Internationally coordinated tax regimes
Interview with Antonio Tujan Jr.
[Introducction]: Ahead of the UNâ€™s Financing for Development Review Conference in Doha, Antonio Tujan Jr. of the IBON Foundation, a non-governmental organisation based in Manila, assessed donorsâ€™ track record in an interview with Hans Dembowski. He demands more policy space for the governments of developing countries, and urges donors to expand debt relief.
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Â¿Hacia dÃ³nde van las relaciones entre AmÃ©rica Latina y la UniÃ³n Europea? CohesiÃ³n social y Acuerdos de AsociaciÃ
En el presente documento la AsociaciÃ³n Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de PromociÃ³n al Desarrollo (ALOP) se propone dar a conocer una serie de planteos institucionales sobre dos aspectos centrales de las relaciones birregionales entre AmÃ©rica Latina y la UniÃ³n Europea: la cohesiÃ³n social y los Acuerdos de AsociaciÃ³n (AdA) -vigentes y/o en negociaciÃ³n- entre distintos paÃses y bloques regionales de AmÃ©rica Latina. Estos temas constituyen una parte muy importante, aunque no completa, de la agenda actual de las relaciones entre ambas regiones
Se incluyen en la presente publicaciÃ³n, seis textos que constituyen sÃ³lo una parte de todos los anÃ¡lisis, reflexiones, propuestas, etc. que ALOP ha desarrollado en los Ãºltimos aÃ±os sobre los temas de la cohesiÃ³n social y de los AdA. Se trata tanto de iniciativas propias de la AsociaciÃ³n, como de acciones desarrolladas a travÃ©s de varias alianzas estratÃ©gicas con otras organizaciones amigas, a nivel latinoamericano como ante autoridades europeas (Parlamento, Consejo y ComisiÃ³n Europeos).
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The myth of NGO superiority
By Peter Nunnenkamp
In this article, the author replies to Kishore Mahbubaniâ€™s article -The myth of western aid- by stressing that it is easy to lament the stinginess and selfishness of official donors. At the same time, he points out that there is also a myth around the performance of Non Guvernamental Organisations (NGOs).
â€™While donors provide critics with the data needed to expose the flaws of official development assistance (ODA), it is different with NGOs. Their aid is certainly relevant, but its allocation has hardly been mapped, let alone explained. The main reason is that sufficiently detailed data are hard to come by. After all, NGOs probably do not want critical analysis to tarnish their image of being superior donors.
Recent research suggests that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) do not provide better targeted or more efficient aid than state-run development agencies. They do not seem to even try to outperform the latter by focussing on the neediest or by working in particularly difficult environments.â€™
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The myth of western aid
By Kishore Mahbubani
Executive Summary: The story of Western aid to the Third World needs to be demystified. Western populations almost universally believe that the story of Western aid is of massive transfers of aid to poor Third World countries for purely altruistic reasons. They know that much of this aid has not resulted in successful development. But many believe that this is not the fault of the West. It is true that there is a huge scandal of corruption on Western aid that is waiting to be exposed. However, if and when this story is fully exposed, it is the West that will be deeply embarrassed. The full story will show that the wide-held belief of altruistic Western aid is nothing but a myth.
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Brasil versus Banco del Sur
Autor: Oscar Ugarteche
El presente artÃculo identifica la creciente perdida de legitimidad de las Instituciones Financieras Internacionales y la debilidad del dÃ³lar estadounidense como una oportunidad para ampliar el concepto del Banco del Sur a uno de arquitectura financiera regional incluyendo un banco de desarrollo, un fondo de estabilizaciÃ³n y una unidad monetaria sudamericana. El Banco del Sur se ocuparÃa de financiar una matriz de desarrollo suramericano y de recircular los excedentes en divisas que hay en SuramÃ©rica en los bancos centrales y que ahora financian a los Estados Unidos.
Dentro de este debate, el gobierno brasileÃ±o presenta resistencias vinculadas a una virtual competencia del Banco del Sur con su Banco de Desarrollo (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento EconÃ´mico e Social -BNDES), y a su interÃ©s en que el Banco del Sur financie la IIRSA, una red de carreteras inter-amazÃ³nicas. Sin embargo, para el autor IIRSA es una discusiÃ³n al margen de la urgencia de una arquitectura financiera regional: Primero diseÃ±emos y hagamos posible la arquitectura luego discutamos la IIRSA. Por otro lado, mientras que el BNDES se avoca a la promociÃ³n del interÃ©s nacional brasileÃ±o, el Banco del Sur se dedicarÃa a financiar una matriz de desarrollo suramericano.
A estas alturas, oponerse a la arquitectura financiera sudamericana es hacerle un servicio al status quo, al Tesoro estadounidense y a las instituciones financieras de Washington, debilitadas y desprestigiadas.
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China-Africa Economic Relations: The Case of Zambia
By Inyambo Mwanawina, AERC, February 2008
This study provides information on the size, structure and significance of China-Zambia relations. It examines the nature and scope of Chinese investment in Zambia, looking at the pattern and magnitude of trade between them as well as the characteristics of Chinese development assistance to Zambia.
