EU Heads of State got us a step closer to Robin Hood taxes and to fairer finance last week.
At their Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday, European Leaders agreed that “Member States should introduce systems of levies and taxes on financial institutions to ensure fair burden-sharing and to set incentives to contain systemic risk”.
This goes further than the idea of a simple bank levy that seemed to be gathering momentum. Such a levy would not have raised much cash and was not enough to tackle underlying problems in financial markets – just to create a fund to bail us out next time they would inevitably go wrong. Continue reading
This month, CAFOD was invited to speak at the UN High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) special high level meeting with the World Bank, IMF (International Monetary Fund), WTO (World Trade Organisation) and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
It was encouraging that recurring themes in the discussions between member countries showed signs of life of attempts to learn bigger lessons from the economic crisis than have been present, for example, in G20 declarations.
The trick now will be to put political momentum behind a progressive UN voice to give all countries a say in how we rebuild the global economy.
Pledge your support for the Robin Hood Tax
As the dust settles after the launch of the Robin Hood Tax campaign in the first week of February, it is not surprising that our critics are beginning to bite back. Especially as some sectors see a potential sting for profits.
Whilst fuller responses are being posted on the Robin Hood campaign website, it’s worth looking at some of the misperceptions behind some of the criticisms. Continue reading
Despite a recognition that poor countries will be hardest hit by the crisis even though they did not cause it, the development perspective has been largely absent from G20 debate, and therefore the political response to the financial crisis so far.
CAFOD partner NGO Forum on Cambodia met with European Policy makers at the European Development Days, in October, funded by DFID and BOND, as part of an effort to address this gap. They urged that “no country should be left behind” in the global recovery.
Developing countries have not been completely ignored. Unprecedented commitments by the G20 to examine innovative financing, efforts to put their own houses in order and support for protecting the poorest will help developing countries overcome the impacts of the global downturn, but they are only part of the picture. Continue reading
Filed under CAFOD, Cambodia
Last week, the world’s trade ministers pledged to complete the Doha Round of trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The Ministerial Conference in Geneva was intended as a retreat of sorts for the world’s trade ministers, to allow them to reflect on the workings of the WTO and to send a signal about its relevance to the economic crisis and to climate change.
Rather than take the opportunity for a proper rethink, the chance to push for a final reboot of negotiations has proven irresistible, especially to Director General Pascal Lamy who has called for a rush to finalise a deal in 2010.
Trade ministers are not doing the WTO any favours by pretending that its rules have borne up well to the challenge of current crises or by insisting that the Doha round will improve matters.