May 22, 2007
UN Special Representative explores human rights obligations of financial institutions
There is growing consensus that human rights rank high among the pressing challenges that face both the private sector and its financiers. On February 16, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations, John Ruggie, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights convened a consultation on human rights and the financial sector in Geneva. The meeting included representatives from a number of export credit agencies (ECAs), the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, several Equator Principle banks, academia and civil society.
OECD knocks Britain over corruption
This month over 140 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warned the UK government of the “irreparable harm” the move may cause to the country’s reputation as an anti-corruption champion. British NGOs Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) and Corner House have signaled their intention to initiate a judicial review of the SFO decision to drop the inquiry.
January 31, 2007
Norway “seeks the truth” on Bank conditionality
The Norwegian government, whose aid money cannot be spent on programs that require trade liberalization and privatization, hosted an inter-governmental meeting in November to assess the extent to which the World Bank and IMF still require developing countries to pursue privatization and liberalization as a condition of support. An independent study commissioned for the meeting, determined that while the World Bank and IMF are still pushing privatization and trade liberalization in their development policy lending, it is less pervasive than in the past. It also concluded that governance conditions are increasingly taking the place of economic policy prescriptions, and that developing government “ownership” over Bank and Fund policies is still weak.
May 31, 2005