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While the International Movement ATD Fourth World welcomes the latest set of sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations Open Working Group, the goals could better emphasize reaching the most marginalized.

With regards to poverty, “While the  title of Goal 1, ‘End Poverty in all its forms everywhere,’ is ambitious,” said Isabelle Pypaert Perrin, director general of ATD Fourth World,  “target 1.2 - to reduce by at least half the proportion of men women and children of all ages living in poverty according to national definitions - falls short. With no clear reference to prioritising those living in the greatest poverty, it could lead governments to target only those easiest to reach. This would contradict the principle of leave no one behind.”

The Declaration of the G77 Summit, held in Santa Cruz on 14-15 June, has sections on three prominent issues that are presently the subject of negotiations at the United Nations - the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Declaration should thus have significant influence on the UN negotiations since it reflects the positions of the G77 and China, at the highest political level, and these positions can be expected to be maintained by the Group during the negotiations on these three issues.

A resolution was adopted in the UN Human Rights Council on June 26 that will begin the process of elaborating an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights. Despite strong opposition from the EU and US, the resolution received affirmative votes from 20 member States on the Human Rights Council, while 13 States abstained. France, Germany, Italy and Ireland were also among the 14 opposing countries.

This victory in the promotion of human rights was welcomed by the Treaty Alliance, a group of networks and campaign organizations collectively working to organize advocacy in support of developing binding international regulation to address corporate human rights abuses. A statement calling for an international legally binding instrument has been signed by 610 civil society organizations and social movements and 400 individuals from 95 countries. Additionally, the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament and the Vatican have made statements supporting the creation of such an instrument.

The Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus was born in 2013 as a cross-constituency coalition of development, environment, trade union, feminist and human rights organizations worldwide to lay out a roadmap for embedding human rights into the core of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. As the Open Working Group’s (OWG) efforts near completion and the full-blown political negotiations begin, the Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus has developed this Litmus Test to be used to evaluate whether proposals for the post-2015 framework respect and reflect pre-existing human rights norms, standards and commitments, in line with the Rio+20 agreement that sustainable development goals be “consistent with international law”. This series of questions and criteria not only clearly articulate our bottom-line expectations for the outcomes of the post-2015 sustainable development process, but also provides a unique tool for all those involved to more objectively assess whether post-2015 proposals truly encapsulate what the UN Secretary General envisioned as “a far-reaching vision of the future firmly anchored in human rights.”

The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) is glad to announce the launch of the call for applications of the eighth edition of the ICAE Academy of Lifelong Learning Advocacy (IALLA), that will be held in the Arab Region, from October 13 to 26, 2014 in Madaba, Jordan.

In 2000, the United Nations announced eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty worldwide.

As the goals “expire” next year, new goals are being defined in UN assemblies and corridors.

Some doors in the UN will be shut to public scrutiny but wide open to corporations.

“This issue will determine the future of the UN as such,” recently commented a member of the Brazilian delegation to the UN, Guilherme Patriota.

Photo: WHO/V. Martin

The premier international conference on public health policy is the World Health Assembly, organised by the World Health Organisation, which attracts Ministers of Health and other top health officials as well as non-governmental organisations to Geneva every year.

This is where the latest trends in public health problems are presented and debated, and action plans for solutions are adopted.

Before the world economy has been able to fully recover from the crisis that began more than five years ago, there is a widespread fear that we may be poised for yet another crisis, this time in emerging economies (EEs).  Once again, most specialists on international economic matters have been caught unawares.  In fact, the signs of external financial fragility in several emerging economies have been visible since the beginning of the financial crisis in the US and Europe.  The South Centre has constantly warned that the boom in capital flows that had started in the first half of the 2000s and continued even after the Lehman collapse is generating serious imbalances in the developing world along with the danger of a sudden stop and reversal.

The undersigned organizations condemn the security forces storming of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, Alexandria Branch, and note that such attack is an expected escalation, amidst the growing incitement in the media, and defamation campaigns, which have been targeting human rights organizations and human rights defenders in Egypt.

Egyptian security forces, alongside security personnel dressed in civilian attire, raided the Alexandria Branch of The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, arresting 15, including two minors, and two ECESR staff, and confiscating several computers and documents. The arrested were taken to the Alexandria Security Department where they were held, until released hours later.

Following the non-renewal of the contract of Anita Nayar as head of the Non-Governmental Liaison Service of the United Nations, the Coordinating Committee of Social Watch expressed its concern. See the letter below.

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