Latest Developments, June 1

In the latest news and analysis…

The in-crowd
Stockholm University’s Ian Richardson suggests that this weekend’s Bilderberg conference – an annual meeting of the “transnational power elite” – is not an inherently bad thing in a world divided into competing nation states:

“In the absence of a global regulatory framework, organizations like Bilderberg have helped to blur the edges of an otherwise brittle system of international relations that has consistently failed to transcend its protectionist tendencies. Without them, it’s entirely conceivable that we’d have descended into many more international stand-offs and conflicts than we have.

Transnational elite policy networks such as Bilderberg are an integral, and to some extent critical, part of the existing system of global governance. The practical problem is not so much that they exist, although we could talk about this ad infinitum, it is instead related to what they are doing and why they are doing it. It is here that our elites have been found most wanting. Their self-serving acceptance and peddling of dominant market logics, their fundamental lack of criticality and a lack of meaningful progress in the area of global social and political development is threatening the very peace and prosperity we look to them to provide.”

Chevron suit
Reuters reports that Ecuadorean plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit in Canada in the hopes of enforcing an $18 billion ruling against oil giant Chevron for pollution in the Amazon:

“Since U.S.-based Chevron no longer has assets in Ecuador, the plaintiffs are trying to get the ruling enforced outside the OPEC-member country.
The new lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, targets Chevron and various subsidiaries that together hold significant assets in Canada, the plaintiffs’ legal team said in a statement.
‘While Chevron might think it can ignore court orders in Ecuador, it will be impossible to ignore a court order in Canada where a court may seize the company’s assets if necessary to secure payment,’ said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.”

One billion dollar misunderstanding
Global Witness says European oil giants Shell and ENI have provided explanations that are “no longer sufficient” regarding a controversial oil deal in Nigeria:

“In a press release dated 20th May, Global Witness exposed how Nigerian subsidiaries of Shell and ENI had agreed to pay the Nigerian Government US$1,092,040,000 to acquire offshore oil block OPL 245. It was also revealed that the Nigerian government agreed, in the same month, to pay precisely the same amount to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company widely reported as controlled by Abacha-era oil minister, Dan Etete, who was convicted in France in 2007 of money-laundering. The revelations came to light as a result of the publication of New York court documents.
Both Shell and ENI deny paying any money to Malabu Oil and Gas in respect of the licence and suggest that their agreements were only with the Nigerian Government.  However, a recent statement from Nigeria’s Attorney General appears to contradict this.”

Legal bill
The Center for Global Development’s Justin Sandefur and Yale law student Alaina Varvaloucas ask if the $250 million price tag for the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor is justifiable, given that the annual budget for the entire justice sector of Sierra Leone – the country where the crimes he was convicted of aiding and abetting actually took place – is $13 million:

“Certainly nobody, least of all Sierra Leoneans who lived through a brutal civil war, wants Taylor roaming free.
And beyond keeping Taylor off the streets or deterring future war criminals, one of the main goals of international criminal tribunals is to serve as an example to the world of how much process is due a defendant, regardless of the crimes he is accused of committing. But the realistic counterfactual to the hundreds of millions spent on Taylor’s trial was not an unjust trial. It was a swifter trial, likely arriving to the same conclusion, but with a less expensive venue and not-so-high-priced defense attorneys—not to mention fewer conjugal visits for Taylor, no fancy Dutch food or internet access, and no rabbinical visits to indulge his new interest in Judaism.”

Haitian gold rush
The Guardian reports on Haiti’s apparently imminent mining boom and the concerns over who will benefit once exploration turns to production:

“ ‘It’s usually a couple of big white guys, with a couple of Haitians,’ explains Arnolt Jean, 49, who lives in one of the few concrete homes in the hillside community [of Lakwèv]. ‘They don’t even ask you who owns what land. They come, they take big chunks of earth, put them in their knapsacks and leave. We Haitians all just watch, because we can’t do anything about it.’

More than a third of Haiti’s north – at least 1,500 sq km – is under licence to US and Canadian companies. Eurasian Minerals has acquired 53 licences and collected more than 44,000 samples. The junior explorer firm recently teamed up with the world’s No 2 gold producer, US-based Newmont Mining.”

