How international investment agreements have made debt restructuring even more difficult and costly
International investment and trade agreements are legally binding international treaties which give investors an additional layer of legal protection on top of the host country law and contract law. However, little efforts have been made in ironing out the interface between these different laws and treaties. Inconsistencies and even contradictions have emerged in dispute settlement decisions, sometimes at the expense of public good, sovereignty and financial and economic stability. An asymmetry seems to exist in the allocation of risks and benefits between investors and recipients of investments. (more…)
Overview of outcomes of the November 2017 UNFCCC climate talks
The annual climate change talks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and the Paris Agreement (PA) took place in Bonn, Germany, on 6-18 November 2017, ending a day later than scheduled due to last-minute wrangling among Parties, mainly over issues related to finance.
The Value Added of the United Nations General Assembly High–Level Political Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance
In September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York held a dedicated meeting to muster strong political commitment for an effective global response to the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As a result, a High-Level Political Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance was adopted.
Industrialization, inequality and sustainability: What kind of industry policy do we need?
The 2030 Agenda includes as Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9) the commitment to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The entry of this goal into the 2030 Agenda is an achievement for developing countries who have a very diverse situation in terms of population sizes, per capita incomes, economic sizes and structures, political systems, cultures but share the common feature of an underdeveloped industrial sector.Therefore, in order to implement SDG 9 pro-active industry policies are needed that take into account aspects of inequality and sustainability.
The Financial Crisis and the Global South: Impact and Prospects
The world economy has not still recovered from the effects of the financial crisis that began almost a decade ago first in the US and then in Europe. Policy response to the crisis, the combination of fiscal restraint and ultra-easy monetary policy, has not only failed to bring about a robust recovery but has also aggravated systemic problems in the global economy, notably inequality and chronic demand gap, on the one hand, and financial fragility, on the other. It has generated strong destabilizing spillovers to the Global South. (more…)
The Asian Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned and Unlearned
Much of what has recently been written about the Asian crisis on the occasion of its 20th anniversary praises the lessons drawn from the crisis and the measures implemented thereupon. But they often fail to appreciate that while these might have been effective in preventing the crisis in 1997, they may be inadequate and even counterproductive today because they entail deeper integration into global finance.
Quantification of South-South cooperation and its implications to the foreign policy of developing countries
As South-South cooperation widens its scope, there is an increasing debate on how to measure its flows and results. When the SDG 17 is considered in particular, there is a perception that South-South cooperation ought to assume the role of an additional source of development finance, even though several of its modalities are not financial in nature. In this sense, current initiatives aimed at establishing the monetization of all development cooperation modalities pose a challenge to South-South cooperation practitioners, as such a hypothetical global standard would not give full account of the innovative processes taking place through South-South cooperation.
The Legal Nature of the Draft Pan-African Investment Code and its Relationship with International Investment Agreements
The present Policy Brief examines the drafting and negotiating process of the draft Pan-African Investment Code (PAIC). It analyses different aspects of this process, particularly the legal nature of the PAIC and its relationship with other international investment agreements.
Outcomes of the Nineteenth Session of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property: A Critical Reflection
Despite the high relevance of the issues discussed in the agenda of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), the effectiveness of the CDIP in leading the development orientation of the work of WIPO has diminished remarkably. Under the banner of the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations agreed in 2007, significant reform was expected, but today much continues as business as usual.
Highlights of the WHO Executive Board: 140th Session
The World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest body of the World Health Organization, will be meeting from 22-31 May 2017.
Earlier in January, the Executive Board of the WHO met and discussed on various strategic issues that will be carried forward to the WHA.
In this light, the South Centre has prepared a timely summary report in the form of a policy brief of the discussions that took place at the EB, to assist delegates and other stakeholders in their preparation for the discussions in the WHA.
Implications of a US Border Adjustment Tax, Especially on Developing Countries
A new protectionist device, the US “border adjustment” tax, is being planned that could devastate the exports of developing countries and cause American and other foreign companies to relocate. This policy brief explains the complexities and implications of this proposed measure and the major question of whether such a measure will violate the rules of the WTO is also examined.
The Need to Avoid “TRIPS-Plus” Patent Clauses in Trade Agreements
A recent article in a prestigious journal reminds us of how the intellectual property chapter of free trade agreements can prevent the sick from getting treatment. This article also critiques the TPP clauses and warns that they should not be translated to national laws or copied into other FTAs being negotiated. (more…)