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Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in 2005, ‘Aid for Trade’ (AfT) has become the new catchphrase in international development to foster and promote trade and liberalization. Originating from the 2001 ‘Doha Development Round’, the WTO reasons: “Aid for Trade aims to help developing countries, particularly least developing countries, develop trade-related skills and infrastructure that is needed to implement and benefit from WTO agreements and to expand their trade”[i]. As such, the framework is complementing WTO trade reform and market opening by focusing on capacity building, particularly on trade policy and regulation and improving trade-related infrastructure to ease supply side bottlenecks.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development. Adopted by General Assembly resolution 41/128 of 4 December 1986, this Declaration defines such right as "an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized."

We, 52 women and men from 18 countries (Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China and Hongkong SAR,India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain,Thailand, Timor Leste, USA, and Vietnam) and representing peasants, agricultural workers, fisherfolk,indigenous peoples, workers, women, youth and students, refugees and stateless persons, academia,environmental and support NGOs and networks met for the ‘Promoting a Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Strategy Workshop on Rio+20’ on August 15-17, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.

IBON together with its co-organisers are pleased to announce the release of A Celebration of People's Struggles, A Festival of Hope—the printed conference proceedings of the International Festival of People’s Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) held in Manila last year.

IBON International is pleased to announce the launching of the International Festival for People’s Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) Website. Papers, presentations, photos, videos and proceedings of the various events can now be viewed and downloaded from the site.

Despite the optimism placed on them, the Cancun Agreements of the 2010 UN Climate Summit do not represent a success for multilateralism; neither do they put the world on a safe climate pathway that science demands, and far less to a just and equitable transition towards a sustainable model of development. They represent a victory for big polluters and Northern elites that wish to continue with business-as-usual.

In celebration of the centenary of the International Toiling Women’s Day in 2010, the Asia-Pacific Research Network (APRN) initiated the ‘Women Resisting Crisis and War: a conference on the impacts and women’s responses to the economic and climate crisis and war’. The conference provided space to women, girls, and men from civil society organizations, including grassroots movements, academia, and other stakeholder to understand the synergistic impacts of war, climate change and neoliberal policies which have been forced on women; to deliberate and learn the various forms of resistance that women’s individual and collective efforts have put forward; and to learn and develop new learning and strategies for resisting and overcoming neoliberal and neo-colonial militaristic onslaught.

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