Collaboration or Co-optation? A review of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax
By Manuel F. Montes and Pooja Rangaprasad
The Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT), launched in April 2016, is an effort to intensify cooperation on tax issues among the staff of the OECD, IMF, World Bank and the United Nations. The PCT’s stated objectives include the production of joint outputs, strengthening interactions between standard setting, capacity building and technical assistance and sharing information. PCT has since produced toolkits on issues such as tax incentives, transfer pricing, and taxation of offshore indirect transfers. The PCT also held its first global conference in February 2018 at the UN where a concluding ‘conference statement’, negotiated among the four secretariats, was produced.
Title: Rethinking Development in the Context of the 2030 Agenda – A South Centre interaction with developing country delegations on key issues and challenges ahead in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the UNGA 72 session
Date:Thursday,21 September 2017, 16:00-18:00
Venue: Conference Room D at the UN Headquarters, New York
Public-Private Partnerships as the Answer . . . What was the Question?
By Manuel F. Montes
In discussions at the UN about achieving Agenda 2030, it has become de rigueur to highlight the role of the private sector. It is often introduced as the discovery of the idea that private sector investment and financing is indispensable to achieving Agenda 2030. For developed country diplomats and their associated experts this new celebrity treatment appears to be an article of faith, at least during negotiations on economic matters in the UN. They are foisting a misleading Trumpian exaggeration that is technically harmful to development policymaking and to Agenda 2030. (more…)
Shocks for developing countries from President Trump’s first days
By Martin Khor
His first days in office indicate that President Donald Trump intends to implement what he promised, with serious consequences for the future of the United Nations, trade, the environment and international cooperation, and developing countries will be most affected. Those who hoped Trump would be more statesman-like in style and middle-of-the-road in policy matters after his inauguration had their illusions dashed when the new United States President moved straight into action to fulfil his election pledges. (more…)
South Centre Presentation to the Special Event of the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly
UNCTAD organized a special event of the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 26 October 2016 in New York on “SOVEREIGN DEBT RESTRUCTURINGS: Lessons learned from legislative steps taken by certain countries and other appropriate action to reduce the vulnerability of sovereigns to holdout creditors”. Ms. Yuefen Li, Special Advisor on Economics and Development Finance of the South Centre, spoke as a panelist and alerted the UN Member States of the current legislative challenges facing the sovereigns when it comes to the need for sovereign debt restructuring including the impact of the plurilateral and bilateral trade and investment agreements.
UN General Assembly: World leaders pledge action to control superbugs
By Martin Khor
World leaders at the Summit of the UN General Assembly last week spoke on the need to save millions of lives by controlling the crisis of antibiotic resistance and adopted a landmark political declaration calling for global action. At the opening of the Summit of the United Nations General Assembly on 20 September, it sounded much like the swansong of two of the regular stalwarts of this annual affair. It is the last General Assembly to be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United States President Barack Obama. (more…)
The EPA issue has once again re-emerged when Tanzania informed EAC Members and the EU that it would not be able to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and the six EAC Member States in early July. The European Commission reportedly proposed signature of the EAC EPA in Nairobi, on the sidelines of the 14th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV). (more…)
UNCTAD’s Roles Reaffirmed, after Significant Wrangling
By Martin Khor
The United Nations’ leading development organisation UNCTAD recently obtained a renewed mandate for its work, but not without difficulty. This is because the developed countries are now much more reluctant to give concessions to the developing countries, thus showing up the present shaky state of North-South relations and of development cooperation. The 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (dubbed UNCTAD 14) concluded in Nairobi on 22 July with an agreed declaration on global economic issues. (more…)
Boutros Boutros-Ghali – The Nobility of Ideas and Ideals
By Roberto Savio
In memory of the former United Nations Secretary-General and former Chair of the Board of the South Centre.
It is no coincidence that Boutros Boutros-Ghali (BBG), who died on February 16, was the only Secretary-General in the history of the United Nations to have served only one of the two terms that have always been allowed. The United States vetoed his re-election, in spite of the favourable vote of the other members of the Security Council. He was considered too independent. (more…)
Financing for Development Conference 2015: A View from the South
On 19 July 2014 the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations agreed on a draft of a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, taking the first steps toward a renewed development agenda for after 2015. The effort to agree on the SDGs was the follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), whose end-date is 2015. Aside from the 17 specific goals, the draft SDGs included 169 associated targets. (more…)