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The French response to the Corona Crisis: semi-presidentialism par excellence

GDI Briefing - 19. Januar 2038 - 4:14

This blog post analyses the response of the French government to the Coronavirus pandemic. The piece highlights how the semi-presidential system in France facilitates centralized decisions to manage the crisis. From a political-institutional perspective, it is considered that there were no major challenges to the use of unilateral powers by the Executive to address the health crisis, although the de-confinement phase and socio-economic consequences opens the possibility for more conflictual and opposing reactions. At first, approvals of the president and prime minister raised, but the strict confinement and the reopening measures can be challenging in one of the European countries with the highest number of deaths, where massive street protests, incarnated by the Yellow vests movement, have recently shaken the political scene.

Kategorien: english

How can the G20 support innovative: mechanisms to mobilise financial resources for LDCs in a post-pandemic world?

GDI Briefing - 26. Dezember 2022 - 14:05

Innovative financing for development can contribute to closing the financial gap by mobilising new funds for sustainable development and leveraging existing scarce public concessional resources (ODA). In addition to domestic resources and traditional external financial resources, innovative financing mechanisms can mobilise further financial resources for LDCs. In view of the LDCs’ enormous sustainable investment needs, mobilising private financial resources is both crucial and inescapable. Blended finance represents an important instrument to combine ODA with private finance, thereby leveraging scarce concessional public financial resources. The G20 should consider promoting the adoption and implementation of the OECD Blended Finance Principles in LICs to enhance blended finance in these countries. As many LDCs do not have sufficient institutional capacity. To adopt blended finance instruments the G20 should support LDC in developing institutional capacity to effectively implement blended finance tools and to lower risks associated with blended finance. An additional instrument to enhance external financial resources to LDCs is to allocate the recently approved new SDR allocation to LDCs exceeding LDCs quota. The G20 should take on a leading by example/frontrunner role and donate as well as lend a percentage of their allocations, discuss establishing a special purpose fund (i.e. a green or health fund), support allocating a large amount of SDRs to LDCs exceeding their quota and discuss proposals how to allocate them among LICs and discuss how these financial instruments can be used to ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the covid-19 crisis. As the fragmented architecture of sustainable bond standards represent one main challenge in mobilising financial resources for attaining the SDGs by issuing sustainable bonds the G20 should discuss and promote harmonisation of sustainable bond standards. Moreover, the G20 countries should provide capacity building for LDCs for developing the sustainable bond market in these countries.

Kategorien: english

Global economic growth downgraded due to spillover from Ukraine war

UN ECOSOC - 18. Mai 2022 - 18:10
The global economy is expected to grow by only 3.1 per cent this year, down from the 4.0 per cent projected in January, largely derailed by the war in Ukraine, according to the UN’s latest World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, launched on Wednesday. 
Kategorien: english

UN marks first ever international day spotlighting women working in the maritime industry

UN ECOSOC - 18. Mai 2022 - 17:17
The first ever International Day for Women in Maritime kicked off its inaugural celebration on Wednesday with a seminar to “take stock and identify areas where improvement is needed”, the top UN official representing seafarers said.
Kategorien: english

‘Lifeline’ of renewable energy can steer world out of climate crisis: UN chief

UN #SDG News - 18. Mai 2022 - 10:16
Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return, according to the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday.
Kategorien: english

Rescuing global goals, world’s ‘highest common priority’ – UN chief

UN #SDG News - 17. Mai 2022 - 23:13
For a world in crisis, rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “must be our highest common priority,” the UN chief told Member States on Tuesday at a key development meeting in New York.
Kategorien: english

Human rights must be at heart of solution to Sri Lanka crisis : A UN Resident Coordinator blog

UN ECOSOC - 17. Mai 2022 - 20:53
The severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka shows no signs of ending any time soon, with the country’s newly installed Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, warning of more difficult days ahead. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, the most senior UN official in Sri Lanka, told UN News that, amid violent protests and the imposition of a state of emergency, any solution must involve a robust democracy and respect for human rights.
Kategorien: english

Understanding the African Continental Free Trade Area and how the US can promote its success

Brookings - 17. Mai 2022 - 20:25

By Landry Signé

Thank you very much, Chair Karen Bass, Ranking Member Christopher Smith, and distinguished members of the subcommittee, for your extraordinary leadership on U.S.-Africa relations. I am incredibly honored by and grateful for the opportunity offered to me by the members of this committee to testify on “Understanding the African Continental Free Trade Area and How the U.S. Can Promote its Success.” I am Landry Signé, Managing Director and Professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for African Studies, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Action Group on Africa, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Agile Governance.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was signed in March 2018, ratified by the required number of countries by May 2019, and came into force in January 2021.

