In November 2013, the G20 supported an action plan of the OECD against the ‘[tax] base erosion and profit shifting’ (BEPS), i.e. tax avoidance, by multinational companies. This plan is now being worked out by the members of the OECD and the G20 – a total of 44 states – till the end of 2015. In addition, the OECD has made efforts to encourage the participation of developing countries. However, this was limited to regional consultations, Markus Henn reports.
What is more, the action plan itself was, from the outset, rather focused on the problems of richer states. It does not seriously discuss how corporate profits – and thus taxes – can be distributed more equitably between the less and more developed countries where corporations operate. This is not surprising, since the previous OECD tax standards were tailored to their members, especially the model for tax treaties. For that reason, the United Nations has now developed its own standards for tax treaties and for taxing multinational corporations, taking into account the interests of the poorer states. However, the United Nations was sidelined again by the G20 and the OECD, and the UN does not play a big role in the BEPS process ...
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.