Latest Developments, April 10

In the latest news and analysis…

Inequality warning
The BBC reports that the Asia Development Bank is warning that growing inequality – particularly in China, India and Indonesia – could threaten the continent’s stability.
“During the 1960s and 1970s, Asia was better at ensuring that growth did not marginalise large chunks of the region’s population and was actually reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.
However, over the past decade the sudden explosion of growth and rapid enrichment of many people has seen the rich-poor divide grow. The ADB estimates that currently in most Asian countries the wealthiest 5% of the population now account for 20% of total expenditure.
At the same time, for hundreds of millions of people access to education, healthcare and housing has become more difficult and expensive.”

Hijacking democracy
The Independent reports that two of Britain’s top lobbying firms are offering to help corporate clients benefit from the European Citizens’ Initiative, which is intended to increase public input into EU lawmaking.
“A leaked memo shows that Bell Pottinger, the subject of an undercover investigation published in this newspaper in December last year, has offered to help potential clients set up petitions demanding changes to EU law under the new programme, whose rules specifically bar organisations from doing so.
And information posted on the website of its fellow lobbyist Fleishman-Hillard shows it too is offering to help businesses hijack the initiative, which came into force on 1 April.”

Inivisible Children leaks
RT reports that diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks suggest “collaboration” between the group behind the Kony 2012 video and Uganda’s intelligence services.
“A memo written by a public affairs officer at the US embassy in Uganda documents Invisible Children’s collaboration with Ugandan intelligence services. It notes that the US-based NGO tipped the Ugandan government on the whereabouts of Patrick Komakech, a former child soldier for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who was wanted by security officials for extorting money from the government officials, NGO’s and local tribal leaders. Ugandan security organizations jumped the tip and immediately arrested Komakech.

Invisible Children also actively supported Operation Lightning Thunder (OLT), a joint attack by Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the then-autonomous South Sudan against the LRA. The operation, which was also received US intelligence and logistical backing, killed more civilians than LRA militants.”

Sacred hills
The Guardian reports that the Dongria Kondh people’s “Avatar-like battle” against a UK-based mining company has reached India’s Supreme Court.
“Lingaraj Azad, a leader of the Save Niyamgiri Committee, said the Dongria Kondh’s campaign was ‘not just that of an isolated tribe for its customary rights over its traditional lands and habitats, but that of the entire world over protecting our natural heritage’.

A government report accused the firm of violations of forest conservation, tribal rights and environmental protection laws in Orissa, a charge subsequently repeated by a panel of forestry experts.”

Illegal lumber
Inter Press Service reports on a new investigation that found more than 20 US companies had imported illegal timber from Peru’s Amazon region in recent years.
“ ‘Exporters in Peru and importers in the United States and around the world are currently integral parts of a systematic flow of illegal timber from the Peruvian Amazon. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes through sheer negligence, each of the actors and agencies involved in this system are working as gears in a well-oiled machine that is ransacking Peru’s forests and undermining the livelihoods and rights of the people that depend on them,’ the [Environmental Investigation Agency] report stated.
The investigation discovered at least 112 shipments of protected cedar and mahogany were illegally laundered with fabricated papers and imported by U.S. companies between 2008 and 2010.”

Complicity in genocide
Groupe Rwanda argues in Billets d’Afrique that the French government was complicit in the Rwandan genocide that started 18 Aprils ago.
“In fact, according to the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR): ‘…an accused is liable for complicity in genocide if he knowingly and voluntarily aided or abetted or instigated a person or persons to commit genocide, while knowing that such person or persons were committing genocide, even though the accused himself did not have the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, specifically targeted as such.’ In the name of geopolitical considerations dictated by a minority above all accountability due to the so-called ‘reserved domain’ of the head of state, French decision makers consented without qualms to the preparation and subsequent carrying out of the massacre of nearly a million human beings. Once the crime was completed, they did not break their alliance with the killers. François Mitterrand even said to his inner circle in the summer of 1994: ‘You know, in such countries, genocide is not too important.’ ” (Translated from the French.)

Judicial racism
The Guardian’s Gary Younge argues that incidents of judicial racism in the US and UK are not the result of “people simply going rogue.”
“All these perpetrators were reported to the authorities and – in the absence of massive public pressure and media exposure – all were cleared. Both systemic and systematic, the racism these incidents and statistics reveal is embedded within the judicial system itself, rendering it part of the problem rather than the solution. This goes beyond the parental to the political. For it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the state, as currently imagined and experienced, is simply not set up with the purpose of protecting the rights of black people – indeed quite the opposite. It seems to function with the specific intent of violating their rights.”

