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This month’s “Focus on…” section highlights the work of Social Watch (SW) Focal Point in Bolivia: the Labour and Agricultural Development Research Centre (CEDLA, in Spanish), which will be hosting the next regional training workshop for Latin America, to be held from 20 to 22 October 2010 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Author: 
Roberto Bissio - Coordinator, Social Watch International Secretariat

Growth with equity is one of the major challenges which national economies throughout the world are facing and which gives rise to the greatest differences even amongst developing countries. Although there is a certain amount of consensus regarding the fact that State and public policy play a fundamental role in redistributing wealth more equitably, there is still resistance to the concept of equality of rights. A glance at the latest data from Latin America and the Caribbean shows the principal obstacles to combining growth with equity.

Source: ITUC

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is calling on governments to commit to introducing a financial transactions tax (FTT) at September’s United Nations Development Summit to help tackle global poverty and accelerate action on jobs and climate change.

Source: Business Mirror

“Stop making highways that lead to nowhere and waiting sheds waiting for no one” said former national treasurer and lead convenor of Social Watch in The Philippines, Prof. Leonor Briones, who advised lawmakers to align their pork barrel (goverment funds allocated to legislators for local projects) to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that eradicate hunger and poverty in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Source: SODNET

SODNET, the focal point of the Kenya Social Watch coalition, is part of the civil society team that has been actively monitoring Kenya's constitutional referendum on August 4, 2010, which is a key step towards the consolidation of democracy in the country. 

Source: Third World Network

By Maria del Mar Galindo

New York, 1 August  - With five years until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) launched in 2000, governments are at a crucial stage in preparations for a summit meeting of the annual UN General Assembly in September.

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 13, 2010 (IPS) - When the United Nations hosts a summit meeting of world leaders next September to assess the current state of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is expected to single out one of the major "success stories" of the day: a reduction in global poverty.

The Federation of Cameroon Civil Society Organizations (FOSCAM, for its initials in French), Social Watch’s Focal Point in Cameroon, participated in the elaboration of a bill that seeks to mainstream a gender perspective into national policies on growth and employment in the country. 

“Poverty eradication and women empowerment are our priorities” said Lebanese minister of Finance, Raya Haffar Al-Hassan at the joint launch of the Social Watch report in Arabic and the Arab Assessment of the Millennium Development Goals that took place in Beirut on July 9. Speaking in Behalf of the Arab NGO Network for Development, Ziad Abdel Samad welcomed the minister as “one of us”, remembering her past association with civil society organizations and with the United Nations system, for which she worked before joining the government. He welcomed the public discussion of the budget that is currently happening “for the first time in Lebanon” and challenged the minister to go one step further and invite civil society organizations to actually participate in the elaboration of future budgets.

Source: US Social Forum
Social Watch organized the strategy session "Economic crisis and opportunities to put people first at home and abroad" to identify emerging opportunities to address the economic and financial crisis in ways that advance human rights, social and economic justice and bridge the domestic and international contexts. The event that took place on 24 June 2010 was part of activities within the US Social Forum held in Detroit.


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