Organisations join forces against polarisation
A broad coalition of organisations has joined forces for peace, human rights, equal opportunities for all and a society where discrimination and exclusion are actively opposed. Under the name "Heart trumps hates", the organisations call upon the public to sign a manifesto and to vote against divisions and for connection at the European elections on May 23rd 2019. On Sunday May 19th an event takes place in Utrecht, where visitors can make a joint statement. People in ten other European countries will also take action on this day.
Covering an area of 5.5 million km², the Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. At least 12% of the forest has been lost in the last decades, and deforestation is still continuing at a rapid pace. Illegal logging, land grabbing and intimidation for agriculture, animal husbandry and mining are daily business, and impunity rules. Recent developments, such as the election of the new Bolsonaro government in Brazil, make the future of the Amazon region and the people living there even more uncertain than it already was.
In the run up to the European elections of 22 May, the Fair, Green & Global Alliance is organizing a debate in which several Dutch party leaders for the European elections are challenged to answer the following questions.
How will our continent look like in the near future and, above all, how do we want to improve Europe? What is the role of European trade policy and tax evasion? Can Europe emerge from the crisis fair and green? In short, what is the future of Europe?
Last week Both ENDS’ deputy director, Paul Wolvekamp, was elected board member of the RSPO, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Until November, when new elections will take place. “I hope that after the next elections my place will be taken by a social NGO from the South, because that group is not represented well enough in the RSPO.” Therefore Paul, within the RSPO, aims for a stronger voice of NGO’s, plantation workers and small-scale palm oil producers in the South.
More than six months after the Dutch elections took place, a long period of debates, negotiations and incertainty has finally come to an end. The new coalition of center-rightwing parties was sworn in last Thursday the 26th of October. Having Sigrid Kaag of the liberal-democratic party D66 as the new Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third Rutte government (Rutte III), we can look forward to where the opportunities lie in the new coalition’s plans to make the world fairer and more sustainable. The Coalition Agreement, which tries to build a bridge between the political centre and the centre-right, is a smart piece of work in terms of reaching compromises. In the current international climate of societies progressively growing apart, that is a striking achievement.
On 22 May European citizens will head to the polls to vote for the European Parliament. The outcome will have a major impact on the policies emanating from Brussels. These elections are not just about the choice for or against Europe, but about what kind of Europe we want. Trade and investment policy is an important part of the European project. Up till now however, this policy has not served people and planet. Curious which politicians will commit themselves to a fair and sustainable European trade and investment policy? Take a look at the list of candidates for the European Parliament who have signed the pledge of the Alternative Trade Mandate alliance.
The planned initial public offering (IPO) of Malayan state-owned enterprise Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) will take place this month (28th June). It will be underwritten by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley; with an expected valuation of around 2.5 billion Euro this will be the second biggest IPO ever, trailing Facebook. A significant detail is that FGVH is controlled by the governing part UMNO, led by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak. The upcoming privatisation might be prompted by a need to generate capital for the upcoming elections.
Last week, the Alternative Trade Mandate (ATM) was officially launched in Brussels. The ATM is an alliance of over 50 organisations from across Europe, reacting to the current European trade and investment policies. As the name suggests, the ATM comes up with an alternative: fairer and more sustainable trade policies that truly respect people, the environment and democracy. Trade policies that take into account the interests of all stakeholders, including trade unions, farmers, activists in the field of environment and/or human rights, and networks that are committed to fair trade. In the run-up to the European elections an active European campaign will bring the Alternative Trade Mandate to the attention of organisations, the public and parliamentarians. SOMO, TNI and Both ENDS, united in the ‘Fair Green and Global Alliance,’ are joining the campaign in the Netherlands.
Brussels, 7 May 2019 - In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.