Social Watch news

Social Watch Italy organized several activities on occasion of the launching of the 2006 Report “Architettura Impossibile”. Areli Sandoval (Equipo Pueblo, SW Mexico), co-chair of the Coordinating Committee of Social Watch made a presentation on 2 May, at the Italian Parliament in Rome, with the presence of members of the European Parliament as well as Italian government representatives. On 3 May, a debate was organized at the Municipality of Florence, where the SW Report was launched with a strong message on the role of civil society in promoting social development and human rights.

Jens Martens (Global Policy Forum, SW Germany) co-chair of the SW Coordinating Committee summarizes the most recent trends, the possible issues on the agenda and the key events in the preparatory process for the 2nd Global Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) to be held in Doha in 2008.

On 2 May, 2007, sixteen representatives of Civil Society Organizations, including NGOs, met with the Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of the United Nations, Ms. Ashe Rose Migiro at a luncheon co-hosted by the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). The purpose of the meeting was to give an opportunity to NGOs to express their views on the report of the High-level Panel on UN System-Wide Coherence (“Delivering as one”). Cecilia Alemany (SW Secretariat) participated on behalf of Social Watch addressing some key questions from a Southern perspective.

During the special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the BWIs, the WTO and UNCTAD in New York on 16 April, Roberto Bissio defended innovative finance mechanisms against the attacks of the US and the business sector and the ambiguities of the European Union. Social Watch demands that the presidents and prime ministers come away from the Financing for Development summit in Doha next year with a political declaration and not just a no- consequences debate.

The Conference will be a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which a human rights framework can inform new strategies for trade, development and the eradication of poverty.

Tommaso Rondinella

During the World Social Forum held in Nairobi, Social Watch organised a workshop focused on of how to monitor state budgets and how to develop feasible alternatives to them from a civil society point of view. More than 60 people participated to the discussion..

From 2nd to 10th November 2006 representatives from Latin American Human Rights organisations gathered in Quito, Ecuador, to attend a programme on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). More than25 participants from civil society organisations attended the course and discussed issues like their rights to education, health, housing, food, and the conditions of life of afro-descendents, women, indigenous, children, farmers, disable people, amongst others, in the continent.

The course was organized by CDES Ecuador, COHRE, Dignity International, Equipo Pueblo Mexico and Social Watch.

Facilitated by the European External Policy Advisors (EEPA), Alliance 2015 held an Expert meeting in Brussels on “Measuring the Contribution of General Budget Support to Social Sectors”. Founded in 2000, the purpose of the Alliance is to fight poverty by supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Karina Batthyány, coordinator of the SW Secretariat Social Sciences Team, gave a presentation on the Social Watch indicators and methodology, in particular in relation to the Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) and the Gender Equity Index (GEI) under the title “Measuring Progress in Social Sectors: the SW Indicators”.

Bonn, 16 October 2006: In the past fifteen years, nearly one in every four countries has seen a decline in the quality of social services like education and health.

From the human rights perspective, poverty constitutes a multiple violation of human beings' fundamental rights and above all a violation of the right to lead a decent life as is laid down in international human rights agreements. The Social Watch published this Occasional Paper with the aim of exploring this relation and contributing to a greater understanding of it. This involves questioning the traditional approach that regards people in general and people living in poverty in particular merely as the "beneficiaries" or the "object" of policies and programmes. In this way, poverty- related issues are viewed from the perspective of the exercise of human rights, demonstrating the inalienability of the right to not be poor, which goes beyond the political will of governments.

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