New Coordinating Committee of Social Watch

Members of the new Coordinating
Committee of Social Watch.
(Photo: Social Watch)

Source: Social Watch

Leonor Briones, of Philippines, and Tanya Dawkins, of the United States, were elected as co-chairs of the Coordinating Committee of Social Watch on 16 July, after the network’s Global Assembly, held in Manila last week. The 15 members of this body were chosen in a gender balanced way and represent Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the Arab region.

Briones, Lead Convenor of Social Watch Philippines, became Treasurer of her country from 1998 to 2001 during the term of President Joseph Estrada. She is also former Presidential Adviser for Social Development with Cabinet Rank, former president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and Nominee to Congress of KAARBAY Party list during the 2010 national elections.

Dawkins is the executive director of the Global-Local Links Project. Her work focuses on engaging questions of what it means to build citizen and community power in an age of intensifying and diverse processes of globalization, and also on developing a new generation of globally minded, community-centric tools, networks, laws and policies that “put people and communities at the center of the global economy.” She is currently developing the Global Community Rights Framework Initiative. Tanya has an MBA from Barry University and has completed post graduate studies in international human rights law at Oxford University.  She co-chairs Social Watch International and has been active in Social Watch-US since 2005.  

Other members of the Coordinating Committee are; Norayda Arabella Ponce Sosa (Guatemala) and Susan Eróstegui (Bolivia), both nominated by Latin America; Mirjam van Reisen (European Union) and Milena Kadieva (Bulgaria), nominated by Europe; Himanshu Jha (India), nominated by Asia; Martina Mnenegwa Kabisama (Tanzania) and Gustave Benjamin Assah (Benin), nominated by Africa; Kate McInturff (Canada), nominated by North America; and Abdulnabi Alerky (Bahrain) and Kinda Mohamadieh (Lebanon), nominated by the Arab world. They will serve until 2013.

Barbara Adams (United States) and Yao Graham (Ghana) were selected as co-opted members of the Coordinating Committee, and Roberto Bissio (Uruguay) will co-ordinate the body ex officio.

With the theme “Claiming democracy: accountability for social and economic justice”, the Fifth Social Watch Global Assembly gathered in Manila from July 12 to 15 with the participation of representatives of women’s groups, human rights activists, unionists and other campaigners for social justice to discuss the new challenges brought about by the global crises and civil society responses. 

The world wide network of citizens’ organizations took full account of the changing global environment and integrated it into its strategy. Social Watch’s mission statement to “eradicate poverty and the causes of poverty, to end all forms of discrimination and racism, to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and the realization of human rights” was also reaffirmed.

The Coordinating Committee is the key political body for the daily work of the network, with an organizational structure, which requires fluid communications, facilitated principally through an email list, plus biannual face-to-face meetings and regular telephone conferences to discuss specific issues.

The Committee is composed of up to 16 members, two from each of the six regions (Africa, Asia, the Arab region, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe), plus a maximum of three members co-opted by the CC, and the Social Watch Coordinator as ex-officio member from the International Secretariat.

The 12 regional members of the Committee are nominated by the regional groups at the General Assembly and elected by all attendees of the Social Watch Assembly. They are therefore accountable to the network as a whole and they are not formal representatives of their regions, as there is no existing mechanism that would legitimate such representation. The membership of the body shall be composed with sensitivity to gender balance, i.e., as a principle, from each region one woman and one man shall be elected; cooptation of members shall also be gender sensitive.

More information about the Coordinating Committee: