Mandeep Tiwana

Success of sustainable development goals depends on global partnership

World leaders have a historic opportunity to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, promote peace and justice, and safeguard the environment through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unprecedented in their scope and ambition, the SDGs will test the resolve of the international community over the next 15 years in the universal endeavour to create a better…

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Angola’s saga of repression

With its totalitarian government and a president in power since 1979, Angola stands out as one of the most repressive countries in the southern African region. Dubbed a “psychological prison” in the words of one activist, Angola’s constrained civil society environment has recently gotten worse. Last month, several concerned citizens were rounded up by Angolan…

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Why is civil society power still located in the global north?

By Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah and Mandeep Tiwana Almost everywhere we look — from economics to demography to air travel to innovation — the shift to the so-called “emerging” markets is palpable. But when it comes to the civil society landscape, the transformation is much less visible. While some high-profile human rights organisations are decentralising (eg Amnesty…

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Egypt: Time to end the diplomatic farce

Egypt’s regime is at it again. Having stuffed its notorious prisons with political dissenters and wantonly murdered hundreds of protesters, the military-backed government has issued an ultimatum to civil-society organisations. They must register under a regressive, Hosni Mubarak-era NGO law, which empowers officials to weed out civil society organisations deemed critical of state policy —…

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Can SA, India and Brazil reboot the global human-rights narrative?

There is a pressing need for southern democracies to reclaim the human-rights narrative from the strategic imperatives of traditionally powerful western governments. While the ability of India, Brazil and South Africa to emerge as moral voices from the south is not in doubt, their willingness to take the global centre-stage on human rights is certainly…

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Privatisation of governance: A multi-stakeholder slippery slope

As the world debates the new set of internationally agreed sustainable development goals, influential politicians, technocrats and captains of industry are humming a common tune. They are busy promoting “public-private partnerships” as the panacea to fix governance failures, and as the silver bullet for the post-2015 agenda. Although, innocuous and even benign sounding, public-private partnerships…

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India, SA risk forsaking their proud histories on human rights

India and South Africa are increasingly tarnishing their reputations as democratic and rights-respecting nations, most recently by unsuccessfully seeking to undermine a resolution on the right to peaceful protest at the UN Human Rights Council. Wrangling at the world’s premier human-rights body this March has marked another low in international relations for India and South…

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A slippery slope in Southern Africa

The news from Southern Africa is certainly depressing. The region is experiencing a major backslide in democratic freedoms further damaging the reputation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its ability to bind its members to common values. Recent restrictions on civil society in the region whether through regressive laws, policies or vigorous persecution…

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