SOCIAL WATCH E-NEWSLETTER - Issue 6 - October, 2009

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Issue 6
October, 2009



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Social Watch E-Newsletter
Coordinator: Jana Silverman
Editor: Amir Hamed
Translation: Soledad Bervejillo, Alejandra Trelles

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This e-bulletin has been produced with the assistance of the European Union.  The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Social Watch and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.




  • 27-29 October: Fourth Social Watch General Assembly, Accra, Ghana, for more information:

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Multiple Crisis, One Solution: Put People First

by Roberto Bissio

Time has come. In the Social Watch 2009 Report, People First, members of the network from around the world have called on their Governments to retool the stimulus packages they received to face the global crisis so they increase wages, expand social security coverage for the most vulnerable, strengthen local enterprises, and assist family farmers. This month, the Social Watch General Assembly to be held in Ghana, will be an invaluable opportunity to discuss and plan the actions for a coordinated and effective action on both the national and international levels.

The high-level United Nations Conference held this past June 2009 in New York unanimously concluded that “the world is confronted with the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression”. It added that “developing countries, which did not cause the (…) crisis, are nonetheless severely affected by it”. It also noted that “this crisis is connected to multiple, interrelated global crises and challenges, such as increased food insecurity, volatile energy and commodity prices and climate change, as well as the lack of results so far in the multilateral trade negotiations and a loss of confidence in the international economic system”.

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SPOTLIGHT ON….. SW National Coalition

Spotlight On…. Social Watch Canada

After September’s G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, USA (detailed in the “News” section of this e-bulletin), the next meeting of this elite global club is scheduled to take place in Huntsville, Canada in June 2010. “Spotlight On…” will also turn its gaze to that North American country, with this month’s profile focused on Social Watch Canada.



Social Watch Report 2009: Just Solutions to the Crisis are Only Possible through Social Investment

In Pittsburgh and New York in September, the Social Watch 2009 Report was launched on a global level. The Report, titled People First, underscores the necessity for solid investments that can stimulate the world economy, and the need for thoroughgoing reforms of the world financial architecture, beginning with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, so that national policy space is respected and there is policy coherence with regards to internationally agreed-upon norms and commitments.

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The G-20 misses another opportunity; it is time for a new game

The declaration emerging from the last G-20 Summit held in Pittsburgh in September 2009 once again falls far short of civil society’s expectations and of the needs by developing countries for resources and a new framework that enables them to restart their economies. Due to this, civil society and governments of the global South must continue to raise their voices for a more thoroughgoing set of reforms to the global financial and economic system.

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The State of Negotiations on Climate Change: Towards COP-15

131 nations have dennounced the developed countries for dismantling the Kyoto Protocol and setting new rules for negotiation at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bangkok. While the media has been shut out of negotiations, civil society has proven an extremely valuable link to those who are not allowed to be part of the discussions.

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Two thematic reports highlight need for changes in economic and social policies in the online version of the Social Watch 2009 Report
The web version of the 2009 Social Watch Report, People First, includes two additional thematic reports, which offer hard-hitting critiques of the factors behind the current economic and financial crisis and the policies which have contributed to create a “democratic gap” that prevents the full political participation of citizens around the globe.  The paper by Carlos Arze Vargas of CEDLA (focal point of Social Watch Bolivia) is titled “Not a Regulatory Failure, Rather a Structural Crisis”.  The article states that “the fact that one of the risks inherent to the capitalist system – the over-production of capital derived from attempts to counteract the fall of profit rates by means of an increase of the reserve rates – has come to pass is evidence of the structural nature of the current economic crisis. This not only disproves the theory that a lack of state regulation of financial capital brought about the crisis but also calls for responses beyond those applied to date: essentially, increasing public debt in order to buttress corporate balance sheets”.
To access the complete text of the article, go to:
The article by Jose Antonio Moroni of INESC (member of the Social Watch Brazil coalition) is focused on how “in the countries of the global South, as in those of the North, political parties dedicate all their energies to contesting elections that will enable them to control the spaces of power. Very often these spaces are used to perpetuate government by oligarchies in which nepotism, corruption and personality cults are rampant. In the face of this, peoples’ movements and organizations are the only force capable of promoting real political change that goes beyond electoral platforms and that can genuinely empower the people, teaching them not just how to attain power but how to “be” the power”.
For the full text of this article, see:

No Cushion to Fall Back On: The Global Economic Crisis and Informal Workers
A new study shows that informal workers in developing countries have been hit particularly hard by the global recession and may suffer long-lasting effects. The new study: No Cushion to Fall Back On: The Global Economic Crisis and Informal Workers was undertaken by partners in the global project “Inclusive Cities for the Urban Working Poor”, with technical guidance by the action-research-policy network Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), to fill a void in the current information available on the impact of the global economic crisis. WIEGO coordinator, Professor Martha Chen, explains the importance of this study “While a great deal of attention has been focused on the impact of the global economic crisis on the formal economy, very little has been done to assess the impact on those  employed in the large and growing informal economy.  This study provides valuable insight into how the working poor are coping and what can be done to assist in their recovery.”
To read the full text of the study, go to.

TckTckTck, global alliance for a new international climate change treaty
TckTckTck is an unprecedented global alliance of non-government organizations, trade unions, faith groups and citizens calling for an ambitious, fair and binding climate change agreement in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a meeting of world governments in Copenhagen, Denmark starting December 7, 2009. In Copenhagen, representatives of 192 nations will meet for the United Nations Conference of the Parties. The meeting is expected to draft and ratify a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2012. The outcome of these talks will determine the future of our planet. To raise awareness of the importance of this historic meeting—and spell out the kind of treaty the group should create—the TckTckTck campaign is uniting the voices of millions across the globe.
For more information on the campaign, check out: