Find out about ILO's programmes for social protection floors: report on the preliminary achievements in 2016
The South Centre is pleased to announce the publication of Policy Brief No. 34 entitled "Air pollution -- the silent top global cause of death and of climate change" by Martin Khor, Executive Director of the South Centre.
New research is showing that air pollution is a powerful if silent killer, causing 6.5 million worldwide deaths as well as being the major cause of climate change.
Actions are urgently needed to curb air pollution, which has emerged as the biggest threat to health and the environment, and they need to be taken at global and national levels.
To access the policy brief directly, go to this webpage: https://www.southcentre.int/policy-brief-34-december-2016/
The "unprecedented pressure" being placed on international human rights standards risks unravelling the unique set of protections that have been set in place after the end of World War II, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said, in the run-up to Human Rights Day on 10 December.
In a UN news release, the UN human rights chief Mr Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein announced that on Human Rights Day, the UN Human Rights Office will launch a campaign entitled "Stand up for someone's rights today."
The High Commissioner underlined that it was within the power of every individual to play a role in pushing back against such pressures.
The role of private sector in development is currently one of the most debated issues in international cooperation. It is inscribed in a wider context where financial resources for official development assistance (ODA) are shrinking, development cooperation is evolving beyond the traditional ‘aid’ concept, and the actors/entities that can be key players in development are growing. Fortunately, development is seen more and more as a holistic process that should be supported by integrated global policies (such as trade, investments, etc.), bringing about improvements in terms of both economic and social progress, the latter being based on the full respect of human rights.
On the problems of debating with advocates of basic income
Discussing the question of basic income (BI) and social protection (SP) is a very delicate exercise. In the many debates I was involved in these past years, it was very rare to see any convergence of ideas. Even if it should be clear for everyone who knows the social problems, that there are many points in both positions – in favour of BI or in favour of SP – that are perfectly compatible. It also happened many times that debates I myself tried to organise, could not take place because the people invited – advocates of BI – resigned at the last moment.
In this article, I will only speak about my own experience and I will try to look for explanations for the non-debates. There surely is a lot of semantic confusion, there clearly is a lot of ignorance about social protection and its mechanisms, there may also be some ‘post-truth’ elements, by which I mean that people state something they should know can never be true, and yes, I think that some people do not want to put their own beliefs into question. They are afraid of a confrontation with other beliefs.
THERE IS AN OPPOSING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEOLIBERALISM (AND AUTHORITARIANISM) AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS FRAMEWORK. (Gillian McNaughton) Part 1 of 2
-Mind that the SDGs are indeed permissive of neoliberalism. (G. McNaughton)
-However attractive the ideas of neoliberalism are at first sight, they hide a dangerous liberal logic that threatens human rights and cannot thus make for a better world. (Francine Mestrum)
In discussions on the ‘global land grab’, the popular term to describe the rising commercial interest in farmland and the increase in large-scale land deals worldwide, Europe is often overlooked. Instead, Europe is held up as a showcase for good land governance, where well-regulated land markets and sound land investments are assumed to prevail. To the extent that the role of Europe in the global land grab is addressed, it is through the involvement of European investors and policy drivers in land deals in the global South.
This brief aims to fill this research gap by examining the scale, scope, drivers and impacts of land grabbing in Europe.
Governments must move from rhetoric to action and urgently honour their political and financial commitments to development, a group of United Nations human rights experts has said in a joint statement* marking the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development by the United Nations General Assembly, on Sunday, 4 December.
Without fresh commitment and finance, the ground-breaking Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be met by their target date of 2030, the experts warn. “The SDGs will remain empty promises without proper political and financial commitment, regulation, management, and related safeguards.”
Global Financial Integrity (GFI), the Centre for Applied Research at the Norwegian School of Economics and a team of global experts have released a study showing that since 1980 developing countries lost US$16.3 trillion dollars through broad leakages in the balance of payments, trade misinvoicing, and recorded financial transfers. These resources represent immense social costs that have been borne by the citizens of developing countries around the globe. Funding for the report was provided by the Research Council of Norway, and research assistance was provided by economists in Brazil, India, and Nigeria.
The implementation of bilateral free trade agreements, the FTAs, began 25 years ago, with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States. The European Union, which was initially reluctant to sign bilateral FTAs, also adopted them. In our region, Chile was the first South American country to sign an FTA with the US. Then came Peru and Colombia.
Why did countries prefer bilateral agreements - and then the larger FTAs, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership that has the participation of 12 countries - instead of negotiating at the World Trade Organization (WTO)? Let us recall that from 1948 to 1995 there were 8 negotiation rounds with the participation of all of its members, which reduced tariffs sharply, with the objective of facilitating and promoting free trade.
Africa is losing large amounts of money through trade misinvoicing and leakages in the balance of payment with the active connivance of its political class, making illicit financial flows (IFFs) one of the major sources of economic loss to the continent.
Through the manipulation of trade figures and leakages in the balance of payment, all African countries put together lost more than $862.6 billion from 2004 to 2013 according to ghanabusinessnews.com computations of data published by the Global Finance Integrity, (GFI) a not-for-profit research organization based in Washington DC that focuses on illicit financial flows.