COC

Center of Concern | Mon, Apr 11, 2016

CoC featured at Spring meetings of World Bank, IMF, UN Financing for Development Forum

On April 15-17 2016, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund hold their Spring meetings in Washington DC. The Center of Concern is involved in several events, addressing the accountability of infrastructure finance and Public-Private Partnerships.

The following week, on April 18-20, the first follow-up Financing for Development Forum will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. This meeting provides follow up to the Financing for Development Conference outcomes and Means of Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and governments will be negotiating a statement on the status of implementation. Center of Concern has played an active role in drafting inputs for the forum. RBW Project Director will moderate a side-event on reforms of the international financial system to finance sustainable development.

On April 21 and 22, the Center of Concern is pleased to co-sponsor, together with the Columbia University’s Institute for the Study  of Human Rights, Natural Justice, International Development Initiatives and the Heinrich Boell Foundation, a workshop on “The Future Development Finance and Accountability Landscape.” The meeting will be held at Columbia University campus in New York. It will bring together civil society, academic and intergovernmental organizations’ experts and practitioners with accountability and finance backgrounds to discuss the trends in financing of infrastructure, who are the emerging players and what all of it means for strategies to ensure development finance institutions are accountable for their human rights and environmental and social impacts.

CoC speaks at international legal scholars gathering on austerity measures and human rights

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Mar 28, 2016

CoC speaks at international legal scholars gathering on austerity measures and human rights

On March 31 2016, RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari will speak at the panel “Economizing Justice in Times of Debt and Austerity.” The panel is part of the 110th American Society for International Law Annual Meeting, held in Washington DC from March 30 through April 2. Looking at the experience of countries that have recently undergone financial crises and implemented bank bailouts and austerity measures the panel will explore issues such as: how was the debt incurred and is it legitimate, how should the burden of adjustment be shared, what human rights obligations do the various international creditors have, and what should be expected of sovereign debt restructuring processes moving forward?

Center of Concern | Tue, Mar 15, 2016

Center of Concern President Hosts Panel Presentation for 20th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute at Georgetown University Law Center

Center President Lester A. Myers organized and hosted a panel presentation at the Georgetown University Law Center 20th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute on March 10, 2016. The session was entitled, “Embracing Corporate Responsibility: What is the Corporate Counsel’s Role as Valued Advisor?” and included globally prominent thought and executive leaders in corporate citizenship and responsibility Bennett Freeman, John T. Friedman, and Stephen B. Young. Journalist and media advisor Roshini Rajkumar moderated the discussion. Les is an alumnus of the law center and has been a member of the Corporate Counsel Institute’s Advisory Board for nine years.

The program featured a discussion of the ways that corporate counsel can work with other senior organizational leaders and board members in articulating a principled, mission-integrated approach to corporate citizenship and responsibility, with authentic regard for stakeholder interests, quality growth, and the long-term value proposition of the organization.

John T. Friedman is the Center’s secretary-treasurer, a Huffington Post columnist, and a prominent thought and executive leader in corporate citizenship and sustainability. Roshini Rajkumar is a well-known journalist, brand strategist, executive coach, and keynote speaker. Bennett Freeman is a globally prominent thought and executive leader in sustainability, corporate responsibility, and governance, and served as senior vice president for sustainability research and policy at Calvert Investments and deputy assistant secretary of state (twice). Stephen B. Young is the global executive director of the Caux Round Table, an internationally renowned author and speaker on corporate responsibility, and a Center Creative Voice.

For photo: from left to right are John T. Friedman, Roshini Rajkumar, Bennett Freeman, Stephen B. Young, and Lester A. Myers.

Debt relief campaigners decry Argentina’s payment to holdout creditors

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Mar 14, 2016

Debt relief campaigners decry Argentina’s payment to holdout creditors

Argentina’s agreement in principle to pay out claims to creditors that had stayed out of the sovereign debt restructurings of 2005 and 2010 triggered widespread expressions of concern from debt justice advocates.

“The settlement validates a predatory and exploitative business model,” said Eric LeCompte, Director of Jubilee USA network. According to a spokesperson from the European Network on Debt and Development,  “Now Argentina needs to borrow even more money to pay the vultures – a huge sum for a country struggling to finance many essential services. This disgraceful situation is allowed because no insolvency regime exists that can enforce all creditors’ participation." In a statement, the Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights said “From leading a worldwide struggle against illicit financial flows and the pirate economy of vulture funds . . . [Argentina] is now sitting at the table with the vultures, renegotiating a payment of a debt that had already been acknowledged as illegitimate.” The deal “will increase moral hazard and encourage disruptive hold-out litigation worldwide,” said the UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, warning of the negative human rights consequences of such actions.

RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari said “It is a sad day for those seeking a fairer approach to handling  sovereign debt crises. At the same time, the senselessness of how Argentina’s saga played out has helped galvanize opinion that a sovereign debt workout mechanism is urgently needed.”

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Tue, Mar 1, 2016

CoC present at Rome retreat on Financing for Development

On March 3 -4, 2016, in the city of Rome (Italy), CoC team member Aldo Caliari will participate of a retreat on Financing for Development being held by the Addis CSO Facilitation Group. In April, the first Financing for Development Forum, mandated to provide follow up to the Third Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa last year, will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York. The groups meeting in Rome will discuss main trends, strategies and positions on taxation, debt, trade, financial regulation and other policies to mobilize resources through such follow up process in the short and long term.  They will also address proposals on how the process can best contribute to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year.

CoC at meeting to discuss human rights due diligence in the financial sector

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Feb 22, 2016

CoC at meeting to discuss human rights due diligence in the financial sector

On February 23, 2016, CoC team member Aldo Caliari will attend an Expert Working Session on Responsible Business Conduct and Investment. The meeting is held in New York City by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and co-sponsored and hosted by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). Participants will discuss the potential implications of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and expectations of due diligence with regard to environmental, social and human rights impacts for select categories of financial services.

Center of Concern | Thu, Feb 11, 2016

I Am Miriam

Center of Concern announces the premiere of "I Am Miriam," an anti-human trafficking video, and a companion website entitled, "Against Humanity." The video tells the story of a 26-year-old Ethiopian woman who underwent sex trafficking as she sought asylum from violence against her family and herself in her homeland. The website provides educational and other resources for preventing, detecting, and responding to human trafficking through individual and collective efforts. 

Sister Dianna M. Ortiz, O.S.U., Editor of the Center’s award-winning Education for Justice (EFJ) and an internationally recognized champion for human rights, wrote and served as executive producer for the video. “This is the tragic, personal story of my friend, Miriam, who descended into the horrors of human trafficking as she fled violence against her family and herself in her native Ethiopia. This modern-day form of slavery ensnares nearly 21 million of our brothers and sisters, an experience that no one should have to endure. We must illuminate and eliminate the curse of human trafficking,” Ortiz stated.

These special bonus resources are possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Aligning the financial system with sustainable development

With the objective of exploring how to align the financial system with sustainable development, the United Nations Environmental Program recently released its Financial Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System report. In a blog appeared on RightingFinance, Center of Concern team member Aldo Caliari says that “there is a lot to welcome in the document that crowns this impressive exercise, starting with its systematic ambition.” But he also argues the report suffers of weaknesses, not the least of them its neglect of human rights. (Photo credit: UN Photo Library/ Logan Abassi. Check here for photo conditions of usage).

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