Its focus should be crisis prevention, not lending
Again, the only big winner of the recent G20 Seoul Summit seems to be the International Monetary Fund. The G20 approved the changes in the IMF’s governance, expanded several IMF lending programs and empowered the Fund to help address global imbalances. Yet in a new South Centre report (see reference) Yilmaz Akyüz shows that the Fund is a failed institution that – without fundamental reform – is not well suited to be at the centre of international crisis management.
In its website under the rubric “About the IMF”, the Fund defines its main purpose as the provision of “the global public good of financial stability”. As spelled out in its Articles of Agreement, this calls for a stable system of exchange rates, sustainable current account balances and orderly currency and balance-of-payments adjustments. The Fund undertakes economic and financial surveillance at the national and global levels and provides policy advice to its members in order to prevent instability and crises and lends to those facing external payment difficulties in order to facilitate adjustment ...
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.