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Discussion note on social justice

by Francine Mestrum

Social Justice – Note for discussion

Social justice is a very broad concept. It includes many divergent phenomena, from inequality to health care and pensions, over gender, migration and racism. Many of these elements can also be examined on their own right, such as gender and structural racism, while others are consequences or causes of still more problematics. Just imagine the lack of health care because of an income deficit called poverty or the importance of social justice for matters of environmental sustainability. The interlinkages are many. Lees verder

Here is why we are boycotting the UN Food Systems Summit

In September this year, the United Nations will host a Global Food Systems Summit in New York. The organisers of this summit are pitching it as a crucial debate of the decade which is to define the future of agriculture. They aim to bring together various stakeholders across sectors who play a role in the global food system.

Yet, the organised peasant and indigenous movements from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas that collectively represent most of the world’s small-scale food producers have called for a total boycott of this summit. In April this year, scores of scientists, researchers, faculty members, and educators who work in agriculture and food systems, also issued an open call to boycott the event.

Read the article by Elisabeth Mpofu

Re-defining the social justice agenda

We had a very interesting discussion on Francine’s and Meena’s new book at AEPF13:

You can find the book here: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9789813365704

And the discussion here: coming

 

Income Security: Options and Choices

The Universal Basic Income is only one way to guarantee income security, and it is certainly not the best way. In this document Francine Mestrum gives an overview of other and better mechanisms for helping all people and procure welfare and wellbeing.  Income security, money, is very important but we should also look beyond it.

This document will be discussed at the 13th edition of the Asia Europe People’s Forum, Friday 21 May 2021, 10 am CET.

You find the document here: AEPF13-Francine-Income-Security-Report.pdf

You can register for the webinar here: www.aepf.info

 

Billionaire Wealth: Who Are the 10 Biggest Pandemic Profiteers?

A year ago, the Institute for Policy Studies published “Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth  Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes and Pandemic Profiteers,”  and began tracking billionaire wealth gains as unemployment surged.  We teamed up with Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) to track the wealth growth of America’s billionaires over the last year.  This report summarizes the extraordinary growth in wealth of those now 657 billionaires based on real-time data from Forbes on March 18, 2021.

Here are highlights from the last 12 months of billionaire wealth growth:

Read the article

Mind the gap: It’s time for the IMF to close the gap between rhetoric and practice

As countries face the difficult challenge of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, civil society is calling on the IMF to finally close the gap between its rhetoric and practice by no longer recommending austerity measures in long-term loan programmes.

Read the article by Chiara Mariotti

The Vaccine against Poverty, Inequality and Insecurity

We all know, that during, but primarily in “normal” times, well-functioning, rationally designed and financed social protection systems are powerful vaccines against the worst social fall-out of four of the main – largely self-inflicted – plagues of human societies, i.e. poverty, inequality, insecurity and avoidable ill-health.  It has been shown time and again[1] that at least a minimum level of universal social protection is affordable in all countries except probably a dozen or so of the poorest that would require temporary international help.

Read the blog by Michael Cichon

You have the numbers, we have the money

When the 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, was trying to strike a hard bargain in its negotiations with Western nations years ago, one of its envoys famously declared: “You have the numbers. We have the money.”

But that implicit threat– signifying the power of the purse– did not deter the G77 from playing a key role in helping shape the UN’s socio-economic agenda, including sustainable development, environmental protection, universal health care, South-South cooperation, eradication of extreme poverty and hunger—all of them culminating largely in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 and targeted for a 2030 deadline.

The People’s Republic of China, the world’s second largest economy after the US, has remained an integral part– and a strong supporter– of the G77, going back to the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

At that summit meeting – which marked a battle between the West and the global South over funding to promote development while protecting the environment — a G77 delegate told his colleagues in a closed-door gathering: ”We have to confront them with an iron fist cloaked in a velvet glove.”

Read the article by Thalif Deen, IPS

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: https://www.southcentre.int/sc-document-january-2021/

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.

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