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.
Ironically, the publication of the 2006 World Trade Report on 24 July (see reference) coincided with WTO Director-general Pascal Lamy’s announcement that all negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) will be suspended... ... this article was published in >>> Issue 3/Aug-Sep 2006.
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.