Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 230 - September 2, 2015

Issue 230 - September 2, 2015

Philippines: Aquino, Belmonte ‘killed’ FOI law, says coalition


The proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) law is dead, and President Aquino and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte should share the blame for its fate.
Thus declared a group of advocates who have been pushing Congress for years to enact the measure that would allow greater access to public records and help reduce corruption in government. Read more



ICAE has been participating actively in the process, especially through initial negotiations of the Open Working Group for the SDGs, and the parallel Education for All debates, pushing for the human right to education within a lifelong learning perspective, and the recognition of youth and adult education in the agenda. We are pleased to see that our efforts and the global education community’s work are reflected in the agenda, remarkably in Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
However we are deeply disappointed and concerned by the last minute weakening of targets 4.4 and 4.6 on youth and adult literacy and education, stating that governments’ commitment by 2030 is only to “substantially increase” the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship; and to ensure that all youth, but again only a “substantial proportion of adults” achieve literacy and numeracy. Read more


Photo: Raffael Waldner,

Peter Niggli was honoured by the Swiss development community with a farewell party last August 27 in Bern, as he retired after 17 years at the helm of Alliance Sud, the Swiss coalition of development NGOs. Parliamentarians, government officials, journalists and NGO colleagues expressed their recognition. Speakers highlighted Niggli's contribution to the 2011 Swiss decision to increase ODA to 0.5% of GDP, which is a major step forward even if short of the 0.7 international target.
On behalf of the Social Watch network, of which Alliance Sud is the Swiss member, Roberto Bissio summarised Niggli's contribution as having taught a lesson in commitment. Read more


Are you interested in actionable information to promote social change? Are you an advocate for gender equality or women’s economic empowerment? Join us in an interactive webinar.
The WORLD Policy Analysis Center (WORLD) is offering an opportunity to learn about its unique set of tools – interactive maps, data, and easy-to-understand factsheets on rights, laws, and policies affecting women’s equal opportunities and empowerment in 193 countries. Read more


As the dust settles on the recent July meetings in Geneva of the new UN Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises, which kicked off negotiations towards a treaty on this topic, there are some interesting developments to consider. These developments concern how the human rights narrative at the UN related to business activities might finally be shifting toward recognition and interaction with important traditional human rights principles.
Within human rights law and in the practice of human rights advocates, much is made of the primacy of human rights over all other legal obligations states have. In particular, article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and various articles of the UN Charter, have created a solid international legal foundation for understanding this norm, although so far not much has been made of emphasizing the primacy of human rights in the context of the UN’s debate around ‘business and human rights.’ Read more



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