New bill on CSR puts government house in order
This month Liberal MP John McKay introduced a private members’ bill (see Just the Facts) that imposes tighter controls on the provision of government support to Canadian extractive companies. Numerous studies have highlighted the significant environmental and human rights impacts of oil, gas and mining operations overseas. In 2005, a report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) drew attention to the fact that some Canadian extractive companies, which are responsible for adverse impacts, receive financial and political support from the Canadian government.
Transparency and disclosure
New bill on CSR puts government house in order
December 22, 2008
The Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5
Dear Minister Flaherty:
Re: 2008 consultation with respect to the “Official Development Assistance Accountability Act”
Financial crisis a boon for ECAs
While hefty public bailouts of the financial and auto industries have stimulated debate on the role of governments in commercial markets, one form of government subsidy has flown beneath the proverbial radar: export credit. Confronted by an increasingly dire financial crisis, Western governments are using their export credit agencies (ECAs) to boost liquidity and rescue faltering industries. At an extraordinary World Trade Organization meeting last month, participating governments reported a 30% increase in ECA business over the previous 12 months. The WTO called for even greater reliance on public credit to lessen the burden on commercial banks. Shortly afterwards, the OECD announced an agreement with non-members, including Russia and Brazil, to provide markets with publicly-sourced export credit.
G-20 Summit – financial response to a development crisis
With the global economy continuing its downward spiral, ambitions for the first Group of 20 (G-20) “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy” in Washington were sky high. In contrast, expectations in terms of concrete outcomes, with diverging opinions on key issues going into the meeting and a pretender at the throne in DC, couldn’t have been lower.
New undemocratic “Washington Consensus” won’t fix global crisis, state over 630 groups from 104 countries
International, October 29th, 2008 – The day before the United Nations (UN) meets to discuss its new high-level taskforce on the global financial crisis, chaired by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and two weeks before the US hosts members of the Group of 20 to address the same issue, a coalition of 630 organizations from 104 countries have issued a statement demanding a truly global response to the global crisis and laying out a set of principles for doing so.
The World Bank
Washington, D.C. 20433
Edith Grace Ssempala
Acting Senior Vice President External Affairs
October 26, 2008
Thank you for your letter regarding voice and participation of developing and transition countries in the governance of the World Bank Group. Mr. Zoellick asked me to respond, and I am therefore requesting that the Bretton Woods Project transmit this to all those who signed the letter.
The World Bank and Climate Change
The World Bank is one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world. Created in 1944, the Bank has now become the world’s largest public “development” agency, influencing the policies of the majority of the world’s developing and emerging economies. In recent years, noting the significant impact that climate change is already having on developing countries and the gap in financing mechanisms available for addressing these impacts, the World Bank has increasingly staked a claim for itself as a key player on the issue – with widespread criticism from developing country governments and civil society around the world.
August 21, 2008
Ms. Nicole Bollen
Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits
2, rue André Pascal
F-75775 Paris Cedex 16
Fax : c/o 01 44 30 61 58
Email : c/o Xcred.Secretariat@oecd.org
Dear Ms. Bollen,
Thank you for your letter of July 29, inviting ECA-Watch members to participate in an ECG consultation on November 18.
Business and human rights - protect, respect and remedy
Last month, members of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the policy framework identified in April by John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on human rights and transnational corporations. The Council also extended Mr. Ruggie’s mandate for three years.