Ahead of the G20 summit of world leaders next week in Hamburg, Germany, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced that only one country deserves to be on its tax haven blacklist: Trinidad and Tobago. Tax reform advocates have condemned this as a farce
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley declared victory after member nations agreed to a $600 million cut from the annual peacekeeping budget. Neglected in her Twitter declaration is that the cuts had already been planned, prior to Trump’s election. The UN peacekeeping budget declined from $7.87 billion to $7.3 billion with the U.S. contributing a smaller percentage as compared to last year.
The World Bank has launched a global insurance fund aimed aimed at speeding up the international community’s response to pandemic disease outbreaks. The impetus for the innovative financial scheme was the 2013-2016 West Ebola outbreak that, due in part to the global community’s slow response, killed more than 11,000 people and ended up costing more than $10 billion to put down.
South Sudan’s government says it may withhold permission for aid workers to go to some rebel-held areas on security grounds, the president’s spokesman said on Thursday, after the U.N. complained aid convoys were being blocked.
Hong Kong will soon mark 20 years since Britain returned the former colony to China and Chinese state media is touting the milestone by promoting the city’s greater prosperity under its “one country, two systems” strategy. But few Hong Kongers are feeling very prosperous or celebratory given that recent data has revealed the wealth gap is now the widest it’s been since the city began tracking income equality 46 years ago.
Multinational corporations are lobbying the U.N. behind closed doors to keep tax avoidance off the list of targets in the Sustainable Development Goals, say advocates of global tax reform. Many experts cite tax avoidance by corporations and wealthy individuals as a major driver of inequality and poverty worldwide. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established by international consensus as a series of goals for reducing poverty and inequity, included reducing tax avoidance and evasion.
Republican attempts to indict Hillary Clinton did not end with the election and ongoing inquiries now put a Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner squarely in the crosshairs. Muhammad Yunus, and anti-poverty advocate of microfinance, is under political attack at home that is now fueled by the GOP.
Humanitarian needs are growing worldwide and international donors are not keeping up. So far, only one-quarter of the money requested for 2017 is available to respond to crises ranging from Syrian refugees to the more than 20 million people at risk of famine. More money is needed due to deteriorating conditions in conflict regions and the recent rapid growth of violence in the Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United Nations is urging countries around the Caribbean to view the recent surge in refugees, from near and far, as a long-term benefit and not just a short-term challenge. More than 5,000 people came to various Caribbean nations last year seeking asylum, representing a 257 percent increase in the number of asylum seekers between mid-2015 and mid-2016 for the region.
As the battle continues between Islamic State-affiliated militants and the Philippine military in the southern city of Marawi, humanitarian agencies are scrambling to care for the hundreds of thousands of evacuees who have fled the devastation. An estimated 300 to 500 civilians remain trapped in the city, held hostage as ‘human shields’ for the rebels.