Skin whitening
India Real Time’s Rupa Subramanya looks into India’s $400 million market for skin-whitening products, including one whose ad promises to “make a woman’s vagina fairer.”
“But before this gets branded a uniquely Indian phenomenon, consider that ever since the craze for the Brazilian wax, skin whitening for your private parts has been a thriving industry in the U.S. and elsewhere for some time. There are skin whitening products for just about every orifice. These were invented and marketed in the West long before they came to India. Like Coca-Cola and many other consumer goods, they’ve arrived here a little later.
The premium on fair skin isn’t unique to India and the developing world.”

Latest Developments, April 5

In the latest news and analysis…

Kony 2012, part II
The Guardian reports that the London School of Economics’ Craig Valters believes the newly released sequel to Invisible Children’s mega-viral video fails to address the criticism against its predecessor.
“Again, there is plenty of talk of turning power on its head. A form of ‘revolution’ as Ocampo put it. Firstly, who is harnessing this power? It certainly isn’t local Ugandans, who barely feature in either film, and who (judging from press reports) do not like the film one bit. Secondly, the film makes no mention of the UPDF (who the US has funded and worked with closely) who have committed many human rights violations. Thirdly, the film-makers (given their affiliation with Ocampo) clearly want Kony tried by the ICC. But the ICC is itself highly politicised, and has been criticised for failing to go after more powerful actors who have also committed crimes.”

LRA response
A document has appeared online, purporting to be a response by the Lord’s Resistance Army’s “Peace Team” to the Kony 2012 video.
“[Invisible Children’s] continued role is, to help sanitize the murderous regime of the army republic of Uganda – and maximally demonize the armed guerrillas in Uganda including the LRA – by working to pile all that is discreditable on the guerrillas, who are only one of the parties in the wars that the army regime has waged against the people of Uganda – while exculpating the murderous military machine of the regime of the army republic from any and all blame.
The principal endeavor of the masters of the Invisible Children is however to divert the attention of the people of Uganda and world democratic opinion from focusing on the real problems that face our African people under the army republic of Uganda and the search for their necessary resolution.”

Debt suicide
Reuters reports that the suicide of a pensioner outside the Greek parliament has turned into “symbol of the pain of austerity.”
“The 77-year-old retired pharmacist, Dimitris Christoulas, shot himself in the head on Wednesday after saying that financial troubles had pushed him over the edge. A suicide note said he preferred to die than scavenge for food.
The highly public – and symbolic – nature of the suicide prompted an outpouring of sympathy from Greeks, who set up an impromptu shrine where he killed himself with hand-written notes condemning the crisis. Some protested at night, clashing with riot police who sent them home in clouds of tear gas.”

Blaming Apple
In a letter to the New York Times, former UN special representative for business and human rights, John Ruggie, writes that Apple “contributes directly” to the well publicized problems at its Chinese supplier factories.
“Imposing stricter conditions on suppliers alone isn’t going to solve this problem. The brands also have to acknowledge their role and change their own practices accordingly. All major brands that source their products overseas, including Apple, have supplier codes of conduct. The time has come for them also to consider codes of responsible ordering practices.”

Drone HQ
The BBC asks “what it means to wage war from afar” during its visit to a New Mexico base where American and British personnel control drones.
” ‘I think it’s only controversial in terms of the media – they will make it controversial,’ said [Squadron Leader “Dex”].
‘We train to operate a weapon system in exactly the same way we would train in a manned aircraft – and we do the same job.
‘So to us there’s nothing controversial about it. Through our training and our smart decisions we avoid collateral damage as best we can. All of our engagements, all of our missions are legitimate and legal.’ ”

Decolonizing the franc zone
Former African Development Bank executive Sanou Mbaye calls the CFA franc zone “a formula for perpetual mass capital flight” from Africa to France.
“The CFA franc’s fixed exchange rate is pegged to the euro and overvalued in order to shield French companies from euro depreciation. But the currency’s overvaluation also underlies the lack of competitiveness that curbs franc-zone countries’ capacity to diversify their economies, create added value, and develop. Scandalously, they still have to surrender 50% of their foreign-exchange reserves to the French Treasury as a guarantee of the CFA franc’s limited convertibility and free transfer to France.