The significance of the AfCFTA cannot be overstated. It is the world’s largest new free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994. It promises to increase intra-African trade through deeper levels of trade liberalization and enhanced regulatory harmonization and coordination. Moreover, it is expected to improve the competitiveness of African industry and enterprises through increased market access, the exploitation of economies of scale, and more effective resource allocation.

My research has shown that the AfCFTA—and its accompanying increased market access—can significantly grow manufacturing and industrial development, tourism, intra-African cooperation, economic transformation, and the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world. In fact, under a successfully implemented AfCFTA, Africa will have a combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion by 2030 and $16.12 trillion by 2050, creating a unique opportunity for people and businesses —and meaning the region can be the next big market for American goods and services.

UNECA has predicted that by 2040 implementation of the AfCFTA will raise intra-African trade by 15 to 25 percent, or $50 billion to $70 billion. The World Bank estimates that the AfCFTA will lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and substantially increase the income of 68 million people who are just slightly above the poverty line. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) similarly projects that, under the AfCFTA, Africa’s expanded and more efficient goods and labor markets will significantly increase the continent’s overall ranking on the Global Competitiveness Index.

Although there is a great momentum behind the agreement, its successful implementation is dependent on smart choices and thoughtful policy options. The United States can and should play an extraordinary role in promoting the AfCFTA’s success to increase intracontinental and global trade, as well as achieve mutual African and U.S. prosperity.

In this testimony, I will first briefly examine a few challenges to trade in Africa and their consequences for the continent’s development. Second, I will explain why the AfCFTA can constitute a solution to these challenges. Finally, I will discuss how smart U.S. foreign policy and assistance (both financial and technical) can promote its success in increasing intracontinental and global trade.

Continue reading the full testimony here. 

Kategorien: english

A package deal: why we need to invest in safe and clean mobility

OECD - 17. Mai 2022 - 17:45

The twin scourges of air pollution and road traffic accidents disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations. Road traffic crashes are the leading killer of children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 29. An estimated 93% of children under 15 breathe densely polluted air, which jeopardises their development. For example, in Thailand which has the 9th highest rate of road traffic fatalities in the world, over 400 schools were closed for several days in Bangkok in 2019 and 2020 due to severe smog. In Beijing, China, lack of clean air stopped outdoor activities and prevented children from playing outside with their friends in 2013. And despite the evident link between vehicle emission and pollution, 25.5 million cars had been newly registered in China by 2019., with the numbers increasing every year.

The post A package deal: why we need to invest in safe and clean mobility appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

Lebanon elections: Guterres calls for ‘swift formation’ of inclusive Government

UN ECOSOC - 17. Mai 2022 - 17:32
The UN Secretary-General has called for Lebanon’s political leaders to swiftly form an inclusive government in the wake of parliamentary elections on Sunday, that can help the crisis-wracked nation implement reforms to put the country “on the path to recovery”.
Kategorien: english

Health-Energy-Nexus: How off-grid energy can play a vital role in quality healthcare provision in Sub-Saharan Africa

EADI Debating Development Research - 17. Mai 2022 - 11:02
By Jonas Bauhof and Callistus Agbaam Access to electricity In 2019, 770 million people were without access to electricity globally. They are left without the possibility of using electric light at night, powering refrigerators and stoves, or charging their phones and other devices. Until 2019, the number constantly decreased but the Covid-19 pandemic reversed the …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

The new global tax deal is bad for development

Brookings - 16. Mai 2022 - 22:31

By Julie McCarthy

In October 2021, G-20 leaders finalized a new global tax deal aimed at curbing tax avoidance by large multinational enterprises (MNEs). The deal—brokered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and endorsed by 137 countries and jurisdictions (collectively this group is referred to as the Inclusive Framework or IF)—represents the most significant global tax reform in decades. Among other features, the “IF deal” introduces new taxing rights irrespective of an MNE’s physical location and a new global minimum corporate income tax of 15 percent on the largest MNEs.

The IF deal has two key pillars (Table 1): Pillar one establishes new taxing rights over a subset of large multinational companies (including ubiquitous digital giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook), and pillar two establishes the base, rate, and approach for a new global minimum corporate tax (GloBE).

Table 1. The new IF global tax deal at a glanceOECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project’s “Two Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy,” October 21, 2021 and BEPS 2.0: What You Need To Know, KPMG.

A missed opportunity to boost development finance

Nearly all stakeholders seem to agree that the IF deal represents a real step forward in trying to reduce a “race to the bottom” in global tax competition and refashion MNE taxation to better reflect the places where enterprises have real operations, sales, and personnel. By moving closer to a formulaic method of allocating corporate taxes globally—rather than pretending that subsidiaries and affiliates are fully independent businesses—both critics and fans seem to support the IF deal’s direction of travel away from traditional residence rules in an increasingly complex and digitized global economy.

Unfortunately, when it comes to generating meaningful revenue benefits for the Global South, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) rightly diverge from the G-7 consensus that the IF deal represents an “equitable solution” for reallocating global taxing rights. While G-7 countries have celebrated the IF deal as a breakthrough in “ending the race to the bottom in corporate taxation” worldwide, LMICs have expressed frustration and concern about various inequities embedded in this deal—with Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka refusing to sign on. At present, only 23 African countries are among the 137 countries and jurisdictions set to implement this global deal—less than half of all the countries and jurisdictions on the continent—and many LMICs are being cautioned to reconsider implementing the deal.

Concerns include high-income countries having first choice at collecting additional “top up” taxes on MNEs, the low rate of minimum taxes creating a “race to the bottom” on corporate income tax rates, and LMICs having to forgo existing and future digital service taxes in exchange for a new formula-based approach to MNE profit reallocation that could undermine their revenue base (Table 2). For the new GLoBE, the current formula would provide G-7 countries—home to only 10 percent of the world’s population—with 60 percent of the estimated $150 billion in new tax revenue generated. In effect, LMICs are being asked to take a blind leap of faith by signing a legally binding agreement to give up certain taxing rights in return for a completely uncertain, and potentially harmful, revenue outcome.

Table 2. Summary of core LMIC concerns with the IF deal

faces opposition from Republicans and may require approval from two-thirds of the Senate to pass. EU tax laws require unanimous support from all 27 member countries, and there are several smaller low-tax countries like Estonia, Poland, and Hungary that are reluctant to move forward on the global minimum tax (pillar two and the U.S. priority) unless the EU places equal priority on advancing digital taxation reforms (pillar one and on a slower track). Last month Poland vetoed the EU’s most recent attempt to approve the new global minimum tax on this basis. These ongoing deadlocks have thrown the IF deal’s overall fate into question.

What next for LMICs on global tax governance?

As the IF deal runs up against potentially fatal political challenges to implementation, LMICs would do well to keep their distance and refrain from taking steps to implement it themselves in the near term. This is especially true when it comes to eliminating existing or planned digital services taxes, as the U.S. and Europe have been pressuring them to do, including through the threat of potential sanctions.

In a best-case scenario, the IF deal will help to create a more permissive environment and momentum for LMICs to introduce their own more aggressive anti-avoidance measures, including revising their tax regimes to remove incentives and introducing minimum taxes with less threat of legal action from MNEs or their home countries. Likewise, frustrations with the IF deal’s substance and process seem to have galvanized momentum behind broader global tax reform, including a potential U.N. Convention and more equitable approaches to involving LMICs as equal stakeholders in tax governance debates. There may also be room within the G-20 to reframe the IF deal as an initial “draft” and commit to working with IF partners to revamp key sections and address LMIC concerns over the next few years.

Remarkably, recent discussions at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings about additional aid, loans, debt relief, and innovative financing to address economic crisis in LMICs took place with barely a reference to the importance of domestic resource mobilization, and specifically, global tax governance reform. It’s as if G-20 donors, international financial institutions, and the private sector have all implicitly agreed that the IF deal and the (seriously underfunded) Addis Tax Initiative have checked that box and there is nothing more that needs to be done here for LMICs. This could not be further from the truth.

Going forward, continued political debates about the merits and evolution of the IF deal cannot continue to take place in a vacuum—they must be deeply integrated into broader multilateral conversations about economic recovery, poverty reduction, and fiscal support measures for the Global South.

Kategorien: english

A bad deal for development: Assessing the impacts of the new inclusive framework tax deal on low- and middle-income countries

Brookings - 16. Mai 2022 - 22:29

By Julie McCarthy


In October 2021, G-20 leaders finalized a new global tax deal aimed at curbing tax avoidance by large multinational enterprises (MNEs). The deal, brokered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and endorsed by 137 countries and jurisdictions (collectively this group is referred to as the Inclusive Framework or IF), represents the most significant global tax reform in decades.1 Among other features, the “IF deal” introduces new taxing rights irrespective of an MNE’s physical location, and a new global minimum corporate income tax of 15 percent on the largest MNEs.

The IF deal’s primary goal is to prevent MNEs from taking advantage of gaps in international tax regimes that have enabled them to shift profits away from jurisdictions where they actually generate economic value to low or no tax jurisdictions. Multinational tax avoidance costs countries an estimated $500 billion per year, with the greatest relative intensity of losses occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).2 Recent research suggests that approximately 40 percent of multinational profits are shifted to tax havens each year, which results in a net loss of around 10 percent of global corporate income tax revenue worldwide.3 MNE tax avoidance may cost as much as 5-8 percent of GDP annually for LMICs like Guyana, Chad, Guinea, Zambia, and Pakistan, compared to 0.61-1.06 percent of GDP in annual losses for higher income countries like Germany and France.4