The 1 Percent’s problem
Columbia University’s Joseph Stiglitz argues that America’s wealthiest people should be concerned about income inequality, if only for selfish reasons:

“The rich do not exist in a vacuum. They need a functioning society around them to sustain their position. Widely unequal societies do not function efficiently and their economies are neither stable nor sustainable. The evidence from history and from around the modern world is unequivocal: there comes a point when inequality spirals into economic dysfunction for the whole society, and when it does, even the rich pay a steep price.”

World No Tobacco Day
Al Jazeera reports on the range of tactics – “including ramping up litigation, co-opting officials, and funding front groups” – allegedly used by tobacco companies to get around anti-smoking legislation and keep their sales up:

“ While smoking in the developed world has been steadily dropping, it is burgeoning in the developing one. The tobacco corporations have been accused of targeting poorer regions such as Africa. It is predicted that more than 80 per cent of tobacco-related deaths will occur in low and middle-income countries by 2030. ”

Austerity fever
Princeton University’s Paul Krugman argues that “ulterior motives” lie behind the current taste for austerity measures among politicians on both sides of the (North) Atlantic:

“In fairness to Britain’s conservatives, they aren’t quite as crude as their American counterparts. They don’t rail against the evils of deficits in one breath, then demand huge tax cuts for the wealthy in the next (although the Cameron government has, in fact, significantly cut the top tax rate).”

Latest Developments, May 25

In the latest news and analysis…

Global leadership failure
Amnesty International has released its 50th annual global human rights report, in which it describes the UN Security Council as “tired, out of step and increasingly unfit for purpose.”
“ ‘Failed leadership has gone global in the last year, with politicians responding to protests with brutality or indifference. Governments must show legitimate leadership and reject injustice by protecting the powerless and restraining the powerful. It is time to put people before corporations and rights before profits,’ said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General.

‘The language of human rights is adopted when it serves political or corporate agendas, and shelved
 when inconvenient or standing in the way of profit.’

The UN meeting to agree an Arms Trade Treaty in July will be an acid test for politicians to place rights over self-interest and profit. Without a strong treaty, the UN Security Council’s guardianship of global peace and security seems doomed to failure; its permanent members wielding an absolute veto on any resolution despite being the world’s largest arms suppliers. ”

Indifference in the time of cholera
The Center for Economic and Policy Research reports that the rainy season is causing an intensification of Haiti’s cholera crisis, whose origins lie in UN peacekeepers’ sewage discharge into a source of drinking water.
“The cholera death toll is up to 7,155, with 543,042 infections over 586 days (and no UN apology so far), according to a new ‘cholera counter’ created by advocacy group Just Foreign Policy.

But so far, even this new danger [of an evolving second strain] doesn’t seem to be enough to make fighting cholera in Haiti a cause célèbre. Maybe a viral ‘Kolera 2012’ campaign would do the trick?”

FCPA questions
The Huffington Post reports that two American congressmen are looking into the motives behind the US Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to water down a 35-year-old piece of anti-corruption legislation.
“In a letter to the Chamber released Tuesday, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — the ranking Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, respectively — describe how committee staff looked through the institute’s tax filings and found that 14 of the group’s 55 board members between 2007 and 2010 ‘were affiliated with companies that were reportedly under investigation for violations or had settled allegations that they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.’

In their letter, the congressmen request information from the Institute for Legal Reform, including any documentation of board discussions about FCPA and ‘documents relating to companies that have provided funds to the Chamber or the ILR for work related specifically to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.’ ”

Bribery rising
The Wall Street Journal reports on a new survey that suggests business executives worldwide are increasingly willing to engage in unethical practices.
“Of the more than 1,700 executives polled by Ernst & Young for its annual fraud survey, 15% said they were prepared to make cash payments to win business, up from 9% in the previous survey.

The study found that 47% of the 400 chief financial officers surveyed felt they could justify potentially unethical practices to help business survive during an economic downturn. Those practices included giving cash payments, using entertainment and giving personal gifts to win business. And, 16% of CFO respondents said they did not know that their company can be held liable for the actions of third-party agents.”

Ending slave labour
The Associated Press reports that Brazilian lawmakers have approved a constitutional amendment that will mean those “who force people into slave-like working conditions” will face harsher punishments.
“The amendment allows the government to confiscate without compensation all the property of anyone found to be using slave labor, which is most common on remote farms but also occurs in urban sweatshops in places like Sao Paulo, South America’s largest city.”

