In September this year, the United Nations will host a Global Food Systems Summit in New York. The organisers of this summit are pitching it as a crucial debate of the decade which is to define the future of agriculture. They aim to bring together various stakeholders across sectors who play a role in the global food system.
Yet, the organised peasant and indigenous movements from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas that collectively represent most of the world’s small-scale food producers have called for a total boycott of this summit. In April this year, scores of scientists, researchers, faculty members, and educators who work in agriculture and food systems, also issued an open call to boycott the event.
Read the article by Elisabeth Mpofu
Read this extremely important contribution of Development Pathways on the importance of social security and trade unions
Supposedly increased social protections may just be new words for old policies and a new ‘Washington Consensus’ may be in the making
Read the article by Francine Mestrum: Whither the Washington Consensus? | Wall Street International Magazine (wsimag.com)
Please take note of this very important report of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition:
The COVID-19 crisis has evidenced the fragility of the multilateral system to address a global health challenge. There are multiple reasons behind it. Since donations are not enough, a global solution to the pandemic would have required concerted actions in several fronts. The author suggests that, while examining how the proposed “pandemic treaty” might contribute to a global solution in future health emergencies, immediate actions are needed.
by Carlos M. Correa, South Center
Read the article
The AEPF denounces the callous violation of safety norms in Bangladesh, where more than fifty workers lost their lives when a fire broke out in a sealed factory. The AEPF calls for accountability, compensation and immediate measures so that such tragedies do not occur.
AEPF Statement on Bangladesh Factory Fire – AEPF | Asia Europe People’s Forum AEPF
This year’s ITUC Global Rights Index documents a shameful roll call of governments and companies that have pursued an anti-union agenda in the face of workers who have stood in solidarity providing essential work to keep economies and communities functioning.
The ITUC Global Rights Index is a benchmark against which we will hold governments and employers to account as we build a new social contract with jobs, rights, social protection, equality and inclusion and rebuild the trust that has been shattered by repressive governments and abusive companies.
Recent years have witnessed a notable re-embrace of the state’s role in the economy, leading some to declare that the set of free market economic policy reforms widely known as the Washington Consensus has come to an end.
First popularized by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, the Washington Consensus policies offered a set of policy guidelines for developing countries, many of which were struggling with high debt and high inflation at the time. These free market reforms included trade and financial liberalization, privatization, deregulation, the removal of capital controls, fiscal austerity (cutting public spending) in order to achieve strict targets for maintaining low inflation and low fiscal deficits, the adoption of independent central banks, and deregulating restrictions on foreign investment, among others. Broadly speaking, the policies sought to roll back the role of the state in the economy and unshackle the animal spirits of the free market. In the 1980s, adopting the policies became binding conditions for developing countries to receive debt relief and new lending by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, in the 1990s, the policies served as the basis for World Trade Organization (WTO) membership rules – and ever since then, the policies have become a cornerstone of the curricula in economics departments at universities across the world.
The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors presents an interesting document with Questions and Answers on the Global Fund for Social Protection:
Q&A on the Global fund for social protection « www.socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org
The Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on the Right to Development met virtually for its 21st session from 17-21 May 2021 to discuss a new draft Convention on the Right to Development. The session had originally been scheduled for May 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The experts from the drafting group emphasized that the draft Convention was not seeking to impose new obligations upon States but sought to draw upon existing State obligations regarding the right to development, international human rights law, and the UN Charter. According to the discussants, the nature of such obligations were fully in compliance with the States’ sovereignty.
Discussions also highlighted the inclusion of possible extraterritorial obligations for States in the draft Convention, as well as gender mainstreaming in the text. The draft Convention also proposes the possibility of setting up a Conference of Parties and an implementation mechanism. The final provisions are very similar to existing human rights conventions, particularly the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
(The South Center)
The text of the draft convention is available here: A/HRC/WG.2/21/2 – E – A/HRC/WG.2/21/2 -Desktop (undocs.org)