By Roberto Bissio

Environmentalists, economists, feminists and social activists from all over the world, after many years of criticizing governments are now calling for States to be strengthened as the only way to save the planet, threatened by a whole series of crises in climate, water, food and finances. On Monday, March 7th, sixteen members of the self-appointed Reflection Group on global development perspectives formulated a call to “change the mindset" about environmental and economic problems.

The United Nations, the Arab League and the international community in general must intervene to stop the massacre that Bahrain demonstrators and activist are currently suffering, warned this Wednesday the local civil society organizations. The Bahraini opposition considers the Saudi and Emirates military contingents as occupation forces. Eurostep, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and Social Watch asked the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, to call Bahraini authorities for an immediate end to the violence.

Urgent Appeal to Change the Mindset
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio 2012, must change the dominant mindset by:
Restoring public rights over corporate privileges, Taking equity seriously, Rescuing nature.

If supporting dictatorial regimes like Tunisia and Egypt has been seen as the way to maintain Europe’s security, current events demonstrate the fragility of such strategies, warned three major civil society networks in a letter to Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In neglecting the interests of ordinary citizens, this strategy was never sustainable. Sustainability can only be assured by genuine democratic processes, according to the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Eurostep and Social Watch,

Statement to the participants of the international conference on the Southern Mediterranean hosted by the EU High Representative (23 February 2011)

Letter to the EU High Representative (3 February 2011) urging the EU to respond to the popular demands in the region for true inclusive democracy.

Source: Social Watch Philippines

Members of nongovernment organizations and urban poor groups today fixed up a Christmas Tree in front of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Quezon City in time for the Bicameral Conference Committee´s meeting to finalize the 2011 national budget.
"This is our Christmas Tree of Hope and Reform. We are decorating this with Christmas Balls expressing our call for the Bicameral Conference Committee members to give the poor people a merry Christmas by realigning lump sum items in the budget to increase the budget for pro-poor programs," said Marivic Raquiza, convenor of Social Watch Philippines (SWP) which organized the Alternative Budget Initiative, the network globally acknowledged for initiating Congress-citizens´ partnerships for alternative budget proposals.

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