Social Watch news

Jana Silverman

From January 27 – February 1, the eighth edition of the World Social Forum (WSF) took place in Belem do Para, the vivacious gateway city to Brazil’s Amazon region. Under throbbing heat and intense tropical rainstorms, over 130,000 activists from 142 countries came together to establish connections between diverse social movements, debate possible solutions to the current financial crisis, and celebrate the construction of a more just and sustainable world. Members of Social Watch (SW) national coalitions from Brazil, Cameroon, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Peru, Uruguay, and Zambia participated actively in this international gathering, both in events organized by SW as well as in others led by organizations with similar objectives as SW.

For the second installment of our “Spotlight On…” column, which highlights the innovative work of organizations that make up Social Watch coalitions around the globe, this month we will put a focus on the Social Watch coalition in the host country of this year´s World Social Forum, which will take place on the shores of the Amazon River in the city of Belem do Para, Brazil.

Dear friends of Social Watch,
The Social Watch Report 2008 was launched in the European Parliament in Brussels last January 7. The meeting, which focused on human rights as the key to find a way out of the present global financial and economic crisis, was attended by members of the European Parliament, officers of the European Commission and journalists. The meeting was convened by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Luisa Morgantini, yet she could only salute briefly the participants and had to leave to attend an urgent meeting on the situation in the Gaza Strip. “I hope you understand,” she said in her greeting. And everybody nodded.

Rights is the Answer! Social Watch events at the 2009 World Social Forum.

By David Cronin

BRUSSELS, Jan 8 (IPS) - Extreme poverty will continue to blight sub-Saharan Africa for another 200 years unless action to overcome it is intensified, a new report has suggested.

The members of more than 250 civil society organizations and networks from around the world gather from 25-28 November to debate the multiple crises (energy, food, climate, and finance) currently affecting the planet urge goverments to “take the side of women and men workers, farmers, youth and children” and effect changes that put “effective development, poverty eradication, human rights, gender equality, decent work, and environmental sustainability at the fore.”

As one of the lead elements proposed for recommendation to the Financing for Development Review Conference, the Civil Society Forum held in Doha, Qatar, supports an international summit on financial and economic architecture and global economic governance structures, in 2009. The Forum position challenges the both the proposal some governments made that the Bretton Woods Institutions organize an event and the moves to concentrate decision-making in the G-20 group of governments.

“Is the United States a ‘failed state’? Its financial mismanagement has triggered a world wide crisis.” Thus, Social Watch coordinator Roberto Bissio challenged some 300 civil society delegates, who met at the Civil Society Forum leading to the Financing for Development Review Conference to address the international crises that threaten our climate, development and social justice, and develop recommendations for the official Conference.

POSITION Senior Research Associate
LOCATION The Social Watch International Secretariat is located in Montevideo, Uruguay, and is based at the Third World Institute (ITeM)
DEADLINE December 12, 2008

A global campaign is being launched by civil society organisations worldwide in order to push the issue of an open and transparent conference convened by the UN to review the international financial and monetary architecture. This implies as well a revision about aims and objectives of the institutions that serve this purpose and their governance. PLEASE, SIGN THE STATEMENT BEFORE NOVEMBER 13th.

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