Highlights

Author: 
Roberto Bissio

The Paris Ministerial Meeting of the Leading Group on Innovative Finances for Development, has recently mandated a study group to determine the feasibility of creating a currency transaction levy. This is a step forward but much remains to be done: for this idea to become a reality, it is necessary that Finance ministers find the way to implement what the Foreign ministers agree upon. As presidents and Prime Ministers must intervene when cabinet officials cannot find agreement, it is crucial that all countries are represented at the highest level in the UN Conference on the crisis later this June.

Author: 
Federica Corsi and Jana Silverman

The first year of the European Commission funded project “Promoting Social Development: Building Capacities of Social Watch Coalitions” came to a close in February, with positive results for the Czech, Italian, and Polish Social Watch coalitions that are participating in this three-year initiative. In additon, the project contemplates several regional-level activities, the most important being the production of the first European Social Watch Report.

Author: 
Jana Silverman

Civil society organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean are planning a counter-Assembly to visualize the human and environmental costs of the policies of the Inter-American Development Bank that have led to the extraction of non-renewable natural resources, the privatization of public services, and the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects.

Author: 
Jana Silverman

In crucial times, “Making anti-poverty and gender policies accountable to citizens”, the new project involving the European Commission (EC), Oxfam Novib and Social Watch, aims at further invigorating the reach of the network.

Next month in India, the “world´s largest democracy” will begin a process of national Parliamentary elections for the first time since 2004, in a critical moment in which issues related to security and to the economy are weighing heavily on voters´ minds. Taking this context into account, this month´s “Spotlight On…” column will focus on the Social Watch India coalition, whose work to promote transparency and accountability in politics will be crucial during this election period.

Author: 
Roberto Bissio

Dear friends of Social Watch,

A South American radio personality was commenting on the impact of the crisis on the world´s billionaires. The number of individuals with personal wealth of over one billion dollars has dropped to 793 from 1,125 a year earlier. Mr. Bill Gates lost 18 billion dollars, but still tops the Forbes list because Mr. Warren Buffet and Mr. Carlos Slim lost 25 billion each. A listener calls the radio and with a mix of Schadenfreude and sarcasm comments how happy he is that, not having money in the bank nor properties, he has not lost anything.

Author: 
Jana Silverman

The 2008 Report has been launched internationally in Doha, followed by numerous activities organized by Social Watch national coalitions. The impact of these events might help insure that national governments and international institutions do not leave rights behind while trying to cope with the multiple crises affecting the entire world and especially its poorest and most vulnerable inhabitants.

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