Social Watch news

Nawara Bilal talks about her experience in al Tahrir square. How social networking started a revolution in Egypt. Testimony presented during the launch of the Social Watch report in Arabic at the World Social Forum, Dakar, 2011.

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“Affirmative action is key to overcome discrimination and promote an active participation of minorities in economic life, but trade and investment rules are making affirmative action difficult or even impossible to implement” argued Roberto Bissio, in representation of Social Watch, during the Forum on Minority Issues that took place in Geneva last Wednesday, December 15.

Source: National Social Watch Coalition India (NSWC)

The 2010 report of Social Watch India, to be launched in Delhi next Tuesday  December 21st, includes evaluation of the working of Parliament in terms of the issues of representation and accountability, and examines the role and consequences of the Union’s public policy and its effects on the lives of the people. In addition, issues of judiciary - confrontation with the executive, pendency of cases, probity of judges and persisting vacancies at all levels- are qualitatively and quantitatively analysed.

Source: Social Watch Philippines

Members of nongovernment organizations and urban poor groups today fixed up a Christmas Tree in front of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Quezon City in time for the Bicameral Conference Committee´s meeting to finalize the 2011 national budget.
"This is our Christmas Tree of Hope and Reform. We are decorating this with Christmas Balls expressing our call for the Bicameral Conference Committee members to give the poor people a merry Christmas by realigning lump sum items in the budget to increase the budget for pro-poor programs," said Marivic Raquiza, convenor of Social Watch Philippines (SWP) which organized the Alternative Budget Initiative, the network globally acknowledged for initiating Congress-citizens´ partnerships for alternative budget proposals.

The Forum, to be held on the 14th & 15th of December 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, is a valuable platform for minority representatives to contribute their knowledge and experiences to the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, and, indirectly, to the UN Human Rights Council. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for minority representatives, NGOs, state parties and UN officials to meet, mingle, share ideas and learn about important issues related to the rights of minority populations. The previous Session of the Forum was very successful; over 500 delegates were present and over 100 actively participated in the discussions!

Source: IPS and UNEP

The UN Environment Programme released a report that concluded the agreed 2009 reductions, even if fully met, are only 60 percent of the reductions needed to keep global temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which scientists – and the accord – say is necessary to prevent catastrophe. 

Based on notes from Ian Percy*

The process of ministerial discussions around aid effectiveness that produced the Paris Declaration in 2005 and continued in Accra 2008 with the Accra Agenda for Action will have a new High Level Forum (HLF4) in Busan, Korea, in 2011. An intergovernmental Working Party (WP-EFF), with the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the World Bank acting as secretariat, is organizing the Busan meeting. Social Watch is part of the coordinating group of the BetterAid coalition, an alliance of civil society organizations (CSOs) that tries to influence this process and shift the discourse from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness.

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