Land fever
Reuters AlertNet reports on the growing enthusiasm among foreign-owned companies for setting up industrial palm plantations on Cameroonian land.
“Six foreign-owned companies are currently trying to secure over 1 million hectares (about 2.5 million acres) of land for the production of palm oil in the country’s forested southern zone, according to a coalition of environmental organisations.

In a recent letter addressed to Cameroon’s Prime Minister Philemon Yang, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Cameroon called on the government to reject the projects, which they argue will destroy a critical forested zone linking five national parks and protected areas.
‘In addition to the direct destruction of flora and fauna, these projects will bring hunger and frustration to the local population,’ the coalition argued.”

Stock exchange accountability
British MP Lisa Nandy has explained in parliament a proposed legal amendment that would require UK companies to report on the human rights and sustainable development impacts of their business.
“As some Members may be aware, the [London Stock Exchange] is currently host to a number of companies that have been found guilty of gross violations of human rights, particularly in countries that are in conflict or deemed high risk, yet very few companies have been held properly to account for such actions.

Our amendment would clarify rather than rethink the purpose of the stock exchange, allowing the [Financial Conduct Authority] to take into account an applicant’s respect for human rights and sustainable development, in protecting the integrity and respectability of the exchange. That has been done elsewhere, such as in Hong Kong, and Istanbul, Brazil, Indonesia, Shanghai, Egypt, Korea and South Africa have all taken steps in that direction.”

Defining green
The World Development Movement asks a fundamental question in the lead-up to the Rio+20 Summit: what exactly does the oft-used term “green economy” actually mean?
“However, industrialised countries like the UK, alongside banks and multinational companies, are using the phrase ‘green economy’ as a smokescreen to hide their plan to further privatise the global commons and create new markets in the functions nature provides for free.
Out of this Trojan horse will spring new market-based mechanisms that will allow the financial sector to gain more control of the management of the global commons.
Instead of contributing to sustainable development and economic justice, this corporate green economy would lead to the privatisation of land and nature by multinational companies, taking control of these resources further away from the communities which depend on them.”

Latest Developments, May 1

In the latest news and analysis…

Drone admission
The Washington Post reports the Obama administration has, for the first time, “formally acknowledged” its use of drones to conduct targeted killings abroad.
“[White House counterterrorism adviser John] Brennan’s speech was also noteworthy, however, for what he withheld. He did not disclose how many people have been killed, list all the locations where armed drones are being flown or mention the administration’s increasing reliance on ‘signature’ strikes, which allow the CIA to fire missiles even when it doesn’t know the identities of those who could be killed.

Brennan cited respect for the ‘sovereignty’ of other countries, even though a CIA drone strike in Pakistan on Sunday came just weeks after that country’s Parliament voted unanimously to demand that such operations end.
In a question-and-answer session, Brennan declined to discuss the use of signature strikes, which are based on intelligence showing suspicious behavior rather than confirmation of the location of someone on the CIA or military target list.”

May Day test
Reuters says that protests planned for May 1 will provide a “crucial test” of ongoing support for the Occupy movement in the United States.
“Dozens of actions are planned across the country, though there is some skepticism over how many people will turn out and whether it will spell Occupy’s resurgence. The event was first billed as a ‘General Strike,’ but organized labor declined to sign on to that call.

‘If you look closely at movements, they don’t follow a sort of straight trajectory upwards. They stumble, fall, have reverses – sometimes, they’re crushed,’ [former journalist Chris Hedges] said. But Hedges cautioned that writing off Occupy based on the success of May Day would be ‘short-sighted.’ ”

Swiss arrest
The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest legal troubles for Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, as a former executive has been arrested in Switzerland over his dealings in North Africa where he helped his ex-employers “win billions of dollars in projects” from Libya’s deposed Gadhafi regime.
“SNC is under investigation by Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which executed a search warrant against the company on April 13, raiding its Montreal headquarters. The World Bank temporarily debarred a unit of the company as it investigates alleged corruption in a project it funded in Bangladesh. S&P lowered its outlook on the firm earlier this month, citing, among other things, the scandals engulfing the company.”

