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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

Copenhagen: A Serious Step towards Global Ruin
Two years of climate change negotiations have now ended in a farce in Copenhagen. Rather than grappling with complex issues, President Barack Obama decided instead to declare victory with a vague statement of principles agreed with a handful of other countries. The rest were handed a fait accompli, which some accepted and others denounced.
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Slow Economic Recovery or Double-Dip Recession?
After a sharp and synchronized global downturn, United Nations economists expect the world economy to bounce back with a mild 2.4 per cent growth in 2010. The rebound is due to the massive and to some extent concerted policy actions taken by the major economies. But a double-dip recession cannot be excluded.
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Climate Change: Does Copenhagen Really Matter?
While the world watches the Copenhagen UN climate negotiations and the enormous differences between the magnitude of the climate challenge and the ability of the world's governments to agree on anything in these negotiations, we may well realize that the world never has been changed by consensus or a unanimous UN decision.
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Mapping Social Protection in South Asia
Social protection has become a key area of policy interest on the international development agenda. Developing countries and donors alike are promoting social protection as a prominent policy intervention. And indeed, it can be an enabler for development - but only if the right policies are in place.
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Quo Vadis, German Development Cooperation?
The German development community has been through uncertain times since the federal elections took place in late September. The Social Democrats lost, and the liberal FDP, the main winner of the elections had put forward the demand of doing away with an independent development ministry in its election campaign.
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The Commission's "Whole of the Union" Smokescreen
Today, development policymakers need more than ever to work with colleagues to prevent and remediate negative impacts of finance, trade and other policies on developing countries. At the same time, the European Commission is proposing to change directions on policy coherence for development, undermining its power as an EU Treaty obligation.
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China's Amazing Rise in Organic Food Production
Is China at the "onset of an organic revolution"? Undoubtedly, the flood of food certificates creates the impression that one third of agricultural land is already under eco-food production. And clearly, there is a growing interest in "green food" by consumers. But not everything which claims to be "organic", really is.
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Towards Alternatives to IMF and World Bank
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are controversial among governments and civil society organisations for many reasons: their unfair governance structures, their harmful loan conditionality, and last not least the fossil-based project policies of the Bank.
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The Tobin Tax Lives Again
Tobin tax-like proposals are back on the agenda. Latest example: France and Germany managed to get the financial transaction tax (FTT) proposal de facto into the Pittsburgh Declaration of the G20. The IMF is tasked to prepare a report. Dani Rodrik comments the new momentum.
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Development Aid and Low Tax Developing Countries
For countries with low tax rates or lax enforcement of tax laws, the air is growing increasingly thin. Against the background of the present global financial and economic crisis, so-called tax havens are finding themselves faced with growing pressure to improve the transparency of their tax systems and discontinue unfair practices.
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World Bank/FAO: Deceptive Fortune Tellers
The dimensions are truly gigantic: Four million km2 of Guinea Savannah, "one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world", could be developed for commercial agriculture, says a new FAO-World Bank study.
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The Scent of Money and the Stench of Corruption
When there is a chance to push a big loan out the door, some people just can't say no. Every World Bank President since James Wolfensohn has committed to fight the cancer of corruption. For more than ten years, the Bank has talked the talk, but has not walked the walk.
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UNCTAD Calls for New Exchange-Rate Management
More effective regulation and supervision of financial market activity is indispensable to prevent a repeat of the current global financial and economic crisis. But equally important is a reform of the international monetary and financial system, concludes the new Trade and Development Report.
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The Global 3 Fs Crisis and South Asia
In South Asia, an estimated additional 100 million persons have fallen into food insecurity and poverty since 2007, as fallout of the 2008 food price crisis and the global economic recession. Even before the food, fuel and financial crises (3Fs), roughly 300 million people were exposed to hunger and malnutrition.
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The EU Presidency Outlook for Development
Sweden takes over the EU Presidency from the Czech Republic during a crucial period for the renewal of EU institutions, and for EU leadership on issues impacting development. It enters the summer with the financial and economic crisis and climate change at the top of its priorities.
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Discussing Tax Havens: The Case of Luxembourg
Functioning taxation systems are of primary importance for development policy. This applies as much to the tax levy within developing countries as well as their capacity to prevent tax and capital flight. Gradually aid in the establishment of an efficient taxation system is gaining significance as part of bilateral development cooperation.
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"Dead Aid" or Recovering Patient?
Dambisa Moyo's book "Dead Aid" has created quite a storm within the development community, which struggles with an appropriate response. However, the reactions have been too defensive, according to Eveline Herfkens.
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Just Repeating Old Commitments Is Not Enough
The crisis, which originated within the world's major financial centers, has spread throughout the global economy, causing severe social, political, and economic dislocation and a rise in social conflict and distress. As Amnesty International warned, the world is sitting on a "powder keg" of social unrest.
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UN Sees Winter Landscape, No Green Shoots
The United Nations has downgraded its economic forecast for 2009. The world economy is expected to shrink by 2.6% in 2009. Approaching the end of May 2009, the economic landscape remains very winterly with no visible green shoots to be seen which could signal beginnings of a new spring.
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The Potential of Special Drawing Rights
The G20 recently endorsed the issuance of $250bn of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) by the IMF, but it made no arrangements for rich countries to transfer their allocations to poor ones. The idea was not even mentioned. Yet that is where the real benefits of an SDR issue would come from. A memorandum by George Soros
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Compensating Poor Food Importers
High food prices are putting the health and lives of the world's poorest at severe risk. A mechanism to compensate for the effects of higher import prices on the poor is needed and can be implemented immediately. It must be without conditions. A proposal by Kunibert Raffer.
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