Social Watch news

The Economic and Social Council held a panel discussion on "Civil Society Perspectives on the Financing for Development Agenda" on Monday, 20 April 2009, in the ECOSOC Chamber in New York. Roberto Bissio from Social Watch intervened at the first panel together with other civil society representatives.

The Advocacy Coordinator will develop and implement an advocacy strategy and activities for Social Watch.
Location: The Social Watch International Secretariat in Montevideo, Uruguay. The position requires frequent presence in decision-making fora, in particular but not exclusively in New York.
The deadline is April 30, 2009.

Social Watch is a network of citizen coalitions in over 70 countries monitoring the commitments of governments and international organizations to eradicate poverty and achieve gender equality. Social Watch has been reporting on social development issues every year since 1995 and in that process we have frequently addressed issues related to global finances and its governance. In particular, the 2006 Social Watch report was titled: “Impossible Architecture: How the financial structure is not working for the poor and how to redesign it for equity and development”. The 2008 Social Watch report, titled “The Answer is Rights” looks at the relation between Human Rights and the economic rules (and deregulation) brought by globalization. Social Watch has been an active participant in the 2002 Monterrey conference on Financing for Development and its 2008 follow-up conference in Doha.

Jana Silverman

From January 27 – February 1, the eighth edition of the World Social Forum (WSF) took place in Belem do Para, the vivacious gateway city to Brazil’s Amazon region. Under throbbing heat and intense tropical rainstorms, over 130,000 activists from 142 countries came together to establish connections between diverse social movements, debate possible solutions to the current financial crisis, and celebrate the construction of a more just and sustainable world. Members of Social Watch (SW) national coalitions from Brazil, Cameroon, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Peru, Uruguay, and Zambia participated actively in this international gathering, both in events organized by SW as well as in others led by organizations with similar objectives as SW.

For the second installment of our “Spotlight On…” column, which highlights the innovative work of organizations that make up Social Watch coalitions around the globe, this month we will put a focus on the Social Watch coalition in the host country of this year´s World Social Forum, which will take place on the shores of the Amazon River in the city of Belem do Para, Brazil.

Dear friends of Social Watch,
The Social Watch Report 2008 was launched in the European Parliament in Brussels last January 7. The meeting, which focused on human rights as the key to find a way out of the present global financial and economic crisis, was attended by members of the European Parliament, officers of the European Commission and journalists. The meeting was convened by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Luisa Morgantini, yet she could only salute briefly the participants and had to leave to attend an urgent meeting on the situation in the Gaza Strip. “I hope you understand,” she said in her greeting. And everybody nodded.

Rights is the Answer! Social Watch events at the 2009 World Social Forum.

By David Cronin

BRUSSELS, Jan 8 (IPS) - Extreme poverty will continue to blight sub-Saharan Africa for another 200 years unless action to overcome it is intensified, a new report has suggested.

The members of more than 250 civil society organizations and networks from around the world gather from 25-28 November to debate the multiple crises (energy, food, climate, and finance) currently affecting the planet urge goverments to “take the side of women and men workers, farmers, youth and children” and effect changes that put “effective development, poverty eradication, human rights, gender equality, decent work, and environmental sustainability at the fore.”

As one of the lead elements proposed for recommendation to the Financing for Development Review Conference, the Civil Society Forum held in Doha, Qatar, supports an international summit on financial and economic architecture and global economic governance structures, in 2009. The Forum position challenges the both the proposal some governments made that the Bretton Woods Institutions organize an event and the moves to concentrate decision-making in the G-20 group of governments.

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