Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 261 - June 17, 2016

Issue 261 - June 17, 2016
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Bangladesh: A Victim of Global Inequities

Since the 1990s, when democracy was reinstated, Bangladesh has been able to make some extraordinary achievements. The poverty rate was 57 percent in 1991 and was reduced to 31.5 percent in 2010, enrolment in primary education reached 98 per cent and girls slightly outnumber boys in schools. But budget allocations to health and social security are far from enough, corruption and illicit financial flows divert resources and climate change is set to produce more physical damage in Bangladesh by 2025 than in any other country. Rising sea levels, severe storms and other extreme climate-related events are going to produce millions of "climate refugees" in a country that has not contributed to generate this phenomenon and is not receiving compensation for enormous loss and damages. Read more



Jordan: The challenge of good governance

Jordan is a middle income country, but the consequences of the global economic crisis and the massive influx of Syrian refugees are enormous challenges. Despite some progress in achieving the MDGs, little was made on goals that required structural change, harmony among policies, continuity and sustainability of funding–notably the targets on employment and environmental sustainability. The country is not receiving adequate international support to host 1.3 million Syrians (one for every five Jordanians) which together with a fast growing population impose stress on social services and water provision. Yet, for civil society "the main challenge is lack of good governance". Read more



Malta: End tax haven to help eradicate poverty


Malta will hold the Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2017 and it should practice what it preaches, argues the Maltese NGO Kopin, "by ending European agricultural subsidies and other unjust practices that are harming and keeping poor undeveloped countries from reaching their potential". Justice and dignity for Maltese citizens cannot be separated from that of all citizens around the world and therefore the role of Malta as tax haven should be revised, since "tax evasion and money laundering are two major causes of global poverty and injustice". Further, the Mediterranean island should do more towards the integration of migrants, combatting xenophobia and "putting special emphasis on the rights of children and youth who are migrating, irrespective of their reasons to move". Read more


Social Watch starts publishing country reports 2016

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2016, under the overall theme Goals for 2030... and obstacles to getting there. The Social Watch network thus joins the current global discussions around a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on a new development framework and the need for civil society monitoring.

The Social Watch national platforms are independent coalitions of civil society organizations struggling for social and gender justice in their own countries. The Social Watch network has been publishing since 1996 yearly reports on how governments implement their international commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve equality between women and men.


According to a recent human rights report, “in its operational policies, in particular, [the World Bank] treats human rights more like an infectious disease than universal values and obligations.”
No, the recent report was not from a health agency, but from the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Mr. Philip Alston. In the report, he summarizes the World Bank (“the Bank”)'s practice on the matter in four propositions: “(a) pay lip service to human rights in official settings, as long as there are no consequences; (b) acknowledge the theoretical significance of human rights in studies and analyses of issues in relation to which they are incontestably relevant, (c) ensure that, as a general rule, the Bank does not engage with any aspect of human rights in its actual operations and lending; and (d) be prepared to make exceptions when political imperatives require it, even if that involves a high degree of inconsistency.” Read more


In describing the Paris Agreement (PA) as being "historic" and an important "milestone", key developing countries stressed that the Agreement is to enhance the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and not to replace it.
At a side-event jointly organized by the South Centre and Third World Network on the first day of the Bonn climate talks (16-26 May), delegates from India, China and Egypt presented their views on the PA.
They also stressed the need for a balanced approach in the implementation of the PA, emphasizing the importance of all elements including mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation. Read more



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