UN Struggles to Rein in WHO Travel Costs

May 24, 2017

The Associated Press reports that lack of accountability for unreasonable travel costs at the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) is causing concern among government donors and the UN system, as the agency's spending on travel in recent years has outstripped its spending to combat some of the world's most serious diseases.

EU Council Approves Measure Against "Hate" Videos

May 24, 2017

Reuters reports that the Council of the EU, made up of ministers from the bloc's member states, has approved EU legislation that would require social media platforms to take measures to remove user-posted videos containing "hate speech" and "incitement to hatred" from their websites.

Countries Seek to Curb Business Input on Climate Action

May 24, 2017

The Guardian reports that developing countries are seeking to use a commitment from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to "openness, transparency and inclusiveness" in upcoming negotiations on the future shape of the 2015 UN Paris climate deal to curb input on the talks from companies that rely on fossil fuels.

EU Aims for Post-Brexit Eurozone Expansion

May 24, 2017

Reuters reports that the EU's economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici has previewed plans by the European Commission after Brexit to expand the eurozone by making the euro currency "attractive" enough that countries that have not yet adopted it view joining the currency as "an offer you cannot refuse."

 

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  • UN Promotes Wide-ranging SDGs at World Ocean Festival

    May 25, 2017

    The UN and environmental activists recently demonstrated their continued commitment to the international organization's comprehensive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by hosting a World Ocean Festival in New York to bring attention to the impact of global warming on oceans and the need to meet the ocean-related targets in the SDGs.

     
  • Schaefer: US Must Pressure UN on Whistle-blower Rules

    May 25, 2017

    Brett Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation writes that US officials should motivate UN agencies to pursue best practices in the protection of whistle-blowers by exercising their statutory authority to withhold a portion of the funding of these agencies and communicating what improvements must be made to restore full US contributions.

     
  • WTO, Development Banks Seek Redistributive Policies

    May 25, 2017

    A report from the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank calls on national governments around the world to implement redistributive policies such as unemployment benefits and "income support" to offset trade-related job losses.

     
 
  • NGOs Point to BHR Impacts of Green Energy

    May 25, 2017

    The development by nongovernmental organizations Yansa and the Gaia Foundation of a platform, called Ojuso, that will gather business and civil society stakeholders to consider business and human rights (BHR) impacts of renewable energy projects demonstrates the complexity involved in implementing the global "sustainable energy" agenda.

     
  • UK Committee Seeks Prosecution, Liability for BHR Violations

    May 25, 2017

    A recent report from the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights calls for legislation providing for the criminal prosecution of corporations that violate the business and human rights (BHR) agenda in other countries and permitting foreign victims of alleged BHR violations to sue UK companies in British courts.

     
  • UK Official Criticizes "Modern Slavery" Reporting Efforts

    May 25, 2017

    In a recent letter to business leaders, the UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland OBE, who is charged with monitoring corporate implementation of the country's Modern Slavery Act, said he is "disappointed" with the level of compliance by businesses with the law's requirements to report on efforts to eradicate forced labor around the world.

     
 
  • NGO: UK Parties Must Commit to ECtHR

    May 25, 2017

    Human Rights Watch recently published an article calling on all UK political parties to pledge in their manifestos to keeping the country within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

     
  • Initiative Expands EU Governance in Mediterranean

    May 25, 2017

    The European Commission has launched a new project to promote the UN's comprehensive "sustainable development" agenda in what it calls the "blue economy," or sea-based economic activity, of the Western Mediterranean by providing for "spatial planning" and "habitat conservation" in the region.

     
  • ECB Board Member Seeks Completion of Banking Union

    May 25, 2017

    In a set of talking points for a panel on "relaunching the eurozone," member of the executive board of the European Central Bank (ECB) Peter Praet promotes the need for an "ambitious timetable" to complete the EU's "banking union" in order to provide for centralized supervision of banks and a financial "backstop" to cover the risks of failing financial institutions.

     
 
  • Islamist Penetration in Philippines Continues with Siege

    May 25, 2017

    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and ordered military action in the city of Marawi as part of an escalating counter-terrorism operation to degrade Islamic State forces that have penetrated the southern Philippines to expand Islamist militant ideas and practices throughout the island nation.

     
  • DC Officials Seek Prosecution of Erdogan Guards

    May 25, 2017

    American officials and policymakers are intensifying their calls in favor of lifting diplomatic immunity in order to prosecute members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail who violently attacked US citizens calling for an end to the authoritarian practices of Turkey's Islamist regime outside the country's embassy in Washington.

     
  • Iran's Levant Geopolitics Could Provoke Conflict with US

    May 25, 2017

    Iran's expansion of its brand of Islamist geopolitics throughout Syria and Iraq through its leadership of a coalition of anti-Islamic State (IS) Shiite forces in the region raises the possibility of a proxy confrontation between US-led coalition forces and Iran-led Shiite deployments from Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan in the battle to oust IS from its Syrian headquarters in Raqqa.