Issues

Over 3,000 Participants at Largest Ever ASEAN Civil Society Conference - Final Statement Attached

[Final Statement Below] Over 3,000 individuals and delegates from civil society organizations (CSOs), peoples’ and grassroots organizations representing the ASEAN region as well as Timor Leste and beyond, joined together in solidarity in Yangon, Myanmar from March 21 – 23, 2014 for what became th

ASEAN: Economic integration for whom?

Bangkok Post, 21 March 2014 -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is less than one year away from launching its Economic Community or AEC, a common market that will comprise 600 million people and have a combined GDP of nearly US$2 trillion (64 trillion baht).

It is being propped up by free trade and investment agreements with the European Union, the United States, Japan, China and other big partners. Proponents claim the expansion in economic activities will benefit the poor by boosting production and consumption in the region, but is it that simple?

'Deglobalisation' is the way to reduce inequality

Bangkok Post, 8 March 2014 -- The race of globalisation is leaving the majority of the world’s population far behind. According to Unicef, the richest 20% of the population gets 83% of global income, while the poorest quintile has just 1%. This trend is getting worse. A new UNDP report called “Humanity Divided: estimates that 75% of the population lives in societies where income distribution is less equal now than it was in the 1990s, although global GDP ballooned from US$22 trillion to US$72 trillion.

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Agricultural Investments in Southeast Asia: Legal tools for public accountability - Lessons from a workshop

As trade and investment flows rapidly increase across Southeast Asia, several countries have experienced a surge in large land deals for plantation agriculture. Against this backdrop, civil society organisations have been using a wider range of legal tools to promote public accountability in investment processes. These include scrutinising the negotiation of international treaties, challenging national legal frameworks, raising local awareness about rights, and testing approaches for local consultation and redress.

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Report: The WTO Bali Ministerial and the Doha Development Agenda: Assessing the Gains and Losses

A meeting organised on 17th December in New Delhi, on the recently concluded Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia (3-7 December 2013), saw an analysis of the key issues and outcomes of the meeting and charting out elements of a possible agenda for broader civil society groups across the country. The event was jointly hosted by the South-South Knowledge Hub at ActionAid India, Focus on the Global South, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and Third World Network. About 50 people participated in the meeting.

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