IN THIS EDITION:
-> 1. News
-> 2. Reports
-> 3. Statements
-> 4. Special coverages
-> New gender equity index 2008
The economic dimension is the next challenge towards global gender equity. More than half the women in the world live in countries that have made no progress towards gender equity in recent years. That is one of the findings of the Gender Equity Index (GEI) 2008 that Social Watch launched at the UN headquarters in New York as a contribution to the 52nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women that ended March 8, the International Women’s Day.
Source: Social Watch
-> Rafael Correa actively supports the ongoing work of Ecuador’s debt audit commission
On Wednesday 20th February Rafael Correa and the CAIC had a long meeting in the presidential palace in Quito. This meeting was extremely positive, even though the context was most unfavourable. Rafael Correa made it clear that he wished to take legal measures against those who were responsible for taking on the illegitimate debt, especially at the time of the Brady bonds in 1995. He also said once again that he was prepared to stop the repayment of certain World Bank loans. A decision could be taken when the CAIC reports on its work, after July 2008.
-> Brazil appoints Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., a critic of the Central Bank, to the IMF
The Brazilian government will substitute an orthodox economist who identifies with the "market" theory for one of the main voices of the opposite (unorthodox) tendency to represent Brazil and eight other Latin American countries at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The nominee is Paulo Nogueira Batista Junior, professor at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in Sao Paulo.
-> The IDB prepares its Annual Governors' Meeting in Miami
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is preparing its 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, from April 4 to 8, in Miami, USA. It is the Bank's foremost event, which congregates official delegations, businesspeople and civil society organizations. The latter will bring their queries about the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA) initiative, biofuels and the carbon trade markets, among others. In a context of growing changes in matters of financing, the IDB will do its best to change so that everything remains the same.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
-> Multilateral Banks: feeding the exportation of biofuels and the disputes over land use in Brazil
The study of the current portfolio of multilateral banks in the field of biofuels does not say much about their role as agents of expansion for the new green revolution that is rapidly transforming the land in tropical countries into large scale single-crop farming concerns for the exportation of bioenergy. In order to understand their policies in a comprehensive way it is necessary to look at the information provided in the investment of USD 3 billion announced in 2007 by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the stated objectives of assistance funds, and the political discourse of the representatives of these institutions.
-> REDD: Growing money on trees
The World Bank has an alarmingly poor track record in relation to forests. During the 1980s, it funded a series of disastrous commercial logging projects, mega-dams and road building programmes that opened the way to widespread deforestation. Despite of many criticisms the Bank continued to incentivise forest destruction through its structural adjustment programmes. The FCPF, which conceives of REDD pilots as a means to stimulate an international market in carbon credits from 'reduced deforestation', should be seen against this backdrop: not so much an approach to saving forests as a means to grow money on trees.
Source: Transnational Institute
* Conditionality in Latin America
In Latin America, since the end of the 1980s, the IMF and the World Bank imposed conditionality directly linked to the launching of structural adjustment programs, more commonly known as the Washington Consensus. After the failure of these policies, strong political trends arose in the region with alternative economic policies aimed at a new equation between state and market relations. This also involved going deeper into, and in some cases, constructing, democratic institutions and governance, as a means of granting long term viability to the countries' economies and societies. (pdf format)
Author: Humberto Campodonico
Source: Forum of the Future of Aid
* Ownership and foreign aid in Latin America
The subject of ownership has become one of the basic principles of International Cooperation policies. In Latin America, as in other regions, several pilot programs were fostered to implement the new paradigm. However, no systematic evaluation has been made of the experiences or of the obstacles encountered, and in practice very limited overall progress is recorded. This paper examines in detail and with concrete examples the situation with regards to ownership in four Latin American countries that have signed the Paris Declaration: Honduras, Nicargaua, Peru and Bolivia. (pdf format)
Author: Mariano Valderrama
Source: Forum on the Future of Aid
* Debt sustainability in emerging markets: A critical appraisal
This paper critically assesses the standard IMF analytical framework for debt sustainability in merging markets. It focuses on complementarities and trade-offs between fiscal and external sustainability, and interactions and feedbacks among policy and endogenous variables affecting debt ratios. It examines current fragilities in emerging markets and notes that domestic debt is of concern. Worsening global financial conditions may create difficulties for budgetary transfers, posing greater challenges to government debt management since restructuring often is more difficult for domestic than external debt. (pdf format)
Source: Third World Network
* Open letter to International Finance Corporation regarding financing for Camisea II
*** All Statements
4. SPECIAL COVERAGES
-> IDB Annual Governors' Meeting - Miami, April 2008
The 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB will take place in Miami, USA, April 4-8. As in previous years, civil society representatives will actively participate in seminars and meetings with IDB staff members.
-> IMF/WB Spring Meetings - Washington D.C., April 2008
The 2008 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will be held over the weekend of April 12-13 at the World Bank and IMF Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As in previous years, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are planning to organize different activities alongside the Spring Meetings.
Check the IFIwatchnet coverage during the spring meetings season and keep yourself informed with day to day updates and analysis!
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