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A resolution endorsing the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health (the ’Rio Political Declaration’) was adopted by WHO Member States at the Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Social determinants of health are the conditions, in which people are born, grow, live and work that affect their health.  These conditions are shaped by political, social and economic factors, such as income, literacy and education levels, housing and living conditions, employment and employment security, social exclusion, access to health care, and food safety, and diet.

Guy Rider has been elected today, 28 May 2012, new director general of the International Labour Organization.

Guy Rider was executive director of ILO and has been General Secretary of the ITUC, the International Trade Union Confederation, from 2002 to 2010. He initiated and led the process of global reunification of the democratic international trade union movement. He also promoted very strongly a cooperation between trade unions and social movements at the World Social Forum.

Agreements reached at the Meeting of Ministers of Labour and Employment : to create quality employment ...


Extreme poverty (below 1.25 US$ & day) has been declining between 2005 and 2008, says the World Bank. It revealed new numbers for different world regiuons yesterday.

Global Social Justidce will comment on these new statistics in the coming days.

Read the WB press release

Nine EU member states - Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Greece and Portugal - have asked the Danish Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the European Commission to 'speed up' the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax. Nine countries: this is precisely what is needed to have an 'enhanced cooperation', or to introduce legislation in spite of the opposition of some countries. The nine stress that the FTT will be needed to have the financial sector contribute to the solution of the current crisis and to stabilize the financial markets.

For the first time, German chancellor Angela Merkel has yesterday publically spoken out in favour of  the FTT in the Euro-zone, if an implementation in the EU 27 should not be possible. By now, only finance minister Schäuble had spoken about the Euro-zone option.
After the French president Sarkozy had considered to implement as a frontrunner the FTT unilaterally in France, Merkel declared that she, "personally," will commit to strive for the FTT in the Euro zone.
Reason for the formula "personally" is the fact, that the liberal party, FDP, which is part of the governmental coalition, had by now only agreed to an FTT for the EU-27 (knowing that this would be impossible due to the British resistance). 

Nicolas Sarkozy is President of France. And France has presidential elections in 4 months. Sarkozy does not do so well in the opinion polls. So why not make some last minute ‘brave’ proposals? One of them is the introduction, in France, of a Financial Transaction Tax, without waiting for other EU countries.

Of course, he has to ask the authorization of Ms Merkel, we will see tomorrow what her answer was. And at any rate, the FTT seems to be limited to a stock exchange stamp duty, of the kind existing in the UK. Shares would be taxed at 0,1 %, derivatives are not sure yet, and bonds will be excluded. The British stamp duty is 0,5 %. ‘Paris Europlace’ the organization which represents all actors on the Paris Stock Exchange is far from happy and threatens to leave the French capital. Yes, UK taxes are higher, but profits are also much higher in London. And those who will have to pay the tax are those who are not responsible for the crisis …

To be followed.


CADTM, the international network of committees against the illegitimate debt of third world countries, now working mainly within the European Union, filed a formal complaint against the Belgian State. ATTAC Liège and ATTAC Bruxelles2 joined the action. The Belgian government granted a state guarantee of no less than 54 billion Euros, about 15 % of Belgian GDP, to the creditors of Dexia, a Belgian-French bank in difficulties.

"... determined to strengthen the social dimension of globalization..." and new promises to fight shadow banking.

Next meeting to check on the new and old commitments: June 2012 in Mexico.

Read the statement 

Cannes Action Plan on Jobs and Growth

Poverty reduction and redistribution

Let me start by giving a very simple outline.

Formally, poverty reduction still is the first priority of development and of development cooperation. And what some of us knew already before 1990 - the year in which the World Bank put poverty on the international political agenda - and what all of us should have learned since then, is that you cannot fight poverty without tackling inequality.

Tackling inequality, in turn, implies on the one hand a fair tax system and on the other hand a universal social protection system. Now, in order to pay for such a social protection system, you need financial resources. And these financial resources can be domestic or international. Which means, in the end, that if one takes poverty reduction seriously, one has to organize a solidarity system or, in the old terminology a national and a global redistributive system.


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