The first anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse and last week’s meeting of the G20 countries have provoked numerous reflections on the causes and possible solutions to the current financial and economic mess. The problem is that the majority of these deal with cosmetic rather than the profound changes needed to get the global economy back on track.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
Dr. Pedro Paez talks about the creation of a new financial architecture in Latin America, based on principles of redistribution, environmental sustainability and social cohesion rather than market principles that dominated the old architecture.
Much touted "land investment" involves appropriation or landgrabbing. What positive alternative investments should public policy support which would strengthen the right to food, re-valorise agricultural work, and build up ecological capital?
Dramatic changes around food, climate, energy, and finance in recent years have pushed questions of land use and land control back onto the centre stage of development discourse, at the very moment when the same conditions are spurring an unprecedented rush for land and water across the globe.
To which aspects of this crisis should Germans and especially German Christians be most attentive? What would be the right policies to escape from the debt crisis which has been allowed to fester and is now five years old?
One of the most impacting meetings took place Thursday, when more than 100 people filled a lecture hall, organized by the coalition Stop Corporate Impunity, to hear an array of speakers on a panel called “Confronting the Power of Transnational Corporations and Unpacking the Global Investment, Trade and Financial Regimes.”
The time has come to unite the hundreds of struggles, campaigns, networks, movements and organizations that are combating the different ways transnational corporations are appropriating our destinies, natural heritage and rights in every corner of the planet.
'Policy Shift' identifies ten key policy changes that are required to support just alternative agriculture investments. The approach integrates human rights into the core of decision-making and is informed by practical, on-the-ground examples of positive agricultural investments that benefit both small-scale farmers and communities.
Despite the track record of systemic and systematic violations of the range of human rights, the efforts to establish legally binding obligations and an instrument of enforcement within the UN system have been defeated by determined corporate opposition. The current Guiding Principles developed by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, John Ruggie, do not create "any new international legal obligations" and are therefore non-binding.
This alliance for a binding treaty on Transnational Corporation (TNC's) gathers global networks and alliances including Dismantle Corporate Power Campaign, FIAN, Friends of the Earth International and Transnational Institute, among others, which collectively represent more than 500 groups world-wide who are determined to stop corporate human rights violations.
Why are people around the world reclaiming essential services from private operators and bringing their delivery back into the public sphere? There are many motivations behind (re)municipalisation initiatives: a goal to end private sector abuse or labour violations; a desire to regain control over the local economy and resources; a wish to provide people with affordable services; or an intention to implement ambitious climate strategies.
Not all types of investment are equal in terms of their impact on poverty reduction and development. Through an alarming global tendency, which has governments shaping investment and development policy around the needs of transnational capital, large-scale land deals capturing land and its associated resources are packaged as ‘investments for rural development’. The shift underway in development frameworks is from public sector responsibility for food security towards the private sector as the remedy to hunger and malnutrition, at the expense of the livelihoods, dignity and lifestyle of rural working people, especially poor and marginalised groups. There is a need to ‘reboot’ the debate on agricultural investment, away from the narrow corporate centric perspective, towards investments which best addresses rural poverty and hunger and democratic control of resources – such as public investments and the investments made by small-scale food producers.
Austerity in Greece and Italy has struck workers' particularly hard, but it has also been the context for radical innovations in ’organising the unorganised’, building new kinds of work spaces and even taking control of production.
An international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) has the potential to substantially promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights in the long-term and on a global scale. It can contribute to ending the impunity that TNCs routinely enjoy for their human rights violations, especially in countries of the Global South, and to ensuring access to justice for the victims of their activities.