His first days in office indicate that President Donald Trump intends to implement what he promised, with serious consequences for the future of the United Nations, trade, the environment and international cooperation, and developing countries will be most affected.
Those who hoped Trump would be more statesman-like in style and middle-of-the-road in policy matters after his inauguration had their illusions dashed when the new United States President moved straight into action to fulfil his election pledges.
Nos encontramos ante la muerte de una de las mayores
estafas ideológicas de los siglos recientes
(Álvaro García Linera, La Jornada, 28 de diciembre 2016)
The emergence of rentier capitalism
To all those who think ‘capitalism’ is the major obstacle to the success of the left and progressive forces, it may come as a surprise: capitalism continues to change and transform itself, to develop into something different from what it was before. And each time the left decides to better analyse what exactly is happening, ‘the enemy’ is taking one step ahead and succeeds in stopping all reflection on alternatives and strategies in order to surpass it.
To-day, this is happening once again. Thirty-five years after the introduction of neoliberalism which defined new rules for the functioning of the world, nearly two years after the IMF (International Monetary Fund) used the concept for the very first time and stated it might have perverse effects, the system is undergoing a metamorphosis and gives rise to political changes to which we are not prepared.
The Republic of Ecuador, currently chair of the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations, is reviving a longstanding campaign for the creation of an inter-governmental UN tax body and the elimination of tax havens and illicit financial flows.
Practicing what it preaches, Ecuador says it is the world’s first country to hold a nation-wide referendum on tax havens, scheduled to take place on February 19.
Addressing a meeting of the 134-member Group of 77 (G77) on January 13, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who was anointed the new G77 chair for 2017, said “illegitimate wealth mostly affected the world’s poorer nations”.
Automatic exchange of bank account information (AEOI) under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is set to start during 2017. While more than 100 countries have committed to implement it, there are serious loopholes and concerns with regards to access by all countries (especially developing ones), its enforcement, the limited use of the information that can be obtained and the lack of participation by the United States.
Read the report of Tax Justice Network
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted yesterday to give the greenlight to Rex Tillerson’s nomination for Secretary of State. Assuming he is confirmed by the full Senate—which at this point is all but certain—Tillerson will play a critical role in shaping US foreign policy from the helm of the State Department with important implications for global development. While, like other nominees, some of Tillerson’s stated positions appear out of sync with those espoused by President Trump, it’s worth examining where Tillerson is on the record when it comes to issues of development and humanitarian relief.
Pointing to the rise in populism and xenophobia, the labour leaders are demanding that governments act to hold corporations responsible for their global supply chains, adopt policies and regulations to ensure the benefits of digitalisation flow to workers and their families, crack down on company tax avoidance and put in place just transition measures in the fight against climate change. The unions are also highlighting the threat to democracy and livelihoods from cyber-attacks, and calling for a humane and rights-based approach to the refugee crisis.
Investment of 2% of GDP in these two sectors would generate economic growth of up to 3.2% and create more than 40 million new jobs. While the analysis shows some differences between the six countries studied – Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia and South Africa – the results are in all cases a major boost to employment and the economy overall, and would contribute to meeting key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Gandhi, his writings and his words are as relevant as ever today as when he lived. This is the theme of the Sixth Gandhi Memorial Lecture presented by Gurdial Singh Nijar, a prominent Malaysian lawyer and former law professor, and organised by the Gandhi Memorial Trust, Malaysia. The text of the lecture, which was presented in Kuala Lumpur in October 2016, is below.
This an exciting age – technological advances have liberated us in ways unimaginable. Communicating with others, transferring money, even the mundane paying of bills; and most significantly of all - accessing any information from anywhere in the world. All accomplished with a swift press of a button. Like the waving of a magician’s wand!
Rising income inequality poses a severe risk to the global economy and could result in the reversal of globalization, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).The organization's annual Global Risks report ranked rising income and wealth disparity first among the underlying trends that will determine the shape of the world in the next decade. It states that since the 1980s, the share of income going to the top 1% of wealthiest citizens has increased in much of the Western world, including the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia — although the same was not true in France, Germany, Japan or Sweden.
At the start of the Maltese EU Presidency, the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has today presented a study on the country’s tax practices.
The study, written by the Italian-British academic, Tommaso Faccio, shows that Malta would be included in the list of tax havens if the criteria developed by the European Commission for non-EU countries were applied to the EU.
For many years now, STWR has made the case for a massive mobilisation of civil society around the issue of life-threatening poverty and hunger. Our basic advocacy position as an organisation could not be simpler: that the urgent need for world rehabilitation must begin with a united people’s voice that speaks on behalf of the least advantaged, giving the highest priority to the prevention of extreme human deprivation in every country. We submit that only through a universal demand for a fairer sharing of global resources can we begin to see a gradual reversal of disastrous current trends, even in terms of regional conflicts and environmental degradation. Yet this will require millions upon millions of ordinary people out on the streets in constant, peaceful demonstrations that are focused on the need for governments to redistribute essential resources to the most marginalised people of the world.