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Building Another World: Re-Thinking Social Protection

Global Social Justice is happy and proud to present a new book of Francine Mestrum: Building Another World: Re-thinking Social Protection.

It is a proposal for a new concept of social protection, which is particularly important at the moment that international organizations start to  make their proposals for ‘social protection’. The ILO came out with its ‘social protection floors’, the World Bank completes its old proposal with ‘resilience’ and the European Commission switches from poverty reduction to ‘social protection’ in its cooperation policies.

While these proposals have to be welcomed and promoted, there is a real risk that they will not go beyond poverty reduction. They do have nevertheless a potential to do more: they are rights-based, they imply permanent mechanisms and they do take into account – finally! – the income dimension.

We think however that more is needed.

The Dual Role of the EU in Promoting Human Development

Is European Union really committed to Human Development? EU has made an undeniable progress in promoting the integration of policy coherence for development (PCD) at the discursive level, nevertheless European policies developed in the last five years have not only had profoundly negative consequences for other countries and people, but have made living conditions significantly precarious for large part of the population living in Europe. There appears to be a more than significant gap between the policy commitments undertaken by the European institutions and Member States, and the real actions to promote greater PCD at both EU and national levels. This article, written by Natalia Millán, analyses the dual role of the European Union in promoting real Human Development.

Our Future is in the Hands of 58 people

(IPS) - In case you missed it, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the third and final part of a report on Apr. 13 in which it says bluntly that we only have 15 years left to avoid exceeding the “safe” threshold of a 2°C increase in global temperatures, beyond which the consequences will be dramatic.

And only the most myopic are unaware of what these are – from an increase in sea level, through more frequent hurricanes and storms (increasingly in previously unaffected areas), to an adverse impact on food production.

Eurodad report shows how IMF lending often makes crisis countries’ situations worse

As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prepares for its Spring meetings, new research reveals that the number of conditions it attaches to its loans are rising – and they continue to be linked to harsh austerity measures and interfere in sensitive policy areas.

Conditionally Yours: An analysis of the policy conditions attached to IMF loans is the latest in a series of reports on the IMF’s lending practices produced by the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) over the past decade.


Illicit Financial Flows: The Elephant in the Room of the EU-Africa Summit

A $35 million mansion in California, artwork totaling €18 million, and a $38 million dollar private jet.

These sound like items purchased by the world’s wealthiest oligarchs, right?

Well, they were actually acquired by Teodorin Obiang, son of President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. When his father convenes with other leaders for this week’s EU-Africa summit, a wide range of topics will be covered. But there’s one issue in particular that should be given a loudspeaker during the talks in Brussels: illicit financial flows.

IMF and World Bank must support a global goal to end extreme inequality

Rapidly rising inequality will be high on the agenda at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington this week. Oxfam has been warning of the scale of the problem, a paper published ahead of Davos this year revealed that 85 people own the same wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people. Thomas Piketty has identified runaway economic inequality as threatening us all. The pope and president Obama agree.

Follow the money

Interesting report on the World Bank and its use of financial intermediaries.

Can development happen when investing in private banks?

The IMF's strategy on anti-money laundering

Press release of the IMF on anti-money laundering and combating financing for terrorism

Doing Business with the World Bank: when 'development' drives poverty and inequality

The thing about 'international development' is that it’s a bit of a murky, catchall term. It’s got a good feel to it – if you’re involved in international development, you’re more often than not seen as one of the good guys − and it swirls around in a bucket of meaning alongside similarly noble-seeming notions such as 'foreign aid' and 'disaster relief'. 'International development' could be helping people escape from the ruins of an earthquake or the ruins of economic mismanagement, but it is generally understood to be about 'doing good'.

How would you feel, then, if some projects that came under the umbrella of 'international development' were hiding something darker, less altruistic and far more self-interested? What if some groups charged with leading global development were actually doing more for a small group of transnational elites than for the 870 million people in the world suffering from chronic undernourishment or the 1.2 billion living on less than $1.25 a day?

Well, in many ways, the World Bank, with its $30 billion annual budget, is doing just that and contributing to misery and environmental destruction along the way.

Transformative Potential of the Right to Food

Very important final report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Let them eat cake! IMF the Equality Champion?

IMF staff discussion note finds inequality impedes growth, redistribution does not

Fund refuses to connect findings to its policies or lending programmes

Quasi-official policy paper examines fiscal policy tools to combat inequality, but not approved by board

NGO studies show inequality impacts political, social and democratic dimensions, not just growth


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