Mounted NYPD at Occupy Wall
(Photo: Thimoty Krause/Flicrk)

Tens of thousands people took the streets of New York, Vancouver, Madrid, Rome and dozens of other cities in North America, Europe and other regions this weekend, to protest against corporate greed and the steps taken by the governments to put an end to the economic and financial crisis. This movement “is taking off all over the world,” said Armine Yainizyan, expert with the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, one of the focal points of Social Watch in that country.

Protest in Wall St. last week.
(Photo: Matt McDermott/Flickr)

Far from improving the quality of life of the world population, increased trade and per capita income have not resulted in reduced poverty, according to the most recent Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) published by Social Watch, an international network of civil society organizations.

Photo: BabyDinosaur/Flickr

What do Costa Rica, Uruguay and Georgia (the country in the Caucasus, not the American state) have in common? They all have achieved high positions in their social indicators while keeping their emissions of climate changing carbon dioxide at less than half of the global per capita average.

“The hard numbers have proved that prosperity does not trickle down,” said Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, at the launch of the Basic Capabilities Index computed by this non-governmental watchdog organization. “It used to be common sense that a growing economy benefits the poor, that a rising tide will lift all boats, big or small, or that the pie has to grow first before we can share it,” he added, but the figures published by Social Watch on the eve of the international days on hunger and poverty seem to show the opposite.

Cristina Figueres. (Photo: IISD)

The Third World Network (TWN, point focal of Social Watch), “do not support any outcome” of the negotiations on climate change “that undermines or terminates the Kyoto Protocol, or that enshrines a weaker system than the Kyoto Protocol in international law,” according to the statement the group published on the occasion of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention on Climate Change (AWG-LCA), held last week in Panama City.

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