Negotiations over the IF deal took place in the context of a pandemic-driven global recession, which has dramatically reduced economic growth, increased poverty, strained public resources and reduced the tax base, particularly in LMICs. For LMICs, the burden of pursuing COVID-19 economic recovery comes in addition to navigating the fiscal challenges of climate crisis, a spiraling debt burden, faltering foreign aid, and more recently, inflation. In this context, the IF deal represented a critical opportunity to help LMICs generate significant new resources to confront urgent development challenges by addressing the serious revenue drain of MNE tax avoidance.5

Unfortunately, that is not how the negotiations unfolded. While G-7 countries have celebrated the IF deal as a breakthrough in “ending the race to the bottom in corporate taxation” worldwide, LMICs have expressed frustration and concern about various inequities embedded in this deal, with Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka refusing to sign on. Despite LMICs suffering disproportionately from multinational corporate tax avoidance, the net result of this largely G-7 driven tax reform appears to be that it will overwhelmingly benefit only this handful of wealthy countries. Indeed, by approaching the IF deal as primarily a domestic policy opportunity, the G-7 missed one of its most powerful near-term foreign policy tools to support the economic recovery and development in the Global South in the coming years.6

The failure of the IF deal to benefit domestic resource mobilization in LMICs is particularly egregious not only given the dire economic situation in these countries, but also in light of high income country promises at the Addis Ababa Action Summit in 2015 to “combat tax evasion as well as tax avoidance” as a means to help LMICs finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).7 That 2015 summit gave rise to the Addis Tax Initiative, a multistakeholder effort to help LMICs get the financing, technical assistance, and global cooperation they need to strengthen domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and fund social and economic development. The result of that effort to date has been the failure of high-income countries to live up to their collective promises to double DRM funding, while at the same time refusing to use the IF deal to close global loopholes in ways that meaningfully benefit DRM in the Global South.

This paper looks at the substance of the recent IF tax deal in terms of its likely impacts on LMICs and finds that the deal is nothing to celebrate outside a handful of wealthy countries. It explores what LMICs had initially hoped to gain from the tax deal and where their asks and expectations ultimately failed to find resonance in the final IF deal. It places the tax deal in the broader context of financing for development trends in LMICs before and during COVID-19, with particular attention to specific commitments made by high-income countries to scale up support for DRM in recent years. Finally, it considers what opportunities exist for LMICs to address their unresolved global tax governance concerns going forward, both within and outside of the IF deal.

Download the full working paper»

Kategorien: english

Return of commercial flights from Yemeni capital after 6 years, an ‘important’ step

UN ECOSOC - 16. Mai 2022 - 18:11
The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, on Monday welcomed the resumption of commercial flights from the capital city’s main airport after six years, as a potential game changer for citizens needing lifesaving medical treatment.
Kategorien: english

‘We cannot rest’ until child labour is eliminated, ILO chief tells UN conference

UN #SDG News - 16. Mai 2022 - 17:21
Countries taking part in the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour this week in South Africa, are being urged to do more to end child labour by 2025.
Kategorien: english

Better Know Enset, The Banana-Like “Wonder Crop” That Can Fight Food Insecurity

UN Dispatch - 16. Mai 2022 - 16:41

Enset is a relative of the banana. It has been cultivated in a parts of Ethiopia for generations because it has several unique characteristics that make it a resilient and reliable staple crop.  Despite Enset’s incredible potential to support food security it is rarely — if ever —  cultivated beyond the Ethiopian Highlands. culture.

My guest, Dr. James Borrell is a research fellow at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, in the United Kingdom. He is the co-author of a recent study demonstrating that Enset could be productively grown in other regions of Africa, potentially providing a staple crop for over 100 million people.

We kick off the conversation with an extended introduction to this “wonder crop” before discussing its potential to fight hunger and food insecurity in regions beyond the Ethiopian Highlands.

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The post Better Know Enset, The Banana-Like “Wonder Crop” That Can Fight Food Insecurity appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Closing the municipal finance gap for migrants and refugees

OECD - 16. Mai 2022 - 15:58

The lack of municipal financing for migrants and refugees not only strains cities’ capacity to provide for growing populations of marginalised residents, but also blocks a critical opportunity for international and national actors to leverage city governments as actors worthy of investment.

The post Closing the municipal finance gap for migrants and refugees appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

Assistive technology: a ‘life changer’ for those most in need

UN #SDG News - 16. Mai 2022 - 15:31
Almost one billion people with disabilities and older persons are being denied access to assistive technology, according to a UN report published on Monday, calling on governments and industry to fund and prioritize access.
Kategorien: english

Building peace, one project at a time in Colombia

UN ECOSOC - 15. Mai 2022 - 6:31
A group of former combatants with the FARC rebel group in Colombia have been reflecting on five years of peace and community building in a locality called Tierra Grata, which translates as “pleasant land”
Kategorien: english


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