US Implicates Former UNGA President in Corruption Scheme

October 07, 2015

In a continuing pattern of corruption among officials of the UN and other international organizations, US prosecutors in Manhattan have arrested former UN General Assembly ("UNGA") President John Ashe and accused him of accepting bribes from a Chinese real estate developer in return for investment opportunities in Ashe's home country, Antigua.

UN Pushes Integration of SDGs in National Systems

September 30, 2015

The UN Development Group has announced that it is pushing for the implementation of the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs"), which call for ending poverty and limiting inequality and climate change by 2030, by seeking their integration into "national and local strategies, plans, and budgets."

Murray: UN Should Adopt "Proven" Development Strategies

September 23, 2015

Highlighting the "ambitious" and counterproductive agenda of the current UN Sustainable Development Goals, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute argues for the adoption of "realistic" goals that offer a "proven path to prosperity," such as protecting property rights and advancing the rule of law.

UN Agent: Sovereign Debt Principles Are Legally Binding

September 16, 2015

The UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky argues that a recently adopted UN General Assembly resolution attempting to grant "rights" to debtor countries to restructure their obligations represents customary law and general principles of international law and is therefore legally binding.


Weekly Update

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  • Countries Agree to Pacific Trade Deal

    October 09, 2015

    Governments in twelve countries, including the US, Canada, and Australia, have agreed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership ("TPP") seeking to ease trade in the Pacific region, though the deal will likely face opposition among US lawmakers.

  • UN Calls for Teacher Participation in Sustainability Network

    October 09, 2015

    The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization ("UNESCO") and two education organizations have called for teachers to become part of a network pushing education on the UN's sustainable development goals, climate change, and "global citizenship," and have released a "teacher advocacy toolkit" to further these purposes.

  • NGOs, Academia Support More Powerful OSCE

    October 09, 2015

    The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ("OSCE") reports that the group's Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions has called for a strengthened role of the OSCE in foreign policy agendas of countries that participate in the organization.

  • Paper Considers "Regulatory Ecosystem" to Advance BHR

    October 09, 2015

    In a recent paper, Dr. Jolyon Ford of the Australian National University considers how a "regulatory ecosystem" of voluntary and mandatory measures might advance the business and human rights ("BHR") agenda over the next ten years to the extent that it will become grounded in public law and international human rights law.

  • Businesses Respond to Activist Pressure on Climate Policy

    October 09, 2015

    The New York Times reports that pressure from environmental activists is having an effect on business and investment policies, as several major companies announce that they will sign pledges to reduce the effects of their operations on climate change and large investment managers have promised to remove the money they control from fossil fuel companies.

  • UN Launches Guidelines for Businesses on Implementing SDGs

    October 09, 2015

    The UN Global Compact, with help from the Global Reporting Initiative and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, has developed the "SDG Compass," a set of guidelines on how corporations should contribute to the UN's recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") in their operations.

  • ECJ Official Approves Britain's Benefits Test

    October 09, 2015

    Advocate-General of the Court of Justice of the EU ("ECJ") Pedro Cruz Villalón has advised the ECJ to uphold the UK's "right-to-reside" test, which restricts the availability of certain social benefits to migrants from other EU member countries, finding that the test is justified to protect the UK budget.

  • EU Countries Agree to Automatic Tax Information Exchange

    October 09, 2015

    Finance ministers from EU member countries have agreed to a proposal requiring governments to share all of their tax rulings for corporations, including those made up to five years ago, in order to prevent countries from granting favorable tax treatment to certain companies operating within their borders.

  • Official Advises ECJ to Overturn German Refugee Restriction

    October 09, 2015

    Court of Justice of the EU ("ECJ") Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón has advised the ECJ to strike down a German rule requiring refugees in receipt of social security benefits to take up residence in a particular location in the country.

  • Islamists in Turkey and Malaysia Rely on Anti-Semitism to Bolster Authoritarian Rule

    October 09, 2015

    The leaders of the ruling Islamist parties in Malaysia and Turkey are using similar discourses of blatant, aggressive anti-Semitism to rile popular anger against the "international Jewish lobby" as an external threat and to silence domestic opposition by accusing them of conspiracies by "clandestine Jews."

  • Turkey's Internal Islamist Battles Reveal Political Corruption and Abuse of Power

    October 09, 2015

    The social and political fissures destabilizing Turkey, NATO's only Muslim-majority member, were further aggravated this week as the President and leading figures in his governing Islamist party launched a massive lawsuit, with charges of coup conspiracies and judicial corruption, against the transnational-grassroots Turkish Islamist movement led by the Anatolian imam, Fetullah Gulen.

  • Islamic State Shops for WMD Materials in Black Market

    October 09, 2015

    Transatlantic intelligence authorities are raising concerns that the Islamic State's ("IS") declared willingness to use weapons of mass destruction ("WMD") for a nuclear jihad may be abetted by the active black market for WMD materials in the former communist states of Eastern Europe.