Two weeks before the United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro (Rio2012), 18 leading civil society activists and scholars from around the globe proposed concrete measures to effectively overcome the obstacles that prevent the world population to achieve a real sustainable development that enhances social equality and protects the environment. 

In its report, the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives “describes the root causes of the multiple crises” that suffers the planet, “reconfirms the framework of universal principles and rights, reconsiders development goals and indicators, and draws conclusions for the post-2015 development agenda.”

Mohammed Idris lead a protest
in Penang. (Photo: CAP)

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) warned that the beauty of this Malaysian state natural environment is slowly losing its shine due to the rapid pace of unsustainable development.

A National Civil Society Consultation on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio2012) was organized in Kathmandu by Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN, focal point of Social Watch), in collaboration with the National Planning Commission and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.

Seal of the EMMPE.
(Source: EACPE)

Despite the previous reservations, the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections held last week “can be described as fair and very close to conforming to international standards of transparency,” according to a broad alliance of civil society organizations and individuals that observed the polls, reported the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE), national focal point of Social Watch in that Arab country.

Can poverty be measured as the
World Bank does? (Photo: WB)

The World Bank has calculated that extreme poverty in the developing South fell by half in the period 1981 to 2008, but according to the Social Watch Coordinator Roberto Bissio, in an interview with Radio Nederland, this overall perspective conceals a worsening situation in many regions that is counterbalanced by data showing an improvement in China. Bissio explained that these studies, in which extreme poverty is defined as earning less than USD 1.25 per day, do not take account of the impact of recent disasters like rising food prices or the effects of the world economic crisis. 

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