Stories written by Carey L. Biron
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Changes to World Bank Safeguards Risk “Race to the Bottom”, U.N. Experts Warn

An unprecedented number of United Nations special rapporteurs and independent experts are raising pointed concerns over the World Bank’s ongoing review of its pioneering environmental and social safeguards, particularly around the role that human rights will play in these revamped policies.

‘Record’ Illicit Money Lost by Developing Countries Triples in a Decade

Developing countries are losing money through illicit channels at twice the rate at which their economies are growing, according to new estimates released Tuesday. Further, the total volume of these lost funds appears to be rapidly expanding.

Groups Push Obama to Clarify U.S. Abortion Funding for Wartime Rape

Nearly two dozen health, advocacy and faith groups are calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action clarifying that U.S. assistance can be used to fund abortion services for women and girls raped in the context of war and conflict.

Only Half of Global Banks Have Policy to Respect Human Rights

Just half of major global banks have in place a public policy to respect human rights, according to new research, despite this being a foundational mandate of an international convention on multinational business practice.

World Bank Calls for Development Policy “Redesign” around Human Behaviour

The World Bank has taken an unusual but highly visible step away from traditional economics, encouraging policymakers and development implementers to place far more emphasis on research into local human behaviour when drawing up plans and projects.

First Phase of Global Fracking Expansion: Ensuring Friendly Legislation

Multinational oil and gas companies are engaged in a quiet but broad attempt to prepare the groundwork for a significant global expansion of shale gas development, according to a study released Monday.

Jewellery Industry Takes Steps to Eliminate “Conflict Gold”

Major U.S. jewellery companies and retailers have started to take substantive steps to eliminate the presence of “conflict gold” from their supply chains, according to the results of a year-long investigation published Monday.

Proposal for International Anti-Corruption Court Seeing “Significant” Momentum

The key U.S. advocate of a proposal to create a multilateral body mandated to investigate allegations of political corruption says the idea is receiving significant interest from civil society, politicians and major business leaders.

G20 Seeks to Streamline Private Investment in Infrastructure

Industrialised countries have agreed to collaborate on a new programme aimed at funnelling significant private-sector investment into global infrastructure projects, particularly in developing countries.

U.S. Proposes Major Debt Relief for Ebola-Hit Countries

The United States proposed Tuesday that the international community write off 100 million dollars in debt owed by West African countries hit hardest by the current Ebola outbreak. The money would be re-invested in health and other public programming.

As TPP Trade Talks Miss Third Deadline, Opponents Claim Momentum

For the third year in a row, government negotiators for 12 Pacific Rim countries have missed an internal deadline to reach agreement on a controversial U.S.-led trade deal.

Extractives Companies “Not Ready” for Transparency Requirements

The world’s largest corporations continue to publicise scant information about their global operations, according to new analysis that warns that extractives companies in particular are unprepared for pending disclosure requirements.

Global Tax-Evasion Crackdown Sidestepping Poorest Countries

While a major global campaign to cut down on tax evasion is picking up momentum, anti-poverty advocates say the initiative overlooks the world’s poorest countries.

Canada Accused of Failing to Prevent Overseas Mining Abuses

The Canadian government is failing either to investigate or to hold the country’s massive extractives sector accountable for rights abuses committed in Latin American countries, according to petitioners who testified here Tuesday before an international tribunal.

Panama Regulators Could Slow U.S. Approval of GM Salmon

Officials in Panama have fined the local facility of a U.S. biotechnology company for a series of permitting and regulatory failures around a pioneering attempt to create genetically modified salmon.

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