After decades of isolation – imposed by major OECD countries out of concern for the country’s human rights violations – Myanmar is emerging as a new darling of the “West” – judging by the accelerating succession of visits by senior officials and gurus – among them the US Secretary of State, the UK Foreign Secretary, and high-level government officials from France, Norway and other countries. The UN Secretary General may pay a visit. The World Bank is being urged to resume work there – which had not been possible due to the international sanctions policy. And new groups of investors are waiting to enter the country as soon as possible. By Gabriele Köhler
This sudden enthusiasm, after years of ostracising the country and depriving it of any bi- or multilateral development cooperation save of a humanitarian nature, is a response to – much welcome – changes introduced by a government that came into power in 2011 in an orchestrated election process. Recent reforms include the release of some political prisoners, the re-constitution of the Myanmar human rights commission, the weakening of censure and an opening of internet access, the adoption of a law allowing trade unions and the right to strike, the suspension of an environmentally damaging hydropower project with China, and other steps ...
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.