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The 4th General Assembly of Social Watch got underway in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Tuesday. Over 100 delegates from about 60 countries are attending the three-day meeting.

 

The meeting, the first to be held in Africa since Social Watch was formed in 1995, is on the theme ‘People First: Social Watch’s response to the global crisis’. The Assembly will examine the implications of the systemic crisis on human, gender and social rights and offer alternative solutions to these global challenges.

 

The Assembly, which meets every three years, will set medium- and long-term priorities and identify potential alliances in advocacy strategy. Participants will also elect members of the Coordinating Committee to coordinate and offer political leadership between assemblies.

 Ghana’s vice president John Mahama, who was the special guest at the opening ceremony, said relentless demands by citizen groups and social movements, such as Social Watch, for accountability from both governments and international institutions have had significant impact on national and global policy decision-making processes and implementation of adopted policies.

 

The Ghana government, vice president Mahama said, ‘will not shirk its social contract with the people by sacrificing their welfare on the altar of fiscal and monetary expediency’. As such, government has its eyes ‘wide open’ in the country’s dealings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other multilateral institutions.

 

 

 
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