Panel on Defining the Future of
Trade. (Photo: TAG-Org)

A number of civil society organizations have strongly objected to the panel of “WTO stakeholders” formed recently by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy and tasked to examine and analyze challenges to global trade in the 21st century, reported journalist Kanaga Raja on the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS) news service.

UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon briefs the
General Assembly.
(UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz)

The United Nations is preparing for a post-2015 Development Agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals, with an advisory panel announced last week and a possible Development Summit in 2015, wrote Martin Khor, executive director of South Centre, in his most recent column for The Star, one of the leading Malaysian newspapers.

Burning of rice residues after
harvest in Punjab, India. (Photo:
Neil Palmer/CIAT/Flickr/CC)

At least 25 Asian and international civil society organizations are calling to “act swiftly” to avoid “the impending disaster” and to “regain our momentum and defeat the system by targeting the source” of the global environmental crisis. Some of the groups that signed the appeal are the Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform (Monlar, Sri Lanka), La Via Campesina and Focus on the Global South.

Source: Ghana Nation

A two-day African Regional Capacity Building Workshop for members of Social Watch Coalitions on the continent was held in Accra this week, with the aim to strengthen the capacity of members to actively monitor the implementation of social policies and programmes by their governments.

Source: Mizzima

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and NGOs representatives, including Mr U Aung Htoo, Secretary General of the Burma Lawyers’ Council (focal point of Social Watch), discussed the call for a UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) into war crimes in that country with European Union (EU) diplomats ahead of a European Council meeting on human rights in Brussels on Monday.

Source: Inesc

The economic contribution of mining companies to the countries where they operate, and where these funds actually go, should be of interest to the whole of society, especially movements and organizations that are fighting for social and environmental rights. Peru, the world’s biggest producer of silver and the second of copper and zinc, signed last week an agreement with mining enterprises to levy a tax on the exceptional profits these companies are making.

Source: Pakistan Today

Pakistani non-governmental organizations, among them the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP, one of the members of Social Watch in that country), expressed their concern over the government’s silence on neither providing relief to the rain-hit population, nor inviting the international community to assist with rescue and rehabilitation.

Bahraini doctors protesting in
the streets.
(Photo: Ahlulbayt News Agency)

Sources: Daily Tribune, Al Jazeera, Radio France International, The Washington Post

Bahraini and international human rights’ organization efforts made progress this week when a special court freed on bail 20 doctors jailed because of political reasons, some of which had gone on hunger strikes, with more than 100 other prisoners. The situation of the fasters “is a matter of concern as it involves the lives of people,” said Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS, focal point of Social Watch) Secretary General Dr Abdulla Al Durazi.

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