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A Manifesto for human life

On the anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, progressive forces around the world — including Noam Chomsky,

@vanessa_vash,  — have released a ‘Manifesto for Human Life.’
See the video made by Progressive International:
Here video on twitter
Do see, sign and distribute!

Portuguese Council Presidency: European Pillar of Social Rights must be made binding

The Portuguese EU Council Presidency has recently announced that it will place the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European social model centre stage; the European Commission will present an action plan to this end in March 2021.

However, the effectiveness of these measures will depend on how they are actually implemented in Member States, given that up to now, the European Pillar of Social Rights has been just a non-binding collection of 20 social principles that was endorsed in November 2017 but has not contributed to an improvement in the social situation in the EU. And that means that the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Social Progress Protocol must finally be incorporated into the EU Treaties so that social protection and workers’ rights take priority over internal market freedoms – something that the ETUC has been demanding for years. To take one example, Principle 6 of the Social Pillar, entitled “Wages”, states that workers “have the right to fair wages that provide for a decent standard of living”. If this principle were actually put into practice, it would improve the lives of millions of workers. Other social principles include gender equality, the promotion of social dialogue, access to health care and access to essential services such as water, energy and transport.

Read the article by Manuela Kropp, Transform! Europe

Neoliberal Finance Undermines Poor Countries’ Recovery

Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR: After being undermined by decades of financial liberalisation, developing countries now are not only victims of vaccine imperialism, but also cannot count on much financial support as their COVID-19 recessions drag on due to global vaccine apartheid. 

Financialisation undermined South

Developing countries have long been pressured to liberalise finance by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The international financial institutions claimed this would bring net capital inflows. This was supposed to reduce foreign exchange constraints to accelerating growth, creating “a rosy scenario, indeed”.

Globalisation’s claim naively expects “more birds to fly into, rather than out of an open birdcage”. Instead, financial globalisation meant net capital flows from capital-poor developing countries to capital-rich developed countries, i.e., dubbed the “Lucas paradox”. A decade later, flows “uphill” had “intensified over time”.

The past decade saw the largest, fastest and most broad-based foreign debt increase in these economies in half a century. Total foreign debt of emerging market economies rose from around 110% of GDP in 2010 to more than 170% in 2019, while that of low-income countries (LICs) increased from 48% to 67%. Lees verder

Large expansion in vaccine production and equitable distribution are vital

A massive scaling up of global vaccine production, and equitable distribution of vaccines, tests and treatments, are essential to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some countries are making progress on vaccinating their whole populations, more than 100 countries have yet to receive a single dose. The 190-country COVAX facility has set a target of vaccinating 20% of people in the world’s poorest countries by the end of this year, but on current trends even that will not be realised. Meanwhile, richer countries are ordering enough vaccines to inoculate their entire populations several times over.

Vaccine nationalism and market forces won’t defeat the pandemic; only international cooperation can bring it under control.

Read the ITUC article

Mind the gap: It’s time for the IMF to close the gap between rhetoric and practice

As countries face the difficult challenge of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, civil society is calling on the IMF to finally close the gap between its rhetoric and practice by no longer recommending austerity measures in long-term loan programmes.

Read the article by Chiara Mariotti

The Vaccine against Poverty, Inequality and Insecurity

We all know, that during, but primarily in “normal” times, well-functioning, rationally designed and financed social protection systems are powerful vaccines against the worst social fall-out of four of the main – largely self-inflicted – plagues of human societies, i.e. poverty, inequality, insecurity and avoidable ill-health.  It has been shown time and again[1] that at least a minimum level of universal social protection is affordable in all countries except probably a dozen or so of the poorest that would require temporary international help.

Read the blog by Michael Cichon

You have the numbers, we have the money

When the 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, was trying to strike a hard bargain in its negotiations with Western nations years ago, one of its envoys famously declared: “You have the numbers. We have the money.”

But that implicit threat– signifying the power of the purse– did not deter the G77 from playing a key role in helping shape the UN’s socio-economic agenda, including sustainable development, environmental protection, universal health care, South-South cooperation, eradication of extreme poverty and hunger—all of them culminating largely in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 and targeted for a 2030 deadline.

The People’s Republic of China, the world’s second largest economy after the US, has remained an integral part– and a strong supporter– of the G77, going back to the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

At that summit meeting – which marked a battle between the West and the global South over funding to promote development while protecting the environment — a G77 delegate told his colleagues in a closed-door gathering: ”We have to confront them with an iron fist cloaked in a velvet glove.”

Read the article by Thalif Deen, IPS

The Global Alliance for Tax Justice nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2021

“There is no enduring peace without social justice, and no social justice without tax justice.” – Dereje Alemayehu, Executive Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice.

This week, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), of which Tax Justice Europe is the European Branch, and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Click here for the press release published by GATJ.

Vaccines and Health: Universal Rights and Justice

There is an urgent need to remedy the catastrophic moral bankruptcy of an unjust world in which vaccines and health are not guaranteed to all the inhabitants of the Earth.

On Monday 18 January, the Director-General of the WHO declared forcefully and courageously: ‘The world is on the brink of catastrophic moral bankruptcy’. He denounced the world’s rich and powerful states and the global pharmaceutical companies for not fulfilling the commitments they made back in March to provide access to vaccines and anti-Covid19 treatments for all, « leaving no one behind », as they proclaimed in unison.

Read the important article by the Agora of the Earth’s Inhabitants

Workshop on social justice at virtual WSF

If you want to see or listen to our interesting workshop at the virtual WSF, 28 Jan 2021:

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