Social Watch news

June 24- Voicing the interests of civil society a day before the United Nations begins a three-day summit on the world financial crisis, the Global Social Economy Group called today for sweeping reform of international financial and economic institutions and practices that had contributed to the current global economic turmoil.

The event to take place on 20 June in New York will bring together people from the South and the North, from the US and abroad, women and men, workers and unemployed on the eve of the UN Summit Conference on the Economic and Financial Crisis.

The 10 Days of Action: Countdown to Commitments is a mobilization tool to help raise awareness, build momentum and deliver key civil society messaging around the UN Conference on the Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, scheduled for 24 – 26 June, 2009, at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The 10 Days of Action would be launched as a virtual action on Tuesday, 16 June, the Global Day of the African Child, which would serve as a bookend to the ten days, and culminate on the closing day of the UN Conference, 26 June. A daily notice would be disseminated widely through the main information listservs.

A statement calling upon governments not to take procedural arguments as an excuse to further delaying the substantive negotiations on the urgently needed global policy responses to the current crisis is being circulated to negotiators at the UN.

The following position paper was endorsed by Euro step, Social Watch, the Arab NGO Network for Development, Asociación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de Promoción (ALOP), South Asia Alliance for Poverty Erradication (SAAPE) and Least Developed Countries (LDC) Watch.

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.

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