Amid a downgrade of global growth projections to their lowest levels since the global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are pushing deregulatory structural reform. Working people in Ecuador and around the world are resisting this dangerous mix of austerity, deregulation, and attacks on labour rights.
The statement by Global Unions to the IMF and World Bank proposes an alternative path of inclusive and sustainable growth built around collective bargaining, public investment, and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
In contrast, the IMF is urging deregulation, privatisation, and weakening of worker protections, especially in emerging and developing countries. The World Bank is moving in the same direction, promoting financial deregulation and a development model that prioritises the interests of private finance. A recent Bank publication recommended that countries combine weaker labour regulations with individualised, marketised schemes for social protection. Lees verder
A very interesting study by TNI: by the end of august 2019 Africa had been hit by 106 known investment treaty arbitration claims.
Access to health is a human right and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is essential to achieve health for all. States should ensure through public funding, based on solidarity and the fair redistribution of wealth, that nobody is deprived from health care. Policies that promote competitive markets for pharmaceuticals, particularly in the area of procurement, regulatory approvals (including biologicals) and intellectual property, should be implemented. Governments should make use of the available space in the TRIPS Agreement to apply rigorous definitions of invention and patentability standards and use other flexibilities allowed. Below is the South Centre’s Statement to the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC held on 23 September 2019 at the UN headquarters in New York. The Centre noted the recognition, in the draft political declaration, of the responsibilities of governments as well as of their right to choose their own path towards achieving UHC.
Read the statement
Workers demand a New Social Contract to put the world back on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals
Peoples’ Summit issues landmark declaration in New York, unleashing new resources to wage financial and legal campaign.
The UN special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty, Philip Alston, published an extraordinary report some months ago. He starts with stating the obvious: climate change will have devastating consequences on poor people. They will suffer from food insecurity, forced migration, diseases and death. Climate change is indeed a threat to their human rights.
No matter how accurate this reasoning is, it also carries some risks. Because the inevitable answer to this concern is to take special care of people living in poverty, to take measures to somewhat protect them, to compensate them for unavoidable losses, to help them to find new homes and livelihoods.
This thinking reveals first of all that the philosophy behind it is one of adaptation. It is not about mitigating the risks, even less is it about system change, in order to avoid the risks. This is neoliberal thinking, exposed long ago by the World Bank: you cannot avoid risks, you mainly have to develop the resilience of people so they can adapt and cope with risks when they actually occur. Lees verder
The World Bank claims poverty is decreasing around the world but UN research shows it depends on what you measure. If we are serious about reducing poverty, we need to start by properly identifying it.
The World Bank has repeatedly claimed that extreme poverty is on the decline. In its Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, it states that ’the world has made tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty. The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting continued but slowing progress. The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million to 736 million.’
The World Bank’s extreme poverty line of US$1.90 a day is in fact not based on real estimates of people’s cost of living within countries. This explains why it fails to capture the desperation experienced by so many.
by Sharon Burrow/ITUC
“What’s wrong with inequality? Should all people be the same?” someone asked me once. Maybe this person was confusing inequality with diversity. Diversity does not necessarily imply exclusion or marginalization. Inequality does.
by Dr Luise Steinwachs
The research report, The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty, fundamentally challenges global conceptions of the nature of poverty. This participatory research, led by ATD-Fourth World and the University of Oxford, has sought to refine the understanding and measurement of poverty by engaging with people directly experiencing poverty, practitioners and academics.
The 2030 Agenda recognizes that poverty is multidimensional. However, apart from income poverty, hitherto these dimensions have not been well-specified, several of them have gone unrecognized, and the ways in which they all interact to shape the experience of poverty has not been properly understood.