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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.”

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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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Bad news for UNDP: lay-offs, salary cuts and demotions

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), one of the largest U.N. agencies with an estimated average annual budget of more than five billion dollars, is undergoing major structural changes – triggering large-scale staff layoffs, demotions, salary reductions and downgrading and abolition of existing senior-level jobs.

“If implemented as envisaged, it will be one of the largest mass-scale U.N. firings in living memory,” a senior U.N. staffer told IPS.

“We never had it so bad because all those staffers who lose their jobs and their G-4 visas will have to go back to their home countries,” he added.

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World Social Protection Report 2014

'Building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice'

The ILO published its new Social Protection Report with the latest trends. It provides information on social protection systems, coverage, benefits and expenditures in more than 190 countries.

 
UNITED NATIONS: SDGs - A FEW STEPS FORWARD, A FEW STEPS BACKWARDS

With two more sessions left to go, work at the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) faces continuing challenges.

On Friday 9 May, the Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) produced a narrative ‘chapeau' of two pages that will accompany the framework of the goals, sent to all Member States.

The 11th session of the OWG took place on 5-9 May at the UN headquarters in New York. The Co-Chairs are Ambassadors Macharia Kamau of Kenya and Csaba Korosi of Hungary.

Since the OWG started holding intergovernmental discussions in March 2013, developing countries in the Group of 77 and China (G77) have consistently called for a narrative to accompany the SDG framework.

The specific call was to extract the language of the narrative primarily from the Rio+20 Outcome Document, titled ‘The Future We Want.' This would prevent the risk of opening to re-negotiations the very language and principles that were agreed to less than two years ago in Rio.

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Will sinking Doing Business report drag World Bank with it?

In 2012, after repeated complaints from different stakeholders, including civil society and shareholders of the World Bank, the Bank's President Mr. Jim Kim appointed an Independent Panel ("the Panel"), chaired by Mr. Trevor Manuel, to review the Doing Business report. The appointment was scheduled to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the flagship publication, which despite the influence it came to have on benchmarking investment policies had, at that point, never been subject to peer-review by non-Bank experts.

Unexpectedly, and perhaps without deliberately planning to do so, the Panel's recommendations achieved the difficult feat of catalyzing a broad-based consensus on the necessary reforms. This was in evidence in the support that its recommendations received across governments, civil society and trade unions.

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TURBULENCE IN EMERGING ECONOMIES: FROM EASY MONEY TO HARD LANDING?

Before the world economy has been able to fully recover from the crisis that began more than five years ago, there is a widespread fear that we may be poised for yet another crisis, this time in emerging economies (EEs).  Once again, most specialists on international economic matters have been caught unawares.  In fact, the signs of external financial fragility in several emerging economies have been visible since the beginning of the financial crisis in the US and Europe.  The South Centre has constantly warned that the boom in capital flows that had started in the first half of the 2000s and continued even after the Lehman collapse is generating serious imbalances in the developing world along with the danger of a sudden stop and reversal.

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World of Work Report 2014

This year’s edition focuses on developing countries and argues that quality jobs are a key driver for development. It draws on evidence from over 140 developing countries and finds that a common factor amongst those countries that have achieved higher per capita income and sustained growth was quality jobs.

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THE REVIVAL OF THE MOVEMENT OF NON ALIGNED COUNTRIES

If the repeated discourse of the Western media is to be believed, the idea of the revival of the Non-Alignment is unrealistic. According to that discourse, all that happened in the world between 1945 and 1990 can be explained merely by the ‘cold war’ and nothing else. The Soviet Union disappeared and the page of the Cold War has been turned, and any posture analogous to what we have known has no meaning. Let us examine the ineptitude of this discourse and its incredibly dismissive prejudice - nay, even racism. What is its basis? The real story of Bandung and Non-Alignment that arose from it showed that the peoples of Asia and Africa actually seized at the time an initiative by themselves and for themselves. The reader will find in what I have written a demonstration that the Non-Alignment was already a movement of countries non aligned on globalisation’ in contrast to the globalisation that the imperialist powers wanted to impose on countries that had regained their independence, substituting the deceased colonialism with a neocolonialism.

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Focus on Financing for Development Negotiations

The High Level Dialogue of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and UNCTAD is held every year and it is one of the follow up tracks for the Financing for Development Conference. This year’s edition, held on April 14-15, 2014, took place at a significant juncture. Governments are deliberating on the features of a new generation of development goals that, as part of the “post-2015 development agenda,” will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Commitments to financing the new goals are expected to play an important role in those negotiations. At the same time, governments are in negotiations to define when the Third International Conference on Financing for Development will be held.

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