People not versed in the complexities of the diplomatic world of distorted mirror images in Geneva or Accra or Nairobi may wonder in awe at the agreements negotiated in their name by their representatives in multilateral forums like UNCTAD. But, truth be told, UNCTAD is in no position to deliver the mandate that it got in Nairobi.
The elaboration of an ‘International Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights’ (hereinafter ‘the Instrument’), as mandated by the Human Rights Council at its 26th Ordinary Session (June 26, 2014), requires definitions about a multiplicity of issues. Many choices need to be made among possible policy options and properly reflected in treaty language.
This paper addresses one of such issues: the subjective scope of the Instrument, that is, whose conduct will be subject to the disciplines eventually incorporated therein.
With the continuing bleeding of various Syrian economic sectors, the movement of Syrian funds abroad in search of safe havens is increasing, stopping the heart of development inside the country while ensuring the sustainable development of “downstream” countries.
The flight of local capital began with the first year of the revolution with a number estimated by the British magazine the Economist at about 20 billion dollars in 2011 alone.
Nigeria is gripped by the familiar anxieties of an economy in distress. This escalating crisis has demystified a president once thought capable of astute, if not magical, economic management. In their desperation for respite, many Nigerians are now paradoxically yearning for the corruption that they and their leaders blame for their economic woes.
But theirs is not nostalgia for corruption per se but for a period in which, despite or because of corruption, the flow of illicit government funds created a sense of economic opportunity and prosperity. During a recent research trip to Nigeria I sampled the opinion of various segments of the Nigerian people to gauge their perspectives on the troubled economy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which just entered recession. One refrain I heard fairly regularly was “bring back corruption.” It is not an entirely new rhetoric. For months, Nigerians have been advancing this idiom on social media as a sarcastic rebuke of what they see as Buhari’s narrow, obsessive focus on corruption.
APPLE got a big surprise last week when the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect more than $14 billion in back taxes from the company. The global giant had been attributing billions of dollars in profits to a phantom head office, allowing it to pay a tax rate of 1 percent or lower.
Both Apple and Ireland are appealing the decision, but the commission’s announcement was the latest sign that multinational corporations are running out of places to hide from paying taxes. The door is now open for Congress to fix our own corporate tax code, which has allowed the biggest multinationals to shirk their obligations for decades.
Contradictory as it may seem, the big pharmaceutical companies give little priority to the human right to health, in spite of the fact that they play a strategic role in this context. Their main goal is profit, and as they work in an industry whose final clients are highly vulnerable people – those with illnesses – this gives them a much greater margin than in other industries to fix inflated prices. It is therefore up to States to establish the parametres for operation of these companies, with the public interest in mind and in order to guarantee the right to health.
This year is turning out to be one of global disruption. We’re seeing not only political upheaval and economic uncertainty, but also transformational innovation and the emergence of fresh thinking.
Global-governance institutions are facing many challenges: slowing economic growth, volatile financial markets, falling commodity prices, emerging-economy risks (especially in China), refugee and migrant waves, geopolitical tensions, rising inequality and social fragmentation, and the threat of violent extremism. That’s why, in an increasingly atomized and uncertain world, political leaders should commit to a new multilateralism at this month’s G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should heed the clear message from a huge general strike in India today, as workers across the country backed calls for a living minimum wage and decent pensions, proper enforcement of labour laws, measures to stimulate creation of formal jobs and universal social security cover.
Tens of millions of workers joined the strike, including in transport, banks, public services, manufacturing and other sectors.
It’s been almost one year since heads of state and government adopted ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ - the ambitious agenda which contains 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.
In fact, 2015 was one of the most important years for multilateral agreements. Not only did the governments sign up to SDGs on 25 September 2015, they also reached the Paris Climate Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as the framework for funding the two policy agendas.
The SDGs were the culmination of four years of negotiations, starting in July 2011, with the initial proposal by Paula Caballero from the government of Colombia. These negotiations saw the most participatory process in UN history.
It is fitting to recall some of the important elements of this right to development. It is human and people centered. It is a human right, where every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy development in which all rights and freedoms can be fully realized (Article 1.1). The human person is the central subject of development and should be the active participant and beneficiary of development (Article 2.1). It gives responsibility to each state to get its act together to take measures to get its people’s right to development fulfilled. (States have the right and duty to formulate appropriate national development policies, that aim at improving the well-being of all individuals on the basis of their meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of the benefits resulting therefrom - Article 2.3.) But it also places great importance to the international arena, giving a responsibility to all countries to cooperate internationally and especially to assist the developing countries...
Greetings! We undersigned organizations would like to share with you our support statement below for the International Monsanto Tribunal which will be held on October 14-16, 2016 in The Hague, The Netherlands. We are submitting this statement to the tribunal to show our support for this effort and to register our condemnation of Monsanto and its crimes.
In relation to this, we are requesting everyone to do the following:
1. Endorse the statement and add your organization's signature to it.
2. Share the impacts of Monsanto’s presence and/or operations in your country.
3. Share your organization's activities and statements in response to the operations and impacts of Monsanto.
4. Send memes, selfies and/or group pictures holding placards, signs or banners against Monsanto.
For the PCFS Secretariat,