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Cooperation instead of confrontation

Excellent contribution of the South Center for the start of a New Year!

The world faces many challenges besides the current coronavirus pandemic, including hunger, environmental destruction, climate change, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and rising inequality. Global cooperation is necessary to address these challenges and, in some areas, the global community is responding to them. Calls to form a coalition against a particular country, such as from the United States towards China, divert attention from the problems the world is facing and hamper progress in addressing these global challenges. History taught us that the best way to resolve our differences and to move forward is through dialogue and cooperation, not confrontation.

To access the document directly, go to this webpage:

Oxfam Report on Universal Social Protection

As 2020 draws to a close, the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating. Without urgent action, global poverty and inequality will deepen dramatically. Hundreds of millions of people have already lost their jobs, gone further into debt or skipped meals for months. Research by Oxfam and Development Pathways shows that over 2 billion people have had no support from their governments in their time of need.

Our analysis shows that none of the social protection support to those who are unemployed, elderly people, children and families provided in low- and middle-income countries has been adequate to meet basic needs. 41% of that government support was only a one-off payment and almost all government support has now stopped.

Decades of social policy focused on tiny levels of means-tested support have left most countries completely unprepared for the COVID-19 economic crisis. Yet, countries such as South Africa and Bolivia have shown that a universal approach to social protection is affordable, and that it has a profound impact on reducing inequality and protecting those who need it most.

Human Rights day!

Global health : Will it become the first “res publica” of the humanity?

The UN General Assembly has convened a Special Session on the Covid-19 pandemic at the level of Heads of State and Government on 3 and 4 December next. It took more than a year of discussions to overcome the opposition of certain states, notably the United States of former President Donald Trump.

This is a unique opportunity …

Read the article by Riccardo Petrella

G20 Leaders’ Declaration Lacks Plans for Jobs and Social Protection

The support for equitable access to treatments and eventual vaccines is welcome, however there is no new initiative on support for developing countries and no progress on international tax reform.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “The world is facing its greatest employment challenge in living memory, however the G20 leaders have not shown the leadership that is needed. The Declaration acknowledges the scale of the challenge without offering real solutions. Coordinated action, with support for the least wealthy countries, is needed for recovery and resilience. The lack of global ambition in this G20 Declaration is extremely disappointing and will leave countries on their own to fight the terrible economic consequences of the pandemic.”

Read the article of ITUC

Human Rights and Religion

This article is about the outlook for religions in the 21st century. It touches upon liberation theology and contrasts it with prosperity theology and religious fundamentalism. It further reports on a study about the origin of religions and its implications for human rights. For a quick overview, just read the bolded text].

Religions will have to adapt to the definitive loss of their influence and will have to share their followers with other social movements (Jaume Botey, Catalan theologian and philosopher)

-The question this statement brings about then is: Will the state have to establish a new legislative framework for religions to operate in a pluralistic, human rights-tolerant fashion?

By Claudio Schuftan, PHM

Lees verder

Trade unions and climate change: the jobs-versus-environment dilemma

Unions can be torn between mitigating climate change tomorrow and saving jobs today. A significant Just Transition Fund could ease that dilemma.

Read the article on Social Europe by Adrien Thomas and Nadja Dörflinger

IMF/World Bank: Inaction on Global Economic Crisis

“The Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have failed to step up to the gravity of the global economic crisis, in particular for developing countries, where the economic outlook continues to worsen. No major decisions were taken to support these countries, and the initial emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming too little as the crisis wears on.”

Read the message of ITUC

Annual Meetings World Bank and IMF

Bretton Woods Project:

As the World Bank and the IMF begin their virtual 2020 Annual Meetings this week, the Bretton Woods Project’s Preamble previews what they might have in store for the Covid-19 recovery and what key developments will be shaping the meetings.

Annual Meetings 2020 Preamble: IMF and World Bank frontload austerity and privatisation in Covid-19 recovery, while the world calls for alternative, more inclusive multilateralism

As the number of global deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic surpasses 1 million, the IMF and World Bank begin their Annual Meetings promising to deliver on green and just recoveries from the pandemic and its devastating consequences. Yet, with the Civil Society Policy Forum taking place this year before the Annual Meetings, the contrast between civil society proposals for feminist, green recoveries that avoid another decade of austerity and the solutions offered by the World Bank and IMF has never been more stark.

Celebrating the Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action

September 4, 1995, the world witnessed the penultimate conclusion of a series of international women’s conferences, which culminated in the landmark Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted by 189 nations in Beijing, China. As 17,000 delegates, accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international civil servants from all over these countries debated the outcome document in Beijing, another 30,000, primarily women, and some men, activists, academics, parliamentarians,  business interest groups, religious leaders and local government officials met at the parallel NGO Forum in Huairou,  near Beijing, to share and exchange ideas on the situation of women and girls in their countries and regions and to propose solutions for the way forward.  Many of these participants had educated themselves and lobbied members of their governments, including the delegations inside the negotiating space, on the multiple issues of concern to them in the course of the various preparatory meetings held prior to the conference.

Read the South Center article and find more sources for information

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