The Arab Spring gave this region’s civil society fresh tools to contribute to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio2012). “The Arab peoples’ revolutions and uprisings which erupted first in Tunisia in December 2010 reflect the interlink between sustainable development, democratic governance, and freedom,” noted the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) in the paper it submitted to the preparatory process of the meeting.  

Mirjam van Reisen

The European Union (EU) should change its policy towards Eritrea, says Mirjam van Reisen, professor of International Social Responsibility at Tilburg University. The people are better of if the EU would spent its allocated subsidy for Eritrea on housing and education of the Eritrean refugees in Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Egypt or Yemen, adds Van Reisen, also founder and director of Brussels-based Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA).

Photo: Women in the Mediterranean

The Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD, one of the focal points of Social Watch in that country) created an “emergency cell” to take statements of women who suffer assaults in the university campuses and to offer them support and solidarity.

The last incidents, according to the French newspaper L’Humanité, took place in the Manouba School of Economics and the High Institute of Theology.

More than 300 civil society organizations submitted their proposals for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio2012). In its paper, Social Watch remembered that the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 stated that “the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries (...) aggravating poverty and imbalances”, and warned that “this is still true today”.

Photo: Patricia Leiva (OAS)

The government of the Argentinean province of Formosa committed before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) to search on a solution to the demands of Nam Qom indigenous community, that accuses the provincial police force of brutality. The community is represented by represented by Centre for Legal and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, CELS), national focal point of Social Watch.

After exhausting judicial remedies in the Argentinean judicial system, members of the Nam Qom Community in the Formosa province appealed to the IACHR seeking reparations for attacks committed by police forces in August 2002.

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