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Climate talks ... and talks ... and talks

The IPCC has published its fifth assessment report, repeating the urgent need to cut CO2 emissions if we want to stop the worst of climate change.

Stop deforestation, stop dirty energy, change unsustainable consumption and production patterns ... we all know it, when will it happen?

Need for rights-based approach to food security

It is imperative that a Human Rights-based approach to food security is adopted in order to eliminate hunger and provide access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food for all, the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver, has said.

In her first report to the UN General Assembly (A/69/275), which is holding its sixty-ninth session in New York, the rights expert, who is from Turkey, said that in order to advance the implementation of the right to adequate food, renewed political commitment is essential and stakeholders must look to those countries that have made significant progress in adopting policies and legislation in this regard.

Trade unions and campaigners slam “strongly flawed” Doing Business report

Campaigners and citizens groups are questioning why the World Bank is still planning to release its Doing Business Report (DBR) tomorrow (Wednesday) even though officials have failed to fix ‘strong flaws’ which undermine its goals to eliminate absolute poverty and promote shared prosperity.

GFI Notes Significant Progress on Automatic Information Exchange but Warns that Poorest Countries Are Being Shunned

While noting significant progress today in the global effort to curb tax evasion, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) expressed concerns that the OECD/G20 movement toward automatic exchange of financial information was excluding the world’s poorest countries from reaping any benefits while failing to deal with the issue of illicit financial flows in a comprehensive manor.

Extreme poverty and human rights

Th first report of the UN special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty:

The report focuses on the importance of social protection floors. This will require to overcome the ambivalence of some international organisations, such as the World Bank, the recognition of social protection as a human rights and better knowledge on the affordability of social protection, even for the poorest countries.



Cash-strapped Human Rights Office at Beaking Point

After six weeks in office, the new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan launched a blistering attack on member states for insufficient funding, thereby forcing operations in his office to the breaking point “in a world that seems to be lurching from crisis to ever-more dangerous crisis.”

Global Monitoring Report

This year's Global Monitoring Report is worth reading. It is the result of a cooperation between the World Bank, the IMF and the OECD and contains a chapter on inclusive and sustainable growth in OECD countries, as well as one on aid. Its statistics have been adapted to the newest available data (though not the new PPP's) and its graphs are totally new. Remarkably: extreme poverty is now expressed in % of the total world population, whereas in the MDGs refer to developing countries ...

It gives a very clear though somewhat discouraging overview of where we stand with the MDGs.

Debt auditing in Argentina

The Argentine parliament has just passed legislation for launching a debt audit commission. It will look into the debts contracted by the country since the military junta took over in 1976. The Commission, which is yet to take off, is supposed to submit its report within 180 days. The audit can genuinely serve the interest of the people. Thus, CADTM urges the Argentine government to follow the example of Ecuador which set up a commission in 2007 for an audit of the debt incurred between 1976 and 2006.

On Minimum and Living Wages

A few years ago, Richard Anker, a former ILO official, wrote an important paper on the historical evolution of the notion of ‘living wages’ and different ways of measuring them. This paper is one example of a growing realization that mandated minimum wages, however effectively enforced, can diverge significantly from ‘living wages’ that can sustain a worker and his/her family. Not surprisingly, the notion of the ‘living wage’ is embedded in the ILO’s normative framework. The 2008 Declaration refers to a ‘minimum living wage’. The 1970 convention on minimum wages demonstrates flexibility and pragmatism by suggesting that a policy on minimum wages should strike the right balance between the need to meet the living expenses of workers and their families and national goals pertaining to employment and economic development.

Asia Pacific Wealth Report 2014

The Asian-Pacific's rich population grew by 17,3 %, compared to 13,5 % for the rest of the world.Wealth expanded 18,2 %, compared to 12,3 % for the rest of the world. This strong growth resulted in a record of 4,3 million 'High Net Worth Individuals' and 14,2 trillion US$ of assets ...

Read the report

Bretton Woods Institutions Birthday Party Turns Sour
This year’s annual meeting of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on October 10-12, coincided with the 70th anniversary of both institutions. But it was not a happy party with global economic storm clouds looming, a growing Ebola pandemic and major internal problems at both institutions. The threat of a return to economic crisis and recession, now including Europe's largest economy Germany, also weighed heavily during discussions.
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