European Briefings on Globalisation, North-South Relations and International Ecology
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Issue 3/Aug-Sep 2006

Article no: EN20061021-Issue-3-2006

Issue 3/Aug-Sep 2006

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With the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) in Geneva suspended, with the G8 summit in St Petersburg deeply flawed, with an irritating outlook for next year?s Heiligendamm summit, and ? last but not least ? with the Bretton Woods twins IMF and World Bank in acute crisis, these days seem to form a perfect scenario for an anti-globaliser?s summer festival. But it is the globalisers themselves who are obstructing globalisation. And the alternative to this fatal perspective is democracy, writes Rainer Falk.
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In the run-up to the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to be held this year from 19-20 September in Singapore, international NGOs are stepping up their political pressure for change. Whereas in former years it was the World Bank this time it?s the IMF which attracts most attention. Many civil society organisations want to ?decommission? the Fund. Others ask for fundamental reforms of the institution beginning with a bigger say for the South. World Economy & Development In Brief documents a strategy paper of a group of international NGOs and a European NGO statement on governance reform of the IMF.
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The controversial former United States Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz succeeded James Wolfensohn as the head of the World Bank in June 2005. It was a change that put a great sense of urgency into the question of what course the world?s most influential financial adviser and financing institution would take. However, Wolfowitz?s first year in office brought no great surprises. Instead of radical changes, the Bank?s agenda was governed by the goal of maintaining continuity, writes Daniela Setton.
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The Brasilia conference on 6-7 July gave additional momentum in the mobilisation of new sources for development finance. The meeting, organised by the government of Brazil, was attended by 40 countries and 20 non-governmental organisations and demonstrated that international support for an air-ticket tax is growing very fast. Only five months after the Paris conference where 13 countries decided to introduce a tax on airline travel, six additional nations have already followed suit (see table ). Frank Schroeder reports.
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The 50 poorest countries grew by an average of 5.9% in 2004, the highest rate in two decades. This was associated with a doubling of aid from rich countries between 1999 and 2004, with high demand for oil and other natural resources, with record merchandise exports, and with record private foreign investment. However, UNCTAD?s new Least Developed Countries Report, Developing Productive Capacities (see reference), warns that sustaining this progress will depend on channelling a higher proportion of aid and resources into increased investment in productive sectors and into infrastructure improvements. World Economy & Development In Brief summarises the report.
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Aid Agencies and NGOs attack Brussels aid policy + Bleak outlook for the South in the post-Doha world + Small farmers loose in supermarket expansion + GCAP call for peace in Libanon + New online resources
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Published: 9 August 2006

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