On how development institutions are financing the land grabbing in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The U.N.’s highly ambitious post-2015 development agenda, which is expected to be finalised shortly, has come fire even before it could get off the ground.
A global network of civil society organisations (CSOs), under the banner United Nations Major Groups (UNMG), has warned that the agenda, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “lacks urgency, a clear implementation strategy and accountability.”
“We hoped for a progressive and fair financing agreement that addressed the root causes of global economic inequality and its impact on women’s and girls’ lives. But that’s not what we got." -- Shannon Kowalski
The World Bank is at a pivotal point as it enters into the third and final stage of its safeguards review. According to the Bank, this review is set out to "better address environmental and social issues that countries face today, [and] to deliver better environmental and social outcomes in the projects and programs the Bank supports."
The establishment of the Bank of the South marked a point of inflection in the projects of integration in Latin America, with the signing of the constitutive act at the end of 2007.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) proposed the creation of the bank in order to provide financial assistance to the twelve member countries for the execution of regional projects.
The initiative of the Bank of the South will come into force this year after seven years of negotiations concerning various difficulties.
Delay is alarming due to cuttings in the projections of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the International Monetary Fund that estimate economic growth at 1 and 0.5% respectively for Latin America in 2015.
Climate change is costing us dear. Unless we rein it in, there will be more failed harvests, flooding in low-lying coastal areas, disease, mass migration and armed conflict over resources. Stopping it also comes at a price. It would mean completely switching energy generation, industrial production and transport systems to renewable energy sources – which is what the concept of climate protection means. Moderate estimates are that as of the year 2020, US$200 billion will have to be invested every year in emerging and developing countries. In addition, 50 billion would need to be invested annually in adaptation to climate change. This would include coastal protection systems for coping with rising sea levels, altering water courses or resettling communities in the countries affected, to mention but a few points.
The formal opening of the BRICS Bank in Shanghai on Jul. 21 following the seventh summit of the world’s five leading emerging economies held recently in the Russian city of Ufa, demonstrates the speed with which an alternative global financial architecture is emerging.
The idea of a development-oriented international bank was first floated by India at the 2012 BRICS summit in New Delhi but it is China’s financial muscle which has turned this idea into a reality.
The New Development Bank (NDB), as it is formally called, is to use its 50 billion dollar initial capital to fund infrastructure and developmental projects within the five BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – though it is also likely to support developmental projects in other countries.
‘Ashamed of being European’, I wrote one month ago. And after the devastating week-end of negotiations with Greece, I have even more reasons to be so.
The Greek prime minister and the Greek people have been humiliated and were forced to accept an agreement that cannot bring any solution for their sufferings. And now, inevitably, some people are shouting: ‘treason’, pointing to Syriza…
But is this justified? Had Tsipras any other real choice? Let us look at these questions.
Beginning in the early 1980s, the World Bank (with the International Monetary Fund) foisted structural adjustment programmes on a variety of poor countries around the developing world. These programmes, based on the forced application of new ideologies of liberalisation and privatisation, led to massive unemployment, human misery and deprivation. Jobs were lost in government service (which had to be shrunk drastically), in state marketing boards (as trade was thrown open to the private sector) and in public services (where utilisation fell as a result of the introduction of prohibitive access fees).
Below is the keynote speech by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria TAULI-CORPUZ, at the First Session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Elaborating a Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights.
It is for me a great honour and privilege to share these words with you in such a historic gathering. Today, I would like to provide some reflections on the various and important themes that this working group will be examining in accordance to the mandate granted by the Human Rights Council in resolution 26/9.
These reflections stem from my experiences in working with indigenous peoples in all parts of the world, first as an indigenous rights advocate, then as a member and chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and currently in my capacity as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.
Indigenous peoples have been at the forefront of discussions regarding the human rights abuses committed by corporations since the 1970s.
Third FfD FAILING to FINANCE DEVELOPMENT
Civil Society Response to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development
We, members of hundreds of civil society organizations and networks from around the world engaged in the Third FfD Conference, would like to express our deepest concerns and reservations on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, based on both our ongoing contributions to the process and the deliberations of the CSO FfD Forum (Addis Ababa, 10-12 July 2015).
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) lost the opportunity to tackle the structural injustices in the current global economic system and ensure that development finance is people-centred and protects the environment. It does not rise to world’s current multiple challenges, nor does it contain the necessary leadership, ambition and practical actions. It undermines agreements in the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration and it is almost entirely devoid of actionable deliverables. We regret that the negotiations have diminished the FfD mandate to address international systemic issues in macroeconomic, financial, trade, tax, and monetary policies, while also failing to scale up existing resources and commit new financial ones. The AAAA is also deeply inadequate to support the operational Means of Implementation (MoI) for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, exposing an unbridged gap between the rhetoric of the aspirations and reality of the actions.