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,
Fundamental labour rights are also under attack by the government, and the country’s national trade union centres, CUT, FS, UGT /CNPL, CSB, CTB and NCST have jointly pledged to fight against plans to eviscerate the labour code. The largest of them, CUT, is leading a campaign against the impeachment of Dilma and attacks on former President Lula.
Britain’s New African Empire
Companies listed on the London Stock Exchange control over $1trillion worth of Africa’s resources in just five commodities – oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. My research for the NGO, War on Want, which has just been published, reveals that 101 companies, most of them British, control $305billion worth of platinum, $276billion worth of oil and $216billion worth of coal at current market prices. The ‘Scramble for Africa’ is proceeding apace, with the result that African governments have largely handed over their treasure.
Tanzania’s gold, Zambia’s copper, South Africa’s platinum and coal and Botswana’s diamonds are all dominated by London-listed companies. They have mines or mineral licences in 37 African countries and control vast swathes of Africa’s land: their concessions cover a staggering 1.03million square kilometres on the continent. This is over four times the size of the UK and nearly one twentieth of sub-Saharan Africa’s total land area. China’s resources grabs have been widely vilified but the major foreign takeover of Africa’s natural riches springs from a lot closer to home.
Human rights are not just the prerogative of prosperous nations; (neither are social protection institutions). (M. Loewe).
1. A widespread lack of understanding-of and misperceptions-about human rights (HR) is one of the mother-of-all-problems we have in our work. Therefore, in our HR work, we absolutely need to vernacularize, to give meaning and to frame HR so people can understand and then take ownership of their rights. The information most needed in this is the one to be used for myth busting in the realm of HR.
*By now, we ought to know this*
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement has become a political football in the US Presidential elections and with the public mood so against trade agreements, the TPPA faces the real possibility of being discarded.
No country was more active in pushing for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In the five years of negotiations, the United States cajoled, persuaded and pressurised its trade partners to take on board its issues and positions.
Finally, when the TPP was signed in February 2016 by 12 countries, it was widely expected that the agreement will come into force within two years, after each country ratifies it.
But now there are growing doubts if the TPP will become a reality. Ironically it may become a victim of US political dynamics as the TPP has become a toxic issue in its Presidential elections.
Chevron (Texaco), one of the most powerful transnational corporations in the world, is complaining that it has been a victim of unjust treatment, denial of justice and other ill treatment, on the part of Ecuador, a small Andean country. It is developing a massive offensive, by diverse means, to claim for events that are alleged to have happened from 1964 to 1992, just when this country’s governments placed corporate interests above national priorities. They have thus just managed to oblige Ecuador to pay them 112 million US dollars [i], an amount that means a relatively greater impact precisely when the country is facing economic difficulties due to the fall in oil prices and the earthquake that seriously affected the coastal area last April.
Key to the implementation of the ambitious 17-point Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the question of how the estimated cost of between U$614 billion and $638 billion that will be required annually will be financed.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has produced a report assessing the relationship between Africa’s capacity to finance the 15-year SDGs and maintaining debt sustainability. The report ignores critical deficiencies in the approach to the continent’s development agenda.
The report highlights the fact that official development aid alone will be inadequate to sustain the development needs of the continent. Instead, it recommends a three-pronged approach:
up-scale the use of domestic debt that is market oriented to supplement external debt and development aid;
Reporters from the Centre for Investigative Journalism gained access to three of the world’s “special economic zones”—and found paradises for corporations and wastelands for workers’ rights.
Read the revealing report
Mossack Fonseca did not create 214,000 companies only for their Panamanian customers. Cross-border mentality is integral to tax evasion, avoidance and other forms of illicit financial activity: concealing money from your own authorities almost always involves transferring it over any number of borders to secrecy jurisdictions and eventually back to your own pocket. Mossack Fonseca’s customers came from all over the world but even if the legal practice was (in)famous for its ability to alleviate tax liabilities, its customers didn’t flock in by themselves. It was other lawyers, investment bankers and the like who connected the buyer and seller. The Panama Papers data gives you an idea where these customers and their middlemen are from: Hong Kong, Switzerland, the UK and Luxembourg all had more active intermediaries working with Mossack Fonseca than Panama, or any other country in the Americas. The success of Mossack Fonseca was not caused by the lack of oversight of Panamanian regulators, even though it had its part to play in the equation as well. This particular Panamanian legal practice was just one node of a wide network of actors who together weaved the web of offshore secrecy. The data shows that the search for the other nodes is best started in Europe.