It is no wonder that the franc-zone countries have been unable to catch up with the performance of neighboring economies, most of which are undergoing the most prosperous period in their history. Since 2000, sub-Saharan African countries’ annual GDP growth has averaged 5-7%, compared to 2.5-3% for the franc zone. This gap should encourage the franc zone’s member countries to reject their relationship with France.”

Vying for influence
The Financial Times’ Alan Beattie writes that the World Bank’s structural inequality runs deeper than the US monopoly over the institution’s presidency.
“Emerging markets also complain that the bank’s lending practices give advanced countries control over the institution’s policy that is disproportionately large given their financial contributions. Much of the surplus from the commercial loans arm, which lends to middle-income countries, is ploughed back into the bank to provide low-cost loans and grants to the poorest nations. But control over those recycled funds rests largely with rich countries, which donate money on top and hold about half the voting power over the entire budget.”

Mismeasuring wealth
The time has come to replace GDP with “new indicators that tell us if we are destroying the productive base that supports our well-being,” according to the University of Cambridge’s Partha Dasgupta and the International Human Dimensions Programme’s Anantha Duraiappah.
“The United Nations University’s International Human Dimensions Program (UNU-IHDP) is already working to find these indicators for its ‘Inclusive Wealth Report’ (IWR), which proposes an approach to sustainability based on natural, manufactured, human, and social capital.

The IWR represents a crucial first step in transforming the global economic paradigm, by ensuring that we have the correct information with which to assess our economic development and well-being – and to reassess our needs and goals. While it is not intended as a universal indicator for sustainability, it does offer a framework for dialogue with multiple constituencies from the environmental, social, and economic fields.”

Latest Developments, March 20

In the latest news and analysis…

Mining tax
The BBC reports that Australia’s senate has passed a controversial 30-percent tax on coal and iron mining companies.
“The Australian government originally announced a 40% mining tax in May 2010, but that set off intense opposition from the mining companies.
That opposition was central to the Labor party’s decision in June to replace Kevin Rudd as prime minister with Ms Gillard.
She then negotiated a 30% tax with the mining giants.”

Libyan airstrike victims
Amnesty International’s Sanjeev Bery writes that NATO “has not fulfilled its responsibility to the survivors” a year on from the start of its military intervention in Libya.
“But scores of Libyan civilians who did not directly participate in the conflict were killed as a result of the airstrikes, and many more were injured.  In the four months since the end of the military campaign, NATO has yet to contact survivors or share information resulting from its investigations.

NATO officials have a duty to ensure that a prompt, independent, impartial, and thorough investigation is conducted.  They also have a duty to investigate whether NATO participants in the conflict violated international humanitarian law in striking Mustafa [Naji al-Morabit]’s home.
Finally, all victims of violations of international humanitarian law — and their families – must receive reparations.  The air strikes campaign may be over, but for civilian victims, the suffering continues.”

Ultrasound legislation
In a guest post on the Whatever blog, an anonymous physician calls for “a little old-fashioned civil disobedience” in response to proposed legislation in several US states that would make transvaginal ultrasounds mandatory for women considering an abortion.
“I do not feel that it is reactionary or even inaccurate to describe an unwanted, non-indicated transvaginal ultrasound as ‘rape’. If I insert ANY object into ANY orifice without informed consent, it is rape. And coercion of any kind negates consent, informed or otherwise.

Our position is to recommend medically-indicated tests and treatments that have a favorable benefit-to-harm ratio… and it is up to the patient to decide what she will and will not allow. Period. Politicians do not have any role in this process. NO ONE has a role in this process but the patient and her physician. If anyone tries to get in the way of that, it is our duty to run interference.”

