International investment and trade agreements are legally binding international treaties which give investors an additional layer of legal protection on top of the host country law and contract law.  However, little efforts have been made in ironing out the interface between these different laws and treaties. Inconsistencies and even contradictions have emerged in dispute settlement decisions, sometimes at the expense of public good, sovereignty and financial and economic stability. An asymmetry seems to exist in the allocation of risks and benefits between investors and recipients of investments. 

"Civil society organizations are natural allies of the United Nations, but the partnership modality is not the primary way for civil society to engage with the UN" argued Barbara Adams at a panel discussion on "Strengthening partnerships and stakeholder engagement" that took place in the framework of the ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development on 27 February 2018. From a CSO perspective, she added, the primary way of leveraging resources for the Sustainable Development Goals is fair and progressive taxation.

Morocco is planning to build Africa's tallest building and a bullet train between its main cities, but local Social Watch groups argue that the people need instead basic infrastructure for clean water, health services and education.

In the more than 11 years since Mexico’s last periodic review by the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, international scrutiny of the human rights situation in Mexico has centered largely on civil and political rights. However, the human rights crisis in our country also includes a multiplicity of economic, social, cultural, and environmental (“ESC”) rights violations committed by state and non-state actors, through acts and omissions that remain in impunity.

In this context, the undersigned civil society organizations and networks submit this Alternative Report to the Committee with the aim of contributing to its important and urgent work in the supervision of the situation of ESC rights in Mexico. The report reflects our collective experience of many years in the investigation, documentation and defense of these rights, and seeks to clarify the current situation in the country, as well as identify key obstacles, setbacks, limitations, and challenges for the full enjoyment of ESC rights.

This public panel will discuss the multiple roles of rural women and girls for enhancing food sovereignty, preserving biodiversity, reducing inequalities, and combating climate change. The presentations will affirm the importance of engaging women in policy-making around more equitable and sustainable production and consumption.

Panelists will offer perspectives from the local level, addressing challenges such as intellectual property rights and land ownership for small-scale women farmers. We will also discuss the opportunities and shortcomings of a human rights approach and global advocacy efforts to increasing women's participation in decision-making to tackle poverty, malnutrition, and environmental degradation.

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