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G77 + China: Towards a New World Order for Living Well

The G77+China Summit, marking the body’s 50th anniversary, ended in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on Sunday June 15, with the adoption of a Declaration (http://www.alainet.org/active/74644),

containing 242 articles, under the heading: “For a New World Order for Living Well”.

The Declaration addresses, among other things, the three main United Nations priorities for the coming year, which as Ban Ki-moon pointed out in the opening session, include: the fulfillment of the Millennium Goals of Development (and contingency measures for those which may not be fulfilled), progress in the negotiations concerning climate change (whose next world meeting is scheduled for Lima at the end of this year), and the definition of the new development goals for the period after 2015. It also sets out new lines of action for South-South cooperation in the present context of geopolitical shifts, and proposals for strengthening and reorienting the UN, including revitalizing the General Assembly and a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, in accordance with the collective interests of developing countries.

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US Supreme Court 'Validates' Vulture Funds Activities

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal by the Argentine government will embolden aggressive “holdout” creditors, anti-poverty groups say, and make it far more difficult to arrive at debt-relief agreements for poor countries.

The move, announced Monday, is a definitive setback for Argentina, which has been battling two U.S. hedge funds for years to allow a major debt-restructuring agreement to go forward. Yet the court’s decision is also being seen as a significant loss for poor countries looking for debt relief.

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Micro-finance and money-laundering

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued revised prudential regulations for microfinance banks (MFBs) to further improve their governance structure, consumer protection practices and anti-money laundering policies.

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New ILO Protocol against Forced Labour

A new global protocol to fight forced labour, adopted this week by the International Labour Organisation, will accelerate action against modern slavery.

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Biomass policies are fuelling land-grabbing in the global South

A new report published today [1] by campaign group Biofuelwatch [2] shows that the growing demand for wood created by UK and EU biomass policies is fuelling land-grabs in Africa and South America. Despite finding that nearly all of the wood imported by the UK and other EU countries for bioenergy comes from North America and elsewhere in Europe, including Russia, the report shows that companies are taking advantage of the expectations raised by bioenergy policies in order to acquire large tracts of land in the global South.

Report author and Biofuelwatch co-Director Almuth Ernsting explained that: “Although there is no evidence for wood being supplied to UK power stations from countries in the global South at present, there is alarming evidence of UK and EU support for biomass electricity being used as an excuse for landgrabbing in Brazil, Ghana and elsewhere.”

Read the report

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Stopping Boko Haram by curtailing illicit finance

Boko Haram developed from social unrest, poverty, and a strong disillusionment with the corruption of the Nigerian government. Today, the same factors make Boko Haram lethal.

Nigeria’s rampant corruption has left the nation unequipped to deal with security concerns, especially along porous borders through which Boko Haram receives immense support. A look at one of their videos reveals an immense amount of weaponry that is not only costly, but very difficult to obtain.

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On human rights and geopolitical equity

In order to consolidate the hemispheric commitments on human rights, reinforce the conditions for their realization and widen the reach for their fulfilment, the UNASUR countries have undertaken a process for strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights – IASHR – that includes, on the one hand, the consistency of content and methodology with the regional context, and on the other hand, universalization, that implies parity of the rules of the game for all the member countries.

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It is time to stop the privatization of the development agenda

In 2000, the United Nations announced eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty worldwide.

As the goals “expire” next year, new goals are being defined in UN assemblies and corridors.

Some doors in the UN will be shut to public scrutiny but wide open to corporations.

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Aid increasing violence?

But isn't doing something better than doing nothing?

Sadly, not always.

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G7 Leaders reaffirm commitment to tackle illicit financial flows

G7 leaders meeting in Brussels reiterated their commitment to curtailing illicit financial flows stemming from crime, corruption, and tax evasion in a communiqué released today, as Global Financial Integrity (GFI) called on world leaders to push for an explicit illicit financial flows commitment in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The communiqué states that “We will continue to work to tackle tax evasion and illicit flows of finance, including by supporting developing countries to strengthen their tax base and help create stable and sustainable states.”

Read the communiqué

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G7 must act on transparency and corruption

As G7 leaders meet in Brussels, it’s worth reflecting for a moment on the changes that have occurred since last year’s summit. This year, the G8 will not meet against a backdrop of the Black Sea beaches of Sochi and Olympic glory, as planned. In fact, the G8 will not meet at all given international outrage over Russia’s action in Ukraine. Instead, the G7, sans Russia, will meet amid the medieval spires of Brussels.

The leaders’ agenda will doubtless focus on international crises. Tensions remain high in Ukraine following the Russian annexation of Crimea, and escalating terrorism impedes Nigeria’s path to development. In many ways, these crises are the by-products of corruption and the neglect of people’s fundamental rights, all of which have been allowed to fester in the global system.

In Ukraine, it turns out, the former president’s opulent private palace – a symbol of corruption in a poor country – is not, in fact, owned by Viktor Yanukovich at all, but by a UK-based anonymous shell company.

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