Chinaâ€™s engagement with Zambia is based on the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which has created new opportunities and challenges in Zambiaâ€™s development effort. The opportunity provided by China to tap on its experience in acquiring technology and financial resources needed to scale up the country development effort and move rapidly towards increased wealth creation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The challenge lies in turning and regulating Chinese interests in the country to the mutually benefit of both China and Zambia without endangering the countryâ€™s social-cultural heritage and environment.
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New Developments in South-South Cooperation: China ODA, Alternative Regionalisms, Banco del Sur
By Isabel Ortiz
South-South cooperation is becoming increasingly important given criticisms on the current process of globalization. Since the 19th century, non-hegemonic countries and regions forged alliances as a strategy to reduce dependency and dominance from Northern powers. At the beginning of the 21st century, Southern countries remain associating to promote South-South cooperation. This article focuses on new developments in South-South Bilateral ODA and Investments (Emergence of China), the alternative regionalism in the South (Emergence of MERCOSUR and ALBA) and South-South multilateral Banks (Arab Development Banks, CAF and the potential of Banco del Sur)
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China in Africa: lending, policy space and governance
Author: Martine Dahle Huse and Stephen L. Muyakwa
This report aims to raise awareness on the issue of debt and new lenders in Africa, focusing particularly on China. It briefly introduce the role of China in Africa, highlighting some of the differences between China and the traditional lenders. The report looks at Chinaâ€™s lending modalities to African countries, its impact on governance and the issue of debt sustainability, presenting a case study on the relationship of Zambia and China.
The research found that Chinaâ€™s aid modalities are characterised by lack of conditionality but also lack of transparency and accountability. It also alerts about the potential negaÂ¬tive impact on debt sustainability and the possible contribution to debt crisis in countries where governance is week.
The report stress the urgent need to establish internationally recognised legal standards for responsible lending. Additionally, it set down recommendations with a particular focus on the Zambia case.
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Delivering better aid: An opportunity for European Union leadership in the fight against global poverty
CONCORD AID WATCH
2008 is a crucial year in the fight against global poverty. Governments from across the world will meet at a â€˜High Level Forumâ€™ in Accra, Ghana in September to assess whether international aid is playing an effective role in delivering human rights for all. Soon afterwards they will assemble again at a UN summit in Doha, to examine the broader â€˜Financing for Developmentâ€™ agenda, of which aid is a part, but which also includes other critical issues for international development, such as international finance, trade and debt.
The European Union provides the majority of the worldâ€™s aid, giving it a crucial leadership role in the fight against global poverty. It also has a solemn responsibility to do all it can to make sure the aid it provides is as effective as possible at reducing poverty and ensuring rights for all.
European civil society organisations are therefore calling on the EU to grasp the opportunity for leadership that 2008 provides, and agree to a set of concrete EU targets to improve aid from member states and European institutions. If necessary, these should go beyond at the commitments made at international fora such as Accra. This would follow existing precedents, and allow EU aid to become a global benchmark for quality.
We make the following specific recommendations, for EU governments and institutions, which are set out in detail later in this paper:
1. The EU should respect real democratic ownership of the development process, and allow partner countries to be in the driving seat by:
ïƒ˜ Untying all EU aid to all countries;
ïƒ˜ Phasing out economic policy conditionality.
2. The EU should radically improve its accountability, particularly to developing countries and their citizens by:
ïƒ˜ making monitoring and evaluation of aid truly independent;
ïƒ˜ establishing a complaints mechanism open to aid recipients;
ïƒ˜ supporting in-country mechanisms for holding donors to account.
3. The EU should commit to good practice standards of openness and transparency of their aid budgets and activities.
4. The EU should agree new, more ambitious targets to make multi-year, predictable and guaranteed aid commitments based on clear and transparent criteria.
5. The EU should reform its technical assistance â€“ money spent on consultants, research and training - to respond to national priorities and build genuine capacity in partner countries.
Aid reform is, of course, only one of the steps that the European Union must take. Making its trade, security, migration, agriculture and other policies coherently work to benefit developing countries and promoting a fair international financial and trade system in favour of development remain huge challenges, which CONCORD members continue to focus on, but which are not the subject of this paper.
However, by taking the above steps, the EU would demonstrate that it is truly committed to making its aid an effective tool in the fight against global poverty and inequality.
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Oslo Conditionality Conference
The Norwegian government, whose aid money cannot be spent on programs that require trade liberalization and privatization, hosted an inter-governmental meeting in November to assess the extent to which the World Bank and IMF still require developing countries to pursue privatization and liberalization as a condition of support. An independent study commissioned for the meeting, determined that while the World Bank and IMF are still pushing privatization and trade liberalization in their development policy lending, it is less pervasive than in the past. It also concluded that governance conditions are increasingly taking the place of economic policy prescriptions, and that developing government â€œownershipâ€ over Bank and Fund policies is still weak.
Held in Oslo, the meeting brought together Finance and Development Ministries from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as academics and civil society groups. Canada which had agreed to participate, withdrew from the conference some days before, as did the IMF.
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