Dakar to Tunis: Declaration of the Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles

Social movements, grassroots organizations and civil society organizations engaged in the defence of the rights to land and water met at the World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2015 to continue their dialogue with movements and organizations from all over the world in order to broaden this convergence

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UN human rights experts welcome Greek referendum and call for international solidarity

Two United Nations human rights experts today welcomed the holding of a referendum in Greece to decide by democratic process the path to follow to solve the Greek economic crisis without deterioration in the human rights situation. 

The UN Independent Experts on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, and on human rights and international solidarity, Virginia Dandan, stressed that there is much more at stake than debt repayment obligations, echoing a warning* issued earlier this month by the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky. 

“All human rights institutions and mechanisms should welcome the Greek referendum as an eloquent expression of the self-determination of the Greek people in conformity with article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in pursuance of article 25 ICCPR on public participation. Indeed, a democratic and equitable international order requires participation by all concerned stakeholders in decision-making and respect for due process, which can best be achieved through international solidarity and a human rights approach to the solution of all problems, including financial crises.

It is disappointing that the IMF and the EU have failed to reach a solution that does not require additional retrogressive austerity measures. Some leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of holding a referendum in Greece. Why?  Referenda are in the best traditions of democratic governance. – See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16170&LangID=E#sthash.XlNznExX.dpuf

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What if Greece were in the ‘Third World’?

Finally, as Greece takes it on the chin from the Troika, I reflect on the IMF’s reaction to the Global Debt Crisis of the 1980s. My takeaway: “”The Global South, which well knows the vulturine behaviour of the Northern bankers and their policy experts, should stand in solidarity with the Greek people. What they do in their referendum is their business. But what they are going through is not dissimilar to the Great Debt Crisis of the 1980s, which flushed the dreams of the Third World deep into the sewers of history.”

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