International justice
The Guardian’s George Monbiot argues that by punishing only “crimes committed by vassal states,” international law fails ordinary people everywhere.
“The bid for power, oil and spheres of influence that Bush and Blair launched in Mesopotamia, using the traditional camouflage of the civilising mission; the colonial war still being fought in Afghanistan, 199 years after the Great Game began; the global policing functions the great powers have arrogated to themselves; the one-sided justice dispensed by international law. All these suggest that imperialism never ended, but merely mutated into new forms. The virtual empire knows no boundaries. Until we begin to recognise and confront it, all of us, black and white, will remain its subjects.”

Media death
Arizona State University’s G. Pascal Zachary points to a recent photo of a dead African boy on the front page of the New York Times as the latest evidence of a double standard in the way American news media display death.
“The disturbing photo might seem appropriate — unless one considers that the children killed by, for instance, American drone attacks in Yemen or Pakistan, never receive similar photographic display. So even on the narrow grounds of newsworthiness, the contradictions are evident and ample: for mysterious ‘reasons,’ dead Africans can be displayed in lavish fashion — this photo of this dead boy was in color! — while death inflicted by Americans cannot be displayed. Neither are the deaths experienced by Americans in combat suitable for front page photographic treatment (or inside the paper either).

This sort of Western bias against Africans remains unconscious, embedded in a set of corrosive meta-narratives that deserve critical engagement with a goal of, someday, replacing them with tropes that do not demean and diminish Africans under the guise of promoting sympathy for them.”

Beyond 0.7%
The Overseas Development Institute’s Jonathan Glennie contends that the ongoing dispute over the Falklands/Malvinas is “a much bigger test of the UK’s commitment to development” than is its willingness to allot 0.7% of GDP to aid.
“The reason the Malvinas issue is felt so keenly across Latin America is that it is a reminder of Britain’s history of economic imperialism in the region. The role Britain played in extracting resources and wealth from Latin America over the past two centuries, with little benefit to the local population, is well known, even if it is the Spanish who are most associated with colonialism. As [Argentinian foreign minister Hector] Timerman puts it: ‘We have 21st-century challenges, and Argentina is still fighting against a 19th-century power.’ Of course, British people have next to no knowledge of this, just as they know little of their imperial history in general.”

Eating plants
The University of the Basque Country’s Michael Marder argues that new evidence suggesting plants communicate with each other and form memories raises questions that lead us to the “final frontiers of dietary ethics.”
“The ‘renewable’ aspects of perennial plants may be accepted by humans as a gift of vegetal being and integrated into their diets.
But it would be harder to justify the cultivation of peas and other annual plants, the entire being of which humans devote to externally imposed ends. In other words, ethically inspired decisions cannot postulate the abstract conceptual unity of all plants; they must, rather, take into account the singularity of each species.”

Export processing zones
The Guardian’s John Vidal writes that foreign corporations operating in Bangladesh’s Chittagong export development zone are treated “royally” while providing questionable social and economic returns.
“Bangladesh has a deep energy crisis, with demand massively outsripping supply, yet companies in the zone get cheap, reliable power, as well as generous 10-year tax holidays, freedom from red tape, duty-free imports, immunity from national laws, cheap labour and low rents. In Chittagong, companies pay just $2.20 monthly to rent a square metre of space, and I was told that the annual rent paid to the Bangladesh government by all the factories on the giant site was just $4m a year.

Their critics say [EDZs] favour the export market rather than the domestic market, exploit poor countries, and allow relaxed environmental and safety standards.”

Latest Developments, January 11

In the latest news and analysis…

Rio+20 leak
The Guardian reports a leaked agenda for June’s Rio+20 conference suggests countries will be called upon to agree to 10 new sustainable development goals but overall, the meeting promises to be much less ambitious than the original earth summit.
“Unlike the 1992 earth summit when over 190 heads of state set in motion several legally binding environment agreements, leaders this time will not be asked to sign any document that would legally commit their countries to meeting any particular targets or timetables. Instead, they will be asked to set their own targets and work voluntarily towards establishing a global green economy which the UN believes will reduce poverty and slow consumption.”

Transforming governance
The Inter Press Service reports on growing calls for radical changes in global governance in order to address issues such as poverty and environmental destruction.
“ ‘We need to have a “constitutional moment” in world politics, akin to the major transformative shift in governance after 1945 that led to the establishment of the United Nations and numerous other international organisations,’ said Frank Biermann of VU University Amsterdam and director of the Earth System Governance Project.