Namibian genocide
Pambazuka News and AfricAvenir International present a collection of articles disputing the current German government’s claim that the country bears “relatively light colonial baggage.”
“Germany, which has done commendable remembrance work about the Holocaust, seems to have forgotten or deliberately buried its violent colonial past. A past that hides the first genocide of the 20th century, planned and executed by the Second Reich or Kaiserreich. A past that laid not only the foundation for racist theories and pseudoscientific medical experiments on humans – in this case Africans supposed inferiority was to be proven – but also produced, with its concentration camps in Africa, the blueprint for the later Nazi death camps. The way in which Germany tries to silence this past seems to prove Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab right when he assumes that the reason for this genocide not being discussed and treated like the Holocaust is mainly due to the fact that it was aimed against black people: ‘Germany apologised for crimes against Israel, Russia or Poland, because they are dealing with whites. We are black and if there is therefore a problem in apologising, that is racist.’ ”

Misguided assistance
In a New York Times op-ed, Ugandan journalist Angelo Izama opposes “increased military action” in Uganda and its wider region as advocated in the viral video Kony 2012.
“The locals never forgot that Mr. Kony’s nine lives were licensed by the politics of the posse that has been hunting for him. Some northern politicians accused the Ugandan government of criminal negligence or settling old political scores. Others, outraged by the conditions the government had subjected them to, sympathized with Mr. Kony. Most were simply tired of war and supported peace talks to end the conflict. If America backed an ambitious regional political solution instead of a military one, it is quite possible that the L.R.A. and other militant groups would cease to exist. But without such a bargain, the violence won’t end.
Killing Mr. Kony may remove him from the battlefield but it will not cure the conditions that have allowed him to thrive for so long.”

Undermining justice
Daraja’s Ben Taylor argues a settlement payment made by UK defence company BAE Systems to Tanzania without any admission of guilt may do more harm than good.
“There is no satisfactory conclusion for the people of Tanzania, where the investigation’s premature closure undermines the cause of justice and accountability. As Tanzanian media tycoon Reginald Mengi tweeted (in Swahili): ‘The radar money has been paid. Nobody has been prosecuted. They say there’s no evidence. Is the war on corruption just words?’ ”

Sharing racism’s burden
The City University of New York’s Gloria Browne-Marshall argues for the continued necessity of affirmative action ahead of a big test before the US Supreme Court later this year.
“America, like other nations, has a flaw in its societal fabric. In other countries, it may be religion, class, caste, color – here it is race. It is an American plight.
Ending affirmative action after only thirty years ignores the vestiges of the last 300 years. As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explained in Adarand v. Pena, the ‘unhappy persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects of racial discrimination against minority groups in this country is an unfortunate reality, and government is not disqualified from acting in response to it.’ ”

Human rights chain responsibility
University of West England doctoral student David Kisiaky makes the case for a “contractual requirement on every relevant person and business in a supply chain to promote the respect and protection of human rights” as an alternative to the unbridled pursuit of profits.
“Several individuals and organisations including the UN now believe that one of the ways of rectifying such disparities [between the world’s rich and poor] is to require all businesses to adopt a moral legal culture which will ensure that human rights are respected ‘across their entire business operation, including their supply chains.’

There comes a time when our social order requires the formulation of new normativities. But above all, the implementation of new moral norms requires the authoritative force of positive law for the norms to have any meaningful and wide-reaching practical benefit to humanity.”

Latest Developments, March 13

In the latest news and analysis…

Systemic atrocity
Former US marine Ross Caputi wonders why Americans who are so outraged at the murder of 16 Afghan civilians by a rogue US soldier do not seem to notice when entire families are wiped out by US drones.
“It is believed in the west that some innocent death is excusable in war, as long as the deaths are not intended, and even if those deaths are foreseeable. But if civilian deaths are foreseeable in a course of action, and we take that action anyway, did we not intend them? I doubt Afghans would feel much consolation knowing that their family members were not directly targeted; rather, we just expected that our actions would kill a few people and it happened to be their family members – an unfortunate side-effect of war.

The consequentialist will argue that the good results outweigh the bad, that democracy, freedom and the liberation of Afghan women will improve the lives of Afghans so much that the deaths of a few are justified. This is an easy judgment for westerners to make from the comforts of their own homes; but it stinks of the same patriarchy and arrogance of the white man’s burden that justified colonialism for so many years. Has anyone consulted Afghans and asked them if they think the good that the west has promised will come of this occupation is worth the lives of their family members?”

Transparency flaws
The Tax Justice Network has released a new report in which it calls into question the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s mechanism for assessing the financial transparency of the world’s countries and territories.
“At the time of writing, for instance, the OECD is running a ‘black, white and grey’ list of jurisdictions, according to its internationally agreed tax standard. The blacklist is empty. The grey list consists of three jurisdictions – Nauru, Niue and Guatemala. On this measure, everyone else is clean! Including some of the world’s dirtiest secrecy jurisdictions, such as Panama, the British Virgin Islands and the UAE (Dubai.)”

