The agenda for action to tackle illicit financial flows has passed an important threshold. While the G-8 meeting which concluded today did not agree everything that had been hoped, there was tangible progress in two out of the three main areas.
International tax has continued to rise up the political agenda, and the crucial UK-hosted G-8 meeting is now approaching. We’ve updated our draft declaration that we would like to see from that summit, to reflect discussions that have taken place since then, and many valuable comments from a wide range of contributors.
The day before we recorded this Wonkcast news broke of an agreement between the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain to pilot “multilateral automatic tax information exchange.” My guest, research fellow Alex Cobham, explains why this is so important, why financial secrecy and international tax law seem suddenly to be at the top of the global economic policy agenda—and why this could be especially good news for developing countries.
With the Spice Girls back together, temporarily we must hope, for the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, David Cameron could have been forgiven for making the most of the public’s desire to celebrate the success of the Olympics. Instead he risked being the party pooper, by convening a summit in Downing Street about hunger with Vice President Michel Temer of Brazil.
President Obama announced $3 billion in new private sector investments in agriculture in three African countries at a packed event in Washington, D.C., last Friday. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is the cornerstone of the United States' 2012 G-8 commitments to development led by USAID and administrator Rajiv Shah. There's a lot to like about the partnership: presidential leadership, a link between public and private investment, and a focus on policy change. But all eyes are on how the relatively modest investments will be implemented and whether they can reach the ambitious poverty reduction targets.
For some time now, the food security movement has been stating that improving the agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers improves nutritional status. Last week’s G-8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair’s statement (here) reinforces this idea:
Just ahead of the G8 summit on May 19 at Camp David, a new report by the ONE Campaign highlights the opportunity to focus on real and sustained investments in African agriculture that could impact the lives of millions. The report includes very timely recommendations for the heads of the G-8 and other world leaders:
Early results from our global opinion survey on the selection system, criteria and candidates for the new head of the IMF are now available. If you haven’t yet taken the survey and do so now, you will get access to the results as of yesterday. Not surprisingly, there is overwhelming agreement that the selection system should be open, competitive and merit-based, without regard to nationality (more on that below).