Transforming international governance will be challenging since nation-states are almost entirely concerned with their own short-term interests, [Biermann] acknowledges. However, countries give up some of their power when they join the World Trade Organisation.
‘We ought to be able to do this for the protection of the planet and act as a community of nations,’ he said.”

Guardians of the future
The University of East Anglia’s Rupert Read argues that true democracy must take into account the interests of future generations, and to that end, he proposes the integration of  “guardians” into Britain’s existing parliamentary system.
“The members of this body would be selected by sortition, as is current practice for jury service, in order to ensure independence from present-day party political interests.
The Guardians would have a power of veto over legislation that were likely to have substantial negative effects for society in the future, the right to review major administrative decisions which substantially affected future people and the power to initiate legislation to preserve the basic needs and interests of future people.”

Immigration assistance
The Center for Global Development’s Michael Clemens argues the US, by tweaking its immigration policies, could provide significant assistance to earthquake-ravaged Haiti without spending any money or increasing the number of immigrants coming to its shores.
“First, the administration could reverse the current ban on Haitian participation in the U.S.’s largest employment-based visa program, the H-2 temporary low-skill work visa. All Haitians are currently ineligible to receive these visas. If even a few thousand Haitians at a time participated in that program over the next decade, it would generate more money for Haitian families than the entire U.S. infrastructure reconstruction allocation for Haiti. Fiscal cost: zero. It would even generate net positive U.S. tax revenue. Effect on Americans’ jobs: none. Removing the ban on Haiti would simply allow employers already seeking laborers to draw from Haiti instead of being limited to the 53 currently-eligible countries like Guatemala and Mexico.”

Acting together
Norwegian development and environment minister Erik Solheim argues “poverty is about politics” and its solutions lie beyond aid.
“As Norway’s minister for both the environment and development since 2007, I meet with other countries’ ministers with both portfolios, and it has come as a shock to see how the two groups lead such separate lives. Each has its own important agenda, its own analysis of the challenges ahead, its own strategic plans, and literally its own language. While each recognizes the importance of the other’s agenda, unless they talk and act together, neither group’s goals will be achieved.

We must be careful not to fool ourselves into believing that the MDGs can be achieved through development aid alone. The wider politics of poverty must be placed at the top of the international agenda, along with the three factors most critical to development: climate, conflict, and capital.”

Western corruption
Inuka Kenya Trust’s John Githongo argues rich countries have fallen behind their “developing” counterparts in terms of awareness of and mobilization against high-level corruption.
“We live in an increasingly multipolar world where graft is concerned. It’s the turn of the developing world to watch how the west handles fraud and corruption at the highest levels in their corporate and other sectors. I would like to argue that the organic youth-heavy movements in the west, such as Occupy Wall Street, are part of this shift, except the “c” word isn’t being used – yet. This is a pointer to what I predict the fight against corruption will look like in 2012.”

Social cohesion
Oxfam’s Duncan Green issues a “fuzzword alert” over social cohesion and critiques the treatment given to the term in a new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report.
“Whenever a new idea becomes popular like this, the danger is that instead of looking afresh at what it contributes to our understanding of development, we just recycle our existing set of ideas and say ‘because of complexity/ social cohesion/ climate change, you should do exactly what we’ve being saying all along’. I think the OECD is in danger of going down that road in this report – building social capital, supporting social mobility, and promoting social inclusion are fine, but they were standard demands long before anyone started talking about cohesion. The more interesting question is what we should be doing that’s additional or different because of a social cohesion ‘lens’, and I didn’t find that here.”

Southeast Asian exceptionalism
Alpha International Consulting’s Seth Kaplan uses the example of Southeast Asia to question orthodox thinking on the prerequisites for economic development.
“Indonesia, for instance, reduced poverty from 60 percent in 1970 to 22 percent in 1984. Vietnam reduced it from 58 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2008.
Yet, the region does not meet the standard model for economic success, at least as defined by the World Bank and the rest of the Western development community. Governments have historically not been held in check by elections. Corruption is widespread. Governance has rated low on most indicators.”

