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The OECD DAC High Level Meeting: major risks defused, but will the long game deliver for the poorest?

Eurodad

02 Nov 2017 15:09:15

This blog was co-authored by Polly Meeks (Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer at Eurodad) and Julie Seghers (Advocacy Advisor at Oxfam)The stakes couldn’t have been higher going into this week’s High Level Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC). Globally, hunger is on the rise for the first time this century, and this year, the world is on the brink of four famines. An unprecedented 65 million people are on the move – and refugee numbers are at their highest since World War II. With hundreds of millions of people still living in extreme poverty, often compounded by other forms of inequality, the core challenges of poverty eradication and human rights-based sustainable development remain a matter of urgency. The ...

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The Sustainable Development Goals won’t happen without a radical economic rethink

Jesse Griffiths

01 Nov 2017 12:36:39

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are ambitious objectives: business as usual will not deliver them. Speaking on the recent International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, UN Secretary General António Guterres acknowledged the need for new thinking: “The pledge to leave no one behind will require innovative approaches, partnerships and solutions,” he said. But this new model will only come about if we radically reshape the national, regional and global economies which lie behind many of the obstacles to achieving the SDGs. We must rethink the way we govern and manage the global financial and economic system. In part, that means rethinking the current trend to treat private finance as the default option for development. Private finance is being heavily touted by the World Bank, ...

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IMF challenged to match inequality rhetoric with action, and a campaign against the World Bank’s promotion of PPPs: Annual Meetings round up

Maria Romero, Mark Perera

18 Oct 2017 11:05:05

The annual meetings of the Bretton Woods Institutions (the IMF and World Bank) are over for another year. The meetings in Washington DC were held against a background of strengthened but patchy global economic growth mixed with considerable crisis risks and renewed geopolitical fights over the World Bank’s demand for a capital increase. Meanwhile, civil society organisations (CSOs) questioned the development impact of the Bretton Woods Institutions, and launched a global campaign against public-private partnerships (PPPs). IMF worries about debt (in China) and talks of taxing the rich more The 2017 Annual Meetings were preceded by the publication of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO), in which the IMF signalled stronger than expected growth forecasts for the global economy in 2017 ...

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DebtCon 2 Conference: Leading debt researchers stress the need for fundamental reforms

Bodo Ellmers

10 Oct 2017 18:35:28

A fine selection of the world’s most important debt experts met in Geneva on 5 and 6 October to discuss key challenges in sovereign debt management, and how to address them. The second DebtCon conference, convened by Georgetown University’s Anna Gelpern, and Ugo Panizza from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, tackled questions such as the need for a multilateral debt restructuring mechanism, dealing with vulture fund litigation, better approaches to assess debt sustainability, and debt and human rights. The question cutting across all these issues: when will that Euro crisis finally be resolved - and in particular when will Greece be released from the debt trap? One thing became clear, policy-makers have accumulated a huge backlog in reforms. There ...

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Campaign improves IMF debt assessments, but risk of crises continues to increase

10 Oct 2017 11:16:12

This is a guest blog article by Tim Jones from the Jubilee Debt Campaign.  The IMF and World Bank have agreed some positive changes to their system for monitoring debts of impoverished countries, though some large issues have been ignored. The system, known as the Debt Sustainability Framework, is important as it directly impacts on amounts of lending by the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, and influences lending decisions by governments and the private sector. A key improvement is that some of the hidden cost from Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) will now be included. This was one of the main demands of global civil society of the review, and 2,500 people wrote to the UK’s representative at the IMF asking for this change to be made. One of the main reasons government’s ...

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The unexpected Mozambican debt crisis: illegitimate debt back on the international agenda

Bodo Ellmers

22 Aug 2017 14:26:41

Mozambique’s default on commercial loans worth US$2bn has triggered the latest - and arguably most shocking - African debt crisis in recent times. While nearly all African countries suffer from low commodity prices and rising credit costs, the Mozambican case is unusual in that it reveals how easily the new development finance paradigm, centred on private capital, can go wrong. The successful attraction of commercial loans did not boost Mozambique’s development. They caused a development disaster. The case also underlines that the current global governance regime has no effective mechanism in place to prevent irresponsible lending and borrowing - or to deal with their consequences - and the need to get rid of a pile of illegitimate debts which will continue ...

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First as tragedy, now as farce: lessons from 12 August 1982

Mark Perera

12 Aug 2017 08:47:36

As the saying goes, history repeats itself because no one was listening the first time. This month marks the 35th anniversary of an event that sparked a debt crisis across the developing world. It was a crisis triggered by low interest rates in the Global North, a reckless boom in lending and borrowing to Southern countries over-reliant on commodity exports, and a fall in the price of those same commodities. Sound familiar? The parallels with today’s developing world debt crisis are stark, and looking back at how the 1980s crisis arose and how it was dealt with, there are worrying signs that very little has been learned despite repeated calls by Eurodad and other civil society organisations for a comprehensive, UN-backed debt workout mechanism. A crisis begins On 12 August 1982, Mexican ...

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Economic reform must not be an excuse for undermining human rights

Mark Perera

31 Jul 2017 16:37:51

Earlier this year, the UN Human Rights Council asked the Independent Expert on debt and human rights to develop guiding principles on human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) for economic reform policies. These principles will aim to provide states and international financial institutions, in particular, with guidance on how to identify the harmful impacts of structural adjustment and austerity measures. Equipped with the findings from HRIAs, decision-makers should take action to prioritise their obligations under international law and safeguard human rights. Now Eurodad has written to the Independent Expert setting out its views on what the key elements of these HRIAs should be, in order to guarantee they put the needs of citizens at the forefront of relevant economic decision-making. Looming ...

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The OECD DAC’s proposed aid rules: a worse crunch still to come?

Polly Meeks

17 Jul 2017 13:18:05

Three months ago, we blogged that it could be crunch time for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC)’s rules on aid. These are the rules that decide how much ‘aid credit’ donors have earned, and hence how they measure up against the UN target that aid should account for at least 0.7% of national income.  When we posted that blog, DAC members had been given a deadline of 26 April to decide on the new rules, which would allow them to report more support for private sector actors in Southern countries as Official Development Assistance (ODA). We were concerned that the DAC was rushing into far-reaching changes, without having built in basic safeguards to protect the core purpose of ODA – poverty reduction. So where do ...

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Eurodad International Conference 2017: Alternative Policies for a Sustainable World

Eurodad

14 Jul 2017 10:22:47

Nearly 200 people from all over the world participated in the highly successful #EurodadAlternatives17 conference in Den Haag. All the presentations, photos, videos and live-streamed plenary sessions are now available.