Corruption is a barrier to economic development

Corruption is a barrier to economic development : Corruption acts as a barrier to development by distorting public spending, undermining efficiency and discouraging investment and growth. It thwarts efforts by the private sector to take advantage of business and growth opportunities and undermines economic competition.

Archive pour décembre, 2011

Food crisis :The solutions

The first priority in alleviating this crisis must be to ensure food security in all
countries so that rapid and secure food supplies can be guaranteed for those
in need. Only by ensuring economic safety mechanisms that with certainty can reach the poorest people, the unemployed, waged workers and vulnerable
groups such as women can the international community prevent the financial
and economic crisis from worsening an already grim situation. This means that
the more than 70 developing countries already experiencing problems with
their balance of payments because they are struggling to pay their import bills
for essential food staples require help. Financial assistance must be granted
but without the same, failed policy conditionality from the international financial
institutions. The policies that contributed to the creation of this crisis cannot
be a part of the solution.
Another immediate action should be eliminating politically supported subsidies
that boost biofuel production while diverting food crops into fuel, as biofuel
production is heavily subsidised by industrialised countries and as a result,
biofuels are estimated to account for at least 30 percent of recent food price
Furthermore, more effective regulatory mechanisms are needed in the
agricultural commodity and futures markets, to limit and contain the speculation
that helped drive up food prices during 2008.
In the longer run, investment in rural infrastructure must be increased in
developing countries. Assistance to small-scale agricultural production in
developing countries would contribute to enabling the world to restore the
supply-demand balance for food at a lower price level. Such assistance must
take place under the right terms to achieve economic, social and environmental
sustainability including decent work and respect for international labour
standards for rural workers. The production of foodstuffs in developing
countries for domestic consumption at accessible prices is essential in
ensuring domestic food security and reducing poverty, by providing some
security against escalating world prices for basic commodities. The provision
of universal social protection, which the ILO is currently implementing a
major campaign to achieve, is another part of the international framework for
combating hunger.
The above combination of recommendations shows that there is no one, magic
solution to the global food crisis. Yet governments must accept their role. They
are failing when more than 963 million people are living in hunger and the
number of poor people increases by more than 150 million in one year due
to high food prices. In today’s interdependent world, that is not acceptable.
The international community must accept its joint responsibility to deliver an
effective right to food for all the world’s citizens.

The mission of public health

The mission of public health is to « fulfill society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. » The three core public health functions are:

  • The assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk to identify health problems and priorities;
  • The formulation of public policies designed to solve identified local and national health problems and priorities;
  • To assure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services, and evaluation of the effectiveness of that care.
  • Definition of Public health

The food crisis has affected everyone but most of all theworst off

The food crisis has affected everyone but most of all theworst off, those living at the
lower end of the income scale who spend 50 to 70percent of their income on food. The global food crisishas deprived them of one of their fundamental humanbasic rights, the right to be free from hunger andmalnutrition.

Corruption is a cross border problem

In today’s globalised world, states are increasingly interconnected through trade, investment, financial transactions and communications. This means that corruption in one country is a matter of concern in other countries because

• the harm and injustice becomes better known elsewhere

• it interferes with trade and investment opportunities in the country affected by corruption;

• it may lead to misuse of international development assistance; and

• corrupt networks based in one country operate abroad, bringing corruption to other countries; the potential risk is all the greater where a state weakened by corruption becomes a haven for organised crime.

In Africa, as in other regions, the corruption problem has a variety of cross-border components. Bribe payments are often arranged and made across borders.The proceeds of corruption are concealed by laundering funds across borders. (This may be done via deposits in foreign banks, through cross-border acquisitions or by transferring funds to anonymous shell companies or trusts in haven jurisdictions.) Individuals involved in corruption can often escape law enforcement efforts by leaving the country where investigations or prosecutions are taking place or where a court judgement has been handed down.

These features mean that corruption must be addressed on an international basis and that cross-border cooperation is essential for the prevention, detection and prosecution of corruption. Holding those suspected of corruption accountable, however, is often hampered by the complexities of such cooperation. Governments may be prevented from investigating or prosecuting the corrupt when evidence, witnesses or corrupt persons are located abroad. If foreign governments do not cooperate, enforcement of criminal law is inhibited. Similarly, when the proceeds of corruption are located abroad, it is difficult to recover funds or property without the assistance of foreign institutions.

