Author: Francine (page 2 of 59)

UN Finance for Development Process: the Best Chance for Democratic Economic Governance?

  • As BWIs fail to transform, countries should re-embrace more democratic space at the United Nations
  • UN Financing for Development Conference on horizon, with historic progress on tax cooperation raising hopes on debt

Read the analysis of the Bretton Woods Project

UN must Reclaim Multilateral Governance from Pretenders

International governance arrangements are in trouble. Multilateral agreements have been discarded or ignored by the powerful except when useful to protect their interests or provide legitimacy.

Read Jomo Kwame Sundaram’s article

Inequality, Social Protection and the Right to Development

The Human Rights Council of the UN just published the Report of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development.

An interesting document with new arguments for defending and promoting not only ‘social protection’ but a new perspective on ‘development’.

Inequality, social protection and the right to development” (A/HRC/54/83)

Absolute Poverty Rises …

An increasing number of middle and low income countries are facing crushing economic strains. From Argentina to Pakistan to Zambia, living costs are rising, economic growth is stalling and absolute poverty is increasing. At the same time, governments are finding it staggeringly difficult to find ways to pay the interest and principal on their vast foreign debts.

In classic bureaucratic language, the IMF and the World Bank call these the “debt distressed countries.” The truth is that the economic conditions, and the policies that governments feel forced to impose, are gravely adding to poverty.

Read the article about debt distress

International Day of Indigenous People

On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, 9 August 2023, Indigenous peoples’ organisations and trade unions, highlight the extreme forms of discrimination faced by native groups.

Fighting all discriminations is fighting for social justice

Read ITUC’s article

Universal Health Care, Not Insurance

To achieve universal health coverage, all people need access to public healthcare. This should be an entitlement for all, regardless of means, requiring adequate long term sustainable financing.

Read the article by Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Nazihah Noor

UN International Day for Care and Support

The Resolution for the International Day for Care and Support on 29 October recognises the legacy of the trade union International Day for Care initiated just four years ago to accelerate investment in the care economy.

The UN International Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of care and the need to invest in a resilient and inclusive care economy. It reflects key union demands, including the creation of quality care jobs and increasing the rewards for and representation of care workers. It needs to go further on explicit recognition of unions as key stakeholders, the promotion of social dialogue and ILO labour standards related to the care economy agenda but unions will work through ILO, UN Women and OHCHR who are responsible for promoting the day to achieve these goals.

ITUC Acting General Secretary Luc Triangle said :

“The UN’s recognition of 29 October as the International Day for Care is testament to the work done by carers and unions to promote the care agenda. It is a major step forward for women, for carers and those they care for, and for society as a whole. Unions will continue to campaign for increased investment, decent wages and social dialogue to the International Day to life.”

This 29 October, the ITUC and its affiliates will promote the care priorities enshrined in the ITUC’s 5th Congress Statement and outcomes of the 4th World Women’s Conference, by calling on governments to engage in social dialogue for adequate public investment in a resilient and inclusive care economy, including :

 – The recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work with income ; rewards for care work, more and decent care jobs ; and ensuring representation of care workers through collective bargaining and social dialogue.

 – A well-regulated care economy which ensures universal access to quality public health, care and education services, realizes women’s right to work, ends systemic discrimination and occupational segregation and care jobs which are formal and decent, with safe working conditions, free from gender-based violence and harassment, and adequately remunerated, including equal pay for work of equal value, and covered by social protection.

 – The adoption of care leave policies : Inclusive labour market policies, family-friendly workplace polices and gender responsive social protection grant a more equitable sharing of care responsibilities and promote flexible working arrangements on a gender-neutral basis.

Taking inequality seriously, and tackling it seriously

“The unprecedented increase in inequality has many adverse, even destructive, consequences. As we note in our letter, it ‘corrodes our politics, destroys trust, hamstrings our collective economic prosperity and weakens multilateralism’. It also hinders attempts to prevent climate breakdown and address the impacts of climate change. Indeed, none of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 for realisation by 2030, is likely to be achieved without a strong focus on reducing inequality.”

Some considerations concerning the letter to the UN S-G and the WB Chairman, by Jayathi Ghosh

Top economists call on UN and World Bank to end inequality

Gulf between rich and poor increases risk of climate breakdown as well as entrenches poverty, say Stiglitz, Ghosh, Piketty, Ortiz …

Top economists call for action on runaway global inequality | Inequality | The Guardian

Universal Healthcare

In 2015, almost all heads of government in the world committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including universal health coverage (UHC). This was consistent with the World Health Organization’s commitment to Health for All.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed most countries’ under-investment in public healthcare provisioning and other weaknesses. Clearly, health system reforms and appropriate financing are needed to improve populations’ wellbeing.

Instead of helping, more profit-seeking investments and market ‘solutions’ in recent decades have undermined UHC. Health markets the world over rarely provide healthcare for all well. Instead, they have increased costs and charges, limiting access. Worse, public funds are being diverted to support profits, rather than patients.

Read the article by Jomo Kwame Sundaram

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