SOCIAL WATCH E-NEWSLETTER - Issue 7 - December, 2009

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Issue 7
December, 2009



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

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  • 16-17 December: Eurostep General Assembly; Brussels, Belgium.

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The South Also Exists… And It Is Joining Together
by Roberto Bissio

The global financial crisis which caused in 2009 the most serious global recession in 80 years, together with the difficult debate that is taking place in Denmark on how to prevent global warming, mitigate its impacts, and adapt to its already inevitable consequences, are the two biggest news stories of the year that is about to end. Both catastrophes, of climate and of finance, are marked by the characteristic of being anthropogenic (meaning that they are not natural phenomena, but instead caused by human activities y decisions). In addition both trace their origin to the most prosperous countries, yet their impacts are felt most dramatically in the least developed countries.

At the beginning of December, in two simultaneous meetings organized in Nairobi and Geneva, the diplomats from what was once called the “Third World” and is now referred to as the “Global South” or simply the “South” finally decided to do something, inaugurating a new phase in their policies of mutual cooperation.

The idea is not new, as in 1978, more than thirty years ago, the first Conference on Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries took place in Buenos Aires. “It should be recognized that the knowledge, abilities, and technologies that can be exchanged through South-South cooperation are in the majority of cases, those most apt to resolve issues related to development in other Southern countries with similar characteristics”, said Helen Clark, head of the United Nations Development Program and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

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SPOTLIGHT ON….. SW National Coalition

Spotlight On…. Social Watch Bulgaria

This month´s “Spotlight On…” column highlights the work of Social Watch Bulgaria, a dynamic national coalition that is helping to spread the Social Watch message of gender equality and social rights for all among the ex-Soviet states in the Eastern and Central European region.



Social Watch Responds to the Global Crisis at its Fourth General Assembly

SW approved its Strategy Document and elected its new Coordinating Committee. These were some of the many things accomplished in the General Assembly held last October in Accra, Ghana. The Assembly, besides approving the strengthening of activities on the regional level and the expansion of the network, reaffirmed the United Nations as the principal target institution for the work of SW and rejected the further empowerment of illegitimate groupings such as the G-8 and G-20.

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Social Watch Statement on climate negotiations in Copenhagen: Climate change is an issue of human rights

Social Watch, a network of 400 hundred civil organization in more than 60 countries, calls on governments of the developed world to commit to finding a just solution to the current impass in climate negotiations by adhering to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, and the UN Charter of Human Rights.

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Gender and Women’s Rights a Thread of Continuity for Social Watch Advocacy throughout 2010 at the United Nations

In 2010 at the United Nations, in New York, many events have gender and women’s rights as their theme or are solely focused on gender. These occasions provide an important thread of continuity for Social Watch’s work on gender and women’s rights.  While these events are diverse in their nature all have significant importance to gender issues and to the status of women at the international level.  Social Watch will make its contribution to these forums by bringing forward concrete data on the impact of the global financial crisis on gender equality and gender equity from a human rights perspective.

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First European Social Watch Report Focuses on Migration Policies
The European Union immigration and asylum policies should be in accordance with development objectives and respect migrants’ human rights, states the first European Social Watch Report, Migrants as Development Actors in Europe: Between Hope and Vulnerability. The report contains 30 articles on different aspects of migration and the role that migrants play – both as contributors to Europe, and to the development of their countries of origin. According to Genoveva Tisheva and Mirjam van Reisen, members of the Social Watch Coordinating Committee, “The European Union consistently presents itself as a key player in development aid and as a fervent defender of Human Rights. Indeed the Lisbon Treaty that will soon provide the legal basis for the European Union identifies the rule of law and respect for human rights, both inside and outside the Union, as founding values. However, European immigration and asylum policies are not always in line with development objectives, as this report shows. They often contradict international Human Rights standards, notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition they do not always comply with the European Social Charter.”
The Report was launched on Tuesday December 8th at the European Parliament and it is available online at

Small Grants from IPRA Foundation for Peace Studies
Founded in 1990, the IPRA Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, that furthers the purposes and activities of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) which, since 1965, has sought to enhance the processes of peace. The Foundation provides small research grants (up to US$ 3000) to support studies of conflict phenomena and peace strategies. Special consideration will be given to applicants from the developing world. Applicants should explain how their projects would make an impact on the conditions of peace and/or the removal of causes of war and other forms of violence.
For more information on how to apply for IPRA small research grants visit:

“Climate Justice for a Changing Planet”, new publication from the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service
Justice and equity should be central in any response to climate change coming out of the Copenhagen summit, and beyond, according to a new publication from the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS). Climate Justice for a Changing Planet: A Primer for Policy Makers and NGOs shines a light on the important intersection of equity and justice in the context of the current climate change debate. The book explores climate justice as an emerging concept and as a key to understanding the global debate. The book demonstrates that climate justice is not only an ethical imperative, but also an economic and social one. According to Elisa Peter, Acting Coordinator of UN-NGLS, “Climate justice acknowledges the massive contribution the world’s richest countries have historically made to the problem, and therefore have a greater obligation to take action and to do so more quickly. Many fear that whatever international agreement is reached between governments will increase the already unjust burden on the poor and vulnerable,” The publication was launched this month by co-author Barbara Adams at an official side event organized by the Third World Network at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
To access the publication online and for more information go to: