The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) together with international and Bangladeshi labour rights groups and unions, has reached an agreement with the German-based retailer Tchibo on an ambitious safety programme in garment factories in Bangladesh. Earlier this year, PVH (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) committed to the programme.
On the 27 September 2012, the negotiations for European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries mark their 10 year anniversary. But it is not really a time for celebration. 10 years on, EPAs negotiations continue to be fraught with concerns that when it comes to supporting development efforts and promoting regional integration, the EPAs will do more harm than good. Please join us for a debate on: "EPA negotiations: 10 years is enough?" at the Residence Palace, Brussels, 27 September 2012 from 9:30 to 11:30 am.
The European Parliament in its plenary session on the 5th of April, adopted a proposal to regulate Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) that will force them to become more transparent on where their funds come from, and go to, as well as how they count social and environmental risks. Furthermore, the Parliament requires ECAs to comply with EU human rights objectives in their activities, and to phase out the subsidising of fossil fuel projects in line with commitments adopted by the G20 in 2009.
A highly critical report on the Bujagali Dam was recently released by the World Bank Inspection Panel - the independent investigation body of the World Bank. The controversial Bujagali Dam, a US$860 million hydropower dam under construction in Uganda, is co-financed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Unfortunately the report of the Inspection Panel has done little to change the commitment of the World Bank in funding the dam. Nor will it implement any fundamental changes in response to the indicated problems.
On Friday, the long awaited policy note by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag was published. The note was the outcome of a process of consultation, scientific analysis and much discussion within and outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We searched for the spirit underlying it: What trends does this minister consolidate and deepen? What is new? Are those new aspects a superficial change of discourse or a genuine break with the past? On what issues is the paper silent and what do those silences tell us?
The planned initial public offering (IPO) of Malayan state-owned enterprise Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) will take place this month (28th June). It will be underwritten by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley; with an expected valuation of around 2.5 billion Euro this will be the second biggest IPO ever, trailing Facebook. A significant detail is that FGVH is controlled by the governing part UMNO, led by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak. The upcoming privatisation might be prompted by a need to generate capital for the upcoming elections.