Of recent publication: Social Watch Report 2009 in French

Montevideo, February 8, 2010

Social Watch has just published the French version of the Social Watch Report 2009 (Faire travailler les finances. D’abord les gens). This version, whose content is the same as the English (Making Finance Work. People First) and Spanish (Poner a trabajar las finanzas. Primero la gente) versions, is available for consultation in the Social Watch website (www.socialwatch.org/fr/node/11419).

In its 2009 edition, the Social Watch report includes over 60 national reports from around the world, which were prepared by civil society organizations members of the international Social Watch network. The report concludes that it will be only through a strong investment in the people that there will be a real solution to the current global financial and ecological crisis.

Many national reports emphasize that the local crises did not start with the fall of the financial stock exchanges, but had been dragging out for some years before that. While the collapse of the strongest economies in the world highlighted the weaknesses of those countries most dependent on the major economies, others (paradoxically some of the weakest) with looser links to the international financial circuit, were not so strongly affected and continued to suffer their own internal crises.

Besides the national case studies, the report also includes a number of in-depth thematic reports that deal with various aspects of the impacts of the crises (food, gender, human rights, environment) and regions (Europe, Least Developed Countries, Arab region).

One of the harshest consequences of the new global reality, highlighted in the 2009 report, is the rise in food prices (especially considering that the poorest people spend about 80% of their income on food). In some places, like the Arab region, this situation is compounded by the crisis of fuel prices, desertification and water scarcity. Unemployment and deteriorating working conditions are extended to almost all countries and regions, resulting in an overall increase in poverty.

The report also includes testimonies from people in different parts of the world that have suffered the direct impacts of the crisis. These voices help to gauge the global nature of the problem.

Finally, there is a full section of statistical data organized in reader-friendly tables. These help to analyze and compare the situation (in areas like health, education and food) of the different countries and regions and their evolution over time.

An abridged version of the 2009 Report was also published in French. In addition to the summaries of the thematic reports it includes a graphical representation of the current global financial architecture, its structural weaknesses and the illogical direction of the capital and wealth flows (from the poorer people and countries to richer ones). The document also describes a set of measures – which Social Watch has been promoting for years – that should be implemented in order to build a new financial architecture, not only because it is mandatory for reasons of social justice but also because it makes good business sense.