Morocco :Reform of judiciary system

H.M. the King calls for comprehensive reform of judicial system  Tetuan – H.M. King Mohammed VI called Thursday on the Government to develop a well-defined plan that reflects the strategic depth of the reform of judiciary system.  In a speech on the 56th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, the sovereign said this reform should revolve around six pivotal axes. These include enhancing the safeguards for an independent judiciary system, modernizing the legal system, upgrading its structures and human resources, bolstering judicial efficiency, consolidating the moralisation process and ensuring optimal, effective implementation.  No matter how relevant the strategic, long-term objectives may be, we should still keep in mind that the citizens need to have a clear perception of the positive impact of the reform in the short run,” said the monarch.I therefore instruct the Government, especially the Ministry of Justice, to start the implementation process in six priority areas,” said the sovereign, affirming that this endeavour should consolidate guarantees of independence by granting the High Council for the Judiciary the status it deserves as a full-fledged constitutional body, and entrusting it with the powers it needs to manage judges’ careers. The king insisted on the need of reconsidering the mode of election of Council’s members, make sure they have the necessary competence and integrity, guarantee a representativity of women that tallies with their presence in the Judiciary, streamline its working methods. Similarly, the regulations governing the judge’s status should be revised to ensure more professionalism, accountability and impartiality, and steps should be taken to boost the career promotion process. Likewise, by–laws should be enacted to address the status of court clerks, and there should be an overhaul of the legal framework governing the various judicial professions,” underlined the Monarch.This drive seeks to update the legal system, especially where business, the investment environment and the conditions for fair trial are concerned,” said the Sovereign, affirming that this requires developing a new penal policy, that involves reviewing and harmonizing criminal law along with the penal code, which should be brought in line with the current changes. To this end, a national crime observatory should be set up, while efforts should continue to upgrade reformatory and penitentiary institutions, he added. It is also necessary to develop alternative judicial approaches such as mediation, arbitration and conciliation, and to devise substitutes for sanctions meted out by the courts, noted the Sovereign. He also stressed the need to upgrade the judicial and administrative structure by applying, within the Ministry of Justice as well as in the courts, new governance rules based on the principle of administrative devolution. The aim is to grant judicial officers the necessary powers, including a mandate to carry out periodic and ad-hoc inspections, said the Sovereign, stressing the need to adopt a roadmap and to address the issue of judicial organisation, using a rational approach which is in line with the requirements of the proposed reform. The reform aims also at upgrading the human resources in terms of training, performance and evaluation, and working, at the same time, for the improvement of the material benefits granted to judges and judicial support staff, underscored the Sovereign.  The social aspect should also be addressed, mainly by setting up the Mohammedia Foundation, H.M. the king announced. This move would reflect the monarch’s longstanding commitment to the well-being of the members of the legal profession.  The sovereign also called for increasing judicial efficiency, in an effort to address the hardships endured by the citizens as a result of the shaky, slow and complex administration of justice, mainly through “streamlined, transparent procedures, sound judgements, easier access to court for citizens seeking justice, swifter treatment of court filings and enforcement of rulings. In His nationwide address, H.M. King Mohammed VI also called for moralizing justice to shield it from corruption and abuse of authority, and enable it to contribute to the moralization of public life, via legal means.      This must proceed as part of programmes with specific objectives and stages and with well-defined means for implementing, monitoring and evaluating them, said the Sovereign. At court level, the success of the reform is contingent upon the adoption of the devolution approach and on the availability of adequate staff, said the Monarch, calling on the High Council for the Judiciary to hold a special session and make recommendations for the appointment of judicial supervisors who are qualified for field work and able to carry out such a vital reform. This “long” and “arduous” task, the monarch said, requires the full mobilisation not only of members of the legal profession, but of all institutions and productive forces, and indeed of all citizens,” deeming the proposed substantive reform of justice as a prerequisite for instilling the values of democracy and citizenship in the hearts and minds of young people and emerging generations. 