Latest Developments, December 11

In the latest news and analysis…

Better than nothing
Mother Jones reports on the “Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” which prevented the COP 17 climate summit from going down as a total disaster but leaves much still to be negotiated and done.
“While it’s notable that the US, China, and India agreed to creating a legal pathway, there was still concern from developing countries that too much burden had been shifted to them. China expressed concern that the developed nations were not doing enough. ‘It is not what is said by countries it is what is done by countries, and many are not realizing their commitments,’ said Xie Zhenhua, China’s lead negotiators. ‘We’ve been talking about this for 20 years, they’re still not being acted upon … We want to see your real actions.’”

Enabling corruption
A new report by the Bond Anti-Corruption Group calls on the British government to do more in preventing UK banks and companies from “fuelling and facilitating” corruption in other countries.
“The failure to act here in the UK when it comes to enforcing bribery laws and tackling dirty money has devastating effects on developing countries, undermining good governance and exacerbating poverty,” according to the Bond Anti-Corruption Group’s Melissa Lawson.

Business & human rights
The Institute for Human Rights and Business has released its Top 10 list of emerging business and human rights issues for 2012, among which is “providing legal redress for business participation in human rights violations.”
“For over a decade victims of human rights abuses around the world have turned to the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) for redress in the form of monetary compensation. Of the over 100 cases filed (which include allegations of child abuse, providing support to or benefiting from security forces, and divulging the identity of Internet users), only a few have been admitted, and all have been dismissed or settled out of court.”

Not beyond aid
The Overseas Development Institute’s Jonathan Glennie writes a review of a recent speech given in London by economist Jeffrey Sachs whose thinking, it seems, has yet to move beyond aid.
“A notable omission from his hour-long speech was aid, traditionally a Sachs staple. The subject finally came up when a member of the audience asked him what he would tell western leaders to do to support development in Africa.
His answer focused entirely on aid: raise contributions to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria; find better ways to deliver aid to agriculture and education. These are important areas, but there is a long list of weightier issues – capital flight, tax regimes, climate change and improved global business regulation, to name but a few.
One understands why Sachs always returns to aid. It is the easiest thing for rich countries to deliver – everything else requires genuine change rather than just reaching into the wallet. But he could at least say: “In the absence of the real changes required, let’s at least give aid.” He didn’t, which brought his appearance to a disappointing conclusion.”

Poverty & human rights
The International Council on Human Rights Policy’s Vijay Nagaraj marks Human Rights Day by making the case for increased attention to socio-economic rights.
“Sixty years ago, the United Nations affirmed the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. Now is the time to recall those unassailable rights and to act on them in good faith and with strong conviction. For a start, the human rights community must push to ensure discrimination on the grounds of poverty (or economic status) is prohibited in human rights law, alongside race, colour, sex, language, religion, etc. The continued failure to recognise discrimination on the grounds of poverty is not only a failure to account for the real-life experiences of millions of people who experience it every day, but also reinforces the secondary status of socio-economic rights in mainstream human rights practice.
On this 10th of December, let us call for a paradigm shift in how we see and address poverty. A human rights approach calls on us to view poverty not as unwelcome collateral, temporarily inevitable or even a result of faceless, unstoppable economic forces, but rather as the result of acts of commission and omission and bad policy choices by political and economic elites. It is a problem of justice.”

Blame the parents
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Nick Mathiason argues the necessity of “piercing the corporate veil” that allows large companies to use their complex corporate structure to avoid being held accountable for environmental and human rights abuses.
“Clearly, in financial reporting, a link between the parent and subsidiary is manifest. Yet company law treats every business entity as legally separate, even within the same ‘business family’. And this is where difficulties arise in seeking to hold a parent company accountable, even in instances where it knew of, or supported, the conduct of its subsidiary.
To remedy this, a corporate ‘duty of care’ principle needs to be established which states that, in the event of a parent financially benefitting from a subsidiary, it has a responsibility to ensure the subsidiary carries out duties in line with established laws. When the subsidiary fails to live up to required standards, the parent cannot hide behind a corporate veil but has to face legal liability.”

UN parliament
The World Federalist Movement’s Warren Allmand lays out his case for supporting the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
“The idea is to start with an advisory body at the UN that gradually transitions into a world parliament. Article 22 of the UN Charter allows for creation of ‘subsidiary bodies.’
National parliaments would second MPs to the UN parliamentary assembly in proportion to party standings. Unlike UN ambassadors, UN parliamentarians would not take instruction from national governments, but would be accountable to citizens, and mandated to act according to conscience and the common good.”