We know what we have to do to solve the climate crisis. We must keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. But the fossil fuel industry has a secret powerful weapon to keep cooking the planet: The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). It is on the brink of a massive geographical expansion into Africa, Asia and Latin America, threatening to bind yet more countries to corporate-friendly energy policies. Visit: www.energy-charter-dirty-secrets.org
On 16 May, Ecuador became the fifth country to terminate all its Bilateral investment treaties (BIT). Why did it make this decision? TNI researcher Cecilia Olivet, and president of the Ecuadorian Citizens Commission that audited the country’s investment protection treaties, shares her insider perspective.
In a letter to the president of the European Council, 240 European organisations ask him to withdraw the mandate for the European Commission to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), with immediate effect.
Drug law reform continues developing in the right direction in several Latin American and Caribbean countries. In Jamaica, for example, a law legalizing the cultivation and consumption of ganja for medicinal, religious and research purposes came into force, as well as the decriminalisation of possession for personal use. Jamaica also spoke out at the UN Thematic Debate in New York. On May 7th, the minister addressed the UN High Level Thematic Debate on international drug policy, highlighting Jamaica’s perspectives on drug control policies and participating in a debate that encourages open and inclusive discussions. Amongst the outcomes Jamaica would like to see from UNGASS is “the establishment of an Expert Advisory Group to review the UN drug policy control architecture, its system-wide coherence, its treaty inconsistencies and its legal tension with cannabis regulations.”
A debate on TTIP on Thursday June 25 clearly shows is that it still is a contested issue. While its supporters mainly focus on the benefits for companies that want easy market-access for their products, the opponents fear that TTIP will be a danger to democracy and put pressure on public health standards.
In These Times - When the European Union negotiated its first free trade treaty with Mexico beginning in 1997 and implemented in 2000, many of its provisions, such as deregulation of goods and services and trade liberalization, were lifted straight from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed into law just five years earlier.
With the 2016 UNGASS on drugs in one year, it is time to recognize the policy landscape is shifting while tensions within the UN drug control system continue to grow. A slowly increasing number of governments is expressing their frustrations with the current international drug control framework, particularly Mexico and Colombia, countries that are suffering from violence related to drug markets, are calling for reflection and analysis in order to consider new options, some of which include regulatory measures.
The most important drug policy event this quarter was undoubtedly the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna from 13 to 21 March, the first two days of which were dedicated to a high-level review of the past five years. The winds of drug policy change were clearly felt in the statements made by several Latin American countries – Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay – and some European countries – the Czech Republic, Norway and Switzerland, among others.
TNI turns 40 in 2014 and has received many birthday wishes from social movements, academics, activists, grassroots community groups, journalists, writers and policy makers. We are proud to have worked alongside them in a struggle for a more just world and deeply touched by their praise for our work.
In Marseilles FAME ended successfully with a protest march of 2000 people, united under the slogan 'Water is life, Not for Profit'. Around the same time in Vienna the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first international opium convention.