Signing international investment treaties, in the hope of attracting foreign investments, has been a central strategy for governments looking to improve economic development. The less known side of this story is that by signing investment treaties, governments are giving away the sovereign right to regulate in the interest of people and the environment. They also expose themselves to the risk of spending millions in law suits that could have been used to serve public needs. It’s time that the dark side of investment is put under the spotlight.
In November 2011, Brussels was the stage for a 'Week of Action' which looked to expose the threat of Bilateral Investment Treaties to democratic governance and public interest and to advocate for an Alternative Investment Regime.
The secretive and lucrative world of international investment arbitration has enriched a small coterie of multi-billion dollar international firms, which actively promote and even help finance litigations against states and have fought fiercely to prevent changes to an unjust international investment regime.
The ancient discussion about the purposes of wealth and the conflict between oligarchy – rule of the rich – and democracy – the rule of the demos/the people comes to the fore once again with the Occupy protests.
The so-called “global land grab” continues the historic process of land enclosures described by Sir Thomas More in Utopia as “sheep eating men,” when English peasants were evicted from the commons to make room for private estates.
Between 20 and 21 September 2011, 40 ASEAN campaigners and experts met in Manila to share knowledge and experiences, articulate common strategies and discuss alternatives to the current investment regime.
This paper examines global inequalities and the future of capitalism and socialism through an investigation of the oligarchic wealth on which the current global order is based and also looks at growing challenges to these social foundations of the present global system.
On 8 June the EU Parliament will vote on our response to the Eurocrisis: sign this petition by ATTAC asking them to reject the neoliberal austerity package which will make the public pay for the bank's crimes. There are alternatives to austerity.
Susan George, aleksej, Mthandeki Nhlapo, Peter Waldorff
28 April 2011
Privatisation offers nothing to the 43 percent of Africans in cities who have no access to water. On World Water Day 2011, experts met in Cape Town to share experiences of successful public-public partnerships for equal public access.
Free trade or slave trade? How the EU's free trade agreements in Colombia and Peru reward human rights abuses, destroy livelihoods, promote land grabbing and strip governments of their sovereignty to regulate capital flows.