* Minister Niebel's Leitmotiv: "German Interests". Provincialism instead of political farsightedness Barely in office, German development minister Dirk Niebel unambiguously mapped out the road: he wants to ensure that development cooperation once again focuses on German interests. This position provoked—probably intentionally—protest from the greater part of the German development community. For them the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is supposed to be the advocate of the developing countries within the chorus of ministries. A comment by Roger Peltzer
* The Baltic Future of Greece. Likely consequences of IMF and EU conditionalty Latvia and Estonia show us what Greece may look forward to if it follows the advice it gets from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union. As noted previously, Latvia has experienced the worst two-year economic downturn on record, losing more than 25% of GDP, a study (see reference) shows. A comment by Mark Weisbrot
* IEG Evaluated World Bank's Gender Support. Findings of the new Gender and Development report The evaluation of the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank’s support for gender issues between 2002 and 2008 is of significant relevance in the light of the Beijing+15 review, meaning 15 years after the landmark 4th World Women´s Conference 1995 in Beijing and its launching of gender mainstreaming as crucial strategy for all institutions and organizations. Comment by Christa Wichterich
* Pressure on Workers Grows as Crisis Hits Jobs. 101 trade unionists murdered in 2009 The International Trade Union Confederation’s Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights (see reference) has documented a dramatic increase in the number of trade unionists murdered in 2009, with 101 killings – an increase of 30% over the previous year. The new Survey also reveals growing pressure on fundamental workers’ rights around the world as the impact of the global economic crisis on employment deepened. A WDEV summary
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.