Social Watch News

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.

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.

David Vella
Dan B. Codamon

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.

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.

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.

NEW YORK (Mar 6) - Rwanda, one of the poorest countries, has greater gender equity than the United States, where the status of women has significantly regressed.

So says a new study by Social Watch launched in the context of the 51st Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women held in New York February 26-March 9.

Darío Montero



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