public and private stakeholders active in the fields of migration and integration.

A scene of the Tunisian Revolution.
(Photo: cjb22/Flickr/CC)

According to the Social Watch 2012 report on the Arab world, last year’s revolutions in that region “reflect the connection between sustainable development, democratic government and freedom” and the search for “a renewed role for the State” as a “leading actor” in “the reform of development paradigms”. This demand also applies to the whole of the developing South.

Developing countries could be badly hit by the new global downturn, warned participants in a South Centre conference that also discussed on Feb 2-3 in Geneva the state of WTO negotiations. Martin Khor, Executive Director of this intergovernmental policy think tank of developing countries, gave a report on the conference in his most recent column for The Star, one of the leading Malaysian newspapers.


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