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Europe Global Environment & Development The New South From G8 to G20 The Development Agenda UN Reform Global Finance Doha Final The Euro-zone in Crisis Eastern Europe

The case of Ebola
The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in Western Africa which started in December 2013 is leading to media hyped worries about its global spread to developed countries since the first human-to-human transmission of the disease in an US hospital (Dallas/Texas). Despite these concerns the brutal reality of the outbreak in the Western African countries plays only a marginalized role in that global media drama.
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Tenacious struggle against tax avoidance
In November 2013, the G20 supported an action plan of the OECD against the '[tax] base erosion and profit shifting' (BEPS), i.e. tax avoidance, by multinational companies. This plan is now being worked out by the members of the OECD and the G20 - a total of 44 states - till the end of 2015.
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An era of global turbulence
The illusion of the end of conflict is over. Delegates meeting at the United Nations are facing a world under attack, and responses are so far not matching the manifold crises, writes Martin Khor.
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Economic policy alternatives for post-2015
Having avoided a deep depression, stabilized financial markets and recovered the ground lost during the crisis years, there is a growing belief in some policy circles that the global economy is back to normal. But UNCTAD's 2014 Trade and Development Report suggests that tight fiscal policy, flexibilisation of labour markets, active monetary policies and the reliance on buoyant asset prices cannot bring the world economy back to robust health.
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Exposing the great 'poverty reduction' lie
The received wisdom comes to us from all directions: Poverty rates are declining and extreme poverty will soon be eradicated. The World Bank, the governments of wealthy countries, and - most importantly - the United Nations Millennium Campaign all agree on this narrative. Relax, they tell us. The world is getting better. It is a comforting story, but unfortunately it is just not true.
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Will sanctions sideline the US Dollar?
The use of sanctions as an international cudgel has long been complicated by some nasty unintended consequences. For the United States and the world economy, one consequence could be particularly significant.
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Development and social policy in South Asia
South Asia is home to about 22% of the global population; about one third of the population is extremely poor, accounting for about 45% of the global poor living on less than the infamous US$1.25 per day. 70% of the South Asia population lives on less than US$2 per day. With Gini coefficients hovering around 0.35, poverty while omnipresent is less unequal than in many countries of Africa and Latin America.
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Ukraine in crisis: The EU's co-responsibility
The EU purports to be part of the solution in Ukraine. Particularly, the EU continues to claim that the proposed Association Agreement will contribute to solving the economic problems of the country. EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Štefan Füle, even raised the possibility of eventually offering an EU membership to Ukraine. There are, however, strong indications that the EU approach creates more problems than it solves.
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An alternative post-2015 development strategy (II)
We commit ourselves to reduce the part of those suffering from hunger by half till 2015, our Heads of State and Government proclaimed in 2000 when they adopted objective no. 1 of the MDGs. At that time, there were some 850 million people suffering from that scourge. A 2012 United Nations report (A/67/257) recognizes that some 900 million people are still suffering from hunger. It adds that hunger and malnutrition remain the most critical global challenges. This shows that the international community is heading towards a flagrant and scandalous failure.
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For an alternative post-2015 development strategy
The UN project of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted at the UN Summit in 2000 is to expire in 2015. Discussions on a new international post-2015 development approach have started and are pursued in New York, Geneva, and Brussels, and in many capitals all over the world by international organizations, governments and civil society. A personal contribution to the debate.
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The great revenge of the North?
Plans for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States have sparked considerable debate. Among the main issues contested are the lowering of food-safty standards (hormone-treated beef, chlorine-washed chicken), the democratic deficit of the negotiation process, as well as the granting of far-reaching rights and legal privileges to international investors, undermining national law. However, Rainer Falk and Barbara Unmüßig consider a topic thus far left out of critical debate: TTIP's implications for the "rest of the world," particularly for developing and emerging economies.
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Nepal: The emergence of a resilient democracy
Three months after elections, a new cabinet was sworn in end of February in Kathmandu. The two largest parties have formed a coalition, with the new Prime Minister from the Congress Party, and 18 ministers from the Congress and UML parties. The mainstream Maoists voted in support but did not join an initially foreseen unity government. Where does the country stand at this moment?
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Climate, climate change and dead horses
Innumerable NGOs are driven in their committed efforts to protect the Earth's atmosphere. But after years of government failures and the international community itself massively blocking international approaches, a critical review of previous initiatives, campaigns and expertise is needed to generate a basis for new ideas and strategies in the battle against climate change.
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CmiA: From the niche to the mass market
Eight years ago three pilot projects were launched and a new textile label was born: Cotton made in Africa (CmiA). Those pilot projects have since developed into a comprehensive program. 486,000 farmers in five African countries had been verified according to the CmiA standard by the end of 2012. That year they produced 184,000 tons of cotton fiber. The program currently plans to add at least 180,000 more smallholder farmers and extend to ten different countries.
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Partnership in transatlantic trade and investment?
The negotiations between EU and US on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are in full swing. The project is not only intended to reduce tariffs between the world economy's two biggest trading blocs; its primary aim is to dismantle and/or harmonise a wide spectrum of regulations. Investment liberalisation and protection also will be central issues.
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Alternatives to deepening divisions in Europe
The European Union (EU) is set to exit from recession, but parts of Europe are beset with depression-like conditions; unemployment is exceptionally high in the peripheral euro area countries and not expected to decline appreciably in the near future. The European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe (EuroMemo Group) warns of a Europe of deepening divisions.
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Dynamic expansion in the developing world
World merchandise exports have more than tripled over the last two decades and reached US$18.3 trillion (in current prices) in 2012, with a quarter of that trade comprising exports among developing countries - so-called "South-South" trade - which reached a record $4.7 trillion.
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A reform perspective for the WTO after Bali
Roberto Azevêdo, the new WTO head, has earned praise for avoiding the implosion that has characterized many past WTO meetings and instead securing a deal. However, the real question is what lesson the new Director General should draw from his intense first few months of WTO leadership.
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Limitations of the Bali package
The Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation in Bali from 3 to 7 December 2013 ended with a small deal, hailed by many for reviving the WTO as a viable venue for trade talks. However, the results are very modest, and there are also imbalances in gains and losses. Martin Khor summarises to the limitations of the Bali deal.
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Warsaw: Global climate talks at the crossroads
Once again climate talks are at the crossroads. This year’s conference of the parties to the UN climate convention (COP 19) in Warsaw (11-22 November) should plane the road to the next climate agreement to be decided in Paris 2015. However, the differences in approaches between North and South are re-surfacing again. The window of opportunity for keeping world climate below 2° Celsius is closing. A rolling documentation by WDEV, updated daily.
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The youth bulge in Least Developed Countries
The number of young people of working age in the world's 49 poorest nations is increasing by 16 million per year, and in each one of 11 such countries it will climb by at least half a million per year, a new UNCTAD report says. The organization recommends that the governments of the globe's least developed countries (LDCs) intensify efforts to employ this vast resource - currently largely underemployed, or trapped in vulnerable, low-paid jobs.
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