GOP climate change
The Financial Times looks at the shifting climate-change positions of leading US Republicans.
“[Mitt] Romney and [Newt] Gingrich, along with many other Republicans, had previously supported both the scientific case for climate change and the need to address it, as did the party’s 2008 presidential candidate, John McCain.
Observers have attributed the party’s shift since the last election to a range of factors, including the rise of the anti-regulatory Tea Party and fears about unemployment. Others suggest the change is due to fossil fuel interests using so-called super PACs – the new generation of political action committees empowered by a 2010 Supreme Court ruling allowing businesses and unions to spend much more on political campaigns than previously permitted.”

Sovereignty issues
Former NATO secretary general Javier Solana argues the world must move beyond “certain antiquated ideas about sovereignty.”
“On a global scale, this complex and interdependent world needs an organization of states and structures of governance oriented towards responsible dialogue, the aim being to mitigate abuses of power and defend global public assets. Without such structures, the world risks a competitive and disorderly race to the bottom among states – as often occurs with taxation – together with a protectionist backlash. History has shown that such developments often lead to disastrous conflicts.

Indeed, the dynamics of interdependence have become well established – so much so that they cannot be reversed. To adhere to a narrow Westphalian concept of sovereignty in this world is an unwise anachronism at best, and a dangerous gamble at worst.”

Eternal pollution
Dow Jones Newswires reports that opponents of Newmont Mining’s controversial Minas Conga copper and gold project in Peru have released a paper detailing their environmental concerns.
“ ‘Effluents from the Conga waste rock piles and the tailings will need to be collected and treated forever,’ the report says. ‘Thus, the Conga site will require active maintenance of the remaining facilities and operation of active water treatment facilities, not simply for 50 or 100 years post-closure, but forever.’ ”

Owning workers
The Center for Global Development’s Michael Clemens takes exception to a recent New York Times piece that suggested health workers are being stolen from Africa.
“That article approvingly cites a horrific proposal to put recruiters of health workers on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity. This is breathtakingly misguided. Recruiters do not ‘steal’ people. They give information to people about jobs those people are qualified for. The professional ambitions of those people have equal value to yours and mine, and those ambitions cannot be realized without information. International recruiters allow African health workers the chance to earn ten to twenty times what they could make at home. In other words, recruiters allow them access to professional opportunities that people like me and Times journalist Matt McAllester take for granted by luck of birthright citizenship.”

Natural solutions
Smallholder farmers hold the key to sustainable food security if they practice “climate-smart agriculture” that often bears little resemblance to the Green Revolution of the 20th Century, according to Rwandan President Paul Kagame and International Fund for Agricultural Development head Kanayo Nwanze.
“On a larger scale, farmers across Rwanda are replacing greenhouse-gas-producing chemical fertilizers with manure. In some areas of the country, smallholders are also now terracing their land and using other natural techniques to improve the soil’s water-retention capacity and quality, as well as to increase their crop yields.
Using these approaches, Rwanda has quadrupled its agricultural production over the past five years. Indeed, thanks to such remarkable progress in such a short time, Rwanda is now a food-secure country.”

Wrong changes
In a Q&A with Al Jazeera, Pambazuka News editor Firoze Manji discusses the likely impacts of the controversial viral video Kony 2012.
“What meaningful change will this bring about, other than reinforcing prejudices about ‘the African savage’, someone who needs to be civilised by the white man?
What difference will it make to those villagers and farmers who have been locked up in protected villages? What meaningful change will this bring about to the grabbing of vast territories of land for oil exploitation by multinational corporations?
What this story will legitimise is the greater presence of US troops on African soil seemingly to deal with the [Lord’s Resistance Army], an already defeated entity.”

Latest Developments, March 12

In the latest news and analysis…

The backlash continues
As reactions to the Kony 2012 mega-viral video keep pouring in, Warscapes’ Dinaw Mengestu’s contribution – in which he blasts Invisible Children’s saviour complex and “doctrine of simplicity” – drew rave reviews on Twitter.
“In the world of Kony 2012, Joseph Kony has evaded arrest for one dominant reason: Those of us living in the western world haven’t known about him, and because we haven’t known about him, no one has been able to stop him. The film is more than just an explanation of the problem; it’s the answer as well. It’s a beautiful equation that can only work so long as we believe that nothing in the world happens unless we know about it, and that once we do know about it, however poorly informed and ignorant we may be, every action we take is good, and more importantly, ‘makes a difference.’ In the case of Kony 2012, this isn’t simply a matter of making a complicated narrative easier to understand, but rather it’s a distortion, or at worse, a self-serving omission of the extensive efforts made over the past decade by the UN, US, Ugandan and South Sudanese governments, and numerous religious and civil organizations across Uganda, to bring Kony to justice.”

