Policy coherence and conflict of interest: The OECD guidelines on health and poverty (2006)

The OECD’s Guidelines on Poverty and Health are compromised by neoliberal assumptions and corrupted by several major conflicts of interest. These conflicts of interest are embodied in the DAC guidelines, whereby specific OECD commercial interests influence the public policies of developing countries. Commercial agendas are being incorporated into developing country health policy through development assistance doctrine. Continue reading “Policy coherence and conflict of interest: The OECD guidelines on health and poverty (2006)”

Fair trade: The scope of the debate (Tim Anderson and Elisabeth Riedl, 2006)

‘Fair Trade’ has become such a popular term that it now covers a bewildering array of quite different proposals, from protectionist measures through genuine solidary action to new marketing opportunities. While ‘fair trade’ is often seen as a counterpart to the older concept of ‘free trade’, in many ways ‘free trade’ and the associated arguments around the World Trade Organisation’s liberalising processes have also been arguments about fairness – i.e. the right of equal access to markets. Continue reading “Fair trade: The scope of the debate (Tim Anderson and Elisabeth Riedl, 2006)”

Globalization and agricultural trade: The market access and food security dilemmas of developing countries (2006)

Poverty reduction and debt relief programs, fixed by the big powers, have repeated the dogma of globalisation through ‘free trade’ as a means of salvation for poor countries. The Cairns Group, an agricultural export lobby, has reinforced this message in relation to farming. Yet agriculture in developing countries is far too important to be reduced to a function of the latest export opportunity. In poor, rural based communities, there is a huge cost in abandoning subsistence production and domestic markets to the vagaries of global markets. Continue reading “Globalization and agricultural trade: The market access and food security dilemmas of developing countries (2006)”

Food security and agriculture in the Australia-East Timor relationship (2006)

This chapter will discuss important conflicts of interest over agricultural development in the Australia-East Timor relationship. East Timor needs to stabilise domestic production, as the central element of its food security strategy. However Australia has a strategic view of global agricultural liberalisation, and uses aid programs to advance these interests. Different approaches to ‘food security’ are linked to distinct interests. This paper discusses those different approaches and their associated agricultural development implications. Continue reading “Food security and agriculture in the Australia-East Timor relationship (2006)”

The Howard Government, Australian aid and the consequences (2006)

In 1997 the Howard Government gave Australia’s foreign aid program a ‘poverty reduction’ focus with a ‘national interest’ link, later developing ‘good governance’ as the principal program theme. This anticipated the IMF and World Bank’s 1999 abandoning of ‘structural adjustment’ in favour of ‘poverty reduction’ programs, and build on National Competition Policy established by the previous Labor Government. Most aid moneys are now contracted to private Australia (and New Zealand) based companies, and the total aid budget has grown considerably. Continue reading “The Howard Government, Australian aid and the consequences (2006)”

Hugo Chávez on resource sovereignty (2006)

Short clip from Hugo Chávez’s speech on resource sovereignty at the Poliedro, World Social Forum, Caracas, January 2006. Continue reading “Hugo Chávez on resource sovereignty (2006)”

Independent development in East Timor? (2005)

Independent development is possible, but difficult, in a small country like Timor-Leste. It requires solidarity and independent thinking. Yet independent thinking is constantly under threat from what might be called the ‘Anglo economic technocracy’, a mindset which stresses privatisation, uncoordinated investment and supposed open markets. Continue reading “Independent development in East Timor? (2005)”

Self-determination after Independence: East Timor and the World Bank (2003)

This paper introduces the concept of self-determination in the East Timorese struggle for political independence, and then examines the question of economic self-determination, with special focus on the role of the World Bank in East Timor The paper discusses the Bank’s relationship with East Timor’s Transitional Administration (under the United Nations’ Transitional Authority), and then some new self-determination dilemmas for the politically independent Democratic Republic of East Timor. Continue reading “Self-determination after Independence: East Timor and the World Bank (2003)”