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Debt and the international context of North and South in the 21st century

This article reviews a number of developments that occurred between 2000 and 2014 related to the debt issue, various aspects of the international crisis |1|, international financial institutions, the scope of attacks against social and economic rights, and CADTM priorities.

 

Several changes have occurred since the end of the 1990s.

 
The Future of the Planet and the Irresponsibility of Governments

Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2 emissions, a very cold shower has come from India.

Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal has declared: “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate change many years in the future. The West will have to recognise we have the needs of the poor”.

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Corruption is a first world problem too

After years of debate and effort, the fight against corruption is beginning to overcome its perception problem. This is that rich countries are honest and poor ones are not. A turning point may have come at the recent G20 summit in Brisbane, where world leaders agreed to share tax information of “shell” companies that help shield illicit earnings from scrutiny.

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North South Differences over Financing for Development

As intergovernmental discussions commence on a major financing for development conference to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015, differing priority issues between developed and developing countries are already seen.

The process for the International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) commenced in the New York headquarters of the United Nations on 17 October 2014.

The third FfD conference, which will be held in Addis Ababa, from 13 to 16 July 2015, will gather high-level political representatives, including heads of state and government, ministers of finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities.

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Disappointing G20 ...

G20 leaders met this past weekend in Brisbane, Australia for their annual summit, issuing a communiqué full of ambitious proposals for growing the global economy, but noticeably lacking in responses to illicit financial flows, one of the largest drags on development worldwide. Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, expressed its disappointment at the underwhelming result.

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Global Heath Watch Report is out!

With the world still battling the Ebola outbreak, the evidence of a clear link between the inability of affected countries to deal with the crisis and the collapse of public health systems is becoming stronger. Extreme poverty in the affected region, engendered by neo-liberal policies, further created the conditions for the rapid spread of the epidemic.  This is the context that informs the contents of the 2014 Global Health Watch (GHW) report that was released today.

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GFI Urges G20 to take action on country-by-country reporting at Brisbane Summit

As world leaders gather in Australia this week, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) called on the G20 to take strong action against illicit financial flows by embracing simple corporate transparency measures.  Specifically, the Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization urged G20 leaders to endorse the creation of public registries of beneficial ownership information as well as require all multinational corporations to publicly report their sales, profits, and taxes-paid on a country-by-country basis, as necessary tools to detect and deter crime, corruption, and tax dodging.

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Financing for whose Development?

The Third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), set to take place in Addis Ababa next year, will be a crucial opportunity to discuss two of the hottest topics in development finance today: the use of scarce public resources to leverage the private sector, and the fight against international tax avoidance and evasion. Both topics come together in Eurodad’s new report, Going Offshore, though probably not in the way you might expect.

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On the risks of 'blended finance'

In a recently-released human rights audit of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance’s report (hereinafter “the Report”), RightingFinance (RF) evaluated from the perspective of international human rights law principles such as equality, participation and maximum available resources, the portions of the report devoted to private finance. The emphasis placed on “blended finance,” alongside investment climate issues and regulation of private investments were important issues that the response by RightingFinance addressed.

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EU-Commission Juncker on LuxLeaks

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker just concluded his press conference. Sven Giegold, financial and economic spokesperson for the Greens in the European Parliament, comments:

"The measures Mr. Juncker sketched out against tax avoidance are insufficient. He holds firm to defend tax competition within the EU. It is a step forward that Jean-Claude Juncker makes an effort to establish automatic information exchange on tax rulings and a common basis for corporate taxation, yet it is not ambitious enough. He still ignores country specific tax transparency and minimum tax rates. Tax competition without minimum tax rates and a social market economy do not fit together. A common basis for corporate taxation will not stop the race to the bottom, unless minimum tax rates are implemented.

 

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IMF response to financial crisis: 'mixed results' says its own evaluation office

In a remarkable report of the independent internal evaluation office of the IMF, an analysis is made of the way the institution reacted to the financial crisis, and more particularly in the context of the EU. The call for fiscal consolidation as from 2010 was 'premature' the authors say.

 
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