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Global Governance and Policy Space for Development

Unctad's new 'Trade and Development Report has just been published.

The Report highlights that, six years after the onset of the global economic and financial crisis, the world economy has not yet established a new sustainable growth regime. With an expected growth between 2.5 and 3 per cent in 2014, the recovery of global output remains weak. Furthermore, the policies supporting the recovery are frequently inadequate, as they do not address the rise of income inequality, the steady erosion of policy space along with the diminishing economic role of governments and the primacy of the financial sector of the economy, which are the root causes of the crisis of 2008. Putting the world economy on the path of sustainable growth requires strengthening domestic and regional demand, with a reliance on better income distribution rather than new financial bubbles.

 
Human Rights and Gender Equality Vague in Post-2015 Agenda

With the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda currently under discussion, civil society actors in Europe are calling for a firmer stance on human rights and gender equality, including control of assets by women.

“The SDGs are a unique opportunity for us. The eradication of extreme poverty is within our grasp. But we still face very major challenges. Business as usual is not an option,” Seamus Jeffreson, Director of Concord, the European platform for non-governmental development organisations, told at a meeting in Brussels with the European Parliament Committee on Development on September 3.

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UN votes to enact process bankruptcy treaty and stop vulture funds

The UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution to begin treaty negotiations to enact a global bankruptcy process and stop predatory hedge funds.

The resolution passed by a super-majority vote of 124-11 with 41 abstentions. The US voted no along with 10 other countries.

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Sensational new study on FTT revenues in Germany

The German finance ministry has released a study on the expected revenues of the FTT, written by Copenhagen Economics.

The study has received a very large echo in the German mainstream media today making the headline for instance in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (biggest national daily).

The main message is, that Germany could expect at least 17,5 bn. Euro revenues, which is much more than has been discussed previously.

 

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Our economic model is at war with life on earth

In Naomi Klein's new book:

"In December of 2012, a complex systems scientists walked up to the podium at the American Geophysics Union to present a paper," the narrator of the video—Klein herself—says as footage begins of urban high rise developments and burnt out croplands.

And the voice-over continues:

The paper was titled, "Is the Earth Fucked?" His answer was: "Yeah. Pretty much."

That's where the road we're on is taking us, but that has less to do with carbon than with capitalism.

Our economic model is at war with life on Earth.

We can't change the laws of nature, but we can change our broken economy.

And that's why climate change isn't just a disaster. It's also our best chance to demand—and build—a better world.

Change or be changed. But make no mistake... this changes everything.

Watch:

According to Klein's U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster, This Changes Everything is a "brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core 'free market' ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems."

Described as more important and further-reaching than her previous best-seller, The Shock Doctrine, Klein's new book will argue

that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives.

Those arguments won't be new to those who have followed Klein's work—and the similar arguments of many others in recent years—but the expectation is that as with her previous exploration of modern capitalism in the Shock Doctrine, Klein will present her most rounded and complete vision for the predicament of the moment and her vision for the future.

In a speech to one of Canada's largest labor unions last year, Klein told the members of UNIFOR that it was well past time that working people and industrial interests get their minds around what the climate science is dictating to humanity about the current economic model of corporate-dominated global capitalism. She also discussed her idea that climate change should not be framed as a disaster, but as an enormous opportunity to reshape the political paradigm and the fight for global justice. She told the crowd of workers:

The case I want to make to you is that climate change—when its full economic and moral implications are understood—is the most powerful weapon progressives have ever had in the fight for equality and social justice.

But first, we have to stop running away from the climate crisis, stop leaving it to the environmentalist, and look at it. Let ourselves absorb the fact that the industrial revolution that led to our society’s prosperity is now destabilizing the natural systems on which all of life depends.

"Climate change," she added, is "not an 'issue' for you to add to the list of things to worry about it. It is a civilizational wake up call."

 
G20 Plans for World Without Tax Evasion

Good luck hiding your money in a Swiss bank account, people.  The G-20, a group of the world’s largest economies, are going to discuss ways to make hiding your cash off-shore next to impossible during their finance ministers and central bankers summit meet in Australia Sept 21.

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THE SOVEREIGN, ITS CREDITORS AND THE LAW

The Group of 77 and China tabled at the United Nations a draft resolution to start negotiating a multilateral  multilateral legal framework  establishing a legal regulatory framework for the sovereign debt restructuring processes.

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Trillion Dollar $candal

Globally, extreme poverty has been halved in 20 years, and could be virtually wiped out by 2030. But much of the progress that has been made is at risk – not because of natural disasters or new diseases, but because of something far more insidious.

Read the report

 
Delivering (Financing) Development after 2015

World leaders are set to meet in September 2015 to agree on a set of goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which will expire in 2015. People from all over the world have been engaged in opining, discussing, debating, and even voting on what those new goals should be.

While significant attention is being paid to the vision of the post-2015 agenda, less attention has focused on the details of how to achieve this vision by 2030, the assumed deadline for the next set of goals.

Fortunately, the conversation is now turning from the “what” to the “how” with the recent announcement of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, or FFD, conference to take place in July 2015 in Addis Ababa, just ahead of the September 2015 U.N. summit to adopt the post-2015 framework.

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Austerity works! Poverty reduction policies succeed!

Some people will be surprised to read this. But yes, the narratives on austerity and poverty reduction do exactly what was expected from them. Most people believe them and protest when the promises are not met.

But we should wonder if these promises are real promises? Or just a way of distracting the attention away from the real goals of the policies that are put in place.

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Exposing the great 'poverty reduction' lie

The UN claims that its Millennium Development Campaign has reduced poverty globally, an assertion that is far from true.

The received wisdom comes to us from all directions: Poverty rates are declining and extreme poverty will soon be eradicated. The World Bank, the governments of wealthy countries, and – most importantly – the United Nations Millennium Campaign all agree on this narrative. Relax, they tell us. The world is getting better, thanks to the spread of free market capitalism and western aid. Development is working, and soon, one day in the very near future, poverty will be no more.

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