* Minister Niebel's Leitmotiv: "German Interests". Provincialism instead of political farsightedness Barely in office, German development minister Dirk Niebel unambiguously mapped out the road: he wants to ensure that development cooperation once again focuses on German interests. This position provoked—probably intentionally—protest from the greater part of the German development community. For them the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is supposed to be the advocate of the developing countries within the chorus of ministries. A comment by Roger Peltzer
* The Baltic Future of Greece. Likely consequences of IMF and EU conditionalty Latvia and Estonia show us what Greece may look forward to if it follows the advice it gets from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union. As noted previously, Latvia has experienced the worst two-year economic downturn on record, losing more than 25% of GDP, a study (see reference) shows. A comment by Mark Weisbrot
* IEG Evaluated World Bank's Gender Support. Findings of the new Gender and Development report The evaluation of the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank’s support for gender issues between 2002 and 2008 is of significant relevance in the light of the Beijing+15 review, meaning 15 years after the landmark 4th World Women´s Conference 1995 in Beijing and its launching of gender mainstreaming as crucial strategy for all institutions and organizations. Comment by Christa Wichterich
* Pressure on Workers Grows as Crisis Hits Jobs. 101 trade unionists murdered in 2009 The International Trade Union Confederation’s Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights (see reference) has documented a dramatic increase in the number of trade unionists murdered in 2009, with 101 killings – an increase of 30% over the previous year. The new Survey also reveals growing pressure on fundamental workers’ rights around the world as the impact of the global economic crisis on employment deepened. A WDEV summary
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.