The sources of the food crisis

The sources of the crisis
The policies pursued by the international financial institutions since the 1980s
have been significant in determining why developing countries cannot ensure
food security for their own citizens. During the heyday of the “Washington
consensus” of the 1980s and 1990s, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank supported market incentives by demanding that developing
countries phase out agricultural subsidies that otherwise could have helped
develop a strong domestic economy, and that grain buffer stocks be sold to
pay off debt. A continuous and erroneous fixation on trade liberalisation as the
answer to the world’s economic and social problems took focus away from the
vastly underdeveloped domestic agricultural sector in developing countries.
Many of those countries are now net importers of food, as opposed to their
status as net exporters in the 1960s, and with the incredibly high prices of
food commodities, it is clear that the policies of the IMF and the World Bank
failed in their purpose. At the same time, more deregulation in trade and financial markets has mainly
favoured agrofood multinationals based in industrialised countries and not the
working rural and urban poor across the globe. The effects of the world trade
system can be seen in the large increase of import bills of low-income food
deficit countries, which have more than doubled in five years. Contrary to the
promises of free trade advocates, successive rounds of trade liberalisation have
not ensured equity and food security for all. Much of the problem can be ascribed
to the multinational corporations that control the majority of international trade
in maize and other grains, as well as massive subsidies to large-scale farms
in the US and Europe that deprive developing country farmers of a place in the
market. Trade growth has so far brought monopolisation in world grain markets
and in banana, cocoa and tea trading, which has damaged the world food
system and not provided greater food security or advances in workers’ rights
to a decent life.
In an effort to make quick returns and seek new investment options away from
the traditional stock market, investors like hedge funds have sought out the
agricultural commodity market in search for high-yield gains. The massive
increase in speculative investment has been a contributing factor in driving up
prices of basic food staples. In a few years, investments in food commodities
and futures have grown twenty-fold because deregulation has allowed noncommercial
traders to seek profit gains in a relatively small market, causing
sudden volatility and turmoil.
Another part of the problem is that the world is getting more populous. By 2050,
more than 9 billion people will inhabit our globe. The strain on food availability is
estimated to rise in the future but already, as the middle classes in developing
countries like China and India grows and their blossoming economies allow
them to shift their eating patterns, pressure on water accessibility and grain
production is rising because meat and dairy products are in higher demand
than ten years ago.
Climate change will make matters worse: recurring droughts, flooding and other
climate change-related pressures resulting from increased greenhouse gas
emissions are a global challenge. Climate change disasters occur most often
in developing countries where failed harvests and poor crop yields can result in
people going hungry for months because the working poor can no longer afford
to purchase basic foodstuffs at new and higher prices. As the impact of climate
change intensifies over the coming decades, changes in weather patterns will
continue and food production will be put under even more pressure. However,
climate change cannot be tackled through simplistic advocacy of biofuels
without concern for their side-effects. While the production of organic material
for biofuels has diverted large amounts of food crops into the fuel tanks of cars,
it has only accounted for 1½ percent of global fuel supply.

The food crisis has not gone away

Food prices have diminished somewhat but the food crisis has not gone away:
as long as the factors that caused it have not been tackled, it remains all too
likely to return in the near future. And almost one billion people live in constant
hunger. With the attention of the international community turned to the global
financial and economic crisis, the real danger is that the world hunger situation
may deteriorate even further.
This report has been prepared to highlight these risks. Workers suffered
significantly from the food price explosion over recent times, and the trade
unions that represent them are demanding action. The global financial and
economic crisis makes this more, not less urgent. As the UN’s Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns, the economic crisis and the current
credit crunch combined with temporarily lower prices of some agricultural
commodities might lead farmers to grow less food, and if this should transpire,
the world will have to brace itself for another dramatic rise in food prices in
the coming year.
If anything useful is to come out of the food crisis, we will have to learn from
past mistakes. Now is the time to act, and if the international community is
determined to halve the number of hungry people by 2015 in line with the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the UN, serious political will and
commitment is needed. The trade union movement is demanding more
investment in the agricultural sector and universal social protection coupled
with respect for core labour standards to bring about the decent and sustainable
production of food and other agricultural products. The right to food must be
considered a basic human right for everyone.
Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary, March 2009

Financial assistance must be granted but withoutthe same, failed policy conditionality

Financial assistance must be granted but withoutthe same, failed policy conditionality from theinternational financial institutions. The policies thatcontributed to the creation of this crisis cannot be a partof the solution.


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