On January 26 the World Economic Forum will start in Davos, two weeks ahead of its 'social counterpart' which will take place in Dakar, Senegal from 6 to 11 February.
In Davos four major points will be discussed:
- the new reality
- the economic outlook and inclusive growth
- the G20 Agenda
- a risk response network
With global unemployment at record highs for the third straight year since the start of the economic crisis, the ILO survey warns that weak recovery in jobs is likely to continue in 2011, especially in developed economies. Youth employment should become a global priority.
In his press conference on January 24, President Sarkozy presented his programme for France's chairmanship of the G20 this year. He once again pleaded in favor of a financial transaction tax and said he wants to introduce a capital flows code. He also wants to curb the specualtion on food prices and commodities.
Following a recent media report of misuse of Global Fund grants, the Global Fund is issuing the following statement:
The Global Fund has zero tolerance for corruption and actively seeks to uncover any evidence of misuse of its funds. It deploys some of the most rigorous procedures to detect fraud and fight corruption of any organization financing development.
The vast majority of funds disbursed by the Global Fund is untainted by corruption and is delivering dramatic results in the fight against the three diseases.
“Transparency is a guiding principle behind the work of the Global Fund and we expect to be held to the highest standards of accountability,” said Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
The news report that has caused concerns refers to well-known incidents that have been reported by the Global Fund and acted on last year. There are no new revelations in yesterday’s media reports.
According to Global Financial Integrity, problems of fraud and/or corruption have been discovered at the Global Fund, a financing mechanism for health problems in the third world. The problems were discovered by its own services of the inspector-general.
The Global Fund has been a darling of the world's most important philanthropists, like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bono and Carla Bruni. It had an excellent reputation, as well for its results as for its way of working in the fight against aids, malaria and tbc.
Update with a Focus on Asia
Developing countries lost 6,5 billion Dollars as a consequence of illicit capital outflow in the last ten years. This is the result of a new study by Global Financial Integrity.
Three experts on issues of taxes an incomes, Camille Landais, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Sanz have published a website where they make simulation exercices with changes in the French tax system. Citizens are invited to join them in order to find solutions for a radical reform of the tax system.
The Millennium Development Goals and the 'Charity' Paradigm
Since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established in 2000, an enormous effort has mobilized resources to reduce poverty, discrimination and disease in poor countries [1-3]. The Millennium Project's 2005 Report expected that the Goals would be achieved by the 2015 target date if high-income countries increased official development assistance from 0.25% of donor Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2003 to 0.44% in 2006 and 0.54% in 2015, delivering approximately US$120 billion each year of aid . By 2007, the latest year with available data, that financial goal was largely met: development assistance totaled more than $120 billion, of which $22 billion was allocated to health .
Despite this tremendous influx of resources, many resource-poor countries continue to be unable to reach the Goals, contrary to previous projections [1,2]. About 1 billion people are likely to remain in extreme poverty in 2015, missing the poverty MDG target of halving the number of people who live on less than $1 a day by 2015. More than 1 out of every 10 school-aged children in the world remains out of school, such that the target of achieving universal primary education is unlikely to be met. Five years after the target date for eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, marked disparities persist. Estimated child mortality is twice the target rate, and maternal mortality is four-times the target rate. Only some of the targets related to HIV and tuberculosis seem likely to be met . Furthermore, the MDGs cover only the small share of the total burden of disease that is regularly measured in many countries, ignoring the large burden of adult disability and premature death that is increasingly driven by non-communicable diseases.
This is a critical book ( in Dutch) by Francine Mestrum on development and development assistance with new proposals for global solidarity. It is meant for young people who want to ‘help’ without knowing how to do it. It goes back to the origins of ‘development’ and ‘development cooperation’, it wonders whether development is possible and desirable. It looks at the criticisms on ‘aid’ and sees that, to-day, it mainly comes from neoliberals who only trust markets. It shows the widening gap between rich and poor countries, the net transfers from South to North due to the debt burden, capital flight and transfer pricing mechanisms of multinationals. It finally proposes a new structural solidarity, based on sovereignty, human rights, post-capitalism, global taxes and a global redistribution of incomes.
Why is development assistance not working for the people who need it most? Because these people, or the countries they live in, are simply too poor.
In this first report of a new series, the ILO defines social security as a human right and an economic necessity. It gives a useful oversight of definitions and approaches and an extensive overview of what already exists in different countries, in terms of coverage and expenditure.