Water world
The Guardian reports on concerns over the priorities of the World Water Forum, currently underway in France, that is calling itself a “platform for solutions” to global water issues.
“But critics say the forum, which costs as much as 700 euros for full access, caters to the interests of big business and gives corporations opportunities to advance their interests by facilitating direct access to high-ranking government officials. Starting on Wednesday, activists are staging an Alternative World Water Forum to promote alternatives to privatisation and share experiences on how to promote public and community-led water management from the bottom-up.
On Friday, UN special rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque warned that government delegates to the WWF appeared to be watering down their human rights commitments to water and sanitation. These rights, formally recognised by the UN in 2010, must form the basis of any proposals to expand access to essential services, said De Albuquerque in a statement.”

Public support for Anonymous
Web consultant Jon Blanchard makes the “perhaps career-limiting admission” that he supports the Anonymous international hacktivist movement.
“Hactivism, as undertaken by Anonymous, sees no buildings burned, no kids are clubbed and no officers pelted with rocks. It is non-violent protest that deliberately targets nothing more, and nothing less, than reputation.
The most dangerous outcome of the Anonymous movement, perhaps the most important thing it can do, is the embarrassment of people unaccustomed to being embarrassed.”

Patent precedent
Intellectual Property Watch reports an Indian court has ruled that a domestic generic drug manufacturer can produce a patented cancer medication despite the objections of Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant that first developed the drug.
“Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) said the ruling ends Bayer’s monopoly in India on the drug and could set precedent for making more expensive patented drugs available for compulsory licensing.
‘But this decision marks a precedent that offers hope: it shows that new drugs under patent can also be produced by generic makers at a fraction of the price, while royalties are paid to the patent holder. This compensates patent holders while at the same time ensuring that competition can bring down prices,’ Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of the MSF Access Campaign, said in a statement.”

Ethics of obesity
Arguing that “an increase in weight by some imposes costs on others,” Princeton University’s Peter Singer calls for public policies that would discourage obesity.
“Taxing foods that are disproportionately implicated in obesity – especially foods with no nutritional value, such as sugary drinks – would help. The revenue raised could then be used to offset the extra costs that overweight people impose on others, and the increased cost of these foods could discourage their consumption by people who are at risk of obesity, which is second only to tobacco use as the leading cause of preventable death.
Many of us are rightly concerned about whether our planet can support a human population that has surpassed seven billion. But we should think of the size of the human population not just in terms of numbers, but also in terms of its mass. If we value both sustainable human well-being and our planet’s natural environment, my weight – and yours – is everyone’s business.”

Evolving IMF
Boston University’s Kevin Gallagher writes that despite the International Monetary Fund’s continued pushing of austerity measures in recent agreements with Latvia, Ukraine and Pakistan, there are signs that the 65 year-old institution is changing its ways.
“The IMF is in a period of what economist Ilene Grabel refers to as ‘productive incoherence’. There is a lot of very productive debate and change within the organisation, but it is often inconsistent and contradictory. New thinking about inflation targeting and capital flows has indeed crept into stand-by arrangements, but not the new thinking and hard evidence on austerity.
That said, the changes in the wake of the financial crisis are not to be overlooked and deserve applause. Part of the reason the institution is changing is due to the rising economic power of its developing members, such as China, Brazil and India. Along with this newfound power will come more voting power at the Fund.
If strategic coalitions are built, they can coalesce to make the institution more development-friendly – and live up to the promise laid out by its founders.”

Multilateralism and poverty
Oxfam’s Stephen Hale sees little short-term prospect of international cooperation that would fundamentally alter a global economic system whose rules are “stacked against the interests of the poorest countries.”
“A third cause is the poverty of current global governance structures, which do not foster the common approach we need to manage global risks and deliver prosperity and security for a world of 9 billion people.
In truth, it was ever thus. Despite progress on development aid and on climate change in better economic times, the pace of global collective action has always been profoundly inadequate for the scale of the challenges we face.”