Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, participated at the session "What are the implications of this project for civil society organisations?" at the International Conference on “Addressing the Hidden Dimensions of Poverty”. Bissio questioned "If we measure human rights would some of the countries that are currently put as examples of poverty reductions still be an example?", see the video here.

The Network for Women's Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT), a network of about 100 civil society organizations and over 300 individuals, has followed closely remarks made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the recently ended “Women Deliver Conference” in Vancouver, Canada. We have also followed the comments and interpretations this has engendered on various radio and TV stations, in social media, and at different press conferences.

Some of the debates have been highly politicized, and others have contained inaccuracies, and/or reflected a misunderstanding of the major issues of concern related to the status of women and girls in Ghana and globally. Yet others have lifted the conversation to a place that provides Ghanaians with an opportunity to reflect on, and discuss how we can make Ghana a safe and supportive space where all citizens can flourish and give of their best.

The Philippine Congress, particularly the Senate, has a handful of days left to pass important legislation. One of the urgent bills that the Senate should pass is the increase in the tobacco tax rate.

The Executive has strongly endorsed the bill of Senator Manny Pacquiao and has even certified its urgency. Pacquiao’s bill proposes a tax rate of P60 (against the current rate of P35). Subsequently, the rate increases by 9% annually to keep cigarettes less affordable in light of rising income and inflation. Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and JV Ejercito have bills that introduce higher rates — P70 and P90, respectively.

Ghana has the best endowment for and is the biggest producer of solar salt in West Africa. The bulk of the production and export comes from artisanal and small scale (ASM) producers. Third World Network Africa (TWN-Af) presents a research report "Towards Optimal Expoitation of Salt from the Keta Lagoon Basin in Ghana" based on struggles between a large scale salt company and some communities around the Keta Lagoon in Ghana. At the centre of the conflict is the disruption of the livelihoods of the communities by the award of a concession to a foreign investor for large scale salt production, an act which has expropriated what the communities see as the commons around the lagoon where for generations they have carried out livelihood activities which combine fishing, farming and salt production.

Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, Barbara Adams and Jens Martens from Global Policy Forum participated in the session “Civil Society Shadow Reporting: Meaningful Participation in the Voluntary National Review Process”. The Session was co-organized by Social Watch, Global Policy Forum, GCAP and Action for Sustainable Development and it was held in the framework of the Global Festival of Action on 2nd May 2019 in Bonn, Germany.

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